If you’re looking for spa and five star hotel recommendations here, then sorry, you’re in the wrong place. I may be fashionable, but I’m still a backpacker – and there’s no shame in that. Some of the most beautiful and fun things you can do in this world a free. Even back home in the UK a £5 Nandos was pretty much my favourite activity (Gosh I miss Nandos). I’m very inventive though and I’ve come up with some tips to make your budget trip that little bit chicer – and remember, luxury is a state of mind.*
1. Take a little luxury with you
Whether it’s a Bella Freud top, your favourite beauty product or even a mini Diptyque candle – put it in your backpack and take it with you. A little item that won’t take up much space can give you a taste of the creature comforts you’re used to and make you feel that bit more glam.
2. Hunt for online deals
Want to visit that hotel, restaurant, spa or gallery? Then a quick google search can bring up any discounts or deals. If you’re a student and have a valid card then that can also open up a whole world of discounts. Websites like OpenTable, AmazonLocal and Mr & Mrs Smith can get you great deals on loads of things – even Michelin starred meals. You’d be surprised at how much money you can save.
3. Airport lounges – Economy flight, first class wait
My mum turned me on to this one – you don’t need a business class ticket to use the airport lounge. In most airports you can buy access separately for as little as £15. If you have a long layover, or a particularly long flight then a little luxury can be a welcome break. A comfy seat, free wifi, plug sockets,unlimited drinks and food are some of the things you can
rinse take advantage of. If you’re clever you can create a meal for later too… sneaky.
4. Feast & Famine
This way of life is nothing new to me… it’s a trick I employed as an unpaid intern in London. Feast and famine. Which is, going through days living on a pittance in order to have a blow-out on something of your choice. I used to (still do) like clothes more than… anything, so I’d scrimp in other areas like buying cheap food, travelling by bike rather than tube and not drinking too much. This miserly attitude for the most part meant I had moments of luxury. While travelling, I’ll eat the cheapest street food and not buy souvenirs so that I can have the odd nice meal or night in a hotel. For you you might not mind sleeping in the grottiest hostels if it means you can go clubbing or, I dunno, snorkelling. Sacrifice = Treat.
5. Make use of the off season
Hey, you’ve got all the time in the world! There’s no rush. During school holidays and the hottest times of year places will up their prices, flights will be more costly and your destination will be crawling with holiday-makers. A benefit of going off-peak is that you’ll get a less stressful, busy and expensive trip. Also a huge tip is if you’re planning a RTW trip – don’t fly right after Christmas. This is when everyone makes their big exit, must be new year’s resolutions. Wait until February and you’ll save hundreds.
Air BnB has really taken off over the past few years and it’s easy to see why – it’s a great concept! Plus some of the houses and apartments that are available to stay in are seriously sleek. You can get an Air BnB for a reasonable price, why not stay just one night in a cool city centre apartment – that way your outlay is minimal, you get a taste of the high life and you’ll always have your memories of that soft double bed while snoozing in your hostel bunkbed.
* Unless you’re a Kardashian, then it’s a reality (show).