Combining Cold Canberra and Warm Samoa – Sorta

Living at the arse-end of the civilized world – New Zealand – if you love to travel you end up being pretty familiar with the going airfare rates to get out of here!

New Zealand has had one of the most appalling summers on record. I don’t think Wellington hit 25C all “summer” – it didn’t stop raining when we ventured to Northland in December. The local travel agencies started running 1/2 page newspaper ads with headlines like “Visit Sunny Queensland” and “Find Summer in the Pacific”. Cynics – I think it probably worked pretty well!

northland new zealand

Pohutakawa Tree in the rain, Northland, New Zealand

It worked on us anyways – and I am not a great Pacific Island fan either – we are going to Samoa for 2 weeks of tropical bliss. In late June early July, peak dry season and part of the school holidays to boot. I booked the flights about two weeks ago – it would have been better to have done so in February – I got mid prices around NZ$450 one way (low price is NZ$200 – high is NZ$950)

Plus a long weekend in chilly Canberra.  The short trip to Canberra is for a dance competition – this involves an awful lot of luggage (tail suits, ballroom dresses, dance shoes, fake hair and tons of makeup – and that’s just him!).

Because of our dancing schedule and the school holidays (without kids we avoid them like the plague) – it turned out best to fly out to Samoa as soon as we got back from Canberra. The flight back from Sydney arrives middnight – I have a flight the next morning at 8:30am to Samoa.

So far so good – except to book the second person on that 8:30 flight – it would have cost $950! So my partner is flying Virgin  out of Auckland – at 7am. You can’t get to Auckland from Wellington for a 7am departure.  So now he’s flying direct to Auckland from Sydney – same price as the Wellington flight, $79 at an Auckland airport – all good.

Except for the luggage.

Its worth knowing that Qantas still offers one free checked bag (23kg) per passenger (one bag not a multiple bags though). Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand – will charge you for anything more than 7kg carry on (plus another small item).

As I like to think I know how to pack – this is a bit of a challenge. Pretty much none of the gear for Canberra is needed in Samoa – and vice versa.

The rules on the luggage goes like this:

  • to Sydney: 23kg each but only one bag each (airmiles from Qantas)
  • ex-Sydney to NZ: 23kg Qantas or an extra $25/flight with Air NZ

return Samoa: already booked – no of course I’m not paying for checked luggage for a beach holiday!

In short – I need to come home with all the ballroom gear in one bag – he can carry on his beach holiday gear and take it on to Samoa.

I’ll spend about 6 hours at home – swap bags and maybe bring on some of the beach stuff for him up in my handbag.

It could be an interesting juggling act.

It really was a lot easier in the old days when you could check in multiple bags up to 20kg – and you didn’t pay extra for luggage with anyone!

And its crazy because though I am the queen of packing light – sometimes its really helpful to be able to check multiple smaller bags – and surely easier for the baggage handler too? A 23kg bag is very bloody heavy – and mine will be all of that on the way back home to NZ.

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1 Comment

  1. Vi on April 14, 2012 at 12:16 am

    I think you won’t need a lot of clothes in Samoa 🙂
    There are you staying in Samoa?
    My websites logo photo was taken at Lalomanu beach, but it was destroyed by last tsunami so not sure how it looks now. But it was nice place to stay with bungalows right on the beach.

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