The advantages of early bookings...Upcoming US football season...Is Tom going to watch the Vikings games?


This view could be a tropical island anywhere in the world.
Since booking our last three cruises over these past few months, Tom has noticed those cruise fares have increased substantially: one for US $1100, AUD $1484; the second for US $900, AUD $1213; the third for US $800, AUD $1078, for a grand total of US $2800, AUD $3774. 

Throughout our travels, we've often been asked why we book future travels so far in advance.  This is the main reason.  If one books a venue at a great price, we've never been contacted requesting we pay a new higher price.  In other words, when booking travels the lowest price at which we can "lock in" the price, will hold until the booking occurs.

Deadman's Gully is an ideal habitat for crocs.
However, booking airline tickets, car rentals or vacation homes at a higher price will seldom allow us the benefit of a price reduction which may eventually be posted online.  With penalties for canceling and rebooking these types of travel accommodations, we have to face the reality that price changes will occur from time to time. 

We could hear the birds hovering over this area which also is considered a natural habitat for birds.
In booking cruises, it's different.  On several occasions, its been to our benefit to request a price reduction on a previously booked cruise as long as its before the 90-day-before-sailing window or when the final payment is due. The cruise lines and booking agencies allow one to take advantage of fare reductions. Its up to the customer to continually check for fare reductions.  The agency or cruise line will not do this for the customer.

With seven upcoming cruises booked, Tom has gotten into the habit of checking daily for price reductions. This has served us well over these past 11 cruises and hopefully will continue to benefit us going forward.  Ironically, he also notices fare increases as noted above, confirming that early bookings make sense.  

The beach in this area was desolate.
The only disadvantage of booking early for any travel related event is the usual requirement to pay well in advance, as often as two years before the event occurs. 

Often, when booking certain hotels using the links on our site we get booking perks.  Each hotel night we book accumulates points toward future hotel bookings.  To date, we've received three free nights with more pending, keeping in mind that we seldom stay in hotels for more than one night, except for a year ago when we spent two weeks each in Paris and London.

A safe walkway into the rainforest in Clifton Beach.
Once we're situated in Fiji next month we'll begin to work on filling the holes in our schedule when doing so requires the expenditure of more upfront cash and a better wifi connection which we've been assured is the case.  In the past few years Fiji has updated their wifi country-wide with a supposed good signal for all residents.

With little heavy rain in these past few weeks, this area contained little water as compared to when we visited a few months ago.
On to another timely topic...Tom's planning to watch the Minnesota Vikings football games, beginning with the first preseason game when its broadcast Sunday night at 8 pm central time. 

He won't be able to watch the game here until Monday based on the time zone in Australia.  If he waits to watch it, he can avoid the commercials but bears the risk of seeing the results online. He can actually watch it live on Monday morning at 11 am which most likely he'll do.   Tom's one of those guys that really doesn't like to hear the results before watching the game. 

We'd hoped to see a kangaroo pop out of these woods but no such luck.
While we're still in Australia he can plug in the HDMI cord into the HD TV to watch the games.  In Fiji, without a TV, he'll have to watch the games on his laptop as will be the case for all shows we chose to watch while living in Fiji. 

These grill areas are available to any who'd like to use them at no cost.  Its pleasing to see how those who've used them, has left them in spotless condition.  One wouldn't find this to be the case in every country.
As many viewers chose, adapting to watching movies and other media on tablets and other small screens is easy.  During most of our travels, we haven't had access to an HD TV (or any TV for that matter) and have easily adapted to watching the small screen.

As for another matter, this morning, when I prepared to shower grabbing a towel off the stack of fresh towels on the floor in the bathroom (we'd filled the intended towel drawer with toilet paper and other toiletries leaving no room for the stack of towels) there sat the largest spider I'd seen since we were in Africa. 

Clifton Beach is a beautiful sandy beach with few visitors.
Sure, I could have gone to grab the camera for a photo, but I feared that it would get away before we got back.  Although I didn't scream, squeal or otherwise, I did ask Tom to put on his shoes and help dispose of it.  From reading online it could easily have been the relatively harmless large Huntsman Spider known to eat household insects. 

The mailman stopped his bike to chat with us!
However, we couldn't be certain as to the type with literally hundreds of species in Queensland. Tom grabbed the towel with the spider still on it outdoors to the wild area in the yard, shaking the towel to release it. 

We both been surprised by how few insects we've spotted indoors in Australia.  The biggest annoyance has been flies that somehow find their way indoors even though the doors and windows without screens are always kept closed. 


We weren't sure why these boulders had been placed at this spot on the beach.
This morning, we were awakened once again at 4:51 am from the screaming birds, the Curlews, living in the bush in the yard.  Its like no noise we've ever heard in the past.  One would think their legs are being torn off when in fact they're happily living their lives, most active at night.

Life is unique wherever we may be.  Adapting to the differences has become easy and familiar to us. Once we arrive in Fiji, we'll experience an entirely new range of differences for which we'll hopefully adapt in no time at all.  We'll keep our readers apprised of these differences.

Happy weekend to all!

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Photo from one year ago today, August 9, 2014:

We didn't post any other photos than the above on this date one year ago.  We were out the door early to head to the Louvre.  With such a busy day, we didn't post until the next day. 

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