“Coral Reefs & Komodo Dragons in the South Pacific”

April 16 – to 27, 2020

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Did you know Komodos Can Consume 80 Percent of Their Body Weight in One Sitting?Bali, Komodo, Flores and Singapore

Join us on a multi-faceted gem of 3 stunning regions on one amazing vacay! There aren’t enough emojis to describe all the thrills on this escape. In 10 immersive days, we’ll explore pristine islands scattered in the mystical Indonesian archipelago’s “Coral Triangle,” taking you from ultimate tropical paradise to mind-boggling modern architectural wonders. Since the romantic comedy “Crazy Rich Asians,” these places are trending hot in popularity for 2020 tourism. With our luxury resorts, you’ll be pampered like “Crazy Rich Americans” for a head-shaking value price.

 It all begins in lush, seductive Bali, a utopian masterpiece of nature! We base in artsy Ubud (of “Eat, Pray, Love” fame) to introduce you to true Balinese culture. Explore sacred temples, the Monkey Forest, handicraft markets and witness spectacular sunsets! You won’t want to leave our Ayanna Resort, but it only gets better as we continue with a short flight to Flores, or “Flower Island,” a tropical delight of emerald rice terraces in the shadow of smoldering volcanoes.

Komodo – Our new beach resort is the only 5 star property of all these islands. Ayana Komodo Resort is a sanctuary of serenity. Picture a 900 foot pier with a fleet of boats to whisk us out to unspoiled islands like Rinca. The big draw? The legendary Komodo dragons. Capture amazing photos of these creatures as they scamper across the sand. Chill at the resort’s spa or enjoy world class snorkeling and diving with an astounding array of marine life!

Had enough scenic island beauty? Let the large fun begin with a flight to uber-cool Singapore, a place that continually reinvents itself. (Heck, the airport alone is worth the flight with its new hiking trails, 10 story waterfall and 400 venues). Dubai dulls by comparison. Spotless Singapore is a melting pot of ancient and modern. Today, it’s a destination for design, cuisines and so many new things to do. You’ll love the solar powered Super Trees, world’s coolest rooftop pool, Colonial charm and fusion kitchens. Food is taken very seriously here. Indulge your foodie passions with us at the affordable  “hawkers food stalls”- some with chefs who are Michelin rated!

 Singapore is striving to become the World’s Greenest City with 1600 new parks added. Our highlights include rickshaws through Chinatown, the new National Gallery, bumboat rides on the river, Maxwell’s Food Market, gravity defying Skypark at Marina Bay Sands, Little India and more. There’s free time for “Breakfast with Orangutans, riding the Singapore Flyer, fabulous Jurong Bird Park, Flower Dome and energetic nightlife on Clark Quay with Raffles.

Our past AFS groups loved these places. Now, we combine all together in one incredible getaway. April is the best time to visit Komodo. We have great group air with 6 flights on award-winning Singapore Airlines, if you want it.

This trip is for our explorers, water babies, action seekers, culture vultures and Instagrammers! Make these 3 distinctive bucket-list worlds part of your book-it list. It’s an Asian Affair that will make you the envy of all of your friends who only travel through what they see in your photos.

Bali, Komodo, Flores #solotravel

-BOOK NOW or call 770-432-8225, if trip full then WAITLIST  

Bali-Map-Adventures-Solo-Tours_2

Lonely Planet says…

Welcome to Bali, Island of the Gods

One Island, Many Destinations

On Bali you can lose yourself in the chaos of Kuta or sybaritic pleasures of Seminyak and Kerobokan, surf wild beaches in the south or just hang out on Nusa Lembongan. You can go family-friendly in Sanur or savour a lavish getaway on the Bukit Peninsula. Ubud is the heart of Bali, a place where the culture of the island is most accessible, and it shares the island’s most beautiful rice fields and ancient monuments with east and west Bali. North and west Bali are thinly populated but have the kind of diving and surfing that make any journey worthwhile.

Bali’s Fun

At the end of the day (which is the start of the day for some visitors), Bali’s rich culture, many amazing sights and truly lovely people are what takes Bali’s sheer delight to another level. Because Bali is fun, no matter what you want or who you are. Seminyak has shops and designers, Kerobokan has luxe beachside resorts and superb eating, Kuta and Legian have the nightlife, and Canggu wraps it all into one irresistible package. Plunge deep into Bali’s spirit while renewing your own in Ubud or catching the perfect wave in Bingin. You name it, it’s here.

Welcome to Ubud Region


Welcome to Flores & Komodo

Let’s get it out of the way first: There’s no place like this place, anyplace. Komodo is obviously well-known for its dragons (gigantic lizards, really, but who’s nit-picking?), but there’s so much more to the island — plus nearby Flores and Rinca — than just massive fauna. You’ll spend much of this nine-day trip on Flores, soaking in the beautiful scenery (including Mt Kelimutu, a volcanic crater full of vibrantly coloured water) and traditional ways of life amongst the local people. On a boat trip to Komodo and Rinca, look out for Komodo dragons and spot even more of the native wildlife. 


