Luxury travel has always been popular, but it’s been the reserve of the super rich. Now, with some smart travel hacks, you can travel like an a-lister without the a-list budget. Enjoy a little luxury on your trip, and travel in style with these holiday hacks.
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Take Advantage Of Loyalty Rewards
If you travel a lot, sign up for brand loyalty schemes. Many airlines and hotel chains have these, and you earn points every time you use them. Save up your points to book a more luxe trip than you would usually be able to afford, and save some money. Some loyalty schemes have other perks too, with members getting free WiFi, smart rooms, better room rates, room upgrades or late check-out times.
Look Out For Happy Hours
If you want to hit a fancy bar or restaurant, see if they have a happy hour. Most restaurants and bars will offer some kind of deal on drinks and food between certain times or on certain days of the week. Order some drinks, appetisers and side dishes from the discounted menu and you’ve got yourself a high end tapas style dinner for a fraction of the cost of paying for a full-price meal.
Use Courtesy Cars
If you’re staying at a nice hotel, see if they have a courtesy car service that you can use. Book this to pick you up from the airport, and travel in a much more stylish way than taking a cab or using public transport.
Join Frequent Flyer Programs
If you often fly with the same airline, join the frequent flyer scheme and start racking up air miles. Depending on your membership level you may get access to a private lounge, priority boarding, free upgrades, a higher luggage allowance or free checked baggage. You can also save your air miles to pay for flights, and book yourself into first class. Some airlines have credit cards that will also help you to earn more air miles.
Always liked the idea of flying in a private jet but haven’t got a spare few thousand pounds to pay for it? Book on an empty leg charter. When a private jet is booked for a one-way trip, it may be scheduled to fly on to another destination or return home empty. You can save on the cost of private jet flight by booking a seat on one of these empty legs, which are often up to 75% less than the price of a standard jet charter.
Travel During Off Season
If you have flexibility about when to travel, save your trip for the off season. You can get great Winter deals, and lower prices if you travel during term-time. The other bonus is that your flight and your destination won’t be as busy, so you have a better chance of being upgraded and will have a more peaceful trip.
Use Deal Apps
Sign up for deal apps, like Groupon or Foursquare. You can get deals on hotels, meals, drinks and day trips, which means you can enjoy your holiday on a much lower budget. Check for new deals frequently, and always check for local discount apps when you travel too.
Take Advantage Of Free Activities
Save some money on your trip that can be spent on luxury by taking advantage of any free activities. Look out for things like free walking tours, which are often offered by hotels or hostels. You can see the local area for free and put your savings towards a fancier dinner or a round of drinks.
Before you book your trip, take a look at price comparison sites for flights and hotels to find the best deal. Remember to check the cost of booking through the hotels’ own website directly as this can sometimes be cheaper than booking through an agent or a third party site, as there’s no commission paid. You might be able to find a bargain at a smart hotel, and pay a lot less than if you’d booked with no research. For a more luxe room, ask for a corner room, as they’re often a little larger, giving you more space with no extra cost.
Milk A Special Occasion
If you’re travelling to celebrate something special like a birthday or wedding anniversary, tell everyone. Tell the hotel, tell the person who checks you in for your flight and tell any restaurants or trips you book. If you’re celebrating, and especially if you’re on your honeymoon, most hospitality businesses will offer you a little something. This might be a free upgrade on your flight, a nicer room in the hotel, a round of drinks at dinner or some treats waiting for you in your hotel room. Don’t be ashamed of doing this; you’re celebrating and deserve to have a special trip.
Visit Emerging Destinations
Instead of heading to a popular destination, head to somewhere up and coming. You get to feel smug about finding somewhere new before the crowds arrive, and the prices will be much lower. Your budget will stretch further, meaning you can book a better hotel than you usually would and treat yourself to some more luxuries while you’re away.
Rent An Apartment
Instead of booking a hotel, book a villa or an apartment. You can get somewhere luxury to stay for a lot less money than a posh hotel. Read reviews to get an idea of what the place is like. Book somewhere to stay in a good area. A good way to find a luxe place to stay is to look at maps of where the five star hotels are located, and look for apartments or villa in that area. It’s likely you’ll find somewhere high end if it’s in an area like this.
Avoid Holidays And Events
Travelling at popular times is always more expensive, so avoid large events like visiting Ireland for St Patrick’s Day, or Munich during Oktoberfest. Check for things like sporting events, concerts or large conferences that will push up the prices of hotels with higher demand.