Who doesn’t love five- star resorts and first class airline travel? Traveling well can cost a pretty penny, however there are some tricks that won’t break the bank. Below I share my favorite tips for traveling well without stretching my wallet too far.
When it comes to booking luxury travel, there are a few discount options so there is rarely a need to pay full price.
If you are comfortable with a bit of a gamble, Hotwire or Priceline may be the perfect fit for you. Priceline allows you to bid on hotels, by naming your own price, star level and area you’d like to stay. Bidding on your hotel can save you up to 50% off the published price. Hotwire.com is similar, providing mystery hotels at rock bottom prices. However this site provides location and all of the guaranteed amenities prior to booking. In fact I used Hotwire last month to book a hotel and ended up staying at the Fairmont! Plus I paid a fraction of the advertised price. Download the Hotwire mobile APP and enter promo code APP25 to get $25 off your next booking.
If gambling on your hotel isn’t your thing, there are still plenty of ways to save. Many times travel sites entice travelers with additional savings. For example Orbitz is offering travelers an extra 20% off hotels right now with promo code BIKINI. Book by March 2, travel through Sept. 30, 2014.
Jetsetter through Gilt Groupe offers members stellar deals on luxury travel, including everything from chartered planes to stunning villas. Jetsetter provides members with flash sale opportunities for a variety of locations.
Upgrades by nature are less expensive upon hotel check-in or close to flight departure. Patience pays off.
In terms of hotel upgrades you will always get the best price the day of; upon check-in always ask about upgrades depending on availability and hotel policy – you may be upgraded for free. Recently I was upgraded to a large suite for a mere $25. If I would have booked the suite in advance the price would have been triple what I paid for my standard room.
Flight upgrades can be a little tricky, and buying a first class ticket will set you back significantly. Again day of or gate upgrades will get you the best price. Virgin Atlantic and America provide travelers the opportunity to upgrade before even arriving at the airport. Non-members can upgrade to business class 24 hours ahead of time and first class six hours ahead of time.
Depending on when you are traveling can make a huge difference when it comes to expense, and of course timing comes into account when looking to upgrade as well. If you are on an already overbooked flight or booked hotel your chances of upgrading are slim to none. However if you find yourself at a business travelers hotel on a Saturday or flying the week after New Years your chances of swiping a luxury deal are great.
Now you can afford that $14 glass of wine by the pool!