Tuesday 30 January 2018

Planning Summer 2018: Getting home via the Blue Lagoon, Iceland

In the past, we've only blogged trips on Little Rabbit's Planning. After a couple of days of migraine-inducing marathon planning for Summer 2018, I set myself a limit of 1 hour/day and decided to blog the process.

I took this photo at the Blue Lagoon, back in 2004. It looks really vintage now!

For some years, the least expensive way to get from the East Coast of the US to London has involved a stop-over in Iceland. If you get your flights timed right, you can use this stop-over as an excuse to go and hang out in the Blue Lagoon, the geothermal spa near Keflavik airport.

We haven't done this in the past (the photo above is from an actual trip to Iceland) but I was aware that the option was on offer from Icelandair as late as last weekend, and that it coincided with the cheapest flight available. I wanted this option! The challenge was to persuade Mike to be decisive enough to let me book a flight. He still doesn't even know what day he wants to fly out on yet, so booking him a return flight is out of the question.

Just to show what a fiddly process these things are, here's what I had to do:

  • Make sure Icelandair doesn't charge more for booking two single flights versus one return flight.
  • Complain when I discovered that the prices had gone up since the weekend.
  • Complain even more when I discovered that the long stop-over flights had vanished from Expedia for the days and departure airports we wanted.
  • Check whether the flights were cheaper and better from other potentially accessible East Coast airports on adjacent days.
  • Figure out that there was no good reason I couldn't have a long stop-over on any day I wanted.
  • Figure out how to make the Icelandair site give me a long stop-over (book a multi-stop trip at no extra cost).
  • Discover to my delight that a long stop-over with our first choice of airport and day is still pretty nearly the lowest price after all.
  • Book a single flight for three people. 
  • Cringe when I see how much a single flight for three adults costs.
  • Check the relative costs of a bus versus a rental car to the Blue Lagoon.
  • Cringe at the cost of car rental from Keflavik, compared to almost anywhere else on the planet.
  • Book a car anyway, because it's still less expensive than three return bus tickets to the Blue Lagoon, plus it will give us a little extra flexibility. 
Surprisingly enough, that didn't take much longer than an hour and it's a load off my mind. NOW THERE'S ONLY ONE THING I STILL HAVE TO DO: continually remind Mike to book his flight to the USA, until he actually does it!!! OH YEAH, AND THIS: Book Blue Lagoon tickets when they become available, probably in March.

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