I will be writing posts frequently which will highlight different marathons around the world, information about them, the cost to get there by revenue means, and what it would take to get there for almost nothing.
For the first such post, I decided to focus on a place that I have recently been looking at – Phuket, Thailand. It is one of the southern provinces and is Thailand’s largest island.
It is known for being a great vacation place with wonderful beaches and a terrific climate. It is 12 hours ahead of EST. It is definitely an exotic location and is a wonderful place to mix a vacation with a marathon!
The Phuket Marathon will take place on June 10, 2012. I would imagine it would be June 9, 2013. It has an early start at 4:30AM! If you are mixing the trip as vacation as well, why not get it done and out of the way early? 🙂 There are other distances besides the marathon distance – a half-marathon, a 10.5K run, a 5K walk, and a kids’ run of 2K. You can read reviews about this race here, but the 7 that have commented on it gave it high ratings. This would definitely be a race where you would have one of the more exotic marathon stories in your running club.
Looking from my home airport of Rochester, NY, the cheapest options for traveling there a few days before the race and leaving the day after the race are:
- Airfare – $1800 – Leaving June 4th – June 11th
- Accommodations – I am using a baseline of 5 nights – Cheapest (a room in a local guesthouse) is $40 total / Average 5-star is $800
- Total for 2 people for airfare and lodging is – $4,400 (for staying in an upscale – after all, this is supposed to be an exotic vacation as well!)
Pretty expensive at first glance, yes? Here is the price and redemption amounts if you use points/miles for your Asia marathon/vacation
- Airfare – 65,000 Continental Onepass miles + $91.90 taxes/fees
- Accommodations – Staying at the Le Meridian (5 Star hotel) (actual cost would be $810 for five nights) for 20,000 Starwood points + $300 or 40,000 Starwood points
- Total for 2 people for airfare and lodging is – 130,000 Onepass miles and 20,000 Starwood points + $483 putting the miles at a value of 2.6 cents per mile and the points at a value of 2.5 cents per mile. The interesting part is that this Continental itinerary has 14 fewer hours of travel in each direction and actually costs $4,700 per ticket which makes the parallel value of miles at 7 cents per mile!
- You can deduct $300 from the above $483 if you redeem 40,000 Starwood points instead of paying a mixture of points and cash.
That is a pretty incredible savings! Two people could take a 1 week vacation to this exotic place, run a very interesting marathon, and stay in a premium hotel all for $242 per person! This is less than going to a marathon in the next state (after gas, tolls, hotels)! After food, transportation, and marathon expenses, you are probably still looking at under $900 for the trip. To make the trip even sweeter for those who have more vacation time to burn, I will write about a very interesting booking strategy in an upcoming post that will yield yet ANOTHER awesome vacation – on the same trip and for no extra charge!
The amazing fact is that you can get these points with 4 credit card applications (2 each person or 3 for one person and 1 for the other person) – with no annual fees for the first year! In a future post, I will talk about which cards will give you these amazing, valuable points and miles. I hope you enjoyed this, the first Destination report with the Phuket Marathon in Asia. Who’s going to run the Phuket Marathon 2013? 🙂