This week I have attempted to plan my first trip outside of Prague. The destination is Amsterdam and the preparations have gone almost as poorly as they could go, with most thanks to myself for the difficulties.
My friends and I decided we wanted to visit Amsterdam this weekend a few days ago, but we had to wait until today to start planning as I had to ask my boss if i could have this Friday off to travel. My request was graciously granted, so the first move my friends and I made when i returned home was book our flights from Prague to Amsterdam scheduled to leave Thursday night. This is where the first mistake was made, we simply purchased our tickets without even exploring the options of where we would stay for the weekend. I think we were all operating under the notion that hostels were some incredibly cheap and accessible living arrangement, but sadly that is not the case for Amsterdam, at least not when you try to book them 3 days in advanced. The best deal we could find was about $60 per night per person, in a dormitory where we would be sharing a room with some 20 other people. After paying for a round flight to Amsterdam a $180 hostel was not the most attractive thought. I think this is where our panic began to set in a little bit; we began searching every hostel, Airbnb, and hotel our search engines generated. No living arrangements even close to our budget prevailed. I knew we were sinking into desperation when we began tampering with the idea of renting a tent and sleeping at a campsite.
while considering being homeless for a night or two in Amsterdam, my friend interrupted my thought with news that he found a somewhat reasonably priced Airbnb not too far from the city center. The relief was instant and sobering, yet of course there was one small obstacle. There were three of us yet the Airbnb said it could only accommodate 2 guests. OK, no big deal; I made an Airbnb account, made my profile picture the most innocent photo I could find of myself, and sent the nicest message I could to the hosts essentially saying “hey, can you house 1 extra person pleaaasseeee”. It seemed like a long shot but this was our only option. so we waited and waited.
Enough time passed where I nearly forgot all about the message. I finally check my phone to see if the host responded and incredibly… they did! And miraculously they were fine with an extra guest as long as they could sleep on the floor. Finally, what we’ve been waiting for, booking was the next step and a few simple clicks away. One click, two click, “Request to Book” click…. and then to all of our surprise, my phone is met with a flashing notification telling me the dates i requested have already been booked.
Someone had booked our last option the hour or two in between when I messaged the owners and when they responded.
Needless to say, flights are being refunded and plans are being rehashed for next weekend when we can find some affordable living accommodations. So lesson learned, plan ahead when committing time and money to weekend plans. Hopefully the stock photo of Amsterdam I post makes me forget I will not be seeing this city this weekend.