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Day 37 “Travel Flight Booking” (Friday 12th April 2013)

I woke up at about 11:30am into an empty house, as Avril had managed to get Peter to agree to going and looking at blocks of land. (She had spoke about it yesterday and said they may leave around 10am but I thought I’d pass on that today!) Once up I got my breakfast and played on my phone giving myself chance to wake up before calling my bank so that I could get the codes for Mum.

Getting the code wasn’t a problem and I even asked about an offer is seen on Facebook for a free $50 Cole (supermarket) voucher, when you opened an account, the lady said it was a legitimate offer so when I hung up I decided to apply online. It was quite misleading online but I soon found myself in a chat with one of the site staff (if it was anything like our online chats this wasn’t gonna be good!) who after about 30 mins of conversation came to the conclution I wasn’t eligible. This annoyed me because the system was allowing me to apply and I said if I hadn’t of spoken to the chat operator I would have opened an account for not reason, maybe being charged and not getting the $50 voucher. In away it was good I did speak to him as it stopped me applying and he said he would pass on my concerns to his manager about the misleading advertising and the fact the site doesn’t stop ineligible people applying… Even though I was under the offers heading on the website and logged in, so the system knew who I was as well as the accounts I had.

After this annoyance I though I’d get myself down to the branch at some point this week and double check because I would need to open another account when my money arrived from the UK anyway. I also decided that I best look up there account types they offer to see the best place I could put my money once it arrived. After a long look around I got it down the the best two account types and wrote a few questions down ready to ask the staff when I went to my local branch in Diamond Creek. While still online I thought I’d check the exchange rates to see if having my money transferred would actually be worth it and realised that the pound was at one of its weakest rates compared to the Australian Dollar in the last 5 years. In layman’s terms this means I haven’t got a good exchange rate and if the pound strengthens while I’m out here (I’m no exchange rate expert but looking at the graphs and history of the pound) you would assume it would, meaning converting it back would lose money. Even though I knew the risks I thought I would bring the money over because it gave me more control over my money and in the worst case scenario I could always transfer it to Avril or Peter until a good exchange rate was available or I desperately needed it back.

I then recieved a phone call from Avril, who said she was going to go straight to Hollie and Woody’s farm (to sleep the night and baby sit Harry tomorrow while Hollie and Anth worked) without coming home. (we had spoken about me going with her last night but I had decided not to go this time because Alex had invited me to the City on Saturday night for her sisters birthday meaning we’d have to rush back in time for that) With all the reading, checking, maths calculations and faffing around I had done this morning, the time had flown by and I found myself feeling hungry again around 3:30pm. I went to the fridge and found some leftover cheese pasta from last night and decided to add ham and heat that, which was lovely! During my lunch and then for a while afterwards I watched some TV including a gameshow called “Who’s Still Standing” which was American (but it seemed to give away a lot of money in comparison to English gameshows) as are most of the TV shows here. After that had finished I watched the news for a bit, but a lot of people seemed to have been killed (not sure if that was state or country wide news) so I turned it off as it was depressing.

Knowing I was STILL behind on previous diary days I thought I best write another one today as I didn’t have plans but being a good procrastinator I managed to find something else to do instead. However that time was spent looking into a flight I needed to get me from Melbourne to Sydney, so I could begin my travelling properly… The bus ticket starts from Sydney but before I begin the journey up the East coast I play to look around Sydney and even book a trip down to Canberra. (It was cheaper than catching the bus from Melbourne to Sunday via Canberra plus there isn’t a lot to see in between apparently) Before I booked it though I thought I’d check it through with Peter, making sure the day, time and airports were OK.

Now about to start my diary, Peter came home and quickly checked something on the PC before ringing Daryl. (He did also say hello etc. first) This means I was away from the computer and decided to update my to do list and then had a conversion with Peter about his and my day’s as well as what to do for dinner as Avril was at the farm tonight. It was decided we would have meat pie for tea so Peter began lining a round dish with ready made raw sheets of pastry then added Avril’s precooked cold meat and gravy mix before putting on the pastry lid… I thought they looked pucker and sent a picture to Avril of Peters handy work. And he put them in the oven for 40 ish minutes. While the lie cooked and Peter cooked the potatoes for the mash, I thought I’d go and book my flight. (Peter said the Wednesday I had seen earlier would be fine and any time I wanted- I forgot to ask about the airport but a later google thankfully meant I’d got the right one… I’d heard its name before luckily)

The process to book with Jetstar (the equivalent of easyJet in Europe) was relatively easy and I only asked Peter some basic address questions. When it came to pay I thought I’d be able to use my credit card, but noticed it charged Aussy’s to use their credit cards and as mine was English I knew there would be additional costs. Instead I opted for a service called ‘Joli’ which Peter and I had never heard of but as it was on Jetstar’s website I trusted it enough to use it. I directed Joli to take the remaining $80 out of my Australian bank (as I knew I’d soon have the English funds put into it) which it did and doesn’t cost anything unlike every other payment method on the Jetstar site. (I guess the best way to describe Joli is like the equivalent of a direct debt, they money is taken from my account instantly, which is how I assume Joli makes their money… Because the airline get its funds straight away instead of having to wait a few days for payments to clear, I guess it can afford to pay Joli for being the middle man and allow me to use there service for free. It does beg the question why not just have direct debit?!) Speaking of money Jetstar seem to want to charge for everything and I’m supprised they didn’t want me to fork out for breathing! I had to unselect a couple of options when booking so avoid costs but I did pay for checked in luggage as my travel backpack will be too big for hand luggage. Now all fully booked and played for I will soon be off on my travels… This coming Wednesday (17th April) to be precise and all for $80 of which $15 was for extra baggage so really not a bad price for a single way ticket on about a 1 hour 30 minute journey. Now I just need to book accommodation for my first couple of nights and I’ll be as good as gone!

Photo of flight details

I competed my booking just after 7pm just as the pie and mash was ready, (yes it took about 40 minutes in the end to complete my booking but learning about Joli slowed me up) perfect timing… I just needed to cooked some frozen peas while Peter dished up and we sat down together for an epic meal. After we’d eaten I confirmed the flight had been paid for and gone through OK before sending a picture of the details to both Avril and Dad with the words, “Eviction Letter”. As I would be leaving Avril and Peter and it would be the first time I really experienced travelling with out the company of friends of family… I’ve been describing the Australia trip so far to people as my home from homes because Avril and Peter are really just my 2nd parents and have made everything so easy. It was now going to give me a chance to see if I liked traveling or if it would break me, I believe its all about what you put in and being really excited I’m going to give it my all… Not many people get this once in a lifetime experience so I hope to make the most of it.

With time pushing on I started the diary in the study, that I should have done a lot earlier today and 30 minutes later Peter decided to go to bed and read. Another hour or so on, but with that previous diary unfinished, I moved from the PC to the tablet in my room ready to start today’s diary! As I’ve now finished this I’ll try to complete the diary I had been working on earlier. 🙂

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