Travel Hacks: 15 Travel Bloggers Share Their Favorite Tips On Making Luxury Travel More Affordable

In Travel Tips

Most people dream of luxury travel. They think that luxury, five-star hotels in the world’s most exotic destinations is something that is reserved only for the wealthy and the celebrities.

Fortunately, that can’t be further from the truth.

Ever since the introduction of the Internet and digital technologies in the travel industry, finding deals became incredibly easy.

You no longer have to rely on travel agencies and other third-parties to book your travels for you.

However, the convenience of the Internet also created some problems such as:

  • having too many deals to choose and becoming overwhelmed
  • constantly changing prices based on the amount of times you viewed a certain travel deal
  • wondering which booking platform is the most accurate and trust-worthy
  • and many more…

But fortunately, there is always a way to overcome these inconveniences by using certain tricks and strategies that will allow you to travel both luxuriously and in an affordable way.

In order to make this list as detailed as possible, I reached out to some of the most experienced travel bloggers and asked them the following question:

What is your favorite luxury travel hack?

Luckily, most of them were in a sharing mood.

Here is what they had to say.

Found these travel hacks useful? If yes, click here and download our pdf checklist that will help you keep track of the different travel hacks you apply.

Paul Johnson, A Luxury Travel Blog


Look out for cheap flights, special offers and deals, and mistake fares. There are even sometimes error fares with first and business class seats. #luxury #travel #holiday #lifestyle #hack Click To Tweet

Look out for cheap flights, special offers and deals, and mistake fares. There are even sometimes error fares with first and business class seats.

These happen surprisingly often and there are lots of resources  to help you find them.

Take a look at websites such as Secret Flying, Airfare Watchdog, Scott’s Cheap Flights, Skyscanner, The Flight Deal, I Want That Flight, Fly4Free, FareCompare, Google Flights, Jack’s Flight Club and more, the forums at FlyerTalk can also be helpful.

And by saving money on your flights, it means you can splurge on your actual stay.

Charles McCool, McCool Travel

An obvious luxury travel hack is to redeem points for free or upgraded stays. Click To Tweet

An obvious luxury travel hack is to redeem points for free or upgraded stays.

I am guessing that topic has been beaten to death so I will propose something a little more challenging, especially when you do not have the points or want to save them for a better value.

I like to find sweet spots in luxury property pricing rates that are amazing deals for me. It really takes research though because there is no one single tip to offer.

Some places (like luxury hotels in big cities) may have relatively inexpensive weekend rates, because business travelers stay Sunday to Thursday.

Other luxury properties may slash their rates on a certain date, like maybe January 16 in the Caribbean.

It really pays (saves) to be flexible with your trip planning.

One other possibility is to find negotiated group rates, like I cover in my Ritz-Carlton Discounts article.

Ana, MrsOAroundTheWorld

My favourite travel hack is actually google flights Click To Tweet

My favourite travel hack is actually google flights – it’s amazing how it gives you extra information and how your flight can halve in price if you leave a day later and even from a different (nearby) airport.

We recently started flying from Manchester airport on long haul trips as we in one trip we had a saving alone of £6000 each.

Priya Vin, OutsideSuburbia

Plan holidays in advance and be flexible about the destination. After all, the world is huge! Click To Tweet

We are a family with young adults and we love to travel together – which means we juggle work, college and school schedules to find that sweet spot where a vacation timeframe works for all of us.

We don’t have the luxury of traveling during off peak or shoulder season so we plan our holiday in advance and are flexible about our destinations.  After all the world is huge and there are so many wonderful places to explore and experience.

Airline tickets are usually purchased months in advance.  For a recent trip to India, we bought business class tickets for the 4 of us three months prior and were flexible about the route.

We were able to find tickets to Chennai through Hong Kong for a price of an Economy fare to HKG if we had bought the tickets a month before the trip. The best days to book flights are usually Tuesday and Wednesday.

Airline sites cache the searches, so deleting your cookies regularly when searching for flights will also help getting cheaper fares.

We love to stay at nice hotels because if you are not well rested then it ruins the entire trip.

