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Luxury travel tips for the smart traveller

Liberate luxury with our luxury travel tips for the smart travellerLiberating luxury for the smart traveller is central to our ethos. From smart hotels, to premium flights and delectable gourmet dinners, we like to inject a bit of glamour into our global explorations.

And luxury travel doesn’t have to be expensive – if you’re savvy, you can liberate luxury for less than you might expect to spend.

Here are our quick luxury travel tips designed to help make your travels easier, more affordable and stylish. But most importantly turn you into a smart traveller.







Luxury travel deals for the budget conscious smart traveller

Affordable luxury travel deals

Every shrewd, smart traveller looks out for discounts.

So don’t miss our affordable luxury travel deals page and the promo codes mixed in below. They’re highlighted in blue. You can also subscribe to the LiveShareTravel newsletter for more tips, plenty of special offers and travel news.

Luxury travel tips

  • Never put your name and address on the luggage tag, it allows thieves to know your home is likely to be empty for the next week or so. Just put a postal code or phone number.
  • Visitors to London should try the quintessentially British institution of afternoon tea. Many places lay it on, but the older and more elegant establishments seem to make it an extra special occasion. A visit to the UK without afternoon tea – well, it just wouldn’t be cricket, as we British say. For more great places to go take a look at our favourite destinations in London.
  • When you start a new memory card for your digital camera, take a quick selfie. If you lose your camera and have to claim it back, you’ll be able to prove it’s yours.
  • Use a site like Hotels Combined to get your best value accommodation around the world.
  • If you forget your USB plugin/charger, some TV sets have a USB that you can use to charge a device.

Luxury travel tips for the smart traveller - afternoon tea in London

  • Be mindful of extra costs while on a cruise. Once onboard it is very easy to lose sight of the little extras building up, such as drinks and tips.
  • Suffer from jet-lag? When at your destination stay awake until your bedtime on that timezone then get a full night’s sleep. Avoid the temptation to go out for the night or push yourself.
  • Take a small spray bottle on holiday. Fill it with water and spray it over creased clothes. Smooth with your hand and leave them hanging up overnight to help remove creases. This tip contributed by smart traveller, Annie Leighton.
  • Most countries require a certain amount of time, usually six months, remaining on your passport, so don’t leave a renewal until the last few months.
  • When visiting a new destination make a list of your must see attractions. It helps focus your mind as there is usually too much to do and see.

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  • Take a photocopy of your passport with you when you travel and/or scan your passport and email a copy to yourself.
  • When visiting the UK remember all national museums and galleries are free to enter.
  • If you forget your international travel adaptor or phone charger check with the hotel reception, they usual have a spare or two.
  • On the move? Use mobile apps to help with your travel planning. You’ll find excellent flight search apps from Skyscanner and Momondo, while Expedia’s app has hotels covered too.
  • If you’re planning to see a show in London or New York, before you pay top dollar, visit the TKTS ticket booth in Leicester Square (London) or Times Square (New York) – you can buy tickets for all the best shows for half price or at a heavy discount.

The Mousetrap and Stomp

  • If you’re looking to take your pooch on holiday with you, Small Luxury Hotels of the World have a good selection of dog friendly options.
  • When dealing with a hotel, agent or villa owner directly, always ask for a discount. If you don’t ask, they won’t offer.
  • Humour bypass alert. Immigration or border control staff rarely get humour and never get sarcasm – just play it straight.
  • To enjoy a real experience, eat where the locals eat. It may not always be glamorous, but don’t be afraid to try something new. Also, if there are lots of people eating there, the regular turnover of food will mean it’s fresh.
  • When booking accommodation be mindful of large events or conferences happening in the area during your stay. This is likely to increase accommodation costs as availability will be more limited.

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  • Differing airlines give different names to the same type of cabin class. Be canny and understand the differences between the likes of Premium Voyager, Economy Comfort and World Traveller Plus, before purchasing.
  • Look out for flash sales, they often offer beautiful boutique and designer hotels at very tempting prices.
  • Consider a holiday in the UK, you’ll avoid the expense, time and stress of a flight. The British countryside is beautiful and there are many wonderful places to relax and enjoy its splendour, also you just might find a whole new appreciation of your home.
  • If you are interested in flying with a particular airline or staying at a particular hotel, sign up to their newsletter and watch out for special offers or sales.
  • Save time and gain a unique experience when dining at the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. The very smart At.mosphere restaurant and lounge allows you to avoid the crowds heading to the observation deck, plus you enjoy the view while relaxing with a meal or drink.

View from the top - Dubai from the Burj Khalifa

  • Check out Groupon deals in the country you’re intending to visit and also while there.  Huge savings are available on restaurants, visitor attractions, tours etc.
  • Airport lounges are not just for first class passengers, they can be cost-effective when set against the price of buying meals and drinks in an airport terminal.
  • Before you leave your hotel, take one of their business cards to show taxis drivers the address when you want to return. It helps when you are lost and to avoid communication problems with different languages.
  • Always try to learn a few words of the local language, knowing how to say thank you and please will get you far.
  • If you’re planning on a major spending spree while abroad, notify your credit card company before travelling. Also note their international customer service number – just in case.

