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Songdoc Jan 19th, 2019 11:47 AM

How Do You Avoid Going Out of Your Mind When Researching Flights???
 
I’m serious. I have spent three 8 - 10-hour days this week working on logistics for an upcoming trip and I am stressed to the max. I am NOT having fun and am spending way too much time.
Here’s the deal …

I live on Kauai (where I am sitting outside and watching whales jump out of the water as I write this).

I need to be in Belfast for an annual work trip March 9 & 10. I need to be in Oslo March 12th for three days of work. I need to be in Nashville no later than April 4th.

Here’s where it gets murky…

I have a lot of flexibility with the dates — and I am paying for my own airfare — so it’s important that I find good fares. Also … I have been to Oslo five times and Belfast at least ten times. Because of the 12-hour time change and the very long flights, I need to arrive in Europe at least five days before I work so I can be sharp for very long, demanding work days. So we (DH and I) always add another destination for vacation and recovering from jet-lag.

In researching flights, I came upon an unbelievably low one-way fare on United: $229 (basic economy);$284 (main cabin) from Kauai to Barcelona (with a long overnight stop in San Francisco). That fare is only available Feb. 26th. Every other day within a 2-month span is more than $2,000 for that same flight. We’ve traveled quite a bit in Europe, but have not been to Spain, so it seemed like a no-brainer.

We decided to spend five nights in Barcelona, then three nights at one of our favorite places in the world (www.Limepark.com) on N. Ireland’s gorgeous Antrim Coast before going to Belfast.

This involves researching the pros and cons of flying from Barcelona to Belfast (there are no non-stops) or flying non-stop to Dublin. We need a car for the days on the Antrim Coast. If we fly to Dublin, do we rent a car there and drive to the coast? Or do we take an airport bus from Dublin to Belfast and rent a car there, eliminating two hours of driving.

Next decision: do we fly from Belfast (with a layover and additional $41 pp) to Oslo, or take the bus to Dublin and fly from there?

But wait … maybe we should trade the three nights on the Antrim coast for additional time in Spain. We LOVE the Antrim coast, but have been there many times. We could see more of Spain — and save the money and hassle of the rental car from Dublin or Belfast to the coast.

I would really prefer to start in Barcelona 2 or 3 days earlier, so I spent hours and hours hoping to find low-priced flights on any day other than Feb. 26th — but no luck.

I checked Kayak, Cheapoair, Kiwi, Norwegian Air, United, American, Lufthansa, and more, as well as looking at whether it would be best to use FF miles for one or both of the legs. And with multi-city itineraries you typically cannot put in + or - 3 days. So each search is new.
When I checked https://matrix.itasoftware.com I found flights and prices that I was unable to find on any of the sites I checked. But they weren’t much better than what I’ve chosen.

But wait … what if I begin the trip later, and fly from Europe to Nashville? (I have a home in Nashville, but I prefer not to spend more than a couple of weeks there.) Otherwise, I will have to fly from Kauai to Nashville 3 weeks after I return. This option added a lot to the airfare, so I nixed it.

The point is … I wind up spending hours and hours and filling pages and pages of notebooks before finally making a decision. Then … after everything is on hold, I go back and check again the next day to be sure prices haven’t dropped and/or better options haven’t become available.

I’m not expecting much sympathy. But I would love to hear how you deal with this kind of thing without getting stressed and without turning it into a full-time job.

Am I just too compulsive? Is this just part of the deal when I have so many options and so much flexibility? Should I marry a travel agent (or hire one)? Should I take a Xanax with a bottle of wine? (or should I say “whine?”) Should I just let it go and say that saving $500 or more isn’t worth my time and stress?

I’m hoping for some constructive comments because I put myself through this kind of thing several times a year. I know most people would gladly take my “problems,” and I am grateful for them. I just don’t want to put myself through the wringer every time I plan a trip.

PS. And let’s not even discuss the nightmare of scheduling cat-sitters…but that’s a different forum ;-).

