Last Minute Arrangements

The date for my holidays in June had been planned well in advance but somehow at the end of May the arrangements had still not been made.  The original destination was going to be a bit difficult to arrange at the last minute so for some reason that we can’t now recall, we settled on Carcassonne as the destination.

To avoid fathoming out arrangements and piecing them together on the internet we visited a travel agent.  As we arrived one of the representatives approached and said:

“Can I help?”

“Yes we would like to go to Carcassonne”

 A momentary pause and blank expression followed…

“Where’s that?”

“It is in France”

“You know you won’t be able to go as part of a package don’t you?”

“Yes”

The representative then gathered up a few brochures and logged onto the internet.  After a bit of searching he managed to find a flight from Bristol to Toulouse.  He then proceeded to book airport parking and a hire car to be picked up at Toulouse airport.

He then logged onto a curiously named website called “Beds to Go” to find a suitable hotel.  This proved a little more difficult and one of his colleagues stepped in with suggestions.  This was accompanied by quips about visiting a winter location in summer (Toulouse is close to skiing resorts in the Pyrenees).  A suitable hotel was found but we had to wait for a couple of days to see if it was available.  In the end it wasn’t and we had to execute plan B!  This worked to our advantage; the hotel was in a much better location than the hotel that proved not to be available.

Everyone in the travel agents wanted to know “Why Carcassonne?”  None of them had ever heard of it, so after asking the question they got a potted history of the area from two different perspectives.

A couple of the representatives told us about their recent training course where they were told that they would have to research holiday destinations for themselves.  They were also advised that the best way to learn about places was from their customers.  They all agreed they had learned a lot that day.

All in all it took about two and a half hours to get everything sorted and along the way the representative quipped that next year when we went to book our holiday we would be going to Majorca which will take only twenty minutes to book the accommodation and travel arrangements…

I think he may be disappointed (or pleasantly surprised) at next year’s holiday destination 😉

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One thought on “Last Minute Arrangements

  1. This is a great story. I can just picture the representative going blank. Of course they cannot know all the destinations of the whole world. It is too funny that you had to point out the location. I am glad, it all turned out well and Carcassonne is an amazing city. Wonderful picture with this post. Now you make me curious about your next year’s holiday. Don’t tell me it will be Amsterdam…….. 😀
    June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAstrid

    LOL, Cherry. Actually, since it’s their job, maybe they SHOULD know every possible travel destination in the world. HA! And why not? Seriously, what a job. I’d love going home every day with a new destination on my bucket list. Good for you. I didn’t know where Carcassonne was either but France sounds as good a guess as any. Have a great trip! And yes, maybe next year it’ll be Amsterdam….
    June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGinnie

    Love that you find these off-the-popular-beaten-path places to visit. I have to confess that I – too – have never heard of Carcasonne…but am enjoying visiting it thru your camera’s lens. And as for the trip planning – I would think that the travel agents ‘owe’ you?!?!?!?
    June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarcie

    Oh…Carcassonne!! Totally fell in love with it while spending a month traveling around France. My most favorite country in the entire world…so far! However, add Castillon du Gard to your list. A die for destination!
    June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGotham Girl aka Robin

    If this photo is of Carcassonne I intend to find out all about it ~ lovely!
    June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

    definitely, a new destination for me! what a fun way to start a sunday.
    June 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhoney

    Your travel agent story made me smile.

    Hope your trip is all that you are looking for!
    June 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSue

    The fact that your agents didn’t know Carcasonne is all to the good, from my perspective. It means there won’t be the crowds that show up in better-known destinations!

    Travel’s broadening for sure – even for the folks who make the arrangements!
    June 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

    Love this picture, is it Carcassone? I googled it, wonderful area to go.
    June 19, 2012 | Registered CommenterPetra

    This is what I love about Vision and Verb. I get to learn about all sorts of places that to me are exotic, to others they are simply “home”. I haven’t exactly created a life that allows travel, which I regret sometimes. Other times, as I note that travel days are few and far between while days spent at home, where I would be alone without my menagerie, are many. So no regrets!
    June 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaery Rose

    It sounds like you have a wonderful holiday ahead of you! I like the less-traveled roads myself, but it is funny that the travel agents were so … uninformed! Enjoy!
    June 20, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkelly

    How wonderful to be going to somewhere that is not quite the expected holiday destination. I rather like doing that too.
    June 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarie

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