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  • Consider an all-inclusive option. The upfront costs are higher, but there can be significant savings in the overall price of your holiday. And you know from the outset that all your essential costs are covered.
  • The smart traveller is flexible. The greater your flexibility on travel dates, destinations, hotels and flight times, the more chance you have of grabbing a great deal.
  • If you want an room upgrade – just ask. Don’t pretend it’s your anniversary etc, hotels have heard it all before.
  • Consider a shorter trip duration – two weeks might prove too much, so how about ten days? Many travel companies have also started packaging trips in this way.
  • Avoid hidden charges when renting accommodation by noting all services not included in the price, before you sign.

Shouldn't every smart traveller hit the airport lounge

  • Keep a record of your embassy contact information to hand.
  • Why rely on luck in getting an upgrade. If leg room and in flight extras are important to you, book them in advance. Alternatively some airlines like Virgin Atlantic give you the option to book upgrades at check-in starting from as little as £25 one-way.
  • Consider flying with a low cost airline to allow more money for your luxury hotel. It may not be as good a service but it’s a few hours pain for potentially a lot of financial gain, and you still have a luxury hotel to look forward to.
  • Choose a credit or charge card that offers you travel benefits – some allow you to collect miles/points for an airline or hotel loyalty programme while you shop. Others provide benefits like airport lounge access.
  • When researching your trip keep track of all the hotels and flight prices you like – use an Excel spreadsheet to be a well-organised traveller.

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  • When booking hotels online search for the best prices on travel agent websites. Prices on hotel sites are usually ‘rack rates’ and rarely offer the best value.
  • If your flight is overbooked don’t volunteer for another one, wait to be bumped or until the compensation being offered is to your liking.
  • Should you leave home without toiletries, always ask at the hotel front desk – they often have a toiletries kit available free of charge.
  • For the best chance of a hotel room upgrade check-in between 4pm and 6pm. Hotels won’t know until later in the day if they will have no shows or cancellations, so hold back from giving upgrades until they do.
  • When in Italy remember many restaurants offer a reasonably priced set menu at lunch time, so have your main meal then.

Luxury country hotel, Woodman's Estate, Mornington Peninsula, Australia

  • Upgrade your accommodation – be it in a hotel or on a cruise – for extra luxury.
  • Want a little more space for your luxury stay? Consider a serviced apartment.
  • Join your favourite company’s loyalty programme – from flights to hotels and cruise companies – be sure to get your rewards.
  • Know that hotel star ratings are not the be all and end all of finding a great hotel – be a smart traveller and dig into online reviews, features and blog posts to discover more.

Subscribe to the LiveShareTravel newsletter for more luxury travel tips, offers and news for the smart traveller.

  • Travel in style in your destination – companies like Uber have black car private drivers in 40 cities and 15 countries. Use this promo code for £10/€10 off your first journey with Uber: azbq3.
  • Consider destinations that are renowned for bringing luxury to travel like Thailand, Dubai, the Maldives, Mauritius, Bali, Bora Bora, Tahiti and the islands in the Caribbean.
  • Luxury doesn’t only come on land – why not try a cruise?
  • Luxury travel isn’t all about accommodation – perhaps stay in a private room at a hostel, save on your stay and book other luxury experiences like spa days and gourmet meals instead.
  • Looking for a great restaurant? Seek recommendations from your hotel concierge – they will have great contacts at the best venues in town.

Concierge at the Shangri-La, Toronto - a smart traveller will use a hotel concierge service to great effect

  • ALWAYS travel with insurance. There are too many horror stories of people who took a chance and paid dearly for it.
  • Start by defining your sense of luxury travel. Is it about in-flight comfort, or stylish, ultra-comfortable accommodation, or luxury experiences?
  • Travel out of season – hotels and airlines can dramatically reduce their prices during the off-season.
  • If the weather takes a nose-dive in low season consider travelling in shoulder season, just before or just after the high season, instead.
  • The smart traveller seeks out promo codes. You can find discounts for hotels, airlines and other travel services online – which could help you save while you splurge.

Subscribe to the LiveShareTravel newsletter for more luxury travel tips, offers and news for the smart traveller.

  • Travel safe. Be under no illusion – travelling in luxury is no safer than budget travel. So take good care of you and your belongings.
  • Luxury travel doesn’t fit into a hotel-shaped box. If you love camping – consider glamping, or glamorous camping instead.
  • Arrive in style – many hotels offer transfers by limo. Alternatively you could book a private airport transfer to your accommodation.
  • Use online flight comparison sites to find the cheapest flight at the time and airport that suits you.
  • Sign up for the newsletters of daily deals websites. Many have excellent travel offers for local spa days to whole travel packages.

A tip for every smart traveller | pic: Sofitel Mauritius

For in-depth luxury travel tips and guides take a look our How to Travel guides or read our book, The Luxury Traveller’s Handbook, Liberating Luxury for the Smart Traveller, (US Edition here).

If you’re a smart traveller and have top luxury travel tips, send us a message. We will add them here, and credit you.

If you work for a travel company or destination looking to post appropriate luxury travel tips that will aid the smart traveller or place a banner ad on this page contact Terry to find out more.

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