I’m back. Time for yet another trip, another continent, another unexplored land, and yes, that means a new blog! I promise this time it will be kept up with. No more procrastinating! I have learned the hard way this year through all my travels that although cramming 3 cities and 2 countries into a long weekend is possible, doesn’t mean you should necessarily do so. Where’s the relaxation? Where’s the time to breathe? To sit at a café and watch the world go by? To BLOG?
This time I’m taking things a little slower and only visiting ONE COUNTRY. (well, almost. I wouldn't be Backpackkat otherwise ;)) Even though I’m gone for almost 3 weeks, I’m spending it all in one lovely place called Thailand. Oh and did I mention I’m doing it all with my Dad, who’s never left North America? (minus Ireland for a wedding, but that doesn’t count—he literally went to the Guinness factory and back).
Let’s start with how we got to going on this trip in the first place. I had bought these tickets a year ago for an ex and I for a really great price ($796 roundtrip on Etihad with a layover in Abu Dhabi). Tickets to Southeast Asia, although I’ve been seeing cheaper fares more often as of late, are normally in the $1400+ range. So when I saw this deal I jumped on it, especially with only one stop each way.
Anyway, fast forward: we broke up, so I had this extra spot up for grabs on this trip. I debated just going by myself, but thought that would be a waste so I figured when would I have a better opportunity to do something like this with my dad? Luckily he agreed to go with me (albeit under the assumption I had no friends and he was going out of pity—this was the first thing he said to me when I asked him to go).
Fast forward again to a month before the trip and I call the third party from whom I purchased the tickets originally (Flighthub). I ask them what the fee is to change the name on one of the tickets when the original passenger is no longer able to go, and they inform me that’s not possible.
NO NO NONONONONONO.
YOU’RE KIDDING ME.
So the airlines have decided that you can make all the typos in your name that you want, and pay for THAT change, but you cannot change your name to something else once you book a ticket. This frustrated me to no end, as you can imagine. (sidenote: what happens to people who book and get married in between booking and flying? This rule REALLY needs to be revisited) I ended up having to pay $450 to cancel the ticket, and $150 fee to Flighthub for god knows what as well…leaving me with a refund of under $200? When if the name was spelled wrong, I would have been fine?? IN WHAT WORLD DOES THAT MAKE SENSE!?
Anyway, my Dad still wanted to come even though the ticket now cost $1500 instead of $796, so he split the difference with me and we booked! I’m still peeved. I will never use FlightHub again as that rule is useless and annoys me to no end, and that extra $150 fee is ridiculous. Not to mention they called me back to inform me they were refunding me less than originally quoted because they mistakenly quoted the refund in USD and had to refund in CAD. Hacks. Lesson of the day, kids: if there is any chance you aren’t taking the flight, book directly with the airline. Less painful on your end.
ANYWAY. Long story short, Dad is my travel buddy for this trip. Since he is such an international travel rookie, I had to take him shopping for the trip and help get him gear like this (one-shouldered) backpack he insisted on purchasing:
Wish me luck, guys.