Welcome to Singapore

The Island of Feasting

Food in Singapore is taken very seriously. From cheap hawker fare to Michelin-starred fine dining, food-enamoured Singaporeans will line up for it, Instagram the hell out of it and passionately debate whether it is ‘die, die, must try’ – Singlish slang for ‘to die for’. Don’t fret about finding a place to chow down, as each neighbourhood is home to local hawker centres and coffeeshops dishing up some of the island’s best meals for just a couple of bucks. Simply follow your nose or join the longest queue – whatever morsels lie at the end, they are almost guaranteed to be scrumptious.

A Green City

The concrete jungles that once dominated Singapore’s skyline are slowly giving way to green skyscrapers, which look more like living ecosystems than business hubs. Fervently working towards its ‘City in a Garden’ dream, the nation is ploughing money into becoming more sustainable and, well, green. Head out of town a little and you’ll find plenty of walking trails, treetop jungle bridges, wildlife galore and the city’s green jewel, the Unesco World Heritage–listed Singapore Botanic Gardens: these are the lungs of Singapore.

Shopping Frenzy

When the sweltering outdoor heat gets too much, Singaporeans love ducking inside for a spot of retail therapy and a good dose of air-conditioning. Orchard Rd is the queen of shopping malls: with all the high-street brands, plenty of high-fashion houses, and a few discount outlets thrown into the mix, everyone’s needs (and more often wants) are catered for here. If you prefer your shopping a little less mass-market, head out to local neighbourhoods for independent designers, quirky art galleries, bustling markets, Chinese medicines, Persian carpets and a sari or two.

Our Glorious AFS Itinerary

Full details coming by email in Trip Trips

-BOOK NOW or call 770-432-8225, if trip full then WAITLIST  

Download printable PDF itinerary

April 16 – Check-in Singapore Airlines  (SQ) counter by 10 PM for your departure on April 17 at 1:15AM. flight.Depart USA on fabulous Singapore Airlines, world’s best economy class!  You cross Int’l Dateline to lose day but gain back on the end!


April 18 – Welcome to Bali, Indonesia

 For some, Bali might seem just like another popular tourist destination, but for anyone who visits its shores, it is impossible not to be touched by certain magic from the “Island of the Gods.” Bali is an island paradise, with lush rice field terraces, stunning volcano and lake views and beautiful beaches, but it is often the warmth and friendliness of the Balinese people, that make any stay on the island so memorable.

Arrive at Bali’s stunning Ngurah Rai International Airport where our local guide helps us transfer to our hotel. The luxurious Alaya Resort is located in the heart of ultra-cool Ubud, a town surrounded by rain forests and rice paddies. Our hotel is a tropic retreat with an onsite spa, award winning restaurants and verdant grounds which include, of course, a pool.   We are in the heart of town, so it’s easy to venture around. (Free time – This is the town of the movie and book “Eat, Pray, Love,” visit some of the sites! Perhaps pay a visit to a Balian – a traditional Balinese medicine man or check out some of the many markets and spas.)

Overnight:  Alaya Resort (3 nights) Open link to view your stunning property – www.alayahotels.com

April 19 – Half day Ubud Tour                           B/L

After buffet breakfast, start the day with an exploration of the Ubud Palace – Puri Saren Agung -where the royal family ruled Ubud from the late 1800’s until 1917. The palace complex has beautiful Balinese traditional houses and is set in the heart of old Ubud. We then head to the Famous Ubud Market where you can test your bargaining skill for an amazing array of local crafts. Even if you don’t like shopping, the market provides a bombardment of color, culture and excitement.

We then take a stroll through Ubud’s famous Monkey Forest to  see some of Bali’s cheekiest inhabitants – the macaque monkeys. Groups of these mischievous monkeys live in the shaded forest, where they roam freely, jumping from tree to tree. It won’t take long for you to recognize that they each have their own distinctive personalities and watching them is never-ending entertainment.  Our past groups loved it.

Our evening is on our own, so feel free to venture into Ubud and mingle with the Balinese.

Overnight:  Alaya Resort

 

April 20 – Day at Your Leisure                                   B

Free day at last!  So much to do to in Bali so we squeezed in a day of leisure for you who came from afar.  It’s so easy to book any tour there on the spot.  We can’t present one option due to so many choices.

Our past groups loved some tours and they are so affordable here.

I recommend considering with these rated 5-stars on Trip Advisor:  Ubud Instagram Tour, Rice Terrace Walk, River Tubing or Rafting, Cooking Class or the new “Jungle Swing Tour with Taro Elephant Sanctuary.”

Overnight:  Alaya Resort

 

April 21 – Fly to Labyan Bajo, Flores                              B/D

 This morning, we fly to the island of Flores and the town of Labyan Bajo, landing in the Komodo Airport. Prepare to be amazed by our home of the next 3 nights – the five-star ocean-side Ayana Resort. The spectacular property is virtually brand new and is set against a backdrop of ruggedly beautiful green hills. Every room offers stunning ocean views. Settle in and make the most of the numerous beach and water activities the resort has to offer.

