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20 Apr

Boujie on a budget: the luxury travel edition

Written by Nancy Lova

Image by @kristennoelcrawley

Forget ‘cheap and cheerful’ and step into ‘boujie on a budget’. A girl doesn’t need to feel like she has to rob a bank to live her best life on holiday and you certainly don’t need to limit yourself to low-quality trips just to spend less. Luxury is meant for all of us and what I love even more than a luxury getaway, is booking the whole damn trip for a fraction of the price I thought it was going to cost!

I’ve had ten-night stays in 4 and 5* hotels right on the beach or in the heart of city centres for under £100, I’ve booked return flights costing about the same price as a meal for two in Nando’s, flown first class on points and bought return tickets to Paris basically on chicken change. There were no compromises with these trips either, no travelling in colder months to save money, no staying in hotels miles away from all the action, no suffering! If I want to experience a holiday a certain type of way then I will, it’s what I deserve but babe, I love a cheeky deal and I’ll put in the work to find it. So here, let me tell you about the ways I go about having a boujie holiday on a budget!

Sign up and download those apps!

Now I must admit, I’m about one ‘sign up’ or password away from losing it with all the things that require our emails but registering with travel, hotel or airline sites are a treat and I even download their apps if available. I’ve discovered that there are discounts available that are exclusive to those who are signed up or are making bookings on their phone browser or through an app. 

For example, my best friend is booking.com, I have an account with them as well as their app on my phone. This grants me exclusive access in the form of membership discounts or mobile pricing only and both are seriously a game-changer. I’ve booked the finest hotels which I would initially turn down and think ‘Hmm, that’s a bit much’ to going onto the app and booking the same hotels for about £200 – £300 less! 

I don’t know how many people already knew this but many hotels especially the high-end places have their own apps too and they’re terribly underrated. Some hotels literally want to treat and spoil you simply because you are their guest and downloading their app creates a loyalty program with points to collect which you can use during your stay or in the future. 

Airlines have similar features too, some will even notify you about sales, discounts and even 2 for 1 offer on flights that are solely exclusive to app members. 2 for 1!! Download the apps babe and sign up to everything. 

Compare flights

If you haven’t been comparing flights this whole time, then I don’t know where you’ve been and if what you do all the time is input ‘flights to’ and your choice of destination, into Google, then you’re missing out too. I’m not an expert but I do manage to find some pretty amazing prices when it comes to flights. 

Perhaps you’re not so fussed about the flights and rather put your money towards a nice hotel or have more to spend, if that’s you then start comparing flights. By doing so, you can easily save yourself about £100 or more on flights. 

Skyscanner is my go-to for dirt-cheap flights, simply input your dates and destinations and watch this babe go to work by comparing prices with a range of airlines and travel companies. 

Play around with the inbound and outbound times as well the airports and you can find some absolute bargain flights. 

I’m also signed up to receive emails from a website called Jack’s Flight Club and whilst I haven’t used them yet, I have seen some very dirty deals come through to my inbox which has left me speechless. There’s a fee of £39 per year if you go ahead and book but this sort of company is perfect for those that love spontaneous trips and experience them often as the flights found are for random dates and durations.

The great thing about Jack’s Flight Club is that they even manage to find flights with price errors meaning every now and then, a flight that is meant to cost for example £500 or £600 may be accidentally priced at £100 but you have to be speedy Gonzales when booking because deals like that disappear in minutes once the error is found. 

British Airways Amex Credit Card 

Now please, don’t get yourself into debt for a bougie vacay, I beg. But if you often use a credit card and are good at paying off your balance each month then why not be rewarded for doing so? I love the American Express British Airways credit card because you get to collect points for every pound you spend, points that you can later use on experiences, fine wine and BA flights! I’ve flown first class because of this bad boy, all paid for with points and find it’s the easiest way to be boujie on a budget.

Download taxi apps 

The last thing you want to be worrying about when abroad is how to get around and depending on your mode of transport, your trip can either feel like a hassle or smooth. I love comfort and convenience especially whilst on holiday therefore the majority of the time, I use taxis. 

If you’re not familiar with local currency and it’s your first time visiting your destination then there’s a chance you’ll be paying more than you need to on taxis and this can often make us look for cheaper options like the bus or train. 

First of all, at times I like taking public transport abroad as it adds to the experience and in some places, certain modes of transport are actually popular tourist attractions in themselves but what if you want to travel in style and what if I told you that it could cost about the same price as a bus or train fare? 

Bolt is an app for ‘fast and affordable rides’ and they are not lying. Recently during a trip to Lisbon, I found that many journeys in the city with a Bolt taxi cost less than a beer!
Some cities even have their own websites and apps when it comes to booking rides and many allow you to book then pay cash rather than inputting card details. Just search something like ‘Spanish taxi apps’ for example on Google and a list of options will show. 

Try to learn the local currency too and what it may convert to in pounds or dollars as this will give you a rough idea when spending. 

Lastly, some taxi drivers are cheeky when it comes to prices as they know you’re a tourist so again, knowing the conversion rates gives you power when negotiating your fares. There will be plenty of occasions where you’ll come across a genuine driver who doesn’t try and rip you off so I usually ask for their taxi station number or card and try to use that particular driver again. 

Babes, clear those caches and cookies!

So you’re ready to book your sexy getaway and for the next couple of days, you keep browsing through hotels and flights on your laptop. All of these sites pick up on your most chosen selections such as the dates you want to travel and the destination and now every time you have a little scroll, the prices creep up a little more. Your device is sending cookies back to those sites causing them to be naughty and increase their price. One of the best ways to avoid spending money unnecessarily and remain boujie on a budget is to clear those caches and cookies.