Somedays I want to feel like a movie star on a 5 star trip. The glitz, the glam, the chauffeur car rides and 5 star hotels. A cup of coffee with an amazing view with my sleepy boyfriend laying next to me. 90% of the time my head is in the cloud daydreaming of my next escape, but sometimes I think I can hear my bank account crying. I like to live a little, and over these past few months I have began to understand how big of an impact little luxuries can have on your day. Sometimes it’s a rocking buffet breakfast or how a hotel receptionist makes you feel. Sometimes it’s the little chocolates left on your bed or when you find conditioner in the shower, not just shampoo or that dreadful 2 for 1 mix.
But what’s really an amazing feeling is being able to have a 5 star trip without constantly checking your bank account! Since I travel with my boyfriend, and we’re both well into our twenties, we both decided we are over hostels and smelly budget hotels. After 3 years of on and off travel I have a few little tips to make your trip feel 5 star without breaking the bank. Travelling is as expensive as you make it! Here of some of the things you can do to make your 2 star budget feel like 5 star:
Step One: Your destination. This is going to be the biggest indicator on how your trips budget is going to go. For a crappy place in Venice you can have a luxury stay in Zhangjiajie. Unless your currency is awesome your destination is going to be the biggest factor of how your trip budget is going to go. Here are some sneaky ways to save some extra cash by the way. Check out what is the low season for your destinations as well. If you have flexible dates and destinations then you can start the hunt for some great deals on some amazing stays.
Step Two: Your dates. As I mentioned above travel dates are going to be important. For an example I was looking at hotels in New York and since it was Feburary the Feburary prices were up. For 5 days and $1100 I could stay in an amazing room with a view. Fast forwards to May and the room prices sky rocket to $2,500! That’s an insane price jump which is why hunting for the cheapest dates is so so important.
Step 3: Go for a shorter amount of time. Spending a month somewhere is going to add a lot of cash compare to two weeks somewhere. This all comes to personal taste though. Some might like to travel longer so their budget is quite tight, or you can travel for a couple of weeks and enjoy the same budget but for nicer things. Again when I say nicer things I don’t mean material. Going on excursions, entrance fees, cab rides, train tickets – those all add up. I know when I was in Australia for 6 months I wanted to go to New Zealand soooo bad, but I couldn’t afford it. I was also 18 and had no idea what I was doing but you get the picture.
Step 4: Be a loyalist. Companies reward their loyal customers! Hyatt, Marriott and Hilton all have loyalty programs you can sign up for. With their loyalty programs you get awesome perks such as free room upgrades, free breakfast, a free night. They can even wave fees. Who else hates resort fees?
Step 5: Read hotel reviews. When I was in Thailand I stayed at places that gave free room upgrades. I found this out when I was reading the reviews online and would try to find how often they gave upgrades. All the reading paid off because upon arrive, and with smiles and being nice, we got an upgrade to an executive suit and at another hotel we got upgraded to a private villa. So make sure you are reading!
Step 6: Join a tour! When you account for things like transfer, food, accommodations, entrance fees, these prices can add up. When you bundle them together in a package it’s going to be cheaper because that’s just the way business works. So next time you’re looking for a vacation consider a luxury tour package. There is absolutely nothing wrong with tours! They’re actually convenient and you can gain a lot of insight to the places you are travelling too.
Where are you travelling to next? Share in the comments 🙂