It just took 9 months from the date I made the first reservation to the day I posted the last blog about our trip to England and Wales. We traveled for 8 1/2 weeks, the planning took 6 months and I spent about 3 weeks finishing the blogs and ordering our "scrapbook," a printed book of the blogs I wrote about the trip.
I made all the reservations, both on-line with the Expedia app and the British Airways web site and on the phone with the National Trust reservations office. That woman made me aware of how the British use the phrase "lovely" with great frequency.
I am happy to report that everything went off without a hitch! All the reservations were in place. Along the way, I had to make a change in our second rental car reservation and Expedia messed that up, but Avis still had a car available we could rent. When we checked into our last hotel, believe me, I was so relieved. We never had to sleep in a train station or on a park bench. We always had a bed where we wanted it, as well as cars and train reservations and airline seats back to Arizona.
It was a monumental project to accomplish without the help of a travel agent and we were able to stay where we wanted, when we wanted. This was truly the trip of a lifetime--or at least the last big trip of our lives.