Luxury travel is a great way to experience the world and create incredible memories you’ll treasure for a lifetime. If you’re looking for that first class feeling follow these tips to live the champagne live on a lemonade budget.
Wait in the airline lounge when you fly. You don’t have to be a VIP to use these exclusive lounges. Check and see if you can book in to the lounge for a fee on the day. Depending on the fee, it can still be well worth the cost, if you make good use of the freebies. Make use of the free food and open bar to make it worth the money. If you fly often, for example for work, it can be well worth it to join an airline membership club. Access to the fancy lounges is often a perk, as is upgrades to your flights. Some credit cards also offer travel perks like lounge access, so check what you’re entitled to without having to spend a thing.
- Travel at a less busy time of year. Peak times, like summer holidays and Christmas, are much busier and more expensive. Travel off season when you can book the better seats on the plan and better hotels for a cheaper price. You also have a better shot at getting the upgrades, as there will be less people travelling.
- Charter a flight. Flying commercial is no longer as cheap as it used to be, as airlines crank up their ticket prices and add costs for any extras. It’s also not as nice to fly anymore, as airlines pack in more passengers on most flights. Private jet charters don’t have to be a ridiculous luxury, and are much nicer experience, with better amenities available on board. To save on a flight like this, look into empty leg flights. Charter flights often fly empty, such as returning to their home airport after dropping passengers at their destination. You can book a seat on these empty leg flights for a fraction of the cost of chartering a flight for yourself.
- Travel to a less touristy destination. Destinations that are most popular with tourists will be the most expensive, but by getting a little off the beaten track and trying an emerging luxury spot, you can stay first class for less money. You can also feel smug knowing you’re not following the crowds and are visiting somewhere upcoming.
- Instead of booking an expensive hotel suite, rent an apartment through a service like Airbnb. To find a high-end place, take a look at the map of where you’d like to stay and look for clusters of four and five star hotels. Find an apartment to rent in this area and you’re likely to get a high-end place all to yourself for much less than the cost of a fancy hotel suite.
- If you’re going to rent a car, arrive early in the day to pick it up. Most people who rent cars return them later on the day, so the rental place will have less cars available.When you arrive, the rental place is obliged to give you something, even if the car you booked isn’t back yet. This can backfire and result in a worse car, but it can result in a free upgrade and getting to drive away in a much more expensive car than you paid for.