How I stayed at the Hilton in Bali with ocean views and a private beach for free!

Private Hilton Beach in Bali

Traveling is part of the FinanciallyFab lifestyle.  It’s an expensive hobby, but when you’re FinanciallyFab, you can do it on a budget!  In descending order, the 3 largest costs are usually lodging, flights, and food.  The key to traveling in style while cutting costs is managing at least 1 or 2 of these large costs.  For my Asia trip last summer, I cut costs from all 3 buckets and paid $Free.99 for hotels!

Flights – book early, save $100s

  • I bought the flight on 3/14 and departed on 5/17. Notice the dates. By flying after the 14th, I got the 2-month advanced purchase price, saving over $100.
  • I normally book flights 2-3 months in advance.  Flight prices go in waves: booking too early (4+ months) or too late (within 1 month) is usually more expensive.
  • When I travel internationally, I prefer foreign airlines. They are usually cheaper and often have more leg room and better quality food. Don’t be afraid to fly non-Western airlines.  I flew ANA, a Japanese airline and had a blast.  The food was good and the customer service was wonderful!

Hilton Pool in Bali

Lodging – pool resources with friends

Lodging is usually where I save the most cash.  On this trip, I stayed at the Hilton for FREE!

  • Singapore: My friend was living in Singapore as part of a 6-month rotation program with his company, which housed him in a 2-story loft apartment in a fancy downtown hotel!  I stayed with him for free.
    • Benefits: $Free.99 for pool, prime location, breakfast, and house keeping
  • Bali and Malaysia:  I was traveling with four friends and one of them used his hotel points with Hilton to book the rooms.  We stayed at the best hotels in South Bali and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for $Free.99.  🙂
    • Benefits: Private beaches in Bali, free dinner appetizers & wine, free breakfast, gorgeous pools, gyms, internet, and downtown location in Kuala Lumpur

Food – enjoy lower cost of living

  • Since every place we stayed offered free breakfast, I only had to think about 2 meals a day. I bought a few snacks from the grocery store to use for day-time snacking and cut down on lunch costs.  We chose reasonable restaurants for lunch and dinner, splurging occasionally.
  • A fancy meal at the Hilton may cost $75 / person in the US and only $20 in Bali. A key reason I started traveling abroad is that my dollar goes much farther.

You can trim costs traveling anywhere in the world! Let me know where you want to travel in FinanciallyFab style?

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8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Issac on January 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Very useful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such information much. I was looking for this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

    Reply

  2. Superb, what a website it is! This web site presents helpful facts to us, keep it up.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Austin on September 20, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    How cool is your friend with the hotel points?! Good ideas–seems it always pays to have connections.

    Reply

    • It’s always great to have friends with hotel points! Yes, he was very cool. A key part of the FinanciallyFab lifestyle is using your resources wisely, to get the same pleasure for less cash. When friends you in that mindset, you have more resources at your disposal. 🙂

      Reply

  4. Posted by Tammy on September 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Wow – I always heard that travelling to Bali was inexpensive, but I never really understood how to make it work. Thanks for the great tips!

    Reply

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