Serendipity and Booking.com


I have wanted to use the word ‘serendipity’ for a long time without forcing it’s use in a sentence, I think I finally found my moment. The result? Serendipity, Booking.com and my own foolishness has me heading to Crete for seven nights in June.

I’ve wanted to visit the Greek Islands for quite some time, but always choosing somewhere else when I have looked at them in the past. So this summer was going to be the time and I was looking at June. I had no idea which Greek Island(s) to visit, Santorini seemed the obvious choice to plan my trip around. A work colleague suggested Crete an alternative, I know little about the island but I thought it couldn’t hurt to take a look. More specifically, my colleague suggested the north west and Kissamos which until our conversation I had never heard.

Now I often use Booking.com. It has it’s pros and cons but overall I quite like it, in particular being able to make bookings with free cancellation. I’m not usually somebody to hold more than one booking over the same period, but it does allow a degree of flexibility.

I hadn’t long been looking at hotels in Kissamos, but I suddenly found a booking on Booking.com that was significantly less that even the cheapest price I was expecting. At the same time I also fell foul of the oldest sales trick known to man, false representation of a high demand. Booking.com told me only one room remained. In a panic I made the booking, thinking no damage could be done as I could easily cancel.

milada-vigerova-114392-unsplashPhoto by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

Here is where the foolishness comes in, despite everything I have learnt over the years, the mistakes I have made booking many number of things. I have even written a separate blog post making specific reference to choosing accommodation, which I so clearly ignored.

The booking could not be cancelled free of charge, there was a cancellation fee. In fact, the fee was 100% of the cost of the booking. Having to enter my card details was not a cause for concern, this is standard practice for most free-cancellation bookings. However not seeing any mention of free-cancellation probably should have been. In fact, it is quite probable I missed big red letters telling me there would be a cancellation fee.

The deed had been done, I was going to Kissamos for seven nights unless I wanted to take a hit and lose the full cost of the accommodation. I started blankly at my laptop, the following thoughts going through my head:-

  • I had no idea what the hotel is like. I briefly looking at reviews on Booking.com, but nothing beyond a quick glance. I hadn’t even opened TripAdvisor, which is usually a first port of call.
  • I wasn’t sure whether I could even take the dates I’d booked off from work, I didn’t see the need to check as I could cancel the booking.
  • I hadn’t looked at the logistics of the flights, I didn’t know whether I could make practical connections to coincide with the dates booked.
  • I didn’t really know anything about Kissamos, seven nights could be a long time if the town wasn’t particularly accessible.

Serendipity has been kind to me.

The hotel looks lovely, I could have spent an entire evening choosing a hotel and quite possibly ended up picking this one. Working in a small team, getting the time off work could have been a huge problem but fortunately it wasn’t. The flights, okay arriving back to London Gatwick at 1am is never great but I can live with it. Everything I have since read about Kissamos has been positive, where I can visit from there and the town itself. Kissamos may not have been where I would have eventually picked, but I’m really glad it is where I am going.

I’m looking forward to June!

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