We are loyal to our favorite Hotel brands, be it Taj Hotels or Four Seasons or boutique Relais & Châteaux properties.

Being a frequent member gives you access to upgrades if available and other perks and amenities. We arrange our stay through the hotel directly and ask for connecting rooms or suites.  We arrange for transportation from the airport through the hotel which also helps cut down arrival time and makes it hassle free.

We don’t splurge on fancy restaurants on Michelin star menus but spend the money on activities.

At least one per trip that will be memorable like a private beach picnic in a remote island in Bora Bora, a lunch with Mediterranean view at the famous Hotel Eden Roc or a hot air balloon safari in the Serengeti because that one memory will be what you remember most about the trip.

Vicky, VickyFlipFlopTravels

Make sure to delete your cookies on your computer when you're browsing for luxury travel deals. Click To Tweet

Make sure to delete your cookies on your computer when you’re browsing for luxury travel deals.

If you keep them in your browsing history, the website can track how many times you’ve visited, and when, and using clever data algorithms will know when you’re ready to book and could charge you more.

Frequent visits to a website can drive the prices up, meaning you end up with a higher bill than the first time you looked.

Delete cookies, or browse using an incognito window to ensure you’re getting the best price.

Alesha and Jarred, Nomadasaurus

One of our ultimate luxury travel hacks is to travel in the off season. Click To Tweet

One of our ultimate luxury travel hacks is to travel in the off season. If you are travelling somewhere popular at the busiest time of the year many hotels will be fully booked for months in advance, and they can keep their prices high due to the demand.

But if you choose to visit in the quieter months the occupancy level is usually much lower, and hotels will put together special deals to entice people to come stay at their property.

You might be able to find accommodation for half the price, or even less, and sometimes they’ll even throw in bonuses like free meals, spa treatments or other activities.

Plus, you’ll get to experience an amazing destination without the crowds.

Dave and Deb, ThePlanetD

Our favorite luxury travel hack is using our Platinum American Express Card for everything. We rack up points fast and use them towards our travels. Click To Tweet

Our favorite luxury travel hack is using our Platinum American Express Card for everything. We rack up points fast and use them towards our travels.

The card has a high fee here in Canada $699 per year, but the perks outweigh the price. We get excellent free travel insurance for up to 2 weeks of travel at a time.

We get instant gold status at Hilton, Club Carlson, SPG and Marriott. Gold automatically gives us instant room upgrades, automatic early check in and late checkout and extra perks like free breakfast and Internet.

Our platinum American Express also gives us free lounge access to Priority Pass/Plaza Premium Lounges around the world regardless of what airline we fly. We also get a $200 yearly travel credit. We find that all these perks more than make up for the fee.

By having all these perks and then hundreds of dollars per year in travel points that we build quickly by using our card for purchaes, we really can travel in luxury from access to the airport lounges, room upgrades and money to put towards a more expensive vacation with our rewards.

Disclosure: we used to work with American Express in the past. We haven’t worked with them for at least 5 years, but it was doing our work with them, that introduced us to the benefits. We now keep our card and pay the annual fee because we love it so much.

Gary Arndt, Everything Everywhere

get a hotel credit card which offers a free night stay! Click To Tweet

I don’t often stay in luxury hotels, but one of the easiest and most affordable ways to do it is to get a hotel credit card which offers a free night stay. The IHG card for example, gives you a free night stay every year, for only a $45 annual fee. The free night can be used on rooms which go for well over $200/night. I used my free night last week in New York on a room that would have cost me over $250. If you are traveling with someone else, you can use both your nights to get an affordable weekend for a fraction of the price.

Christina Vidal, JetsetChristina 

I love using Instagram for travel planning Click To Tweet

My favorite hack when it comes to booking flights online is to always try from a different ‘location’, so for example instead of having Skyscanner search from USA for flights, I’ll change it to Canada and search again.

I almost always find a few cheaper options that way!

