Mungo

Kona Advice Please

370 posts in this topic

24 minutes ago, Cape_Horn said:

one option for CC is 28degreescard.com.au

(Has worked well for myself in Europe, and for internet purchases)

No conversion fee, and the cash rates are adequate.

plus 1 on 28 degreees card.  no annual charges and best conversion rates, no transactions fees, except if you pay the amount due by BPay when they hit you up for $1 or $2.  But easy to do a direct credit.  Visa City Card used to be good, but that was a few years ago.  You don't get points or anything fancy with 28 Degrees which is why you get the best rates.

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1 hour ago, Bored@work said:

Hhahahahha as if my wife is going to give me a credit card.  I get my fortnightly pocket money & that is it.

My wife does all the bookings hotels etc.  I think she uses a Cash Passport Credit card to pay for everything. She uses a lot of booking sites like bookit.com etc to avoid fees.

The hours I spend out training she spends at home looking for cheap deals etc.  She loves a good bargain, shopper dockets, discount codes, VIP clubs etc. 

 

Exactly the same for me - wife is a genius at this stuff. We always get the CBA foreign currency card and load it up with USD before we go, saves a lot on fees etc. 

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1 hour ago, Cat Lady said:

plus 1 on 28 degreees card.  no annual charges and best conversion rates, no transactions fees, except if you pay the amount due by BPay when they hit you up for $1 or $2.  But easy to do a direct credit.  Visa City Card used to be good, but that was a few years ago.  You don't get points or anything fancy with 28 Degrees which is why you get the best rates.

thanks guys

I should have asked this years ago

my CC has been screwing me on OS transations for years!!!!!!

I just thought they where all the same doh

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It helps I'm sleeping with a chick at the bank.............  (my wife works at the bank):P:P

 

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Go overseas and use your standard CC most likely have not done some homework.

As mentioned, the 28deg card works.  Personally I like the Bankwest Platinum Mastercard.  Also, no annual fee on the card, no International Transaction fees and the rate is almost identical to what you get on xe.com.  You get no rewards points, have other cards for that.  I use this card exclusively for OS travel, OS purchases online.

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Also check out the Citibank Plus Transaction account - no overseas in-network ATM, purchasing or currency conversion fees.

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Re: costs to Kona, it can be as expensive as you want to make it but it doesn't have to be but have not seen to many examples of how it can be a lot cheaper.

Just running off the top of my head some costs.

  • Accom.  Went through Tri Travel who hooked me up with Kona Seaside (100m from finish line and 200m from swim).  A week was I think 2k which I shared the cost with a mate, and got all the Tri Travel schnitz that was fun.  Another night at Honolulu was $200 or so.
  • Flight was JQ from MEL to HNL and HA from HNL to KOA was roughly 1k
  • Spending money was roughly $400 on what needed to be.  (probably $500 on what didn't need to be - i.e Triathlon shit coz you can).

So not including entry costs roughly 3k, perfect location, decent place and not being frugal.  Granted it's shared.

Sure, when you bring a whole family costs start multiplying but it could have remained 4 figures.  I don't think costs have drastically altered other than a crappier exchange rate offset by cheaper flights.  Hotel probably a tad more.

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6 hours ago, GSP said:

 

So not including entry costs roughly 3k, perfect location, decent place and not being frugal.  Granted it's shared.

Sure, when you bring a whole family costs start multiplying but it could have remained 4 figures.  I don't think costs have drastically altered other than a crappier exchange rate offset by cheaper flights.  Hotel probably a tad more.

I think things have got a fair bit dearer (accum) since u last went GSP and don't underestimate the drop in the exchange rate also 

i think when u went it was up or near $ for $ , now it's down to 72c (is what u get in your hand ATM) 

also the cheap flights around the IM time are near on non existent from now on (but they might co e on special but not many seats left at the time everyone wants to go )

i booked a flight last week and flying in on IM week up to the thur  was around $700 but fri or sat was $289 , same leaving on sun or Monday was 200 but after that it was getting up to the $700 

so minium $1400 return plus inter island flights 

all on jet star , Hawaii is about $1500 return but then add in the $300 inter island and flight and the bike bag fee 

funnie thing is I only needed a return flight from honu, on the thur post race I could get a return from Hawaii for $1500 but the one way cost me $1350 errr

 

as you said it's all about timing but I reckon you did it real cheap when you went and not a general costing for most That go 

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6 hours ago, GSP said:

Go overseas and use your standard CC most likely have not done some homework.

As mentioned, the 28deg card works.  Personally I like the Bankwest Platinum Mastercard.  Also, no annual fee on the card, no International Transaction fees and the rate is almost identical to what you get on xe.com.  You get no rewards points, have other cards for that.  I use this card exclusively for OS travel, OS purchases online.

Now u tell me I just applied for the 28 deg card

and just a side note I always use the loaded card with the foreign Currency, not my CC when OS 

i just need a card for paying for things like accum etc from here to OS and not get stung with huge fees and crap exchange rates

 

might Applie  for the bank west card now also , u can ever have too many CCS right 

lol

 

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2 hours ago, ironpo said:

Now u tell me I just applied for the 28 deg card

and just a side note I always use the loaded card with the foreign Currency, not my CC when OS 

i just need a card for paying for things like accum etc from here to OS and not get stung with huge fees and crap exchange rates

 

might Applie  for the bank west card now also , u can ever have too many CCS right 

lol

 

We use the CommBank Travel Money Card. You can put up to 8 different currency's at once. And the benefit of you using an affiliated card you bank with is if you run our of money whilst away you can still logon to the banks app on your phone and transfer more money on to your Travel Money Card.

The only fee with this is the fee when you load the currency. Which isn't much.......but I am staff and don't pay a fee.

