Heres a little disclaimer before I start on this post...
1) In no way, shape or form am I implying that these holidays are affordable for everyone. You’re affordability is no one else’s business but your own.
2) These prices are 2018 prices and are subject to change due to supply and demand.
3) This post is based on my own experiences and is in no way influenced by any third party.
OK now that’s over... let’s go! ✈️
When you think of a luxury holiday destination, instantly you may think ££££. Sometimes this is true, and, in a lot of cases you get what you pay for. BUT. There are ways of getting to your dream destinations for a more affordable budget. Let me explain how in this short ‘How To’ blog post.
Search the booking sites
So you’ve got your destination in mind and you’ve found a price that you’re OK with... you will more than likely find it cheaper on another site. Search at least three sites but make sure everything is like for like; dates, airline, hotel and board basis. Chances are you will find it cheaper elsewhere and don’t book on the first site you find.
Another alternative is contact a travel counsellor and see if they can find you an even better deal than you have managed to find online. Travel counsellors are usually self employed, work from home (so they are contactable outside of the usual 9am- 5pm work pattern) and have loads of insider knowledge to ensure the package you have found is legit and ATOL protected.
The travel counsellor company we have used is Holidaysplease.com
Chose alternative destinations
So, let’s say that on your bucket list is to see the beautiful Northern Lights, mostly associated with a trip to Iceland. It is pretty well known that Iceland is an expensive country, with the average price of a pint of lager costing a whopping £10. Why not try visiting the beautiful Helsinki in Finland instead? The Northern lights are clearly visible here as they are in Iceland - but for a fraction of the price! Based on a 4* hotel with flights from London, Iceland’s holiday packages start from £436.87 per person for 3 nights, bed and breakfast (TUI website December 2018). However in Helsinki - for the same 4* hotel chain, Bed and breakfast with flights from London, you could save up to £130 per person as packages start from £297! (Booking.com website, December 2018). Fun fact: the average price of a pint in Helsinki is only £4.62! Bonus!
The holiday dates for this particular search was 06.01.19 - 09.01.19.
Chose your board basis wisely
Depending on your destination, will depend on what board basis is the best value for money. For example, when my husband and I visited the Maldives, we opted to go on an all-inclusive package including drinks, main meals and all snacks. Although this added cost to the initial holiday cost, it paid off for us massively. The cost of a single Malibu and Coca-cola on our island was a massive $28!! However, they had a house rum and Diet Coke that was included in our all inclusive package which did the same job. In our case, we saved a lot of money.
In secluded holiday destinations such as the Maldives, you have to remember when booking that a huge majority of their food and drink is imported, and this is reflected on the price you pay when there - and let’s face it - we’ve all got to eat and drink!
On the contrary, in other places in Asia such as Bali and Thailand, it probably won’t pay off as much to go for an all inclusive package. Bed & Breakfast, or even accomodtion only packages are the most cost effective options as food and drink in these countries are particularly cheap! Not only does this mean that you could possibly spend a bit more upgrading from a 4* to a 5* hotel, but means you can spend less money on the necessities such as food and drink, and use what you may have spent on excursions and exploring these gorgeous countries. They certainly have a lot to offer!! The average cost of a pint of lager in Thailand is $0.83 which is around 60p. Bargain.
Save your upgrades until you are on the resort
Based on my own experiences, this is one of the best ways to save a heap of money on your luxury holiday. There are a few ways you can try to bag yourself a free upgrade before you arrive on your holiday, but these are not always guaranteed - in fact they are a little ‘pie in the sky-ish’. You can always email the hotel before you arrive and ask if there are any upgrades available, put in requests for birthdays, honeymoons, anniversaries or any other special occasions and hope for the best. Or you can wait until you arrive...
We booked into a beach villa in the Maldives because, at £1000 per night (!) the water villas were way out of our budget for a 9 night stay. BUT when we arrived on the island, it turns out that the resort staff really want you to upgrade to their prestigious accommodation, and are willing to reduce the price right down in order to get you to do so! We paid $350 per night which saved us in excess of £750 per night to upgrade to the Water Villas, absolutely worth it!
In our circumstances it was worth waiting until we arrived on our holiday to get the best deal for our upgrade.
I hope this post helps you with some tips and tricks to saving money on booking your holidays!
Leave me a comment below if you have any additional hacks to saving some money when booking a holiday, I’d love to hear from you!
Read my blog on surviving your long haul flight here.
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Thanks for reading!
- Lea Bella x