Travel plans

We've got a couple trips coming up over the next month. Next week we'll be in LA; we're driving down on Saturday and returning the following weekend. This is mainly a work trip for Sarai and I'm just tagging along for a change of scenery and will be working from LA for the week. We're staying in Santa Monica this time, in Google corporate housing, which should be interesting. At least it's closer to LA proper than Long Beach, where we usually stay, so going out will be easier. I've got a few bars I want to check out and will be writing up reviews on Cocktailia.

Not long after we return from LA, we're flying to Paris for another week and a half. It was beginning to look like our one trip out of the country this year was going to be Vancouver in November, after Sarai finishes up a few days in Seattle for work, but we thought no, that hardly counts (although it's not as bad as a staycation). So we decided to bite the bullet and take a real trip.

We did quite a bit of shopping around for airfare. I thought Paris would be one of the more expensive of our choices but we actually found some pretty decent rates. More expensive than it would have been this time last year, naturally, but not as bad as the fares looked when we gave them an initial cursory glance last month. It beat out Buenos Aires, Tokyo, and Australia, and matched London.

In the spirit of slow travel, we're renting an apartment for a week and a half rather than staying in a hotel, which is saving us a little additional money as well. We won't have hotel amenities like free breakfast and maid service, but staying in an apartment means we'll have a kitchen, so we can shop at the famous Paris markets and cook our own food, which will save further money over eating out, and the washer and dryer mean that we can pack light and just wash our clothes while we're there. This is a working trip for me, so the included wireless internet means I'll be able to get some work done with a minimum of hassle and additional expense. But the best part about this is that we'll be living in a regular residential neighborhood in Montmartre, not a hotel filled with other visitors. For an added bonus, our apartment is just a few streets from Sacre Coeur. All told, we're saving a little bit by not staying in a hotel, more by cooking for ourselves a good part of the trip, and getting immense non-monetary benefits on top of it.