Melnq8 Jan 19th, 2019 12:04 PM

Songdoc -

I got a head cramp just reading your post. I feel your pain, but can only offer sympathy.

Good luck.

Kathie Jan 19th, 2019 12:12 PM

Songdoc, you do have a very complicated trip, so your research is going to take longer and be more frustrating than my usual trips: into one airport, out of another. I think you have the right idea, of thinking of this trip as an assortment of modules that can be re-arranged, but of course, this makes it more complicated.

I'd say the one thing you can nail down is the Kauai to Barcelona flight. I'd suggest you extend your time in Spain rather than flying to Ireland. It also appears that you can nix the idea of adding on your time in Nashville to this trip. After Spain, you will want to fly to Belfast, do your work there, then fly onward to Oslo for your work there.

So my process is to think of al of the possibilities, then start eliminating the ones that are too expensive, involve extra flights, etc. and plan from there.

Have a wonderful trip!

Cowboy1968 Jan 19th, 2019 01:11 PM

I stopped feeling pity when you wrote that you're on Kauai and were watching whales jump .. just kidding.

Have you checked Girona to Belfast nonstop?
There's a shuttle bus from Barcelona. Takes appr. one hour and a few minutes.
Less time than getting from DUB to Belfast.

thursdaysd Jan 19th, 2019 01:26 PM

I feel your pain. I have planned some long trips, but I do as much travel as possible on the ground, and there is usually only one train company to worry about. I would handle something like this one step at a time.

I would start by buying the flight to Barcelona before the deal goes away.

I always look for direct flights, as I check one bag, so I would fly in and out of Dublin rather than Belfast. I was going to ask whether you have looked at flights out Madrid as there is a very good train connection from Barcelona to Madrid, and while Madrid not one of my favorite cities, if you have not been to Spain before it is a reasonable add on to Barcelona. However, I just checked skyscanner, which is not on your list of sites, and which I usually use for Europe, and Madrid doesn't have direct flights to Belfast either in March.

When faced with two equally (un)attractive options I would toss a coin. If you feel happy with the result, that is what you should do, if you feel unhappy, do the other.

AJPeabody Jan 19th, 2019 01:27 PM

Yes, you are too compulsive. I assume this is not news to you. I suggest looking at the worst element of any proposed itinerary and eliminating it. For instance, a leg with buses, cars, and planes would be for me an anathema. And trying to save $41 by going multimodal Belfast to Oslo is penny wise and pound foolish. So, see what you can do about the multimodal travel.

The only thing I would do right now is grab the cheap flight to Barcelona before it disappears. Then, see Spain. End up somewhere where travel to Belfast (or Dublin) will be easy. Fly with whatever change of planes is required to Oslo. Then get to Nashville.

And, if you place any value on your time, stop wasting it to save a few dollars.

Gardyloo Jan 19th, 2019 03:09 PM

I haven't got time right now to write the reply I want to make, but a couple of questions.

Are either/both the Belfast and Oslo trips ones that you make every year or more frequently? Or elsewhere in Europe?

Who are your miles with? By mentioning San Francisco can I assume United?

How often do you travel from Kauai to the mainland? Are your trips to the mainland for business, pleasure, or both? Do you travel mainly to Nashville or to other places in the US?

Where else in the world do you go or want to go.

You probably know where I'm heading with these questions, but answer the questions first and I'll figure this out.

Songdoc Jan 19th, 2019 05:42 PM

Thank you all so much for your suggestions and thoughts. After another entire day online, this particular trip is coming together. What I was really looking for is advice for my head — more than for my itinerary. ;-) I’m actually glad to have it acknowledges that this is indeed stressful and complicated — and I’m not just imagining that.

<“When faced with two equally (un)attractive options I would toss a coin. If you feel happy with the result, that is what you should do, if you feel unhappy, do the other.”>

HA! I love that!

