Luxury trips for frugal travellers – how to have first class experiences on a budget

When it comes to travel, we all want to see as many places as possible – yet, there’s a huge difference between seeing places in style and hauling ourselves around on a budget.

In this sense, money appears to be the primary fuel that enables travel; while budget travel is possible and can be very rewarding, you do need some money to get started!

So it often appears that the world of luxury travel tends to be reserved for those with deep pockets, or for people that take out secured joint loans to fund their elaborate plans, but this doesn’t have to be the case.

You don’t need to be a millionaire or remortgage your home to indulge in luxury travel – you just need to go about it in an intelligent way.

In fact, if you repurpose your travel budget and choose your destinations wisely, you can save money on the less important stuff (such as flights) and splurge on the most important aspects such as hotels, activities and meals out.

Destination choice

When it comes to choosing a destination, if you are mindful on costs, this can be really helpful in obtaining first class experiences on a frugal budget. It helps if you leverage the current ebbs and flows of the world economy; for instance, going to Europe at the moment is expensive due to the weakness of the pound against the Euro.

Whereas, if you head to a country such as Turkey which has seen its economy drop quite drastically in the past year, your pound will go much further.

In this sense, it’s planning your trip a little more intelligently – if you want first class experiences in Japan, then you had better be loaded, whereas first class experiences in Thailand or Sri Lanka are much cheaper.

Budget repurposing

So how do you repurpose your budget? Well, if you were flexible with your dates and saved £200 on your flight, because it was at a particularly rubbish time, such as 5am – the amount you save could be spent on a nicer hotel in your destination.

In a nutshell, there are ways of repurposing your budget so that you can afford to splurge on nice hotels, meals or activities from time-to-time on your trip.

After all, budget travel doesn’t mean life should be without luxury… and the amount you can save on certain large ticket items such as international flights by simply shopping around and being flexible with your dates, could pay for you to have several once in a lifetime experiences.


Flights can take a large chunk out of your travel budget, yet, searching for cheap flights via comparison websites such as Skyscanner or Momondo can save you a lot of money.

This way, if you’re flexible with your flights, you are presented with a curated list of the cheapest deals available for the dates and destinations you’ve selected – with all airlines, rather than just one.

This can save a lot of money and is also helpful when looking for a flight to and from London for example, as there are a number of airports you could travel from that can cut the costs down even more.

And you could take this one step further, as it might pay to get an international flight to and from a hub destination such as Amsterdam or Frankfurt and then hop on a low cost airline to take care of the short-haul leg.

Whilst this could sound inconvenient, it doesn’t have to be – it could be an opportunity to spend a night in Amsterdam or Frankfurt, for instance, and have a great dinner with the money you saved whilst getting to see a new place.

That’s the power of repurposing your budget; it’s all about saving money on the big ticket items so that you can splurge on the smaller experiences that are what make travel so much fun.

It’s about being a little more resourceful with regard to travel planning, yet if you don’t have the time to invest into this, there are plenty of travel bookers that can hunt out the deals on your behalf.


A further large expense when travelling is accommodation; if you consider the fact a basic hotel room in New York is likely to cost in excess of $150 and a luxury hotel is more in the region of $500 per night – so you need to find ways to reduce this.

In this sense, there are a number of apps that offer cheap deals on luxury hotels for that day, such as HotelTonight, where you can often find five star hotels heavily reduced because they have spare rooms – meaning you can grab yourself a great deal.

There’s also the option to use AirBnB, and rent out a luxury apartment, which can be particularly cost-effective when travelling as part of a large group to cities such as London or Sydney where accommodation costs are particularly high.

The other benefit of doing this is that you will have self catering facilities meaning you don’t have to be spending money on eating out all the time or room service charges.

There are so many ways you can be a frugal traveller but have luxury experiences – it’s all about doing your research and being smart with your money!

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