July 25, 2024

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Navigating Travel Wonders

These Are My 8 Best Tips for Saving Money at Top Tier Destinations

greenleaf123 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

greenleaf123 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

If your travel bucket list includes many popular locales, you might be wondering how you’ll afford it all. Visiting places like Paris, London, the Maldives, Costa Rica and Milan sounds great, but can definitely be pricey — especially if you have a taste for luxury.

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No doubt, your social media feeds are filled with content showing people enjoying travel hotspots around the globe, and you want to join the ranks. In some cases, you might be wondering how these people even afford such lavish trips, especially if you’re privy to their finances.

What you might not realize is you don’t necessarily need a massive travel budget to visit top tier destinations. Instead, you just need to know how to work the system to get the best deals.

Changing the way you plan your vacations can seriously lower your travel costs. Here are eight tips from Sushant Yadav, a luxury travel agent with Travelosei, to help you enjoy a five-star trip on a reasonable budget.

Book in the Off-Season

It’s no secret that the best times to visit certain locations are also the busiest. Therefore, you can save money by opting to travel to these destinations when they aren’t so crowded.

“By traveling during the off-season — that is just before or shortly after peak tourist times — one can secure great savings in terms of accommodation and flight expenses without having to compromise either on weather or experiences,” he said. “For instance, early autumn (September) and late spring (May) could be much more cost-effective ways of touring Europe.”

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Take Advantage of Credit Card Points and Loyalty Programs

It’s not a new way to save money, but using credit card points or frequent flyer miles is definitely an effective way enjoy a luxury vacation for less, Yadav said.

“Numerous loyalty programs from high-end hotels, as well as airlines, offer exclusive sales and upgrades for their clients who are loyal enough to refer others,” he said. “As a result, joining a loyalty program and accumulating points could lead to substantial discounts, if not free nights or flights entirely.”

Choose Boutique Hotels

“Rather than going for big luxury hotel chains, think about boutique hotels instead,” Yadav said. “In contrast to the more expensive options offered by chain hotels in terms of price, these provide personalized services and unique hotel experiences.”

He recommended using the travel sites Tablet Hotels or Mr and Mrs Smith to find luxury boutique hotels that meet your needs in your preferred destination.

Book All-Inclusive Packages

“All-in packages can be offered by inclusive resorts or cruises, and they can provide [a] good value,” he said. “These usually have meals, drinks and things to do, which can cut outgoings significantly during the journey.”

Of course, you’re looking for a luxury stay, so he recommended seeking out programs specifically geared toward high-end travelers. He also said you’ll also want to review what the package includes, to ensure it meets your needs.

Travel With a Group

Make memories with loved ones and save money on your high-end trip by vacationing together.

“Group trips allow people to reduce per capita costs,” Yadav said. “Be it a family holiday or a friend’s expedition, group reservations may offer accommodation, sightseeing and transportation at cheaper rates.”

He said there are luxury villas or hotels that offer special packages for larger parties, so more people could equal more savings.

Be Flexible With Your Itinerary

When possible, being flexible with your travel days will allow you to save money, he said.

“One way to discover the best fares involves using search engines comparing prices of different airlines and then signing up for notifications in case of any changes in fare prices,” he said. “Sometimes, changing one’s journey departure date by one day could make a big difference in the total cost.”

For example, seats on Southwest Airlines flights from Chicago’s Midway Airport to Queen Beatrix International Airport in Aruba start at $621 per person on July 12, 2024, but one day earlier, on July 11, tickets start at $328 per person.

Take Advantage of Local Cuisine and Activities

If you’re like many travelers, you want to immerse yourself in the local culture when visiting a new destination. Yadav said taking this route this can also save you money.

“Instead of constantly eating from hotel restaurants, more emphasis should be put on encouraging tourists to experience indigenous foods while visiting new places,” he said. “Moreover, engaging them in local activities can bring down their expenses … as these are non-commercialized areas.”

As for getting around town, he said local guides and tour operators are known for charging lower rates and offering the same, if not better, services.

Early Bird and Last-Minute Deals

If you like to plan travel far in advance or wait until the last minute, you may be in luck. Yadav recommended keeping an eye open for early bird specials and last-minute deals, as this can offer significant savings on luxury travel.

Whether you opt to be one of the first travelers booked or the last, booking travel super early or quite late can allow you to enjoy a lavish trip for less.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: I’m a Luxury Travel Agent: These Are My 8 Best Tips for Saving Money at Top Tier Destinations