Kathie: I appreciated the reminder to just bite off one piece at a time.

Here’s what I booked as ONE trip on United’s website. Trying to do it as (2) one-way legs made the price much higher—even when I priced Norwegian Air from Oslo to LAX and then taking a separate flight from LAX.

Feb. 26, Kauai to SFO (overnight)
Feb. 27, SFO to Barcelona (nonstop)

March 18, Oslo (nonstop on SAS Ireland) to Heathrow (overnight)
March 19, Heathrow to SFO; (2:55 layover) arrive LIH (Kauai) 7:43pm

Total: $709 pp, which seems like an incredible fare. It was only possible by combining it with that one low fare from Kauai to Barcelona on Feb. 26th.

Three weeks later, I will do a separate trip from Kauai to Nashville.

Cowboy: the flight from Girona to Belfast takes 9-1/2 hours with the layover. But thanks for the suggestion.

AJPeabody: <And trying to save $41 by going multimodal Belfast to Oslo is penny wise and pound foolish. So, see what you can do about the multimodal travel.>

The issue isn’t saving $41. It’s that flying into Dublin and taking the bus to Belfast (which is quite easy) avoids a layover—and arrives earlier, which is important because I want to arrive at the Antrim Coast before sunset — if I stick with this plan, as opposed to adding those days in Spain. (But DH might veto the idea of nixing the Antrim Coast.)

Gardyloo: I’m intrigued! I have not figured where you’re heading.

<Are either/both the Belfast and Oslo trips ones that you make every year or more frequently? Or elsewhere in Europe?>

The trip to Belfast has happened (12) out of the past (15) years. I’ve been to Oslo (5) times—the most recent time being in November. But I can never count on these invitations because they are continent on the organizations’ budgets. I only received these invitations in the past week — and the trip will begin in (5) weeks. In November, I only had (3) weeks notice to plan the trip to Norway. When we do go, we always combine it with vacation somewhere else in Europe. I also fly to Hawaii's Big Island for work every summer.

<Who are your miles with? By mentioning San Francisco can I assume United?>

I have miles with United, American, and Hawaiian, totaling around 250,000 miles total. My next trip on American will put me over the “million mile” mark, which will earn me lifetime “Gold Elite” status and 35,000 miles. (Gosh, no wonder I’m tired!)

<How often do you travel from Kauai to the mainland? Are your trips to the mainland for business, pleasure, or both? Do you travel mainly to Nashville or to other places in the US?>

I fly Kauai to Nashville (and back) (4) times a year for business & family (which I would NOT call “pleasure” haha). The best flights for me are typically on American. Other trips on the mainland are sporadic and usually combined with Nashville. I usually go to Los Angeles and NYC once a year.

<Where else in the world do you go or want to go.>

I wanna stay home, cuddle with my cat, and enjoy the scenery in Hawaii! But as long as I keep working, I keep traveling. I would love to go to Africa and will likely visit a friend who recently moved to Ecuador, and do a trip to some US National Parks (i.e., Bryce, Zion, Arches…)

For many years, I worked approximately (6) weeks a year in Australia and New Zealand (as Melnq8 will remember!). I haven’t been back in a few years and will likely do that again, but probably not every year.

Now … time to choose hotels and flights within Europe!

Odin Jan 20th, 2019 05:46 AM

Researching flights takes a long time, I have spent hours and days looking at options many times. Being limited to consumer websites is difficult, airline websites only show their/partner flights obviously and OTAs cannot price complex itineraries in a way that makes it cost effective so you end up making lots of separate bookings to get the best fare. Most are geared to simple itineraries. If you want to just find out who flies from A to B, it can be difficult to find timetable information. I think you found the best fare yourself, a regular TA would not be able to spend as much time on it and probably would not find the UA fares nor would ask you if you feel like spending some time in BCN. If you do several business travel trips though, engaging a good corporate travel agent might not be a bad idea.

