England air/car/B&B voucher pkg

Sep 27th, 2007, 08:19 AM
  #1  
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England air/car/B&B voucher pkg

Has anyone done one of these packages? I am interested in the logistics of finding a place to stay with the vouchers and how much planning and calling ahead you have to do from home. Did you just go and call ahead to a place every day or two? Were the lodgings good, plentiful and available as needed? Was the food decent? Did you eat at a pub at night or were the places really isolated and you had difficulty finding a restaurant? Just want to know all your thoughts and experiences.
oregonmom is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 08:36 AM
  #2  
 
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The voucher programs really don't make any sense to me. They do not guarantee you a room - just that IF there is a room available, and IF the place takes vouchers - then it is already paid for. But all those B&Bs also take bookings from anyone - voucher or no voucher.

Also more B&Bs do not accept them than do so you have a much larger choice w/o relying on vouchers.

Price out the car/air/accomodations separately - and if the package saves you a lot of money go for it. The only real advantage is you pay for it all up front - if that helps you budget. But otherwise - doing it on your own is usually cheaper.

One exception is some air/hotel packages in London. But you have to REALLY research the hotels since some are dumps.
janisj is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 08:48 AM
  #3  
 
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I agree with what Janis said. Also, time of year could make a difference. If you have a plan there is really no reason why you couldn't fine places over the web or by contacting the "tourist information centers" either on-line on when you arrive in a town. For very popular towns I would make my plans in advance of my travel. How are you getting around? Car, bus or train?
rogerdodger is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 10:11 AM
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I agree with janisj - and I've done voucher packages in the past. Back before the internet was as useful as it is now (1996). At that time, when it was much harder to research individual places, it made a little more sense. I got a pretty good deal on a package that included 3 nights in London at the Cumberland (came to about $75 a night at the time), 3 voucher nights in Ireland B&Bs, a rental car in Ireland, and airfare.

I would never do them again, though. While I had no problems and had a great time, I prefer to do my own research ahead of time, and book with places I like.
GreenDragon is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 11:37 AM
  #5  
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I'm trying to figure out in advance the best avenue for us. We would probably just rent a car and be flexible to stay wherever we want. I've seen the ads for these kind of voucher deals and just wondered if it was worth the hassle. I'm thinking we would fly into Heathrow, get a car, and then do the country first. I want to see Cornwall and my husband is a garden guy. He's not real keen on the driving but I don't think we can be free to do what we want if we don't get our own car. So I think we might like to stay one or two nights at several places then go to London for our last 3 days? We haven't been to England before and so I want a mix of activities. If we had 10-12 days could we see the top 3 or 4 gardens and do the high notes of London?
oregonmom is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 11:44 AM
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We've done B&B 'tours' thru a number of places (England, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand).

The only place where the plane/car/voucher made any sense was in Ireland. We found a company that was able to get us a significantly better rate on a package. It basically worked out that they were discounting the airfare about $150 per person and throwing in the B&B vouchers for free.

We reserved all of the B&B's up front before we left the US and had no problems 'paying' for them with the vouchers when we arrived. This was for an October trip.
astein12 is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 11:45 AM
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Just one suggestion: Driving much if at all right after getting off an overnight, transatlantic flight isn't recommended. Jet lag and the unfamiliar cars/roads don't mix well.

I'd spend my first night in Windsor. It is less than 10 miles from LHR and has plenty to keep you interested and awake until a normal bed time. Castle, Thames, Eton, shopping, restaurants, etc. Then the next day you can head down into the SW/Cornwall after a decent night's sleep.
janisj is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 01:09 PM
  #8  
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That sounds great. Is it an okay drive for the short distance? I have no clue at this point when we will be arriving. Or do we take a bus or cab and get the car the next day?
oregonmom is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 05:00 PM
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You can do either - but you will probably be fine to drive the 7 or 8 miles from the rental depot to your hotel in Windsor. How does jet lag hit you - have you done any overnight flights before? If you are wiped out from sleepless flights - the yes, arrange to pick up the car on day 2.

You can take a local bus from LHR to Windsor or a cab. A cab will take 10-15 mins, the bus 30-45 mins but cost a lot less.

janisj is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 05:04 PM
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I'll throw in a differing opinion about driving after a long flight...

I generally don't have much of a problem sleeping on a plane, especially on a red-eye to Europe. As a result, after getting off the plane, collecting my luggage and getting thru customs and immigration, I'm pretty wired.

We've found that collecting the car and driving a few hours (with lunch stops and sightseeing along the way) works for us. We usually seem to end up at our 'destination' in the late afternoon or early evening, then have some dinner, unpack a bit, and hit the sack.

By the time we wake up the next morning, we're generally adjusted to the local time.

That said, anything that gets you out in the light for several hours after a long flight is a good idea.
astein12 is offline  

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