1. Choose a cheap 5-star destination.
When looking for a 5-star retreat think about the country first. You want a country where your currency buys a lot. Then find the luxury experience within it. From North America consider Central America. From the UK think Thailand, Greece and Portugal. From Australia you have much of Southeast Asia within a reasonable long-haul flight.
2. Think Eastern Europe rather than Western Europe.
If Europe is your destination, the east is definitely cheaper than the west.
Think about Budapest, Hungary; Prague, Czech Republic; or Krakow, Poland. Consider countries like Slovenia, Croatia, or Romania.
3. Use Skyscanner’s “Everywhere” button.
To give you an idea of relatively cheap flight destinations, plug in your home airport and “everywhere” as your destination into Skyscanner’s search engine.
You’ll get all sorts of destinations presented to you in order of least to most expensive. But always check FlightNetwork and the recommended airline’s site for the best deal before purchasing.
4. Enjoy a little luxury before take-off.
Check out the Priority Pass option for accessing lounges.
5. Plan for a variety of accommodation styles.
On a trip of more than a week I always plan for some budget accommodation, some mid-range, and some luxury.
Truly, there are advantages to budget accommodation and by saving on a few nights in a cheaper hotel I can come in on budget even when I include a few nights at a more expensive one.
6. Check directly with the hotel.
I use Booking.com for 95% of my bookings because I don’t pay Booking.com, I pay at the hotel, and there is usually free cancellation up to two days before check in.
Still, I often check with the hotel directly to see if they have a better rate or are willing to offer an upgrade for the rate I have.
7. Join the club and/or have the card.
Hotel chains like the Fairmont and Hilton have free clubs you can sign up for to get you free WiFi – a benefit that one gets free at a hostel but, oddly, not at all luxury hotels.
Always look for the special offers at the hotel you’re booking.
8. Book last-minute deals.
Book early or at the last minute.
At the last minute you can find empty spaces on tours so that discounts are often found there.
9. Watch for discount sites like Travel Zoo or Groupon .
I personally use Travel Zoo a lot, especially for weekend getaways.
You can choose your destination and search for deals.
10. Check out a City Pass to see if it will save you money on what you want to do.
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