How To Plan Your Luxury Vacation On A Budget
Think you need to be a celebrity to enjoy a luxury vacation? Think again! If you follow lifestyle and travel blogs, it probably seems like everyone is planning a luxury vacation. After all, what’s not to love about days of luxury and leisure? Imagine crystal clear pristine waters, 5-star hotel accommodations, and a spa assistant ready to massage your cares away. Now that’s luxury.
But, luxury travel can be a budget stretcher. That’s why we’ve put together these budget-saving tips to help you plan the vacation of your dreams without breaking the bank.
Luxury travel to an exotic destination can quickly set your budget back. While the actual vacation destination of your dreams may be out of budget this year, don’t worry. We’ll help you find the perfect vacation at a price you can afford.
These useful tips are sure to help save you on your next luxury vacation:
1. Start With The Destination Itself
If you have a dream destination in mind, think about what it is that appeals to you. Is it the endless beaches, rough surf, city life, and culture? With a little research, you can identify a less expensive or less known vacation location with a similar atmosphere.
A hot new destination is the Maldives where people want to swim in clear blue waters and bask under the summer sun. The flights are long and expensive and proximity should always be part of your plan. But, with planning, you may be able to stay in a luxury vacation villa rental or water bungalow that has picturesque views without spending large amounts of money or taking extended flights. For example, there are numerous overwater bungalows in the Caribbean.
You can plan a dream vacation while on a budget and still have the experience of a lifetime. Explore destinations like South and Central America, or the many options in Mexico or Panama. These places have gorgeous and luxurious beach resorts with water bungalows and oftentimes, are less crowded. You can save on transportation and accommodations.
Another tip - Consider destinations that are more developed. For example, for an active and varied family vacation consider Orlando, a destination with ample accommodations and attractions ranging from a budget hotel rooms to a luxury vacation villa rental.
The key here is to research destinations and stay clear of areas that offer too much hype. Look at online programs that give you access to resources. Here you can look for the best luxury vacation destinations that suit your planned budget. Check websites and magazines to aid you in brainstorming that dream vacation without creating a significant dent in your pocket. Planning adds to the adventure and leads to travel to new and exciting destinations.
2. Visit Your Luxury Destination During The Off-Season And Avoid Holidays
Pricing for air travel, accommodations, even gas if you are driving is generally higher during the most desirable travel seasons. Visiting luxury vacation locations during the off-season gives you the ability to beat the crowds and enjoy a vacation with a smaller budget. Try visiting the place of your choice outside of tourist season and you may be surprised at how affordable the offers will be compared to the regular or “high season”.
The best thing about traveling on a budget during the off-season is that you avoid the annoyance and frustration of crowds and long lines. Remember, off-peak times vary depending on the location. However, with the Internet, information about this is just a couple of clicks away.
3. Seize The Moment And Make Sure To Book During A Promotion
If your heart’s set on that cruise, and peak season works best for you, don’t give up without doing your homework. You may still be able to plan that affordable dream vacation. During “wave season,” you may still find sweet deals. This is the perfect time when cruise operators often slash off their prices in hopes of getting lots of customers on the books for upcoming travel.
“Wave Season” is typically from January to March each year. Think of it as “Black Friday” for cruises. It’s not unusual for luxury cruise lines to book approximately 50% percent of their accommodations during this time. Cruisers know this and during this particular period, fares are often dramatically slashed, with passengers getting free complimentary upgrades and other value add-ons like free drinks.
If you have a land vacation in mind, look for promotions for your desired hotel, check out a luxury villa vacation rental, and/or flight promotions. Search online or contact a local travel agent. If you’re on a longer trip to various destinations and can afford to be spontaneous, you might get lucky, and find some great deals on your bookings by shopping for last-minute deals through online operators like Expedia, or directly through your hotel.
4. Participate In A Loyalty Offers And Other Special Programs
If you want to know more about luxury vacations on a shoestring, familiarize yourself with some essential travel hacks. Check your credit card for any member or cardholder discounts they may be offering with special merchant partners. Or you may be able to use credit card loyalty points for discounts or even to cover your full fare. Some credit cards can be used for free upgrades, free admission to travel lounges, concierge services, and complimentary hotel stays. Credit cards can be an excellent source for “big ticket” travel expenses like lodging and airfare.
Check out websites for information about using loyalty points and voucher codes. Do your due diligence, and you may be surprised as to how much you can save on your luxury vacation. Often, these websites typically offer advice and tips regarding how to travel for less.
Should there be a specific hotel or brand that you prefer, ask if they have a loyalty program. These programs give you access to discounts and other offerings. As a loyal member, you will earn some points for your stay that you can eventually convert for free accommodations. Additionally, you may get upgrades when you join and be given an exclusive peek to their flash deals.
And if you are a member of AARP, or AAA or other travel clubs, they often have specially negotiated member rates that will save you money or get your extra perks.
5. Cheaper Accommodations - Book A Luxury Vacation Villa Rental Instead Of A Hotel And Share!
You don’t need to stay at a 5-star hotel. There are often alternative accommodations within a close distance to these exclusive places that will provide all the comforts of home and save you money well beyond just the rate of the room. Consider a luxury villa vacation rental, particularly when traveling with a family or group. The nightly rate per person is often surprisingly low, and the savings on incidentals like morning coffee, lunch, or snacks can be considerable. Consider lodging in a hostel or bed and breakfast. A hostel has dorm-type rooms with bunk beds and room for up to 6 or 8 persons. On the other hand, a bed and breakfast is a private residence converted to an inn type of accommodation. These offer a very personal touch. Meals are sometimes provided to allow you to enjoy local fare.
Alternatively, Airbnb booking can also be less expensive than a regular hotel. The type of accommodation varies in any given city or location. But again, do your research. Some Airbnbs and private rentals may not be what they seem. Check the reviews.
6. Be A Part Of A ‘House Sitting’ Club
Have you ever heard of house sitting? It’s an excellent way to explore the world. Believe it or not, this is a job. It may entail watering plants, feeding the pets, and cleaning the house. The owners may also be part of the house sitting club and are also house-sitting for someone as part of their vacation or travel. This is a great travel idea since you can experience the world as a local would. Indeed, frugal living and traveling can go hand in hand with a little effort and if you take the time to plan.
7. Get Assistance From An Expert
When you’ve exhausted all means to get the luxury travel of your dreams, and you’re not satisfied with your options, your next best step is to obtain assistance from an expert travel agent or booking agency. They have access and knowledge to all travel locations and a wealth of experience. Their task is to help you create the dream vacation that you want.
You may even save more when you turn to the experts. Subscribe to their website and email newsletter. That way, you’ll have firsthand information on the latest offerings for travel on a budget. Typically, travel agents are familiar with the best deals and discounts, some of which are exclusive to travel agents.
Final Words Of Advice
Remember – travel need not be too expensive. Why spend a lot when you can spend less and get the same experience? Think about why you wanted a vacation in the first place. You don’t want to put yourself in the position of incurring a lot of debt for a one or two week experience if you can avoid it. Vacations don’t have to be a time for you to squander your hard-earned money. Holidays are a time to bond with your family, take a step back, and rejuvenate your soul. Be kind to yourself. Travel now and enjoy life while you can.
If you read travel magazines and brochures, you’ll be predisposed to believe that luxurious traveling is only for the rich and affluent. But, the truth is, you can often get the dream luxury travel experience for a fraction of the cost by simply following the above tips. Traveling to a new location on a vacation you personalized for yourself is a memory in the making.
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