Sunday, June 29, 2008

Please Plan Ahead - a cautionary tale

Dusk, June 29, 2008

A kitchen, anywhere in the Northeast United States. Dinner is on the table, two adults are eating and conversing.

Adult #1: "Honey, don't we both have Friday, July 4th, off?"

Adult #2: "Why yes, we do! Why don't we go away for the long weekend?"

Adult #1: "What a great idea! We should probably make a reservation somewhere. Where would you like to go?"

Adult #2: "I'd like to go to the beach. What about Cape Cod?"

Adult #1: "Great idea. Why don't you get online after dinner and find us someplace nice to stay?"

Adult #2: "I'll do that."

****** Two Hours Later ******

Adult #2: "I found this great little B&B in Wellfleet, I checked it out on Trip Advisor and it's the #1 rated place there. It's got great reviews! Would you call them in the morning and make us a reservation?"

Adult #1: "That sounds great, I'll do it!"

****** Curtain ******

I swear, that little scenario must have played out in hundreds of kitchens in the past couple of weeks because I've gotten literally dozens of phone calls for the weekend of July 4th. A holiday virtually everyone in America gets off. What makes people think they can call a week or less in advance for a holiday weekend and get a room? Especially in a B&B, which has only a few rooms to start with!

I try really hard not to laugh when these folks call, but the closer it gets to the 4th, the more difficult that is. I do try to suggest they book for next year, but so far nobody has wanted to do so. Not that I'm surprised. Clearly, these are not plan-ahead people and they may still harbor the illusion that they'll find a room somewhere so they want to get on to the next phone call as quickly as possible. They'll probably play out the same scenario for Labor Day weekend.

If you can't plan to go away on the big holiday weekends well in advance, you should probably learn to enjoy spending them quietly at home. There are plenty of weekends between late October and the middle of June where you absolutely can get a room with only a couple of days notice. Come see us then.

So to answer your questions in advance:

No, we don't have a room for the 4th & 5th. In fact, that weekend typically books up before Memorial Day.

No, I don't know anyone who has a room available. Since you're about the 25th person to call me about it this week, my guess is that you're going to be out of luck, but I'll direct you to the Chamber of Commerce anyway. If anyone has a room, they'll know about it.

No, I don't think there's much of a chance anyone will cancel. If someone does, it'll be the day before they're scheduled to arrive and you'll already have made other plans, so I'm not going to put your name on a waiting list.

Yes, if someone DOES cancel, one of these last minute callers is going to get very, very lucky. But don't count on it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have a little heart! Not everyone is an innkeeper with your perspective. Isn't it nice that hope springs eternal?