Ryan and I have been in a relationship for over four years now. One of the key factors that has helped us make it through the long distance, aside from technology and work (will talk about that in another post), have been the abundance of flight deals. Particularly through Air New Zealand and grabaseat.
I think I'll do a timeline. Starting off with...
This is probably a good place to start right? I (Priscilla) moved to the states on a work/travel visa in August 2015, I flew from Auckland to San Francisco using Air New Zealand, and so I guess you could say this was
the flight that lead me to the man of my dreams, ha!
When we first started dating in November 2015 we were very hopeful that I would be able to get an H1B visa with the company I was working for at the time. Unfortunately the lottery system denied me which meant that I had to leave the states.
Tears - this is when I had to leave.
November - Dec 2016
I obviously couldn't handle being away from Ryan that long, and was back in November. This flight was United operated by Air NZ and went through LAX. Honestly this was one of the more expensive flights at around $1800NZD. But when you're in love, you're in love (I guess?!)
After that huge knock in November, the next flight I found was a bloody blimmin' steal and was probably the start of me using Grabaseat and their notifications more religiously. At $695NZD return from Auckland to San Francisco it was a no brainer! Hopped on that plane and got to see my man and some other men LOL
I honestly couldn't find my receipts since June 2017 but I found one in May. Apparently I bought another grabaseat deal for $835NZD return. And I legit, can't remember what I did at that time *shrugs*
Ryan and I were invited to a friend's wedding in Norfolk, Virginia and one way was quite costly. $1345NZD one way, but hey, that was all the way to the other side of America, I guess it's not bad? This one as United operated by Air New Zealand.
October - Nov 2018
Wow I went back quite a few times in 2018 didn't I? This time from Auckland > Las Vegas and San Francisco > Auckland. These ones were $1587NZD. Which isn't horrible when you consider that multi-city flights are usually more expensive. This one was United operated by Air New Zealand. Seems like I'm seeing a trend that the ones with United were more costly than the non United ones... Not sure if coincidence or...
July - Aug 2019
Oh wow we're in 2019 now. This one had quite a few deals! I was stoked when I got these flights because we were able to finally checkout Outside Lands together. I got these flights on grabaseat for $1250NZD return! Not the best deal I've had, but I'm thankful because this is the trip I realized how much I was getting attached to Ryan's friends. When I left, we packed a sad, because I would be missing out on a wedding and 21st in October. We told ourselves "If we see flights under $700USD, maybe I'll come back".
And we did! The universe (aka grabaseat) must have heard us, and had deals on at the same time as the wedding and 21st above! And they were only $733NZD return! Was able to spend time with Ryan's family for his sister's birthday at Disneyland and the beautiful wedding in San Diego.
October 2019 (Ryan)
Most of the flights have been mine (Priscilla), but in October right after the wedding mentioned above, Ryan caught Air New Zealand back with me to attend my brother's wedding in New Zealand.
The flight for Ryan was $1590NZD return, which seems a lot, but in the scope of things I guess it was all worth it, because... Ryan proposed to me on this trip!
I became a fiancée y'all!
Probably a good thing I told him not to get me a diamond, but instead a moissanite right? That saved A LOT.
December 2019 - January 2020
As a newly engaged lady, I was super happy. But with the holidays coming up, I was gutted that I couldn't spend Christmas or New Years with my fiancé. Then surprise! Grabaseat had return flights going for $698NZD return, and guess who didn't buy flights. Me. Because I was "saving for a wedding". Ugh.
After thinking about it more, I had so so many regrets not getting those flights because I really wanted to spend time with my fiancé.
Then a miracle happened. A week or so late grabaseat had another promotion for the same time frames. It was a little bit more expensive and ended up costing me $833NZD return, but #WorthIt! I spent Christmas Day in New Zealand, flew out at night, and got to San Francisco on Christmas morning. Dreams do come true!!
February - March 2020 (Ryan)
Oh look we're up to date! As part of wedding planning we hoped Ryan could be in New Zealand. Luckily we found flights for $1182NZD from SFO - Auckland. Under the $1200 mark. Not bad.
After writing out all these times we've gotten to see each other, I begin to question, were we really in a long distance relationship?!? Haha! But really!!
Sometimes we wish we could have put the money we spent on flights towards something else, like maybe a house.
But no regrets! The point of this all was to show that every flight made a difference to our relationship. As you can see, we've had a lot of great moments together.
Though we miss out on a lot of events and milestones with each other, we have been able to experience a lot more than we ever expected.
We are fortunate enough to have even been able to see each other that much.
We definitely count our blessings and consider ourselves lucky.
If you got this far, wow what a champ.