Luxury travel doesn’t have to equate to a big price tag, or something reserved for only the wealthy. With smart planning and budgeting, you too, can travel luxuriously to just about anywhere in the world at prices you can afford. To become a savvy traveler involves knowing when and how to search for the best deals on flights and travel accommodations. Here are 8 tips on cheap ways to travel luxuriously:
Travel Out of Season
Traveling out of season provides several luxuries including lower hotel and rental car rates, less stress, and quieter, less crowded resorts. When you travel out of season, you don’t have to stammer for standard run of the mill hotels or car rentals because that’s all they had left, or because that’s all you could afford. This is a luxury in and of itself, because it means less stress fighting crowds of people for the best rentals, so your vacation can be relaxing every step of the way.
And since there is less of a demand for hotel and car rentals during this time, you may even be able to strike a great rate on a luxury hotel or car rental that you may, otherwise, not have been able to afford.
When traveling out of season, consider reasons why people might not be traveling during that time, such as are major shops and stores around the resort closed or is it hurricane season etc.? So you’re not caught off guard.
Join Reward Schemes
If you are a frequent traveler, there are plenty of opportunities to rack up rewards points towards discounts off your next vacation. For instance, many hotel websites such as Hotels.com offer reward points for overnight stays, and many airlines offer frequent flyer points to passengers for discounts towards future flights. These reward points can really add up over time, and once you decide to use them, it could even pay the full price of a luxury hotel stay or flight.
Last Minute Offers
Rates are constantly changing due to demand, so search last minute offers for up-to-date discounts on luxurious vacations. Most hotels rarely sell out due to “out of order rooms, no-shows, duplicate reservations, early departures, family emergencies, last minute cancellations etc., which allows hotels to offer more deals than under normal circumstances. Most big online travel sites also offer last minute offers. Websites such as Kayak.com, lastminute.com or Travelocity.com allows you to search hundreds of sites for up to date deals on flights, cruises, hotels, car rentals and more, so you can enjoy your vacation, even more, knowing you’ve got the best deal for it.
Book Far in Advance
Some travel packages offer small discounts on early bookings. Some of the better deals are available far in advance, usually 6 months or more, and are not offered as last minute deals. Most promotions, generally, depend upon the length of stay, which usually includes 3, 4, and 5 day stays with the option of increasing your stay with no extra cost in airfare, and the use of charter flights. To keep track of promotions search travel brochures and sign up for online sites such as Secretescapes.com which will notify you of special deals and promotions right in your inbox.
Search Lots of Websites For Best Deals
There are tons of websites out there, just waiting for the opportunity to display the best deals in travel for you. Websites such as Expedia.com offer multiple travel deals for you to compare for the best prices for your budget. You might also want to check hotel websites for even more deals such as free spa services, free activities, dining discounts, all inclusive packages and more.
Ask For A Discount
You will be amazed at just how simple it is to just ask for a discount or upgrade etc. on your rental services, and receive one. You may have to wait for a clerk to summon the manager, but in most cases, it’s not a problem. Businesses want your business and have no problem providing a small discount, if you ask.
According to an ex hotel general manager (2002), “no property will turn down a reasonable offer when business is slow… In their absence, hotel managers often allow the desk clerks the flexibility to negotiate prices in order to avoid turning away business.”
However, you should always wait until the desk clerk is not busy, in order to avoid being overheard by other guests. AAA members, AARP members, students, corporate and government employees, travel industry guests, and, occasionally, shareholders of the company receive an automatic discount.
Look Closer to Home
Who said an amazing vacation doesn’t await you, right in the comfort of your own back yard? And, it’s affordable.There are many websites that offer travel resources on unique and unexpected travel destinations located right near your home, so you’ll not only come back refreshed, but with a greater pride for where you live.
Use Auction Sites
Travel auction sites such as Priceline, Skyauction and Luxury Link allow you to bid on everything from hotel rooms to flights at discount prices. The key to winning is to remain flexible and do your research beforehand. Websites such as BetterBidding.com teaches members how to become more savvy bidders to help increase their odds of winning.