In the evening, we have our official Welcome Dinner at the hotel’s unique Rooftop Bar, a perfect place to enjoy not only the gourmet food, but a spectacular sunset.

Overnight:  Ayana Komodo Resort (3 nights) www.ayana.com

 

 April 22 – Komodo Free day!                 B

There is no better place to have a free day than on this lush tropical island. Relax and enjoy the resort or you can choose to take advantage of the many options Ayana offers.

For spa enthusiasts, create a spa escape to remember with authentic Indonesian treatments that have been passed down through the generations. Those curious about discovering Komodo’s exotic wildlife can choose from countless activities including a guided Komodo Dragon tour at Rinca Island and wild bat sightings at sunset. The more adventurous will love Ayana Komodo’s array of scuba diving, snorkeling, marine walks, paddle boarding, kayaking and hiking to secluded hilltop locations for the most exquisite views imaginable.

We are also offering the option to take a cultural tour to the nearby village of Cecer where you can meet the locals. You’ll watch them do the “Tetek Alu” dance which is a traditional bamboo pole jumping game, as well as the Manggarai traditional dance. Maybe you can even join in! You’ll have a look around the village itself to experience daily life, then visit the fields where they cultivate coffee, vanilla and cacao visit to fields.

Overnight:  Ayana KomodoResort (3 nights)

April 23 – Komodo Island                      B/L

We have a full day ahead as we make our way by boat to Komodo Island and Rinca if time permits. The roughly 2-hour ride is a wonderful experience on the crystal Flores Sea. We then take a nature hike to explore including a waterhole known to be a favorite spot for Timor deer and wild pigs. Sometimes, dragons can be found there lying around and waiting.  Climb Sulphurea Hill and Frigate Hill for magnificent view across the islands, bays and beaches.

Rangers accompany us with a forked stick.  The dragons are protected by law.  These mighty creatures are the largest lizards earth, often 10’ long.  They remain motionless with belly full, but when hunger strikes, they speed around in search for food.  We stay silent as their hearing is acute.

Hop back on the boat and head to coral fragment lined Pink Beach. We’ll have a picnic lunch with us and this could be just the spot to stop! Afterwards, sail to Manta Point where hundreds of giant manta rays play in the waters. We may have time to swim or snorkel before heading back to the resort where our evening is free.

Overnight:  Ayana KomodoResort (3 nights)

April 24 – Fly Flores via Bali to Singapore  (on Garuda Airlines at 4PM)                              B

Our morning is free before we head to the airport to fly to magnificent Singapore, stopping first in Bali. We’ll arrive in Singapore at midnight and check in to our beautiful hotel for 3 wonderful nights.  This stunning property in the heart of Singapore  has a spa, health club, 30 meter pool, gourmet kitchen, free wifi and shuttle bus.

Though only a small city, this former simple fishing village has turned into a cosmopolitan city – brimming with harmonious diversity from its multi-cultural society. Experience the diverse, cohesive, nostalgic, historical and cultural aspects Singapore can offer.

One thing that is a “do not miss” is the multitudinous offering of food that will leave you spoiled for choice – from Peranakan to Chinese, Malay to Indian, fusion and more. Singapore is a place where differences are encouraged, embraced and celebrated.

Overnight: Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Singapore  (3 nights)

https://www.hoteljen.com/singapore/orchardgateway/about/

 

April 25 – Singapore – City Tour                                      B

We start with Singapore’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site – the expansive and colorful Singapore Botanic Gardens. You’ll be amazed by its National Orchid Garden, which boasts a extensive display of 60,000 orchid plants. Let’s hop onto a bumboatfor a cruise along the Singapore River, taking in sites like the city’s beautifully restored shop houses, modern skyscrapers of the financial district, colonial buildings and the iconic Merlion statue for our group photo.

A visit to the new Singapore National Gallerywill help tell story of Singapore’s planning efforts showing its physical transformation – past, present and future, including an immersive 270 degrees panoramic sight and sound show. We end at the incredible foodie delight destination called Maxwell Food Court where we are turned loose totaste of some local delicacies for lunch on our own.  Singaporeans take food seriously!  Here 3 meals a day is not enough.  At Maxwell’s just graze your way through endless gourmet stalls.  All food is clean and fresh.  Michelin starred meals can run $5.  Favorites are fresh chili crabs and coconut curry chicken rice.

The rest of the day is free to explore this unique, vibrant world-class city. Explore some of the old neighborhoods or get your shopping fix with its myriad selection of shopping, dining, entertainment places – be it Orchard Road or Boat Quay.  If you’re still hungry, do the “wok & stroll” tour.

 Overnight: Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Singapore  (3 nights)

 

April 26 – Singapore day free with Evening Tour            B

 Today is all ours again to explore! Perhaps start with booking Breakfast with the Orangutans? At Singapore’s famous zoo – 26 acre wildlife park where animals roam free.  Birders will be enthralled at Jurong Bird Park.  Visit the new Flower Dome or ride the Singapore Flyer, world’s largest Ferris Wheel with breathtaking views.  But save some energy for our special evening tour.

