Watching your travel money is often a big consideration for many travellers, especially those who are planning on embarking on longer trips and spending extended periods away from home and on the road. Luxury, and sometimes even basic comforts, may often seem difficult when maintaining a strict budget, but there are several ways that you can inject a little bit of glam into your travels without breaking the bank. It is possible to travel in (relative) luxury on a budget. Even if you don’t travel like this for the entire duration of your trip, it can be nice to treat yourself a little whilst travelling to make the most of your time away. You could also consider splitting your trip, or each section of your trip, and doing parts of your journey on the cheap and using the money that you saved over those days to splash out a bit on the remaining days.
Some handy tips to help you travel in luxury on a budget include:
Know Your Budget
Whilst this may seem like a silly suggestion, knowing what your budget actually is helps you to see where there is room to splurge a little and how much you are able to spend. Knowing your must sees and dos will also help you get a good handle on how much extra you can spare. Work out what is important to you on your trip, and on what things you would be the happiest to spend your cash. For example, some people prefer to stay in fancier accommodation and are not too concerned about where they eat, whilst others are content to stay in cheaper digs so long as they can enjoy the culinary highlights of the place that they are visiting. Recognising your own priorities will help you to create a realistic plan within your means and strategically apply your budget rather than just hoping for the best and either over-stretching yourself or missing out on things that are important for you.
Avoid Peak Season
Prices for most things are generally higher during the most popular periods of travel. You will usually find that you pay more for accommodation, and transportation to your destination, and you may also find that admission fees increase, food and drink deals may be harder to find, and haggling for souvenirs in markets may be more of a chore when vendors know that there are lots of potential sales just waiting to be made. By avoiding peak seasons you can get some really good bargains, allowing you to get more for your cash. If you plan your trip in the period either just before or right after the peak season, often referred to as the shoulder season, you will find that there are still enough people around for a lively atmosphere, the attractions will all be open and accessible, and yet you will be able to do more with your money and enjoy a more luxurious break.
This is a bit hit and miss, but if you are hoping to bag a free upgrade, whether on a flight, for your room, to better seats at a show etc, it is better to dress smartly and look like you will blend in. Dressing smartly immediately creates a good impression and you are more likely to benefit from any upgrades that may be available. It also never hurts to ask!
There is a large array of websites out there that are dedicated to providing people with coupons and vouchers for great money savings. Have a look at places like Groupon and other discount sites for some fantastic ways to save money on a whole host of things, including tours, meals, shows, hotels, entry to attractions, and more.
Last Minute Sales
If your travel plans are fairly flexible it can sometimes pay to wait until the last minute to book things. Whilst this can be risky if you need or want to travel to a specific place and at a particular time, it is an ideal way to bag surprise bargains. Many places drop their prices right before the date arrives, as it is better, for example, to sell a hotel room for a fraction of the initial cost than to have it empty for a night and making no money at all. You can look online at places such as lastminute.com, Jetsetter, TripAlertz, and Getaroom, and you will likely be amazed at the great deals available.