I always like to say it’s the little things on a trip that can make a tightly budgeted getaway feel more like a vacation and less like a get-out-of-jail free card. Finding and making the most of those little things requires some looking ahead. Here are some tips for squeezing out a few budget luxuries on your next trip.
How about some free reading material so you have plenty to read on the road? Here’s a tip: authors have free Kindle books posted almost every day. Amazon also does special promotion on not only Kindle books but games too. You don’t have to have a kindle to read the books – there are kindle apps for your iPad, smart phone, and also desktop apps if you happen to be planning on bringing your laptop. Just keep an eye out a few weeks before the trip, and stock up!
Another idea is to stop by your local Boots or pharmacy and pick up some nice toiletries. At sample sizes (since we still have to deal with those pesky airport regulations), you won’t be spending a fortune, and a nice pack of soap make a foreign hotel shower just that little bit more comfortable.
You should also check out Groupon from time to time before your trip. They have more deals in America than elsewhere, and I don’t personally do a lot of shopping from them, but just today I picked up 2-for-1 theatre tickets and they are growing their international offerings. They often have restaurant deals or fun items like cupcakes or spa treatments. Just be sure to read the fine print and ensure the deal will be valid when you’re visiting!
What’s my favourite luxury while travelling? Sleeping in. Yes, a hotel room is not just a luggage locker, so don’t be afraid to book in to your schedule some time to just relax. You don’t have to see everything.
Walking is another great way to see a city, and parks are always free. Great views, people watching, architecture spotting, and maybe you’ll stumble on a great cafe. Just wear some comfy shoes so you don’t end up getting blisters or really sore feet, as that isn’t much of a luxury!
When it comes to food and drink, I like to check out a local grocery store. They can be a fun, sometimes hysterical glimpse into local culture. Plus you can grab snacks and a bevvy or two on the cheap. If you don’t feel like diving in or feel overwhelmed at the check out, you could always just see if there are any good local happy hours or specials – a prix fixe menu can shave a good amount off your nightly bill.
Leave a comment below – what are your budget luxuries?
Photo by mynameisharsha
Posted : Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012 at 10:00
Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.