It begins at Singapore’s most iconic hotel – Marina Bay Sands – with a birds-eye view of the city from the top of MBS Skypark. It’s a roof-top experience like no other, with observation deck in the clouds. At Gardens by the Bay, watch the Super Tree Grovecome alive with an exhilarating display of light and sound at night! Then, we take in the color, culture and excitement of bustling Chinatown. Rich in history and heritage, we’ll wander along the narrow lanes that are a myriad of shops, eateries and the sensory overload that is the Night Market. Test your bargaining skills against street vendors selling anything from souvenirs to leather goods. The highlight is a trishaw ridethrough the alleyways of Chinatown and down to Clarke Quay. We’ll be dropped here to explore and enjoy the variety of dining options.

Evening tour:

Marina Bay Sand’s Skypark 6:00 PM Evening Tour with drop off at Clarke Quay

Our tour starts at the Singapore most iconic hotel – Marina Bay Sands. Be amazed with a birds-eye view of the city from the top of Marina Bay Sand’s Skypark – it is a roof like no other, perched 200 meters in the air with observation deck in the clouds. At Gardens by the Bay, watch the SuperTree Grove come alive with an exhilarating display of light and sound at night!

Chinatown has also come a long way since the early days when Chinese immigrants made this enclave their home. Walk the sprawling myriad of shops and eateries, bustling with colorful and exciting activities set against a backdrop of rich history and heritage.   Chinatown is not to be missed, especially in the evening when everything really comes alive. Wander along the narrow lanes of the Night Market and test your bargaining skills against street vendors selling anything from souvenirs to leather goods.

The highlight of today is a trishaw ride that takes you through the alleyways of Chinatown and down to Clarke Quay. Enjoy your own free time and explore Clarke Quay and the various dining options they have to offer. Group is left off at Clarke Quay to explore, have dinner or drinks.

 Overnight: Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Singapore (3 nights)

 

April 27 – Singapore and Home              B

 Transfer to airport after a thrilling journey well done.  Note we fly back to LAX which provides best connection home for you.

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-BOOK NOW  or call 770-432-8225, if trip full then WAITLIST  

Land Price $ 2398

Deposit $500

Includes:  All listed on itnerary

Not included:  Gratuities, air

GROUP AIR PACKAGE of 6 legs on 2 airlines with best routing and price. $1395 includes all taxes

(Note, we fly out of San Fran and returns via LAX because it’s best price and no forced overnights!)

 APR 16 Check in to Singapore Airlines (SQ) counter in San Fran at 10 PM

  • APR 17. SQ001   SFO-SIN 01:15AM – 11:20AM (Next day APR 18)
  • APR 18. SQ946   SIN-Bali (DPS)  4:10PM – 7:05 PM           

            Garuda Indonesia Airlines (GA)

  • APR 21  GA7036   DPS-Komodo (LBJ) 10:50AM-12:25PM  Transfer to hotel
  • APR 24  GA7027   LBJ-DPS   4:00 PM – 5:40PM  Connect to SQ Air for flight to Singapore
  • APR 24 SQ945    DPS-SIN  9:45PM PM – 12:20AM (Midnight    Transfer to SIN Hotel

Fly home –  APR 27  SQ 012   SIN-LAX  9:25AM – 1:10PM (Arrive same day 27APR)

Plan your connecting flight home after 3PM

                  KEY:  SFO= San Fran, SIN = Singapore, DPS = Bali, LBJ = Komodo

We suggest everyone buy our group air to keep the group intact with all hotel transfers.  Just 26 seats reserved.

Own Air – We understand how some may want to do own international air.  This trip is USA into Bali arriving no later than April 18 in the morning and out of Singapore April 27 anytime.   To keep the group intact we must include the internal air RT Bali to Komodo for $340.  This means your air will be USA to Bali, Bali to Singapore, Singapore to USA

  •  All prices are per person twin share.  Single rooms limited per group and a single supplement applies.  Cost set by hotel/cruiseline and vary considerably.  AFS will find you a roommate match. All hotel rooms are “run of house.”  
  • Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS.  
  • Land – Price based on a minimum number of trip participants, as well as local currency exchange rates which can fluctuate.
  • We write our itineraries over a year in advance. Though unlikely, we always reserve the right to modify schedules, tours and hotels if necessary. 
  • Group air – Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and the group is ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until the group air is set or we advise – though unlikely, airlines, times and dates can change!

Alaya Resort Ubud

Alaya Resort

Ayana Komodo Resort Ayana Komodo ResortHotel details

  • This relaxed resort on a beach overlooking the Flores Sea is 44 km from Komodo National Park and 6 km from Komodo Airport.
  • Stylish rooms offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screens, marble bathrooms and rainfall showers, plus minifridges, and tea and coffee making equipment. All provide balconies with sea views. 
  • There’s a private beach, as well as 2 outdoor pools (1 has a swim-up bar), a spa, a yoga deck and a gym. Dining options include 3 restaurants (1 serving Japanese dishes) and 4 bars. There are 5 shops, tours and airport transfers. 
  • Free Wi-FiFree  outdoor pool Air-conditioned Laundry service Beach access

Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Singapore

hoteljen

Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Singapore is the most vibrant place to stay in Singapore. Right in the heart of the famous Orchard Road, its energy beats to the rhythm of the city. The spacious and bright rooms offer a host of thoughtful touches ranging from fast, free WiFi to PressReader. One of the not to be missed would be the sensational rooftop pool with panoramic views of the Singapore skyline.

