I love to go on holiday. Last year I took a humble week in Wales with my loved ones and, although it wasn’t far away from home, it was the most luxurious experience of my year. We stayed in a rented apartment overlooking the ocean, and we had a pagoda in the garden on the cliff-side. It felt like we were millionaires during the time we were there, not because we spent loads of money or had loads of stuff, but because we found ourselves in such a dreamy situation with the people we care about.
Many people go on holiday to experience luxury. We want to feel the sense that we are somewhere special, elevated, and removed from our everyday life for long enough that we can sit back and relax into our own personal definition of serenity. All of this sounds expensive, but it really doesn’t have to be.
The starting point for planning your luxurious, but reasonably priced holiday is to choose the destination. Heading somewhere closer reduces the cost of flights, so that’s always an option when your budget is stretched thin.
There are certain destinations that are cheaper than others. Eastern Europe, for example, tends to be much cheaper all around than Western Europe, and it can offer the same level of luxury for less cost. So, why not head to Prague rather than Paris?
You can save money wherever you go. Even seemingly extortionate places like Las Vegas can be approached on a budget, without forsaking the luxury. Dining in Vegas is cheaper if you eat off-peak or at one of the many all-you-can-eat buffets throughout town.
Once you have picked a destination, it’s time to secure cheap flights. You don’t have to go with a budget airline to do this. No matter which carrier you fly with, booking far in advance (or otherwise grabbing last-minute deals) nearly always gets you a better price. Flying in the middle of the week is often cheaper, too. Try setting off on a Tuesday rather than a Saturday to save loads. And remember, Skyscanner is your friend! Use it to compare prices and find the best options.
When it comes to accommodations, you can find really nice places to stay without having to spend a fortune. The key to this is avoiding the popular, overpriced mega-resorts and seeking out smaller boutique-style hotels or local B&Bs. Take Marrakesh, a popular Middle-Eastern destination. Booking mega-resorts online costs hundreds of pounds for a few nights. Smaller traditional ‘Riads’ cost tens of pounds rather than hundreds, and they offer a luxurious experience with more authenticity. You will often end up with a more rewarding, personal and luxurious holiday by staying at well-established boutiques and B&Bs.
While you are on holiday, aim to eat more locally. Wander around the markets and buy fresh snacks or street food. Eat breakfast at a local stand or cafe, and head to restaurants where the locals eat to find better prices and higher quality. For example, in Western European countries like France, you will find the ‘Menu du jour’, or its equivalent, which offers three courses of traditional food for around 10 euros.
If you go away this summer, I hope you have a fantastic holiday. You don’t have to spend a fortune to live a life of luxury during your time away. Be conscious of your approach to travelling, and you will enjoy a luxurious and cultural experience at a fraction of the cost.