In our working lives, we’re used to earning money and then exchanging that money for other people’s skills e.g., plumbers, accountants, and travel agents.
People who are in this mindset often spend thousands on escapist holidays. They often pay more because they’re locked into certain dates and have to get back to work.
When you shift out of that mindset, you can work on learning how to get a high level of travel experience, with some luxury thrown in, at a budget price.
Here are some of the ways.
Living like a king or queen in a cheap country.
There are certain countries and locations that are known for providing luxury services to travellers at 20-25% of what the cost would be in many other locations. Bali is one example. There are so many accommodation options that come with infinity pools, private butlers, drivers and the like. Sri Lanka is an example of where you can hire a personal driver for a very affordable price, usually less than renting a car and self-driving, although it may not qualify as luxury exactly! Cities like Kuala Lumpur have 4 and 5 star hotels for great value, including some that provide that colonial style of luxury experience at the same price you might expect to pay for a chain business hotel in the US, Australia, New Zealand, or the UK.
The skill of complaining.
I used to be too shy to ask for perks or refunds when a problem had occurred. Now I’m more comfortable doing this, but I still get shy sometimes. If there has been a problem, think about what you’d like. For example, if the wifi is down in your room, a hotel may offer you some free snacks or beverages for you to consume while you’re working in the lobby. Ask for something that makes sense given the issue e.g., a late checkout if you’ve been unable to get work done earlier due to wifi issues.
If you arrive to find the pool closed for repairs, why not ask for an upgrade to a room with a hot tub, or ask if you can use the pool at a sister property that might be more luxurious than the one you’re staying at. Sometimes a hotel that doesn’t have a gym, may have gym passes they can give guests for 1 day access to a nearby gym. Politely asking can yield results.
The most common upgrade I’ve experienced is on rental cars. More often than not, I book a small car and am then told that small cars are not available. Sometimes I don’t feel like this is really much of an upgrade as I end up with a car that’s more difficult to park in small spots and has worse gas mileage. Still sometimes the extra bit of luxury when upgraded to an SUV is quite nice.
Do some reading on the types of situations that are likely to result in upgrades and which ones are tougher. You can then target the most likely options. Remember never to count on an upgrade. The people who pay premium prices are those that need the guarantee. If you’re happy either way, you might just end up with that upgrade from time to time.