  •  All prices are per person twin share.  Single rooms limited per group and a single supplement applies.  Cost set by hotel/cruiseline and vary considerably.  AFS will find you a roommate match. All hotel rooms are “run of house.”  
  • Please review AFS Terms and Conditions as well as Heading Abroad with AFS.  
  • Land – Price based on a minimum number of trip participants, as well as local currency exchange rates which can fluctuate.
  • We write our itineraries over a year in advance. Though unlikely, we always reserve the right to modify schedules, tours and hotels if necessary. 
  • Group air – Airlines may add surcharges to offset fuel inflation or taxes. The total ticket cost is not final until we receive your final payment and the group is ticketed. If doing own air, airport transfer may or may not be included depending on your air schedule. Do not buy air until the group air is set or we advise – though unlikely, airlines, times and dates can change!

 

Any Questions

Prepare to be thrilled by 3 stunning regions with unrivaled architecture, coral reefs, and komodo dragons! There are countless thrills on this Asia adventure. From Ubud, the soul of Bali, to crazy fun Singapore, I wonder which part will be your favorite? I’ll be in Singapore next month to check out exciting new venues for you. Komodo National Park is a World Heritage site with astounding marine diversity and is a diver’s heaven. Yes, the Indonesian government just closed the park to visitors due to severe poaching of the protected dragons. But no worries, we’ll boat you to outer islands few tourists know about for even better sightings of the dragons up to 10 feet long!

This trip sold out in 3 days. We have a wonderful group of 36 solo travel lovers, so you are the fortunate ones. Be sure to check out the websites of our awesome properties and tourism sites listed below. After final payments are in, we will send you contact and room lists and give you access to the trip’s private Facebook group page. 

-Suzy

Trip Tips are designed to answer trip-related questions. It’s your responsibility to read this information.  Updates will be posted here. Please check back from time to time.

 

IMPORTANT PAYMENT DATES –

  • INITIAL DEPOSIT: $500. (No second deposit needed)
  • FINAL PAYMENT: DEC 17, 2019. We prefer checks for Final Payment. Credit card fees are costly for a small company to absorb. While we build costs into smaller deposits, we incorporate a $60 credit card convenience fee as a line item on each invoice in order to defray processing costs. When paying by check, deduct this $60 amount.

Make your payment out to AFS or Adventures For Solo Travelers, 1907 Daniel Green Ct., Smyrna GA 30080. If you won a contest on a past trip and have a coupon, mail it in and we’ll process it just like a payment made by check. You may review at any time your balance, booking information, and profile after logging into www.afstravelers.com.

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Your Fearless GTL Eileen. (Gracious Trip Leader, not a guide but liaison between our guides and group to ensure things run smoothly)

Gracious Trip Leader Eileen Viau has been traveling for business for over 15 years and with AFS doing solo travel tours for over 8 years. The thrill and excitement of each adventure entice her to explore new destinations. With her unbridled passion for travel and deep love for exploration, she’s visited 22 countries so far. Now retired from MetLife after 24 years, she’s free to escape anywhere.

One of the best qualities about Eileen is the way she interacts with people, and our groups love her. It’s her beautiful smile and sense of humor that makes traveling with her so stress-free. We discovered Eileen’s a natural born leader and welcomes any challenges. She is always looking for the positives should there be any hiccups along the way. Eileen gets to know each member of her AFS tribe and makes sure all have a good time.

Eileen has 2 grown children she raised on her own, and 2 granddaughters who are the love of her life. When not traveling, she resides in Florida spending her time playing at the beach and visiting family. Her motto – The Best Things in Life are the People You Meet, the Places You’ve Seen, & the Memories Along the Way.

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Where’s the Private Group Facebook Page? –

The benefit of the Private FB Group Page is that you have an opportunity to introduce yourself to your fellow travelers before departure and share trip photos during and after the tour.

Where can I find the FB link?

In a departure from the past, the Private FB Group Page will be created and emailed to you when the Final Payment is due (about 4 months prior to the trip).

Why are we are doing it this way?

We have found that some bookers never read Trip Tips and jump right to the Private FB Group Page assuming that they will get all trip info needed. But, this is not true; often, they only receive misinformation and rumors. We considered dropping the page, but many enjoy it and so we are keeping it as a compromise. Note – Important information is ALWAYS emailed to each participant and posted here in Trip Tips under UPDATES. Nobody misses a thing!

Trip Prep –

  • Ensure your passport is valid 6 months after your return date and has two blank pages. We recommend renewing your passport well ahead of any planned international travel. Take a photo of your passport to store in the cloud or bring a copy.
  • To speed through US Customs, download Mobile Passport. Look in your App Store for details.
  • Notify bank and cc companies of travel dates so they don’t block charges.
  • No visas or shots

Fitness level – 2 (No trouble walking)

Group Air –  Contact us that you want group air and we will add it to your invoice.

