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How to Afford Vacations to Remote Destinations

Dec. 11, 2018
Personal Finance, Travel, Vacations & Trip Planning
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Hotels.com wants travelers to come and explore one of the most remote towns in the world — Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland. The site is offering a room giveaway for stays during March 2019.

But there is one challenge to booking an adventure at this idyllic spot: How you’re going to get there.

There are no roads to the town of 450 people, and remote transportation can get pricey. But if you want to go off-grid on your next trip, there are simple ways you can reduce the expense of any remote vacation.

Make sure you can get there before booking

Don’t book the hotel before you have sorted out all the types of travel you’ll need to do to get to your final destination. There might be confirmed ways to get you there, but sometimes the infrequent flights, boats or animal-powered sleds sell out or are unavailable due to weather.

To book a remote trip, budget and plan to hold temporary reservations on portions of the trip while you confirm that other portions are available.

Take a budget airline as far as you can

In the case of getting to Ittoqqortoormiit, consider an airline like WOW Air, which has cheap connections to Reykjavik, Iceland. You can then find a flight to Constable Point, Greenland, where you pick up the helicopter to get to Ittoqqortoormiit.

» Learn more: Take a budget airline flight from basic to bearable

Budget airlines are available all over the world, from Frontier to Ryanair. These discount flights might not have the creature comforts of first class, but they’ll give you more room to budget for adventures at your remote destination.

Travel on the right days

Remote towns may not have daily flights. To get to Ittoqqortoormiit, for instance, the helicopter flights on Air Greenland are only available on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Additionally, make sure your flight arrives as early as possible to give you time to meet any method of transportation that only happens a few times per week. You don’t want to run late and miss the only connection available.

Transportation beyond traditional flights and hotels may be covered by redeeming cash value from travel rewards credit cards not tied to a specific airline. Check the rules on your credit cards for what is covered.

Use frequent flyer miles whenever possible

With the wide array of airline partnerships out there, you can often find a way to book travel with points across carriers.

» Learn more: How to get started with frequent flyer programs

For instance, though Iceland Air is known for not having a lot of codeshares and frequent flyer mileage partners, it does partner with Alaska Airlines, Finnair and JetBlue. Alaska and JetBlue are domestic carriers, but Finnair is part of the Oneworld alliance with American Airlines. So if you’re planning a Scandinavian trip, you may be able to earn and redeem AAdvantage miles on eligible flights through Finnair.

Remote trips are exciting. With a little homework, they can also be inexpensive.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:

Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice:
9 easy ways to earn travel rewards you’ll actually redeem
5 tips for finding cheap flights
How to plan for adventure travel like the pros

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