This was written in April of 1978 for the Lakehead Amateur Radio Clubs' news letter after we had returned from our trip to the South Pacific. I regret at the time I did not write an article about the actual trip itself, so I will try to do that in Part 3 trusting to memories and VE3AJ's log of the trip.
For all of you who are tired of hearing about it, this is the last go (not really).
First off, if the idea strikes your fancy, if you have the time and decide you can afford a DX vacation don't delay, go ahead and do it. A Ham Radio DX Vacation is a unique experience with memories and happenings staying with you long after you get back. I guess everybody who works DX and fights in the pile ups for the rare ones wonders what it would be like to be on the other end. Your first pile up will have you shaking in your boots and wondering why you called CQ. After a while some order comes out of the confusion, your ear gets better tuned to picking out calls and you start to enjoy it, great fun.
Hearing all those rare and semi-rare calls when you first set up in a DX location makes you forget you are now one of the semi-rare ones. Calling an FO8, ZK1, DU2, VR6 etc and getting a fast reply, some of them even asking who your QSL manager is, HI, is rather unbelievable. Spending a quiet evening, just tuning around and hearing a VR1 chatting with a YB0 and not getting too excited because you worked both of them the evening before, in fact acting rather blase, but still that inner excitement egging you on to keep looking around for some more of those rare ones.
Continuing through the evening, not in the mood to raise a pile up, since your supposed to be on vacation, and thinking of checking into the Pacific/Caribbean Net. Imagine having your call listed as one of the attractions of the evening. Wishing your vacation and propagation conditions would have got together to let you work some of those huge uncontrollable European pile ups the resident hams talk about. Being in one of the semi-rare locations gives you a chance to tune around the dial, chat with fellow hams when you find something mutually interesting, or if the folks back home are on, being able to spend the time working them and getting the gossip up to date both ways. You may be fairly popular but the ham world is not going appreciate your very much if you decide to spend too much time chatting.
There is also the weather to contend with, sunny and warm, the beach is inviting and relaxing. The prospect of lazing around with a cool 807, thinking about whether you should contemplate getting supper, or to get dressed up by putting on a shirt and going out for supper. It is amazing what a difference 120 degrees of spread in Fahrenheit temperatures will make in the enjoyment of the weather.
If the above has tempted you and really that was one of the reasons for writing it, don't put it off. It takes about a year of planning, letter writing to various government departments of the area your going to, consulting with your travel agent trying to explain the place you want to go to. They don't understand what makes a place attractive to amateurs. Try and get in contact on the air with hams in the area, don't expect them to reply to letters of inquiry, I imagine they get quite a few letters asking without people following through. Keep a file going and take it with you. When the authorities ask you where you got your information you can lay it on the table and save a lot of hassles.
Depend on your local hams to help out in many ways, it's surprising how generous they are with their time and equipment. Their expertise and ideas can contribute to making the trip successful. I know I am thinking of the next trip, all I have to do is get the bank to agree.