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Luxury for Less

It’s official: we Brits have no plans to stop travelling. In our recent survey, nearly 90% of you plan to spend the same or more on travel in 2024.

And we aren’t splashing the cash just for the sake of it – we take buying a holiday very seriously. Bucket list destinations and new countries are high on our list. But we know where to splurge and where to thrift.

This is where our Luxury for Less selection comes in. We've compiled some of our favourite deals and tips so you can get the most out of your next holiday. Whether it's a fantastic deal on premium experiences, where your money will stretch the furthest, or inspiration for once-in-a-lifetime trips, you can find it here.

Hidden gems

Want 5-star quality at 3-star prices? Our top tip is to aim for those under-the-radar destinations – amazing places that have not crossed into the mainstream yet. Find one of those and you'll find that top-quality hotels are often much more affordable.

For the gram

Wondering where to find the best, most unique and Instagrammable views and hotels? We've got you covered. And don't worry about it costing the earth: we've hunted down some great deals.

Bucket-list trips, top-end comfort

Many of you told us that real luxury isn't only about 5-star hotels; it's also about embarking on amazing bucket-list trips – the sort of holidays that'll give you bragging rights for months! We've sent our crew looking for those once-in-a-lifetime trips, including multi-stop holidays, train trips and more.

More bang for your buck

Free stuff… can you think of anything better? We certainly can't. From free nights to free room upgrades, these deals deliver just this: maximum bang for your buck. And they all include stays at great luxury hotels.

And breathe...

Luxury isn't just about cotton-thread count of the linen and the brand of the in-room toiletries. Looking after ourselves and connecting with nature is a form of luxury. We've looked for deals at fantastic spa resorts, wellness retreats and places respecting the environment.

The A-list factor

Want to holiday like your favourite celebrity, but don't fancy the A-list price tag? Check out our star-studded line-up of deals to destinations featured in popular TV shows and hotels owned or linked to celebrities.

Still want more? Here are our top 10 tips to save money on your next luxury holiday

1) Spend on what matters

Those videos of influencers lounging about in First Class on Insta are tempting. But even the longest flight will only be a fraction of the time at your hotel. Transfers are the same. A taxi might save you time and be more comfortable – but could cost THREE times more than shared transfers.

For a typical 7-night Greece holiday, the maths work like this: 10 hours in the air (return), three hours in transfers and about 160 hours at the hotel. Now, where should you spend your money?

2) Get a credit card

Are you still convinced that upper-class flights are part and parcel of a luxury holiday? Find a way to accumulate air miles with your daily purchases. And that generally means getting a credit card linked to a frequent-flyer programme.

The best thing? You build your air-miles stash using cash you would have spent anyway, so it's technically free. Just don't forget to pay your balance on time.

3) Go for the unknown

It's not because a destination isn't on the tourist map yet that it doesn't have luxury hotels. It often does – and these hotels can be fantastic value for money.

You don't even have to go completely left-field. Hardly a hidden gem, Lombok (Bali's neighbouring island) is beautiful and welcomes a fraction of the visitors Bali does. Best of all, prices in Lombok are a lot lower.

4) Make the pound stretch

We've not been too lucky this last year with the dreaded cost-of-living crisis and an inflation-shaped hole in the roof. But the pound still fared well against certain currencies.

The same money will get you roughly 50% more Turkish lira now than a year ago. Against the Egyptian pound, the number is nearer to 70%.

5) Help the local economy

Cocktails, snacks, meals… costs can quickly add up in a luxury resort. So, while you enjoy the 5-star rooms and amenities, you should also check out the nearby haunts to taste the local food and lower your overall bill.

You'll often find delicious and super-cheap options for food and drink only a few minutes' walk from the hotel. Look, the local bar's negroni might not be on par with the one from the hotel's mixologist, but the beer will taste the same.

6) Think about your spending habits

The difference in price between bed-and-breakfast and all-inclusive at a 5-star hotel can add up to £150 per person, per night. Only you know if that makes sense.

Do you love a few cocktails, wine with every meal and 3-course lunches and dinners? Maybe the all-inclusive is for you. Are you happy with light meals, rarely drink alcohol and spend most of your time outside of the hotel? Book B&B and invest the savings in other things.

7) Ask for an upgrade

Don't ask, don't get. It's always worth trying for a free upgrade at check-in. Be polite, don't push if it's a 'no'. Generally speaking, an upgrade is harder to secure on long stays (four nights or more), but you can increase your chances by making it clear you're willing to change rooms halfway through your stay if necessary.

The best time to score an upgrade tends to be between 6-8pm. It's sufficiently late for the hotel to have a complete picture of room availability, but early enough that people approving the upgrades are still around.

8) Hunt for extras

Luxury hotels don't like to discount their rates. More precisely, they don't like people to know they're dropping their rates. So they'll throw in free stuff (room upgrades, board basis upgrades, spa treatments, etc…) and try to maintain high rates instead.

These extras can be a lot more valuable than a simple monetary discount. We've mentioned above that an all-inclusive upgrade can easily cost £150 per person, per night at a top resort, for example. So make sure to look for those deals with free stuff added.

9) Know the weather

This one isn't specific to luxury holidays, but the savings you can achieve by being smart with travel dates are much bigger with 5-star hotels than mid-market properties.

We all know that destinations have a peak and a low season. Booking in the low season, you trade guaranteed good weather for much lower prices. But sometimes, you can get great prices and lovely weather by timing your trip right. How do you do that? You can find annual weather averages for most popular destinations online (including daytime and evening temperatures, rainy days, precipitations and sea temperatures).

10) Follow us

Shameless plug alert! Check out the HolidayPirates website; download our app (or Google Play, or the App Store); follow us on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok; or subscribe to our newsletters or Whatsapp notifications. We're a bunch of travel addicts who spend their days looking for the best deals.