My older sister Elaine, was the correct one to guess Czech Republic yesterday. And no, she didn't have any hints. Other than the fact that she knows I like to do family history research, and that our paternal grandmother was born in that area.
But there were quite a few other factors that affected our decision.
The first one was the price and availability of flights. There are quite a few discount airlines flying around the UK and Europe. And although they can sometimes have ridiculously low airfares, we are now in the peak summer season, and the really low airfares are usually only if you book at least a month in advance. The nearest major city that would be most convenient is Bristol, and there are quite a few choices out of Bristol, so we chose that as our departure point.
Based on airfare price alone, we narrowed it down to three choices. (1) Edinburgh, Scotland (2) Geneva, Switzerland and (3) Prague, Czech Republic.
Scotland was the cheapest airfare, and may have been the cheapest trip overall. And, my maternal grandmother was from Scotland so I could have done some family history research there as well. And, we could have visited some friends there. But the drawback was that we have already been to Scotland and although it was many years ago (1987) we really wanted to go somewhere we've never been before! And, Scotland (and the UK in general) has not been having nice weather. And although that can change, we thought our odds were better somewhere else!
Geneva, Switzerland was the second cheapest airfare and we really want to visit Switzerland sometime. But once you get there, Switzerland is one of the most expensive countries in the world. As an example, a dozen eggs is around $7.00! But, we could have limited our time in Switzerland and made it into France, Italy, or Germany from there. So it was a bit of a toss-up between there are our third choice.
Prague, Czech Republic airfare was only slightly more than the one to Geneva. But once you are in Czech Republic it is one of the cheaper places to visit. Plus, if you continue further east you can make it into Poland, Slovakia, or Hungary all of which are also reasonably priced. Train and bus travel is cheap in those countries as well. So we figured we would be able to see a few different countries over the following six weeks after we land. Or, from there we could head northeast into Germany and that's another place we want to go that is apparently more reasonably priced than some other European countries.
So we booked a flight with easyJet, one way from Bristol to Prague for a total price of £62.97 ($103.28) each.
We fly out on July 23rd!