One should not think that it could be so hard! But what seemed like a somewhat small and easy task, has now proven to be far more complicated than we could have imagined! We are referring to our travel route and to getting our tickets confirmed according to our wishes.
Two main obstacles have hit us:
1. Visas. We saw that one coming! And then again, not really! We are only visiting countries that provide e-visas. You apply online and you are granted your 90 day permit online, counting from the day of entry. In Australia and New Zealand this is pretty much straight forward. But on the way to the US, we wanted to make a stop-over on Hawaii. Hawaii is a part of the US, so from the day of entering the airport in Honolulu our 90 days would start counting. However, after 2 weeks on Hawaii we wanted to fly straight to Canada, and stay there for 4 weeks. After this, our intention was to re-enter the US, as we thought that we would then be granted 90 days from entry day. After all, Canada IS another country. But the US authorities have made a clause, that does allow you to enter neighboring countries and re-enter USA, but in order to prevent too much speculation about this, your 90 days permit will not be reset, unless you travel much further away. It actually took me a whole day of research to finally understand this. It’s all cryptically written, and not 200% straight forward. We need 90 days in the US to actually see everything we want to see!
Anyway, we do not wish to break any rules, and do not want to spend time in some border patrol booth in an airport justifying our intentions and whereabouts more than necessary. We do, after all, come in peace! Hence we have now prepared a journey that does not compromise any legislation and still has some very exciting stops along the way.
2. Airline alliances. Many airlines work together to offer services to as many destinations as possible. The so-called “round-the-world-ticket” which we will be travelling on, will be issued by either “Star Alliance” or “One World”. Star Alliance, for instance, has SAS and Lufthansa among its members.
Our journey is straight forward for both alliances. But then we came up with a pretty cool idea (we thought!), that we would love to go to Fiji and Iceland. Both are destinations to which none of the alliances where we have to buy our “round-the-world-ticket” offer any services. Trips to these destinations would then have to be booked separately. It is possible. But since we did not want to spend 2 weeks out of our 90 days permit in Australia, we wanted to make a stop over in Fiji AFTER leaving Australia, on the way to New Zealand. But the routing and extra tickets ended up being so complex and expensive that we scrapped the whole idea.
So now we have made completely new plans. Still with main stops in Australia, New Zealand and USA. We are awaiting the offers and meanwhile working on actually getting those e-visa permits online. It does, however, look like a manageable task.
If all goes well, we should leave Munich right after Easter. Keep an eye on our travelling map here on the website, which will be updated as soon as we have everything locked and loaded!