Well, we’re only 6 weeks out from our departure date of 3/20/14. We’re getting pretty excited and finishing up our planning and preparation. We crossed off one of the last major preparation items on the list, travel insurance.
After looking at a few different companies, we chose a company called OVEuropa. It is a non-profit based in the UK and specializes in providing both general travel insurance and insurance for people doing programs such as WWOOF, which we will be doing in Ireland. Not only was it much cheaper than other alternatives we found, but it provides coverage for us if we get hurt while working on the farm as well as liability coverage for the farmer in case we accidentally burn down their farm or something. There is also general medical and dental coverage, coverage of our personal items should they get lost or stolen, as well as some nice extras like coverage for missed planes and lost luggage. The policies cost $142.00 each for the thirteen weeks we will be out of the country for a total of $284.00. Not bad for peace of mind.
Here are the details of the coverage included:
- Third party Civil Liability: up to 1,500,000 Euro
- Emergency medical expenses in the even of accident or illness: up to 3,000 Euro
- Emergency Dental Treatment: up to 1,000 Euro
- Delayed Departure/Missed Flight or connection: up to 200 Euro
- Loss of checked luggage: up to 600 Euro
- Personal valuables: up to 400 Euro
- In case of death: up to 25,000 Euro (This is the one I hope we really don’t need).
- In case of disability: up to 50,000 Euro
We have all of our plane tickets for the trip purchased. This is probably the single most expensive and perhaps most complicated part of the whole trip so it’s nice to have it done and out of the way so we can focus on the fun stuff now! We used a great website called Flightfox to help us find the best deal on some of our flights. We purchased our ticket from New York City to London via Reykjavik quite a while ago, so they didn’t help with that one, but they were a tremendous help with all of the other tickets. Basically, the way it works is that you enter in your itinerary to their website and then their pool of experts or “travel hackers” as they call them look for the best deals they can find on the tickets. They then enter in their “offers” for you to review. It works as a contest and you choose the one that you like best and then award them as the winner. You then work with that person directly to nail down the exact dates and book the tickets. It’s kind of like having a travel agent, but much cheaper and easier. We figure they helped save us about $1,200 over the best deals that we found on our own making the $66 fee well worth it. We also got the added bonus of stopping in Copenhagen, Denmark for one day on our way back instead of making the 10 hour trip from Athens to New York in one go. not only was this cheaper, but it breaks up the long flight and gives us one more place to see. So, all in all, our total flight costs are $3,334.27. Not too bad. Here’s how it breaks down by flight.
- Portland -> Washington DC, Alaska Airlines, $469.80
- New York City -> Reykjavik -> London, Iceland Air, $825.99
- Casablanca -> Istanbul, Air Arabia, $388.00
- Athens -> Copenhagen, Aegean Airlines, $224.80
- Copenhagen -> New York City, Norwegian Airlines, $981.20
- New York City -> Portland, Delta Airlines, $445.80
We have found and confirmed a farm to stay and work at in Ireland. We are doing this through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms(WOOF) program. Basically, we will be trading 5 hours of work five days per week for room and board plus education on organic farming techniques. We’ll be there for two weeks from April 16th to May 1st. The farm is called “Geoff and Jo’s Place” and is located near the town of Moville in County Donegal, Ireland. One of the reasons we chose this farm is that it is located near where some of my ancestors came from, so in addition to working and staying on the farm, I’m looking forward to doing some ancestral research and seeing where “my people” came from. Here’s the description of the farm from the WOOF Ireland website. You can see the full listing here.
We have pigs which are reared out doors, grass fed beef cattle, vegetables, herbs and a farm shop in the nearby town. We also have goats and donkeys, and work together with other local small-holders to supply the farm shop with top quality fruit, veg and meat. You would be based here, but may have jobs to do at various locations. Accomodation is in either a caravan, stone cabin with woodburning stove, wooden chalet, or room in house. There is no internet available in the house, but you may have access to Broadband in the shop most evenings. Our farm is a relaxed and happy place to be, the cats and dogs love lots of visitors (especially if you can kick a ball). There is always plenty to do, plenty to eat and drink and scenery to die for!