[-- Read Time: 4 mins --]

Having a beach to yourself or a wine list to die for is worth every penny but there’s no getting away from it – luxury travel is expensive.

If you want to enjoy the best that the world has to offer, you’re going to have to pay for it. So where does that leave those of us with a taste for exclusivity and luxury experiences, but a budget that doesn’t quite measure up?

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to balance the pleasure of luxury travel with affordability. You can enjoy extraordinary locations and activities without breaking the bank. So hold off on booking that package tour – a higher class of holiday is within your reach.


Choose Short Haul Destinations And Shorter Durations

Flights are usually a huge chunk of vacation expenses, so choose short haul destinations to save money on transport. That way, you can use the money you have saved to pay for higher quality accommodation, or to upgrade the travel experience by going for first class seats or the use of airport lounges.

Another great idea is to opt for a one week break instead of a fortnight away. Instead of staying in medium quality hotels and skimping on entertainment, pack everything you want to do in a single week and enjoy the height of luxury during your stay.

You can also save money by scheduling your trip to coincide with the ‘shoulder’ season between high and low season. That way, you can still enjoy great weather in many cities or resorts, without paying premium prices for your flights and rooms.


Dine on Delicacies Without A Hefty Bill

One of the greatest pleasures of elite travel is exploring the finest foods that the world has to offer. Many people travel to discover new tastes, from authentic Indian curries to the heights of French cuisine or the freshness and beauty of a well-presented sushi feast.

Instead of heading to established restaurants in the center of cities like Paris or New York, look to more outlying districts. Barcelona is a great example. Although the Old Town is more central, eateries in more distant Gracia tend to be more exciting and rewarding. Generally, you get much more for your money outside city center tourist traps, so look to the edges of town for your meals.

You might also try booking a lunchtime table, instead of heading out to eat in the evening. Even at elite restaurants meals will be cheaper at lunchtime – something which tourists often fail to notice.

On the other hand, dining might not be a priority, and you may want to spend your money on activities or souvenirs. So why not consider taking a self-catering apartment? That way, you savour the atmosphere while shopping for foodstuffs at local markets and save some money at the same time.


Discover the Beauty of All-Inclusive Sports

Whether you are hitting the slopes at Val d’Isere, playing tennis in Monte Carlo or relaxing on the links of Scotland’s finest golf courses, there are ways to follow your sporting passions and stay clear of the crowds.

All-inclusive luxury golf holiday providers allow travelers with a taste for the good life to enjoy the sports that they adore without battling through hordes of golfers to get to the first tee, or worrying about long hold-ups at the end of every hole. You can find packages in every part of the golfing world, from St Andrews to Shanghai.

If you love to hit the slopes, the best way to balance your sporting passion with luxury accommodation is by scheduling your break as the ski season winds down. By researching resorts thoroughly, you can find destinations with reliable snow cover even when the crowds have started to depart.


Pamper Yourself Without Compromising

Luxury travel is meant to relax you – which is why so many people seek out spas, thermal springs, wellness treatments and fitness centres during their vacations. But these services can vary in quality, as anyone who has settled for a cut-price massage will testify.

Before you travel, check the web to find out whether there are accommodation options that blend comfort and high quality spa facilities. Some destinations are also far cheaper than established wellness destinations like Spain or California. For example, spas in Thailand or the Czech Republic are extremely affordable and well regarded.


Enjoy Affordable High Quality Accommodation

If you are traveling in style, you’ll want to sleep in the softest sheets, have the largest bathroom and balconies with the most beautiful views. Luxury just isn’t compatible with battling hundreds of fellow hotel guests for a spot around the pool.

Try looking a smaller boutique-style hotels to find accommodation bargains. Often, smaller luxury hotels will be offer plush surroundings and a high level of service at a lower cost than established names.

Glamping is another rising trend in luxury travel. If you don’t mind getting close to nature, up-market camping offers comfortable accommodation and high quality service – often at much lower prices that traditional hotels.


Take Advantage of Deals On Travel and Entertainment

When you travel to cities like Moscow or Milan, a visit to the theater or opera is a must. Save money on experiencing high culture by buying your tickets on the day of the performance. Even the most prestigious ballets and theaters operate big same-day discounts, allowing you to once-in-a-lifetime performances.

Almost every major city also operates a system of discounts for major attractions, which often includes museums, galleries and theaters. Ask your concierge or research in advance whether your destination has a City Pass that provides discount entrance into the attractions that you want to see.

Luxury travel is within everyone’s reach and you can enjoy just as much pleasure, comfort and exclusivity as the super-rich at a fraction of the cost. All it takes is a little research some clever decisions about where and when to go. The results could be the vacation of your life.