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Shit just got real!

Shit just got real!

Sorry to interrupt your Frugal February reading, but the two of us have got a major announcement to make regarding our travel plans! For those of you who haven’t heard the news on Twitter or Facebook (side note: you should totally be following us on Twitter and Facebook if you’re not already, so click the links above and get to it!)

WE’RE GOING TO HAWAII

Waikiki Beach

In under 6 months, we'll be hanging out on Waikiki Beach!

That’s right! After a hell of a lot of deliberation, the dilemma we faced a few weeks ago when we were trying to decide between Fiji and Hawaii as a starting point for our RTW has now been sorted.

In 170 days from today on Tuesday 26 July 2011, we’ll be flying with Jetstar from Sydney to Honolulu on a one-way ticket and not ever looking back!

Why Sydney?

For our astute readers, you may have noticed that our flight departs from Sydney and not our hometown of Melbourne. Why? Well we missed out on a planned visit there 14 months ago due to Amy getting ill and it’s been on our “to-do” list ever since. We’re not sure yet which of the city sights we’ll take in, but this will be decided in due time.

At the moment, the probable plan is to road-trip it up from Melbourne to Sydney over 2-3 days and then spend a couple of nights in the Harbour City. Along the way, we’ll stop in and visit friends and relatives to bid them farewell before we get on that first plane to start our huge adventure.

If any of our readers are in Sydney the week of our flight, leave us a comment – we’d love to hang out with you!

How did we make this decision?

There were so many great arguments raised for both destinations in our Fiji or Hawaii post that it probably made our decision even harder. Despite this, thanks so much to all of you for participating in the discussion, it was brilliant and we did get many great tips from it! Here’s the rationale behind choosing Hawaii as our starting point…

  • Fiji is easily accessible from Australia and can be saved for a later vacation. With 2 of Australia’s budget carriers flying there along with Air Pacific, flight prices are likely to stay affordable for the unforeseeable future.
  • We would prefer to start with a 10 hour flight to Honolulu followed by a shorter flight to mainland North American than vice-versa. Let’s kick that long haul flight straight away!
  • We got a fantastic deal on the flights, particularly the first leg. Our original calculations worked the cost to be $1,788 overall for Melbourne – Honolulu – LAX. This is now down to $1,528, a saving of $260 on the initial price and $560 cheaper than going via Fiji.

And what next?

The original plan was to fly on to Los Angeles from our chosen destination. Because of flight routes and further research, this looks like it’s completely out the window as well and we’ll likely start on the North American mainland in one of the following three cities:

  • Vancouver.
  • Seattle.
  • Portland.

We’re leaning ever so slighty towards Vancouver and working our way down the West Coast from there (including Seattle and Portland along the way). Feel free to support this option or try to convince us otherwise in the comments!

Now we’ve got that announcement off our chest, it will be back to regular Frugal February posting as of tomorrow!

Flickr Photo: bethers

29 Comments

  1. Posted February 7, 2011 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Love the title – nothing makes it more real than a one way ticket! Congrats on taking a big step! We only bought our departure ticket only 3 weeks before we left because it took us forever to decide where to go, and it was driving me crazy to not have it be “real.” It is nice to know this far in advance when the actual departure date is.

    Hawaii is awesome. My husband and I went to Honolulu, the Big Island, and Maui for our honeymoon 6 years ago and loved it. I’m not sure if you plan to stay on Oahu or check out the other islands, but the Big Island is very different from the lushness of the other islands and has a great vibe. Should you find yourself on the Big Island, there’s a great cheap (for Hawaii) hotel right on the Ocean called the Kona Tiki. But even if you don’t island hop, there’s lots to love about Oahu.

    We’ll actually be making a return trip to Hawaii to end our RTW trip in May. The cost to fly home to the East Coast of the US from New Zealand was the same whether we stopped in Hawaii or not, so naturally we’re stopping. This time, we’ll be checking out Kauai – I’m super excited.

    • Posted February 7, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Thanks Amy! We did hesitate for quite a while before deciding to buy the ticket, it feels strange booking it so far advance but at the same time it’s a great feeling to know it’s locked in.

