Thursday, October 28, 2004

Silver lining?

So I'm sick and can't sleep. I don't know what the hell that's all about, but whatever--it's giving me time to continue to plan my trip Australia. I got my Oz Lonely Planet on Tuesday and have been reading it ever since, and just get more excited the more I learn (my trip is now expanding to take up, like, 6 months so I can cram in all the stuff that sounds cool).

So there are two challenges to this, really: 1. figuring out what to do, and 2. figuring out how to get there. The latter is disappointingly not talked about in depth in any guidebooks (for good reason, I guess, given how often and how much airfares can change, but when flying to the other side of the world, I could use some pointers on how to do so for a decent price), and has been a constant subject during class web-surfing. And tonight, I found a site with a package so good that it solves all my airfare dilemmas... and that kind of creeps me out. The company is called Air Brokers International, and if you're planning some sort of massive around-the-world trip like I am, this is the place to go. After hanging around on student travel sites, Australian airline sites, and Travelzoo, the best deals I've been able to come away with are still only round-trip, from LAX to Sydney, for about $1200 (I've ceased to flinch at that number--that's how long I've been researching this). This does not include stops in New Zealand or the South Pacific, and when I tallied up all that airfare (plus just the bits needed to get around Australia), it came out to about $2400. On this website, I found a trip where the comparable airfare cost was only about $50 or so less, but in addition to Australia, flights to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Bali, NZ, and Tahiti are included. I haven't been able to close my mouth for about an hour (although the stuffy nose has something to do with that, too).

And despite my suspicions, this business appears to be pretty well validated. I checked it on the BBB website, and they've been in business for 17 years and have a good record, and only 3 complaints have been filed in the last 3 years.

So now I'm absolutely dying to just plan and book this trip already. Like I'm gonna get any sleep now.

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