Making my plans for Australia in September brought out the worst of me in this regard, partly because I wasn't sure how to go about arranging a trip that involved several different one-way flights. It turns out that all I needed to do was go to my company's travel web site (sub-contracted to American Express, actually) and fill in lots of combinations of dates and itineraries and keep careful notes. Three or four hours of this and my options became a little bit clearer.
I have about three weeks to spend. I'm going to a conference in Perth. I prefer to spend my time in cities, in situations where I can meet up with people and get to know them -- perhaps attend Morris practice or band practice. So I decided that this trip is basically Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney. That's enough.
Looking at Minneapolis->Perth->Melbourne->Sydney->M
As of today my roundtrip ticket to Sydney is paid for. My flight out includes a very brief stopover in Fiji (!), which I wish I could add a day to. The trip outlines are:
Aug.30: Mpls -> LA -> Fiji -> Sydney (arrive Sept. 1)
Sept. 4: Sydney -> Perth
Sept. 10: Perth -> Melbourne
Sept. 15: Melbourne -> Sydney
Sept. 20: Sydney -> LA -> Mpls
I've got a lot to arrange at this point, but from here on in it's clear sailing.