      Thanks for the recommendation – we’re not too sure which islands we’ll spend time on yet (obviously dependent on cost/budget) but will be sure to check it out if we get to the Big Island. Right now, Oahu and Maui are our top 2 but this may change!

      It’s great to hear you’re returning to Hawaii, sounds like an awesome way to finish your RTW. We couldn’t believe it was $550 cheaper per person to fly via Hawaii than if we flew one-way direct. You’d be crazy NOT to take advantage!

  2. Posted February 7, 2011 at 2:45 am | Permalink

    Yay for Hawaii!! And then…you can’t miss Vancouver! It’s one of my favorite cities in the whole world and, if you’re going to hit Seattle and Portland anyway, you won’t be missing anything. Cheers!
    Gillian@OneGiantStep recently posted..FollowFriday 04Feb2011

    • Posted February 7, 2011 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Thanks Gillian – since we’re getting Canadian working visas, it would be a great chance to check out Vancouver before potentially going back there to work a few months later. That’s how we’re looking at it anyway, plus it means no backtracking which saves money!

  3. Posted February 7, 2011 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    Exciting!! I used to live in Seattle and went to Vancouver a lot… Vancouver, Seattle, Portland , can’t go wrong there — some of my fave cities on the West Coast.
    Jill recently posted..Beautiful Street Art in a Yogyakarta Alley

    • Posted February 7, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      It is very exciting! Do you have any other ‘must-see’ cities along the West Coast before we reach Northern California? We’re trying to plan our vague route now and would love some input!

  4. Posted February 7, 2011 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    Congrats guys. It’s a shame you can’t make it to Vancouver for TBEX, but I guess it is too early.
    Andrew recently posted..A Trip to Kleve

    • Posted February 7, 2011 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Thanks Andy, we would have loved to have been there for TBEX and then onto the Calgary Stampede from there but unfortunately the finances don’t allow it.

      The fiscal year in Australia ends on June 30 which means if we finish work before that date, all of our termination payments will count towards that tax year meaning not only would we have less savings due to a month’s less work, we’d also lose a whole heap to the tax man! Not cool, but what can you do?

  5. Posted February 7, 2011 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    Firstly, congrats!! It is very exciting when plans get set in motion. I’ve never been to Hawaii but love Vancouver (and BC for that matter). Make sure to try and get to Van Island. The scenery is absolutely stunning!! Looking forward to reading about your adventures. Cheers!
    Pete recently posted..The Hecktic Top 8

    • Posted February 7, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much Pete! We’ll definitely be getting across to Vancouver Island – not only because we want to, but the ferry to Seattle leaves from Victoria (if we choose that transport option).

  6. Posted February 7, 2011 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    Wow, congrats you guys!!!!!!!!!! I will of course argue for all three cities (they’re all great) but Portland is an amazing place and you have to come visit. You are more than welcome to stay in our guest bedroom if you need a place to crash!!!!!!!!! Seriously. But if you don’t want to crash with us there is also the Hawthorne Hostel that I would recommend: http://www.portlandhostel.org/. If you need any hints or tips about Portland or Seattle (my sister lives there) let me know! I love both cities.
    Kim recently posted..Book Review- The War of Art

    • Posted February 7, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Thanks Kim! We’ll definitely be stopping in Portland and that’s so nice of you to offer us your guest bedroom! :) We love how everyone in North America has a ‘guest bedroom’ – in Australia it’s just called the spare room haha.

      And we can’t get enough tips at the moment! We love to learn about new things in cities we’re unfamiliar with and really don’t want to miss anything in either city. We’ll be in touch!

  7. Posted February 7, 2011 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    Congratulations! I’m not sure how your U.S. visa works, but it might be easier for you to go from Hawaii to another U.S. city before going to Canada and coming back in. Food for thought, but either way you’ll have a blast!
    Bryan recently posted..Photo Friday- Mali

    • Posted February 7, 2011 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the heads up Brian, we’re not sure if we’re going to go with the Visa Waiver Program or sign up for a B-2 visa but as far as we know both allow unlimited entries over their valid period (2 and 5 years respectively).

