Luxury Check In

Insider Tips for Luxury Travel on a Budget

Luxury travel image of a woman in Greece gazing out from a pool

Dreaming of a five-star vacation but have a two-star budget? If you know the right strategies, luxury travel doesn’t have to break the bank. Savvy travelers know how to maximize their money and make it stretch far enough to afford opulent hotels and first-class fares.

From leveraging loyalty programs to picking the right time to travel, there are small changes you can make when planning your next trip that will help you travel luxuriously on a limited budget.

Follow these insider tips for luxury travel on a budget to have the trip of a lifetime (for less than you think.) 

Be Flexible With Your Travel Dates

Traveling in the shoulder season, rather than peak season, can save you thousands of dollars in flights and accommodation. Bonus: You’ll enjoy fewer crowds, no restaurant waits, and zero lines for attractions. 

For example, a basic room at the White Elephant Nantucket, a luxury resort on Nantucket, can cost over $1,000 per night in the peak summer month of July. However, travel in early June, when the weather is still warm, and the same room will cost you as low as $395 per night. 

Traveling in off-peak times will also often eliminate minimum stay requirements at many luxury hotels. 

Know How to Use Points and Miles 

Flying first class can be phenomenally expensive—so why do you see so many people on social media posting snaps from the front of the plane? Insiders know that the most affordable way to fly in luxury is by using points and miles for travel.

You can often get significantly more value when cashing in credit card points by redeeming them for flights than as a direct one-to-one cash value. Thrifty Traveler outlines some of the best ways to use points and miles for business-class flights here

Plan Far in Advance or Travel Last-Minute

Luxury resort in Maldives

You’ll likely find the best deals on luxury resorts if you book either very far in advance or at the last minute, when properties may discount unsold rooms. 

For flights, utilize Kayak’s Best Time to Travel tool to find the ideal time to buy your ticket in order to get the best price. 

Travel to Low Cost of Living Locations

To get the most out of your budget, head to destinations where your dollar will go the furthest. 

A five-star luxury hotel in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand, will cost you just $100 per night, whereas a five-star luxury hotel in Manhattan will cost three times as much.

The cheapest countries to travel to for luxury vacations are:

  • Laos
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Thailand
  • Mexico
  • Colombia

Sign up for Airfare Alerts

Emirates first class cabin

Most airfare deal sites focus on the absolute cheapest prices. If you’re hoping to travel in style on your luxury vacation, sign up for deal alerts on first-class tickets from sites like:

Check Deals on Coupon Sites

Groupon and Travelzoo frequently have luxury resorts and vacation packages for a deep discount. Just make sure you check the blackout dates and other restrictions before booking, as well as pricing out how much it would be booked directly through the hotel (to make sure it’s really a good deal.)

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