by Bob Diener
It’s possible to travel in a five-star style while keeping your three or four-star budget if you know the
tricks to saving money and enjoying luxury. When it comes to finding a luxury hotel, you should consider
boutique names. In big cities, five-star hotels can be over $600 a night for the most well-known names.
Boutique hotels can be found for much less, and often provide a more personalized experience with the
same level of luxury touches.
Vacation rentals can be another way to have a luxurious trip. If you have a large family or group, then
the economics of a luxury home rental can make sense, providing you with the chance to get a full
kitchen, living room and more for the costs of several rooms at the closest five-star hotel. Grab a luxury
condo in the trendiest section of New York City or rent a house with a giant pool in Orlando.
Tips for traveling in style:
• Dress the part. Dressing well helps you to feel like you are outside of your normal routine.
Putting on a nice coat and tie for a fancy dinner can make the food and the entire experience
more luxurious. Perhaps you’ll also get a free hotel room upgrade at the front desk if you look
like someone that will throw around some cash.
• Splurge wisely. While it might not be in your budget to pay an extra $1,000 a night for the
penthouse suite upgrade, you can splurge smartly to enjoy luxury. Consider a spa or massage
appointment at the start of your trip to immediately get your mind set on relaxation and
pampering. If you have a long layover in the airport, then pay the fee to get into an airport
lounge to enjoy snacks, good chairs, and some escape from the crowd. Most will allow you in for
a daily fee.
Where should you go for the ultimate luxury trip?
There are of course hundreds of great luxury destinations and tips on finding the right hotel, but here’s several
to get you started in the right direction.
• Roll the dice and head to Vegas. Five-star properties such as Wynn Las Vegas and Bellagio can
be had for less than $160 a night (Sunday to Thursday), which is a fraction of the cost for smaller
rooms in other cities such as NYC or Chicago. Travel during the slow mid-summer and winter
timeframes for even better deals.
• Find unpublished deals at Getaroom.com. Many luxury hotels have excess inventory of rooms
that they want to sell, but they don’t want public prices to dip too low. Unpublished rates via
Getaroom.com are exactly what the name implies, rates that aren’t found anywhere else that
are typically 10 to 20% cheaper than regular rates. You need to call getaroom.com to access
these as they can’t publish them.
• Visit an off-the-grid location. Affordable luxury can be found in cities such as Dubrovnik in
Croatia or the high-class resorts of Bali. Explore the natural wonders of Iceland or the jungles
and hospitality of Vietnam – the point is to consider luxury destinations beyond the usual
suspects. Berlin has become a top trendy destination in Europe and luxury prices are still much
lower than most major cities.
• Consider a luxury cruise. While lines such as Crystal and Regent do typically have higher daily
rates than other lines, they often include beverages, excursions, and other items. Do a true
comparison of costs and you might see the luxury line is attainable for your budget, while
providing a better guest-to-crew ratio, tastier food, and more peace and quiet.
• Blend luxury with adventure. A luxurious trip doesn’t have to mean high tea and top hats. Many
resorts offer guests the option to engage in zip lines or other similar activities during the day,
and pampering at night. Some safari outfitters feature the chance to see wildlife while eating
extravagant meals and staying in very comfortable “tent” accommodations. On my honeymoon,
I stayed in a tent in the Masai Mara with room service and a Jacuzzi!
Bob Diener: With more than 25 years experience in the travel industry, Bob Diener has been a pioneer in the hotel consolidation and online travel industry. Diener is the President and Co-Founder of the newest online travel site www.getaroom.com, specializing in offering travelers the best rooms at the best values.