Think luxury travel is beyond your grasp? Think again! Despite the cost of living, planning a holiday with small luxuries is possible – while keeping to a budget.
If you’re conscious of your holiday budget, we’ve found ways you can save money while still having a great time.
First, choose a lesser-known holiday destination to visit…
Choosing a lesser-known holiday destination
Begin your holiday planning by choosing a lesser-known holiday destination. Most of our suggestions won’t be on everyone’s radar but will still be charming. Instead of staying in a destination known for overtourism, find somewhere new off the beaten track! For instance, stay within a small city or quaint, coastal town instead, which will cost you less. It might not be as popular. Yet you’ll gain a different insight into the country’s culture and have more unique stories to share on your return.
8 lesser-known holiday destinations
Some of these destinations may also provide younger travelling companions with “Instagram-worthy,” photos.
Here are some of our favourites…
- Billund in Denmark: the home of Legoland. Go on the Lego tour and stay for three nights.
- Chemnitz: an industrious German city and the European Capital of Culture for 2025.
- Nantes: an exciting place for a city break. There’s a range of cuisine to try from fresh pastries in the many bakeries to roast Nantes duck served with Muscadet white wine. Also, follow one of the walking trails or explore Nante’s medieval castle.
- Rimini: this Italian city is full of colourful Renaissance architecture and a golden 10-mile beach.
- Sapporo in Japan: A huge snow festival is held here each February. Admire a world of snow and ice sculptures before whizzing down snow slides.
- Tyrol (or Tirol-heart of the Alps) in Austria, is an Alpine region, where many traditional festivals still take place, such as the Sonnenwende in Wachau (summer solstice). Also, it’s perfect for ski holidays in winter and hiking trips.
- Valkenburg, in the Netherlands, is a quaint city home to the Netherlands’ only hilltop castle and iconic caves.
- Vigo, Spain, is Europe’s biggest fishing port. If you love seafood, choose from crabs, octopus, squid, mussels, and Vigo’s famous oysters for tea.
Once you’ve decided upon your destination. Plan ahead of time to secure small luxuries to enhance your trip.
Book luxury travel out of season in advance
If you can travel off-season (in spring and autumn) when air travel is cheapest, seek out an affordable airline and its reduced ticket prices. Depending on the destination, holidays taken in mid-September and April should be pleasant because the weather is mild.
During these times, fewer people are travelling. So, you can enjoy a more authentic experience. You may even find time to visit a lesser-known destination when a cultural festival is taking place.
Also, if you can be flexible with what day/month you travel, you’ll find that you’ll have more choices of where to go, where to stay, and which activities to enjoy. To save more, refer to Skyscanner’s cheapest month tool to find low airfares.
Book last minute but do your research
Looking for an affordable, last-minute holiday? Again, to catch the best deals, you have to be flexible about when you travel. However, take note, that the prices are usually reduced closer to your chosen departure date.
Also, booking an all-inclusive, last-minute package holiday is always a good deal in contrast to purchasing a single last-minute scheduled flight. So, put time into researching last-minute holidays, to reap the benefits. However, our number one travel tip is to book a last-minute all-inclusive holiday or package trip. This is because all your legal protection will be included from the time you book.
Find all-inclusive luxury travel accommodation
During your research, keep within budget by choosing accommodation that includes luxury amenities that will keep everyone satisfied – and keep their desires for expensive activities low. These luxuries could be a range of inclusive restaurants on site, tennis courts, or a hot tub to create a relaxing escape. Also, a swimming pool, games, and cinema room will keep youngsters entertained too. As a result, your companions may not want to leave the vicinity. So you won’t need to leave and spend more after checking in.
All-inclusive luxury hotels
Create a list of reputable and affordable luxury hotel chains you’d stay in to maintain your savings goal. Then, see where they’re located in your lesser-known holiday destination. You could also explore the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) hotels and resorts website. It has 6,000 hotels and resorts around the world. One should suit your budget. Find one that suits everyone’s needs within a friendly city or near a sandy beach.
To reduce the cost of staying at a hotel, you could visit the priceline website. We come across this due to a Martin Lewis recommendation. Find an offer (up to 50%-60% off) by playing with the hotel filters after stating your preferred destination. Tick the ‘express deals and pricebreakers’ box and you’ll be presented with a selection of hotel options. For each ‘express deal’ the name of the hotel will be a mystery until you book but its location details will be provided. Meanwhile, three ‘pricebreaker’ options will appear and provide more information about each hotel. However, the website will pick the best out of the three hotels for you to book. If this sounds like an exciting and cost-saving exercise go for it!
On reflection, if staying in a hotel still doesn’t match your budget, see if you can pay for a day pass to use its amenities while staying in a villa…
When you’re away for a celebration everyone should be allowed a little indulgence. So, give a nod to luxury travel by sourcing a large and comfortable villa full of extras that you don’t have at home. Most large villas will provide guests with a BBQ, table tennis, or games room. A swimming pool and stunning views can also be within your grasp.
The trip becomes an affordable option when holidaying with 10 or more people. The cost can then be split between each one. It is an attractive option because you can create new holiday memories together! Remember to follow the tips above. Aim to travel out of season (if you can) and plan to leave midweek to get the best deals.
In 2024, half of travellers are intending to visit destinations where the cost of living is less expensive – compared to their hometown. So, do your research. Uncover a villa within a lesser-known destination, which is more luxurious than home but without the expensive price tag. Another 43% of us are aiming to keep our travel costs down by picking a destination closer to home. Why not look to France and stay in a large villa fit for all? A trip that includes a ferry, train, or plane will always provide an adventure for those young at heart.
Book luxury travel experiences ahead of your trip
Think about the luxury travel experiences you want before your holiday. Then book them in advance to get the best prices. Some are often found on the business’ website and marketed at a lower price. If you book before leaving home, you can avoid paying the agent a commission on route to your destination – which is extra money for the same activity.
Most people will have heard of Tripadvisor. For those who haven’t, it is a website where you can find activities and days out in different holiday destinations. Alongside each activity is feedback from travellers who have experienced an activity for themselves. From boat trips to restaurants, real reviews and ratings are available to read before booking. You can find the ideal experiences and by reading the reviews you won’t be let down when you get there!
Above all, save for the experiences you wish to have on holiday by planning ahead.
Book extras at the airport
Don’t sacrifice luxury before jetting off – additional extras are available during your journey.
Add Lounge Passes
Book into the airport or train station lounge for complimentary drinks and snacks. Or enjoy a peaceful breakfast away from the crowds with access to the daily news. All by buying a one-off lounge access pass, which costs on average about £20 per person.
On the other hand, you may be entitled to extras at the airport without paying for them. Check the benefits your bank, credit card, or supermarket provides. You may have accumulated points that can be turned into vouchers or coupons and used during your journey.
Book an upgrade
Saved money on your accommodation? Got a good deal on your all-inclusive package holiday? Treat yourself to a cabin upgrade. Or travel business or first class. It’s the little, big things that can make a holiday memorable. Plus, your legs will thank you for the extra legroom. Also, those holiday drinks will ensure you’re refreshed and in a good mood to begin your break!
Travel insurance for luxury travel
Do you now see how to plan an affordable holiday, while including elements of luxury travel? We hope you find time to discover a lesser-known destination and do the research to enjoy an affordable holiday. Holiday planning can be even more enjoyable than the holiday itself!
However you decide to add some lux to your holiday, remember to take out a suitable travel insurance policy from Free Spirit to ensure all your plans are enjoyed from start to finish.