This may seem like an oxymoron; how can you have a cheap luxury holiday?! But it is possible. How? We’re going to let you in on a few secrets!

Consider the rainy season

I know what you’re thinking, why would you consider going in the rainy season to a destination you’ve dreamed of? We went to the Maldives in October which was deemed Monsoon season (this typically runs between May and November). Yes, we did see a fair amount of rain, but there was minimal impact to our trip. The average temperature at this time of year is still 27 – 29 degrees (it doesn’t change outside of this much) but mostly it was hot and sunny and the showers, even occasional downpours, did not dampen our trip in the least, nor did it ruin any activities or excursions.

Maldives Travel Guide

A lot of hot and tropical destinations have climates like this, either permanently or seasonally, and with such climates comes a lot of showers and rainfall. However, for us Brits, it’ll not register for the most part as they’re more incremental and shorter lived – it also helps to clear humidity in the air. But it does mean that prices to these gorgeous destinations are more palatable when visiting in the rainy season.  

Finding the quiet season

We live in the UK, most of the destinations we consider a pipedream have gorgeous weather for a good chunk of the year. Assuming you’re flexible on dates (and not reliant on the school calendar), you can often bag yourself a good deal if your planned trip occurs during term time both at home and away. Commonly, trips in September/early October and Christmas/January can be quite favourable times to get away.

With so much information readily available, it can be easy to determine the cheapest time of year to visit the most desirable locations. Start by searching for your destination in mind and ‘cheapest time to visit’, then determine what the weather is like at that time of year and finally the excursions or experiences you can expect from fellow travellers and local residents. If it ticks the boxes all round, it’s time to book!

How to get word of a good deal

It’s always a good idea to follow a few travel companies on your favourite social channel to be kept abreast of a good deal, as well as signing up to newsletters. I’ve seen some pretty good deals across Hays, Affordable Luxury Travel and Secret Escapes. It’s also worth following your favourite travel company too, such as TUI, Virgin Holidays and Kuoni as on occasion you will get an unbelievable deal with them.

Note: with Secret Escapes they get a lot of new hotel deals where hotels are testing their service before full opening or are looking to fill their calendar for the first few months of opening. As such, you can often find a really good last-minute and luxury offer with them.  

Additionally, if you have a particular time of year you’re looking to travel, it is worth bearing in mind that the flights for most destinations are released 11 months in advance. This is when you’ll typically find the best deals for your trips, as flight prices historically become more expensive the closer to the travel time (whereas it use to be better to plan last minute). Spend a little time researching expected prices before heading to the travel agents so you have something to benchmark their offer against.

The art of compromise

If there is somewhere you’ve always dreamed of going but couldn’t justify the cost of a room for the duration of your trip, there is a way to have your cake and eat it!

luxury holidays on a budget

Hawaii, for example, is seen as a luxury and expensive destination to visit. On my recent trip we visited a few of the islands but it was only on the third and final leg of this particular trip did I have particular resorts in mind; Turtle Bay and Aulani- the Disney resort, both of which are considered to be on the higher end.  To help us make this trip more affordable and offer us the opportunity to stay in the resort of our dreams, we stayed in B&Bs on the first two islands over 10 nights, which was a fraction of the cost of staying at these two resorts for a total of 7 nights. If there is somewhere you’d love to stay, you could look to stay elsewhere, or off-site/in different destinations, before getting an opportunity to stay in the hotels you most want to be in.

Dupe destinations

Although luxury travel is seemingly more unachievable, an additional way to save on the most desirable destinations is to visit their equally beautiful counterparts. Forbes Advisor recently conducted a study that looked into the world’s most popular destinations to find their cheapest alternatives and the savings they offered. If you want to visit the world’s most luxury destinations, but aren’t precious on where these are, this is the list for you.

 1            Bora Bora, French Polynesia, best alternative: Panama. Total saving: £4,921 (75.68%)

2             The Bahamas, best alternative: Curaçao. Total saving: £1,738 (44.95%)

3             Hawaii, U.S., best alternative: Florida, U.S. Total saving: £1,502 (41.43%)

4             Maldives, best alternative: Fiji . Total saving: £643 (28.90%)

5             Lisbon, Portugal, best alternative: Mexico City, Mexico. Total saving £471 (31.80%)

6             Athens, Greece, best alternative: Istanbul, Turkey. Total saving: £327 (25.11%)

7             Paris, France, best alternative: Marseille, France. Total saving: £158 (7.59%)

8             Rome, Italy, best alternative: Cairo, Egypt. Total saving: £128 (8.18%)

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