Luxury Travel That Doesn’t Break The Bank
Luxury travel doesn’t have to cost a fortune. It is all about repurposing your travel budget so that you can squeeze more from it so that you can save on the less important stuff and splurge on the most important aspects of your trip.
Whether you want to enjoy the best michelin rated restaurants in Bangkok or a luxury cruise down the Nile, the most important thing about luxury travel on a budget is saving on some of the largest expenses such as flights can then be spent at your destination.
For instance, if you were travelling as a couple and each saved £250 on your international flight, this additional £500 could be spent on a nicer hotel, and in places like South East Asia or India, this really can make a significant difference in terms of the quality of the experience you will receive once you’re at the destination giving you the option of a bit of luxury travel.
When I was travelling in Asia I found some luxury hotels at cheaper prices than what you would expect to pay for a hotel in the UK so I treated my self a few times and I ended up travelling in luxury. It may be a bit more difficult to travel in luxury in Europe but it is still doable if you know where to look.
In addition, to reducing the main travel costs such as flights and accomodation there are several other things you can do in the destination itself, such as making a packed lunch, rather than eating out in restaurants all the time, or downloading money saving apps such as tastecard in the UK that offers a 50% discount at a variety of restaurants – it is all just about having the experiences you want but in a way that makes your money go further. I regularly buy lunch in a supermarket and eat it outside when I am travelling, this then gives me more budget to then have a few restaurant meals.
There are plenty of money saving ways to facilitate luxurious travel, yet it’s necessary to consider what you personally define as “luxury travel”, as for some people, it involves a business class or first class flight. If that’s the case, these tips possibly aren’t for you – as this article is intended more for people who are looking to have some luxury travel injected into their trips as a treat rather than as a standard.
It’s more about budget repurposing, as not everyone can afford to travel in the type of luxurious accomodation in Clifton, Cape Town, that’s available – yet there are ways of repurposing your budget so that you can afford to splurge on nice hotels, meals or activities from time to time on your trip.
After all, just because you’re on a budget, doesn’t mean life should be without luxury… and the amount you can save on certain large ticket items such as international flights by simply shopping around and being flexible with your dates could pay for you to have several once in a lifetime experiences and tick some things off your bucket list.
Similarly, there are ways of having a “business class” flight experience without having to pay a fortune for the ticket, for instance, you could pick up an airport lounge pass (in fact some bank accounts offer these as freebies). This way you would get to enjoy the perks of business class at the airport, such as the nice food, drinks and perhaps even a massage.
Then, when it comes to flying, if you were to pay a small supplement to have an emergency exit seat (and your health allows for this) it will offer plenty of additional leg room, in fact, often times the leg room is much more than in business class… then, as for in-flight entertainment, you could take an iPad with your favourite films downloaded.
Finding deals on luxury flights
Flights can take a large chunk out of your travel budget, yet, searching for cheap flights via comparison websites such as Skyscanner or Momondo that compare hundreds of flights can save you a lot of money. This way, particularly if you’re flexible with your flights, you are present with a curated list of the cheapest deals available for the dates and destinations you’ve selected – with all airlines, rather than just one.
This way, you can save a lot of money, as previously, if you were on British Airways’ website, for instance, you would have to search for different days in order to find the cheapest flight – but today, with these comparison sites it compares the flights of hundreds of different airlines, routes, dates and even destinations – where it will show you all available flights to a country, or a specific city.
This is helpful when looking for flight to and from London for example, as there are a number of airports you could travel from.
You could take this one step further, as if there were significantly cheaper flights back to somewhere else, such as Amsterdam, it might pay to get an international flight to Amsterdam and then hop on a low cost airline such as Ryanair to take care of the last leg.
This way, if the saving is significant, the amount you could save could then be spent on treating yourself to a night in Amsterdam, in a luxury hotel, and experience a new city.
That’s the power of repurposing your budget; it’s all about saving money on the big ticket items so that you can splurge on the smaller experiences that are what make travel so much fun.
It’s about being a little more resourceful with regard to travel planning, yet if you don’t have the time to invest into this, there are plenty of travel bookers that can hunt out the deals on your behalf.
Getting a good price on luxury accommodation when travelling
A further large expense when travelling is accommodation; if you consider the fact a basic hotel room in New York is likely to cost in excess of $150 and a luxury hotel is more in the region of $500 per night – it can be helpful to find ways to reduce this.
In this sense, there are a number of apps that offer cheap deals on luxury hotels for that day, such as HotelTonight, where you can often find five star hotels heavily reduced as they have spare rooms they are happy to offer at a fraction of the cost – meaning you can grab yourself a great deal. My favourite website is hotelscombined where I pick up some great bargains for luxury hotels.
There’s also the option to use AirBnB, and rent a luxury apartment, rather than a hotel as this often works out to provide much better value.