Flights from Girona/Reus/BCN to BFS/BHD are seasonal which is why you can't find them. Other airlines (as well as Ryanair and Easyjet) which don't come up in some searches but operate the route are
TUIFLY
Thomas Cook Airlines
Jet2

Ryanair also fly the route seasonally. I use KLM Cityhopper quite a lot as they have some great routes from AMS to all sorts of small airports, including Belfast Harbour.

Gardyloo Jan 20th, 2019 06:38 AM

Okay, well, here's where I'm going.

First, here's a "resource" thread I posted not long ago. It's long and somewhat involved, but it would help flesh out the things I'm going to mention. https://www.fodors.com/community/air...fares-1660486/

Specifically...

Round the world airline tickets (RTWs) are products offered by each of the three main alliances, and they all have some similar features. These include the requirement to go around the world, ending in the same country (but not necessarily the same city) where you started, and crossing both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans in the same direction. In general they allow you to zigzag and backtrack within countries, so you don't have to keep moving east to west or v.v., but you do have to cross each ocean once and in the same (E-W or W-E) direction. The tickets allow a maximum of 16 flight segments, they're good for a year (from the first flight) and they can be changed easily, with some changes for free (date changes, for example) and other changes (such as an itinerary change - swapping one stopover point for another, for example) for a $125 "re-issue" fee. 2 pieces of baggage are included (no fees) and you earn miles and points in the normal manner. Beyond that, there are lots of rules but nothing that is super restrictive.

The RTW products offered by Star Alliance and Skyteam airlines all have mileage limits, with various mileage tiers (e.g. up to 29,000 miles, or 34,000 etc.) carrying different prices. Oneworld offers two products, one that's mileage-limited, and the other, the "Oneworld Explorer," that offers unlimited mileage and instead is priced depending on how many continents you touch during the course of your trip, from 3 to 6. Obviously the more miles or continents, the higher the price.

But that's where the benefit comes in. The tickets (all alliances) are priced VERY differently depending on where you start and end the ticket. For example, using the Oneworld Explorer (my favorite product because of the unlimited mileage) a simple 3-continent ticket (North America, Asia, Europe) costs $3599 (in economy) if you start the trip in the USA. However, if you start in Canada, the price falls to $2784. (These are the base prices, taxes and fees have to be added, and these will vary according to the route - different airport taxes, airline fuel surcharges, etc.) If you start in Spain (or anywhere in the Euro zone) it's $2403 and in Norway, $2016, which is around 40% and almost $1600 less than the same ticket - same route, same cities visited, but in a slightly different order - that you'd purchase in the US. The savings are even more dramatic in business class - the 3-continent trip would cost $9699 in the US, $7678 in Canada, $7304 in Spain, $6126 in Norway, and $6023 in Japan.

Now those are big numbers, but remember - you're buying 16 flights at once, and it's good for a year and fairly easy to change. Put in a simplistic way, if you started in Spain or Norway, that comes down to an average of $126 or $150 per flight, which is okay for, say, Chicago to Los Angeles, but pretty spectacular for Los Angeles to London, or Hong Kong to Johannesburg. Same idea in business class - $380 or so per flight,

By starting someplace outside the US, you can leverage two or even three separate vacations or business trips (or combinations) out of one plane ticket. Say, for example, you buy your one-way cheapo ticket to Barcelona and then fly on cheap European carriers to Belfast and then to Oslo. Then after your work in Oslo, you start the RTW ticket you purchased in advance at the Oslo price (you can buy it today online.) Let's imagine that you want to take the time between when you're done in Oslo and when you have to be in Nashville for some touring around Europe and the Middle East. (Under the alliances' rules, the Middle East west of the Persian Gulf, as well as Mediterranean Africa - Egypt to Morocco - is all included in the "Europe" continent.) In March the weather on the Red Sea - maybe Eilat or Aqaba - is terrific. Or maybe you want to visit Casablanca, or look at the tulips in Holland... whatever. No problem. OR, save more Europe for later and just head to the Caribbean before going up to Tennessee. (Under the rules, the Caribbean and Central America are part of the North America continent.)

