Last updated: 10:00 AM ET, Sun March 08 2015

Opinion Home | Suitcase Stories' Luxe Life Travel Tales and Tips

  • Nicole Connolly | March 8, 2015 10:00 AM ET

    How To Enjoy A Luxury Vacation Without Spending Big Bucks

    How To Enjoy A Luxury Vacation Without Spending Big Bucks

    It is possible to enjoy the good things in life without becoming a slave to the credit card. Sure, some vacations require us to push out the boat — a budget honeymoon would not thrill the heart of many would-be brides. But it is possible to enjoy a getaway with luxe features minus financial stress. Here are some of the ways I have enjoyed luxury on a shoestring.

    I find the arcane science of finding a cheap fare really quite daunting but it is definitely worth steeling your nerve and taking the time and effort. Or alternatively, find someone who loves the challenge. Use cheap booking and sign up for email alerts featuring fares around your desired price range. Often airlines will match low fares, so sign up for their specials alerts too.

    If the stress and uncertainty of waiting for that rock bottom price is not for you, then follow the wisdom of the early bird and book early for a lower fare. This is particularly sensible and less risky on popular routes for peak-season travel.

    Daily deal sites can offer attractive discounts on package deals for flights and accommodation. Accommodation deals can be discounted up to 70 percent but even at lower percentages you can luck out and find just the right deal for you. It does help if you are able to be flexible, seize the moment and travel when the offer arises.

    Think close to home. Long haul destinations can eat into your budget leaving less for accommodation. It may be a case of trading off the exotic far-flung destination for somewhere in your own geographic backyard.

    Tailor your travel around attractive exchange rates to find somewhere where your spending power increases dramatically, making the luxurious attainable.

    Traveling just outside the high season period can be more enjoyable, as prices for accommodation can drop considerably while the crowds have dissipated. Off season also comes into its own for museum, gallery, and dining-centred travel.

    Five Star may be the luxury gold standard but it pays to think outside the square here.

    There are now numerous options for a thrifty traveler with high-end tastes.

    The humble B&B accommodation can come in a luxurious forms at a lower price than a hotel room.

    If you have a flexible schedule, then housesitting is a very affordable option. Often the homes are in prime locations with all the comforts of an upscale hotel. There may be a charge for a sought-after location but it is still a fraction of a comparable hotel room.

    Think short but sweet. I know the temptation is to extend the good times for as long as possible. But rather than trading down to buy yourself time why not book a luxury resort or hotel for a shorter, more intense period of indulgence.

    Mix it up. Why not stay in more modest accommodation and visit the resorts and five-star hotels for those special meals, drinks or spas? As long as you have a pleasing room with a comfortable bed and a decent shower your creature comforts are met so special extras will take things up a notch.

    The luxe holiday is not as unattainable as it may first appear. All it requires is a little effort, planning and lateral thought.


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Nicole Connolly Suitcase Stories' Luxe Life Travel Tales and Tips

Nicole Connolly Nicole, along with her husband Michael, left her ordinary life behind for a life of extraordinary travel. The couple left Australia in March 2012 and have been traveling ever since. Nicole has a penchant for all things luxury and this shows in their lifestyle. They may live the life of a gypsy but they certainly know how to do it in style. Their goal is to share their experiences and show others how a life of luxury is possible without the big bank account. Follow their adventures at
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