NOTE: Info still spotty, continuing to update as info comes in.

"Down Under" Tour

November 1-11, 2023; NZ extension to November 19, 2023

Note: If the navigation header at top is in your way, clicking the up-arrow at top right will slide it out of your way.

National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant

The National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant is the largest single-day parade in the southern hemisphere, the second biggest in the world (behind the famous Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City), and the largest Christmas Parade in the world. It is officially recognised as a "heritage icon" by the National Trust of Australia and a "state institution" by the Government of South Australia. The pageant takes place in the Adelaide city centre, along a 3.35 km (2 mi) route.

In 1896, Mr Edward Waterfield Hayward established the Christmas fantasy world of the 'Magic Cave' to provide a joyful community Christmas experience. Thirty-seven years later during the Great Depression in 1933 the first Christmas Pageant was held to escort Father Christmas to the Magic Cave. 200,000 spectators came to watch that first Pageant, which featured eight floats and four bands and ran for around 40 minutes. The event now thrills over 320,000 excited parade-goers and a television audience with 85 sets and 1,700 volunteers, including some 63 floats, 15 bands, 164 clowns, dancing groups, and walking performers, all culminating in the arrival of Father Christmas.

Brief Tour Overview

The main tour runs from November 1, 2023 through November 11, 2023. This is an 8 night trip (the other nights are consumed by air travel and crossing the International Date Line) with 3 nights in Adelaide, 2 nights in Melbourne, and 3 nights in Sydney. An optional 8-night New Zealand extension is available, returning home November 19. The National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant takes place on Saturday November 4, 2023.

We will explore the possibility of additional performances, including New Zealand if we have enough people taking the extension to form a viable band, but there's no guarantee that additional performances will happen.

Non-performer family and guests are welcome to join the trip. Pricing for non-performers is the same as for TBGO band associates. However, non-performers are not eligible to receive discounts or subsidies for travel offered to band associates.

Sightseeing Highlights: Australia Tour

Sightseeing highlights of the Australia Tour include close encounters with Australian native animals at Moonlit Sanctuary Conservation Park; the parade of the fairy penguins at Phillip Island; open-top bus sightseeing of Sydney's famous landmarks and beaches with hop-on, hop-off privileges; and a harbour cruise with stunning views of Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge while munching a complimentary cheese and charcuterie plate. The detailed itinerary of the Australia Tour is available here.

Sightseeing Highlights: New Zealand Extension

Sightseeing highlights on the New Zealand Extension include cruising Milford Sound with its majestic waterfalls; the towering mountain vistas of Mount Cook National Park; a full-day Lord of the Rings tour featuring filming locations and a visit to Weta Cave Workshop with props, characters, and weapons the movies; the geothermal pools of Wai O Topu; a3-hour tour through the Rotorua forest canopy via an incredible network of trails, tree platforms, ziplines, and swinging bridges; an evening feast and cultural experience at Tamaki Maori Village; and a tour of the Hobbiton movie set; The detailed itinerary of the New Zealand Extension Tour is available here.

Travel Options and Tour Package Restrictions

The TBGO travel packages are offered as a streamlined way for Band Associates to participate in the Australia trip. As always, you may elect to forego the packages and make all your own travel arrangements. Please be aware that if you choose to make all your own arrangements you are responsible for your own ground transportation, including transportation to and from performances.

Because of the complexity of the trip, the land portions of the travel packages are offered as "all or nothing"; i.e., we will not subset or otherwise modify the land portions of the Australia Tour and New Zealand Extension. For example: You cannot take the Australia Tour as far as Melbourne and then fly home. (To be more precise: You can do that, but you still have to pay for the entire Australia Tour Land Package, including the portions you skipped). Note that the various planned sightseeing events, attractions, etc. will not be offered for sale and cannot be reserved separately.

However, if you wish to extend the trip on either end, Tom can work with you on additional arrangements; more on that below.

Assembling Your Tour Package

Your total tour package is comprised of several components:

Details of each trip component follow. You can jump directly to a specific section by clicking the links above.

