Ever want to quit your job and go live overseas? Rachel Jones did just that, moving to the party paradise of Goa, India and her wanderlust didn’t stop there. She spends her time traveling around the world and documents her experiences on her blog, Hippie in Heels. She travels glamorously, but on a budget, and is sharing her advice for luxury travel that doesn’t send you home broke. These 6 tips will help you get more for your money on your next blissful vacation.
The most important step is choosing your location. In Europe, 20 bucks will get you a dorm room full of 20 other (probably noisy) travelers. If you want luxury, instead of Europe, head to Thailand. You can get a morning massage followed with fresh juice while you look out into the turquoise waters, head to the market for the best pad thai of your life, and end your evening with cheap drinks and a great nights sleep in your private bungalow… all for 20 bucks easily.
Can’t afford a 5 star hotel but craving that fancy infinity pool to dip your toes in? Stay at a nearby guesthouse but go to the pool at the 5-star hotel during that day. As long as you buy a drink, they’ll let you lay out and use those fluffy complementary towels. If you don’t want to get sun, wait and go for sunset… there’s bound to be a happy hour!
If you’ve been dreaming of going to the most famous beach for an afternoon brunch with the girls, don’t fall into the tourist trap. Beachside restaurants are always the most expensive and because they stay crowded, they don’t have to serve high quality food. Instead, go to a local market and buy everything you need for a beach picnic. That’s something you’ll remember a lot more than crappy food from an overpriced crowded restaurant. Bonus Tip: A brunch calls for something to sip on! Bring some wine and brandy. Add fresh local fruits and you can have a glass of sangria in paradise at a quarter of the cost.
You and your pals need a great place to stay, but staying at a hotel and getting two or three rooms can take over half of your budget. Instead, look online and rent a big villa that you can share for the week. It’s always cheaper and it will be more private. Make sure to snag one with a pool so you could even throw a party. Plus, you’ll saving money by preparing some meals at home.
Try a night of glamping! Eco-resorts are the new “it thing” in the travel world. Glamorous camping came around for those who wanted nature but didn’t want to give up their comforts. You will be seeing nature, helping the environment, and doing so on a budget. Luxury or not, it’s still camping so they won’t charge too much.
If you’re traveling for a special occasion, make sure staff knows. Oftentimes, if you let a hotel or guesthouse know you’re coming for a birthday or anniversary, they’re likely to give you a complimentary bottle of wine or box of chocolates!
Image originally from our August 2013 Travel Issue.