There isn’t a doubt in my mind that the beautiful island of Bali, Indonesia is one of the hottest, if not the hottest destination for tourists and especially creatives at the moment. It’s near the top of almost everyone’s bucket list and I don’t blame you it’s 100% worth the trip. From time to time you’ll find Bali flight Deals, but even the best deal offering cheap tickets to Bali couldn’t beat my $200 return flight to Bali in First Class, which has to be the cheapest way to fly to Bali, and the most comfortable.
When I asked on Facebook and Instagram what the one thing that was preventing you from traveling more the most common answer was overwhelmingly money. These “travel hacks” I’m about to share with you have been around for years and only recently have I been using them to my advantage like a couple of weeks ago flying to Bali in first class on Korean Air then returning from Tokyo yesterday flying in Japan Airlines First Class. The best part is I paid less than $200 total for my round trip tickets.
The first mistake people make is not knowing how to search for award travel. People look at an airline they have miles on and assume that if the flight they’re looking for such as flying to Bali in first class isn’t there, then it isn’t available. Luckily I’ve created guides for the three major airline alliances to help you find award space for your next adventure. It also helps to know how an airline alliance works and I’ve got you covered there as well!
The next major mistake I see people make is only searching for a round trip award ticket. When I got my ticket on Korean Air to fly first class to Bali there were no round-trip tickets available as an award. Actually, I could only get to Seoul before I had to transfer to Thai Airways to get to Bali. My whole trip was a combination of 4 one-way award itineraries on each of the three different airline alliances. You can even find space available on individual legs of your journey on the same alliance and call and have them put it together.
The cost of first class or business class awards varies on the route and airlines alliance you’re flying, but the following is a break down of how mine worked out. My trip from Atlanta to Seoul was my first one-way award ticket, and that was 80,000 Korean Air Miles. The second leg was Seoul to Bangkok to Bali on Thai Airways, and that was 45,000 United miles. My third leg was Bali to Taipei to Tokyo on EVA Airways costing just 25,000 EVA miles. Finally, my last leg that I just completed yesterday afternoon was Tokyo to Chicago to Tampa on Japan Airlines and American cost 80,000 AAdvantage miles. All together it comes in at 230,000 miles, which seems like a lot but how I got them makes it a lot easier. I don’t mind doing a little extra work searching and keeping track of where space is available since the same flights would have cost me $24,000 if I would have purchased them.
All of the miles used for this trip with the exception of the AAdvantage miles were transferred from my Chase Sapphire Reserve card and Citi Thankyou points, which I believe are two of the best credit cards for airline miles. It’s incredible how valuable these credit card points can be with a little research and work. With these credit cards, you earn 1 point per dollar spent but get bonus points on categories like travel, dining, and entertainment. The bonus points are where I accrued the majority of my points. These credit cards also offer a sign-up bonus after a minimum spend within the first three months. When I booked my trip to Bali the Chase Sapphire Reserve still had a 100,000 point signup bonus, so that alone paid for almost half my first class ticket to Bali and back!
I had never flown on Korean, Thai, EVA, or Japan Airlines but I was able to transfer miles to them to get the best bang for my buck. I’ve written a couple of guides detailing my favorite travel credit cards to help you earn points towards that next big trip. I’d like to note that I don’t use a debit card at all anymore. I feel like using a debit card leaves valuable points on the table and when you see that it works, I hope you will put that debit card in a safe place and start earning miles!
Whether you’re booking a Indonesian holiday visiting Bali, Lombok, and some of the other beautiful destination this South Eastern Asian country has to offer, or you’re trying to book your dream trip to Europe. Using the methods I laid out above and knowing how to maximize your credit card reward and airline miles you don’t have to worry about finding Bali flight deals, you’ll be equipped to search for first class flights for less than economy class prices. When you think about it, most of the time the airfare is the most expensive part, now it doesn’t have to be!
You can also use your points towards scoring great deals at luxury hotels. During my trip to Bali, I was attending the Institute of Code on a social media and content marketing Bootcamp, so I didn’t have to worry about the accommodations, but sites like Airbnb and Hotels.com make finding affordable luxury accommodations easy. If you’re in need of help finding a deal on a hotel for an upcoming trip check out my guide to finding the best deals on Hotels!