We all love enjoying the finer things in life; unfortunately when it comes to our holidays most of us must decide whether to take a trip on a budget or not take one at all. Thankfully, by incorporating luxury extras into a low-cost vacation it is possible to have the best of both worlds. Admittedly, you may not be able to afford a celebrity style getaway, but with these tips you will feel like you won the travel lottery.
1. Book a self-catering cottage.
A self-catering rental cottage or villa may not be your idea of a luxurious break (they can actually be quite lavish), but renting one can open the door to affordable luxuries. A fancy hotel for a week may not be in the plans, but you can find self-catering accommodation for the fraction of the price in locations around the world. Can’t you just imagine yourself relaxing at a small farmhouse in Tuscany and eating local bread from the village baker? With those extra funds you can stock up on good wine, take nice dinners out, and go on those tours you were eyeing but wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise.
Authentic Tuscan farmhouse trumps stuffy resort any day. With change to spare.
2. Go off-season.
If you don’t have school aged children, book your holiday when the rest of them are in class. Luxury resorts, five star hotels, and even cruise lines are swamped with travellers during school vacations when parents are able to get away, but are often hurting for business the rest of the year. If you play your cards right you can snag a super posh holiday for the price of a budget trip. Have kids? Call up grandma or book your vacation during the less desirable periods of the year. St. Lucia in rainy season is still beautiful, as are the prices.
3. Think local.
Many travellers miss out on the good deals when they stick to the touristy parts of new cities. Typically these areas have much higher prices than you’d find a few blocks in the other direction. Take the time to seek out the restaurants, spas, and even grocery stores where the locals go themselves and you can reap generous rewards. Don’t pay a premium on luxury, when a short walk away you can get the same (or often better) for much cheaper.
Experience local luxury-like the locals.
4. Consider all-inclusive.
I know, I know. All-inclusive vacations are expensive. Sometimes though, they are worth taking a second look at. Depending on the destination, drinks and food can be a budget killer in their own right. Once you add in accommodation, activities, and sightseeing- the trip quickly becomes a no go. An all-inclusive holiday may be your saving grace. Not only are you all but guaranteed a fabulous time, but it could make that destination you have set your heart on a more affordable possibility. Compare and compare until you are blue in the face, occasionally there are amazing deals which will surprise you.
5. Milk it along the way.
Did you just get married? Are you recently engaged? Graduation? New job? First trip away from the baby? Let everyone from the flight attendant checking you in at the airport to the hotel concierge giving you the room key know your good news. Many airlines and hotels will upgrade passengers who have something special going on, assuming that they have availability. Don’t be afraid to share your latest and greatest, you never know what luxurious freebie may be thrown your way.
Travel Rule #5.Those who don’t ask will not receive.
Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to an amazing trip. Whether you budget through cutting costs on accommodation or scoring free stuff, your luxury infused vacation isn’t as unattainable as you thought.
Jessica Galbraith is a freelance writer and author of the travel blog The Fly Away American. When she isn’t exploring new places you can find her on social media improving her online reputation and daydreaming of her next big trip.