5 weeks from next Tuesday we’ll be heading off on our travels. How prepared are we? Not very! So far we have our main flights booked, USA/Australian visas, accommodation and internal flights for Hawaii. We’ve also bought our rucksacks. That’s about it. But I’ve been slowly gathering a wealth of information on the different places we might visit which will all be stored on my trusty netbook as insurance against ending up in the middle of nowhere not knowing where to look for a roof over our heads. One of the most useful online resources has been wikitravel. Some pages are more useful than others, but I’ve found it a good single source of background information ranging from what to see and do to where to stay and how to get there. The plan is to have a list of about 5 different hostels in each place we might pass through – preferably with wifi access. So we’ll be able to book as we go instead of sticking to a set itinerary. This leaves us free to make some changes, at the risk of having limited choices when we do book.
As the longest trip we’ve ever taken, it’ll also be the most unorganised in terms of booking things in advance. I’m only starting to get used to that idea. For the Canadian leg of the trip we’re waiting to confirm dates with some friends in New York so we can meet them in Niagara Falls. The Hawaii part of the trip is quite definite as we only have a few short days between flights. So that part I wanted to book in advance. It was suprisingly difficult to make arrangements for Hawaii. The plan is to head straight from Honolulu airport on Oahu to the Big Island. It seems the only means of doing this is to take an internal flight. There are a few budget airlines offering flights, but unfortunately they’re not very user-friendly if you don’t happen to have an American/Canadian/Australian visa card and billing address. After a few days of failed attempts I did manage to book return flights with Mokulele via Expedia.com. Technically I shouldn’t be booking flights through their US site and the Irish one doesn’t offer flights, but a full week later the itinerary was finally confirmed. As the credit card hasn’t actually been charged yet I’m a little wary of whether it’s actually gone through sucessfully or not. We’ll have to cross our fingers when it comes to catching the flights.
The other half has two weeks left of work and I have five. True to form, my company is having payroll issues yet again this month. This follows on from numerous late payrolls and getting locked out of the office for a week at the start of the year when the landlord changed the locks! We’re waiting to see if a) cheques will be given out and b) whether they’ll bounce. At the rate things are going, our vague travel plans seem a lot more solid than the situation in work.