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Author: mlwlpt

Joined: 3/16/2012
Posts: 4
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2012

July 07, 2012

We will be traveling in Oct 2012.  While I know everyone has their own budget, how much do you feel you needed for food not included and other expenses?  I have budgeted for the optional tours and souvenirs but being away for a month is hard to estimate.  Any suggestions given would be appreciated.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 558
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

July 08, 2012

I took the trip a couple of years ago so I don't remember how many meals were not included. I recall three at the resort in Fiji, two at the lagoon restaurant and one room service the night before we left. All three were charged to my room and I paid with my credit card before we left. I also got two heavenly massages at Shangra La, also on the credit card.

I ate in China Town in Sydney, fun and not expensive ($10-15) and at one of the hotel's restaurants, so may have used my credit card there. In Cairns, I had one very good dinner at Rydges (credit card) and walked with some others from the group to the night market and got shrimp at the food court, again, not expensive. I had a sandwich for lunch at one of the airports, probably less than $10.

There are several reasonable restaurants in Queenstown, including pizza and other fast food. I remember a good Italian restaurant and Ithink my dinner was less than $20.

You'll need cash for tips for the bus drivers. If you watch them loading and unloading all the luggage you'll see that they earn their tips.

I don't think I spent more than $20 for any dinner and maybe $10 for lunch, but the exchange rate has probably changed since my trip so you'll need to factor that.

Our PD requested her gratuity in Am dollars so I brought more cash than usual and used my ATM card in all three countries.

It's a wonderful trip, you'll have a great time.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 977
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

July 08, 2012

My friend and I traveled independently to Australia and New Zealand.  We stayed mostly at motels in New Zealand and did a lot of our own cooking.  But I can recommend a restaurant in Queenstown  -  if it's still there.  It's The Cow, and it has the best pizza I've ever had.  They also have other Italian dishes.  At the times we were there, you shared tables and the people who had traditional Italian dishes, mostly red sauce, said they were wonderful.

In Sydney, there are several seafood places at Circular Quay and any we tried were all good.  Try barramundi, red emperor or coral trout.  My favorite is barramundi.

Author: gobuckeyes

Joined: 7/7/2010
Posts: 158
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 9
Traveler Since: 2005

July 09, 2012

Re; mlwlpt....We will be traveling in Oct 2012. While I know everyone has their own budget, how much do you feel you needed for food not included and other expenses? I have budgeted for the optional tours and souvenirs but being away for a month is hard to estimate. Any suggestions given would be appreciated.

FWIW, for safety/security I just take an ATM card (with low international fees) and only a modest amount of cash. This eliminates the potential problems associated with carrying large sums of money, etc. You can withdraw money as you need it. We have an ATM card (i.e. debit MC) from Ally Bank. They are an online bank, have just a 1% foreign transaction fee, and do not have any ATM fees. If you are charged an ATM fee by the ATM's bank, Ally will refund it. I'm sure there are other banks with ATM cards that have "low international fees" too.

 

 

Author: mlwlpt

Joined: 3/16/2012
Posts: 4
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2012

July 09, 2012

Thank you for your replies.

Author: forgerr

Joined: 4/26/2012
Posts: 19
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Antartcia-China-Italy-Australia-New Zealand-Fiji-etc

Traveler Since: 2008

July 16, 2012

We also will be doing the trip in Oct and ours will depart on Oct 30. Can I assume you are doing the same time line? I noticed the "GO BUCKS", can we assume you are from Ohio also"  We are in the Northeastern part of the state.  We also are really looking forward to this trip, it is going to be great. We are planning a few side trips that include climbing the Snydey Harbor bridge and the Glow worm cave float in N.Z.

Author: mlwlpt

Joined: 3/16/2012
Posts: 4
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2012

July 16, 2012

We are leaving in early Oct, the 9th.

Author: psarchuleta

Joined: 2/23/2012
Posts: 3
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

Lots of the U.S.


