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Traveling to Australia
Old 10-29-2019, 09:04 AM   #1
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Traveling to Australia

We are considering going to Australia and New Zealand in 2021. The reason that I say considering not planning is the long flight from the Midwest USA. Even in business class it is just too long...and I just hate to blow that much dough on a plane ticket.

Any suggestions? Perhaps stop in Hawaii for a couple of days coming and going? Other suggestions to break up the trip? Even a stop on the west coast might help. I just donít think 20+ hours on plane is going to work.
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:21 AM   #2
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When we went to Australia, we took Air Tahiti Nui from Los Angeles. On the way there, we laid over in Tahiti at a nearby hotel overnight. On the way back we laid over 2 nights in Tahiti. That was a blessing.
By the way, the airport only has 4 gates, so you can just show up an hour before flight time. When we did it, we checked in about the same time the crew did.
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:27 AM   #3
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Someday, I'd like to go to New Zealand, but I too have no desire to fly for that long. So I've thought of making it an extended trip and first flying from JFK to LAX, spending a few days there, going on to HNL and staying for a few days, then finally flying to AKL and spending two weeks or so. I'd repeat the staggered travel on the way back, maybe going around the globe in the other direction.
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Old 10-29-2019, 09:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIYes View Post
We are considering going to Australia and New Zealand in 2021. The reason that I say considering not planning is the long flight from the Midwest USA. Even in business class it is just too long...and I just hate to blow that much dough on a plane ticket.

Any suggestions? Perhaps stop in Hawaii for a couple of days coming and going? Other suggestions to break up the trip? Even a stop on the west coast might help. I just donít think 20+ hours on plane is going to work.
We also are considering a 2021 trip to Australia/New Zealand. Also in midwest USA. Are you planning it all yourself or enlisting a travel agent? Obviously, interested in all replies!
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Old 10-29-2019, 11:10 AM   #5
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The last two times in Australia we have flown there from either southern Thailand or Malaysia. This necessitated a one way ticket home to Canada.

We went with a one way on discount airline (owned and operated by Qantas) Jetstar. We got a low cost fare from Sydney to HNL. Stayed in HNL for two days, then got a low cost one way flight home. The savings paid for our stay in HNL. The first time we did this the flight was actually a code share with Qantas.

As an aside, take a look at Jetstar Australia and sign up for their sales. Last winter we snagged a very low fare Brisbane-Tasmania and Tasmania to Sydney. They have lots of good offers. Just pack lightly because they enfore their carry on dimension and weight rules. Our carry ons were weighed twice in Brisbane...the second time at the gate! Tigerair also has so good fares inside Australia. Australia is a huge country. For some places air is the best way to go.
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Old 10-29-2019, 11:30 AM   #6
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My co-worker flew economy to Australia from Kentucky few years ago (via San Francisco I think) and he said the flight was grueling. He watched all three Lord Of The Ring movies on his iPad and then realized he still had 6 hours to go!

Not an advice I know, but it might mentally prepare you for it.
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Old 10-29-2019, 11:47 AM   #7
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We have been to Australia/NZ twice, stayed 6 weeks each time. We live in North Carolina so it is a long haul. The first time we just changed planes in LA and kept on going --this was too much flying for us and we said never again. The second time we stopped in Honolulu for 4 days on each end of the trip, much better. We liked NZ better than Australia, Australia seemed too much like the U.S, to us. We loved NZ but it is expensive. It is much easier to get around NZ, more compact. In NZ both times we rented camper vans and loved it. But note that in NZ you drive on the left side of the road.
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Old 10-29-2019, 03:17 PM   #8
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A trip to Australia is in our headlights in a couple years. One option I'll be researching is a cruise ship from Hawaii to break up that section. Or if not then we'll stop for a couple days in Hawaii and possibly another island further along.
Definitely saving up air miles for business class!
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Old 10-29-2019, 03:36 PM   #9
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Perhaps consider a repositioning cruise to cross the ocean in one direction.

My wife and I went to Australia and New Zealand earlier this year. Didn't blow any dough on business class or first class, but we did upgrade to premium economy seats on the ocean-crossing flights and the extra room was worth it to us.

