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Counting down...

Who else is in the big countdown?
9 years ago, August 26th 2012 No: 1 Msg: #160328  
I think 1 month before our next holiday i was counting down, now 1 week to go and i cant wait!!! Wahoo!!!!

Ive printed out all the travel and hotel reservations (mostly to make sure i hadnt missed anything as i moved flights around a couple of times), thought about what clothes need to be washed ready to be packed, bought some new summer shoes for the kids who keep growing all the time, thought out the logistics of baby stuff (nappies, formula etc) and decided we will take two suitcases and the big pram (both kids can go on it if required). Contemplated timings of taxi to the airport...and worse gotta then get the kids out of the house that morning and clean it ready for 'home opens' that will occur while we are away (trying to sell our house at the moment). Havent really looked in to what we will actually do while away so that will be the fun this week to get some ideas 😊)

So is anyone else counting down to a big trip? Have you got everything sorted? How much do you plan or have organised? How much do you do in advance? Reply to this

9 years ago, August 26th 2012 No: 2 Msg: #160337  
B Posts: 897
I do! Ive decided to throw some serious cash at a serious trip..I have this little thing about Cousteaus favourite dive spots...Tipuata Pass in Rangiroa. Which means from Perth I grabbed a cheapy $69 flight to Melbourne, then a cheapy $259 to Auckland..then Im jumping on air icantpronouncethat to fly to Rangiroa to dive Tipuata. Ive emailed dive centre asking which of my available times would be best - and the answer was "Tommorow" - I think I like this guy already. So while im in the neighbourhood after leaving Rangiroa > Bora Bora > Papeete > Honiara in Samoa > Port Moresby > Madang ....then all the way home again...Ive got flights to NZ organised. I know exotically named airline only flight to Rangiroa thursdays so will work it there and from there..im still planning. I know Bora Bora is outrageously expensive but you know what? I deserve it, i worked for it, I earnt it (justifying costs to myself there lol). So I will stay in a pension in Rangiroa and shell out for a few nights in one of those Bora Bora dream overwater villas.
Melbourne and Auckland by comparison will be crashing on friends couches LOL. More money for diving :D

Oh and Alor in October....cos theres no people or russians there I hear. Reply to this

9 years ago, August 26th 2012 No: 3 Msg: #160343  
oh that sounds pretty good cindy! just you then? 😊 and $69 to melb is pretty darn cheap...is that tiger air? We havent been to the pacific islands at all so have been putting that out there to the hubby to test the waters but i think i'll have more chance with srilanka or india which time/flight wise is probably the same...so we shall see.

How long will you be gone for?

We're about to leave for 3 weeks which will be the longest trip we've done since kids. The previous long trip was 2 weeks and we were all over it and just wanted our beds...so we have 5 days of choas in hk then 10 days of relaxing with no real plans till we're bored in phuket. Hopefully a boring routine for kids of swim, eat, sleep, swim, eat, sleep works 😊) Reply to this

9 years ago, August 26th 2012 No: 4 Msg: #160344  
B Posts: 897
Yes just ME Tam 😊 Yes on Tiger Air who have no dirt on me LOL so maybe these flights might come off without a hitch. The Qantas direct flight from Perth to Papeete was almost 3K alone then I still would have to get to Rangiroa so going via Auckland and on Polynesian airlines has saved me about half of that cost. The plane to Rangiroa only leaves Auckland thursdays and only goes to Bora Bora tuesdays so that will give me 5ish days in Rangiroa then I had a rough plan of 3 nights in Bora Bora then from there its all still a bit in the planning stages. I have dived PNG before and the archipeligo out towards Samoa but havent done the dive sites there yet so I guess it depends where I find the best diving if I continue on to PNG or chill on a little island off Samoa somewhere off the beaten track..still open to ideas. I have mid dec - february off work so was planning on 3 weeks in Feb..and my students are used to me being a week late every semester so time is...an elastic concept 😉

After trying to fit the jigsaw of flights and accomodation that isnt $750 a night Phuket and Thailand are starting to sound much more relaxing..but im sure it will be worth it. Cousteau is costing me a fortune! Reply to this

9 years ago, September 2nd 2012 No: 5 Msg: #160548  
B Posts: 897
Ohh why is planning these trips so difficult? - Ive had to accept the fact there is no cheap way to go to Tahiti...trying to get all the flights to line up is becoming a logistical nightmare...so im tossing up coughing up and flying Qantas so I dont have to go via LAX and Auckland. I still have to go via Auckland but its just that one stop and the flights are daily...is it worth saving $800 - $1000 but losing three days in dive and holiday time?

Id forgotten how big the archipeligos that make up Tahiti are - its actually almost the same distance from perth to LA. To island hop seems to be another logistical nightmare as air nuiguini and solomon air all fly to fiji and each other but theres no one flying to the society and toamatu archipeligos (I like the sound of that, society islands..how flash of me!)

