Planning a trip. Part 1

Since I came back from South Africa I have wanted to do the trip I am currently planning with my boyfriend. I had spent every penny I had on volunteering for 5 weeks I didn’t have any more money to be doing huge travelling trips like the rest of my volunteer friends. What I was most jealous about was the people going on to Australia. I had always liked the idea of Australia but after finding my love for travel, I really wanted to go, I just didn’t have the money. In December 2010 a month after I came back I couldn’t stand the thought of spending more than 6 months in this country so I decied I would work at summer camp in the States, and travel for 5 weeks after. I worked like crazy and saved even more crazily, but still my Australia trip wasn’t going to happen any time soon. (I will post more about my previous trips, including the States soon.)

So now a year after I left for camp, I am planning my next trip, yes I have been in the UK for a full 8 months this time, but I have moved twice.

There’s something very exciting about planning a trip, I always order the brouchures for the companies I’m researching, its a weakness of mine, but this is beacuse they appeal to my creative side, the photos and graphic layouts. Not only that but I never feel like I take the details in enough if I’m reading them online. After trawling through pages and pages, what I already knew became more apparent, I didn’t want to take a working holiday package, yes they all looked great but why did I want to pay all that money when I could arrange half those things myself and I wasn’t looking for a group flight or a week of partying when I arrive. This lead me to the company, that offer the 3 things I need to work in Australia, Visa, Bank Account and Tax Code, however none of this needs to be sorted until 2 months before, so I filed the information.

Flight quotes, I knew I needed to get these next, this is the biggest expense in the whole pre-trip payments. Using a lonely planet book called ‘Big Trip’ I took their suggestions and tried STA and Student Flight, both coming out at the same price with very little difference, I soon learnt that was because we were being offered a Qantas RTW package. The next part is the difficult bit, DATES you want to get these right before you go, because although they have made it cheap and (fairly) easy to change, you don’t want to be wasting time with it once you are away. When do we leave? How long are we going to spend in each country? This is a trip I have wanted to do for nearly 2 years, so I had these answers already in my head. The next thought was dates of events we want to be in certain places for, I want to be in Bangkok for Songkran festival and my boyfriend wants to be in Melbourne for the F1 Race. Our afterthough was seasons, we wanted to visit Cairns around March after leaving Sydney and our jobs, I soon learnt that in March, Cairns is in full rainy/humidity season, not a great time to visit! This forced us to re think our plan entirely!

So we came up with the plan of flying in to Cairns to start the trip, doing some travelling to begin with, down the coast towards Brisbane and then on to Sydney to get jobs, spend Christmas on the beach and see new year in over the harbour. Then at the beginning of March taking a trip to the red centre, to see Ayres Rock and stopping in Adelaide then back to Melbourne for the F1. From there on to New Zealand, starting in Christchurch and giving ourselves just over 2 weeks to roadtrip our way to Auckland. From there we will head to Bankok for the Sangkran festival (13-17th April) this happens to fall on my birthday! And then spend as long as we can afford to exploring South East Asia, before flying home from Singapore.

The planning part is endless, but the most important part for me is getting the flights right, so that you save yourself money on transport to get yourself back to the right city for your flight. We are now just waiting upon a new quote with these dates then we will know if we have enough money to book these and make this whole trip real.