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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

What We Learned About Traveling

As you can tell, it was a rather epic adventure for us and we learned a lot. It was a surprise to find out that we still had lots to learn about travel, especially when it comes to booking things online.
Yay! We did it...completed an epic 3 month  adventure

What did we learn? 

1. If you book through a third party, you won't get any customer service from anyone. From now on we'll book directly through the airlines and hotels, unless the third party deal is truly unbeatable. (Side note: the tip is to book the window and aisle seat, if you're couple, to try and get the row to yourself actually works, more often than not.)

Airports - you'll learn to hate them
2. Budget airlines aren't worth it. We flew Air Asia and paid for everything: checked bags (because our carry on was over their 7 kilo weight limit), our blanket for our overnight flight (you have to rent it), all food and beverages (you can't bring on "outside" food on their flights), our seat selection (actually getting an assigned seat cost us, whether online or at the airport). If you wanted in-flight entertainment you paid for the programs and if, heaven forbid, you were tech-less, you could rent a tablet from them. Did I miss anything? Oh, yeah, we paid extra to get a full bank of seats each for our overnight flight, but that was actually worth it.

3. Membership has its privileges. We joined the hotel websites and garnered a lot of extras: discounts, free WiFi, breakfast included and even free drinks. We also joined LATAM, a South American airline and have already collected enough kilometres to get to the Galapagos and back.

4. Long haul flights suck. Next time we might consider staying in the layover city for a few days, just to get out of the airplane and get a decent night's sleep. This, of course, is dependent on price, but for such long trips, what's a bit more money?
Lower has my clothes, upper the tech stuff
5. You can travel for long periods of time with just carry-on luggage.  Was there a point where I thought to myself "if I have to wear this one more time, I'll lose it", but it was fairly early on and then went away. That whole thing about "bring half the stuff and twice the money" is fairly accurate - but maybe triple the money, if you're visiting Australia.

Wine, happily, is affordable in Australia
6. WiFi is, apparently, not something that all airports feel is necessary to serve their clients - even those that have an 8 - 12 hour layover in their facility. (At least not free WiFi.) This is unacceptable. There are also hotels out there that feel you should pay for WiFi - also completely unacceptable. (I know - first world problem.)
Wombat...just 'cause it's adorable (& wild)
7. Seeing animals in the wild is WAY better than seeing them in captivity. Comparing my animal encounters from Australia and Thailand makes me appreciate, even more strongly, how wrong it is to keep wild animals in cages and pens. I would rather pay $100 for a chance to see something in the wild than $10 for a guaranteed sighting  at an animal's expense. (Yes, this even applies to the cassowary that I never did catch sight of.)

8. Last, but certainly not least: travel is always worth it, despite the money, hassles, general travel misery, you can't go wrong seeing the world. It makes me more open minded and appreciative of the life I have.


  1. Thanks for the tips, will have to follow in your footsteps one of the see days :) Sounds like such an amazing trip!

    1. Hope it helps. Life's get to it. It was an amazing trip with lots of unexpected adventures. But you get around doing your Iron Man competitions and that. We still haven't been to Hawaii!