How To Travel Like A Billionaire… On A Budget

For billionaires, vacations often involve private jets and five star hotel suites. Many of us assume that this type of travel is out of our reach, however you’d be surprised how close you can get to travelling like a billionaire on a modest budget. There are many travel trade tricks that can allow you a taste of the high life at affordable prices. You may have to get lucky in some instances whilst others may involve small sacrifices, but they’re still valuable tricks to know.

Go luxury in a cheap destination. There are some destinations where your money will go further. A night in a five star hotel in Paris could cost you upwards of $500, but there are some places where you can pay a fraction of this for a five star hotel. For example, in Kuta in Bali or Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt it’s possible to get a night in a five star hotel for less than $50! Of course, it should be noted that there is no international standard for five star hotels – what might pass for a five star hotel somewhere else could be the equivalent of a three star hotel back home. Still, you can always read online reviews beforehand to see what other people have thought.

Going somewhere cheap could also save you money on general spending. You may be able to get cheaper luxury restaurant meals and go shopping on the cheap. Such destinations may not have the billionaire status of somewhere like St Tropez, but they could still give you a taste of the high life.

Travel out of season. Timing your vacation strategically can bring the price down and could allow you to further save money on a luxury trip and get a taste of the billionaire lifestyle. Everybody goes away in summer, but if you’re willing to try October or May you could make huge savings on flights or hotels. Of course, this could decrease the chances of good weather, which is something you need to weigh up.

Meanwhile, for planning a short luxury city break, try travelling during the week rather than at the weekend. Flights and hotel rates can be a third of the price during the week as fewer people are willing to travel during this time and so companies slash prices to ensure airline seats and rooms are booked up.

Book early to increase your chance of free upgrades. Always wanted to get a free upgrade to first class? Booking your flights early is one way to increase your chances of being upgraded. Similarly, you’re more likely to get a room upgrade by booking a hotel early. This trick does require a certain degree of luck – there’s no guarantee you’ll get upgraded, but for the added likeliness it’s still worthwhile. Early bird deals could also mean that you end up making a huge saving overall.  

Take advantage of last minute deals. Whilst booking early can save you money, so can booking last minute. Eager to fill up rooms, many luxury hotels may slash prices the night before making them more affordable. Similarly, you can often get discounts on flights by booking them last minute. This strategy does involve being more impulsive, which some people may not have the ability to do. However, if you have commitments such as work, you could always still book the time off in advance and then wait the week before to choose your destination.

There are sites that specialize in luxury last minute deals. Try perusing these sites to see what may be within your price range.

Splash out on chartered transport. How much does a private jet cost? If you’re buying a jet, it will usually cost you millions, however it’s possible to charter a jet for much cheaper. In fact, you can charter a nine-seater plane for a short flight for $3,100 – when you divide that cost up amongst nine people, it’s fairly reasonable. This could allow you the experience of flying on your own private plane.

Similarly, there are sites that can allow you to charter a yacht for less than a grand. Whilst most billionaire pay millions for this experience, you could have this experience without breaking $1,000. Such yachts could come with a crew, so you don’t have to worry about not knowing how to sail.

Use hotel membership points. Luxury hotel chains such as Marriott have membership schemes that could allow you to afford luxury accommodation. Becoming a member allows you to collect reward points, which you can then spend on hotels. Such hotel chains often have hotels in locations across the world, giving you free pick of your ideal destination. In some cases, you may have to pay a membership fee, which is something worth looking into first.

Try your luck at comping. There are plenty of competitions out there that offer the prize of a free luxury vacation. Some people use a strategy known as ‘comping’, which involves applying to as many competitions as possible in order to get a free vacation. Obviously, there’s no certainty to this strategy, however if you get lucky you could live the life of billionaire without spending anything.

Serious compers may invest some money into this strategy – there are many competitions that require paying to sign up, but these can often have the biggest prizes making the extra investment worthwhile.

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