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Old 07-12-2006, 04:42 PM   #1
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I recently E(?)R'd (at 61). Don't know that that's particularly early, but it works for me. Just returned from 3 months in Australia to celebrate and get used to extended travel, which is how we intend to spend at least half our time until we can't do it anymore.

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Old 07-12-2006, 04:52 PM   #2
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Bigvino ...by some chance, are you related to Cut-Throat?

Welcome to the forum. Three months in Australia? Wow. You must be in great shape financially to plan on spending 6 months out of the year travellling. Congratulations.

And that ER thing is highly subjective. I pulled the plug at 58, and as you said, it works for me.

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Old 07-12-2006, 04:58 PM   #3
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Thank you.* No, not related to Cut Throat (as far as I know).

In reasonably good shape financially:* comapny pension (not a lot but not insignificant) helps. Did some very good planning and made conservative investments; maxed out 401K, etc.* Hasn't been all roses; lost about 30% in the 2000 market crash, but have recovered nicely.

Good planning helps; carefully tracking expenses against a budget has gotten us where we are. We put a plan in place and now we're executing it.
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Old 07-13-2006, 12:12 PM   #4
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Welcome Bigvino.

Are you a big wine drinker or does your username have a different meaning?

What part of Oz were you in? I have family in Queensland and we are planning an extended trip there in a couple of years. How was the cost of things there and do you have any recommendations on where to stay and what to do?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-13-2006, 01:21 PM   #5
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No--not a big drinker, but it refers to a large carafe of wine, rather than a small one......

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR

What part of Oz were you in? I have family in Queensland and we are planning an extended trip there in a couple of years. How was the cost of things there and do you have any recommendations on where to stay and what to do?
Spent time in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Kangaroo Island, Fremantle, Cairns and Brisbane. Also drove the Great Ocean Road between Melbourne and Adelaide. Drove around southwestern Oz and up along the west coast to Monkey Mia. Drove the Queensland coast from Cairns to Brisbane.

The US dollar is at a premium to the AU$--about 33% give or take, so things seemed cheaper than in the US. The best thing is there is NO tipping!!!!

We had originally intended to stay in hostels, but we found apartments that were no more expensive than a double en suite (with bath) and so we stayed mostly in these. The Tourist Offices in almost every city and town (of any consequence) were very helpful in finding good accomodations. Here is a good link: [url][//http:www.ozstayz.com.au] Almost impossible to recommend where to stay and what to do; depends so much on what you like, how much time you have, etc. Any good tour book like Lonely Planet is a good start. Since you have family in Queensland, if they're anything like the Aussies we know, they'll be more than happy to give you some help.

It's a great country and the people are the best. You'll love it.

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Old 07-13-2006, 01:38 PM   #6
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Oz is a great place to visit and not a bad place for ER either. A friend of mine ER'd in this early 50s and spends most of his time there. Great climate (the SE part of the continent only, of course), nice people, lots of beautiful places to visit and so on. However, I am not sure what it would take to establish residency there for an American. My friend is quite wealthy, which tends to help things

By the way, how is the Great Ocean Road to the West of the 12 Apostles? (Hope I remember the name of the landmark right.) I considered driving all the way to Adelaide when I was in Melbourne-Sydney, but I only had so much time and it would have really stretched my schedule past the point where travel was fun
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Old 07-13-2006, 02:26 PM   #7
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To 'do' AU takes time.* We did drove the Great Ocean Road between Melbourne and Adelaide, then up the center to Alice, over to Mt. Isa, then Cairns (and as far north as we could safely drive), then wandered south along the shore like beach bums, until arriving at Sydney - all in a rental campervan.* Relived the 60s. :

We really liked Mission Beach, Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays area.* *

Cairns -Townsville were really hit by a typhon this last year.* How was the damage?

SteveR - I highly recommend a long a visit.* If you just want to see the cities I understand the new trains are great, but if you really want to see the land and enjoy the people B&B or camping is the way to do it.*
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Old 07-13-2006, 03:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat
To 'do' AU takes time.* We did drove the Great Ocean Road between Melbourne and Adelaide, then up the center to Alice, over to Mt. Isa, then Cairns (and as far north as we could safely drive), then wandered south along the shore like beach bums, until arriving at Sydney - all in a rental campervan.* Relived the 60s. :

We really liked Mission Beach, Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays area.* *

Cairns -Townsville were really hit by a typhon this last year.* How was the damage?

SteveR - I highly recommend a long a visit.* If you just want to see the cities I understand the new trains are great, but if you really want to see the land and enjoy the people B&B or camping is the way to do it.*
Thanks for the info. my SIL and her husband live in Townsville. They had very little damage but some areas of the town were quite a mess. We would obviously stay with them for a week or two while they take us to areas nearby. We would then like to drive as much as we can to see the countryside and some of the larger cities. We don't think we want to try to do it all in one trip. Maybe a second trip in a few years when SIL retires. Then we would do NZ and part of Indo. too. I have enough FF miles to fly first class with DW twice so far so the airfare would be zero cost and that would allow us to do BnBs or even a couple of nice hotels in the major cities.

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Old 07-13-2006, 03:09 PM   #9
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I have enough FF miles to fly first class with DW
If you can do it at little to no cost to you, upgrading to first class when going to Oz is a good idea. The flight is very exhausting, much more so than I expected, especially if you start on the East Coast. You may want to check the status of your frequent flier miles, though, since many airlines are raising their thresholds this year.
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Old 07-13-2006, 03:24 PM   #10
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If you can do it at little to no cost to you, upgrading to first class when going to Oz is a good idea. The flight is very exhausting, much more so than I expected, especially if you start on the East Coast. You may want to check the status of your frequent flier miles, though, since many airlines are raising their thresholds this year.
Thanks for the tip. I used to travel a lot in my prior job and some of these were to Japan from the middle of the US so flying long distances is not unknown to me. Our plan would be to break up the trip by stopping in Toyko for a day or two. That keeps the trip a more managable 12 hours on each leg.

As for the FF miles, we do keep an eye on those. We hope to be able to use them for two trips but if not then whatever they will cover at the time. Due to DW's recent surgery she won't be able to travel much for over a year. By then we will be retired and closer to our big trip to Oz.

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Old 07-13-2006, 03:35 PM   #11
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We hope to be able to use them for two trips but if not then whatever they will cover at the time.
Come to think of it, I was a few kilomiles short of a free tickets to Oz at the time when I was planning my trip a few years ago. I discovered that my airline had a program that allowed me to bridge the gap for something like $55 or $65, but they were in the process of changing the rules and I barely made it (2 weeks?) before the dealine. It would be rather frustrating to have 117Kmiles and be unable to get a ticket requiring $120Kmiles*
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