Back in April, I came across a posting from one of the travel bloggers I “LIKE” on Facebook. I follow so many travel-related sites that I couldn’t even remember which one of them posted this deal from LA to Sydney, Australia. So what was the deal? Well, first of all, let’s price out our trip to Sydney –  Virgin Australia via Economy in November 2016. When I checked on the actual ticket cost for two people, this trip would’ve cost us $2,679.92 or  $1,339.50 per person.

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However, we did not pay anything close to that. Unlike our past few trips where we used lots of points or rewards earned from our credit cards, this Australian trip is quite different. We took advantage of a quick special that this blogger had published. Instead of paying $1,339 per person, the ad, which I couldn’t find anymore, was for $400 per person roundtrip from LA to Sydney (direct flight). I thought my eyes deceived me. I had to double check the article. So without hesitation, I texted Nancy (this was back in the end of April), and I convinced her to go out on a limb with me and go to Sydney in November. It didn’t take long…she agreed. It was 7 months away. So instead of paying $2,679.92 for 2 people, we only paid $844 for tickets. That’s with taxes and fees….direct flight, roundtrip tickets for 2 people from LA to Sydney, that’s $1,800 less than the regular price.screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-10-19-42-pm

Frankly, in a situation like this, it was all about grabbing the opportunity when it was posted. We had 24 hours to cancel in case we had any doubts or buyer’s remorse, but we didn’t cancel.

How insane was this deal?

Let’s put this deal in to perspective. Two years ago, I asked Nancy to join me on a trip to NYC where I had to work for a week. She purchased her ticket at the very last minute and boy, did we pay for it! It was over $800 for one roundtrip ticket. Ouch! I was not in the points-earning game at the time. But, no regrets. We had a great time, I worked during the day and got to explore NYC with her at night.

Here’s another one. Last summer, a roundtrip ticket from LAX to Maui was $745….$745! So yes! Using those two as an example, this makes our $400 roundtrip ticket from LA to Sydney a steal. We could’ve used our points but when there are deals like this one, it’s best to buy the tickets instead of using points.
So there! Our two roundtrip tickets to Sydney was close to being equivalent to one roundtrip ticket to NYC and a roundtrip ticket to Maui.

Do Not Call The Airline

This fare we were told was a mistake fare. What does that mean? It is important NOT to call the airline. Instead, just book the dang thing and if the airline has no problem with the transaction, then you’re golden. So after I booked online, I received an email confirmation.

Cathay Pacific 747-8f air to airIt wasn’t until a couple of days later when I decided to call Virgin Australia. I wanted to see if they will say anything about my purchase. Fortunately, the transaction went through, no questions asked. To make sure I was in the system, I selected our seats while I had the agent on the phone.

The Funny Thing About This Trip

You know what’s funny? We booked this trip at the end of April, at that time, we had not even booked any of our summer vacations yet….the crazy trip to Maui plus the European vacation we ended up taking. Our June/July trip to Maui was booked at the end of May.
Our August vacation to Lisbon, Barcelona, Madrid, and Paris, was booked in June. Crazy!

Are we prepared?

NOT! We had eight months to prepare for this trip. I mean, of course, I booked our flights and all. We also debated where else in Sydney we’d go. November timeframe is not exactly winter in Oz. It’s the tail end of Spring, beginning of summer. So we thought of the Great Barrier Reef. Just two months ago we finally settled in adding Melbourne. So for this trip, we will actually head to Melbourne first by way of Sydney, and then finish off our vacation in  Sydney.

Back to “are we prepared?” – heck no! I got us our tickets to Sydney, I also used points to get us tickets from Sydney to Melbourne and back. I also booked our hotel stays. We also decided to stay in a couple of AirBnB’s in Sydney and Melbourne.

Other than that, the rest is all up to us. We’ll be galavanting Australiairbnb1-600x400-1a aimlessly. I’ll be using apps that I’m used to using, VisitaCity, and will rely on the tips from our AirBnB hosts. I tend to like it when we’re winging things. After all, we’re on vacation.
Ok, this is all for now….the next entry, which I have already written during our flight to Sydney, will cover the things we did to prepare for this trip and the flight itself.

Thanks for following our journey

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