How We Use Points for Hotels and Flights – Our Trip to the UAE, Maldives, Qatar, and Indonesia

How We Use Points for Hotels and Flights – Our Trip to the UAE, Maldives, Qatar, and Indonesia

March 6, 2019 Plan 3

If we’re lucky, once a year we get to go away for up to 3 weeks in the fall based on our work schedules and the times we can take time-off. In the last few years, we’ve been really lucky with our trips that often include numerous stops on the same itinerary to maximize time, points, and budget. We are especially proud of our most recent itinerary that took tons of work, planning, and luck too. In this post, we share a recap of our December 2018 trip and related posts.

The Trip:

We ended up flying 27,129 miles on 10 flight segments. Here are the details.

Max at Tambolaka Airport in front of a Garuda Indonesia CRJ

Max at Tambolaka Airport in front of a Garuda Indonesia CRJ

Flights:

  • YVR-SEA-LAX: We redeemed Alaska Mileage Plan miles to fly on Alaska Airlines in First Class.
  • LAX-DXB-MLE: We redeemed Alaska Mileage Plan miles to fly on Emirates in First Class.
  • MLE-DOH-DPS: We redeemed American Airlines miles earned by flying WestJet to fly on Qatar Airways in Business Class.
  • DPS-TMC: We used our American Express Platinum Travel Credit to offset the cost of two return economy tickets on Garuda Indonesia.
  • DPS-TPE-YVR: We redeemed Aeroplan points to fly on EVA Air in Royal Laurel Class.
Max in the middle suite

Max enjoying the new Emirates First Class product on the 777

Max in a Qatar Airways QSuite

Max in a Qatar Airways QSuite

The fountain at the Al Mourjan Lounge

The fountain at the Al Mourjan Lounge at DOH – Hamad International Airport

Hotels:

  • Dubai: We used points to stay at the Al Maha Resort 1 hour away from Dubai.
  • Maldives: We stayed at the Anantara Dhigu a 45 minute speedboat ride away from the airport.
  • Doha: We stayed at the JW Marriott Sharq Village and paid for the stay as we needed the stay to get Platinum status again.
  • Ubud, Bali: We stayed at The Purist Villas and Resort and paid for the stay.
  • Sumba Island: We stayed at Nihi Sumba and paid for the stay. We received a signficant discount as we were eligible for an airline employee rate.
  • Seminyak, Bali: We stayed at the W Seminyak and paid for our stay. We used a VISA promo to stay for 3 nights and pay for 2.
Sunrise by the pool

Sunrise by the pool facing Oman at Al Maha resort

Sunrise Villa

Sunrise Villa at the Anantara Dhigu in the Maldives

The Spa at the Ritz Carlton Sharq Village

The Spa at the Ritz Carlton Sharq Village

The pool in Bamboo Villa 2

The pool in Bamboo Villa 2 at The Purist Villas

The Marangga Villa we stayed in

The Marangga Villa we stayed in at Nihi Sumba

 

Our private pool villa at the W Bali in Seminyak

Our private pool villa at the W Bali in Seminyak

 

Summary:

As you can see, a lot of planning and research goes into these trips: from earning points for future trips, to maximizing the return on investment of points redemptions and finding the best deals. As glamorous as our trips appear to be, we invest a lot of time and money into them and need to even stay on top of things during our travels.

Champagne in the desert at sunset

Champagne in the desert at sunset at Al Maha Resort

Do you like planning trips?

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3 Responses

  1. Fleming says:

    This looks like such a fun trip! Which was your favorite spot? Doha looks stunning.

    • weleavetoday says:

      Thanks, Jason did a good job planning that one! Doha was a nice surprise indeed and we’d connect through there again for sure. It is really hard to pick a favorite because each place was so unique and offered a different experience. We both agree though that we wouldn’t go back to the Maldives though, not worth it based on what we enjoy and the price tag. We did really enjoy Sumba and would like to go back in dry season to do the hikes and activities we didn’t get to do and bring family.

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