OVER the past year I have asked you to travel through my eyes and experience some of the many destinations I have been fortunate to visit.
We’ve also explored the offerings onboard Azamara, P&O, Cunard and Holland America cruise lines.
Over the next month or so I am now going to take a back seat and allow my 25-year-old daughter, Aby, to take you on an amazing European Tour she recently experienced with a fellow nurse.
The stories will include links to the captivating videos she put together on each leg of her travels.
Devil in the details
When Aby presented her draft holiday idea to her mother, she had scant details.
She wanted to go away for more than a month and she only had two must-do items on her wish list.
The first was to go to Ireland and the second was to attend yacht week in Croatia.
As you may have guessed even from this brief, this was intended to be a fun tour that any 25-year-old would crave to do.
So began the planning and fortunately mum, Jenny, had spent two years as a travel consultant so she knew all the tricks and traps of booking travel.
The 10 destinations chosen to visit were Dublin, Amsterdam, Berlin, Epernay, Paris, Split, Athens, Ios, Santorini, and London.
As Aby mulled over the itinerary and the prices started coming in it soon became apparent cuts needed to be made.
Cheapest airfares were needed, accommodation had to carefully scrutinized and transfer costs had to be as cheap as possible.
It was a logistical nightmare and it soon revealed why so many go along to their local travel agent to do all their planning and get the best prices for them.
Lock in best prices
The home travel team started locking in flights and transfers and found that on more than one occasion not booking immediately can cost hundreds of dollars as available cheaper seats suddenly disappear.
Aby and her travelling partner Maddie, did deep dives of travel reviews surrounding accommodation.
They needed to know the hotel they were looking at was in a central location, affordable and importantly of a decent standard.
In all, the planning went on for three months as the itinerary was put together linking each city with transportation, working out what they wanted to see and importantly staying within a budget.
As the costs continued to blow so did their need to do extra shifts at the hospital so they could pay for it.
They rightly said if they were going to go, they would do it right and have the experience of their lives with no regrets.
As you will see from just a few of their photos on this page they did do it right and their memories which they will share with you over the coming weeks will live with them forever.
Part one of “Nurses on Tour” featuring Ireland will be in next week’s paper along with ratings.