We all wish that we could pack our bags with the finest outfits, jet off to a private island and dine on 5-star, Michelin-rated food. Unfortunately our bank accounts just don’t have time for that. Lucky for us, there are some great hacks out there that make traveling in luxury a little bit easier for us in the 99%. If you’re looking to travel in luxury on a backpacker budget, here are a few tips to help get you there!
Search for Error Fares
Error fares are like little nuggets of gold found randomly on the internet! An error fare is a technical issue or human error that will turn up online for significantly lower than the regular price. Since I’m down to go just about anywhere, this makes the hunt much more thrilling! But instead of spending countless hours looking for a mistake that may never exist, look to the internet for help.
My favorite websites that give me error fares are AirfareWatchDog and Travel Pirates. Both provide amazing discounts, however the first caters to domestic travel whereas Travel Pirates has deals from all over the world! Sign up for their newsletters to get info on error fares and cheaper flights ASAP!
Prioritize Your Luxury Experiences
Before your trip of a lifetime, write down what’s most important to you. If lavish hotels are where you want to spend most of your money and don’t care about transportation, you know where to budget your trip. If you love eating the finest foods and just need a bed for the night, you know where to budget your trip. Be realistic with what means more to you and you’ll be able to live a life of luxury!
The hard part here is if you’re traveling with someone who doesn’t agree with your priorities. You might have to compromise a bit more and have a very strict schedule so you each get what you want. But think of this as an opportunity to try wonderful experiences you might not have otherwise done on your own.
Travel During the Off Season or Shoulder Season
Every location has it’s off season. In Europe, that’s January-March. Southeast Asia and certain parts of Africa is May-September. Meanwhile the Caribbean’s off season is usually April-August! If you travel during these times, you’re saving money on flights, hotels and food!
You may be sacrificing great weather by traveling during the off season, but you’ll be absolutely stunned by how much money you save. Some hotels in Southeast Asia and Europe will even give you 50% off when traveling during the off season! Just remember to research your destinations so it’s not monsoon season and pack accordingly.
Eat Well, But Small
Part of traveling in luxury means eating amazing cuisine from the other side of the world. But just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy these fancy restaurants. Enjoy the restaurant of your dreams, but don’t order with your eyes! To save more money at a high-end restaurant, order less food.
Try the following tips to enjoy your dining experience without breaking the bank:
- Order each course, but split it with your partner
- Eat a few snacks from the grocery store before you arrive
- Consider getting dessert elsewhere
- Eat slowly
Split Your Time Between Two Worlds
When I say “two worlds,” I mostly mean splitting your time between luxury travel and budget travel. For example, let’s say you’re traveling for your anniversary. It would be worth the splurge to stay at an amazing hotel for a night or two to celebrate, but maybe stay at Airbnbs, affordable hotels, or hostels for the rest of your stay.
This is similar to prioritizing, but you’re really doing a balancing act between different styles of travel. Not only will this save you a bunch of money, but you’ll get a glimpse of all walks of life.
Do It For the ‘Gram
These days, traveling is mostly for showing off. There, I said it. Some people like to take a fancy picture so they can say they’ve been there, but don’t care to actually spend the money at said location. But we’re not here to knock anyone’s style of traveling, only to make it a reality!
If this is the kind of traveling you’d like to do, stay at all kinds of budget properties, modes of transportation and restaurants and simply pretend you’re living a life of luxury. Who’s to know otherwise, am I right?
As I’ve said many times before, collecting points is where it’s at! You can be collecting points through newsletters, credit cards, dining rewards and web portals and spend it all on the best hotels around the world. Just make sure you’re being careful with your finances and not putting yourself in more debt just to get some points.
Sebrin Elms is a twenty-something newlywed with two kitties and a serious obsession with travel. She started her blog, The Clumsy Traveler, in anticipation of a 3-month long honeymoon around the world. When she came back, she wasn’t ready to stop writing and traveling! You can learn more about her story on her blog or follow her on Instagram @theclumsytraveler.