TRAVEL WELL with Kate Springer
CNY FLIGHT HACK
KOH SAMUI IS CALLING... And it says you need a wellness retreat ASAP! Luckily, 5 Star Fitness Retreat has just the thing. The Hong Kong-based company leads action-packed escapes to Koh Samui twice a year - one in March, and another in November. Typically running four days at a time, the retreat includes an intense fitness regime - think TRX, kayaking, SUP, Muay Thai, yoga, Strongman and more - as well as healthy meals, massages, workshops and group outings. Unlike a lot of fitness retreats, 5 Star makes every session optional - so you can go as hard or as slow as you like. And we wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to take things slow... After all, the retreat takes place at the Chaitalay Estate in Baan Kilee, which comes complete with an oceanfront pool, a 300-meter crescent beach, beautiful wooden villas and giant bathtubs. Now that’s my kind of retreat. Next retreat, March 17-20, 2017. Rates from $13,030, not including airfare. www.5starfitnessretreat.com. 42
Tell me you’re planning a last-minute CNY getaway, and my first reaction would be to cringe and offer my sincere apologies. Having fallen into this trap myself - and never learning my lesson - I know all too well that average flight prices tend to triple during the massive Chinese holiday. But during my annual scramble this year, I stumbled upon a useful tool on Skyscanner. The website’s Flight Comparison Map enables travelers to scan the entire region at once for direct flights, connecting routes, and average prices. After just a few minutes, I found $3,500 flights to Palawan over Chinese New Year - a destination that I had completely written off at first, assuming it would be too pricy. So whether you’re looking for inspiration or trying to save a few bucks, it’s worth checking this handy map before you book. www.skyscanner.net/inspire/map.