I may have found a good deal on nice accom in Moorea, which is just 20mins ferry from Tahiti itself and they have dive sites so if I can get this accom it will save me about $2k..which equates to the airfare.

I worked out its actually cheaper to go to Europe for a ten day holiday than to continue this ridiculous love affair with Cousteaus footsteps...but what if the diving really is good? and it looks so pretty...is it worth cutting back on the places to jam into three weeks and chilling for longer in fewer places?

I think I may be a scrooge. Damn you tahiti why cant you be closer to anywhere?? Reply to this

9 years ago, September 2nd 2012 No: 6 Msg: #160559  
Three weeks from today Linda and I are off for our 40th anniversary trip! Honolulu, Lahaina, American Samoa, Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, French Caledonia, Sydney, and New Zealand. We hope to connect with a few TBers along the way. I brought two suitcases up from storage and Linda has started to pack...now I know she is excited! Reply to this

9 years ago, September 3rd 2012 No: 7 Msg: #160562  
B Posts: 897
YES!! Got $2700 accom in Moorea for $750 Ebay you rock! Bob and you and Linda doing a cruise?

The biggest problem with the south pacific for me is distance...I guess I saved 2K on accomodation so I will cough up for the direct qantas flight at $2175 which will save me days in trying to work out connecting flights.

Bob will be there in February so will miss you guys but have a wonderful anniversary trip :-) Reply to this

9 years ago, September 3rd 2012 No: 8 Msg: #160565  
Thanks, Cindy. Yes, we are doing an 18 day cruise...the best way to island hop. We don't do cruises when there is a good land option. It's a repositioning cruise so it's only $1665 for an inside cabin. We are using frequent flyer miles for the flights, so that's it for R/T. And we get 18 days of transportation to exotic destinations, room, really good food, and entertainment.

The cruise from Honolulu to Tahiti was actually cheaper, but we decided on this cruise since it stops in more countries...I'm going for 100. You might want to check on that cruise and then a one way flight frrom Honolulu back to Australia...you have some good discount airlines flying that route. Reply to this

9 years ago, September 3rd 2012 No: 9 Msg: #160566  
B Posts: 897
Yes there are some good deals via the US but I sort of have a limited time frame and given that I got such a great savings on I can sacrifice a bit of savings on air cost v air time..going via the US is going to cost me three days which in the time I have available means four days less diving as I cant fly after diving until my dive computer stops screaming at me. The problem with where I am (West coast of Aus) is that its cheaper for me to go to Asia than it is for me to head east to Sydney. Im going for the top 100 dive spots 😉 chasing Cousteau and our own Pierre and Ali.

Ive also found an inter island pass (thanks TB Friends) at around $400 which will take care of the other islands I want to see in the Tahitian Archipeligo in the time frame I realistically have. I have budgeted around 6K for this trip as diving is a particularly expensive thing anywhere in the world, especially in French Polynesia.

I could spend a month in 5 countries in Asia for the same price but hey...Tahiti is very sexy 😊

Oh and my father has totally put me off the routes via LAX and San Francisco after describing LAX and me realising i cant even split it up and spend a night in LA due to that visa problem and apparently distance from LAX to LA itself. Reply to this

9 years ago, September 3rd 2012 No: 10 Msg: #160567  
Ahh...another goal driven person, but with a very expensive hobby! Good luck catching up with Pierre and Ali. You got a good deal if you can fly to all the islands you mentioned above for $2175. Reply to this

9 years ago, September 3rd 2012 No: 11 Msg: #160595  
Four more days to work, then just two more weeks until we fly out to KL. Then 5 or 6 months in SE Asia. Nice! Can't believe it's almost time to go. Reply to this

9 years ago, September 4th 2012 No: 12 Msg: #160604  

In response to: Msg #160595 Great to have you back on the road again! I'll be Following your blogs this time. Reply to this

9 years ago, September 4th 2012 No: 13 Msg: #160613  
Under one week (September 10) until I head to Vanuatu. That day is my birthday, so my goal is to snorkel directly outside of my beachfront hut as a birthday present to myself!

Not as exciting as 5-6 months in South East Asia or an extended cruise, but I'm very much looking forward to it!