After all the trip expenses have been detailed, we turn to travel subsidies available to TBGO band associates. Subsidies avilable to reduce travel costs include:

Australia Land Package

The standard rooming arrangement for the Australia Land Package and the New Zealand Extension Land Package is a Double room (i.e., two persons in a room). Single supplement is available at additional charge. A small number of Triple rooms are available. If you elect a Triple room, you MUST have a VERIFIED rooming list of all persons in the room prior to signup as per standard TBGO rooming policy.

The tables below contain the pricing and deposit information by room type for the Australia and New Zealand Land Packages. Note that the prices shown for the New Zealand Package are IN ADDITION TO the cost of the Australia Land Package.

Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and fluctuate with the daily exchange rate of the Australian and New Zealand dollar.

If you paid trip deposits for one or both packages back in 2019, your 2019 deposit(s) will reduce your FINAL PAYMENT as shown below. (Yes, that means you will be charged the new deposit at signup as shown below.)

ALL PAYMENTS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.

Australia Land Package
Room Type Total Price 1st Deposit
(At Signup)
2nd Deposit
(TBD Date)
Final Payment With / Without
$550 Deposit from 2019
With Without
Single $3,873.00 $650.00 $800.00 $1,873.00 $2,423.00
Double $2,763.00 $600.00 $800.00 $813.00 $1,363.00
Triple $2,394.00 $600.00 $800.00 $444.00 $994.00

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New Zealand Extension Land Package
Prices and Deposits shown include mandatory
Christchurch / Wellington flight on Air New Zealand
Room Type Total Price 1st Deposit
(At Signup)
2nd Deposit
(TBD Date)
Final Payment With / Without
$450 Deposit from 2019
With Without
Single $4,126.00 $770.00 $800.00 $2,106.00 $2,556.00
Double $3,196.00 $720.00 $800.00 $1,226.00 $1,676.00
Triple $2,832.00 $720.00 $800.00 $862.00 $1,312.00

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Inclusions / Exclusions

Included:

  • All rates quoted are in US Dollars and fluctuate with the daily exchange rate of the Australian and New Zealand dollar
  • Accommodations including breakfast as listed in the detailed itinerary, subject to availability at time of deposit
  • All services listed in the detailed itinerary.
  • Luggage allowance on ground transportation is based on one standard sized suitcase and one carry-on such as a band instrument. Additional luggage must be arranged in advance, fees may apply.
  • Applicable taxes & fees in force at time of confirmation. Changes, including per person city taxes, coach permit fees, etc., taking effect after confirmation may result in a supplement added to your final prices.
  • Tips for the driver, escort and local guides are included.

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Meals, unless listed in the detailed itinerary
  • Porterage of suitcases at hotels, airports, rail stations or cruise terminals, unless listed in the detailed Australia itinerary
  • Supplements or optional tours as listed
  • Visa, passport, and entry/exit fees
  • Travel Protection, please inquire for details

ALL PAYMENTS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.

International Air Travel Packages

International Air Travel Packages Originate in Los Angeles

Because it offered significant cost savings for this trip, Tom worked with Qantas Airlines to block group travel itineraries for the Australia-only tour and for the Australia + New Zealand Extension Tour. As a result, flights in the International Air Travel Packages originate from and return to Los Angeles (LAX airport). If you are using one of the International Air Travel Packages, you must also acquire round-trip air transportation from your home city to LAX and return. This allows you to shop for lowest price, use air mile rewards for a free flight, or fly using a preferred carrier for your domestic flights while using the International Air Travel Packages for your international flights.

If you prefer not to arrange your own flights to/from LAX, you may add the optional Alaska Air Connecting Flights during signup (Alaska Air is the Qantas U.S. partner). The Alaska Air Connecting Flights are available from West Coast cities; contact Tom for availability from other cities. More information on the Alaska Air Connecting Flights is available below.

Be Sure You Have Four Hours Between Flights in LAX

One IMPORTANT consequence of using blocked group travel itineraries is that your domestic flights to and from LAX will be on a SEPARATE TICKET from your group international flights. (This is true regardless of whether you book your own domestic travel or choose the optional Alaska Air Connecting Flights during signup.) This means you will not be able to check your baggage all the way from your home city to Adelaide, Australia because the two tickets are separate. This is also true when returning from Australia or New Zealand at the end of your tour. You will have to collect checked baggage when you arrive in LAX and then check in again for your ongoing flight (to Adelaide on the outgoing side, or to your home city when returning). To ensure you have enough time to collect and recheck your baggage you must be sure to have a minimum four (4) hour window between planes in each direction. If that seems hectic, another option is to fly down a day ahead and stay overnight.

