To say it has been a tough year would be an understatement, and honestly, who knows what the rest of 2020 will throw at us. We ALL deserve a break. We ALL deserve a vacation where we can sit back, relax, and enjoy a little pampering. Unfortunately, a lot of us have taken a financial hit during this pandemic so luxury travel may not be in the cards.
But the good news is that luxury is a relative term and means something different to everyone. It doesn’t have to mean a chartered flight, 5 star resort with butler service, and private tours. Think about what luxury means to you. Is it a few kid free moments sipping wine at the local cafe, a hotel that is a little closer to the city center so you can walk and explore, or a room with a deep tub and plush robes?
Think about one area of your trip where a little extra will have the most impact for you. To get the gears rolling here are some ideas on how to upgrade your vacation without blowing your budget.
Upgrade your plane ticket
For me there is something about business class airfare that makes me feel like a VIP. Usually for less than $100 per person you can upgrade your ticket and enjoy priority boarding and a little more legroom. Even though you are paying for it in the price of your fare, there is just something about the flight attendant pouring my free alcoholic beverage that makes me feel like a jet setter.
Upgrade your room view
If you are visiting a picturesque destination consider paying the extra cost to upgrade your room view. The great thing about this upgrade is that it is not a per person cost, just the one price for the entire room. When you think back on vacations you’ve taken in the past, you seldom remember how much the trip cost, let alone how much you paid for an upgrade, but you always remember the EXPERIENCE. Imagine waking up on a pristine morning and stepping out onto your ocean-front suite enjoying a cup of coffee while listening to the waves roll in, or checking into a room with your family and seeing their excitement over seeing the Eiffel Tower from your balcony. These are incredible, one-of-a-kind experiences that stay with you, perhaps for the rest of your life.
If there is something that you have always wanted to see consider booking a private tour for a day. Leaving on your schedule, spending as much time enjoying something as you would like, taking unexpected detours while also having the expertise of a local and knowledgeable guide. Group guided tours are great, I love having someone to tell me about what I am seeing, but sometimes I want to spend more time enjoying a painting, or shopping in a gift shop than the tour allows. There are some great companies out there that offer private options on some of their most popular tours. Pick one or two of your can’t wait to experience places on your itinerary and schedule a guide for a few hours. You will feel like a VIP.
Make a Signature Dining Reservation
Indulge in a dining experience. I spend most of my time researching or asking my local expert contacts about restaurants where I can have an incredible, authentic meal without paying tourist-area prices. I pack my own snacks, or stop at a local grocery store to save money on eating out when I travel. But at least once a trip I plan an extravagant meal out. One of my most memorable experiences was the Restaurant and Bar at Chateau Eza in Eze on the Cote D’azur in France. We couldn’t afford to stay at the Relais and Chateaux property but we could afford one meal, overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean from above the cliffs, enjoying local delicacies prepared by a Michelin chef. In many places your hotel concierge will have a list of a trusted child care service, you can utilize the kids club, or bring your children with you! I am of the camp that if I don’t take my kids to fine dining establishments they will never learn to behave in one!!
Here are some experiences that some of the world’s top travel bloggers think are worth splurging on.
Book a spa treatment
Another great use of those childcare options is to book a spa treatment at your resort or even a day spa nearby if you are staying at city center hotel without one. The great thing about this option is that you only have to pay for the service for you. It’s not a nightly surcharge like the room, you don’t have to pay for everyone like airline tickets or a meal – it is just for you. A little Mommy Time. If you aren’t comfortable leaving your children in someone else’s care you can trade off with your significant other. Take the kids on an adventure in the morning and allow them to do something important to them and then the afternoon is all for you!
Order Room Service
There is something just so decadent about room service. I recently (in January before the world stopped) went on a bachelorette trip to celebrate my future sister-in-law. I had spent the evening a few nights before in the ER with my daughter, I had a terrible cough and just was not feeling up to a late night of drinking and dancing. I stayed behind at the hotel, put on the plush robe, and ordered myself a steak and a glass of wine. Even though the steak was pretty terrible and I definitely paid a premium for it, I sat in that quiet hotel room ALL BY MYSELF and enjoyed every last bite. Even if you can’t escape the little rascals, you can plan a late morning after a full day of adventures. Let your kids watch some tv when they wake up, take your time enjoying your coffee, and order breakfast in bed. You won’t remember you spent $20 for a fruit bowl but you will remember that time together.
Use a Travel Agent
This is the biggest secret on this list. Not only will you feel like a VIP when you save hours of researching accommodations online and having direct access to someone who can help with your reservation, your Travel Agent is trained to find ways to make you feel special during your trip. Some agents offer complimentary upgrades, others send small gifts of appreciation – the best thing of all is that they do it all at no additional cost.
With just a few hundred extra dollars you could enjoy a little luxury on your next vacation. Still worried that is not in the budget? Or wishing you could upgrade in more than one area? See below for more information on my save for vacation email challenge. We may not be able to travel right now, but if you start saving you can be ready to pay for your vacation in full when travel resumes – with upgrades!
The right plan can completely take you from gathering goldfish dust covered coins from your mini-van to effortless vacation savings —but without knowing how to get started, it’s easy to spin your wheels and not get anywhere! That’s why I’m breaking it down for you clearly and conveniently in this 5 day email challenge, so you can jumpstart your family vacation fund with very little time invested. I help you set up a system based on your budget and travel style while helping you find quick and easy ways to add money without scrimping and saving
Showcase the World is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Showcase the World also participates in other affiliate programs and may earn a commission for purchases made through links on this site.