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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
What do you think? How do you stretch your luxury travel dollar?
Images via Superbwallpapers.com, Cotedazurcollection.co.uk, Hotel Room Search, Made-In-Italy, Gulf Holidays
Nicole is a Queensland-based writer and bona fide word nerd whose first love (apart from heels) is feature writing. Follow Nicole on Twitter.