We are from the Philadelphia, PA, USA suburbs. First trip with Tauck.Our tour starts Dec 8, 2011 in Australia. Then we will continue on to NZ with Tauck.

My questions:

For those of you who have previously traveled with Tauck and have used internal charter flights, of which there are 4 in NZ and 4 in Australia:

1. How firm is the private charter requirement for one bag per person, not including the 15 lb max carry on? I will call Tauck to see if there is an extra charge.

2. In some places we are on our own in the afternoon/evening. - Any suggestions especially for Port Douglas, Sydney, Queenstown and Wellington?

3. And finally, how does one post a photo here. I cannot find the directions.


Gail and Jerry Raznov


  • Hi Gail & Jerry,

    I just returned from Australia/New Zealand last week and will try to answer your questions.

    As far as luggage, we panicked when we re-read the documents from Tauck about the overall size of the luggage to bring on. When I booked this trip, well before receiving the luggage information, I went out and purchased a new 30 inch bag. When I saw the overall size requirements and realized that mine exceeded the size, I called Tauck and was informed that the size wasn't a factor as much as the weight was. I was very relieved and had no issue throughout the trip w/my 30 inch bag and I made sure to stay under the 50 lb weight limit. I did talk to some people who were overweight on their checked bag, then they moved things into their carry on, only to have the airline personnel weigh those bags, then charge them overweight fees. This happened twice to the same family!!! My checked bag was never overweight, and my carry on was never weighed. I think they only checked the carry on for that family when they saw them move items into those bags.

    The New Zealand portion is the only one w/Private Charters and we were not full to capacity on those flights (only 26 guests + tour guide) so we never heard any issues about weight regarding luggage.

    As far as being on your own, the guide will hand out suggestions for things to do/places to eat, etc. What you do depends on your interests. We had some people who were very active and rented bikes in various places or just walked/jogged around the different areas. In Sydney, some walked the Harbor Bridge, no one did the climb, or you can take ferries to different places - like the zoo or to Manly Beach for a bike ride. Some people got tickets to the Opera House (a ballet was performing) on the day off, or you could do some shopping if you need to. Also, the hotel is directly across from the Botanical Gardens if you wanted to walk there. If you are staying @ Peppers Beach Club in Port Douglas, they have a beautiful pool you can use, or the town with shops and many restaurants is a short walk. The beach is also a short walk from the hotel. In Wellington and Queenstown, NZ, you are near the towns so you could walk around there or walk along the beach. Queenstown has a botantical garden which you could walk through and the town is super close with a lot of shops if you need any souveniers!

    I hope that helps!!
  • Thank you Cathy.

    Your reply is very helpful. We're looking forward to the trip. I have color coordinated everything to cut down on the number of shoes and can now easily mix and match tops and bottoms without wanting to throw out all the clothes at the end of this 22 day trip.

    I also found in the super market a fabulous light weight detergent made by Purex that is a three ply sheet containing detergent, fabric softener, and an anti static. After the wash, throw it into the dryer to act as the softener and anti static. I put a few sheets into a zip lock bag in my carry on.

    I don't know why different airlines that use the same/similar types of air craft have different weight restrictions. And the rules regulating carry on luggage vary from 15 to 18 to 40 lbs depending on the airline.

    After dealing with Luftansa's 18 lb carry on limit this past year, (and most carry ons weight at least 9-10 lbs alone) I've learned to use as a personal bag a substantial canvas tote bag as my personal "pocketbook" and put into it the heavier carry on stuff that I am either loathe to lose permanently and then have to waste time shopping to replace, then spend time having to file an insurance claim to replace--- or having certain items delayed and causing inconvenience until they arrive in lthe next city or port.

    After I board the plane I move some of the tote bag stuff into the carry on. I still wear a waist pack containing money/credit cards/lipstick, etc. And I have never been challenged. If i were, I could stuff the waist pack into the tote. No one weights a personal bag...........yet. And even then it isn't very heavy, no more so that a large women's pocket book.

    Tauck's suggestion to pack half of ones stuff in each of a couple's bags is good advice. I've seen too many people on cruises wearing stuff donated by friends traveling with them until their luggage catches up-if it ever does. And insurance limits don't cover all of the replacement costsif a bag is lost.

    Airplane travel is certainly much more of a hassle now, but there are ways to cope.

    I finally broke down and bought a Kindle and have 30 books on it, some I bought, many excellent ones, classics and even contemporary non fiction that is free at Amazon. For this kind of trip and duration, I normally would have taken 6-7 books. No more.

    Thanks again.
  • You're welcome! I will say that I'm so glad we listened to Tauck's advice about spreading the clothes in the different suitcases as we were a party of three and one suitcase didn't arrive until a day later. For some reason it stayed in San Francisco an extra day. Fortunately, it did make it there only a day late and the two bags that arrived had some clothes for my mother so she wasn't stuck in the same outfit.

    I love my Kindle and if you carry that many books on a vacation, then you will too!

    New Zealand is beautiful! Have a great time!
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