Another hack I love to use is Instagram for travel planning – I’ll bookmark my favorite hotels, restaurants, and destinations that I see pop up on my feed, and sort them by location, so then when it comes to planning a trip to that location, I have loads of recommendations at my fingertips!

Josh, CaliforniaThroughMyLens

My favorite luxury travel hack is signing up for a credit card with good rewards. Click To Tweet

My favorite luxury travel hack is signing up for a credit card with good rewards.

To fund a lot of our travels we put normal expenses on the credit card, pay it off every month (this is a must), then transfer the points to airline or hotel companies to pay for flights and hotel nights.

The deals that credit card companies offer change frequently, and using sites like ThePointsGuy.com can help you stay on top of the best cards. Just in 2019, there was a deal for a Southwest card that included a companion pass (free flights for your partner for the rest of the year), so it can be very helpful to find a good card that has the right benefits for your travel style.

Bino, iWandered

First, check that it is off-season in the destination. Next, ask the hotel directly if they can provide additional discount. Click To Tweet

First of all, I would check and note that it’s off-season in that particular destination.

I would then write in the hotel to ask if they can provide any more discount on top of the rate that I see online.

I do so without divulging that I am a travel blogger.

Most are happy to offer to adjust the rate slightly – especially with independent hotels.

Keith Jenkins, VelvetEscape

Sign up for membership/newsletters of favorite travel brands, hotels and airlines. Subscribe to Error Fare sites. Click To Tweet

Sign up for membership and/or newsletters of your favourite travel brands, hotels and airlines for special offers and member discounts. Signing up as a member of a hotel/airline also allows you to collect points for free stays/flights, upgrades and other perks.

Use online travel agencies to search for accommodations but always check the accommodation’s own website as well, as there may be special offers, packages or extra’s which may not be offered via the OTA.

Use Google Flights to find the best/cheapest flight options. I love using the date bar which you can move left/right to find the cheapest days to fly. The differences from day to day can sometimes be huge.

Subscribe to Error Fare sites to get a notification of any new error fares. Error fares can be incredibly cheap (especially for Business/First Class fares) but keep in mind that an airline may choose not to honour the fare, or they may present a less attractive option.

Carmen, CarmensLuxuryTravel

Compare booking direct with a hotel vs a discount website! Click To Tweet

The Chase Sapphire Credit Card is really amazing in terms of building up points for travel, but also getting into luxury lounges at airports around the world.

Overall, my main travel hack is to really book ahead and compare booking direct with a hotel vs a discount website.

Sometimes those discount websites aren’t as discounted as you think, and booking direct can put you in line for an upgrade or welcome treat.

Becky Moore, GlobalGrasshopper

I’ve signed up to Jack’s Flight Club to get his newsletter on savings on flights. Click To Tweet

I’ve signed up to Jack’s Flight Club to get his newsletter on savings on flights and so far I’ve been very impressed. Sometimes airlines arrange secret sales, have solid price drops, or even simply make a mistake on a fare.

When such things happen, it becomes possible to get tickets up to 90% cheaper than their regular price.

Jack very kindly alerts you to these and can pass on some great savings to destinations all over the world.

Aftab, Fresh And Fearless

I use my British Airways American Express card to pay for everything day to day, slowly collecting a vast number of Avios points. Click To Tweet

My favourite way of getting the best luxury travel deals is pretty simple.

I use my British Airways American Express card to pay for everything day to day, slowly collecting a vast number of Avios points.

Using these air miles, I redeem them against long haul flights and upgrades too.

When it comes to hotels, I compare different sites, including the hotel site itself — as more often than not they have deals to try and get customers to book directly. You may even get a free upgrade if you book directly!

Conclusion

Thank you so much to everyone of these amazing luxury travel influencers.  This really turned into a quite valuable informational resource, which everyone can start applying in their travels immediately.

Also, to make things even better, I created a cool and free checklist, which can help you keep track of the different hacks you apply.

Simply scroll back up until you reach the yellow box, click on the link, fill in your name and email addres and download the checklist immediately.

Now, I want to turn this over to you. Do you have any special tips and tricks on luxury travel, which you may want to share?

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