I realise that it has been a long time since I have posted; this is only the 3rd post of the year. I have a list in the Drafts section that keeps growing, including a hotel review from somewhere I stayed in over a year ago! I need to crack on with it. I am always amazed at bloggers who manage to turn out content on a consistent basis. The likes of Michelle and Paul at Turning Left For Less and Nigel with his Billingham Blog always inspire me with the quality and consistency of their content.
So, in that vein, and having just got back from an awesome trip over the Easter Holidays, here is what (I hope!) will be the start of a renewed spurt of activity on the blog!
Australia is somewhere I have been once before, in the time before I was into miles and points, and it is home to a very good friend of my wife – part of a group of 4 who now live all over the world but we regularly manage to meet up in some corner of the globe which is lovely. This trip has originally been planned as a Christmas trip to Bali, but that idea was shelved with the imminent arrival of an Australian baby, so we decided we would go at Easter to meet the young man and see his parents.
The group of 4 had met whilst working in Hong Kong as graduate English teachers, so a stop over there was on the cards. We also wanted a bit of holiday time, so decided that the Cairns area of Australia would give us some sunshine. Having done the journey to the other side of the world with just a change of planes, I was under strict instructions to ensure that there was a lay over on the way home as well. With that in mind, I got thinking and eventually came up with this route:
I had earned a Gold Upgrade Voucher last year for reaching 2500 Tier Points (there is a couple of posts right there – that is how behind I am!). The plan had been that we would be able to buy a cash fare to Australia and upgrade using the voucher, but it turned out that it was possible to do the trip on miles. Cue a lot of searching of the BA website trying to search of availability! My first attempt had flights via Japan and was a bit of a mess, but I ended on the route above on dates that worked. I then called up BA and fed the agent flight numbers and times whilst he processed it. It had to be sent off to ticketing because it was using multiple oneworld airlines but came back as expected and all was good.
We ended up with:
- British Airways LHR – HKG in First
- Cathay Pacific HKG – CNS in Business
- Qantas CNS-SYD-CBR in Business
- Qantas CBR-MEL in Economy
- Qantas MEL-PER in Business
- Qatar PER-DOH in First
- British Airways DOH-LHR in Business (but OpUp to First at Check-in)
For hotels, we chose the InterContinental Hong Kong so I could use points and my Ambassador 2for1 night voucher, as well as the amazing location.
The same was true for Melbourne, where the InterContinental fitted our needs.
We chose the Pullman Sea Temple Resort in Port Douglas as one of the more upmarket hotels in the area – it had a cracking deal on so we got an amazing apartment.
In Doha, we stayed at the Hilton because we landed at 0530 and they sold day rooms – we wanted to be able to check in when we arrived and not have to wait until 3pm.
So that was the planning done for the flights and hotels – some activities, transfers and restaurants were added in afterwards. Stay tuned for reviews of all of them – I promise!