|Flying from country to country in Africa is no simple task. Check out this map illustrating the size of the African continent compared to the US and other countries.|
Once we’re situated in South Africa, we’ll continue to search for flights as needed, especially the difficult process of finding our way to Morocco three months later. There’s no such thing as a direct flight from South Africa to Marrakesh, Morocco. Most likely we’ll have to stay in a hotel overnight along the way in order to maneuver in that direction.
Africa is not comparable to the US where you can fly just about anywhere in less than a day with few layovers if any. These maps illustrate the vast distances.
Booking flights is our least favorite form of research. Overall, we’ve found the research for vacation homes most enjoyable and hotels, second, a necessary reality when a vacation home isn’t practical for short stays.
To have finally filled every gap between now and May 15, 2015, we feel a sense of relief. One may ask, “Is this when it all ends?” Nope. This is as far out as one can get a commitment for a booking for most vacation homes, most cruises, all flights (330 days or less for bookings), and many hotels.
Over the past few days, in the hopes of freeing our time to begin packing to leave two weeks from today, we wanted the peace of mind knowing that we’d filled the remaining gaps: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, October 5 to October 16, 2014, a mere 11 months away and, Boston, Massachusetts, USA from September 14 to September 17, 2014, only 10 months from now.
Today, we’ll share the details of our find in Honolulu and tomorrow, Boston, which in itself presented a few challenges based on our needs at that time.
Here is the link to our 11 night rental in Waikiki. Need I say, we’re thrilled and relieved to have found exactly what we were seeking, at the best possible price, in an ideal location convenient to everything. (These vacation home websites don’t allow photos to be copied making it necessary to follow the link to see the photos).
Researching Honolulu/Waikiki was brutal. Prices are through the roof, especially when including the 13.5% rental tax, resort fees, and in some cases, fees paid to the company listing the property. What started at US $185 a night (it was higher than listed on their site, due to time of the year), the price we paid for our selection, ended up at almost US $200 a night.
The owner of this ocean-view condo has been fabulous to work with so far and based on the reviews we’ve read, that will continue to be the case throughout the rental period.
With our rigid criteria of having an ocean view, laundry facilities, free WiFi, a lanai, close to buses for sightseeing and dining, the search was frustrating. Most properties with a view were much more expensive. As we were just about ready to bite the bullet and pay more, we stumbled across this property by leaving HomeAway to search this other well-known listing site, AirBNB that we’d casually perused in the past.
Minus a few glitches we experienced in the booking process late last night, we were able to work it out. The time difference between Hawaii and Kenya is 13 hours. Waiting until after we returned after dinner last night made it possible for us to communicate directly with the owner, as he was waking up (on the same day) to assist us in fine-tuning the details.
The rental is paid in full and we don’t have to give it another thought until the time nears, and we’ll need access information. Most likely we’ll make those arrangements during our cruise to Hawaii from Vancouver, BC arrives in Honolulu on October 5, 2014. Ah, relief.
Tonight, we’re trying a new-to-us restaurant for dinner at the upscale Swahili Beach Resort. They’re having their usual Saturday night buffet of local favorites. If the food isn’t great, as it wasn’t last night at another popular resort, the company will be extraordinary as usual.