We have an excellent air price ($1395 including all taxes) and schedule on award-winning Singapore Airlines (SQ) and Garuda (GA). Note that you fly from San Francisco and fly home to Los Angeles. This not only saves on ticket price, but it consists of better connection times with no forced overnights.

I suggest you book Group Air now for your total vacation ease and peace of mind, as there are 6 legs. Let us know by email (we hold only 28 seats as some will want to do their own air into Bali and out of Singapore).  If you choose Group Air, we will add the fare to your invoice. Put AFS Indonesia Group Air in the email subject. Include your name and we will add you. Note – The card used for your Initial Deposit will be charged $100 for reserving your air seat. If your air reservation is dropped, you will be penalized $100 to cover the fee that AFS must pay the airline. We need a minimum of 12 people for the airline to consider this a group. If not enough want Group Air, we will release our seats and apply your Group Air deposit to the final balance and give you instruction for booking your own air.

Group Air Itinerary

  • April 17, 2020 (you check in on April 16th by 10 PM in SFO!)
  • April 17, 2020 SQ #001/ SFO – SIN 1:15 AM – 11:20 AM (next day)
  • April 18, 2020 SQ #946/ SIN – DPS 4:00PM – 7:00 PM
  • April 21, 2020 GA #7036/ DPS – LBJ 10:00 AM – 12:25 PM (transfer to Ayana Komodo Resort)
  • April 24, 2020 GA #7027/ LBJ – DPS – 4:00 PM-5:40 PM
  • April 24, 2020 SQ #945/ DPS – SIN – 9:45PM – 12:00 midnight (transfer to Jen Orchard Gateway Hotel)
  • April 27, 2020 SQ #12/ SIN – LAX – 9:25 AM – 1:10 PM

KEY: SFO – San Francisco; SIN – Singapore; DPS – Bali; LBJ – Komodo

Check in at the airline counter at the departure city’s airport 3 hours before departure to Bali. For return to your home city, set aside 2-3 hours to connect to your air flight home.

If you need help booking your own air, please call our friend Atik (a-teek), an air expert, at Downtown Travel at (212) 481-1800, or email him at atikm@downtowntravel.com. Give him your exact air dates, destinations, passport name, and birthdate.

Doing Own Air:

Inbound: April 18, 2020

Outbound: April 27, 2020

You can arrange your own air from your hometown on April 17th (arrival April 18th) to Bali and out of Singapore on April 27th, but note there is a total of 6 legs total. You must plan on being on the same internal flights as the group. There are no direct flights to Komodo (LBJ).  You need to make sure to meet the group in Ubud, Bali on April 18th.

Price of internal legs $340

  • Bali to LBJ:
  • LBJ to Bali:
  • Bali to Singapore

 

Transfers-

We’ll provide one airport pick up and drop off time to match group air. If your flight time falls outside of these times, you’ll need to make your own transfer arrangements.

Taxis to transfer between the airport and the city center are reasonable. The most popular taxi service is Blue Bird Taxi. A great planning resource is: www.taxifarefinder.com.

Meet Up With Group- On Day 1, a time will be set to meet the group at the Alaya Resort in Ubud, Bali for a briefing. More on this later.

Accommodations –

Please see the Air/Lodging tab on this website for details. Hotels can change, but it’s rare. Google each to see how cool the properties are.

Ubud, Bali:

Alaya Resorthttp://alayahotels.com/alayaresortubud/

 

Labuan Bajo, Flores:

Alaya Komodo Resorthttps://www.ayana.com/labuan-bajo/ayana-komodo?gclid=Cj0KCQjwzozsBRCNARIsAEM9kBOzqRtN1-RxBwzbWlfZv_RZrKnA1uuQbb6n4_Lk0DodBL0MFMV784caAjylEALw_wcB

Singapore:

Hotel Jen Orchardgateway Singapore: https://www.hoteljen.com/singapore/orchardgateway/about/

 

Baggage

Think light to ease your burden – not like you’re fleeing your homeland! This trip involves you moving to different properties 3 times. 1 carry-on bag & 1 medium suitcase not to exceed 45 lbs are standard. Weigh on a bathroom scale. This weight limit is set for our porterage and luggage vans that have limited space.

If you pack pre- or post- trip luggage, please make plans in advance as to where to stow excess baggage. Be sure to attach an ID tag to both pieces of luggage. Leave space for great souvenirs and gifts.

Don’t Over Pack!

MULE

Packing 

This trip is so easy and think light layers for a tropical climate. Simply pack casual summer clothing including a light jacket for long flights. Also bring sun protection, a daypack, wet shoes, a wide brim hat, comfy sneakers/walking shoes, and swimwear for the beach, pools, and spa. (Ladies – modest attire in temples.  Bring a scarf.)

Weather

As our trip falls at the height of the region’s summer, you can expect high temperatures with high humidity. Temps should be within the 78 – 90F degree range in April. Check Google Weather for climate in Bali and Singapore a week prior to departure.

