Tips for Accessing Luxury Travel on a Budget
We often get asked how we can enjoy so much luxury while travelling for so long. People often think we spend thousands on these experiences but it couldn’t be further from the truth! We are only able to travel the way we do because of the tips and tricks we have learned along the way. It might take a bit of time and patience (and a lot of Googling and searching various websites) but if you want to enjoy luxury travel for less, then it’s worth the added effort, right?
We’ve been able to access free room upgrades, free activities, heavily discounted luxury accommodation and super cheap short and long-haul flights simply by following the tips below. We want to share them with you so you too can access great deals and discounts and stay in the best hotels in the best locations around the world!
1. Be flexible
We’re always going on about the benefits of being flexible when travelling. But we strongly believe that a flexible mindset and a flexible search and booking strategy are literally the best tools for planning any trip. Prices change dramatically across all booking platforms if you simply play around with the dates, times and mode of travel. For example, booking a flight to leave on Saturday at 1pm is very attractive and therefore will likely have a premium price. By contrast, flying at 1am on a Tuesday morning is quite the opposite, and so the price is often a lot less.
2. Use price comparison sites
In our previous posts, we have talked a lot about our favourite price comparison for flights (Skyscanner), hotels (Booking.com) and other accommodation (Airbnb), and activities (TripAdvisor). We recently found TravelScoop which provides offers from luxury providers including Secret Escapes.
3. Search for discount codes
Before you book anything, always have a quick search on Google to check if there are any discount codes available. This is particularly relevant for attractions such as theme parks where companies often offer two for one deals at certain times of the year. It’s a simple and quick trick that can literally save you so much money while travelling.
4. Search for seasonal offers
Seasonal offers can be found easily by a quick search online. Our go-to site is Virgin Experience Days where we often find Spa Day prices much cheaper than those being offered by the actual Spa. More often than not you can get much more for your money where the price includes a full day of the facilities together with a treatment, afternoon tea, or a fancy dinner.
By bringing together lists of venues in a specific area, this also streamlines the process of findings things to do locally while travelling. Also, websites such as Virgin Experience days often provide an extra 10-20% off for seasonal events such as Father’s Day, Easter and Christmas, so keep your eye on them during these times!
5. Check the hotel website directly
For many years, we have been using websites such as Booking.com or Trivago to find accommodation, simply because of the flexibility in modifying bookings and ease of cancellation. Also, it’s always useful to have all your bookings in one place where they can be managed seamlessly. More often than not, we also got the most competitive price when using these websites.
However, recently we have noticed the occasional benefits when booking direct with the hotel. For example, when we visited Geneva, we booked two apartments direct with Fraser Suites because we could access a substantially lower rate than anywhere else. We were able to book a premium suite directly for the same price as a standard room on Booking.com. So it’s definitely worth having a look around.
6. Subscribe to relevant mailing lists and keep an eye on your mailbox
Once you’ve booked with a company, make sure you sign up to their mailing list. Because as a recognised customer, it’s likely they’ll be keen to encourage a repeat purchase and therefore mail you plenty of offers to entice you back.
A good example of this is the benefits we’ve enjoyed from Booking.com. We often book our accommodation here, and over the years, we’ve enjoyed up to 15% off hotel deals, upgrade deals, and even free activities while travelling.
7. Take advantage of free entry
Many cultural attractions are free to enter so make the most of them. You can enjoy the best parts of many European cities by simply wandering the streets and taking in the beautiful architecture and admiring the wonderful historical structures. While in Asia, you can enjoy the temples and beaches. It’s easy to occupy days on end in certain destinations without paying even one entry fee.
8. Make the most of local tour operators
This can be tricky to get right. Although there are tour operators who charge travellers a substantially higher fee than any local, there are those local tour operators who offer a much lower price than larger organisations. The best bit is that they are often run by local people who are the most knowledgeable on the area and can show you the highlights in the scheduled time frame. They can also make recommendations for non-tourist hotspots so you can really feel like a local for the day.
We hope you enjoyed these eight tips and that they help you enjoy luxury travel on a budget now and in the future! If you keep these tips in mind, we are certain you’ll be able to cut costs while travelling. If you have any tips of your own, let us know in the comments section below!