Whether you are celebrating an anniversary, an important birthday or even your honeymoon, you will probably want to make your vacation that little bit special. However, as we make our holiday plans, the sometimes astronomical costs of luxury travel can be a little intimidating – even if we are lucky enough to have a healthy amount of budget behind us.
When it comes to high-end travel, it’s true that the sky’s the limit on how much it is possible to spend – but despite this, a luxury experience needn’t break the bank. By prioritising the areas that matter most to you and making a few clever choices, you can add a little luxury (and more) to your vacation, and enjoy a truly unforgettable experience.
Choose your accommodation carefully
An oft-repeated piece of vacation advice is that, as you’ll only be sleeping at your hotel or rental, it can be pushed down the priority list – but in reality your choice of accommodation can make all the difference to the tone and atmosphere of your entire travel experience. Whether it’s a beautiful beachfront villa in Barbados or a swanky hotel in Singapore, splashing out on your rental or hotel room is perhaps the easiest way to add a feeling of luxury to your holiday.
The likelihood is that you’ll do far more than sleep at your accommodation while on holiday. From spending slow, lazy breakfasts preparing for the day to lollygagging happily around a pool, if you treat yourself to a residence that boasts great facilities and well-appointed surroundings, you may find that you hardly want to leave.
It’s here that details like dreamily soft beds, roll-top baths, high-end toiletries and swim-up rooms are highly appreciated, and imbue your vacation experience with a sense of indulgence that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Look for end-of-season dates, share a large high-end villa with a group of family and friends or slightly reduce the length of your stay, and you will find that even splashing out can be surprisingly affordable.
Jazz up your flight experience
It’s an unfortunate truth that flying in first class, as lovely as it looks, can be prohibitively expensive – but this doesn’t mean your flight experience has to be humdrum or uncomfortable. By bearing a couple of small considerations in mind, you can make flying economy your ticket to surprising levels of luxury.
Firstly, you should consider when is best to book your flight. While waiting for a last-minute deal on flights can sometimes pay off, it can also hugely backfire, so for the most part it’s best to play it safe. Research suggests that the price of flights starts to creep up from 3 months before departure, so booking well in advance is usually the best way to get a good deal.
It’s also worth choosing a high-end airline where you can (Singapore and Qatar both have a great reputation). The premium you pay still doesn’t come close to a First or Business class ticket on any major airline, but the experience is hugely elevated – with more room to stretch your legs, great customer service and unusually enjoyable in-flight meals. You can also book into the pre-flight airport lounge – which is one of the perks of flying first class – and enjoy a relaxed drink, free Wi-Fi and even a hot shower before boarding the plane.
Visit amazing restaurants at lunchtime
Even the most high-end restaurants can find that the lunchtime service is a little slow, and in this notoriously tough industry, they would often rather be busy than charge the price of a dinner service. As a result, restaurants that are resplendent with Michelin stars, Rosettes and Diamonds are usually far more affordable during mid-week lunchtime slots – with options such as set-price menus significantly reducing the cost.
With most of us leading busy and work-oriented lives, the chance to idle over a mouthwatering midweek meal with a few glasses of wine is a rare one – and well worth making the most of. Well-regarded restaurants tend to be committed to quality whatever time of day you show up; so even though you may be slightly more limited in your options regarding the menu, you’ll still have the full restaurant experience in terms of service, elegance and skill. And if you find yourself a little full and tired afterwards, you can always take a nap by the pool before enjoying your evening.
Look closer to home
Flights often represent a major outgoing when planning a holiday – and most especially if you choose a far-flung destination. Deciding on a location that’s closer to home is, therefore, one easy way to instantly free up some of your budget, which you can put to better use elsewhere.
You might choose to drive to a location in France and stay in a stunning chateau, or hop on a short flight and luxuriate in a vast Italian villa in the Tuscan hills – without so much of your budget allocated to simply getting there, you may find your options are surprisingly extravagant. Having more money at your disposal also allows you to indulge in luxury travel experiences you might otherwise have missed out on, and in beautiful locations you may have overlooked in favour of something more exotic.
Whatever location you choose, adding luxury to your vacation needn’t cost a small fortune. In our time-poor modern world, simple pleasures such as relaxation, good food and the company of our loved ones are luxuries we don’t always get to enjoy. By allowing ourselves to unwind and focusing on the simple things, our vacation will be transformed into something special, and feel luxurious at no extra cost.
This post was written by Top Villas, luxury villa specialists who are dedicated to helping travellers create beautiful holiday experiences.
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