Make Your Own International Air Arrangements If You Prefer

If you prefer, you can choose to reserve a Land Package and make your own international air travel arrangements. This allows you to use a preferred carrier; purchase tickets using mileage program miles; depart at a different time of day; search for other attractive pricing options, etc.

Please be aware that airport and hotel transfers described throughout the itineraries for both the Australia Tour and the New Zealand Extension will be based upon the flight on which the majority of the group is traveling. If you book your own air travel using other flight times and/or dates, you are responsible for providing your own transportation to and from the hotel.

Flights in the International Air Travel Packages

Travelers who book the International Air Travel Package for the standard Australia Tour
WITHOUT the New Zealand Extension will have these flights on Qantas Airlines:

Australia-Only International Air Travel Package
Flight From Date Depart To Arr. Date Arr.Time
Qantas 12 LAX Nov 1 925 pm Sydney Nov 3 635 am
Qantas 735 SYD Nov 3 1105 am Adelaide Nov 3 1240 pm
Qantas 678 ADL Nov 6 935 am Melbourne Nov 6 1120 am
Qantas 430 MEL Nov 8 930 am Sydney Nov 8 1055 am
Qantas 11 SYD Nov 11 1130 am LAX Nov 11 615 am

Travelers who book the International Air Travel Package for the standard Australia Tour
WITH the New Zealand Extension will have these flights on Qantas Airlines:

Australia + New Zealand International Air Travel Package
Flight From Date Depart To Arr. Date Arr.Time
Qantas 12 LAX Nov 1 925 pm Sydney Nov 3 635 am
Qantas 735 SYD Nov 3 1105 am Adelaide Nov 3 1240 pm
Qantas 678 ADL Nov 6 935 am Melbourne Nov 6 1120 am
Qantas 430 MEL Nov 8 930 am Sydney Nov 8 1055 am
Qantas 121 SYD Nov 11 925 am Queenstown Nov 11 225 pm
Qantas 126 AKL Nov 19 430 pm Brisbane Nov 19 510 pm
Qantas 15 BNE Nov 19 1000 pm LAX Nov 19 525 pm

New Zealand travelers also need a short one-way flight from Christchurch to Wellington on Air New Zealand. Because it is intimately tied in with the remainder of our New Zealand tour, this one-way ticket will be acquired by the tour operator for all persons traveling on the New Zealand Extension. The price of this ticket is already included in the price of the New Zealand Extension.

  • Christchurch - Wellington

Frequent Flyer Number

If you have an Alaska Airlines frequent flyer number, please provide it during signup (there will be a slot for it).

Dietary Restrictions

Please note any dietary meal needs for your flights during signup.

Classes of Air Service Available

There are four classes of service to select from. These brief descriptions are excerpted from the Qantas website; click here for photos and additional details of each service class.

  • Economy Class - upgraded seats with softer cushioning, a netted footrest for a deeper recline and more legroom for extra comfort on longer journeys. Welcome drinks, award-winning wines, snackbars, continual refreshments through your flight, more meal choices, larger portions. Personal inflight entertainment system.
  • Premium Economy - Seated in an intimate and private cabin, you'll enjoy the benefits of flying premium with dedicated check-in, priority boarding, a well thought out seat design with indulgent touches to make you feel at home plus a refreshed menu and extensive wine list. Extra legroom and wider seats. Amenity kit. Put on our noise-cancelling headphones and tune into the latest movies, TV box sets, music and interactive games, all controlled from your personal touch-screen. Sommeliers in the Sky can help you choose a wine from our award-winning selection to match your meal. Access snacks and drinks from the self-serve bars.
  • Business Class - Priority check-in. Complimentary access to one of our award-winning Qantas Business lounges, where available, or one of our partner airline lounges. Private Business Suite or Skybed that reclines to a luxurious fully-flat bed. Personal on-demand inflight entertainment system. Refreshments and magazines in a private on-board area. Enjoy a contemporary selection of Rockpool designed small and main plates along with our standard full formal dining offering, all served on beautiful Noritake and David Caon designed tableware. Priority baggage handling.
  • First Class - Dedicated check-in area and fast-track through immigration. Priority boarding access through a dedicated lane. Relax in our award-winning First lounges. Private First Suite that reclines to a luxurious fully-flat bed. Travelling with a companion? With a comfortable leather ottoman there's more than enough room for two if you'd like to dine together. Indulge in a tasting menu (on selected services) or choose to dine from our la carte menu offering signature dishes. Your suite's fitted with the latest technologies, a touch screen, noise-cancelling headphones, power access and USB port. Luxurious amenities.
International Air Package Pricing from LAX
See sidebar for additional information
Service Class Economy Premium
Economy
Business
Class
First
Class
Australia Tour $1,865.95 $4,500.00 $12,200.00 Lots More
Australia Tour with
New Zealand Extension
$1,860.45 $4,500.00 $12,207.95 Lots More

