Tuesday 5 September 2023

The stress of planning a little holiday!

It's almost 5 years since our last holiday and with that my dad did most of the planning, all we had to do was get there which was easier said than done with catching a train a couple of days before Christmas, the train journeys were stressful but a few hours of stress was nothing compared to what I've been feeling recently.

Ages ago, we were invited to a wedding, back up in the North East. We of course were going to go and as soon as we got the invitation late last year we started planning a little break away. It was simple, we would book a cottage, travel on the Friday and come home on the Monday before Ellie started college on the Tuesday, only it didn't work out like that.


I booked a cottage in Amble, Northumberland for our weekend stay, arriving Friday and leaving Monday. The first hitch happened when I realised that I had looked at the school holidays, not the college holidays. We had no idea whether Ellie would be in college on the Monday until she enrolled on the 25th of August and got her timetable. She was in college on the Monday, yesterday her first day. We knew there was a chance this could happen so we played it safe and when I booked the train tickets I booked to come back on the Sunday, I could always change them if I had to. I booked them well in advance and everything was going to plan until rail strikes were announced. Ugh! 

We were at my dad's when it was announced on the Friday lunchtime news and the stress started!! There was no information, Trainline knew nothing and couldn't confirm anything until the train companies did. That next week we had made a plan, we would simply travel earlier, on the Thursday and spend a night in Newcastle. I found the perfect hotel which had good reviews and it was cheaper than a lot of the others in the city centre. Then as a family we got talking and realised why couldn't we go on the Wednesday, Stu and Becky were both off work, it wasn't much more for the hotel and got a discount as we booked 2 nights in Newcastle. Great! I just had to wait for Trainline to confirm things.

On the Thursday night I had a dream that the cottage we booked in January had been sold and the new owners knew nothing about us staying. I ended up messaging the woman on the Friday to ask if it's all still good for our break away as we hadn't messaged since January and of course it was, I was worrying about nothing. She even gave us the code for the keys and WiFi code.

Through that week I kept checking the hotel and there were plenty of rooms until the Friday night when there was none of the family rooms that we wanted and no twin rooms. I spent 3 hours trying to find somewhere with a similar price, hotels, apartments, hostels. There was either no rooms or they were double what we were going to pay. I then came up with the idea of ordering 2 double rooms and they had plenty so that was the new plan!

On Saturday I woke up and checked Trainline and our trains were finally confirmed to be cancelled! I got on the phone to them, they couldn't refund online because I had the paper tickets sent out to us, I thought that would be sensible and I wouldn't be relying on technology. The woman was amazing and within 5 minutes had our tickets refunded, well as soon as I had posted them back which was fine.

I then went to book our new journey, I was stressed and you know what happens when you're stressed, mistakes are made. I booked our train for the Wednesday which was planned and to return on the 1st of October, not the first Sunday in September. I noticed when I saw the confirmation email. I had to ring back up. I was close to crying thinking Trainline wouldn't help but the man was amazing. He told me to stop panicking and to breath. He could see what I did, I clicked on the calendar twice and jumped to October. As I had rang straight up he said there was no issue in refunding the mistake journey and told me just to be careful when booking it again. I was and got it right the second time around.

Trainline refund

I felt sick and I still had the hotel to book which was easy!! Well apart from having to confirm the payment with the bank on my phone, I'm not used to that. Stu usually does all of the paying for big things. lol

I am writing this just over a week ago, before we travelled so hopefully it all went to plan and we are back home, Ellie's had her first day of college and I am catching up on the pile of washing and bloggy things. I said to Stu next time we have a holiday he can plan and book everything. I can't be doing with another week like I have had. I have been so stressed, not sleeping or eating properly but I am sure all the drama was worth it. I of course will be sharing about our trip away which you will read about soon.

Do you get stressed planning holidays?


  1. I always find the coordination of planning it all so stressful too and I usually do not sleep well for the last few days before we leave on our trip trying to mentally go through my checklist and make sure I'm not missing anything. So yes planning holidays does stress me out (and I have always been the one to plan all of our holidays!).

  2. I am planning all our holidays and days out, all the details. For example this weekend we have 2 days out (morning till afternoon, no overnight stay), which include 3 places I want to see (with Heritage Open Days, free and not usually open to the public), but, luckily, we are driving, so it's so much better as we don't have to take the train. That would be the thing that would stress me out, especially as I had 3 trains cancelled in a day when I was in London with my studies. Just imagine how expensive an overnight stay in London would have been without a prior booking, but I managed to get a train, luckily.

  3. It did sound very stressful for you, but I'm glad everything went well in the end!
    I always stress, especially when it comes to not forgetting anything. I make list after list to make sure we've got everything haha! xx