Answers to common questions we get asked.
THE BOOKING PROCESS
How easy is the booking process?
We strive to make the booking process as straight forward as possible. You decide where you might like to go, or what you would like to experience and we help you develop an itinerary to suit your dates, interests and budget. We will help you make decisions with suggestions and ideas based on our wealth of local knowledge so your travel itinerary is a true reflection of what you would like your trip to be. You can find a more detailed description of our booking process works here.
Is a customized itinerary more expensive?
No it isn't! It is a uniquely tailored itinerary to suit your requirements, budget and expectations. You don't have to accept the limitations that are a part of a package itinerary, you can make it your own and we use our knowledge and travel experience to make it happen.
Do you charge for quotes?
No we don't.
Do you charge for booking fees?
No we don't. We earn commission from travel providers for your travel bookings not from charging customers for services.
Can I use my frequent flyer miles?
Yes, we encourage you to use frequent flyer miles where you can, it saves you money. If you would like us to book your mileage tickets we can do this for you, we just charge a flat fee of USD $50. There is a lot of time spent on doing this and this fee just covers our time to do so.
Will I get discounted airfare by booking with Downunder Journeys?
The airlines continually release airfare specials, we get the same pricing as that available online. We will always be searching the best fare for you and we do find fares that are cheaper than what you can find online, it’s all dependent on supply and demand. Online you will need to purchase immediately to hold the fare, with us you can hold the fare for a few days and then ticket, we have a little more flexibility than online ticket purchases.
We use wholesale rates that include contracted rates, which is pretty normal in the travel industry and therefore the pricing is not broken down. We take your budget, your standard of travel and we work as closely to that as we can. We do separate your pricing into land and airfare costs.
DO YOU PROCESS TRAVEL VISA'S?
We offer complimentary visa processing for US and Canadian citizens traveling to Australia. However, if you have any criminal convictions, we will not be able to process your visa and you will be required to undergo a background check.
New Zealand has introduced an NZeTA. The primary purpose of introducing the NZeTA is to enable enhanced border security checks to prevent individuals who may pose a potential security risk entering New Zealand. It will also help reduce the time needed for border clearance. It is very similar to the ESTA and ETA required to travel to the USA and Canada.
Who will need an NZeTA?
As of October 1st, 2019 travelers to New Zealand will be required to have an NZeTA – New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority. This includes:
Citizens of all 60 visa waiver countries visiting New Zealand for less than 3 months.
Transit passengers changing planes to a final destination. The NZeTA is required even if you aren’t leaving the airport.
Cruise ship passengers visiting New Zealand on a cruise
There are 60 countries who have a visa waiver agreement with New Zealand. The USA is one of these. So if you are traveling on a USA passport to New Zealand, you will need your US passport valid for at least 6 months and an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority). If you do not have an NZeTA you will not be allowed to travel.
Who doesn’t need an NZeTA?
New Zealand and Australian citizens do not need an NZeTA. Those who already hold a valid visa for New Zealand also do not need an NZeTA. If you are a citizen of a non-Visa waiver country you will apply for a visitor visa instead of an NZeTA.
More information about the NZeTA can be found here.
How do I get an NZeTA?
It is easy to get an NZeTA and only takes a few minutes. There are several ways you can do this:
Apply for an NZeTA online here.
Use the NZeTA iOS mobile app here.
Use the NZeTA Android mobile app here.
The fastest way to request your NZeTA is using the mobile app. Allow up to 72 hours for processing, however it can be much faster than this.
How do I pay for the NZeTA?
You can pay for your NZeTA online with your credit card or debit card.
How much does the NZeTA cost?
The cost is NZD $9 using the app or NZD $12 using the online form.
When entering New Zealand you must also pay an IVL which is used for funding infrastructure and helps protect the New Zealand environment. The IVL cost is NZD $35 and you pay it at the same time as you request your NZeTA.
What information will I need to request an NZeTA online?
Your full name
Date of birth
Information about your travel plans
Answer health questions
Answer security questions
When will I use my NZeTA?
When you go through security in New Zealand you will show your NZeTA and passport to the border authorities.
Can you get the NZeTA for me?
If you require assistance in getting your NZeTA, then one of our staff can help you and we charge a USD30 processing fee for the assistance as well as the Visa issuance.
TRAVELING TO THE SOUTH PACIFIC
How can I get to any South Pacific locations?
Depending on how much time you have for your vacation you can either fly or take a cruise. Flying is the fastest way to get there.
If I wanted to cruise to the South Pacific what are my options?
There are many opportunities for cruising in the South Pacific, you can do transpacific cruises such as Vancouver to Sydney or San Francisco to Auckland, and then you would fly home after the cruise, or you can fly to a destination in the South Pacific and start a cruise in New Zealand and end in Australia or vice versa. The South Pacific is a seasonal destination, cruises will start around October and go through to April, and at each end of those seasons is where you find the transpacific cruise where the Cruise lines are moving their ships to the destinations. These transpacific cruises can be at highly reduced prices.
What is the ideal length of time for a holiday to the South Pacific?
We recommend 10 to 14 days as a good length of time to visit. We can design an itinerary that focuses on either one destination or a shorter time in several locations. It isn't possible to see all that the South Pacific offers in 10 to 14 days, so you can always come back again and focus on areas that interested you on your first visit. If you have the luxury of time you can easily fill a month in either New Zealand or Australia as a single destination and still have more to see.
DOWNUNDER JOURNEYS SERVICES
What other services do Downunder Journeys provide besides flights and accommodation?
We are your one stop shop for everything South Pacific, from boarding that plane to returning home, we do it all… air travel, cruises, land transfers, accommodations, travel insurance and touring. We will even book your restaurant reservations and tee times. We will also process your travel visas for Australia as a complimentary service for all US citizens traveling on the booking.
We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance to protect your investment. We will provide a travel insurance quote at the time of booking, and you are free to use our recommended insurance, find your own, or book without insurance.
We pride ourselves on being outstanding travel agents and happily provide potential clients with referrals from our current clients for peace of mind. We are registered cruise planner specialists, members of CLIA (Cruise Line International Association) and an ARC (Airlines Reporting Corporation) accredited agency.
I'm just thinking about a trip but am not sure about details yet, should I bother getting in touch?
Yes definitely! Early advice in the trip planning process can save you time and money. It gives you a chance to consider carefully the best time to travel taking into account events you may want to attend eg The Australian Open, the best time to travel and best pricing for flights and accommodation.
Do you book travel to anywhere other than the South Pacific?
We certainly do! Downunder Journeys is our South Pacific division. If you would like the same great service to another destination outside of the South Pacific you can go through our parent company Bespoke Journeys ph 703-879-1493.
All itineraries can be customized to suit our clients needs. This means that everything that is suggested can be changed to suit you. We believe that an itinerary designed around your group size, desired destination/s, accommodation and activity preferences will give you the best travel plan for your upcoming trip. We provide itinerary suggestions to help you see what kind of opportunities there are available. Our suggested itineraries provide a good starting point for you to make changes from. When you talk to us we will get a better understanding of what type of trip you have in mind and we build your travel plan from there.
Cruise Planners is an award winning company that specializes in cruise and land based vacations. We are a travel agency that is part of the Cruise Planners large network of travel specialists. To be a member of Cruise Planners we are recognized as providing quality personalized travel advisory services, best value options, value-added benefits and amenities for our clients.
I would like to receive updates from Downunder Journeys. Do you have a newsletter?
Yes! You can sign up below to receive updates on travel specials, tips and inspiration.