So you cross the pond at some point, and end up in Nashville in time for your family thing. Then head to the west coast and back to Kauai. Now here's a problem unique to the Oneworld Explorer - it only allows one trip between the mainland and Hawaii - in only one direction. So if you use the RTW ticket to get home, you wouldn't be able to use it to get back to the mainland to continue your travels. The Oneworld Explorer limits the number of flights you can take within each continent to four, but six in North America, so you might be leaving some flights on the table, as it were, if you come home right away. So, depending on the route you choose for the ticket, you might want to make, say, LAX, a stopover on the ticket, and fly on your own dime home to Kauai, then return to the mainland later - maybe months later - to "pick up" the RTW where you left off, and use it to continue flying around North America (Alaska? Mexico?) before continuing on.

When you do "continue on," you use the ticket to cross the Pacific. Maybe you fly from Hawaii to Tokyo, or from LAX to Hong Kong or mainland China, then bounce around Asia - Bali? Bangkok? Hawker markets in Singapore? Sri Lanka? Or if you buy a 4-continent ticket (around $200 - $300 more than a 3-continent one in economy, around $1000 more in business class) fly down to Australia or New Zealand, and use your 4 available flights in the "Southwest Pacific" continent to visit Sydney or the Great Barrier Reef, or various places in NZ, whatever.

With the 4-continent ticket (which is the one I've used most often) after Oz or Asia, cross the Indian Ocean to South Africa. Go on a safari or hit the beaches in Durban, or see the penguins and drink fabulous wine in the Western Cape, visit the sand dunes in Namibia or see Victoria Falls. Then fly up to Europe and finish the trip back in Norway (or Spain, wherever.) If you haven't used your eligible Europe segments at the beginning, stop someplace appealing between Africa and your "origin" country.

Map and link for a 3-continent trip -

https://cimg2.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fod...c758e8c749.jpg
LINK

Or a 4-continent one including Australia and Africa

https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fod...4854ac4b37.jpg
LINK

Or a different 4-continent one that goes from Norway in March down to South America (locally autumn) before returning to the US. Easter Island?

https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.fod...9d96886d4e.jpg
LINK

The point being, if you worked up a sort of bucket list, these tickets could provide a means of leveraging your travel dollar into some real globe-trotting, using the stopover provisions to pause at home between trips. If you can spring for business class, you'll earn enough miles and points to leverage quite a lot of travel using miles. When my wife and I were doing these regularly, we'd buy a business class RTW ticket in year 1, use it for various travels (we fell in love with South Africa) in that year, then in year 2 use the miles for "pointy end" travel, e.g. South America, then buy another RTW ticket in year 3, rinse and repeat. We got to see a helluva lot of planet Earth in the process, earned elite status and kept it, and had a blast in the process.

So this is a roundabout way of suggesting you think about your upcoming travel conundrum in terms of year 1 of a, say, three year "master plan" which starts putting your bucket list on a calendar.

mlgb Jan 20th, 2019 07:39 AM

Now my head really hurts!

I am fortunate in being able to fly from LAX or Long Beach so my advice wouldn't really be helpful, other than I do try to avoid American as much as possible on domestic and trans-Atlantic flights. I'll pay a bit more to fly a 787 since I'm a cattle class pay out of my own pocket customer and do find that I feel less dehydrated on that plane. Norwegian worked out well on a recent trip from LAX to BCN via Stockholm , hoping they stick around because that's probably why you found that good airfare on a legacy carrier.

Songdoc Jan 20th, 2019 11:03 AM

mlgb: <Norwegian worked out well on a recent trip from LAX to BCN via Stockholm , hoping they stick around because that's probably why you found that good airfare on a legacy carrier.>

YES! In November, I flew Norwegian. We bid the lowest amount (I think $165 pp in addition to the ticket that was under $146 pp) and got upgraded to business class (which included free checked bags): Oslo to Ft. Lauderdale. From there, we flew SW to Nashville.

