I find a lot of great deals on internationalescape.com but occasionally there is a deal so good that I can’t resist purchasing a ticket for myself. When I stumbled upon tickets from Anchorage, Alaska (my home airport) to Auckland, New Zealand for only $650 roundtrip, I knew I couldn’t pass up the deal.

Now $650 is a lot of money but plane tickets from the U.S. to New Zealand are some of the priciest tickets you can find and from Alaska I wouldn’t be shocked to see prices near $2,000 normally. So, now you can see my excitement when I found tickets for less than half their usual cost. To make the most of my trek, I went ahead and booked a connecting flight to Australia from New Zealand for about $90 each way.

I booked the ticket in April and about one month later I was on a plane headed for New Zealand and connecting to Australia. Technically speaking, research shows that the best time to book a ticket is 6-7 weeks before the flights departure; however, if you aren’t picky about where you’re going, there are often great last minute deals just a few weeks or sometimes the week before a flight.

The flight was long. There’s no way around it. I flew from Anchorage to Seattle, Washington to Honolulu, Hawaii to Auckland, New Zealand to Gold Coast, Australia. My first flight departed May 6 at 2:55 a.m. and my arrival into Australia wasn’t until May 8 at 7:55 a.m. Keep in mind the time change causes the loss of nearly an entire day.

I flew on Alaska Airlines, which is a fantastic airline, Hawaiian Airlines, which left me pleasantly surprised and Jetstar Airlines, which I would not recommend to anyone unless their fares are significantly less than competitors. Even then, keep in mind that Jetstar charges for nearly everything. My one carry on bag weighed over 14 Kilograms which was going to cost me over the price I paid for my actual ticket. I did a lot of rearranging and managed to squeak through without having to pay the fee.

Sleeping in Auckland AirportI did have one long 6 hour layover in Auckland, New Zealand. Thankfully the Auckland airport is fairly friendly for overnight guests including free showers, plenty of options for food and quiet public spaces. Sadly all of the benches were taken for sleeping but I was prepared with a sleeping pad and sleeping bag which came in handy often on this trip.

 

My three hour flight from Auckland to Gold Coast, Australia left early in the morning and although the journey was very long, I arrived feeling ready for the trip ahead. Check back soon for more on this 14 day adventure.