Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Preparations v2

A few Blog followers have asked if we have finished our preparations. So here is how its all going to date....
All flights booked and paid for. A RTW ticket does not cover all the flights, as we are stopping off in some countries longer than that system allows. So the San Francisco to NY and Bangkok to Singapore legs of the journey have had to be booked separately. Other than those we will be flying on a BA and Quantas "World Traveller" ticket. All arranged by our friendly (occasional neighbour) semi retired, travel agent buddy Malcolm. Thanks Malcolm, see you at Christmas to pick up the tickets and have a few bevvies.
All hotels in major destinations found, booked and some paid for. Others will be paid for on arrival/departure. The only remainders are NZ - B&Bs which we were going to arrange as we went along. However the few NZ ones I have arranged have shown me that this may not be a good idea as several have been fully booked even this far in advance. Maybe there is something on.... other than just peak summer season. So my plan is at the moment to limit driving to about 5 hours a day and have some days when we stop over for a couple of nights in high interest places.  Also a few days between LA and San Fran not sorted yet, but Motels most likely, as we drive Highway 1 up the coast towards SF.
Cars.... Cairns to Townsville, LA to San Fran, and NZ all booked.  Still looking at Fiji, where 2 airport/resort transfers for 2 people costs more than a car for 4 nights. And you get the use of a car when lying on a beach no longer has the attraction. Market day perhaps!
Jabs.... We are told that we need jabs for India and Bangkok.  Typhoid and Hepatitis A&B. Because we are out of the 2 yrs NHS cover here and not yet in the Pensioners age bracket, and also not working here, we are under private health care.  Which means that the insurance will cover us to have the jabs, but not pay for the jabs themselves.  Typhoid = 21 Euros each and 3 x Hepatitis A&B jabs (two before we go and one when we get back) at 70 Euro a go. That works out at 462 Euros........... Long live the NHS!
Ferry ... from South to North Island NZ, Free crossing for the hire car, and 2 passengers booked to accompany car at the time of booking the car hire. Worked out cheaper and more convienient than two car hires and flights between Islands.
Trains.... TranzAlpine scenic train ride across NZ South Island from Christchurch to Greymouth now booked for 3rd Feb. Took some time this, as I was chasing the 30% discount they mentioned in the blurb for "seniors"... that is 60 yrs and over. Ann would just qualify by a few days. However there is NO WAY you can do this on line. Even when we eventually find a ticket booking site that offers a "senior" option (Thanks again Malcolm for that link) it coughs up exactly the same price as a normal adult. After an email direct, I was told that they only offer senior discount to "Flexi fares". When I checked this out, even with the discount for Seniors, it was still more expensive that a standard Adult. Is there a lesson to be learnt here, I ask myself? Just discovered that there is also a train ride to look at in Dunedin......... more later.
Welcome to all the new Blog followers, who have been given the link today, Friday 29th Oct.  Please read on down and follow the links to the photos. These will be more relevant once we get going, but these are here to check the links and show you some photos from previous hols.

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