For my upcoming trip, flying Norwegian to L.A., overnighting, and flying LAX to Kauai cost $150 more than the ticket we booked.

It still doesn’t make sense why United is offering that low, one-way fare for ONLY that one day. There is no other time that $210 fare is under $2,000 in a three month period! But I'm grateful I found it.

Odin: Thank you for the suggestions. I'll will check those other carriers.

<I think you found the best fare yourself, a regular TA would not be able to spend as much time on it and probably would not find the UA fares nor would ask you if you feel like spending some time in BCN.>

YES!

Gardyloo:

My brain is leaking out of my ears!!! I will give your suggestion some VERY serious consideration. As you said, it will require a plan, well in advance. That’s hard for me because I rarely know far in advance when (or where) I’ll be invited to work.

I have another idea: YOU book all my travel in exchange for an oceanfront place to stay on Kauai—with breathtaking views! And as a bonus, it comes with the sweetest cat in the world!

But speaking of the cat, that is the one factor that has changed everything. Here’s the long story…

We’re big animal lovers. But because we travel so much, we knew we it wasn’t feasible to have a pet of our own. So we volunteer at the Kauai Humane Shelter. In September, they asked if we would foster a sick, emaciated mama cat and her 5 sick, 4-week old kittens. We kept them for six weeks—until they were all well—and the kittens were old enough to be adopted. It was hard to give them back, but we knew we had to.

Then we went to work in Norway and Nashville (adding the incredible Hurtigruten cruise and a wonderful stop in Tokyo). When we returned a month later, we learned mama cat had gotten sick again. “Would we foster her again?”

“Yes.”

This is seriously the most lovable, trusting animal. All of our neighbors fell in love with her and recognized that she was truly remarkable. Maybe it was because she knew we had saved her and her babies? Or maybe she just has the sweetest disposition and wants to be loved and give love.

We soooooo wanted to keep her, but we knew we couldn’t. Then … last month, a neighbor told us about several people who would be thrilled to stay at our place anytime when we were gone. They work with AmeriCorp—sort of a domestic version of the Peace Corp. As part of their pay, they get lodging in a bare bones, shared dorm/hostel. They were happy to care for the cat in exchange for having a great, oceanfront, private place to stay. (FYI, many of the units where I live are used as vacation rentals and charge more than $250/night.)

It was purrfect! Win-Win! Meant to be!!! We adopted the cat.

Then … the AmeriCorp cat-sitters banded together and decided they should be paid for their service. Paid A LOT ! That was NOT the deal — and I would not have kept the cat if it had been. Bear in mind, I don’t travel “occasionally.” I’m gone at least 3 months a year. Some neighbors have volunteered to stop by once a day, but there is a limit to how much I can take advantage of their kindness. (They won’t take money, but we buy them nice gifts.)

So … I no can longer travel unfettered or for unlimited amounts of time. I swore I would never get into this situation, but it happened. The good news is that having this precious cat is worth it. She’s my unofficial therapy/emotional support animal and brings me so much peace and joy, I should have named her “Xanax.” ;-)

I feel like my full time job is being a travel agent — and cat-sitting coordinator. I know these are “Cadillac problems!” Thanks for listening--and for all your help!

Kathie Jan 20th, 2019 11:34 AM

Who knows - you might be able to work a trade with Gardyloo - he sits with your cat in exchange for staying in your condo. Or perhaps there is someone else out in Fodor-land who would appreciate such an arrangement. I'm sorry your AmeriCorp catsitters reneged on your deal. Finding a good cat sitter is not easy.

Songdoc Jan 20th, 2019 12:03 PM

Kathie: It could happen! We do sometimes have friends stay here when we're away. It would make things a lot easier if we had more advance notice.

