Dublin > South East Asia > Australia: How we booked it

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

How we booked our trip is probably what I'm asked the most and it probably has the most disappointing answer I'm afraid. I went to Colins house on a Saturday afternoon, we booked a flight from Dublin to Bangkok without thinking about it and worried about it once we had completed the booking.
I just remember my family looking at me like I had 10 heads after I booked it because I didn't do the usual thing of booking it about a year in advance. I also remember hearing a lot of "I don't think you've thought about this enough" but sure look, didn't I make it?

A lot of people have asked about using STA Travel etc but we honestly never felt like it was necessary.
We decided on our route of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Bali to fit in with our budgets knowing these were our must see places for our first trip to Asia. There were plenty more countries we wanted to include but having only booked it 4 months before going with no saving done we knew not to. Singapore, for example, we knew we wanted to see but knew it was one of the more expensive countries.

So to get back to the point, we decided we wanted to go in June and knew Bangkok was the starting point. We used skyscanner, found the cheapest flight to be on the 13th June with Finnish airline Finnair, who we had never heard of and booked the one way flight for £249 each.

Flying with Finnair:
Our flight honestly couldn't have gone better and I would say they were probably the best airline I've flown with (same for Colin). We had one stop in Helsinki and I couldn't recommend flying with them enough.

Next thing we did was book our flight to Melbourne. We knew we would be flying there from Bali and so we booked a flight from Bali to Melbourne for 17th August with Qantas, giving us about 9 weeks to travel before then. I remember Dad sitting in the living room watching TV in classic dad fashion when he offered his twopence on the situation of "that's a long time to spend in Asia before Australia". You'll notice a recurring theme throughout my travel posts of my family wondering what the hell I'm doing and me trying to ignore them and what was happening...

Flying with Qantas:
Flying with Qantas all went completely fine and we had no issues at all.

The only other bits we booked before going were our flights from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai to Phuket and Vietnam to Bali. All of which we used AirAsia to fly with. We booked flights for these parts after realising we could do so for cheap and would save a lot of time. Our flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai was only £16 and flight time was around an hour compared to an 8 hour bus. I'll provide more details on things like this in the blog posts for each country.

Flying with AirAsia:
AirAsia is a Malaysian low-cost airline who saved us time and money during our trip and again we had absolutely no issues with any of our 3 flights with them.

Now for the everything in between bit, to be honest, we went with the intention of winging it and that's what we did. I wasn't sure how this bit went and I originally thought we had to have every bit of route, travel and accommodation planned and booked. Anyone I had spoke to expressed the importance of not booking before going and this was probably the bit that worried me the most. The thought of going to Asia with just the basic route planned and not knowing where you will be or where you will be staying seems ridiculous but I personally would only recommend travelling Asia this way. It allowed us so much freedom on our trip. If we got somewhere and didn't like it then it was easy to move on somewhere else and similarly if we got somewhere and loved it we had the ability to stay for longer rather than feeling rushed on to the next booking. All we knew was that we had to be in the airport in Bali for our flight to Melbourne on the 17th August and all the time inbetween was ours to explore.

Of course everyone has had their own way of doing this and experiences and there is definitely no right or wrong way, this is just how we decided to go for it and it couldn't have worked better for us.


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