Cindy, are you going via Sydney or elsewhere to Tahiti? Reply to this

9 years ago, September 4th 2012 No: 14 Msg: #160616  
B Posts: 897
Shane working on the fact I saved over 2K in accomodation thanks to Ebay..I decided that the direct Perth to Papeete flight with a stop in Sydney then Auckland but will still get me to Papeete in 20 hours was easier than saving $300 but losing 3 days dive time. I can use my cheapy tiger ticket this october and go and see some friends in Auckland if all goes to plan and got the Perth to Papeete on Qantas for $1970 in February when the tides are good for shooting the pass. Once I get to Papeete I will then buy an Air Tahiti pass which is costing me another $600 with the amount of stops I need to do but hey....Its French Polynesia, its going to be expensive anyway so may as well do everything I want to do :-) Reply to this

9 years ago, September 4th 2012 No: 15 Msg: #160617  
Guys....can you stop speaking about gorgeous islands...it's irritating...I'm obviously kidding big time...well....figure out, I write this from Kinshasa...and trust me, that's not a paradise spot!

So now the deals...on Tahiti for those who wish to know...and yes...nothing is cheap there...so it's never cheap...it's just "a little cheaper"...

And why nobody is mentioning Fakarava....gr....

There are two airlines in Tahiti...Air Tahiti Niu...doing all the international flights...and Air Tahiti....for everything local.

For local flights....the best is to take a pass...which could for exemple include Bora Bora, Moorea and Rangiroa...and Fakarava...for the same price...the only issue here is time. For info, you'll find direct flights doing Bora Bora-Rangiroa...but not the opposite...go figure out!

I've been twice to Bora Bora...yes...first times 2 nights on my own...was curious...with no camera...was on my first fast RTW...wasn't diving...and was fun to be the ONLY single tourist on the island (wasn't single actually at the time...even more interesting...)!

The second time, wasn't single, so had to fork out the money for two people...and did 8 dives...diving in Bora Bora is "average interesting" for the sharks, and we saw few rays...ok, not the best for sure. But the beauty of the island is purely amazing...

Both time stay at the Club Med, at the time, it was by far the best deal on the Island...good location and food included in the price for something like 200usd a pax per day...but they closed! Snif! A good friend of mine got a good deal not long ago at the Hilton just bring your food with you! I forgot, you won't find any of my blogs on TB...would be interesting to do blog of my past...but I may end up receiving way to many angry comments...

Back to reaching Papeete....airport in which ?I have actually slept a total of 4 nights on the floor...yes, luxury style!

Now how to reach Papeete....wanted to try to use some miles out out Santiago this November...impossible to redeem them on LAN...so going to dive somewhere else.

If you have miles with Star Alliance...the redemption AKL-PPT is often a pretty good deal....only if you can find available seats...

Than you can find for 800usd a return from LAX...well...as Cindy mention...do you really want to go to LAX from Perth...Cindy, you could have as well than done Perth-JNB-Buenos Aires-Santiago-Easter Island-Papeete...try that on a short schedule....

I'm planing on diving Rangiroa AND Fakarava November 2013...hopefully getting a redemption ticket from AKL to PPT....and while there...plan is to dive a lot...camp...in a tent...and dive even more...and paying it as a good selfish boy for myself ( I love those partners who claim they are independent...as long as I pay)...and no way I'm going to Bora Bora this time...with a big smile!

Bora Bora is amazing for the scenery...but put it simply...for the diving, those in the know will tell you Rangiroa and Fakarava...hopefully on my "done" list before the end of 2013! Reply to this

9 years ago, September 4th 2012 No: 16 Msg: #160618  
B Posts: 897
FAKARAVA!! That is the name of the F place I couldnt remember! As you mentioned...Air Tahiti local is interesting in routes and schedules..I have decided spend the first two nights on Papeete then could get the airpass to work but only in this wierd route Papeete > Rangiroa > Bora Bora > Papeete > Fakarava and back to Papeete then catch a ferry across to Moorea.....I guess its island air scheduling.

Shane you most definitely deserve to give yourself a great bday present..and Pierre, how is Africa treating you :p) Reply to this

9 years ago, September 4th 2012 No: 17 Msg: #160619  
Bob...waow...that's a trip...I really need to start planing a repositiong cruise one days with the kids....we have one booked in Jan 2013...but nothing to do with the kind of trip you do...and actually the true opposite of a re-positioning...that one will be ONLY for the kids.

Do you stop by the Iles des Pins in New Caledonia?? On my list too.... Reply to this

9 years ago, September 4th 2012 No: 18 Msg: #160620  
Kinshasa is not fun....but flying Thursday to Lubumbashi where I have tons of friends...and each and every time a lot of fun...and back to Buenos Aires few days after...for more food...and to dive...seals and whales time hopefully...with the kids! Reply to this

9 years ago, September 4th 2012 No: 19 Msg: #160621  
oh, and I forgot Cindy, just completed my fourth Round-the-World yesterday...and this one was by far the weirdest when it does come to itinery... Reply to this

9 years ago, September 4th 2012 No: 20 Msg: #160622  

In response to: Msg #160619 Yes, Iles des Pins is one of the islands. Is the snorkeling good there? I haven't learned to dive yet. Reply to this

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