How to waste money
I’m not a great traveller, by which I mean I get nervous and defensive when making long trips. But it turns out I’m also not a great traveller in the sense of being really fuckin’ bad at it. Here, then, is M & B’s guide to royally buggering up a trip to Italy.
- Forget you have a car (this is important as it turns out, so remember this bit)
- Book a minicab to Victoria (at 5.30am) from the local cabbie which doesn’t turn up, so we wait a short while, then walk up the road and find a
- Minicab from Uxbridge Road (£18), which bombs through London as fast as possible. But we miss the 6am
- Gatwick Express (£27 I think for a return?) and have to take the next one which
- Arrives at Gatwick South terminal, so we hop on the monorail, but after queuing for the bag drop we are 7 minutes late for our
- BA flight to Venice (£204 each). BA close the flight 45 mins before take-off – wtf? So we rush to the ticket desk where we’re told the next flight to VCE, at 1.30pm, is business class only, and the 7pm one after that only has very expensive tickets left. But as “luck” would have it, there’s a
- BA flight to Verona that leaves in an hour – and for only £165 each!
- The train from Verona to Venice takes an hour and a half and costs €20 each.
- A 3-day travelcard in Venice is €33 each, though we barely use it – a regatta on the weekend means that it’s useless for a full day. But at least we’re now on holiday and can relax, because when we get back to the UK,
- A 1am cab from Gatwick airport – booked in advance because even in the best case scenario, we’ll just miss the last Gatwick Express to Victoria, despite having return tickets – costs a whopping £110 including tip.
So, as you’ll have realised, if we’d remembered we had a car, we would have paid, what, £50 each for long term parking and petrol, got to Gatwick in plenty of time, and had a nice easy drive on empty roads home? Instead we paid just over £200 extra EACH just to travel. What a pair.
There is a post-script to this story. On our return, B went to the cab office to complain about our non-existent taxi. As a result, the owner of the cab firm is refunding us the cost of the Verona tickets at £50 a week. Back of, and indeed, the net.