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International Air Package Payment Schedule
What Amount When
Australia-Only International Air
First Deposit
$200.00 June 15, 2023
Australia + New Zealand International Air
First Deposit
$200.00 June 7, 2023
Australia-Only International Air
Final Payment
Balance Due Aug 21, 2023
Australia + New Zealand International Air
Final Payment
Balance Due September 14, 2023

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Alaska Air Connecting Flights

As described above, all travelers need to obtain flights from their home city to Los Angeles (LAX) and return. One way to do that is to select the Alaska Air Connecting Flights during signup.

Alaska Air Connecting Flights ESTIMATED Pricing
Service Class Economy First / Business
PDX - LAX Round-Trip $390.00 $xxx.00

Air Prices Shown are ESTIMATES

Our blocked group fares are Economy Class; as a result, the prices shown below for those tickets are firm. We did not block seats in Premium Economy, Business Class, or First Class; as a result, we can only offer estimates of pricing for these service classes. For Premium Economy Tom will need to work each request separately due to a variety of circumstances and availability.

As a rough idea of pricing, Premium Economy for the basic Australia trip is in the $4,500 range and New Zealand may add a bit more.

Tom did get a solid estimate for Business Class for the full Australia + New Zealand tour as shown below. Be aware that (1) the price for Business Class may vary somewhat until ticketed; (2) the domestic flights within Australia are Economy Class; and (3) it may require using a different routing coming home since there are a limited number of seats on each flight.

Fares are subject to change until ticketed.

All airfares are non-refundable/non-transferrable.

Passports - IMPORTANT

A VALID U.S. PASSPORT is required for travel. You may NOT use a U.S. Passport Card, birth certificate, or similar documentation -- a Passport is required. If you do not hold a passport or your passport is not up to date, you should acquire one or renew it AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to avoid issues later on. See the TBGO Passport Information page for detailed information on applying for a first passport or renewing an expiring passport.

Remember to KEEP YOUR PASSPORT WITH YOU WHEN YOU BOARD THE PLANE -- DON'T PACK IT IN YOUR LUGGAGE!!!

IF YOU ARE USING A PASSPORT FROM A COUNTRY OTHER THAN THE U.S.A please let Tom know as soon as possible because you may have different visa requirements.

Visas - IMPORTANT

Visas are required to enter both Australia and New Zealand. Specifically, you will need something called an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) for each country that you enter. See the table for cost of each visa. YOU WILL NEED TO APPLY ONLINE FOR EACH ETA YOU REQUIRE; TOM IS NOT HANDLING VISAS FOR THIS TRIP. Each of Australia and New Zealand have an App as well to obtain the required visas.

Here are the official government sites for obtaining the required ETA for each country:

  • Australia official government website:
    https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-finder/visit
    The Australia ETA is good for a stay of no more than 90-days and is also known as the ETA Subclass 601 visa. Cost is $AUD 20.00 (about $USD 13.00). There is also an app you can use instead of the website; search your App Store for Australian ETA.
  • New Zealand official government website:
    https://www.govt.nz/browse/immigration-and-visas/visitor-visas-and-the-nzeta/
    The New Zealand ETA is good for a stay of no more than 90-days. Cost is $NZD 17-23 (about $USD 10-13) depending on how you obtain it.. New Zealand also requires payment of the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL), which costs $NZD 35 (about $USD 21). You'll pay for it when you apply for the New Zealand ETA Again, there is an app you can use instead of the website; search your App Store for NZeTA.

