10 Tips for Luxury Travel on a Budget

10 Tips for Luxury Travel on a Budget

Last Updated on March 28, 2023

You can take a luxury trip without spending a lot of money if you follow these ten tips. Sure, not every trip on a budget can turn into the extravagant vacation you have in mind, but with a few minor adjustments, you can turn your modest travel budget into an unforgettable and luxurious trip without incurring a large credit card bill. Let´s find out how to enjoy luxury travel on a budget!

An amazing trip filled with eye-opening, life-changing experiences is what defines luxury travel. Although a $3,000 vacation might seem like a $10,000 vacation, here are some some ideas to help you achieve that effect.

Travelers who want to have a luxurious trip without breaking their travel budget often opt for a shorter trip, but with a creative approach to travel, you can stay in nicer accommodations without breaking your travel budget.

For those who are willing to alter their journey, luxury travel ideas are frequently simply a fantasy we borrow from travel influencers. It’s simple to imagine that visiting remarkable destinations, staying in luxurious accommodations, and having customised travel experiences are out of budget (or, perhaps reserved for a once-in-a-lifetime journey like a honeymoon or bucket list journey). However, it does not have to be.

Sure, not every trip on a budget can fulfil your fantasies of luxurious travelling, but with a little tweaking, many travelling budgets can be altered to produce a far more memorable and luxurious experience without leaving you with a big credit card bill.

Having a desire to travel is fine, but unless you have the budget to support that desire, it can be difficult to turn that dream into a reality. It’s possible to experience the world in style without breaking the bank; all it takes is a little bit of planning and research. Whether you’re looking for a last-minute getaway or a multi-city tour, there are plenty of ways to save money and still have an amazing time. To get started, check out multi-centre holidays trip offered by top tourism agencies to find affordable rates.

In this post, we’ll go through some of the best strategies for luxury travel on a budget.

1. Go to a remote place

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A post shared by Katerina Wise (@likelywise)

Influencers flock to spots like Kalua-Kona, Hawaii (a 5-star resort that averages $1,000 per night), where less popular destinations provide luxury travel at a budget price. For example, a less popular locale like the Gili Islands in Indonesia (where a 5-star hotel averages $35 per night) would be a great option. Spending a little more on airfare might save a lot on luxury lodging.

2. By visiting exotic destinations, you can stretch your luxury travel budget

I adore telling other travellers about my experience going on a pilgrimage to a Romanian Orthodox monastery in the Maramures forest in Northern Patagonia, where we unexpectedly observed Chilean dolphins from the car ferry, because no one feels the need to ‘mansplain’ or ‘one-up’ my journey, unlike when describing a trip to a popular location like the Bahamas, Paris, or Iceland.

When covering travel to an unfamiliar destination, people are more likely to be interested rather than internally compare their trip to their own and feel the need to explain why their trip was more luxurious, or otherwise “better.”

When people travel to the same places over and over again, travel conversations can become repetitive and boring. However, when you travel to an out-of-the-way or unfamiliar location (which are often just a short train ride, ferry ride, or flight away from the major cities), you become a tiny expert. Even though your approach to luxury travel is on the economical side, your experiences will be unique and fascinating after you’ve visited a place no one in your social circle has ever been before.

Finding less crowded, cheaper, and more culturally interesting luxury travel destinations than the most popular destinations is simple if you check out my article on top obscure travel destinations.

3. Check out the exchange rates to make better decisions about where to travel

Spending less money on a few nights of budget accommodation in a country where the US dollar is strong can pay for an all-inclusive week at a luxury resort where the exchange rate is favourable to the US dollar. For example, a week of luxury services in the spas surrounding Hungarian thermal springs might be preferred by budget-minded luxury travellers over a few nights in London on a budget. 

You will need to decide either spending more of your budget on activities or staying longer when a steak dinner is $5 and an elegant modern apartment costs $45 per night.

When planning a trip to an expensive destination, it is important to consider how to achieve a Paris-level experience on a Guatemalan-level budget. By booking a one- or two-day stopover in your dream location on the way to or from a less expensive destination, you can achieve just that.

4. Shoulder Season is a great time to travel

During shoulder season, the time leading up to and following tourism peaks in a location are considered shoulder seasons in the northern hemisphere. The months of March-May and late August-October are part of the shoulder seasons for much of the northern hemisphere, since they bracket the typical school calendar summer vacation period.

There are shoulder seasons in every region and climate, including shoulder seasons prior to and after prime snowfall at ski lodges. Many popular destinations have shoulder seasons around Christmas, when late autumn and late winter coincide with peak visitors. No matter when you plan to visit, there will definitely be shoulder seasons in some areas of the world.

It’s because of these reasons that I love traveling during shoulder season:

During shoulder season, all attractions and services will remain open (something that is not true for off-season travel), but lodging and other services will be slightly less expensive. You can spend more on high-end travel experiences for the same travel budget during shoulder season.

The shoulder season in a given area can be a remarkable and unique experience – for example, while tourism to Patagonia is at its lowest point in March and April (southern hemisphere autumn), the trees of Torres del Paine National Park and the slopes surrounding the Perito Moreno glacier turn colorful and paint the hillsides gold and red – something most Patagonian visitors will never see.

