How To Travel Like a Millionaire…On a Budget

You don’t have to be a millionaire to travel like a millionaire. When it comes to high-end travel, there are lot of tricks for lowering the price, while keeping the quality high. Here are just a few tricks that could help you to save money on luxury travel.

Get discounts on first class flight seats

Always wanted to travel first class, but assumed you can’t afford it? Travelling first class is often very expensive, however there are some ways to dramatically lower the cost.

The first option is to use airline points. When flying with a certain airline multiple times, you can collect air miles which can help you to build points. These points can be put towards flights, resulting in discounts. It’s also possible to buy points directly from airline companies – you could put these towards first class tickets and save money overall.

The second option is to buy an economy ticket and hope you get upgraded to first or business class. There’s no certainty that this will happen, however you can maximise your chances of it happening. Here are just a few ways to increase your chances of getting upgraded from economy to first/business class.

·         Travel at the weekend: Although you’ll spend more for an economy ticket, there are often more empty business class seats at the weekend – and therefore more potential for an upgrade.

·         Travel solo: While there can often be multiple empty seats in first/business class, there may sometimes be only one seat left. You’re more likely to be chosen to be given this seat if you’re travelling solo.

·         Dress smart: There’s no dress code for first or business class, however you’re less likely to be upgraded if you’re dressed scruffily. Dressing a little smarter could maximise your chances of getting picked.

·         Ask for an upgrade: You may also be able to simply ask for an upgrade. If you’re friendly and polite about it – and there are free seats available – some airlines will look into it and upgrade you.

·         Give up your seat: Occasionally a plane can be overbooked. Passengers are then expected to give up their seat and wait until the next flight. In these situations, you may be able to volunteer to give up your seat in exchange that you fly first class on the next flight – most airlines will be willing to do this, given the inconvenience caused.  

·         Complain: If you complain, you may also be more likely to get an upgrade. Of course, the reason for your complaint needs to be something valid – perhaps you ended up in a broken seat or next to a rowdy passenger.

Charter a private jet

Of course, some millionaires don’t even travel first class. They take things one step further and take a private jet.

Unfortunately, owning a private jet isn’t cheap. As the top 5 lowest cost jets prove, you’re not going to buy a jet for anything less than a million dollars. However, there is a cheaper alternative.

Chartering a jet can cost a fraction of the price – this involves hiring out a jet to yourself for an hourly rate. Large private jets can cost up to $8000 per hour, but smaller private jets can cost less than $2000. Considering some small jets can carry up to 8 passengers, you may be able to split this cost and make chartering a lot more affordable. In fact, you could spend less than travelling first class in a commercial jet.

Go five star in a cheap location

As for accommodation, most millionaires like to go five star. This can be $1000 per night in some five star hotels – however this isn’t always the case.

By carefully considering where you travel, you may be able to experience five star service for a fraction of this cost. Go to Bali, Brussels, Panama or Dubai and you’ll find five star hotels costing less than $150 per night.

Avoid destinations with a long history of being deemed ‘luxurious’ – these are often the most overpriced. A few examples include Sicily, New York, Venice and the Cayman Islands.

Time your travel right

One way in which you can make significant savings is by also travelling out of season. Five star hotel room rates can cost as much as half the price out of season in some places around the world, whilst first class flight tickets can also be heavily discounted.

Summer is peak season in most locations (except ski resorts and typical winter destinations). Christmas and other holidays also tend to push prices up. By avoiding these times, you can get better rates.


Charter a yacht

It’s not just private jets that you can charter but also private yachts. A few days in a private yacht could be a perfect way to add some luxury to your trip – and it needn’t be too expensive.

It’s possible to charter a yacht for as little as $800 a week. However, this boat will be small, won’t have a motor engine and you won’t get a crew (which means you’ll need to know how to sail). For a medium-sized motor yacht with a crew, you may be able to pay $4000 for a week. This sounds a lot, but split between a group of friends, it could be quite affordable. You’ll get to decide your route and you may even get people to wait on you.

Treat yourself to one day of luxury

If all this still works out too expensive, there could be another way to get a taste of luxury travel – try travelling like a millionaire for a day only.

This could involve staying in a cheap hotel for a few days and then splashing out on a first class hotel suite for the last night. You could even book yourself a limousine to the airport the next morning.

This one day blowout could be the perfect way to end a honeymoon. Alternatively, this could be a fun surprise if someone has their birthday on the last day of your vacation.


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