It’s actually happening. Yesterday we booked the flights 🙂
It took a ridiculous amount of time to sort out the route and also the actual flights. There are a bewildering array of possibilities, on top of pivotal little rules and restrictions and ‘not availables’ that block the perfect plan at almost every turn.
We started off in the travel agent with a fairly simple plan and then the possibilities exploded with the addition of further research and professional help. Essentially, the choices were to include or not – Melbourne, Sydney, and Hawaii (with variations in Hawaiian islands); decide between a halfway stop in Vancouver, Seattle or Portland; then a final destination in London or any other likely European airport. I can’t quite work out how many different options that is … but it’s a lot. We eventually narrowed it down to 3 or 4 options with different pricing plans.
BUT, we then thought about using air points for some of the legs and of course this added an extra level of complexity …. akin to a four dimensional Rubix cube! It turned out that we had a pretty huge amount of points, and just enough for two one-way tickets doing the kind of routes we had now set our hearts on. However, air-point tickets are rare and elusive beasts that can only be tracked down using the thoroughly frustrating air-points website! Luckily, the Husband is an obsessive researcher and has the ability to hold a huge amount of random numbers, dates and times in his head. He also has the patience of a saint when dealing with websites that have been designed by computer geeks who live in La La land. After several days of running the different options, he tracked down THE plan … The clincher for the ultimate solution was opting to pay real money for the leg between Hawaii and Canada and take business class from Vancouver to London … Oh the hardship!
So here it is ….
Given that it is winter, we have been tackling some ‘paperwork’ items such as renewing our NZ passports. We will, of course, be traveling on our European ones for the Trip but will I believe need current NZ passports in case we want to come back. We still need to look into to visa requirements so that we can stop in the USA but I beleive we just need to register some stuff on a website. Travel insurance is also listed in the ‘research’ column of our Trip list, but I need to recover a bit before tackling any more bureaucracy and silly websites.
General planning for the trip is going well:
- We are on track with saving the huge amount of cash we will need to take a year off
- Our French is coming on well and conversations are now regularly held in ‘reasonable’ French
- We’re on track to reach our ‘fighting’ weight targets for the trip and the Husband has been going great guns with 11kg weight loss under his belt already! (Well technically it’s now not under his belt, but you know what I mean). His ‘Jason Borne-ness’ still needs some work but Rome wasn’t built in a day …
So in short, the TRIP has all of a sudden become very real … we have a date … 12th March 2014!