I just booked a 2 night stay in Bali in a fabulous looking home right near the beach, with a pool and even with staff as it’s part of a resort. I’m really just passing through Bali; I need to fly there to catch a flight home. This story is kind of complicated. And it involves me making some booking errors. And not paying close attention to my flights.

Beach in Bali: it was nice but I don’t really want to go back

I have a flight home from Bali, a very good deal. But I don’t particularly enjoy Bali, so I’m going to the Philippines for a week. Then I have to position to Bali to get home. I found some cheap flights on local carriers between Manila and Bali. And so I booked one. And I imported the flight into TripIt, the tool I use to manage all my travel. Tripit is pretty smart about adding stuff to existing trips when it falls within your travel dates. For instance, it I book a hotel in Manila it automatically gets added to my Philippines trip. So this flight should have been added to my trip. But it wasn’t. And when I looked at Tripit I quickly realized I had booked the flight for the wrong month.


I’m going to say this wasn’t entirely my fault. The booking system defaulted back to the current month when I took too long to work out which flight I wanted. But I should have noticed. And so I paid a $50 change fee to get the correct flight booked. That’s when I discovered the flight wasn’t available for the day I originally planned. And this is when my home swap got really complicated.

Originally I planned to fly into Bali two nights before my flight home. I figured I’d stay in a luxury villa near the beach using home exchange points, and then fly home. There are a surprising number of luxury vacation homes listed on LoveHomeSwap. And it was actually super easy to find someone who agreed to my swap request.

But with my new correct flight being only one day before I fly home this messed up my house swap request, which had already been approved by one of the home owners. Still, I figured this is not a big deal. I am willing to “pay” for two nights just to stay one. After all, the best flight to Bali from Manila (for the price) is super early in the morning. It’s the only non-stop option. So it seems fair to pay a few extra points for the luxury of showing up at 8am. Though in truth I’m pretty sure my hosts didn’t care since they have staff at the property all the time.

And then I went to add my home exchange to TripIt and noticed my flight home from Bali isn’t midday like I thought. It’s at 12:30am. So I arrive in Bali at 8am and then fly out that night just after midnight.

Yeah, I really messed this one up. But in the end I’m just keeping the house swap booking and assuming I will spend a lovely day enjoying the resort. I’ll get a nice shower, have a swim, enjoy a few meals, maybe have a nap. And then I’ll head back to the airport. I’m not even spending 1 night in this place I’m paying 2 nights worth of points for.

Lesson learned: pay closer attention to dates and times when making bookings.