Top 5 Luxury Travel Destinations For Less

Love the idea of a luxury holiday, but can’t seem to convince your significant other to spend your life savings on a two-week trip? SHESAID has got you covered here, with top luxury travel tips from the team at Escape Travel.

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Here, Escape Travel customer experience executive Tijana Jaksic (pictured) gives us the inside scoop on how to have a luxury vacay without the hefty price tag.

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“Holidays are an escape from the everyday grind so it makes sense people want to do them in style!” Tijana says. “The best way to get luxe for less is to go for a package deal with lots of bonus inclusions. This means you’ll get access to special activities you wouldn’t normally without breaking the bank.”

And Brisbane travel enthusiast, journalist Luke Royes concurs. Luke, who’s a seasoned, big-tripper who’s undertaken recent adventures everywhere from Southern Africa to Europe, Central America, SE Asia and more, says luxury travel isn’t always synonymous with big expenses. For him, it’s all about special, money-can’t buy moments and memories.

“In my experience, things that make a place desirable – like atmosphere, natural beauty, architecture, history and security – are not things that come with a price tag,” Luke says.

“While the tyranny of distance means flights from Australia tend to be long-haul and costly once you get to places like Europe – the UK, Portugal and Spain spring to mind – there are often times when museums and other attractions have free entry. The great thing about these places is that they are built to accommodate tourists and easy to get around.

“For those wanting to travel closer to home, places in Asia are easier to navigate than it may sound and luxury comes at a cheaper price.

“While I love being able to explore new places and see cool stuff, what I love most about travel is seeing how other people live their lives and sometimes just going for a wander and people-watching can produce an unexpected holiday highlight.”

So, with Luke’s top travel tips in mind, without further ado, here are Tijana’s pick of top 5 luxury travel destinations for less. Happy travels!

The seriously swoon-worthy island nation of the Maldives is a hot tourist destination for loved-up honeymooners and luxe vacation-makers the globe over thanks to its sun-baked, white sands and sparkling, blue water. To get the destination experience without the high resort fee, opt for one of the lesser travelled of the 200 local islands rather than the more popular tourist spots.

There are also local ferries to get you around for less, as opposed to the more expensive speed boats or sea planes. And you can also opt for more complete holiday packages which throw in extra activities to save your pennies while you’re kicking back in your bungalow.

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French Riviera
Charming and historic, the sleepy villages along the French Riviera are a must-see destination for travel lovers. While popular destinations like Cannes, St Tropez and Monte Carlo draw huge crowds yearly, step a little off the beaten track at the lesser known spots like Saint Paul de Vence to save some dosh. Don’t worry, there are plenty of affordable transport options to get you into the happening zones when you’re feeling like hitting the town!

Travelling off peak, just before or after the official summer season will also do wonders for your hip pocket, as will filling your days with the myriad of free museums and galleries in the area.

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Maui, Hawaii
The second largest Hawaiian Island has much to offer the holiday-maker. With stunning natural scenery, pristine and world-class beaches and always friendly locals, it’s no wonder this is a popular tourist destination for people from all walks of life.

To get the luxe without the price tag, try to book a holiday apartment or condo with a small kitchenette to prepare your own meals. By only eating out about half your time, you’ll save lots on food! Also try renting a car to get you around or just stick to the one island to save on transport and fill your days with free natural scenery and stunning beach visits.

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Lake Como, Italy
Just north of Milan lies the world-famous and celebrity hotspot Lake Como – a haven of natural beauty and luxurious villas which has been a popular tourist destination since the Roman Empire. George Clooney, eat your heart out! Top travel tip: staying and eating in the town of Como over the flashy resorts will prove much more cost effective, and still close enough to the lake to fully enjoy the location.

To really save serious dosh, do a day trip from Milan or aim to travel just off peak seasons of May and June (or try for August to still get the most of the sunny weather!). Soak up the beautiful views through walks or bike rides, exploring the lake with an unlimited day ticket (about €28) and perusing the gorgeous historical architecture which won’t break the bank!

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A fusion of culture, cuisine, shopping and architecture, Dubai is a happening hub! With over 200 different nationalities and dining from around the globe on offer, this desert destination is a bona fide tourist hotspot.

To enjoy the experience without the huge price tag, try foods from the local markets and only splurge a couple of times at a fine restaurant. Or, try getting around on the affordable metro system and haggle with the local markets to pick up a bargain. There are also plenty of free tourist attractions, like mosques, museums and parks to give you a dose of culture.

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What do you think? How do you stretch your luxury travel dollar?

Images via,, Hotel Room Search, Made-In-Italy, Gulf Holidays

June 19, 2015

The Top 10 Most Popular Travel Destinations Revealed

Thinking about jet-setting overseas this year? Well, ladies and gents, MasterCard has just revealed the ten most popular travel destinations on the planet for 2015 – and interestingly, the results aren’t exactly as you’d expect.

