Just because you have to stick to a strict travel budget doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice all the trappings that come with a luxury vacation. You just need to be smart about it. When you’re planning your next trip, identify the areas where you need to stick to the budget or whether it’s possible to binge a little.
By prioritizing expenses in your trip, you can keep a nice balance of cost-saving techniques while sneaking in a bit of extravagance at the same time (without blowing your entire budget). Here are some of the best ways to do that for your next adventure.
Modes of Transportation
While traveling in first-class may be something you would like to do on your next holiday, keep in mind this will unnecessarily eat a huge part of your budget. Instead, consider making your flight choice with a budget mindset. Use search engines, like Kayak or SkyScanner, to find the best prices out there, or even look into discount airline companies (and there are actually a lot).
You may have to sacrifice some amenities in-flight, but the amount you save could be put towards other areas once you actually reach your destination, like choosing some luxury wheels for transfers and day trips. If that sounds up your alley, make sure you do your research on what type of luxury vehicle is worth the extra dough.
The level of luxury that is healthy for your budget when it come to where you’ll lay your head at night, often depends on where it is your going for vacation. Countries that have a lower of cost-of-living, like Thailand, give you the option to choose deluxe hotels at prices that would normally get you a cheap night at a Holiday Inn at home.
However, if your destination is to a pricier city, like Paris, you may want to use sites, like AirBnB, that give you the luxury of your own apartment in a central location without the exorbitant costs. Or, check out discount sites like Groupon, where luxury hotels often have huge bargain offers and discounts for stays in their establishment. There are options out there for you. You just have to be willing to do a little digging.
Eating & Drinking Out
One of the biggest siphons on your travel budget can be eating and drinking out and not spending smart. Now that’s not to say you shouldn’t reserve at least one or two nights where you splurge on a really fancy meal, but you can also find good eats without falling into a tourist trap and blowing your whole budget. A great app to use is Spotted by Locals, which gives you insider tips on where to eat and drink. It’s a great way to uncover lesser-known gems in the cities you visit and save some dollars simultaneously.
You can also off-set some of the costs of eating out (and save some calories) by utilizing kitchen space in your lodging, which is another huge perk of “AirBnB-ing” it. This way, when you head out to that Michelin restaurant you’ve had on your bucket list, you won’t suffer from any buyer’s remorse or diet guilt.
The best way to be smart about how you spend your money on sites and activities is to know what is a ‘must-see’ and what is not. If you can label your ‘must-sees’ before you go, you’ll be able to budget more easily for those bucket list items that are absolutely non-negotiable. Remember too, that during the planning process, you’ll probably find the cities you visit offer a lot of free activities as well – another reason to do your homework.
If you find – even with all the planning in the world – you still can’t fit the cost of a dream excursion into your travels, consider asking for these activities as a gift from family or friends for a birthday or special occasion. They’ll love the idea of contributing to your dreams and passions, and you’ll be able to stretch your budget further.
Buying mementos and keepsakes from your travels can be a dangerous rabbit hole, especially if you’re lost in the grand markets of places like Florence, Italy or Fez, Morocco. You want to buy everything, and sometimes you do (Oops). Avoid blowing all your money (and extra luggage space) on cheap souvenirs by choosing specific items as your way to remember vacation.
For example, keep your purchases to items that easily fit in your bags and don’t weigh much, like scarves, paper items or jewelry. Small items such as these allow you to be selective and find high quality products, start a tradition for each trip you take, as well as the possibility to choose unique, one-of-a-kind pieces no one else will have. You’ll have both luxury and memories that stick within your budget.
Where you decide to trim your spending and splurge is completely up to you, but just remember that there are plenty of options out there for you to try. Your only requirement is putting forth the effort to look.
About the author: Kacey Mya Bradley is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.” Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Find & Follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest!
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