Booking a holiday for next week, any suggestions?

Some people know I'm a bit of work-aholic and I tend to mix work with pleasure, (i'm sure you guys do too) but I've been tracking how much time I actually spend on BBC related work and its a little scary. It also started to manifest in my health recently. So I've been carrying a chest infection which usually lasts a week for about 5-6 weeks now (yes I've seen a doctor or three and had medication). Generally my immune system seems to be quite low and needs a kick or two. So it made sense now I'm getting better to go on holiday, so I get the full benefit of the healing process.

Anyway so the point I'm getting at is, I'm finally going on holiday (and I don't mean to a conference/barcamp/etc) just holiday. So novel the idea, I'm a little lost in what I'm going to do besides sleep, sit in the park or beach and do small webby stuff (oh yeah, can't be going on holiday without internet access of course). Anyhow, I've settled on a place and date but I'm not very happy with the price. So I was thinking maybe people like your kind self could help me find cheaper or an alternative. Right now its all looking like this…
Outbound: Tue 15 July 2008
Manchester International Apt > Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

Inbound: Sun 20 July 2008
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport > Manchester International Apt

Total price:GBP 182.70

Hotel: 1 room(s) for 5 nights

XXX star hotel
Star rating Hotel Arena AMS

S-Gravesandestraat 51 , Amsterdam, Netherlands, 01092AA.
Check-in date: Tue 15 July 2008
Check-out date: Sun 20 July 2008

1 Adult(s) 0 Child(ren) 1 Room(s)

Total price:GBP 367.68

=
Total price of your basket: GBP 550.38

Now I can't be the only one to think, geez that seems quite expensive for a 5 day holiday in Amsterdam? Ok I understand its July but I can actually get a flight to Toronto for GBP 440, New York for GBP 360 and Boston for GBP. Its not the same because I have friends who I could stay with while in those places but I'm also thinking I'm meant to be resting and that might mean staying in a hotel so I don't get sucked back into socialising and those wild wild parties /images/emoticons/happy.gif There are complete alternatives too, like just booking the cheapest sun, sea and beach holiday I can find (which seems to be Greece for about GBP 270-ish. Or if I re-engage my brain again, I start thinking maybe I should be using that 500 pounds to pay off more debits and maybe part of a credit card. Oh well for a holiday….

If you have suggestions for a cheap holiday, let me know I can pretty much do from this Friday till 2 week from now. Sun is good and wifi is also got to be involved some, but geneally I'm looking for peace and quiet in somewhere I can go out and travel too far. So I look forward to hearing your suggestions…

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.