Luxury travel is often thought of as an opportunity for a no-expense spared ultimate experience. However, Singaporean luxury travellers often prefer to score a great deal rather than spend frivolously for the sake of luxury. With high-end resorts and vacation packages costing upwards of tens of thousands of dollars, we wanted to explore ways luxury travellers can get their money's worth and make the most out of their vacations.
Use a Travel Agent for Customised Holidays
Whether you use an online booking agent or go to one in person, travel agents can offer several things that can make your luxury vacation truly worth its price. For one, because travel agents partner with airlines and hotels, they get discounted prices that they then pass off to you. Second, the rise of bespoke travel agencies has led to luxury vacations being truly customisable, leading to experiences where you pay for only the activities that interest you. These agencies can take your budget and trip desires and create a once in a lifetime experience well worth their average 5-figure price tag by adding value through customised amenities (such as expedited airport check-in/check-out), round the clock concierge services and bespoke itineraries.
Consider Luxury Travel to Up and Coming Destinations
It is no secret that popular tourist destinations see unreasonable price markups. The business model of charging tourists more for everything from a bottle of water to accommodations extends to luxury travel as well. However, there are ways to avoid tourists traps altogether and opt for a brand-new destination that is still not under the radar for most people. In fact, based on a recent survey, Singaporeans are now embracing previously unconsidered destinations such as Uzbekistan, Morocco, Croatia and Namibia. These far-flung yet unconventionally beautiful and historic destinations will not only put you on the list as a travel trendsetter, but they will also provide luxury experiences without the typical tourist destination price-tag. For instance, you can have a luxury 9-day safari experience in Namibia where you will receive an individualised itinerary, a chance to visit local tribes and see native wildlife. For a historical holiday, luxury packages in Croatia often include a multi-city itinerary that leads you through its national parks, thousand year old cities and stays at 5-star resorts overlooking the beautiful Adriatic Sea.
Choose Accommodations Worth Their Price
If you are spending a few hundred dollars (or more) to stay in a hotel per night, you'd expect to be getting your money's worth. This is why many luxury travellers are disappointed when they see amenities as simple as Wi-Fi or breakfast costing extra. One of the top ways to make sure your accommodations are worth their price is to see the quality of accommodations and the amenities offered in the price. This can include anything from free Wi-Fi to complementary mini-bars and discounts on attractions. To measure the value of your room, you can start by checking the square footage. For instance, you typically shouldn't be getting a room that is smaller than 16 square metres if you are paying a hundreds of dollars per night to stay in a suite in a major city. Furthermore, the room should be outfitted with high quality linens, towels and toiletries.
Lastly, luxury boutique hotels may offer more value for your dollar than large luxury chain hotels by providing more personalised experiences and better amenities. For instance, a luxury boutique hotel, Como Point Yamu, in Phuket offers free Wi-Fi, designer toiletries, and valet parking. A luxury boutique in Dubrovnik, Croatia offers free breakfast, parking and Wi-Fi for room rates starting at under S$300 per night. On the other hand, many major hotel chains will charge you S$20-S$25 per day for something as simple as in-room Wi-Fi unless you join their loyalty programs or book through third parties like Pagoda.
Invest in Safety Measures
Because of the high cost associated with luxury travel, it is wise to mitigate as many risks as possible. This includes making sure your travel agency is accredited and legitimate, your itinerary is confirmed, all your documents are in order and you have a solid travel insurance plan. Travel insurance is especially important if you'll be travelling with a lot of expensive items or if you're travelling to a destination outside of your comfort zone. This is because travel insurance provides coverage for lost or damaged belongings, provides theft coverage and provides 24/7 travel assistance services in the event of an emergency. Furthermore, most travel insurance plans are quite great values: for a cost of less than S$50 for a week-long trip to Europe, you can get tens of thousands of dollars in coverage.
Consider What Value Means to You
While everyone has a different definition of a luxury holiday, most people can agree that the best holidays are the ones that made them feel like they got the most of their desired experiences. For instance, while you may find paying extra for a hotel that offers free dining and minibar services is worth its weight in gold, other travellers may find the same value in paying for a peaceful bespoke getaway in the middle of the Sahara. Thus, it is important to know exactly what you want from your vacation when considering whether a luxury trip will give you the best value for your dollar. What kind of travel luxuries do you consider to be worth the money?