Let’s say you’re planning to be married. You’re about to embark on an exciting life together. You’re not exactly flush with cash, but flush with hopes for the future. You’d like a little bit of rest and relaxation together but also a little adventure. Hang with me for a few paragraphs and we’ll do what we do at WorldWanderlusting – we’ll show you how to spend eight incredible honeymoon nights at a resort in Indonesia.
Isn’t it, like, dangerous in Indonesia?
To say that Indonesia is dangerous would be like saying that Illinois is fraught with violence due to the fact that there are some sketchy neighborhoods in Chicago. Steer clear of some particular areas, and it will feel like a very sterilized, safe experience. You’ll likely spend your entire honeymoon in places which are safer than some parts of your hometown.
Wait, but you said “free nights.” There’s nothing that’s really free…
Ah, but there is. I know, I was in the “too good to believe” camp, too… Once I thought so, too… Then I discovered credit-card travel bonuses. I won’t say it doesn’t require responsibility – that it does, but if you have $1000/month in naturally occurring credit-cardable expenses, and you can responsibly use a card to make only purchases that you would otherwise make, you’re about to get really excited.
You see, our friends at American Express really want you to use their services – they want it so bad, that they’re going to offer you a very sweet incentive to get one of their cards. They have a partnership with Starwood Hotels (Four Points by Sheraton, Weston, Le Meridien), with whom they team up to offer the brilliant gift to wanderlusters like us, the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express.
If you sign up, are approved, and use the card to make $5000 in purchases, they’re going to float down 25k SPG points to you like mana from heaven. Then you’re going to use them, along with the 5k you got from your spending (for a total of 30) to get you eight nights in heaven (3-4k points a night in Starwood’s Category 2 hotels).
Haha… that sounds cool, but any resort I can stay at for free is going to be a dive…
Au contraire… I think you’ll quite like the Sheraton Sangigi Beach Resort, and the area it’s in.
If all you ever did was hang out at this pool, I think you could call the vacation a success, but there’s so much more than that. This resort is in an area of Indonesia known as West Lombok. When, or if, you ever tire of this pool, you can walk down to the beach and spend some time snorkeling in the crystal waters. Had enough of the water? Hire a car to take you to Pura Batu Bolong – a Hindu temple where an empty chair sits as a representation of the god of creation: Brahma.
Not into Hindu gods? Go for a hike on Rinjani Mountain, a volcano which may erupt at any moment, by the way… And when you have had enough of that, there’s always the market where you can shop for locally-made handicrafts.
Is that a tear in your eye?
But Brad, I’ll never be able to afford the airfare…
You’re right, with no flexibility and creativity, you’d spend a lifetime saving for those flights – like, at least $1300 just to get to Jakarta, or Bali. Go to a travel agent and they’ll just smile and reach deep into your wallet and take out every dollar you have and a lot that you don’t. But let’s get creative. If you can get to Jakarta JKT or Bali DPS, you can make it to LOP for as little as $40-90 each way.
Now, let’s get you to Indonesia. At the lowest level, it’s going to cost you 80k Delta Skymiles, or as little as 65k United MileagePlus miles for a roundtrip flight from the US. I’m hoping you already have some of these puppies… but if you don’t, it may be time to get some. You can start with either of these cards (used responsibly to acquire bonus points).
Sounds great, but I’m not all that exotic… what other honeymoons could I do?
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Thanks for wanderlusting with us!