I can’t tell you how many travel bloggers I’ve seen write the typical blogpost stating that they sold all there possessions and embarked on an ‘eat pray love‘ type adventure to see the world… I just want to say, I’m 100% NOT that person. I work a full time retail job, pay rent and numerous bills and know that travel in general Isn’t exactly cheap as chips all the time, especially when your hoping to treat yourself a little and venture somewhere dreamy. I’m often asked by my friends and peers ‘how can you afford luxury travel at such a young age?’ and honestly, there isn’t much of a ground breaking formula to it, but there are definately tips and tricks I live by that make these possibilities a tad more attainable and hopefully you’ll find these beneficial.
1. You have to be serious about your savings. Sounds like a no brainer right? But you’d be surprised how much you can save if your serious about obtaining the end result. Some people prefer to save up for a designer bag, a car, or even a mortgage! The ability to do so is there, you just have to decide whats most important to you and stick to it. Here are a few simple ways to go about it that you can start to apply today:
Put aside a minimum of £50 each monthly pay day. Thats £600 a year – about the price of a flight to the Caribbean. You won’t break the bank and your probably already spending this once a month on something you could do without. Think about it.
“There’s food at home!” Remember when your mum would use that line when you mentioned Mcdonalds? Learn from it! Cut down on your morning trips to costa and make your coffee/lunch at home and bring it with you. Seems silly I know, but after calculating how much money I roughly spent on coffee/food last year, I could have easily travelled much more if I’d taken my own advice a little earlier.
2. Already spending loads on your flight? Forget Hotels.com & say hello to AirBnb.
This is not to say you can’t book a beautiful hotel to whatever dream destination you’ve saved up for, but for those who are trying this out on a beginner basis, be aware that Airbnb offers an array of seriously stunning apartments and villas for a fraction of the price hotels will be asking for. Although I’m a huge hotel snob, Airbnb is a fantastic alternative to help you save some money when travelling.
My Airbnb in Miami, Florida 2017
3. Early morning flights are your best friend.
You’ve gotta realise that a great deal of people absolutely HATE early morning flights which is fabulous for you as flights are often a whole lot cheaper and your plane will more than likely be much emptier, which could also maximise your chances of getting a possible upgrade (tips on this coming in a future post!).
4. Travel out of season.
In most popular travel destinations, rates soar during high season. Summer and school holidays see an automatic rise in hotel and flight fairs so think alternatively. ‘shoulder season’ (between the peak season and low season) is one of my favourite times to travel. During this time your dream hotel will be more within reach and more importantly, you’ll avoid the loud crowds.
5. Follow airlines on social media.
I can’t explain the importance of this enough. Now and then you’ll find that airlines will occasionally advertise ridiculously cheap flight deals for a short amount of time on their social media accounts – so you have to be following to be in the chance of grabbing them whilst you can.
6. Build a relationship with representatives at your go-to airlines.
I have two brilliant men in particular I know I can drop a text/email to when it comes to asking for help with finding me the best luxe travel packages, as we’ve built a great relationship over the years. Customer/company loyalty means everything and you’d be surprised at just how many ‘wow deals‘ I’ve been sent that aren’t exactly easily findable to the public. Trust in your representatives, there the people you want on your side!
7. Try Skyscanner.
Skyscanner is the perfect destination for finding killer deals when looking for cheaper flights, whether it be direct or changing. When taking shorter haul flights, I’m almost religiously booking through skyscanner to maximise my chances of finding a bargain. FYI – A 5 night flight to Lisbon from London in June right now is around £50! If anybody’s interested. Get the app on your phone!
8. Take risks when booking your flights (not for the faint hearted).
When deciding to visit Miami, I followed the advice of a friend and booked only 2 weeks before flying out and surprisingly saved £450. This isn’t always a definitive way to save money on a flight but it has been proven to work occasionally as airlines often don’t think people will be brave enough to leave such a big flight to last minute. Don’t be afraid to take some risks now and then, you could be pleasantly surprised.
I’ll keep the list to 8 points as I have soooo many hacks and tips to share with you guys this year on Shen Talks. Don’t ever be under the assumption that luxury travel is only for the elite and rich, as it is very possible for anybody who’s willing to save up some change and do a little travel research and I will of course be here to offer as many bits of advice I can to build your chances of jetting off some place new, hopefully soon. If you have any tips yourself on how to afford luxury travel, comment them down below! I’d love to find some new ways!