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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Holidaying to Australia... oh, the pain!

Over here I talked about the holiday plans Deidre and I were making, to travel to Australia. It's been a relatively painful thing to do!

We've had to work out the dates that we were going to go there and return, as well as the dates that we'd be in Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney, and back to Wellington. Three cities in 4 weeks, with countless family members and friends to see in that time.

Oh God, the pain!

A month or so ago we booked the return tickets to Australia. That was a struggle and a half... Tomorrow I'll be booking the domestic flights within Australia. Next month I'll be booking the car rental for those times we'll need it in Adelaide and Canberra, as well as miscellaneous hotel accommodation in various areas...

Do you know how hard it is to find good prices on websites for travel and stuff? There's so many different airlines that are all competing with each other, and then there's travel agency sites that tell you they'll get you a good deal. Hell, they're morons! We went through a travel agent a few months ago and they told us that the best deal we could get for return flights to Australia was NZ$2300. Interesting, I said (via email). I told them that I could get it at NZ$1600 via the actual airline website, so they need to do better than that. I never heard back from them.

All my research and investigation into best prices has been VERY painful, taking many hours to do. But you know what? I figure that by the time everything has been booked and paid for, we'll have saved at least NZ$2000 by doing it this way.

And spending that money to save the time? That's more painful than spending a few hours to find the best prices.

A friend of mine said that they were going to book a holiday to Fiji if their partner got a job, planning to leave the following weekend. They hadn't booked it yet. I was incredulous, and they said there's no difference in the prices. I researched it and found out that if they did it their way they would be spending close to NZ$3000, while if they booked it for at least 6 weeks later, they would be spending just over NZ$700. It was their turn to be incredulous.

Travel agents love people who don't research or know that savings are to be made. And savings are important! Why spend $3000 on an airfare when you can save $2300 and spend that on other things!!

Makes sense to me.

But anyway, the holiday's getting closer, and everything's getting sorted. One thing at a time. It's awesome to be getting closer to going back home.


Posted on 9/13/2005 10:52:00 PM Backlinks

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Blogger Chancelucky said...

you know in the US, travel agents, in order to stay competitive often have some of the best (agency only ) prices on cruises and the like. I actually sort of miss the days when someone did all the booking and price finding for you.
It's stressful to book yourself via the internet and I've learned to never ask the person sitting next to me how much he or she paid for the same flight.

9/14/2005 06:18:00 AM  
Blogger Alan Howard said...

I can imagine they'd be all quiet, until you ask, and then there'd be chairs flying around, along with anything else they can get their hands on. Maybe including the people around them. Not that I found it that stressful, but it was certainly educational: research pays off.

9/14/2005 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Chancelucky said...

In the old old days, airlines had regulated prices, so everyone paid the same for their ticket. Market pricing is something of a nightmare for planning, etc. Particularly for those entities that have to book hundreds even thousands of tickets.
I had a friend who worked for the Federal Govt. apparently by regulation they always bought a regular full fare, fully changeable ticket. Much easier on the traveller, but not sure what the price difference was.

9/15/2005 06:12:00 AM  

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