  8. Posted February 7, 2011 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    What is your agenda for the U.S? I am in St. Louis a few hours south of Chicago, we should have a beer!
    Scott recently posted..Backpacker Would Hate to See Anything Happen to Nelson Mandela- But

    • Posted February 7, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Hey Scott, we don’t have too many plans at the moment apart from heading down the West Coast. A lot is dependent on whether JetBlue brings back All You Can Jet for 2011 – if they do, we’ll likely take advantage and who knows where we’ll end up!

      But definitely keen on having a beer, keep following along and hopefully we’ll announce more plans in a couple of months.

  9. Posted February 7, 2011 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Amy & Kieron,

    I’m so excited for you! I love the one-way ticket choice, that’s what I went with my first stop in India too, it just felt more adventurous, open and right to not know when I’d come back.

    Vancouver is a beautiful place to visit in the summer, lots of REALLY nice nature with as little as half an hour drive. If you need more info for Canada later let me know and I’ll do my best to help.

    Let the countdown (really) begin!
    - Lily
    exploreforayear.com

    • Posted February 7, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Thanks Lily, the countdown really has begun but it’s getting incredibly difficult to find the motivation to go to work each day – hopefully it will get easier as our departure date approaches!

      If we have any questions about Canada we’ll be sure to let you know. You’re from Toronto right? There’s a strong possibility we’ll base ourselves there for a while if we decide to use our working holiday visas.

    • Posted February 8, 2011 at 3:10 am | Permalink

      Yup, I’m from downtown Toronto – you know how to get in contact with me later if you need anything! :)

  10. Posted February 7, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    yay congrats guys! That’s exciting. You’re going to have so much fun traveling in Hawaii. Beautiful location and nice sunshine. I bet more nice pictures will come, loooking forward to them.

    • Posted February 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Sarah, we sure hope we can take some great photos while we’re there!

  11. Posted February 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Congrats on making your decision! I agree with your reasoning for skipping Fiji for the time being. You’ll get there soon enough! Can’t wait for your adventure stories!

  12. Posted February 8, 2011 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! Ahhh isn’t it the scariest feeling in the world??? I didn’t get excited about my plane purchase until almost 2 weeks after the purchase. I was freaking out and worrying about everything. I hope y’all aren’t going through what I went through. From the looks of it it sounds like y’all arent. Anyway Hawaii is freaking BEAUTIFUL I spent 8 days in O’ahu two years ago and can’t wait to get back.
    Jaime recently posted..ShitMyCustomersSay

  13. Posted February 8, 2011 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Hooray! Good choice guys!
    Rebecca recently posted..Photo of the Week- Bridge Over the River Kwai

  14. Posted February 9, 2011 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Awesome! I’m excited for you guys to see Hawaii and SO excited that you’ve now got your tickets and departure date, I can’t even imagine how excited you must be!

    Please let me know you plans on the west coast because Lorenzo and I should be hanging out in Seattle around that time and possibly moving south as well! It would be great to meet you guys!
    Annie recently posted..I am like soo not THAT girl!

  15. Posted February 10, 2011 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    If you get the chance to go to Vancouver, you won’t be disappointed, it’s a beautiful city!
    Pete recently posted..Essential software for your laptop

  16. Posted February 10, 2011 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    have a great time in Hawaii….You’ll love it even more after a jetstar flight!
    Nomadic Matt recently posted..How to Spend Three Days in Bangkok

  17. Posted February 10, 2011 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Yay Hawaii!!!

    I lovelovelove Vancouver. My new most favorite city in the world (after Sydney). And in August, ohmigod, so lovely that time of year (I was there in August of last year and had a blast)!!!
    Rebecca recently posted..Super Bowl Overseas

  18. Posted February 10, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Stoked to hear that you guys have your tickets all booked! Like I said on twitter, it’s totally locked in and real now and it’s the most amazing feeling . You’ve got a date to work towards and a deadline. Those 170 days are going to absolutely fly by I tell you what!
    Justin Morris recently posted..48 hours in Venice

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