Luxe for less - Mundana's guide to affordable luxury travel - Mundana

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Everywhere we look, it seems, is pushing images of luxury travel. Glossy magazines, Instagram influencers and aspirational television shows bombard us with beautiful places and urge us to add them to our bucket lists. But what if you want to travel in style but don’t have an unlimited budget? The good news is that, with a little thought and preparation, it’s entirely possible to live the dream. And even better, we can show you how. Achieve luxe for less with Mundana’s guide to affordable luxury travel. Here are some tried and tested tips for getting the most out of your cash without sacrificing style and quality.

Choose a destination where you’ll get great value for money

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The first and most important tip for affordable luxury travel we’d like to share is to think very carefully about where you plan to go. If you want to make sure your money goes further, then choose somewhere that offers excellent value for money. This can be a little tricky to figure out. That’s partly due to fluctuating exchange rates and price variations between seasons. But with a little research – or the help of Mundana’s expert team – you can narrow down your holiday choices to a more manageable shortlist. Some of the countries that often tick this highly sought after box include Mexico, Morocco and Turkey. Each of these countries offers a wide range of accommodation in established tourist destinations. If you’ve set your heart on somewhere more expensive, think about when to go. Travelling off-peak usually brings savings, but make sure the weather at that time of year is going to be a washout.

Factor in your two big costs – transport and accommodation

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To achieve more bang for your buck, you need to factor in the cost of transport and accommodation. That might seem obvious, but it’s easy to get caught out. For instance, you might be tempted to jump in at the sight of a ridiculously cheap airfare, only to find that the price of hotels at your destination is eye-wateringly high. As you count the cost of your reckless spontaneity, the grey cloud of budget accommodation far from the things you hoped to do looms large. New York and Iceland are two such destinations though we’d argue they’re definitely worth the splurge. (Even there, you can save money by booking accommodation just outside the centre; even when you factor in the cost of a taxi it can still leave you better off.) Conversely you might have your heart set on somewhere distant and exotic, where a deluxe room can be had for a steal, yet to get their you need to remortgage your house and hand over the proceeds to your chosen airline. A true luxe for less destination won’t cost a fortune even when you total up your final bill.

Loyalty pays

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If you travel fairly frequently, then choosing a brand can pay dividends. By reserving accommodation with the same hotel group, you can quickly accumulate points. Before long, points can translate into a free night, saving you money. Similarly, when figuring out travel, tell us your preference for a particular airline and collect those miles. You might soon have enough for a free flight but if you’re aiming at luxe for less, consider using the points for a business class upgrade. Do your homework to figure out which airline offers the most generous scheme in your region. In some countries, such as the United States, earning miles via your credit card that you can later spend on travel upgrades can also work out.

Upgrade your airport experience

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It doesn’t cost much to upgrade some aspects of your airport journey, but a small outlay can make a big difference to your experience. For instance, if you’re flying from a busy hub, consider paying for fast track security. The queues tend to be considerably shorter which is far better than waiting in a long line. Another option that is worth exploring is lounge access. If you have access to your airline’s lounge thanks to your points status, then so much the better. If not, many airports have lounges for which you can buy a pass for the date of travel. Settle back into your comfortable chair and take advantage of the food and drinks supplied while wait for your flight. If you’re flying out of JFK in New York, leave enough time for a cosmopolitan at the Connie Cocktail Lounge. Part of the TWA hotel, this retro-themed bar in a converted 1958 Lockheed Constellation harks back to the golden era of flying. Affordable luxury travel doesn’t get more stylish than this.

Book private tours

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Some types of holiday activity are social by their very nature. Cooking or art classes, for instance, spring to mind: much more fun when you’re all learning a new skill together. Others, however, can be a drag, particularly if you end up waiting for tardy participants to return each time you regroup. One way to get round this is to be your own tour guide. Instead of a city tour, download a walking tour route so you can explore without a guide. Also, in many places, it can be surprisingly affordable to book a car with a driver. Explore at your own pace. In Cambodia, for example, imagine how great it would feel to tour some of Angkor Wat’s off the beaten track temples without feeling pressured. There’d be no need to jump back on a minibus to cram in a few more and your very own coolbox with cold towels and iced water would be the icing on the cake. Many of the hotels that Mundana features can arrange this for you at a reasonable rate. It’s particularly competitive if you are able to fill all the seats in the car. Even as a couple you’ll see the benefit.

Travelling in five star luxury doesn’t have to come at an astronomical cost. If you’re keen to see how far we can stretch your budget, get in touch with Mundana’s expert team today. We can help you figure out the best destination for your needs and create a bespoke itinerary. Affordable luxury travel is yours for the taking and we can help you make that dream holiday a reality.

Luxe for less – Mundana’s guide to affordable luxury travel

written by Julia Hammond

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