We did the trip west in two legs: Florida to LAX, LAX to Melbourne. Surprisingly, the jet lag was not bad and we acclimated to the new time zone easily.

We did the trip east in four legs: New Zealand to Sydney to San Francisco. Spent the night in San Francisco because there were no good connections home. Then two flights from San Francisco to Florida. We hoped to get over most of the jet lag while in San Francisco but it didn't work. Minimizing connections would be a good idea.
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Old 10-29-2019, 04:30 PM   #10
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There are cruises from the West coast of USA to Australia, but what I'd love to find is a cruise in each direction separated by 2-4 weeks, so I have time to see a lot in both Australia and NZ.

I have not looked hard yet to see if it's possible.
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Old 10-29-2019, 04:37 PM   #11
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I will check out Air Tahiti. I had seen Jetstar from Honolulu to Sydney and wondered about that airline.

We have done a couple of repositioning cruises from USA to Europe and loved them. It is a great way to travel to Europe if you have the time and enjoy cruising.
I am not using a travel agent, although this is an instance where a good, knowledgeable agent could be helpful. We will be joining some friends, but they are planning to to the long haul flight without breaking it up.
We flew nonstop from Hong Kong to Chicago a few years ago...economy, middle seats in the back of the plane. So while we can do the long hauls packed in like sardines, I prefer not.
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Old 10-29-2019, 05:04 PM   #12
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We've done the 12-14 flight to Aus and NZ 3 times so far (with extra credit for going on to Perth one time for 6 extra hours). While sitting for that long is never going to be fun at least the seats and service on Qantas are reasonably nice. Their main business is long hauls to Australia and they try to avoid passenger mutinies.
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Old 10-29-2019, 06:26 PM   #13
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Matrix ITA shows the cheapest flights around $1600 from Chicago with all long non-stop legs through Hawaii.

New Zealand is on my must see list, and we're maybe 1 year away from going. Berlin's first--as the only major European city we've missed.

One nice thing about NZ is that they have a bunch of rental Class C RV's there, and they like them to move north from Christchurch to Auckland after the busy season. They rent them for repositioning very cheap.
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Old 10-29-2019, 06:34 PM   #14
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We have done a few one way rentals in Australia, dropped the car, and then flew on to another city. Did this with the Great Ocean Road and down the Gold and Sunshine Coasts to Sydney. Driving is not the same either. Driving on the other side is not a big issue but distances take longer to cover that you might expect. We spent part of two winters (ours, not theirs) in Australia. We love it...especially the beaches.
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Old 10-29-2019, 06:37 PM   #15
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Last year we flew non-stop from L.A. to Sydney. Flight from hell. Back from Melbourne was exponentially worse it that is possible. Never again. This year we went to Kentucky and it was somewhat ok. I am sick of flying. Love being there, wherever, but 15 hours trapped in a sardine can, no way.
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Old 10-29-2019, 07:38 PM   #16
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It's 53 years since I flew to Oz from the US, long flight....stopped over in Nadi.
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Old 10-31-2019, 05:59 PM   #17
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CP Air?

How we miss them!
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Old 11-01-2019, 03:44 PM   #18
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Spouse has done DFW to Sydney nonstop in 1st Class (company paid) on the A380 twice. Even with work to do, a bed, a shower, a lounge, etc.....says it is still absolutely brutal. I won't even consider the trek.
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:26 PM   #19
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We went to AU in 2017 and 2018.

In 2017 we flew to SYD and back from the west coast. It wasn't bad, we left the West coast around 10pm, had a couple of beers on the flight then took .5mg of Xanax and slept for a good chunk of the flight.

In 2018 we flew again from the west coast then took a cruise back.

Maybe it was because we stayed 2 - 3 months that the travel didn't seem too bad. If it were a pretty short stay then the long flights would be much worse.
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:30 AM   #20
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I was curious how long the leg was from LAX to SYD since we've done ATL to Johannesburg a few times, about the same. That long a flight is what has stopped us from going to NZ or OZ so far, but will likely do one day. What absolutely shocked me as I had plugged in leave late Nov and return Dec, flights were only $865 for cattle class. And yeah, on those flights xanax is your friend.
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