Electric – plug-baliCell phones and tablets don’t need a voltage converter, but you will need an adapter plug. Correct wall plugs for Indonesia are type C and F, the 2 pin round socket plugs as used in larger parts of Europe. Type G plugs are used in Singapore. Don’t forget a portable backup charger, cords, gadgets, etc. AFSers often leave charger cords in their rooms, so be sure to double check your room before check out.

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Money Matters –

You will need some cash for personal tipping, meals, and shopping – $300 should suffice. I convert half of it upon entry. Be cautious when withdrawing local currency from an ATM. The safest ATMs to withdraw from are at airports, banks, or hotels. Independent ones are risky. Always shield your pin number when entering info.

Credit cards are far safer than using your debit card. I use my credit card for most purchases. Many cards now offer no foreign transaction fees.

Currency – Current Exchange Rate (approximate)

$1 USD = 14079.50 Indonesian Rupiah

 $1 USD = 1.38 Singapore Dollar

Follow the link https://www.oanda.com/currency/travel-exchange-rates to create a conversion cheat sheet.

Gratuities – (Prepaid)

It’s protocol to tip our local guides, assistants, porters, drivers and ground staff. Guidelines have increased globally, but around $12 to $18 per day should cover all for the trip.  A $95 total will be added to your invoice. Please understand this is only the suggested minimum.  For ease of distribution, your GTL will tip the different ground services for the entire group each day.

Tipping on own – If service is stellar, feel free to give more directly.  All we tourists leave behind is our reputation. I personally carry a personal stash of US ones in an envelope to draw from as needed. Bell staff/porters – AFSers roll bags to their room.  If you use a porter, please tip $2. Restaurants – 10%. For group lunches or dinners, please leave a dollar or two for waitstaff!

An article link about tipping when traveling is below

Click to read article –  Huffington Post on new tipping guidelines

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Communication

Internet is available, and internet cafes are abound. With cell phones/smartphones, be sure to check with your provider for rates and coverage for international phone plans before departure. Roaming rates (used by Facebook and other apps) are expensive. To reach home – Texting, iMessage, What’sApp and Facebook messaging when using Wi-Fi are best!  I don’t know anyone who makes calls home nowadays. Stay off of public Wi-Fi without using VPN if possible. Never open attachments or view financial or personal accounts on the Internet while abroad.

Want affordable data in many countries abroad? We’ve been using Skyroam. All the data you want to use Bluetooth for to access your devices is for just $10 per day. See https://www.skyroam.com for details.

Be Smart –

  • “Avoid Hackers on Vacation,” experts say! Thieves not only want your money, but also your hard-earned frequent flyer points. Change passwords often. Check device security settings before you leave for your trip. Back up, update, and encrypt your devices and data using a virtual VPN. It’s worth the cost. In hotel rooms, hide iPads or laptops to avoid “evil maids” that want to clone your tech.
  • Grab a hotel business card before heading out in case you get lost.
  • Pickpockets are everywhere – especially at night. Never carry your passport outside of the room.
  • Bottled water is always best abroad, as our gut isn’t accustomed to local tap water. Eat clean food and avoid street vendors.

 

Retail Therapy 

There is wonderful shopping in both Bali and Singapore. Even non-shoppers will find themselves tempted by local goodies. Our past groups have come back with the coolest stuff.

Bali: Sought out treasures include handcrafted furniture (past grouped shipped it), Balinese silver jewelry, batik fabric and clothing, beachwear, handmade dupa (incense sticks), Bali ceramics, organic beauty products and fragrances, Balinese masks, wood carvings, honey, and Kopi Luwak coffee.  Bargain!

Singapore: Find memorable gifts by seeking out a bottle of Singapore Sling, souvenirs with miniature Merlion, orchid perfumes, Asian artifacts, Bak-Kwa (bbq meat), Ya-Kun Kaya spread (coconut jam), Singapore pressed pennies, Tiger Balm products, Laksa paste, and gold painted orchid.

Photography 

Before taking pictures of locals, please know it is always polite to first ask for permission.

Your Private Facebook Group Page is a great way to share your best shots with each other. AFS loves photos with group participants (not typical churches, monuments, or any shot that looks like you pulled it off of the net, etc.) on our website. The best photos are ones that include a group member with a local, children, animals, or at iconic sites in the same frame!

Websites of Interest –

Google these sites for awesome in-depth info…

https://www.balitourismboard.org

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/bali/ubud

http://florestourism.com

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/nusa-tenggara/flores

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/indonesia/nusa-tenggara/komodo-and-rinca

https://www.visitsingapore.com/en/

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/singapore

Cuisines –

Bali:

Bali is known for its delicious Fresh Pacific Rim Fusion with Indian flavors, as well as its seafood, curry dishes, ayan bakar (blackened chicken), great salads, and tropical fruits. Open up your pallet to selections of lawar (minced meat salad), bebek betutu (roast duck), sate lilit (Balinese satay), and the island’s famed babi guling (whole spit-roast pig). The Balinese have a rich collection of snacks, cakes and desserts for your sweet tooth too. Bottled Brem Bali (Balinese fermented rice wine), Bali Moon (flavored liquor), Arrack (“rum of Indonesia”), and Hatten (beer) are popular alcoholic beverages in the Hindu-majority island of Bali.

