Luxury can cost you a lot of money. But with good planning and a little research, you can discover ways to stretch your budget and get more luxury than you might think. These tips on how to get luxury travel for less will allow you to enjoy your trip or vacation without paying top dollar.
1. Share a Ritzy Rental
Splitting a luxury residence with family and friends can be far cheaper on a per room basis compared to dividing your group in luxury or mid-range hotel rooms.
For example, a room at Jade Mountain, a resort in Saint Lucia, ranges from $1,110 – $3,480 per night for a couple. Compare that to the island's 4-bedroom Tamarind House, (which can accommodate up to 6 adults and 2 children), which averages $814 per night and commands views of the astonishing Piton mountains. Plus, you get a private pool and can arrange for massages, tennis lessons, and a private chef.
2. Skimp on the Room, Splurge on the Property
When staying at an all-inclusive resort, a view of the waves is idyllic. However, you won't stay in your room that much, so paying extra to get a suite or private terrace won’t make much of a difference.
For example, lagoon-view rooms start at $225 per night in September at the 5-star Andaz Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, while oceanfront suites can cost more than $820 per night for the same dates. No matter how much you pay for, you get access to the spa, golf course, and other facilities.
3. Check Out Five Star Hotels
Five star ratings, usually assigned by online travel sites (such as Expedia) and national tourism authorities, indicate those hotels with a high level of luxury, excellent dining options and a wide array of amenities. When searching for a hotel, don't assume that five star hotels are out of your reach until you check the prices.
For example, the average daily rate at a five star hotel last September was $559 in New York City, $424 in London, and $417 in Zurich. But that same month, five star lodging only averaged $259 in Las Vegas, $215 in Berlin, $142 in Bangkok, and $111 in Kuala Lumpur.
4. Pounce on a Flash Sale
Another way how to get luxury travel for less is through flash sales. The flash sale site Secret Escapes sends regular emails to its members flagging luxury hotels, tours, and cruises, often up to 70% off. If you are looking for an exotic getaway, the Maldives is almost always on sale through the flash sale site.
5. Book the Best Ships at a Bargain Rate
When cruise ships reposition from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean (spring), or vice versa (fall), they take passengers along at a discounted rate. Transatlantic crossings usually have the cheapest daily rates, allowing you to sail on some of the best ships for around $50 a day after taxes. However, take note that you will spend much more time at sea than in port.
6. Kick Back on a Private Island
Some cruise lines own private islands in the Caribbean, where they often stop for land activities and water sports. Passengers can rent a private cabana, where they can hang out. The cost of several hundred dollars, divided among four to six people may be worth it.
Typically, you'll get exclusive beach access, snacks and beverages, a private terrace, swim floats, a private shower, and a dedicated service from a staff member.
See Also: Best Cruise Destinations in the World
7. Get More Bang for Your Buck with a River Cruise Bundle
River cruises are usually less expensive than ocean cruises. Most ships bundle wine and shore excursions into the sticker price, whereas mainstream cruises usually charge extra for these. You will also enjoy a more intimate experience by docking in the heart of the city and sharing space with a fewer number of passengers.
8. Jump on an Upscale Sale
Generally, a business class ticket costs three to four times the price of an economy fare. But sales that bring the price down aren’t as elusive as you might think. When leisure travel is heating up mid-summer or during the winter holidays, business travel usually slows down, and the price gap between economy and business class tickets narrows. Also, business class sales tend to last much longer than economy sales, so you won't be pressured to make a snap decision.
9. Fly Premium Economy
Premium economy is a separate cabin from regular economy that is typically available on long-haul flights. It offers roomier seats with more legroom, better cuisine, priority boarding and more. Depending on the airline and the time of travel, premium economy seats are 10 to 85% more expensive than regular coach seats. Price drops as your flight date approaches.
See Also: How to Save Money on Airfare
10. Get TSA PreCheck and Global Entry
Not only are TSA PreCheck security lines shorter but also, users don’t have to take off shoes, remove jackets or dig laptops and liquids out of their bags. Meanwhile, Global Entry makes returning to the US a breeze. If you intend to travel internationally within the next five years, go for Global Entry. It costs $100 and includes TSA PreCheck (TSA PreCheck alone costs $85). Both are good for five years.
See Also: How to Sign Up for TSA PreCheck
Tours and Packages
11. Get a Private Tour
There's a misperception that traveling privately is always expensive. But customizing your tour allows you to choose the experiences that you want. You can also cut costs by requesting local guides for each city instead of hiring a 24/7 escort.
A private tour will cost more, but maybe not as much as you think. The difference between a small group tour and a private tour can be as little as $200 to $300 per person.
12. Use Social Media to Find Deals
Some luxury brands don't advertise discounts widely. Sometimes, they start with a subset of the public – social media followers and newsletter subscribers. So be sure to like your favorite companies on Facebook and subscribe to their mailing lists.
Penthouse suites and first class seats may be extravagant, but there are various ways to snag five star hotels, private tours, and roomy airline seats for a lot less than you would expect. These tips on how to get luxury travel for less will allow you to enjoy a better travel experience without spending a fortune.
Want to go on a cruise? Check out Cruise Direct to see the best deals.
Want to book a Hilton Hotel near your travel destination? Click here.
Or maybe, you want to save money and use Airbnb instead. Click here to get a discount.