Planning a Luxury Vacation on a Budget
Who wouldn’t love being pampered on their vacation?
The hotel you choose is one of the most important parts of a vacation. You want the place where you will spend most of your free time during your trip to be comfortable and offer the amenities you love. Of course, this isn’t the only part of your trip you want to consider when planning. To help you plan the perfect trip, this post will be exploring some of the other elements of your vacation, giving you the chance to add even more luxury to the adventure and plan a truly perfect trip.
For most people, flying is the least pleasant part of the vacation experience. While you will have the excitement of the trip ahead of you, spending hours in a metal cylinder is akin to torture in a lot of people’s minds. Of course, though, when you travel business class, you won’t have to deal with the bad side of this journey. Instead, you will have the opportunity to spend the time exactly how you’d like to, with loads more entertainment options available, and a team of dedicated people ready to serve you. There are few better ways to improve a vacation than boosting the status of your flight.
If you can not afford to upgrade to business or first class there are still ways to make the flight more enjoyable. Make sure to pack a carry on bag with comfort items. This might include a travel pillow, blanket, snacks, and entertainment. I like to download movies or shows on my iPad before a trip. I also LOVE my kindle ( All-new Kindle Paperwhite – Now Waterproof with 2x the Storage – Includes Special Offers ) and always make sure I download a few books before leaving home. Headphones, ear plugs, chewing gum, and games are also good things to have in a carry-on. If you are traveling with children pack age-appropriate entertainment for them as well. Snacks, coloring books, games are all good to have on hand.
If you have a long layover check to see if your airline has a private lounge you can access. If you fly Delta and you have a Delta credit card or SkyMiles membership you can get discounted entry into their lounge which provides snacks and drinks, as well as a more comfortable place to wait out your next departure.
Getting around when you are in another country can present some challenges. Not only will you have a foreign driver’s license, but you will also have different rules, making it hard to feel at ease behind the wheel. Companies like Amalfi Coast car services have years of experience when it comes to getting people around. By using their services, you can have all of your transport covered during your vacation, with luxury cars waiting to pick you up at the end of each activity. This sort of approach to spending time overseas is one which a lot of people miss out on and can really take the worry out of getting around.
You can also ask your hotel to recommend transportation services. Many hotels and resorts offer shuttle service or can recommend tour companies to get you where you want to go. The last time I was in Mexico the hotel recommended reserving a taxi for the entire day. The cost was only $60.00 for the 6 hours we had it and we had 5 people in our party. We each put in $20.00 to include a tip for our wonderful driver. Having a local driver was great because he could recommend places for us to see and where to eat.
It’s become far more popular for hotels to offer their stays with all-inclusive food packages. I am not talking about true all-inclusive resorts, but rather hotels or B & B’s that now include meals in the stay. While this can be a great way to save some money, it won’t give you access to the best restaurants around. If you want to experience the atmosphere and culture of the place you are visiting you may want to spend some time researching the area before you set off. Using a mix of reviews and blog posts, you can build a clear idea of where it will be best to eat, and this will make it far easier to ensure that you’re eating at good restaurants. Research apps for the area you will be visiting and download some. Apps like Yelp will give you reviews, pictures, and menus to look at before you go. Groupon is another good site to visit before a trip, you can find some great deals on both food and excursions. You can find more great travel app reviews on our earlier post Best Travel Apps.
There are loads of ways to make an experience like this feel unique, ranging from choosing the perfect place to stay, to what type of experiences you want to have. Some people like to experience the top tourist attractions and some people like to find hidden gems and places that are off the beaten path. I find sites like Trip Advisor helpful for reading reviews and getting recommendations. Talking to your hotel staff is another great way to get recommendations. If you are staying at a resort or hotel that offers tours you can talk to them about finding the perfect itinerary for you. I also recommend looking for blog posts on the area you want to visit. Search on Pinterest or Google and reach out to the author with questions or ask for recommendations. The more informed you are before you go the better you are able to plan. Once you have an idea of the type of excursions you want to take look for deals on Groupon or see if the area has any timeshare resorts that will give you tickets to local attractions in exchange for spending some time listening to their pitch. I was able to get free tickets to both Universal Studios in Florida and to Dollywood in Tennessee by doing this. You should also check the websites of local museums or other attractions to see if they have any special deals or (in the case of many museums) free admission on specific days or times.