Another tip - if you need to convert larger amounts - i.e.: $10k...... Don't accept the banks rate..... Have the branch ring the foreign exchange desk and get a better 'live' rate for larger transactions.

Cash tip - don't use a bank - use a money exchange place in shopping centre. Most don't charge a fee. They make a profit on the. Exchange rate and often this rate is still better than the banks!

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1 hour ago, IronmanFoz said:

We use the CommBank Travel Money Card. You can put up to 8 different currency's at once. And the benefit of you using an affiliated card you bank with is if you run our of money whilst away you can still logon to the banks app on your phone and transfer more money on to your Travel Money Card.

The only fee with this is the fee when you load the currency. Which isn't much.......but I am staff and don't pay a fee.

Another tip - if you need to convert larger amounts - i.e.: $10k...... Don't accept the banks rate..... Have the branch ring the foreign exchange desk and get a better 'live' rate for larger transactions.

Cash tip - don't use a bank - use a money exchange place in shopping centre. Most don't charge a fee. They make a profit on the. Exchange rate and often this rate is still better than the banks!

Yes we use the travel card option for the spending money

nice tip  there about the  foreign exchange branch  , but what exactly do you mean about the money exchange place ?

can u get a travel card from them also?

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In a lot of shopping centers they have those small booths where you can exchange for foreign notes. So if you need $USD cash....... They are better than banks.....in 99% of cases.

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Flight centre will match and even beat, slightly, what ever the foreign exchange booths offer.  Try and find a flight centre with a booth out the front :-) in one of the big shopping centre.  Every penny counts....

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1 hour ago, Cat Lady said:

Flight centre will match and even beat, slightly, what ever the foreign exchange booths offer.  Try and find a flight centre with a booth out the front :-) in one of the big shopping centre.  Every penny counts....

Sounds good , I've never thought of this 

only downfall I suppose is that u have to carry the cash 💰 

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14 hours ago, IronmanFoz said:

In a lot of shopping centers they have those small booths where you can exchange for foreign notes. So if you need $USD cash....... They are better than banks.....in 99% of cases.

This is what I used.  Some charge a fee. Some don't. 

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On 17 June 2017 at 5:24 PM, ironpo said:

Sounds good , I've never thought of this 

only downfall I suppose is that u have to carry the cash 💰 

Just ask any plumber....... Cash is king!!!

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5 hours ago, IronmanFoz said:

Just ask any plumber....... Cash is king!!!

or lawn mower man

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On 6/15/2016 at 8:19 PM, Charlesn said:

Mungo,

Others may have different opinions, but to experience the full vibe, stay close to town. This way you walk out of your front door and the whole ironman thing is all around you - triathletes, expos, promos, legends, media, fans, rego, pre race events, finish line and awards ceremony.

 

I stayed at the King Kam once and out of town once. It's a pain driving into town rather than just walking. When I was out of town I still got a last minute room at the King Kam on race day so I could shower, dress and wander out to eat and watch the finish. As well, this allows the family to hang out at the pool and access the wireless anywhere in the grounds on race day.

Expo, Pro press conference, rego, NBC media types all use the King Kam as their base.

 

Now you don't need to stay at the King Kam to experience all this, but close by is the key.

If you do stay here, you can get a room overlooking the ocean, which as a result still overlooks Dig Me beach and the transition area/ pier. Waking up on race morn you'll see the lights on the pier come on as the volunteers prep everything from about 2am. It'll take you 5 minutes to wander down, and back up if u need to.

 

Old hands would stay elsewhere, for peace and quiet and better mental prep, but as you've stated you are there for the experience, forget the race day prep ... you want to see Welchie in your foyer, Babbit, The Grip, Raelert, Dave Scott, right!?

 

Rooms are not expensive and should still be available. Like I said, I got 1 on race day night and booked it 2 days prior.

 

Other thing, you isaid you ntend to get there early. The week or 2 weeks prior is a constant buzz. A few too many super fit beings, hairless and without fat is a bit intimidating, but most of them aren't even in the race. The whole lovely little town is all about ironman though and that's what you'll like. The week after most are gone, and the cruise ships come in, which is a bit like being back in the real world. So my advice go nice and early, hang in town, and afterwards head off and do something else.

 

Re cars: don't go too big. I got a Suburban (maybe Chevy?) which was about 3m wide and 6m long. It was ridiculous. I felt I was going to run cyclist over, I dinged the front and back, in 2 different accidents where I couldn't see what was near me, and I got when I just left it in the carpark they asked me to move it because it was blocking the way. 2nd time Chevy convertible, much more fun and slightly more practical. They have plenty of cars at the airport, even when you arrive, but if booking a company called 'Dollar ...' something was about the cheapest

This! 

We stayed a 10min drive out of Kona but if it was all about me (which I'm told it always is...) I would've paid to stay at the KK. Keep in mind you poetically won't have a kitchen though? ?? We had a family of 6 so really,we needed one. 

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4 minutes ago, Cranky said:

This! 

We stayed a 10min drive out of Kona but if it was all about me (which I'm told it always is...) I would've paid to stay at the KK. Keep in mind you poetically won't have a kitchen though? ?? We had a family of 6 so really,we needed one. 

 No kitchen in the KK rooms

plenty of options in town with one though , but u do pay for it 

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15 hours ago, ironpo said:

 No kitchen in the KK rooms

plenty of options in town with one though , but u do pay for it 

If I am ever privileged enough to go again I would go the kitchen option for sure. We were aware 3.5 weeks and had to eat out the whole time (4 for us). Not great on the wallet.

People say food is cheap in the US. Yes and no. If you are feeding yourself yes.......but when you are feeding 4 and eating out its a big no.

We had 3+ weeks in the US in January. We chose an apartment for the first 2 weeks where we could cook ourselves. So much cheaper to eat.

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