Luxury Travel for Less: 6 Expert Tips

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Save money for travel without sacrificing quality, and you can live in luxury for less. Learn how to save money for travel by following these 6 tips from seasoned travelers and experts in the industry.

1. Know the best time to go

Christina Vidal1, a travel blogger, avoids peak season. “Hawaii over Christmas! I don’t want to fight over lawn chairs and there are plenty over the holidays,” she says. She suggests shoulder season—that month or two before or after peak season. You can save up to 40% on flights and accommodations. Vidal recently visited Sydney in March, outside of peak season, as most Americans travel to Australia during our winter. “It was beautiful—75°F and sunny.” Give red-eye flights a try too, they usually have more space and lower price tags.

2. Book early—or last minute

According to Tom Jackson, president of World Travel Family of Agencies in California2, “When people book way in advance, there are incentives put forward by vendors.” This could be four nights for the price of three, or a percentage off the total price. Last-minute deals are also possible, though not guaranteed. Some luxury cruise lines, for example, entices travelers who book closer to departure day. “They offer ship-board credits and upgrades on the [room] category on the ship closer to the time of the departure.”

3. Be flight-savvy

Using the right app can also help you save. Vidal likes to use flight-search aggregators. “I just set an alert and they email me every time those flight prices go down.” She also pays attention to when airlines introduce a new route or service. “Whenever an airline launches a new route, they often have a deal around it.” Reward points can also serve travelers here as well, some credit cards allow advanced searches for flights and offer deep discounts or free flights by trading in points.

4. Try a travel agent

You can do everything yourself, but a travel agent can help prevent costly mistakes and reduce stress. “A lot of clients [start planning a] trip and then realize they’re [in] way over their heads,” says Laura Freeman, a New York-based travel agent at The Trip Trotter3. Booking connecting flights can be challenging. “A lot of people don’t realize there are different airports and then you have to take a costly transfer between them.”

5. Want this? Try that

If you really want to visit a particular country, staying in a less-popular region can help cut costs, says Freeman. Italy’s Amalfi Coast is highly desirable, she says, but other spots have a similar feel for a third of the price. Southern Tuscany, for example, is on the sea, but isn’t as popular with Americans so the rates can be lower.

6. Ask and you (may) receive

Anett Cronk, a Toronto-based travel agent, knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to ask for it. She has visited 39 countries, lived in Germany and Canada, and even did a stint as an interpreter on a cruise ship. Her passion for travel adds up, so she uses home rental sites to find top-notch accommodations at a fraction of the cost of a hotel. “I pick an apartment, tell [the host] I’m clean and quiet, and ask for a better deal.” For shorter trips, she often gets 10% off.

Vacation days are precious. Plan ahead, take advantage of deals, and you’ll get to experience luxury travel for less than money. than you think. Read more travel & saving tips from experts in our Learning Center.


  1. Christina Vidal
  2. Tom Jackson
  3. Laura Freeman

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