How to travel five-star on a three-star budget

Here's how to travel five-star on a three-star budget.

Budget Travel

ASK ABOUT HOTEL UPGRADES If you want something, ask for it! When you arrive at your hotel, ask the front desk what the price would be for a better room. You can often get an upgrade at a heavily reduced price if there are nicer rooms sitting empty. When booking, ask for inclusions at the resort, such as credits at the hotel spa or drinks at the bar. This works especially well during the off-season, when even premium resorts are fighting for your stay.

BECOME A HIGH-FLIER The best way to get a flight upgrade is to earn status credits, as opposed to frequent flyer points. For example, Qantas has five levels of status (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One) and you get credits every time you fly. The higher the status, the more chance you’ll be upgraded. If you haven’t earned a high enough status, there’s no harm in asking for an upgrade when checking in.

TRAVEL IN THE OFF-SEASON Avoid school holidays and public holidays. You’ll have a better chance of scoring reduced rates at luxury properties in Thailand during winter or Bali during the wet season, and try May or September when travelling to Europe.

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