There are many other websites out there other than the official government sites that seem official, some of which may charge a whole lot more. Be aware of this.

When applying for your visas, have your US Passport handy as they will be asking for that information, plus other details including your home address, contact information, etc. Make sure you have a current passport with a sufffiently distant expiration date before you start since your visa is tied to your passport number. If they ask about your flights on Qantas they are listed above. They will also ask about your dates of travel. To keep that simple here are those dates for you (unless you are arriving or staying earlier for this trip):

  • Australia arrival date is November 3 with departure date of November 11
  • New Zealand arrival date is November 11 with departure date of November 19

Once you have been approved you will want to print out your E-visa(s) to take with you. When you check-in with Qantas Airways at LAX on November 1 on day of departure and show your US Passport, Qantas will be able to tell you have the required visas. If you use the apps to get your visas, you might want to print out your approved visa for peace of mind even though it is electronic.

PLEASE ACQUIRE YOUR VISAS BY AUGUST 31.

Cost of Visas and Related Fees
Nation Cost Per Person
Australia ETA AUD 20
(approx USD $13)
New Zealand ETA NZD 17 to 23
(approx USD $10.50 to $13)
New Zealand IVL NZD 35
(approx USD $21)

Travel Subsidies

Early Booking Discount

An Early Booking Discount (EBD) of $500.00 is available to all TBGO band associates (musicians, auxiliary unit members, and support staff) who have performed regularly with the band. We're also delighted to welcome new performers to join TBGO for this trip; the EBD is available to new band associates who join TBGO now and play with the band regularly throughout the summer / fall 2023 season. To be eligible for the EBD, you must sign up for the Australia trip (with or without the New Zealand Extension) by JUNE 12, 2023. The EBD will be applied at the time of your final trip payment.

The Early Booking Discount is not available to friends and family traveling with the band.

Travel Assistance Program

The Travel Assistance Program was established with two goals:

  • Fielding a robust, high-quality band at major events. Major events deserve a major-league performance and great performances are required if the band wants to keep being invited to major events. Since band is a "team sport", it takes strong representation from every segment of the band to produce a performance that satisfies our expectations. By reducing cost as a barrier to participation, the Travel Assistance Program enables TBGO to field the strongest possible band at major events.
  • Sharing band experiences with dedicated TBGO Band Associates whose financial circumstances otherwise prevent them from attending major events. The memories created as the "band family" on road trips are a significant part of the TBGO experience. The Travel Assistance Program expands the range of Band Associates who can be part of those experiences by making trips more affordable for those who couldn't otherwise travel.

Band associates who require a degree of financial assistance with the trip are urged to consider applying for a Travel Award. As we've said many times, it allows TBGO to field a better band and all of you helped earn the money in the band's travel fund. The TBGO Board believes that travel with the band is an important part of the TBGO experience and STRONGLY ENCOURAGES BAND ASSOCIATES TO APPLY IF THEY ARE INTERESTED IN THE TRIP BUT NEED ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE. Prospective applicants are referred to the Travel Assistance Program (TAP) Details for more information about the intent of TBGO's TAP program and its selection process.

For the Australia trip, here's how the Travel Assistance Program will work.

