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Get a Taste of Luxury on a Budget

Just because you're travelling on a budget, it doesn't mean you have to skimp on the finer things in life. Indeed, if you're going on holiday, it seems crazy to not relax and enjoy yourself! In this post, we'll share some tips on how to maximise your holiday experiences while on a small budget. You may have to put in a bit more work and research than you would otherwise consider on holiday, but living in the lap of luxury while travelling on a budget is an experience that's well worth the effort.

Gap year travel

Whether you're leaving education, part of the way through university, or looking for a break from your career, a gap year of travel can be a great idea; allowing you to see the world and give yourself time to relax and re-evaluate.
Obviously, each of the above justifications for a gap year has one particular element in common: you're going to want to keep costs low. This doesn't mean that you can't have a luxurious time while abroad; you'll just have to be a bit smarter about it! As with most of life's problems, the internet can be your friend if utilised in the correct way. At the risk of stating to obvious a point, one of the ways in which you can optimise aspects of your gap year to be as luxurious as possible is by saving money in other areas. You can effectively utilise price comparison sites to get a superior deal on flights. Voucher sites such as Groupon can also be a great boon to holiday savings, while also opening doors to other more exclusive experiences.

Of course when you have reached your destination, you'll need an easy way to get from to A to B, saving as much money as you can for the high-life. Utilising public transport is another excellent means of saving money on your long-term travels, allowing you to reserve money for the finer things that you may choose to sample along the way. Of course, holiday insurance is another essential aspect of your trip; plenty of things can go wrong, and it's important to make sure that you're covered should the worst happen. At Alpha Travel Insurance, we have designed a specialist insurance travel insurance policy for students and those embarking on gap years. As an all-inclusive package, this policy is designed to provide only the features that you need, ensuring that you save money!

If you want to sample the finest in local cuisine in your travels, it's best to follow some more general advice; lunch is almost always cheaper than dinner. So if you're going to eat out, it's best to go around midday, or early afternoon. In terms of sampling the finest in local nightlife, it's best to shop around and take advantage of as many deals as possible.


While it's easier to cut costs while backpacking, it's also comparatively harder to enjoy a more luxurious long term travel experience. As with gap year travel, research and shopping around are both essential to make sure that you can not only find some incredible deals, but have enough cash to take advantage of them. While not a luxury in itself, working while abroad can provide a much needed cash injection, allowing you to sample the finer, more exclusive aspects of whichever culture you've found yourself in the midst of. In fact, there's a fair argument to be made for temporary employment being the most important aspect of your backpacking experience, especially if you want to live well while doing so.

Our specialist gap year and student travel insurance offers perfect cover for these circumstances; allowing you to earn money abroad, safe in the knowledge that you're covered. There are a few tips and tricks that you can utilise when staying in hostels or hotels that can both save you money, and allow you to bring a taste of the high life with you, to elevate some of the less luxurious moments of your backpacking holiday. First on the list is to take as many complimentary toiletries from places you stay as possible; they're there to be used! This way, you can stay clean and refreshed on less civilised stretches of your long-term trip.

Secondly, raid the breakfast buffet and take food for later in the day, or make a packed lunch. Maximise complimentary food consumption to keep costs down, while allowing you to enjoy quality food on the go! Finally, when you need to make phone calls on your time abroad, try to make as much use of payphones and hotel/hostel landlines as possible, as they allow you to circumvent steep roaming charges.

Last minute travel

If you're looking to go abroad at the last minute, it can be paradoxically easier to live the high life, as you can take advantage of one or more of the last minute holiday deals that have risen to prominence over recent years. Last minute deals are available for multiple aspects of your trip, from flights to accommodation. In regards to flights, last minute deals can be an excellent deal. While they are unlikely to provide an early dose of luxury to your holiday experience (unless you are very lucky), they will allow you to save money to live the high life when you reach your destination.

With hotels and hostels, last minute deals can allow you to get a superb deal on accommodation; often allowing you to stay somewhere that would ordinarily be massively out of your price range. Even the most expensive and exclusive of hotels sometimes have vacancies that they need to fill, and last minute deal websites offer an easy way to for them offload and recoup as much of their potential losses as possible. Just be sure to cross reference the name and location of the hotel you'll be staying in, so that you know exactly where you'll actually be staying. Even if you've got an excellent deal, you may not have wanted to stay in a converted barn, miles from the nearest city!

One way to be sure that you'll always fall on your feet if you fall foul of a poorly researched last minute deal is to get travel insurance. At Alpha Travel Insurance we can offer you comprehensive yet flexible cover with our gap year and student travel insurance policy, so if you decide to have an extended trip from a last minute deal, we have you covered.

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