If you read my previous post, Tagging Along to “Tag, You’re It,” you’ve come to learn that I have somehow picked up the responsibility of planning a big trip to Australia for my dad and I. This is coming from someone who’s followed her dad around the world, never holding such accountability for the planning, the details, and the headaches that go into creating the perfect trip. At first, such a trip seems so far away and such a huge task that you don’t know where or how to dive in. After letting my dad plan the details for countless trips in my childhood and later on, early adult years, I quickly learned just how much planning takes place and how many emails and phone calls go back and forth to get everything just right. With the help of my friends who work for Tourism Australia and Tourism Tasmania, we dove into creating the perfect itinerary in which we could attend the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) conference and also familiarize ourselves with what the Tourism Boards had in mind for a well-rounded Australian experience.
When it comes down to it, this was an easy trip to plan. If anything, I sat back and let the Tourism Boards do their thing and chimed in my two cents along the way. I came to realize the relief of letting someone else do the heavy planning of the itinerary, since life gets busier and busier up until day of departure! (This is the same goal that we have in serving our guests at Austin-Lehman, a model I am quite used to!) Samantha from Tourism Australia helped me set up flights, first with Delta from Billings to Los Angeles, and then with Qantas from LAX to Sydney, and also worked with me one on one in planning a hitch-free adventure and business combo trip. Over the course of four months, I conversed with people I hadn’t yet met face to face via email and phone conversations. I saved every email that had anything to do with Australia in a folder designated to our trip, and I built a file of anything I could possibly need (and more) concerning, itineraries, business meetings and maps. I applied for visas online, arranged (and rearranged) flights to Sydney and from Melbourne, and studied the key attractions of areas we were to visit (especially the cities). Anything that had to do with our Australia trip was in my hands and my hands only, and it was actually FUN seeing it all come together first hand!
A week before our scheduled flight, I received our final trip details from Tourism Australia for our time to be spent in the states of New South Wales, Tasmania, and Victoria. By the time we reached our day of departure, my dad was asking me the who, what, when, and where of our itinerary, something that was always my job to ask of him before planning this trip! Talk about role reversal! Upon boarding the plane with our tightly packed carry-on suitcases and my trip file full to the brim of itineraries, emails, and meeting plans, I felt an immense feeling of satisfaction and relief that we’d finally made it to this point of no return. We were off to Australia to experience whatever adventures were to come!
My next post will fill you in on the details of our Australian Adventure!
Until next time,