Luxury doesn’t have to be expensive. I am constantly asked how I afford to travel so much. I travel often and if I can help it fly business or first class as my preferred class of travel. Who doesn’t want to fly at the point end of the plane? No I am not rich, no I don’t have a trust fund and no I’m not paid to travel. For my secrets on travel in luxury on a budget, keep reading…
Join a frequent flyer program – NOW
Airlines are more likely to upgrade you if you are a member of their program. Given that almost all airlines offer free memberships this really is a no-brainer. My favourites are Qantas Frequent Flyer program and United’s Mileage Plus Program. The program that is most beneficially to you will really depend on where you are based. Through frequent flyer programs and the points they offer, I have been able to travel in business or first class from Australia to Canada, the US and Europe. All within a year.
Join a hotel membership program
Similar to airlines, hotels reward their most frequent travellers and those most loyal to their brand. Hotels will offer free late check outs, room upgrades and even free nights. Joining these membership programs is almost always free so there really is nothing to lose.
Sign up for credit cards
In recent years, the sign up bonuses offered by credit card companies are incredible. Depending on when you sign up and which company you sign up to, some companies are offering significant signup bonuses. I recently signed up with American Express and received 110,000 points for doing so, as long as the minimum spend requirements were met. To put this in perspective, the number of points required for a business class flight from Sydney to Europe starts from 115,000. Obviously credit cards aren’t for everyone. You should consider your own circumstances and if this is for you. For those that are comfortable, credit cards are an easy way to accumulate points quickly.
If you must travel on a particular date you are less likely to score a great deal. If you are able to change you dates by even a day or two you could potential save yourself hundreds of dollars.
Look for error flights
Every now and again error flights are sold. Keep an eye out for these. Error prices occur when incorrect information is included in the systems. If the ticket is issued before the airline realises the error that you have snagged a bargain. If the ticket isn’t issued when they realise, a refund will be issued. Again, being flexible is key to scoring a bargain.
You are more likely to get access to better deals if you are booking in advance. Using sites like Skyscanner and signing up for notifications on your preferred route and date of travel, you will be notified when you flight goes down (or up) in price.
Sign up for airline newsletters
Airlines are more likely to reward those that are loyal to them. Go to your favourite airlines and sign up for their newsletters. You will be the first to be notified when the airline offers specials.
PIN IT FOR LATER
Do you have any tips to share? How do you keep the costs down but still travel in luxury?