Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

Australia Update

One of my newer neurotic tendencies is to become moderately paralyzed at making final definite decisions and arrangements about traveling. Once tickets are bought I can spend countless happy hours in planning and anticipation, but there's something about just sitting down and purchasing airplane tickets that sometimes overwhelms me. (The flip side of this is that there is a huge rush of excitement that flows through me once I do make the commitment, which is a dam-break release of tension as much as anything.)

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->Minneapolis as one multi-destination plan yielded insanely high fares. Round-trip to Sydney with separate arrangement for within-Australia flights was less than half that cost. That's the sort of thing that takes a lot of playing around to figure out.

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.
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