  • To apply for a Travel Award, sign up for the trip via Survey Monkey using the normal signup survey link. During the Survey Monkey signup, you will be asked if you wish to apply for a Travel Award. If yes, you'll be asked for your Proposed Travel Budget.
  • The total cost of the Australia Land Package ($2,763.00) PLUS the Australia International Air Package ($1,865.95) is $4,628.95. Your Proposed Travel Budget is the part of this total you propose to pay. The Proposed Travel Budget must be at least $1,200. If a Travel Award is approved, you will pay the amount of your Proposed Travel Budget for the combined Australia Land and Air Packages, with the remaining cost being subsidized by the band fund.
  • Travel Award applicants will be notified of the status of their application shortly after the Travel Award signup period closes. The status of each Travel Award application will be determined before the applicant's travel deposit is charged (i.e., we will not charge the travel deposit to your credit card if the Travel Award is not granted).
  • A Travel Award recipientis also responsible for the cost of DOMESTIC air transportation to and from LAX, either by purchasing the Alaska Air Connecting Flights or by making your own air arrangements, including using air mile awards. Round-trip airfare to LAX is currently running about $200 to $400 depending on carrier. (This is the same for all travelers.)
  • A Travel Award recipient must obtain an Australia ETA (visa) as detailed above. (Again, this is the same for all travelers.
  • A Travel Award REPLACES the Early Booking Discount (you don't receive both).
  • In summary, the total cost of the trip for a Travel Award recipient is the recipient's Proposed Travel Budget PLUS the cost of DOMESTIC air transportation PLUS the cost of the Australia ETA.
  • The DUE DATE to apply for a Travel Award is 11:59 PM ON JUNE 11, 2023.
  • Be aware that applying for a Travel Award does not guarantee that a Award will be approved.

Travel Assistance Program Notes and Restrictions

  • Travel Assistance Program applications and awards are held confidential by the TBGO Board.
  • Travel Awards are not available for travelers electing the New Zealand Extension, Air Upgrades, or other upgrades that may be offered.
  • Non-Performers (e.g., family members) are not eligible for Travel Awards.
  • The Board respectfully requests that you elect the highest Proposed Travel Budget that you can realistically afford given your financial situation. This will help us approve Awards for the largest possible number of applicants.
  • Rooming arrangements for Travel Award Recipients are typically Double rooms (2 persons per room); however, the TBGO Board may require other arrangements at its discretion to create the most cost-effective solutions for the band fund.
  • Travel Award recipients may purchase Travel Insurance if desired. Price of the insurance is based on the full cost of the trip and is paid by the Travel Award recipient. If a Travel Award recipient incurs a Trip Cancellation event that results in an award from the insurance company, the Travel Award recipient is expected to reimburse TBGO for TBGO's portion of the cost of the trip.
  • The Board requests that you evaluate your own health situation before applying for a Travel Award; it is counter-productive for the band to allocate Awards to those who are unable to perform as expected.

How to Compute Your Total Trip Price

There are multiple options available for land and air travel for both the Australia Tour and New Zealand Extension. The many combinations make it hard to create a "price options" table showing all the possibilities. As a result, here's how you should compute your estimated cost for the trip.

If you are not applying for a Travel Award:

  • Begin with the cost of the Australia Tour land package (using your choice of accommodations). This does NOT include airfare.
  • If you wish to take advantage of the New Zealand Extension, ADD the cost of the New Zealand Extension land package. Again, this does NOT include airfare.
  • If you wish to reserve the appropriate International Air Package, ADD the cost of your International Air Package. (Alternatively, estimate your air cost if booking your own international air travel).
  • ADD the cost of your domestic air travel to/from LAX (Alaska Airlines Connecting Flights or flights you book yourself.
  • ADD the cost of an Australia visa.
  • If you are electing the New Zealand Extension, ADD the cost of a New Zealand visa.
  • If you are a TBGO band associate and sign up by the EBD deadline, SUBTRACT the Early Booking Discount of (currently $500).

If you are applying for a Travel Award:

  • Begin with the amount of your Proposed Travel Budget.
  • ADD the cost of your domestic air travel to/from LAX (Alaska Airlines Connecting Flights or flights you book yourself.
  • ADD the cost of an Australia visa.

EXAMPLES (does not include domestic air travel; add your own estimate):

  • Band associate, Double room Australia only (+$2763), Australia Air Package (+$1866), AUS visa ($13), signup by June 12 (-$500) = $4142.
  • Band associate, Applying for Travel Award with $2000 Proposed Travel Budget (+$2000), AUS visa ($13), = $2013.
  • Family member, Double room Australia only (+$2763), Australia Air Package (+$1866), Australia visa (+$13), signup by June 12 ($0) = $4642.
  • Band associate, Double room Australia (+$2763), New Zealand Extension (+$3196), New Zealand Air Package (+$1860), AUS visa ($13), NZ visa (+$34), signup by June 12 (-$500) = $7366.
  • Band associate, Single room Australia (+$3873), New Zealand Extension (+$4126), New Zealand Air Package (+$1860), AUS visa ($13), NZ visa (+$34), signup by June 12 (-$500) = $9409.
  • Family member, Double room Australia (+$2763), New Zealand Extension (+$3196), New Zealand Air Package (+$1860), AUS visa ($13), NZ visa (+$34), signup by June 12 ($0) = $7866.

