Luxury, luxury, luxury. Let’s face it — we’re all looking for a luxurious time. Blame it on Hollywood if that’s what you want to do, but we have a thing for luxury. There’s something to be said about high class hotels, world class restaurants, and all of the activities that seem to be restricted to the jet set — you know, players with money of course. The rest of us have to just cram into a budget friendly hotel and hope for the best, right?
Wrong. This is a recession after all. You see, the hospitality industry as a whole knows that it needs plenty of fresh customers coming back over and over in order to keep the doors open. So they can’t be too picky with price. Sure, there are some super high end establishments that cater to the super rich. We can’t really say much about those at all. The truth is that you have to figure out where to set your limits. Somewhere that entertains rocks tars and royalty isn’t going to be cutting their prices too much. Thankfully, there’s a whole world of other places that will.
Let’s start with airfare. If you aren’t too terribly picky with when you depart and when you arrive, you can save a lot of money. You can save even more if you’re not picky about the day that you leave or arrive. Flexible fares can save you a lot of money, but you do have to be careful — check to make sure that you can still get a place to sleep when you arrive, no matter which day that you select.
Restaurants are always running specials. Look for a “prixe-fixe” menu — as the name suggests, the prices are fixed. This is a great way to enjoy a sampling of gourmet food without the usual outrageous price tag.
Hotels are really where you’re going to be cleaning up big time. Instead of getting swept away in terms of star ratings, go for occupancy. A hotel that has a bunch of empty rooms isn’t making money that day. Therefore, call them up and see if they can give you a direct deal. Deal sites do help, but they have a markup that has to be passed to the hotel. If you have some negotiating skills in you, you can do the same thing and cut out the middleman. This is a win-win for both parties involved.
If you have a rewards credit card, you need to make sure that you’re putting everything on that card. It’s very easy to skip over this, but you could end up racking up a lot of points. If you have a friend that always seems to be shopping, try to get them to use your code — you might be able to get points for your friends’ purchases on some sites. This can really help you out when you’re trying to add a bit of luxury to your vacation.
Where do you go from here? Well, that’s completely up to you. There’s package holidays, which give you the luxury that you’re looking for without spending a lot of money. There are also last minute deals if you’re really feeling brave. Some people are, but many people prefer to have their trips more scheduled than this. Avoid the last minute stuff if you’re traveling with children, and don’t forget the travel insurance. You just never know when you’re going to need it. Good luck!