Throwback Thursday: Mom’s Bali Birthday Bonanza

One of the greatest things about the miles & points hobby is being able to share incredible experiences with family & friends. The main reason I write trip reports is to share my travel experiences with you guys in hopes of everyone being able to travel as comfortably as possible. But another reason is that it’s sort of a fun record for me to have of some of the amazing experiences I’ve had over the years.

Given that Throwback Thursday is a thing, I thought it would be fun to share a trip report I wrote a couple of years ago, which I was going through earlier in the week, as it put a smile on my face. Since readership has grown exponentially over the past couple of years, I assume a lot of you haven’t read it yet.

A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to take my mother on a trip for her “round” birthday. I love my parents more than anything, and my mom works far too hard, so I was really looking forward to the chance to spoil her a bit.

That being said, this was one of the most challenging trips I’ve ever planned. You’ll want to read more about the planning and decision-making process before diving in to the full trip report.

Eventually, I met my mom in Chicago, where we had a brief visit to the (mediocre) SAS Lounge Chicago before boarding our Cathay Pacific First Class Chicago to Hong Kong. The crew was incredibly attentive, and loved that mom was traveling for her birthday.


We had a brief stay at the Conrad Hong Kong, then continued our journey via the Cathay Pacific “The Wing” First Class Lounge Hong Kong. We then flew Cathay Pacific Business Class Hong Kong to Bali before two incredible stays at the Amandari Bali and Amankila Bali


Bali is one of my favorite places in the world, and one of the places I find most relaxing. Being able to experience the nature and culture with my mom was really special, and a memory I’ll always treasure.


For our return journey, we flew Malaysia Airlines Business Class Bali to Kuala Lumpur then connected to Malaysia Airlines Business Class Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong, before finally boarding our Cathay Pacific First Class Hong Kong to San Francisco.

I learned a lot about traveling with my parents on this trip, and since then have booked itineraries with fewer connections and longer layovers whenever possible. My mom wrote about her thoughts on the trip as well, which adds a nice touch to the entire experience.


You can find the full series here:

Mom’s Bali Birthday Bonanza
SAS Lounge Chicago
Cathay Pacific First Class Chicago to Hong Kong
Conrad Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific “The Wing” First Class Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Business Class Hong Kong to Bali
Amandari Bali
Amankila Bali
Malaysia Airlines Business Class Bali to Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia Airlines Business Class Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific First Class Hong Kong to San Francisco
Mom’s Thoughts

And if you haven’t checked out my Trip Report Index, there are reviews of just about every flight I’ve taken and hotel I’ve stayed at. Hopefully it will prove a useful resource the next time you’re planning a trip!

Enjoy this review? Check out hundreds of other reports on airlines, hotels, and airport lounges worldwide!


  1. This was an awesome trip and great trip report and because of it, I began planning a surprise 25th wedding anniversary trip for my wife and I that includes a week between Amandari and Amankila before jetting off somewhere else. It’s been more than a year in the making and I can’t wait to see the look on her face when we arrive in September.

  2. Reading reports and trips you’ve taken with your family is one of my favorites Ben! I have traveled quite a bit with both of my parents as well and it’s truly awesome flying with them. I tend to pick long haul flights so I can see their face of enjoyment when we are on a solid on board product. Doesn’t get old and they are long lasting memories that I’ll always cherish.

  3. I love my mom too, I just booked jfk-hnl-jfk for her, return leg is in biz/1st class, for just 35k aa

  4. So you can’t be bothered making new trip reports so you just recycle old ones again. Classy

  5. *adding more salt to the wound*

    How about that TAP + Portugal + Iceland trip report ???

    From :

    “I’ll have a full trip report soon and will share more thoughts soon, but definitely visit Portugal, and especially Porto. I almost stumbled into this trip by mistake, and couldn’t have been happier about it.”

    Been almost a year but no trip report …

    From :

    “While I’ll have a full trip report soon (I’m a couple of reports behind, so it will be a couple of weeks), I figured I’d share my initial thoughts.”

    No report to this very second

    C’mon Ben, you can do better

  6. No new trip reports from Lucky for almost 3 months now.

    Maybe in the last months he just travelled for work between the same cities using the same airlines so he doesn’t have anything new to write about. Too bad, this blog loses a lot of appeal to me without his trip reports…

  7. +1 on the trip reports. Still waiting for Portugal, Iceland and a few others from around the time of the laptop incident.

  8. Yeah. I mean, I love the blog, but as you post about “the crazy week” and “not being sure how you feel about it” you do more and more media interviews, and now recycle content?

    I’ve stood up for you a lot in the comments, when people have been mean or ridiculous. But this is getting silly.

    We need to get back to actual content. From you.

    Dance with the one who brung ya…

  9. Agree with others that this blog, while still great for all the info it provides, does lose a great deal of value to me without trip reports by Lucky. It has definitely been too long since Lucky has posted one of his trip reports!

  10. @JohnCarter your fluff posts to drive traffic to your useless website in between breaks of your housekeeping job are really getting tiresome.

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