People have always wondered how to travel without much money. I know I have looked at ways that my wife and I can travel for cheaper, without using much of our money, and have cool adventures along the way. Here is how we got a free trip to Indonesia.

Picking a destination:

In Febrauary, we had some time off from work. We had a good 11 days to go off and do some traveling. There was much to plan and places to think of going. Places on our list were Spain, Croatia, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

 My wife, Sarah, is all about the multiple checklist and seeing places she has never seen before. She is also very kind in looking at places to share adventures with me even though she has been to a place.

We were looking hard at Croatia because we had never been there before, but the cost and time was very hard to justify. Spain had the same conflicts as well. Not enough time, and the cost did not justify the means.

 Upon some negotiations between us, we decided to journey to Indonesia. We would visit the Philippines three days after coming back from Indonesia so we were set on our journey.

Sunset in Labuan Bajo on our free trip to Indonesia

The Search for Tickets:

I usually set out to find the cheapest tickets possible. There are several theories out there to help find the cheapest tickets, but I like my own 6 rules for finding cheap travel the best. It helps every time I want to search for the best price I can find.

Going through the various search engines in search for the best price tickets came up with the results of a round trip ticket to Jakarta for $350.

At this time, I was seeing if it was possible to be able to get miles for my United Account. I was thinking of trying to hit Silver and maybe even Gold with them with the numerous trips I would take on a Star Alliance flight.

After a wedding, one honeymoon, and a possible trip to the Philippines, I did not want to spend extra money for some more flights. In that process, I got to thinking about how can I possibly get those tickets closer to a free trip.


Skyscanner is a way to get a cheap flights
Momondo is a way to find cheap flights
Kiwi travel is a site to get cheap flights

The Points and Miles Game:

It occurred to me that I was not thinking at all about what I preached at work.

Everyday I would come into work talking about Points and Miles. There would be session that I would give tips to my one colleague hoping to help him in his search of more points and miles. We were in this together to travel for cheaper. The introduction of these concepts opened his eyes to more possibilities, and I knew I could not let him down by not finding a way to travel for cheaper.

( If you do not know much about Points and Miles, check out my post about how I scored a ticket from Orlando to Taiwan for $5.60. That was almost a free trip. It was quite cheap.)

United Miles Route:

Looking up flights I had noticed a couple I could take for a cheap rate. One flight I had looked at was an Eva flight to Jakarta.

Eva, being a part of Star Alliance, was a great choice to travel very cheaply via some United Miles.

I looked up the price and it was a whopping 20,000 Miles plus some taxes added on. I could not believe it. It would be like 1.75 cents a mile I was getting. I was excited! That was my choice and was going to go with it.

 Got down to booking it, then it happened. It was 20,000 Miles one-way. I needed a round trip ticket.

The disappointment hit me like a rock. I was sunk, done, it was over. How would I find a way to save money and travel to Indonesia?

 We sometimes go through moments of self-doubt, but this guy right here (looking at me) was not someone to give up.

My tools to find cheap flights was still at my reach. So I reached deep down and found my tool that would do the trick. 

Chase Points and Travel Portal:

People say there is more than one way to skin a cat. It is like I said in the post about 6 Rules to finding Cheap Flights. You keep looking through all the rules and you will find the best and cheapest flights.

The Chase Travel Portal is for those that have a Chase Credit Card.

I carry with me the Chase Sapphire Reserve. It gives me 1.5 cents per point while using it in the portal.

Due to paying my whole wedding on the card, I had 80,000 points sitting at my disposal ready for a trip.

I go into the portal and looked and looked. I was hoping to find that EVA flight(it would give me some extra miles in my United account). I was out of luck.

The next best thing was a China Airlines Flight. (It is an airline based out of Taiwan. It is a good airline that I had ridden often.) The flight had the same times as EVA, and the price was exactly the same.

 The cost: 47,000 points. That is two round trip tickets for $350 each at 1.5 cents a point. That is it. I took that 47,000 points bought two round trip tickets, and then we were on our way for another adventure. 

The free flights gave us an opportunity to have a free trip to Indonesia. It was a blast, and we would do it again in a heart beat. 


Points and Miles:

Who knew that by spending money on every day things, getting bonuses through categories, credit card sign-ups, and other expenses, we could bring about free travel.

I had never used the Chase Travel Portal before. It was something that woke me up to the possibilities that I had options to find free flights.


I have a question for you. Would you like to travel cheaper? Would you like travel better? Have you ever had a free trip? If you have a story or comment on how you can find cheap flights or travel let me know. I am in search for learning more. Let me know in the comments section.

How do you like to travel?

“Life is short and the world is wide.” – Simon Raven

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