Deciding Whether to Book This Trip

It's important that you be in reasonably good health to handle the demands of this trip. You must be able to get on/off the motor coaches in reasonable fashion and there will be some walking. Those not in good health can cause delays each day on the tour and hold things up for the rest of the tour participants. Should you fall in this category you may need to strongly re-evaluate if a trip as such is for you. Alternatively, you may need to bring along someone with you (family or caregiver) to insure you have someone who can assist you each and every day to avoid becoming a burden to other travelers. Getting through airports is yet another area to consider since it entails getting through security and walking long distances to immigration and flight gates. Being aware of these expectations and your limitations, and then making thoughtful choices will ensure that we can provide a great experience for everyone.

Requesting Travel Modifications

As noted earlier, the Land Packages are "all or nothing" and will not be altered. However, if you want to arrive early, stay longer, or visit additional places, Tom can work with you on your ideal trip. If you want to break the long 15-hour flight into more manageable chunks, he's got ideas for that too.

If you'd like to explore changes in the trip, please contact Tom Higham Travel (tom-higham@comcast.net). He'll arrange an in-person meeting with you to learn about and discuss your travel ideas.

Travel Insurance

TBGO travel packages (like travel packages everywhere) are non-refundable. To protect yourself in case of problems that prevent or interrupt your travel, you may wish to consider purchasing travel insurance.

Many people do not understand the value of travel insurance until certain things happen, such as having to cancel their trip due to illness, injury, or death to themselves or immediate family members. Travel insurance also protects you should you need to change travel plans because a family member develops health issues. Another reason for having travel coverage is that many countries around the world that have socialized medicine don't want to be stuck with medical costs you may have accrued and don't have the means to pay for it. Yet another reason is that Medicare does not cover you outside the USA, including traveling to Canada or Mexico or taking a cruise. Click here for a more in-depth explanation of the benefits of travel insurance, including plan options and example costs.

IMPORTANT: To be sure you are fully covered, especially for pre-existing reasons, you must purchase your travel insurance within 21 days of your travel deposit (best to do it at the time you are making your trip deposit so that way you know you have it handled). You will be offered an opportunity to purchase travel insurance when filling out the Survey Monkey sign-up for the trip.

Let's Go!!! Down Under Trip Signup

Use the link below NOT YET ACTIVE to sign up for the "Australia Down Under" trip. This is the Final Signup; it commits you to making the trip. ALL PAYMENTS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE.

You will need to know the following:

  • Choice of Land Package (Australia Tour Land Package only, or Australia Tour Land Package plus New Zealand Extension Land Package), along with what type of room (Single, Double, Triple). If you choose Triple be sure you have a verified rooming list per TBGO guidelines. Please note that Single rooms, the New Zealand Extension Land Package, and air classes other than Economy are not available if you plan to apply for a TAP award.
  • Whether you wish to purchase the corresponding International Air Package or will make our own international air travel arrangements.
  • If you are plan to purchase the Air Package: Class of service (Economy, Premium Economy, Business, or First Class); Alaska Airlines frequent flyer number (if any); dietary requests for airplane meals.
  • For travel to LAX, whether you want the Alaska Airlines Connecting Flights or will make your own air travel arrangements.
  • Whether you plan to apply for a Travel Award, and if so the amount of your proposed travel budget.
  • Passport information: Name EXACTLY as shown on Passport, Passport Number, Date of Birth. If you do not have a passport or your passport is not current, you may supply this information later on.
  • Payment Information - Credit Card info if you wish to pay by credit card, or you can contact Tom directly
  • Whether you want Trip Insurance

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE
"AUSTRALIA DOWN UNDER" TRIP

ALL PAYMENTS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE