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EssexPaul
Post subject: 1st timer on me own!
PostPosted: 20:15 on 22nd Apr 2012

Joined: 20:10 on 22nd Apr 2012
Posts: 2
Hi guys, 1st time poster and barmy army newbie, What's your views on people going on tours on their own? I want to do nz and then the ashes before i move onto sub-continent tours, And as the missus doesn't fancy anything other than the new years test in sydney i'll have to do it on my own!
Is this a common thing and is it best to start with somewhere like NZ? Also whats the general costs of the 2 tours i've mentioned?
Cheers, Paul
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Big Harvey
Post subject: Re: 1st timer on me own!
PostPosted: 21:47 on 22nd Apr 2012

Joined: 09:14 on 23rd Apr 2008
Posts: 2366
EssexPaul Wrote:
Hi guys, 1st time poster and barmy army newbie, What's your views on people going on tours on their own? I want to do nz and then the ashes before i move onto sub-continent tours, And as the missus doesn't fancy anything other than the new years test in sydney i'll have to do it on my own!
Is this a common thing and is it best to start with somewhere like NZ? Also whats the general costs of the 2 tours i've mentioned?
Cheers, Paul


Loads of people tour on their own. Possibly even the majority. Just be open, friendly, and go with the flow. You'll be fine. My first tour was India, and it was my first time there. I spent about 3 weeks backpacking around sightseeing before the cricket started. I just flew into Delhi armed with a Lonely Planet guidebook (not even so much as a hotel reservation), and took it from there. It was a bit of a shock to the system for someone like me who had never been outside Europe before, but what an experience!

It used to be possible to do this for all tours, but nowadays with more people travelling to watch the cricket, a bit more planning is necessary. Except for subcontinent tours it's best to book accommodation ahead, at least for the time the cricket's on. For subcontinent tours though, I still usually prefer to do it the old fashioned way and find digs when I get there.

To give you some idea of cost, check the price of a return flight on a price comparison site such as www.travelsupermarket.com . Check the price of digs in whatever category you feel comfortable with on sites like www.hostelworld.com and www.hotelscombined.com . Between them those two sites cover everything from a creaky bunk in a grotty shared dormitory to an entire luxury hotel suite. Then check the cost of travel between venues. For example in New Zealand, it usually boils down to a choice between flying Air New Zealand and getting the bus. Rail services do exist but are very limited and not always an option. The prices of buses can be found at www.intercity.co.nz .

In Australia for internal flights there's competition between Qantas and Virgin Blue, so check both. Distances are vast, so buses are not very appealing to most people, but can be booked at http://www.greyhound.com.au . Train services are limited, and not really cheaper than flying, except you might save on a night's accommodation. If there's a train going where you're going on the date you want to travel, I'd certainly recommend it for the experience. The trains on the Great Southern Railway are really comfortable, even in cattle class.

Add a few quid for sightseeing, food/drink, and match tickets, the latter of which are normally way cheaper than at home, and you've got a rough idea of the total cost.
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freddie84
Post subject: Re: 1st timer on me own!
PostPosted: 18:22 on 5th May 2012

Joined: 18:13 on 5th May 2012
Posts: 3
Hi Paul

I'm in exactly the same boat. I haven't done any touring before but hope to do both tours and on my own. If you wanted to perhaps plan things together that would be great.

For seasoned tourers, have you done any of your planning for NZ + Aus? If not, how long before you do look into it?

What are the rooms/flights like that barmyarmy organise and is there a big difference in price for anyone who has planned independently?

I've bunked up in hostels in Aus before and not had a great experience with clothing/food/wallets going missing. Not cricket related though.

I had thought of doing things through crashpadder or similar sites depending on how much landlords boost their prices.

Any help greatly appreciated!

Twitter: @freddiejones84
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Big Harvey
Post subject: Re: 1st timer on me own!
PostPosted: 23:05 on 5th May 2012

Joined: 09:14 on 23rd Apr 2008
Posts: 2366
freddie84 Wrote:
Hi Paul

I'm in exactly the same boat. I haven't done any touring before but hope to do both tours and on my own. If you wanted to perhaps plan things together that would be great.

For seasoned tourers, have you done any of your planning for NZ + Aus? If not, how long before you do look into it?

What are the rooms/flights like that barmyarmy organise and is there a big difference in price for anyone who has planned independently?

I've bunked up in hostels in Aus before and not had a great experience with clothing/food/wallets going missing. Not cricket related though.

I had thought of doing things through crashpadder or similar sites depending on how much landlords boost their prices.

Any help greatly appreciated!

Twitter: @freddiejones84


Not much point in doing a whole lot of planning until the dates are announced. Buy a guidebook and look for ideas for things to do between games by all means. The exception to this is Melbourne, which can pretty much be guaranteed to start on Boxing Day, and Sydney, which normally starts on about the 3rd January. I suppose it's possible they could mess around with these traditions, but I can't see it. New Year is always a very busy time for accommodation in Sydney, even without the cricket, so if you can save money by booking well ahead, then I don't see a problem doing that. If you're planning on staying in the kind of top or mid-range hotel that gets booked out with tour groups, you might save yourself a packet by beating them to it.

Going with a tour group is always likely to be more expensive than doing it independently because the organisers have to make their profit. The independent traveller can shop around for the best prices on flights, digs, etc., and will normally pay less for match tickets than those travelling with tour groups too. That said, if you're only doing Melbourne and Sydney, you'll be paying peak season fares and room rates anyway, so the difference might not be so great. If you're considering a Barmy Army package for either of those tours, then register your interest here:

http://thomsonsport.com/event/barmy-arm ... aland-2013

or here:

http://thomsonsport.com/event/barmy-arm ... eries-2013

I'm not familiar with Crashpad, and would be interested to hear people's experiences.

Regarding hostels, I've stayed in loads of them over the years, good bad and indifferent but never even once had a problem with thievery. That said, any potential tea leaf going through my meagre possessions looking for valuables would be sorely disappointed! :o
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freddie84
Post subject: Re: 1st timer on me own!
PostPosted: 01:34 on 6th May 2012

Joined: 18:13 on 5th May 2012
Posts: 3
Cheers pal.

Do folk gather on here to try and get into the same place so no one is stuck out on their own?

If you book tickets independently then it must be quite difficult to get tickets in with ones sold through the Barmies. Want to be in with all the singing!

For anyone who's booked a tour - what do you get for your buck? Some half recognisable ex England cricketer leading the group? Decent trips? And is it worth it?!

Thanks

Twitter: @freddiejones84
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pepper_brooks
Post subject: Re: 1st timer on me own!
PostPosted: 07:12 on 6th May 2012

Joined: 11:47 on 24th Apr 2008
Posts: 443
Freddie, As a matter of interest- were you born in 1984?
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Big Harvey
Post subject: Re: 1st timer on me own!
PostPosted: 07:56 on 6th May 2012

Joined: 09:14 on 23rd Apr 2008
Posts: 2366
freddie84 Wrote:
Cheers pal.

Do folk gather on here to try and get into the same place so no one is stuck out on their own?

If you book tickets independently then it must be quite difficult to get tickets in with ones sold through the Barmies. Want to be in with all the singing!

For anyone who's booked a tour - what do you get for your buck? Some half recognisable ex England cricketer leading the group? Decent trips? And is it worth it?!

Thanks

Twitter: @freddiejones84


People do discuss hotels on here. Some will recommend places where they've stayed in the past, others will mention where they've booked this time. First timers are often worried about being stuck on their own, but if you're staying somewhere fairly central, then that's unlikely. In any case, most people don't tend to spend a whole lot of time in their hotels when on tour. They're generally out enjoying themselves!

Each host city will generally have an "official" Barmy Army pub, which will be a good place to meet other fans, but there will be unofficial ones too, recommended by those after somewhere, cheaper, better, different or simply more convenient for where they're staying. Just keep your ear to the ground.

For The Ashes being in with the singing can be a bit of a lottery if you're not on a BA tour. If the game's not a sell-out, it's usually possible to sneak in to wherever the singing is happening. What I normally do is just buy a ticket for the cheapest area that's available. The likelihood is that there will be like-minded people in there who are up for it, and spontaneity is a big part of what the BA is all about. One ground which is normally easy from that point of view is Adelaide, where everyone gathers on the grass bank. In NZ it's easier because most grounds have grass banks, so a general admission or grass bank ticket is all you're likely to need out there.

I can't comment on whether organised tours are value for money because I've never done one. I like to keep my costs down by travelling independently and staying in budget digs. I actually enjoy spending time trawling around looking for cheap flights, accommodation, etc., but I recognise that not everyone does.
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freddie84
Post subject: Re: 1st timer on me own!
PostPosted: 15:57 on 6th May 2012

Joined: 18:13 on 5th May 2012
Posts: 3
pepper_brooks Wrote:
Freddie, As a matter of interest- were you born in 1984?



Yep that's me. Often feel like I was born in 1884 though!
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