Getting to Palau

Wow! We ended up having a few long, crazy days of travel to get to Palau. Where is Palau, you might ask? It’s a small island off the east coast of the Philippines and north of Indonesia. We decided to travel here for world class diving and we heard they have a unique species of Jellyfish that can’t sting, so you can swim with them. We ended up being in Bali before heading to Palau. These two islands are not far apart, but our journey sure made them feel that way.

This is what a direct flight from Bali to Palau would look like
This is what a direct flight from Bali to Palau would look like

The Bali and Palau airports are 1,735 miles apart. Unfortunately, there is no direct flight and there are not many options for getting to Palau. Due to some award scheming, we ended up taking a crazy route.

Our actually route to Palau
Our actual route to Palau

Our Route to Palau

We flew from Bali to Singapore and had an overnight stay in a hotel. The next day, we flew from Singapore to Osaka and decided to tough it out and sleep in the airport. This was not a fun night and we barely got any sleep at all. It felt like this night would never end. The morning after that, we flew to Guam, had a 4 hour layover, and then finally flew to Palau. The journey took us 6,453 miles and 50 hours to complete.

Brit sleeping in the Osaka airport
Brit sleeping in the Osaka airport

How This Happened

  1. I booked an Air Canada Aeroplan award from Singapore to Osaka and then Osaka to Hong Kong in business class. Due to some odd region classifications, this award used to be super cheap. It only cost us 30,000 miles each to book this. I booked to Osaka because I found award availability on Singapore Airlines (low taxes/fees) and because I found availability from Osaka to Hong Kong (ANA), which I could not find from Tokyo.
  2. United has some super cheap pricing from Japan to Oceania. United charges just 25,000 round-trip for Japan to Oceania in economy. This includes a free stopover and an open jaw. We flew from Osaka to Palau, stayed about a week, flew to Yap, stayed for 3 days, and then flew to Tokyo. All for only 25,ooo miles!
  3. When I originally booked parts 1 and 2 of this itinerary, I did not know where we would be in Southeast Asia before our flight from Singapore to Osaka. Turns out we were in Bali. There were no good award flight options, so we booked a $90 economy ticket on KLM’s 5th Freedom route between Bali and Singapore. The best part is that we got upgraded to Business class for free… more details on that coming soon.

All the Ways to Palau

We ended up enjoying our stay in Palau. If you want to do some award scheming, you can get to Palau from/with the following cities/airlines.

  1. Guam – United has flights from Guam to Palau
  2. Manila – United has flights from Manila to Palau
  3. Yap – United has flights from Yap to Palau
  4. Seoul – Asiana and Korean both have flights from Seoul to Palau
  5. Tokyo – Delta has a flight from Tokyo to Palau
  6. Taipei – China Airlines has flights from Taipei to Palau
All of the routes to Palau
All of the routes to Palau

Conclusion

Sometimes you have to fly some inconvenient routes to get from point A to B in order to get there as cheaply as possible with miles and points. Is it worth it? Absolutely! I had been dreading this journey since I booked it months and months ago and it turned out to be not that bad. Our time in Palau was amazing. We had the best dives of our life and got to swim/play with some stingless jellyfish! For more info on our time in Palau, check out this post: What to Do in Palau, Micronesia (Besides Scuba Dive). You can also check out our video of Palau.

Have you ever flown some crazy routes for the sake of miles and points? Let me know what they are below!

2 Comment

  1. simon hugfeld says: Reply

    Palau is really awesome! I ve been in Palau in 2016 and had really a great time! The nature is amazing, diving is absolutely stunning and the people are friendly! We came from Amsterdam with stops in Bangkok and Taipeh! It really took a long time but really was worth it! Just the prices for hotels are quite expensive and you have to book early to get a good price for a decent room (http://palauvisitors.com/ would have helped me a lot find a good hotel). I’m definitely goind back to Palau soon!

    1. Pete says: Reply

      I agree, it’s am amazing place! That does sound like a long journey! I definitely see myself going back at some point. No diving I have done since has come close to what I saw in Palau.

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