As a lover of all things Olympics, I placed my order, about a year ago with the company selling London 2012 tickets and came out with a pair of tickets for the Canoe/Kayak finals, and Closing Ceremonies - I was hoping for Openings, but I'll take what I can get! In total I paid $841.00 US (includes $35 shipping to Canada).
And this week, I was approved for the time off from work to plan this trip! The dates are: August 10 - 26
Yesterday I emptied by Aeroplan account and used 60,000 miles for the flight to London and back from Venice (I'll explain why Venice later). By using miles, all I had to pay for were the taxes. I'm flying US carriers on both ends of the flight, and found that instead of flying Air Canada I saved about $300 in taxes. In total the taxes on Ottawa - London and Venice - Ottawa were $117.81!! Just for fun I pulled up Expedia and US Airways and checked what the price would have been for the exact same flights with the same layovers and the total was a shocking $3,964.68 -- completely worth using miles for the flights.
The second flight I booked last night was from London to Prague on August 13th. Since that's the day after the end of the Olympics I guessed that air travel would be quite high leaving the city that day, so I'd better book my flight right away. My flight is with British Airways (from Heathrow) for $161.13.
I've fine-tuned the list of cities I'd like to visit and here's what I'm thinking - 3 nights in each:
Zagreb (still contemplating over this one)
Since flying out of Eastern Europe would have meant I needed another 15,000 miles (which I didn't have), I looked at ending the trip close to either Italy, Austria, or Germany -- If my last city is Zagreb, I'll take an overnight train to Venice in time for my 11:30am flight back home. Still working out those details.
I'm going to work on my budget over the weekend and get a better sense of cost of accommodations -- stay tuned for that post on Monday!