July 21, 2012

I was supposed to take this trip in June but it was cancelled. Although I was very unhappy and disappointed that I wouldn't be able to take the trip as planned I was able to rearrange my time off and decided to take the trip in Sept. This will be my first trip out of the U.S. and I am very excited and a little nervous, but this was at the top of my bucket list and I know that it will be well worth the wait. I would be interested in talking with others who are taking the Sept. 9th trip, or any who have already taken the trip with tips on what to see, eat or do would be welcome as well.

Can't wait to leave,

Pam

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 977
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

July 21, 2012

I've always traveled there independently, and I've never been to Fiji.  But Australia and New Zealand are my favorite places.  Not only because they speak the same language, sort of, but because they have always been welcoming.  Some places, you get the feeling they'd just as soon you sent the money and stayed home.  But there, they really make you feel as though they're glad to see you.

If you're a fish/seafood lover, as I am, you'll really enjoy both Australia and New Zealand.  Three fish that Australia is known for are Barramundi, Red Emperor and Coral Trout.  Of the three, I prefer Barramundi.  New Zealand has Blue Cod, sometimes listed as Blue-eyed Cod, which is much tastier than our North Atlantic Cod.  Both countries have wonderful oysters.  New Zealand has Green Lipped Mussels, which I personally don't care for.  They're larger and coarser than the mussels I've had elsewhere.  There's a small crab from the Brisbane area called Moreton Bay Bugs; if you like crab and can get over the name, they're very good.

You get very good beef in both countries and lamb.  Also venison is widely available.  A lot of the station owners have diversified and raise deer commercially.

And, of course, fruits and vegetables.  It's not that far to market, especially in New Zealand, so everything is very fresh.

 

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 524
GCT Trips Taken: 12
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

July 21, 2012

 psacrchuleta,

We did this trip in June 2010 with both the pre and post trips. It was wonderful. We did a blog on the trip after the fact as a trip report. It is http://jackthetravelingman.blogspot.com. It might help you answer some of your questions and we would be glad to answer any specific ones if we can.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 558
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

July 21, 2012

Jack's blog should answer many of your questions. Also, under trips on the main menu, go to this trip and read the traveler reviews.

I made the trip about two years ago and it's one of my favorites.

Author: debi

Joined: 1/25/2012
Posts: 18
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Countries Visited:

I have been to Africa Tanzania Safari, I video taped it and watch it over and over and its just like being there. I went to Costa Rica and my video camera captures all the sights and sounds you can;t get with a picture. I loved it. I have been to Greece and England. Hawaii, Nevis, St Thomas, St Maarteen, Heart of India

Traveler Since: 2008

June 29, 2013

I must be missing something, I notice this trip is not being offered anymore. Does anyone know why? I was hoping to take this trip sometime in the future.

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 524
GCT Trips Taken: 12
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

June 29, 2013

 Apparently, it was due to poor travrler reviews on the Fiji portion. We did the trip in 2010 with the outback pre-trip and the Fiji post-trip extensions. See our blog/trip report at http://jackthetravelingman.blogspot.com, if you haven;t already. The Fiji portion was atypical of GCT, a stay at a beautiful beach resort, with less activities than most GCT trips. To us, this was a welcome respite after a bust trip and before the snorkeling post-trip, but apparently not everyone agreed. I was surprised and disappointed to see it dropped.

Author: grammyflo

Joined: 3/15/2010
Posts: 177
GCT Trips Taken: 13
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

June 29, 2013

We took this wonderful trip in 2007 and just loved it. We opted for the post trip to Fiji and I met all of our expectations.  We stayed at a Warwick resort that was beyond tropical. We had our best ever school visit there, as well as the home hosted visit. Typical Fijiian and felt the love and welcome from the Fijiian people.  Our 3 day snorkeling trip to the outer islands was memorable. I am glad we will have those memories and feel bad for anyone not able to go today.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 558
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

June 29, 2013

I can't imagine poor reviews of the Fiji portion of the trip -- it was wonderful, and I think all in our group enjoyed it. We stayed at a beautiful resort on the Pacific and had the opportunity to learn about yet another culture. The Fijians were charming.

