Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ready, set, go! Kate and William Set a Date, You Should Book Your Travel

Photo by Esther
Its official! William, Prince of Wales will marry Kate Middleton on April 29th at Westminster Abbey.

Why should you care, North American reader?

That date will shape your travel plans if you're going anywhere near London in the next six months.

Some 600,000 visitors streamed into London for the wedding of Charles and Diana. They were, arguably, a more popular couple. But they wed long before the proliferation of cable news stations turned even the most eccentric events into media frenzies (remember balloon boy?). My guess is that W & K's wedding will draw upwards of a million gawkers to London. If you're crowd-averse, you'll want to give the city a wide berth from about April 15 through May 10.

If you want, conversely, to be part of the action (or at least part of the crowds along the procession route), make your hotel reservations TODAY. There will literally be no room at the inn if you wait.  Even before the date was set, hoteliers were talking about how they'd manage the crowds and bookings. Some will be throwing parties for guests in the lobby, though I'm guessing these festivities will add significantly to the cost of rooms.

A good alternative to hotels is to book a private B&B through such companies as LondonHomes or AirBnB. If you shoot off an email today, you may be able to catch the owners before they realize they should be raising their rates.

The same goes for airfares. I wouldn't be surprised if the airlines don't start slapping holiday surcharges onto flights taking off from mid-April into early May. Those rates haven't been set yet, but could be in place by the end of the day, so move quickly!

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