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For the fifth time in seven years, London has been crowned the number one go-to destination in the world, with 18.82 million overnight international visitors expected to travel to the city this year. “I’m delighted that London has proudly held on to this coveted title, as we celebrate another triumphant and record-breaking year for tourism in the city,” mayor Borris Johnson told the Daily Mail.

“With its unrivalled mix of history, culture, culinary gems and cutting-edge creativity, I’m confident that these accolades will keep coming as the capital continues to surprise and excite visitors from all over the world.”

The Top 10 Most Popular Travel Destinations Revealed

Bangkok came in at number two, with 18.24 million visitors predicted to flock to the Thailand capital this year, while the city of love – Paris – officially took third place with an estimated 16.06 million tourists.

Surprisingly, not all that dazzles, shines, with New York falling short of the top 5 this year after being bumped down to the sixth most popular travel destination. Instead, Dubai has taken preference coming in at number four, followed by a shock contender – Istanbul at number 5. Apparently the city, which is located in Turkey, has seen a rapid increase in the amount of visitors in recent years. Only fitting, considering it is the largest seaport and financial centre in the country.

The Top 10 Most Popular Travel Destinations Revealed

To finally round out the top ten – drum roll please – Singapore ranked number 7 on the list, with Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and Hong Kong following. The Global Destinations Cities Index, provided by MasterCard, ranks the 132 most visited cities around the globe in terms of international overnight visitors, however they also provide insight into spending.

According to the report, travellers will fork out roughly $US265 billion while in transit this year, with around $US15 billion of that being spent in London alone – an estimated 2.3 per cent increase compared to 2014.

Ann Cairns, president of International Markets at MasterCard told the Daily Mail: “This year’s study helps us understand just how interconnected the world’s cities are and the significant role they play in connecting and empowering greater numbers of people than ever before.”

Which is your top city to visit?

Image via Daily Mail,

June 4, 2015

Top Celebrity Holiday Destinations

Ever wondered where celebrities go in their down time? As you can probably guess, their holidays destinations are extravagant, picturesque and probably way out of most of our budgets. But, its nice to dream, so here are some of the top holiday destinations for celebrities:

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Also known as Cabo, this Mexican city perched on the banks of the North Pacific Ocean is a favourite for many celebrities including Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux and Courtney Cox. Justin Timberlake spent his bachelor weekend here and many celebrities including Cindy Crawford and George Clooney own houses in this A-list city. Cabo enjoys sunshine all year round and is home to numerous Michelin five star restaurants, plenty of nightlife and a number of luxurious resorts. Capella Pedregal is an exquisite resort and a favourite of Oprah Winfrey. It has its own private tunnel through the mountain into town and guests can enjoy soaking in their private plunge pool with spectacular views of the ocean.

St Barts, Caribbean

Sitting southeast of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean is home to hundreds of tropical islands, all a small slice of paradise. St Barthelemy or St Barts for short is just one of those islands which is home to fine dining, pristine beaches and luxurious hotels including the famous Hotel Du Cap-Eden-Roc, which has welcomed many stars including Bruce Springsteen, the Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Lopez, Mick Jagger, Janet Jackson and Reese Witherspoon. Because of its natural beauty the Victoria Secret models frequently shoot their campaigns on the beaches of St Barts and celebrities frequent the island so they can remain anonymous and have to worry very little about paparazzi.

French Riviera

The French Riviera or The Cote d’Azur, is the Mediterranean coastline in the southeast corner of France where you will find pristine beaches, incredible architecture, multi-million dollar yachts, and a heap of celebrities. Cannes, Monaco and St Tropez are the main drawcards in the Riviera which boast glamorous hotels for the rich and famous as well as A-list events including the Monaco Grand Prix and the Cannes Film Festival. Celebrities who have been spotted in the Riviera include Gwyneth Paltrow, Elton John, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Johnny Depp.


In the United Arab Emirates lies the city of Dubai which is home to fine dining, year-round summer weather, boutique shopping and glamorous hotels including the Burj Al Arab Jumeira which has been voted numerous times as the most luxurious hotel in the world. Arrive by helicopter or Mercedes transfer, enjoy a personalised butler service and dine at one of nine world class restaurants and bars. The Beckhams, Rita Ora, Tom Cruise, Claudia Schiffer and Giorgio Armani are just a few of the frequent A-list visitors to this vibrant city.


Hawaii is a popular holiday destination for celebrities because of its close proximity to Los Angeles. That, along with its relaxed atmosphere, fantastic weather and spectacular scenery make it a popular place to visit as well as own property. Oprah Winfrey, Clint Eastwood, Owen Wilson and Sean Penn all own real estate in Hawaii, with Maui being the most popular spot. Of course for all those celebrities who just fly in for some down time there are an abundance of luxurious secluded hotels as well.

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August 2, 2014