Everyone has dreams of taking a nice luxury vacation every year, escaping reality and soaking up as much fun and excitement in a new exotic location. So, why do most people visit the local beach rather than head to Bali when they are ready for a vacation?
Well, it comes down to cost. Vacations at far away exotic locations can cost a small fortune, which is something that many simply cannot afford when they have other expenses and responsibilities. But, there are ways to secure trips to some of the most beautiful spots in the world for a fraction of the price if you know what to look for and how to leverage the best deal.
If you are wanting to get away to a new location to create amazing memories, enjoy time with friends and family, or just show off all the training you have been putting in at the gym, then consider these tips to help you locate the best possible deal on a luxury vacation. After all, you deserve it.
Take advantage of credit card points.
If you run a lot of expenses through a credit card each month make sure you are signed up with a card that has an attractive points program that you can cash in for travel. A lot of business owners can spend enough on a single card to cover an entire family vacation each yeah, and we aren’t talking a strip to the local shore either.
“Businesses with large advertising and marketing budgets should consider pushing all of that spend onto one card,” advises Corey Jensen DDS of Smile Design Dentistry. “The great thing about point and rebates like award given by credit cards are that they are considered to be rebates, therefore not taxable. This is the easiest way to afford any exotic trip you want, granted your business is spending a lot of money on expenses each month.”
Join travel discount websites.
The competition for travel packages to the top resorts all over the world is very high, and thanks to technology and new platforms they are removing the traditional travel agent. This ‘middle man’ has fees and guess who covers them? The consumer.
“Search for discount travel websites and make sure you sign up for their newsletters and email updates,” offers Oliver James of Perth Web Design. “Use a dedicated email address if you don’t want these notifications to overtake your regular email inbox. Check them often, as many of these websites will release special offers when a resort needs to fill space.”
I’ve seen $15,000 weekly packages for as little as $3,000. You just have to stay up to date on the offers and be ready to book as soon as you see something amazing.
Negotiate directly with the resort.
Again, with the middle man removed from the situation there is more room to negotiate. When it comes to top resorts, they know that the real money maker is the food, drink and entertainment bills.
“If you are vacationing with a large group of people you can leverage that if you call them directly,” says April Gillmore of ClickFirst Marketing. “You can often receive deeply discounted room rates, as they anticipate they will make their money from a large group off food and drinks.”
If you really want to be budget friendly, secure a deal this way and make sure the room has a small kitchen and make an effort to prepare your own meals several times a day rather than eating at the resort. This can cut your bill tremendously.
Consider barter options.
Do you own a business that offers a service or product that a particular resort could benefit from or already uses in some capacity? If so, start negotiating a barter deal. “If you reach out to the marketing department and make some connections you can establish a relationship that can be mutually beneficial,” says Andrew Tran, who has bartered weighted blankets in the past from his company Therapy Blanket.
You would gladly give your product or service at cost if it meant being able to take your family on a nice vacation each year without the huge cost, right? In some situations, getting your product at a resort can equal free marketing and advertising, so think of that benefit as well.
This won’t apply to all, but if it does it’s a great way to travel and build business relationships. Barter is a huge leverage point by many large companies.
Patronize the same package year after year.
If you find a resort or destination that you really enjoy and plan to make an annual trip, consider booking early each year. You can usually get them to cut you a major deal if you book before you leave, for the following year.
“If they are able to book a room for a period of time a year in advance they are able to cut a major cost,” suggests Chris Moberg of Slumber Search. “That’s 52 weeks they don’t have to try to find someone to ocupy that slot of time.”
The discount and perks can increase year after year also, as they become more familiar with you and know you are a ‘sure thing’ each year.
Book flight, hotel and all travel through the same website.
There are so many travel websites, and while they all tend to pull from the same data pool, there are often times special deals extended by each. It isn’t uncommon to find some that will actually take a financial hit in order to attract a new customer.
“With competition so high these companies are willing to take a loss in order to get someone new to market to,” says Loren Taylor, CEO of indoor water fountain tips resource Soothing Company. “It’s the cost of doing business online. So, be sure to check all of the regular sites like Travelocity and Priceline, but don’t ignore the new players. They will often offer the best deals to get you into their data base.”
Book with a large group.
Now, you don’t necessarily all have to share rooms or even spend a lot of time together, but if you leverage the power of numbers you can often lock in deeply discounted rates at resorts and hotels.
“If your friends happen to have the same travel plans in mind, consider trying to get a discounted group rate,” offers Tad Thomas of Thomas Law Offices. “There is power in numbers, and many times families that are close enjoy vacationing together, especially so kids have their friends to play with. It won’t apply to everyone, but for those that it does, it provides a great money-saving opportunity.”