Instagram, like all social media, is both a brilliant and frustrating place. It gives you a window onto both the lives of people you know, and the lives of people you admire. It’s good that you can keep up with what these people are doing, but it can lead to a little status frustration.
Following celebrities in particular can get you down more than it lifts you up. They’re forever on holiday, and they always seem to be in the most desirable and exclusive locations in the world. You find yourself wishing you could do it, but all you feel like you can afford is a week or so somewhere slightly sunnier than where you live.
It doesn’t have to be that way. There are a few tricks you can use to reduce the cost of a vacation, but still get all the same features and benefits that someone who paid double the price would. Put these travel tips into practice, and soon enough you’ll be feeling as much a VIP as you would if you travelled to North America and you hit the jackpot on slots like Wolf Gold.
Dress The Part
Ever been in a queue at an airport and noticed the people in suits and business dresses seem to get better treatment than you do? You probably think that’s because they’re important, and they earn a lot of money. That might be true, but you don’t know that, and neither do the staff. They’re making the same assumption you are, based on the way the customer is dressed.
You are more likely to get an automatic upgrade at a hotel, on a flight, renting a car or just about anywhere if you look like someone who’s used to traveling in style. Gentlemen, put your best suit on, shine your shoes and wear a watch. Ladies, you’ll want your best dress, equally shiny shoes and your best handbag. Look the part and, even more importantly, act the part. You’d be surprised how much better you get treated when you look important.
For those not familiar with “shoulder season”, it’s the time of year when there’s a slight crossover between high demand and low demand for travel and vacations. There are two of them a year; one in spring and one in the fall. Because demand is lower, so are prices. That might seem obvious, but most people don’t pay attention to how low prices can actually go.
It’s not uncommon for luxury hotels and popular tours to drop their prices by half during this time of year. Flight prices also go down between 20 and 30%. On top of that, you’ll also find all the tourist destinations you want to visit will be quieter. So when you head to the beach, you might find it empty. You now have your own VIP private beach, for a lower price than you’d have paid to come in the peak of the season and stand shoulder to shoulder with everybody else!
Make Friends With Your Hotel
This tip only applies if you tend to stay with the same hotel chain every time you go on vacation. If you don’t, perhaps it’s something you should consider doing. Most hotels – and certainly all of the big ones – offer discounts, upgrades and other perks to people who stay with them regularly.
You’re unlikely to get anything straight away when you sign up to such a scheme, but once you’ve stayed with a firm three or four times, you should expect to see a benefit from it. Most brands even tell you when to expect perks, and how to go about receiving them. A free upgrade to a luxury room for the price of a standard one? That definitely sounds like the VIP experience to us.
Get Familiar With Exchange Rates
What costs a dollar at home doesn’t cost a dollar in other parts of the world. Only financial services professionals read the stocks and shares reports every day, but there are advantages to you checking the current worth of your local currency before you make travel plans. It’s not so long ago that one dollar was worth barely more than half of a British pound, for example. Nowadays, it’s more like three quarters. You can get more for $100 in the UK than you could ten years ago, because the value of currency has changed.
There are beautiful, amazing parts of the world where $100 would actually make you rich. As an example, the average price of a one night stay in a hotel in New York City would get you an entire week in Kuala Lumpur. Buying a single drink in Italy costs you around the same as a three course meal in Beijing. Do your research, find out where your money is worth the most, and go to visit it. Why squeeze every last dime out just to enjoy a basic trip to Florida when you could live like royalty in parts of Africa or South America for the same price?
Know When To Fly
Ever gone onto a website to check the price of a flight, written it down, gone back to book it a few days later and noticed that everything’s changed because you’re now looking on a different day? That doesn’t happen by accident. Airlines change their price structure all the time based on which day you want to fly out, what day you want to fly back, and even what time of day you want to fly. The system can cost you a lot of money if you don’t know how to play it, but if you do, you can twist the whole thing to your advantage.
Learn this by heart: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the cheapest days to fly. Also, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days to shop for flights in general, because that’s when airlines often release their sale fares. Sometimes, these sale fares only last for a matter of hours after being posted. So if you’re looking to book yourself a holiday, you’ll want to get ready on a Tuesday morning, wait for a great price to appear, and book it before it vanishes. You have to be sharp to bag the best prices!