Luxurious International Trip on a Budget: Is it Possible?

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“Luxury” is a word many budget travelers don’t expect to see in their itineraries. Many of them are fine with staying in affordable hostels, dining at cheap food stalls and eateries, and buying tickets on sale. But once in a while, it’s good to experience a kind of travel you wouldn’t normally allow yourself to indulge in. What do you say about a luxurious trip to Asia or Europe?

You don’t have to be a celebrity or a multimillionaire CEO to enjoy an upper-class international trip. But first off, what does a luxurious travel itinerary looks like? Looking at it can give you an idea of how to plan your first-class trip on a budget.

The Typical First-class Travel Itinerary

While not all first-class travels go on like this, this one is the typical itinerary a millionaire or billionaire tourist follows:

1. Private Jet

Instead of buying economy class tickets, a luxurious traveler just rents a private jet. They usually hire a travel agent to organize their trip for them, but they can also avail an all-inclusive, prearranged tour offered by the private jet company. One example of such is the Four Seasons tour. It’s a 21- to 24-day trip across nine destinations, including Kyoto, Serengeti, Budapest, St. Petersburg, and Paris. Prices start at $163,000 per person.

2. Cruise

Of course, a fancy tourist has to experience both air and sea travel. At one point during their globetrotting, they may also book a cruise along the Panama Canal, for example. There, there’d sail the Galapagos Islands on a privately-chartered, four-night cruise. If they’re traveling with their family, they may choose a more kid-friendly cruise trip, like the Disney cruise.

3. Private Tour

Since rich people are typically private people, they also want to travel amongst themselves only. So they would book a private tour, where their guide can take them to a palace as an actual VIP guest, not simply an onlooker. That once-in-a-lifetime experience is offered in India. The ultra-exclusive tour will take you to a four-night soiree, where you’d attend a party with India’s Royal Family.

4. Five-star Hotel

Without a doubt, a wealthy traveler needs to sleep in style. You’d find them in five-star hotels enjoying the accommodation’s various amenities, such as spas, saunas, yoga classes, and other wellness activities, resting their muscles after a long trip.

Hacks to Enjoy a Luxurious International Trip on a Budget

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Before choosing a destination and creating an itinerary, it’s essential to manage your expectations first. To expect a private jet, a privately-chartered cruise, and an ultra-exclusive activity would be unrealistic. But who says luxury means private and exclusive alone?

Real luxury is achieved through the experiences you’d seek. It doesn’t necessarily require hefty spending. Instead of exploring Asia on a private jet, DIY your trip and choose less fancy destinations, but just as beautiful. Thailand, for example, is a common destination of rich travelers, but also of budget backpackers. So create a Thailand itinerary including the country’s most iconic attractions, such as Bangkok and Koh Samui. Exploring those places is totally doable without an expensive private tour guide.

But to have a genuine luxurious travel experience, you must swap Airbnbs or hostels for actual hotels. It doesn’t have to be a five-star one, of course, but somewhere in the middle of simple and royalty. An example of such accommodation is the hotels near Singapore’s Changi Airport. If you’ve already been to Singapore, you know that their airport alone is already a stunner. The place is a tourist attraction in itself, so the hotels near it won’t disappoint.

Another hack is to book your travel during the off-season. If you’re going to Boracay, Philippines, set the date of your trip between mid-July and October. The only catch in an off-peak season trip is the weather; you may encounter rains and flight delays. Still, it’s worth a shot. Just check the weather forecasts before finalizing your trip!

If you also want to take a cruise, buy your tickets during a promotional season. It starts in January and lasts through March. You can book the cruise along with your desired hotel during that period for less.

Don’t throw away the idea of booking a travel agent as well. They’re experts in organizing trips that align with their client’s budget. They are entitled to discounts in places ordinary tourists aren’t. With their help, you may find yourself staying in a four-star accommodation, enjoying a complimentary buffet breakfast. And you paid only a fraction of the price!

Considering all these, a luxury trip is totally doable without an unlimited budget. It may be pricier than your typical travels, but it’s just a once-in-a-while experience anyway. It’s an investment for yourself, promising priceless experiences.

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