February, Tickets

Time to buy tickets.  This ought to be particularly easy, as we are not fussed about where we actually go or even exactly when, but there are difficulties.

 Our plan so far is to ride to Brussels, where we have friends, and then go to Scotland, if the weather is OK.  The fall back is to do some touring in eastern France, where we have not been.  A bit vague, I know, but that is how we do it.

 The problem is that we would prefer to have a one-night stopover on the way home, at one of the hubs in Asia.  Again, we are not particularly fussed about exactly where.

 The intention is to relax at a very nice cheap hotel and perhaps have a brief look at the city, in between visits to the hotel pool.  A change from our trip.

 We have found that it is difficult to organize such a flight on line.  The problem is that most of the available on-line booking services do not allow you to break your journey.  You have to organize your trip as three one-way journeys, one to Europe, one from Europe to Asia, and one from Asia to Australia.  If you book this way on-line it will cost about 50% more than the return ticket.  It is cheaper to go to a travel agent if you want to break your journey. In our experience they can book such a trip at no extra cost.

 Of course, the cheap offers are the flights noone wants, the ones that leave before dawn, or arrive at some ungodly hour.  So there has to be some negotiation with the agent to inform them that there is a reason why these available flights are cheap.

 There are also some airlines to avoid.  Unfortunately they are the cheap ones.  There is a reason why they are cheap.

 So we have ended up with tickets on Cathay to Amsterdam with a stop over in Hong Kong on the way home.  I haven’t been to Hong Kong since 1974, and Roz hasn’t been there at all, so that is good.

 Our trip will start in mid May and we will return in early July.  I get home sick after six weeks.