The idea of “luxury on a budget” just sounds way too far fetched, doesn’t it? If something is luxurious then chances are it’s not going to be budget-friendly, right? Well, you may be surprised to know that it isn’t always the case. You can have luxury goods and experiences all without breaking the bank. It just takes a bit of strategy is and some research.
It’s honestly all worthwhile to take time out to do the searching because it could mean that you’re able to have the unforgettable luxurious experience that people only dream of having. It’s really not just for the rich and famous, with these tips, you can also have a luxurious time traveling all while on a budget. So just continue reading on to find out more!
The Planning Stage
Is there anywhere you had in mind? Were there any locations or activities you had in mind such as being on some super and mega yachts for charter in the Caribbean? Whatever it is that you have in mind, the first step you’re going to want to do is conduct some research as this is going to help you out with narrowing down the area(s) you’re wanting to visit, the time of year, the activities, accommodation, and so much more. While it is possible to have a luxurious trip on a budget, it’s best to remember that it can all happen but research needs to be conducted first.
Get the most transportation for your money
Usually (but not always), it’s the transportation that’s going to be the most expensive. A general rule of thumb is to apply long-haul flights to longer trips and shorter flights to shorter trips. Longer flights tend to be more expensive but shorter flights can mean that it’s easier to rack up points being earned for these flights. You could simply utilize air miles or credit card points if you have these as this could be a great way to save some money.
Flights are one of the most reliable ways to travel from greater distances but you don’t have to narrow yourself down to just flights, depending on where you live and where you’re going, you can also drive, sail, or even take the train. But of course, this is going to heavily vary as it will depend on where you’re planning to travel to.
One great tool that you can utilize if you’re determined to fly out would be Skyscanner. They have an “everywhere” button that gives you the cheapest flights and destinations from your home airport, as it will show everywhere essentially. Try this tool out as it may lead to you getting a great trip!
Be flexible about your destination
It’s a proven fact that some areas are going to be far more expensive than other areas. Large cities almost always cost more than small towns, and any tourist-centric place is bound to be far more expensive than areas that are not considered touristy. This doesn’t mean that you’re not going to have a luxurious experience or stay in a fancy hotel. All it means is that some areas in the world are far more expensive than other areas, so if you’re wanting to stick to a budget for your travels, then you need to be flexible with where to go.
A great example would be Eastern Europe versus Western Europe. If you’re someone who’s hoping to have a luxurious stay in Europe then it’s best to know that western Europe is drastically more expensive compared to eastern Europe. The same can be said for other areas as well. Just try to be open about the destinations, as the lesser-known destinations are going to be less crowded, more affordable, and equally exciting.
Be open to last-minute deals
Both early bird and last-minute deals can give you phenomenal discounts. These can include 5-star hotels with breathtaking views, cheap train or plane deals, or even complete tours. There are some websites that specifically focus on last-minute or semi-last-minute deals such as Last Minute and Travel Zoo, but even certain airlines or hotels will offer these as well. It’s best to create an email specifically for traveling so you can sign up for newsletters, as these will give you the inside scoop on where to stay.
You can save major moolah just by traveling outside of peak season. Let’s say you’re wanting a beachy vacation to the Caribbean, well, it may be better to completely avoid the summer months and wait till late fall, winter, or early spring. Why? Well, there are drastically fewer tourists during the offseason. Not only is it going to be drastically less crowded, but it’s also going to be significantly cheaper as well. Lower demand means lower cost, since there isn’t much demand during off-peak season, hotels, tour companies, and transportation tends to be a lot cheaper as well.
Stay outside the popular neighborhoods
If you’re dead set on going to a major city, such as Paris for instance, then it can be a tad more challenging to save money on luxury hotels, but it’s still possible! Even if you’re willing to go outside the popular neighborhoods in major cities (such as avoiding business districts or tourist areas) then this can also increase your chances of staying in a very nice hotel without the expensive price tag.
Wanting lounge access? Try your credit card!
Credit cards can offer many fantastic perks and travel rewards. Some cards will give out airport lounge access. Airport lounges can be very luxurious as these tend to offer great views, a comforting atmosphere, and free refreshments. Some credit cards will also offer priority boarding on top of other perks like an airport lounge. But if you’re wanting to skip out on using credit cards, but you’re still wanting the airport lounge experience then you can always try using LoungeBuddy and their membership program.
Sign up for hotel loyalty programs
Some credit cards will already have perks such as free nights or free upgrades to certain hotel branches, but some hotels, such as Accor and Hilton, will have their own loyalty programs as well. These can include complimentary nights, meals, and other perks as well. While you’ll need to be required to stay so many nights in order to utilize these perks, it can help in the long run.
Try mistake fares
Mistake fares are when booking partners or even when an airline accidentally puts in the wrong price for a flight. You can get incredibly cheap flights, to the point where it’s hard to believe. But, if you choose to try out this method then it’s important to proceed with caution as not all airlines will honor mistake fares.
Don’t be afraid to shake things up
While you’re working on your preliminary checklist for international travel, you should also think about how flexible you are with your travels. While the standard idea of a luxurious trip includes a nice flight, 5-star hotel, and a dinner with a view, are you willing to shake things up a bit? Luxury travel isn’t just all about the hotel, it can be so much more than that.
In fact, you don’t even have to have some fancy chain hotel in order to have a luxurious trip. You can try a luxury train ride such as the Orient Express, Glamping, or even staying at a unique Airbnb. The term “luxury travel” is fairly flexible and it doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all. So don’t be afraid to shake things up a bit with your travels.
Avoid over-touristy destinations
Very touristy destinations have a reputation for being pricey. Plus, there’s the idea of too many crowds and lines as well. It can be hard to have a relaxing trip if it’s going to be too loud, crowded, and expensive, right? So instead, you can stretch out your budget and still have a very luxurious time by going to lesser-known places instead.
You can skip out on Italy and instead can go to Turkey, instead of Lake Como you visit Lake Bled instead, Cambodia instead of Thailand, these are all just some examples. If you’re still keen on that have a luxurious experience then you can book in confidence knowing that you’ll still get it thanks to tours, excursions, and all the boutique hotels that are around.
Buy a train pass
Traveling by rail isn’t only cheaper, but it’s eco-friendly as well. While there are some positives and negatives to the train, you can still have a glamorous time. The Interrail pass is a great example of this, but even Japan Rail Pass can be another example as well. These are passes that let you travel in one specific country (such as the Japan Rail Pass) but even around the continent such as the EU. If you’re worried about the lack of luxury then don’t worry about that. First-class seats are always an option, these are very roomy, quiet, fewer people, plus they usually come with free meals or refreshments.