How To Travel Like A VIP On A Budget
Guest Post from Stuart Cooke (Unibaggage.com)
Jetting off around the world, staying in the best hotels and doing lots of fun activities is the dream life for most of us. Naturally this lifestyle costs money so unless you’re super-rich or an Instagram models this lifestyle seems frustratingly out of reach for us normal people. But what if wasn’t? What if there was a way to travel like a VIP on a modest budget? Now that we’ve got your attention let’s look at how we can put it into action.
Travel Baggage Free
Lugging your suitcases through the airport and through train stations isn’t very VIP and for those who like to have a wide choice of shoes and outfits with them it can also be costly bringing all that luggage. Luckily there is a solution that can save you time, hassle and most importantly, money!
There are luggage shipping companies who specialise in picking up your luggage from your house and shipping it ahead to your destination so that it’s sitting waiting for you at your hotel when you arrive. Often it costs a lot less than the excess baggage fees airlines charge.
Money Isn’t Always Equal
This is something that’s overlooked by would-be travellers. With the different exchange rates around the world and different economies of each country, your money can go a lot further depending on where you travel to. If you are smart with the places you choose to travel to then you can have the true VIP experience when you get there for the same amount as a standard holiday in say Spain or the USA. Places where your money will go further include Africa, Asia and India.
Signing up for a currency card might be worth considering. I have a WeSwap card that I take with me when travelling around Europe, they offer some of the best exchange rates and you get some bonus money just for signing up.
Plan To A Tee
Forward planning is crucial for saving money when travelling. If you take the time to do your research, you can find great deals on trips and activities that would otherwise cost a fortune. Coupon and discount websites are a great place to start with the likes of Groupon offering deals all around the world. If there is something you really want to do, for example bungee jumping then a good way to get the most out of your trip is to find the best possible deal you can for this activity and then plan your flights, accommodation and everything else around it well in advance. Flexibility with the location and time of your trip is key to saving money without sacrificing on quality.
Cut Out the Booking Agent
It’s 2018 people, do we really need to still use a travel agent to book our holidays for us? Yes, they can save you time and find you great deals, but they have to get paid somehow and that comes from adding their own fee on top of the package the find for you. It may seem harsh, but you really don’t need to pay someone else to do your searching for you when you have the whole internet at your disposal.
If you’re feeling especially mean you could even visit a travel agent and see what deals they offer you then go away and book the flights and accommodation yourself saving yourself their added fee which is usually pretty sizable.
Don’t Follow The Heard
While this is an obvious strategy for saving you money on your travels it’s still something that a lot of people don’t take advantage of. A lot of us are still stuck in the old mindset that holidays must be taken in the summer and because most people are all thinking the same thing you get high demand for flights and hotels pushing the prices up no matter where you go.
Travelling in the quieter holiday can drastically transform how far your budget will get you. Depending on where you are going and the type of trip you are looking for the peak season will vary. Another perk of travelling off season is that when it’s quieter you are also more likely to get bumped up a class on the flight and there will be generally less people meaning more space and relaxation for you.
Travelling as part of a group as opposed to on your own will often save you a lot of money and allow you to stay in luxury accommodation for less. Sites like Airbnb allow you to book a luxury apartment for 6 people at the same or less that it would cost 1 or 2 people to stay in a 4-star hotel room. That means you’re paying less to stay in better accommodation, now you’re living the VIP travel dream!
Find the Cheapest Date to Book
Holidays aren’t cheap, but what if I told you that you it’s possible to save over £500 just by booking your holiday on a certain date! Many companies try to entice holidaymakers with exciting discounts and offers to celebrate the new year… so it’s no surprise that the cheapest time to book a holiday is usually January! Make sure to do your research on the best dates to book flights and hotels depending on where you’re wanting to holiday.
You can travel like a VIP and it’s possible on your budget, you just have to be a bit savvy and be willing to do some research to find the best deals and if you’re flexible then the world will be your oyster!
Stuart Cooke is from Unibaggage.com a luggage delivery service that helps travellers all around the world get the VIP experience for less.