We had one of the best school visits on any of my trips and the home-hosted lunch was interesting. We visited a cultural center where the people sang to us and offered us the native drink (which I can't recall right now). Women were selling sarongs that they made from fabrics that they'd dyed beautiful colors.

It was a lovely and relaxing end to a busy trip. It was a highlight for me.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 977
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

June 29, 2013

I don't always believe that reasoning.  You may remember that a few years ago, they offered a Scandinavia trip and then canceled it due, they said, to lack of interest.  But a few people had already posted that they'd signed up for it.  And when the cancellation was announced, they were really upset. 

I took a GCT Scandinavia trip in 2002.  The pre-trip was St. Petersburg, and that left me with a strong desire to go back.  Then we went to Helsinki, Oslo, Bergen, Copenhagen and Stockholm.  There was no post-trip.  We had a wonderful time, and I didn't hear any complaints from anyone.  So why did they cancel that?

And Classic Costa del Sol.  Granted, the Bajondilla Apartments were not the best place I've ever stayed, but the location couldn't be beat. 

I've never been to Fiji, but I wouldn't object to a few days at a luxury resort.  Why would anyone?

Author: ed watts

Joined: 3/30/2010
Posts: 149
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

All seven continents, 113 countries and all states except Idaho.Plus some interesting places that are not countries such as The azores, Antarctica, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, etc.

Traveler Since: 2010

June 29, 2013

I, like Pauline, do not understand the reasoning either...I did a trip to Fiji (non-OAT) and loved every minute of it...I was also one of those who attempted to sign up for the trip she mentioned and this was just less than a year in advance of the trip...I got notified that the trip was cancelled "due to a lack of interest"...I do not understand how they know that there was a "lack of interest" almost a year in advance when several people had already signed up for the trip!

Author: debi

Joined: 1/25/2012
Posts: 18
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Countries Visited:

I have been to Africa Tanzania Safari, I video taped it and watch it over and over and its just like being there. I went to Costa Rica and my video camera captures all the sights and sounds you can;t get with a picture. I loved it. I have been to Greece and England. Hawaii, Nevis, St Thomas, St Maarteen, Heart of India

Traveler Since: 2008

June 29, 2013

thanks for all the responses and maybe someday they will bring it back . I will call the office to let them know and with a lot of people asking about it maybe they will change things.

Author: luisa

Joined: 3/13/2010
Posts: 558
GCT Trips Taken: 6
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Monoco, Croatia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji. Ireland

Traveler Since: 2006

June 30, 2013

The Costa del Sol trip was extremely popular. I went once and would have returned. I met people on that trip that had been going every year for several years with GCT and some stayed on with extensions. When I was there rumors were circulating that it would be canceled and many people were upset. They did keep it a while longer but then canceled it.

The same thing happened with Crossroads of Turkey. It had been canceled a couple of years ago for "lack of interest" but when I called GCT with a question about a trip that I'd booked I mentioned to the rep that I had really wanted to go to Turkey and he said "we're bringing it back by popular demand" so I switched my trip and went to Turkey and we had a full group.

I don't understand how "lack of interest" suddenly becomes back on by "popular demand." 

Without Fiji, I wonder if GCT will continue to offer a trip to Aus & NZ since OAT has one.  

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 279
GCT Trips Taken: 0
OAT Trips Taken: 0

July 01, 2013

Hello Everybody -

Thank you for your comments. 

We would like to offer Fiji again as well, but air routing currently available to us would require all travelers to fly from Fiji back to Sydney, Australia in order to return to the United States.   We are working with other airlines to see if we can obtain better routing - and fly you directly to the United States from Fiji at the end of the trip.

If you would like to be notified if/when Fiji becomes available again, please contact me at gctforummoderator@gct.com.

Kind Regards,
Michelle
GCT/GCCL Forum Moderator
 

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