Hey there, blog fans!
You may not have noticed, as I’ve been really quiet about it, but I’ve recently been on holiday to the gorgeous island of Kos, Greece. We had an absolutely fantastic time. The sun was shining, there were cats everywhere and the food was delicious (except for one night but I’ll get to that).
I thought it’d be nice, more so for me to be honest, to give you a breakdown of the whole glorious event just in case you ever feel that Kefalos is a place you’d like to visit. I’ll be breaking this up over 2 posts so as not to completely drown you with information.
Today, I’ll be starting at the very beginning – Booking the Holiday, Preparation (or “Lisa has several panic attacks” as it was also known) and Getting There.
Booking the holiday
I have never booked a holiday before. Yes, I’m 30 but it’s just not something I’ve ever needed to do. Luckily for us, John at Thomas Cook in Cardiff was a great help (other travel agents are available).
We went in with £550 and requested a week in a hot country that wasn’t Turkey (for obvious news related reasons). That was our only condition. John was thrilled. For £550 each, you can get a lot of holiday joy. Once we explained that this was in total, however, he seemed less enthusiastic. Turns out that £550 for 2 people gets you a choice of 2 holidays with our requirements – Kos or Corfu. That’s it. As we knew people who had been to Corfu but had never heard of Kos, and being the adventurous souls that we are *snort – so not true*, we went with Kos and booked a week at Billy’s Studios, self-catered.
Our first moment of “maybe we’ve made a terrible decision” came when we researched the island and the resort. As a rule of thumb, don’t look at Trip Advisor. It will make you sad. People can be really mean about small family run hotels.
Kefalos itself is described in Greece guidebooks as a “dull town”. Nice, huh? Billy’s Studios wasn’t reviewed much more favourably, although everyone had good things to say about Connie, the lady who runs the hotel. On one of my many cruises around the internet, we found a list of the Top Things to do on Kos. As an indicator of the level of excitement we could expect, number 3 on the list was *drum roll please*
There were other things to do, mainly in a cultural vein, but it seemed perfect for us. The dates we were due to go meant we were right at the end of the tourist season so it’d be quiet but still hot.
You can see what I packed in my hand luggage here. Did I over pack for the holiday? You bet your behind I did! For future reference, you do not need to pack the following for a week trip to a sunny country:
10 pairs of pants
5 pairs of socks
3 pairs of shoes
This is an insane amount and you will regret packing so much. 5 books though? Not Enough. Pack more.
Leaving the cats behind for a week meant that a lot more of my prep was centred around crying and panicking that something horrible would happen to them while we were away. It didn’t, they waited until we were back for that bit of fun. I left a long list of instructions for PJ’s brother, E, who was cat-sitting for us and labelled almost everything in the flat. Did I overreact? Yes. Did the cats and E survive a week in our flat? Yes. Will I be more relaxed about this in future? No. Never.
Other preparation for our trip included finding my passport, which for some reason was in a photo frame in the bottom drawer of my dresser, and booking train/bus travel. As we were flying from London Gatwick, we decided that we would go up 2 days early and spend some time with the in-laws.
We booked the Mega Bus for our journey up and it cost a whole £20 in total for the 2 of us and took about 3hrs 30mins to get to London. Once there, we had pre-booked train tickets to get us from London Victoria to Holmwood and, luckily, our bus arrived at Victoria with about 15mins spare!
We were very lucky that PJs dad offered to drive us to the airport on the Sunday evening. Arriving at Gatwick, it’s safe to say I got a bit flustered with all the people and did a bit of quiet hyperventilating on the way to the terminal. Once in though, it was easy! Getting there 2 hours before take-off meant we had plenty of time to mooch around in the shops, marvel at how ridiculously expensive everything was and buy some food for the plane trip.
Finally, we were called to the boarding gate, waved our passports at an incredible bored looking flight attendant and took our seats – where I promptly had a panic attack and cried during take off. Smooth.
Next Week – What happened in Kos, Goes on the Blog.
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All opinions are my own.
All preparation panic is the construct of my silly brain.