Using a variety of travel resources to design an outstanding trip to Asia at an unbelievable price

By Jann Segal
This article appears on page 30 of the December 2015 issue.
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Candi Prambanan, a 9th-century Hindu temple in central Java, Indonesia.

I always told myself I would not write an article about how I effectively combine hotel and airline points to create great trips. I figured that if I did, the travel industry would change how they do things to make it much more difficult. Well, they have started making things difficult anyway, so after creating the most exotic and wonderful Asian trip to celebrate my 61st birthday in the fall of 2014, I figured there was no time like the present to share with travelers in the ITN community how I did it.

I flew out of Los Angeles on Nov. 1, and returned Dec. 4, spending five magnificent weeks in Asia for about $6,000, including air, hotels, tours and accommodations. This included a total of 13 flights. 

There were surprises in the planning and some great surprises on the trip. The travel gods must have been on my side. 

An evolving adventure

The final itinerary for this trip turned out to include Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Taiwan, but that was not my original plan. 

My planning began about 18 months prior, when I was thinking of going to Africa. I have owned and exchanged timeshares for 25 years all over the world and was looking to find my next exchange in Africa using Interval International (intervalworld.
. But during my online searching, Bali jumped out at me. I thought, “Well, I’ve never been there,” so I booked a week (Nov. 7-14) in a one-bedroom unit in Seminyak at a resort owned by the Astana Group (www.astanahospitality.

My cost for the timeshare week maintenance and exchange fees was just under $1,000. (The published nightly room rate is $261, but online specials are available.)

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