Monday, February 18, 2008

Playing Travel Agent

For the past few weeks (and for the weeks to come leading to February 27th) I have been (and will be) playing travel agent.

I have been browsing for hotels and things to do, checking out websites and travellers' reviews and testimonies. I have been comparing prices and amenities and looking at maps and pictures of all sorts of hotel rooms. I have been arguing with Taufik about where to stay, what his budget is, is he willing to walk a bit or take the metro/taxi, what expenses the company will cover, what he wants to see (so that i schedule those items during the weekend) and what things he doesnt care to see (so that I schedule those items during the weekday when i'll go with the kids). I have been dilligently updating my Yah00 trip planner page with every new discovery and change.
Oh so pening and exhausting!

Well, at least we've got the hotel settled.
Taufik's training will be held in Sherat0n, and rooms there cost at least USD180. The company would of course cover his hotel room, but we would have to pay for the extra room. Staying for ten days there, would mean having to pay almost USD2k just for accomodation! NO WAY!
Furthermore, I want to experience the city. I want to feel like Ian Wright, not D0nald Trum-p. I want to travel like in the Lonely Planet, not the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
We are limited by location - it has to be close enough to Sherat0n so that Taufik can get to his training easily. But it has to also be close to everything else so that I can transport my kids to interesting sites as easily too. We are also limited by budget (aren't we always?) - ideally, we would want one huge room that could fit 2 adults and 3 children and one infant for less than USD180, so that it would be covered by the company. We would also like to be in a nice clean room, not some dingy motel, and ideally in a hotel with character, that makes us feel like we're in Cairo, and not in just any other hotel in any other town.
So after days of browsing and pressing Taufik for a decision, we finally settled for the W1nds0r Hotel. If you look at the pictures I think you'd agree that you can't ask for more character than that. Plus point: Michael Pal1n used to stay there!! woo hoo!! Someone who's stayed there before said it could get real noisy at night, but I'm planning to tire ourselves out during the day, so hopefully the noise wont bother us that much. Furthermore, if we survived sleeping in front of Fontana Trevi, and also in front of Masjidil Haram (which never sleeps), I'm sure we could survive this. Worse comes to worst, we'll just get some earplugs!
Location is perfect - It's close to the metro line that goes straight to the side of town where Sherat0n, and is in the middle of almost everything else.
But the piece de resistance must be the price. It is *so* cheap (and we will get one HUGE room for everyone instead of 2 seperate rooms), that I wish that I could get the balance from the USD180 that the company wanted to pay for originally. Whatever, the way I look at it, I had saved at least USD1.8k (which I now can afford to spend on something else... yay!).

okay so now I've got to get back to planning and scheduling and plotting out transporation and finding out entrance fees and such.
I think after all this effort I put in, I deserve the vacation ;)

p/s Scrapbook is finished, but I bought the biggest envelope I could find and it wouldnt fit!!! So how? I have to be creative with some tape.. :P
Planning to go to the post office tomorrow.


  1. Have a good trip and blog about it! Pave the way for us when we go ;)

  2. Windsor,frm the back of my head, is one of the pioneer posh hotel in canada. i dnt think it would be that bad...BUT if it is, remember my tips

    otherwise look out the window(hope view awaits) and forget it all

  3. Sunflora - dont tell me you havent been to cairo??
    eh btw, arent you supposed to be in Dubai? ;)

    swahili - urgghh i remember that post!! I'll remember to bring lotsa wetwipes!

  4. Good.. USD1.8K is huge! Definitely you can shop a lot there.. When I went there, I bought so many pappyrus yang ada Quranic versus as souvenirs to sedara mara coz they're cheap. From 1 Riyal (but of course the 1 Riyal is not as good as 10 Riyal la kan). Lagi, perfumes, and pretty bottles for the perfume. Cheap too!

    But, be careful when you go to crowd places. My friend lost her camera that she put in her back pack. camana boleh dicuri pun tak dapat nak agak la... anyway, it was 15 years back..

    anyway, enjoy your vacation!!