I recently really messed up. I put down “September 30th” as the date of our arrival in England, so that’s the start date that the UK border agency gave us for our visas. The problem is, we had bought plane tickets that show us arriving in England on September 29th. What do you do if you want to enter the country a day before your visa begins? Well, says the border agency, you don’t. After they threatened all sorts of horrible things if we tried it, I gave up. But when I looked into changing our plane tickets, it quickly became clear that my little mistake might cost me $500 in change fees.
This is where I tried not to die.
After going to bed with that happy thought, I got up this morning, and, upon Sydney’s advice, called the airline to see if any other arrangements might be made. After much rearranging, we are flying from Chicago to Dublin, where we will spend a day, rather than connect directly to London as originally planned, and then take an early-morning flight to London on the 30th, when we are allowed to enter the UK. I booked a hotel at Dublin’s airport that cost me half as much as the one we had been intending to stay in when we reached the UK, so my net loss for this adventure is something like $50.
Now, lest you immediately think, “Ooh, a day in Dublin! What adventures they’ll have!” you’ll have to remember that a 5-months-pregnant Erin, an 18-month-old Katherine, and a luggage-hauling Sydney will most likely go straight to the hotel and nap after a night on the plane. For those who are more adventurous, more power to you 🙂