Some of us have goals to travel, and some of us have goals to travel in style. That said, most people settle for less when it comes to traveling goals. They either stop short of a big trip altogether or, only book bare necessities. The second can leave your trip feeling like a Boy Scout trip. Don’t get me wrong the scouts are great, but we are going to Paris, right?! Jokes aside, here are 3 secrets to traveling in style, without breaking the bank.
1.) Value Yourself
This may seem a bit frothy, but hear me out. I’ve been traveling for the better part of my life, and historically I don’t think I deserve the nicer hotel or cooler restaurant. The truth is, you do deserve these things, and they will add to the enjoyment of your trip. Especially if you are traveling abroad. Traveling outside your home country can be daunting and a formidable host can be the difference between a dream trip or a “don’t” trip. I am not suggesting you spend your kid’s college fund or retirement money for concierge service, but I am suggesting that you are worth every dollar spent, don’t ruin a trip of a lifetime to save $500 a week.
2.) Evaluate the Options
After reading secret one, you may be tempted to run to Ritz-Carlton.com, but before you do, evaluate the options. Search alternative lodging websites as well. You could be a couple of ‘clicks’ from an amazing 3 bedroom stone house in Provençal France. (At half the price per night the Ritz would charge.) And here is a secret within a secret. When you’re on these sites, look for reviews and also contact the owner before you book. Trust your gut, if something seems wrong, it is wrong and don’t book. The point is to look at alternative lodging. Also, use these sites to book alternative activities, for example, my last trip to Paris, I rented a photographer for 2 hours. It cost 150 Euro, but we whizzed around Paris and got some first-class shots that left people back home breathless.
3.) Pack SUPER Light
I understand and have been there. I need 10 pairs of shoes to come on a 14 day trip. That’s comically untrue. Here’s the thing about packing SUPER light. Leave room in your luggage for purchased items, like shoes, clothing, and hats, yes hats. Here’s why, and why it saves money. Whenever a person travels they always want to buy souvenirs, they usually get something small and cheap. Let’s stay in France for this example. A small replica of la Tour Eiffel and a tiny lavender pillow. You needed to buy something, but it had to be small and cheap, wrong. If you leave room in your luggage and you shop where the locals shop, you can buy a lovely sweater for 20 euro and take it home instead. What’s the difference between the little tower/pillow and the sweater? The tower will get lost or lose its charm and the pillow will lose its scent. The sweater you can always wear, and then when someone asks where you got it, you can say, “Paris, of course.” This is a specific example, but I assure you that shopping when taking big trips is an investment to your experience. So, leave room for classy purchases, so you don’t need to ship your 20 euro sweater home.
I hope these little secrets help. Read my next blog about planning a trip to France.