5. Longer stay is more affordable

Despite how it sounds, staying longer can actually make the cost breakdown of a trip much lower. By staying longer, you will get more value for your airfare buck, in addition to saving money by booking a weekly or monthly Airbnb, Furnished Finder, or hostel. Having a semi-permanent residence means you can cook at home rather than eat out each night and create your own vacation meal plan.

Working remotely as a digital nomad makes luxury travel more accessible to every budget if you’re able to pack a portable office.

6. Choosing non-trending locations is the key to success

Many popular and “hot” travel destinations are swarmed with tourists not because they are the greatest, but rather because they are easy to reach or have excellent publicity, frequently both.

The presence of crows of tourism indicates higher prices and less genuine travel experiences. It was my least-pleasureful destination ever in Chile’s Atacama desert when it was at its most popular with Instagram influencers. Because of its popularity, it was five to six times pricier than other cities in Chile, and finding food outside of pizza, beer, and hamburger was required to eat aside from the village’s downtown areas.

When you venture beyond the typical tourist trail, you can provide travellers with more profound and memorable experiences.

7. When planning a vacation, employ budgeting techniques to keep expenses down

Spending your vacation keeping track of expenses and matching receipts is something none of us desire to do, but even a basic running account of those excess expenses that add up – my guide to budgeting for travel expenses is what I provide.

While most of us think of travel expenses in terms of flights and hotels, dining out, attraction-admission tickets, tours, and souvenir buying are all expenses that add up. Recording these expenses day to day can help us stay on track for our spending goals during our trip.

Having a plan beforehand about how much we can spend each day or week reduces money-related stress while we are travelling. Not having to worry about money is the ultimate in luxury travel!

It’s better to vary your spending rather than adhere to the same budget every day – it makes travel a bit more enjoyable if you have days where you can splurge on a big adventure or a fine dining experience, followed by days on which you compensate by eating a simple sandwich from the grocery store or taking a self-guided tour.

8. Don’t book tours and excursions before you arrive

There are very few instances where an online tour booked in advance of your journey is cheaper than one booked at your destination. You should have no trouble reserving the tour of your choice in a prominent tourist spot right away.

When I visited Patagonia, I saw that the online prices for day tours into Torres Del Paine National Park ranged from $250 to $500. In comparison, when I checked into my hotel, I was offered the same route, guide, and company for the same price as $67. Similarly, at the UNESCO site in the Danube Delta, which can only be accessed via boat tours, a tourist could choose from a wide range of options for the same day.

Last-minute bookings can also be a fantastic method to get luxury travel services, tours, and hotels at a budget price. I’ve frequently skipped out on nonrefundable budget hotels when I discovered a terrific last-minute luxury hotel deal.

It can still be worth it to book tours in advance if your body requires accommodations for limited mobility, if you are a plus-size traveler, or if you speak a language that is not readily available.

Ask your hotel or Airbnb host for last-minute tour suggestions if you’re concerned about availability. It should be no problem finding a tour if you’re visiting even slightly off-season, as tour-worthy destinations generally have more than enough tours to accommodate all the customers booking tours at the peak of their tourism season.

Tour heavy destinations are those where tour companies aggressively advertise their tours to passersby on the streets of nearby cities. Tour companies don’t advertise on the streets, so look for them in safe places where you can focus on researching top-rated tour companies on Google and seeking out their offices (usually tucked away, with no street marketing because their reputation does that work for them).

When planning is too stressful, a top-rated guided tour can provide a luxurious experience on a budget.

9. Get credit card benefits

If you’re using credit cards to afford a luxury holiday, consider cards with benefits like:

  • Lounge access at airports
  • Booking services for luxury hotels
  • Hotel deals and complimentary stays

10. Utilize miles and points

Redeeming points and miles will still let you book upscale lodging and luxury, even if you aren’t making your reservation during an award sale or a buy points and miles promotion.

Redeeming points and miles is my main method for arranging luxury vacations on a budget, in addition to finding offers and using hotel free-night coupons.

Spending less on luxury travel is possible

Planning, flexibility, and creative travel budgeting are all you need to enjoy luxury travel on a budget.

Even with a limited budget, you can make your travel experiences more luxurious and desirable if you are creative and flexible about your travels.

In addition to cooking a few meals in advance, choosing more difficult-to-reach destinations, visiting during the off-season, and carefully monitoring their travel budget, this article describes how to have a luxurious vacation on a limited budget.

Lynli began travelling as a digital nomad in 2018. She’s an author and illustrator by day and a remote-destination adventurer by night, and she’s committed to pushing her own boundaries and documenting her experiences on WanderBig.com as a plus-size one-bag traveller.

You may also like:

8 Ways To Enjoy A Successful Vacation With Limited Budget

10 Affordable Holiday Destinations To Try

5 Tips to Stretch your Travel Budget

The Ultimate Budget-Friendly Guide to Becoming a Master Traveller

4 Things To Consider When Choosing A Vacation Destination

About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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