The way I travel has changed a lot over the last couple of years. When I first started writing about my adventures across the globe, I could easily class myself as a budget traveller because nine times out of ten I would fly in economy and stay in hostels. The thing is, I still do those things, it’s just that now I do it maybe 50% of the time instead.
It’s not disingenuous of me to share my top tips for booking with a budget airline and then review a 5* hotel because I could experience both of those things in one trip, but it means I’m travelling in a totally different way to how I used to. It’s not that I have to identify the sort of traveller I am, but I think there’s plenty of people doing the same thing and I’ve started referring to it in a certain way:
It’s about understanding what you want to spend your holiday budget on and shifting the focus off certain areas. It means you get the trip you want, with no regrets or ‘I wish I’d done that’ thoughts. This approach sums up every trip I go on and actually makes planning much easier when I know how much I’m willing to allocate to what. This is just a few ways Flexible Luxury has come into play in my recent and upcoming travel plans:
When I don’t want to waste money on inner city travel
I love a city break and the best way to see a new place is on foot, so if time is short, I need somewhere central to stay. I’m desperate to visit Lisbon soon, and by being flexible with my travel dates I can get there on a reasonably priced flight which means accommodation can be a little more comfortable, whilst not wasting money on an expensive hotel I’ll hardly spend any time in. Clickstay* specialise in rental properties with more of a premium feel which is perfect for a flexible luxury traveller. Their selection of chic city apartments in Lisbon ticks all my boxes of being centrally located whilst not having to sleep in a stranger’s spare room!
When I’m flying a really long way
Last Christmas, I flew to New Zealand in economy, and let me tell you that that is never happening again. As my boyfriend’s family live there, it’s likely that I’ll be going back every couple of yeas, with out next trip planned for the end of 2019. With this in mind, we’ve already started saving for business class flights to save our collective sanity. As we’ll be staying with people we know, our accommodation costs will stay love, so our hard-earned pennies are much better being spent on the ability to actually lie down for the 24 hour flight.
When there’s a fancy meal I want to eat
I knew that a two-week trip to Japan was going to be more expensive than any other trip to Asia I’d made before, but when I realised I could get to Kobe to eat real, authentic Kobe beef, I started to allocate a chunk of my holiday savings to one specific meal. Travelling with friends who didn’t want to fork out for this meant figuring out how I could still do the trip we’d planned as a group, including the agreed budgets for accommodation and cross-country travel, so that other people didn’t have to compromise because of me. I knew that the meal I wanted was a priority worth figuring out.
When there’s an activity I really want to do
Although backpacking in New Zealand can be super affordable, there’s a huge variety of adrenalin-seeking activities that you’ll probably want to do which cost a pretty penny. I cooked dinner in whichever hostel I was staying in most nights, in order to be able to aplurge £100+ on hiking the Franz Josef glacier and throwing myself off the world’s biggest swing in Queenstown. The endless veggie curries and cheese sandwiches were worth it for those once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
My costs of living is high, what with being in London, and my desire to travel shows no sign of slowing down, but I’m in the fortunate enough position that I have some disposable income to put towards a trip. There’s no need to travel the same way with every single destination and by introducing flexibility rather than compromise, I always get the trip I want.
So, what do you think? How do you bring flexible luxury into your travels? Let me know in the comments!