Singapore:

Singapore cuisine can be divided into five types: meat, seafood, noodles, rice, and desserts and range from Peranakan to Chinese, Malay to Indian, fusion and more. Authentic Singapore cuisine include chili crab, Hainanese chicken, Nasi Lamek (Malay rice dish), otak otak (steamed fish cake wrapped in a banana leaf) bak kut teh (pork rib soup), kaya toast with kopi (coffee) (Singapore’s national breakfast), Murtabak (stuffed folded omelet pancake), biryani (aromatic Indian rice dish), roti prata (South Indian flatbread), and fried Hokkien Mee (popular Singapore stir-fried noodles). Sip on a Singapore Sling, Kopi-O, Milo Dinosaur, Tiger Beer, or Bubble Tea for popular refreshing drinks.

 

Roomies – 

Single supplement rates have significantly increased – if available at all. Save money and buy yourself an awesome local gift. We all live alone, but you can save money when traveling by rooming together. Suzy spends a lot of time on roommate matching. 99% of our clients are wonderful, and besides, you’re only in your room to sleep at night.

(If you know you snore, please buy a mouth guard ($25 to $50). Walgreens, Amazon, and CVS have different types. A link for the best example of a product that works: https://snoredoc.com/product/snore-doc-anti-snore-mouthpiece/. Another suggestion is to use a white noise app. Other recommended options – See Suzy.

 

Leisure Time –

AFS travelers revel in the element of surprise in new destinations and allow the wind to blow them where it will. It’s best to ask our local expert guides for suggestions upon arrival. Our trip is filled with awesome daily tours, but there will also be some free time. Google “Things to Do”. We also like Time Out, Trip Advisor, and Viator for some ½ day ideas.

Bali

So many Instagramable photographs here! I suggest Heaven’s Gate, Bali Swing, Uluwatu Temple, and an orangutan breakfast at Bali Zoo (Bali-zoo.com).

Singapore:

Too many to list! Ride the Singapore Flyer and get your adrenaline rush by riding the Sky Swing and or iFly. Revel in exploring the Flower Dome and stop by the Jurong Bird Park. Rickshaw in Chinatown, shop Little India, and take an evening Jungle Safari at the Singapore Zoo – the best zoo on the planet!

In the PM: Enjoy Raffles Hotel, Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, and Newton’s or Maxwell’s Hawker Centers (endless food eating).

Arranging Pre- or Post- Trip Plans –

We often see AFSers on your Private Facebook Page urging others to join them in traveling to other countries before or after our trip. Stopovers are great to add, but understand AFS has nothing to do with this nor is responsible for side trips.

Emergency Contact – 

Please call the AFS phone at: 770-432-8225, or email us at: info@afstravelers.com. Your guide can handle a call home for a true emergency. Do not expect to use your trip leader’s cell phone; you’ll need to use your own cell phone.

Cancellation Penalty –

At booking, we sent you our terms and conditions. Open the following link to review our terms again:

https://www.afstravelers.com/terms-and-conditions/

Optional Travel Insurance

If you would like travel insurance and have a pre-existing condition (elderly parent, medical, etc.), you must purchase insurance within 21 days of your Initial Deposit in order to ensure coverage. For more details, click Travel Insurance 101 or follow the link: http://travelinsurance101.tumblr.com.

Click Purchase Travel Insurance online or click on one of the links below to purchase travel insurance:

If you need assistance, I will email the form to you upon request.

Travel Psychology 101

Prepare for your departure joyfully with no contempt before investigation upon arrival. Please understand that whenever you travel, things are not like at home and changes may occur. Great trips work best for those with an open mind, flexible attitude and adventuresome spirit.  If changes occur, embrace them with serendipity. Who knows?…The unexpected may prove to be a better experience. Adapt and go with the flow with a laid-back attitude.

Be spontaneous. Be tolerant of foreign cultures in respecting their centuries of traditions. Embrace the differences. Be curious, not shy. Smile – locals will sense your energy of kindness and kindness always begets kindness. (This goes for your roommate, too. Most of us are used to living on our own; but, have fun while being accommodating and patient when sharing a room with another fellow traveler). Our common goal is to experience different cultures, make new friends, get great photos, have large fun, and return home safely with memories worthy of recollection.

The best spirit of an Explorer requires the openness of a child – Suzy

“When traveling, remember that a foreign country isn’t designed to make you comfortable.  It’s designed to make it’s own people comfortable.” – Clinton Fadiman

Cool Articles for Exploring Your Destination Cities –\

https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/ubud

https://asia.nikkei.com/Life-Arts/Life/Indonesia-s-Flores-opens-to-the-adventurous

http://www.travelandleisureasia.com/radar/2989668/the_island_of_flores_is_about_to_get_its_first_fivestar_luxury_resort.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/25/travel/what-to-do-in-singapore.html

Articles of interest

https://www.thediscoverer.com/editions/65

Read this article here https://www.thediscoverer.com/editions/65

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