To get you in the mood for your trip ...
I just saw a whale impossibly close. It was practically right in front of my lanai. I thought I must have been mistaken; it must have been a dolphin or an orca ... But a neighbor who works at the Kilauea Lighthouse said they sometimes give birth in very shallow water, and that yesterday, they watched one give birth just off shore at the lighthouse

Kathie Jan 20th, 2019 03:14 PM

Wow! Seeing a whale give birth - wouldn't I love to see that! We almost always stop at the lighthouse on our way to Hanalei.

As you may remember, I live in Seattle. Puget Sound has the only resident (non-migratory) pods of Orcas in the world. In the last couple of weeks we have a new baby orca. We are all keeping our fingers crossed that it survives, as no orca baby from that pod has survived to adulthood in the last few years. They think it is due to pollution.

Songdoc Jan 20th, 2019 05:25 PM

Kathie: WOW! I hope the baby makes it!!!

Gardyloo Jan 21st, 2019 05:20 AM

I totally get it with your kitty. In my case, it's a totally lovable 11-year old schnoodle who still thinks he's a puppy. But over the past three or four years we've gone from a two-person two-dog household to me and him, and we keep each other company so much of the time that when I leave - to go to breakfast with the family, to the store, to the doctor - he stands by the door and howls for minutes. Fortunately, when I decided to sell the house and move to a retirement community (sometime in the next six months) my sister-in-law said she'd take him, and since she is now his favorite person in the world, it's given me the peace of mind to start moving forward. It still breaks my heart, but at her house he'll have a big yard to run around, new squirrels to terrorize, and her live-at-home son will be there to throw tennis balls for as long as his doggy legs can propel him. And of course we'll have mutual visitation rights.

Pets are the best thing in the world. And, occasionally, the worst.

A quick note on the RTW business. They're remarkably flexible things, so - within reason - you can shift stuff around pretty flexibly. You can change the whole plan for $125, compared to big penalties if you try the same thing with conventional tickets.

Southam Jan 21st, 2019 03:33 PM

A rich world problem. Adjust your attitude. My travel begins when I start the research -- yes, my mind is on vacation already. I'm reading about, and searching for, travel all the time anyhow. I've accumulated techniques and tips, the hard way, and in the most frustrating times I still know that it's better than shutting out the world. And I'm not even in Hawaii.

Songdoc Jan 21st, 2019 04:55 PM

Southam: I'm envious of your attitude. Bear in mind that I'm not talking about vacations, although I do typically add on some time--and in some cases an additional destination. In many cases, I have 3 - 5 weeks notice to book a very complicated business trip, and in order to make it profitable, I need to do my best to find low fares.

But that said, I'm profoundly grateful for the opportunities I've had to see the world--and get paid to do it! I just wish I could find a way to plan the trips without getting myself stressed. It might just be my nature.

Gardyloo: I was so touched by your story. It sounds like a having your "puppy" live with your sister is a perfect solution. I'm sure you'll miss him, but at least you get to visit. Seems like a win-win.

Re: RTW ... I read your initial post. You've got me salivating. The big catch for me is that I have to go back and forth between Kauai and Nashville at least four times a year. If I'm understanding correctly, if I wanted to go to (for example) Japan and China for two weeks each, I would have to buy separate tickets to Hawaii (or Nashville) then another ticket back to Asia to continue using the RTW. Is that correct???

This sounds like it would only be feasible if I could do one extended RTW trip. At this point, I don't want to be gone for more than a few weeks at a time.

sassy27 Jan 21st, 2019 05:22 PM

I wish I had something to add but I am so not an expert at airfare like you and Gardyloo. I strive to be but I'm just not there. I did come to post to say I'm sorry I don't work from home anymore as I would cat sit for you. I did this for my friend who lives in the US and Europe. I always paid for my transportation and never accepted money. People thought I was nuts but it was getaway time for me. Oh well but good luck with your planning.


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