Monthly Archives: April 2017

100 days to go

100 days to go, 100 days to dream. Time is seeming to fly super fast now. I have dreams regularly about our trip. I have a few smaller trips between now and then which will really make the time go by fast.

What is left to do? Well, most everything is paid for already in regards to lodging. The only places that are not fully paid for yet are our place in Nelson and our place in Auckland. I plan to pay for Nelson on May 1 and Auckland on June 1.  We also have one hotel room that we have not paid for yet. Other than that, all hotels/apartments have been paid for so we won’t have that expense when we return. That is usually the biggest travel expense and it has been nice to spread it out over the last few months.

Airfare – fully paid for. We bought our tickets over to Australia/New Zealand using frequent flyer miles so those were relatively cheap. But I had to buy flights within Australia and New Zealand. I bought those in the fall once I knew our itinerary.

In regards to car rentals – one has been prepaid and two I was not able to prepay. And honestly I can’t find a better rate than what I booked so those probably won’t be prepaid before we go. I can deal with that though.

Activities are mostly all booked and paid for. This month I can book our Alcatraz tickets (yes we are spending a day in San Fran before we go) and our Sydney Observatory tickets. Our lodging in Sydney is right next to the Observatory so we will do that one night. I have two excursions booked but I cannot pay for them yet as they could be cancelled if the weather does not cooperate. I call those excursions the Pandy Excursions. Pandy was my great aunt that passed away in November but she taught me that you only live once and sometimes in life you need to splurge. So those two excursions, if they happen, I will dedicate to her since they will be our splurges. In fact, my motto on our trip will be “What would Pandy do?”.

I still can’t believe we have reached the 100 day milestone. It seemed so far away when I booked our first plane ticket at 330 days away. My brother gets married in 33 days and then the kids get out for the summer in 71 days. Those two countdowns will make the countdown to our trip fly.

Categories: Auckland, Nelson, San Francisco, Sydney | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Next research project: cell phone/gps service in New Zealand

I’m not really concerned about cell phone/gps service in Australia.  There we will pretty much be in populated areas.  However, I am concerned with New Zealand.  There we plan to go off the beaten path to explore.  So I want to make sure we don’t get lost.  I keep going back-and-forth with what we need.  Part of me thinks we don’t need anything additional than the maps we have – afterall – that is how people USED to travel.  Another part of me thinks maybe I should just research this.

I’ve been considering several options.  One is buying the Australia/New Zealand map for my GPS.  One disadvantage there is that then I have to bring my GPS with us.  Another option is buying a cheap GPS in Australia/New Zealand.  Question there is can I find one under $100 and will it work in the middle-of-nowhere in NZ? Additionally, we could rent a GPS from the car rental agencies.  But the cost of that rental exceeds the cost of just buying a GPS.  Another option is just using our cell phones for GPS coverage.  With that both my husband and I each have an AT&T phone, and I also have a Verizon cell phone.  So – what sort of coverage does that translate when in Australia/New Zealand?  Does it make sense to invest in a SIM card once we land in Australia that will equate to better cell/GPS coverage in Australia and New Zealand?  I’m used to buying SIM cards in the countries we visit as data rates are much better than US provider’s “International Coverage” rates.

In the end, I think we’ll opt NOT to get a new GPS or purchase  the AUS/NZ maps for my current 2009 GPS.  Even though GPS make traveling pretty easy, I will most likely remind myself that both my husband and I are good navigators and it will all work out in the end. I actually love maps and sometimes miss the days when people used paper maps more often.

Categories: Australia, Data abroad, New Zealand | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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