Travel doesn’t need to be expensive. If you’re scrolling through Instagram, it’s easy to believe that luxury travel is reserved for the rich and famous. But the real truth is that you can get luxury travel experiences at an affordable price by implementing some of the tips in this post when planning your next trip.
You define what luxury travel means to you. For me, luxury travel is about much more than the destination but about the experiences I have. To some, a luxury holiday will mean a five-star exclusive hotel in the mountains while for others it would be glamping in the countryside. It ultimately comes down to what YOU think makes YOUR trip feel special. And the best part is it’s extremely doable to find that at an affordable price.
1. Travel out of high season
If you can be flexible, travel out of peak season. Not only will you save money, but you can also avoid the peak season crowds and have more choice on where to stay. If you’ve visited any popular destinations in the summer, you’ll understand the struggle! The only thing to consider with out-of-peak season travel is weather and possibly some restaurants and attractions being closed.
2. Travel where your Money stretches
One of the major tips for affordable luxury travel is picking a country where your currency buys a lot. Usually, the most popular destinations are also the most expensive, so instead look for emerging or off-the-beaten-track destinations. In addition to lower hotel prices, the cost of living will also be lower. For example, when considering travelling in Europe, your money will stretch further the farther east you travel. Think Prague instead of Paris, Budapest instead of Berlin.
To make your money stretch further, you could look at destinations like Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey and more! These are some destinations that have a favourable exchange rate for UK travellers. Be smart and try to choose destinations where you can experience affordable luxury travel.
3. Pick a Location with Cheap Flights
When you want to spend money on a deluxe hotel, a night in a spa, or other luxurious activities, try to look for savings elsewhere. Choose a destination that has the cheapest flights. That money that you save on a flight you can use for a nice relaxing massage/spa day or a fancy dinner.
4. Choose a cheap 5-star destination.
When looking for a 5-star holiday, it pays to think about the country first. Instead of thinking of the luxury experience or hotel first, research countries where your money buys a lot. And then find the luxury experience within that destination. If you’re in North America consider Central & South American countries. If you’re in the UK, consider looking at think Portugal and Italy. From Australia, you have the beautiful (and cheap!) Southeast Asia within reach.
5. Find the cheapest flights
I mostly use the Explore function on Google Flights for looking for the cheapest flights, destinations and dates to travel and it has helped me tremendously in finding the cheapest tickets. You just enter your Departure Airport, leave the destination blank and hit ‘Search’. Google shows you a map where you can travel for the lowest price and then you can check based on your dates or see when is cheapest to go. However, Google does not always show ALL prices, so that is why I also check other sites like Skyscanner and Kayak.
READ MORE | 10 PROVEN TIPS FOR FINDING CHEAP FLIGHTS
6. Mix & Match Accommodation
One of the best ways to save on accommodation and make luxury hotels more affordable while travelling is to alternate luxury hotels with cheaper budget ones. You don’t have to pick a super grim budget hotel but something cheaper to make your accommodation costs lower while getting to stay in a swanky place.
Let’s say you’re staying at a gorgeous resort in the Maldives for two weeks. Ask yourself if you need to stay in that over-water bungalow the whole time? Consider standard accommodation for the first week or so, and then treat yourself to an ‘upgrade’ for the rest of your stay, and your money will go a little bit further.
7. Travel in a Group
One of the sure fie tips for affordable luxury travel is travelling in a group. The more people you travel with, the more you can potentially save. Think about it, six or eight people sharing a beautiful luxury villa will almost definitely be cheaper than getting multiple hotel rooms. And that’s not all! You could save on airport transfers, taxis and getting around, even getting into tourist attractions. Just make sure you pick your group wisely!
READ MORE | HOW TO BOOK LUXURY ACCOMMODATION FOR LESS
8. Reduce the duration, not the Quality
If it’s not a special occasion, but you still want all to experience a luxury hotel at an affordable price, consider reducing the length of your stay. If 10 nights away will take you over budget then consider going for seven or five nights instead. Reduce the duration rather than the quality of your stay. I would always rather stay somewhere great for shorter than stay somewhere that’s cheap and not so great for longer.
9. Splurge in the right places
A tip for affordable luxury travel is to know when/where to splash the cash. Do you need a business class ticket? If you’re travelling short-haul, many planes don’t even offer additional legroom so you’re just paying for a seat near the front! Put the extra savings to upgrade your hotel or for a nice dinner out when you arrive. Knowing when to splurge will save you so much.
If you’re staying in a hotel with a kitchenette or in a rental property, you might not need to go out for every meal. To keep your total holiday spend under control, be selective on how and when you choose to splurge.
10. Tip for Affordable luxury travel and food
High-end restaurants can blow quite a big dent in your travel budget but if you have your heart set on experiencing one, consider visiting at lunchtime. Many restaurants offer a fixed-price limited lunch menu, which is way cheaper than their dinner menu and the same quality. Also, consider eating at the bar. Some restaurants offer food at the bar that’s much less expensive without sacrificing quality. Think about the location too. You’ll almost certainly get a better price when you eat in less-central areas.
Nightlife can get quite expensive easily when travelling. To keep those bills down while still experiencing luxurious nights outs, use these tips:
- You can enjoy a drink in the luxury surroundings of a posh hotel bar without paying to stay there;
- Research midweek discount offers at bars and restaurants. For example Cafe Belge in the Ritz Carlton Dubai offer drinks for 40 Dhs every Sat-Wed from 5pm to 8pm!
- Use discount websites like Groupon & Wowcher for discounted rates on restaurants and bars
As you can see, luxury travel does not have to be super expensive. Adding even a bit of extra comfort to your trip can raise it to another level. Just follow the tips in this post and you’re well on your way to mastering affordable luxury travel. With some research, you can find yourself taking an unforgettable (affordable) vacation with a splash of luxury. Have you been able to afford luxury travel on a budget? Share your tips in the comments!
Until next time,
Save your coins xx