Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Europe Trip 2017 - The Preface

In 2009, Meezy and I hosted a foreign exchange student from Germany. We didn't know at the time that it would result in a life-long friendship (with not only her, but her entire family!). After she left in early 2010, we decided to travel to Europe later that year to visit her, meet her family, and do a ton of sight-seeing. Ever since then, we have been lucky enough to see Kim again numerous times, mostly because she has booked near-annual trips to visit us. In 2015, Meezy had to go to London for work and I tagged along, so we took that chance to book a day trip from there to Belgium, where Kim and her boyfriend met us for the day. In 2016, my sister Jo and her husband traveled to Europe, and made sure to spend a weekend with Kim then too. My family and hers have formed an incredible bond and it's a given that we'll look for every opportunity we can to see each other, even though we live 5,000 miles away. 

Last year, Meezy and I signed up for Scott's Cheap Flights travel alerts. It's a free (or paid, if you want a premium subscription) site that sends you emails whenever good flight deals are found. You can customize your location so that it only sends you notices when there's a good deal from your preferred airport. In early November, I got an email that announced half-off flights to Germany for spring 2017. My eyes got huge and I immediately alerted Meezy. He was game for a trip, so I contacted my parents to check their availability for babysitting our kids. Then, I emailed my sister to see if she was interested too. We started talking about potential dates and what flights we'd select. By the time we decided on one, the cheap fares had ended and the prices had gone back up. Noooooooo! I was so disappointed. But, the good news was that we had already selected which week would work for a trip for both of us, and we already confirmed my parents could babysit. So, the plan was to wait for another fare alert and book immediately next time!   

As luck would have it, we had to wait less than 2 weeks for another good deal to pop up. Once we got the email from Scott's with the alert, we pulled the trigger! We were set to fly into Frankfurt, arriving on a Friday morning, and then flying back out of Frankfurt the following Wednesday morning. That would give us 5 full days of vacation, which we knew we would make great use of. My sister and I got to work on planning the itinerary and making all the transportation and lodging arrangements, and of course coordinating with Kim and her family to make sure we'd be able to spend time with them! 

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