I don't think you're going to find too many sellers offering "good faith" refunds on high dollar items (i.e., I'll refund you several hundred dollars in hope that you'll return my merchandise to me in the same condition it was sent to you). AND, the item was sent . . . it just hasn't been received yet.
It's not just 'good faith', the high dollar item did not arrive. Period. Time for a refund in my book. That's the good thing (and bad thing) about PayPal, the buyer is protected.
If the seller is worried that he is going to be screwed then he should understand how the buyer feels having already sent the money to him and seeing that the package is in limbo. Works both ways.
My point is the time crunch the OP has. If you NEED the item for the trip and don't have the extra $ to purchase it twice, why be penalized? That's when I would ask for a refund. If the package is indeed a high dollar item, it will come (or should) with a requirement for a signature upon delivery. Protecting all involved.
Just my 1.50.