Luxury on a budget
You don't have to win the lottery to have a luxury experience, and whilst I cannot make it cheap, I can give you a few tips to maximise your budget. Interested?
Tip One: Check the cost of long stay parking against parking that offers a Meet and Assist service, you drive up to the Terminal, someone takes your car and parks it, you call on your return and your car is delivered back to you at the terminal. No queuing for buses = Luxury
Tip Two: Flights - think about how much time you will spend on the plane versus how much time you will spend at your hotel. What is a few hours in Economy if it means you can stay in a better class of hotel? Fly cheap stay chic = Luxury
Tip Three: Purchase Lounge Passes - you don't have to travel First Class to get use of a lounge. Free wifi, drinks and snacks, and no crowds. Order a couple of glasses of champagne (or prosecco - served in a champagne glass), post your photos on Facebook and Instagram #luxurylifestyle. An added bonus if travelling longhaul with a connection, many lounges have showers so you can even freshen up and arrive looking a million dollars. Quiet Lounge plus some bubbly + hot shower = Luxury
Tip Four: You have booked Econony or perhaps Premium Economy even. Request a special meal - 99% of the time they look and taste much better than what everyone else is getting.Choose your meal = Luxury
Tip Five: This is my favourite. If you are on a budget, ALWAYS choose the smallest room in the best hotel over larger room in a cheaper hotel. Why? Well apart from the fact that you did not go on holiday to stay in your hotel room, the top hotels have much much better facilities, they have the best quality beds and bedding, towels and gorgeous branded toiletries. They spend the most money training their staff, which is evident when you chat to the bar man and door man and find that they have both been there 20+ years. The spend the most on maintaning and updating the property and of course, the best hotels also have the best locations. Exceptional service and access to top notch facilities every day = Luxury.
Tip Six: Book your room on a bed and breakfast basis and remember to breakfast like a king, and you can, after all, you are paying for it. You can then lunch like a prince and dinner, ... well, I suggest you enjoy pre dinner drinks on your hotel terrace with views of the volcano (for example) before dining in a local trattoria (as recommended by the hotel concierge) you can always return to your hotel for a post dinner digestif in the hotel lounge. Befriend the hotel concierge for inside tips = Luxury
Tip Seven: Here I am flipping back to choosing the 5 star hotel so you get the best facilities. A certain 5 star hotel that I know, owns its own boats and runs mini cruises along the coast for guests only. Now you probably don't get that in a 4 star hotel. Sunset cruise = Pure Luxury
I could continue, but then you would not need me !! Ok, ok, two last tips.
Look at travelling during the "shoulder" seasons, there are invariably great deals to be had and the weather is still good, if not as hot.
Airmiles - if you want to use your airmiles, have a few places in mind that you would like to go to, then see when you can get flights there using your miles, remember what I said about the shoulder season? Keep that in mind. Note the dates, make a quick call to your travel consultant to see if they can plan a 5 star itinerary to fit those dates, and then book.
Finally, it is not worth saving a few pounds to travel without travel insurance, if, heaven forbid, you fall ill or have an accident (and it happens more than you think), the cost of medical treatment abroad can be shocking and the standard of hospitals ? Well, let's just say that you want to be sure you are in the best hands don't you.
If you would like help with your travel plans and/or would like some help making your money go a little further. Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org, I would be delighted to help.