Hi Frugalistas! What does frugal but first class mean to you? Is frugal but first class a contradiction? Of course not, or I wouldn’t have a blog! I absolutely believe that everyone can travel, and can have a first class experience, regardless of their budget. Here’s how:
- 1 Frugal first class travellers plan and research
- 2 Frugal first class travellers appreciate local
- 3 Frugal first class travellers splurge on what is important and save on what isn’t
- 4 Frugal first class travellers pack light
- 5 Frugal first class travellers take advantage of travel hacks
- 6 Frugal first class travellers understand that “first class” is a relative term
- 7 Frugal first class travellers spend time doing the things they love…..
- 8 Frugal first class travellers know the best deals and sights are off the main drag
- 9 Frugal first class travellers are open minded and forgiving
Frugal first class travellers plan and research
Investing time in working out where to go, your itinerary, where to stay and what to do is key. While turning up in a new destination without a plan sounds romantic, planning ahead allows you to work out exactly where you are going and staying – finding that place that is perfect for both your style and your budget.
Working out the best deals on airlines, accommodation and sight seeing is an easy way to save a lot of money, without scrimping on quality or your time away. Working out a basic itinerary for each place you visit allows you to booked time entry in advance for popular destinations and skip the queue – long queues are never first class, regardless of how much you spent getting there!
Frugal first class travellers appreciate local
Local food, local public transport and small local-run hotels are an easy way to make your trip cheaper and more memorable. A Hilton or InterContinental is the same everywhere, but that small family run 10 or 20 room hotel will have charm and personality all of its own.
Eating at a family run restaurant – often with Dad cooking out the back while Mum and the kids do front of house not only saves money, but will give you some of your most memorable meals. A club sandwich from room service? Meh……
Frugal first class travellers splurge on what is important and save on what isn’t
Regular readers will have noticed that I don’t travel Economy (Coach) on long haul flights. To me, a Business or First Class seat is what is really important. Other travellers are more than happy to sit down the back, but will kill for that Michelin star meal, or that 5 star hotel.
Mixing and matching is the aim of the game – splurge on the activities that will bring you genuine comfort, joy and happiness, and save on the things that you regard as an unnecessary expense.
I’ve been known to get off a First Class flight and hop on the train with the backpackers rather than take a chauffeur ride – for me getting into town quickly is what is important.
Frugal first class travellers pack light
Lugging a huge suitcase is never first class, unless you have someone to schlep it for you of course. Pack light and you can be more “nimble” in your travels, use public transport with ease, and have far less stuff to lose or leave behind.
Frugal first class travellers take advantage of travel hacks
Booking flights on frequent flyer points, booking a suite in a cheaper hotel or buying museum passes to beat the queue and other travel hacks are easy ways to save money or have a better experience for the same budget. What are your favorite hacks?
Frugal first class travellers understand that “first class” is a relative term
If you’ve been sleeping in dorms and living on pizza slices or instant noodles for a week, a night in a single room with an en suite and a simple café meal can be first class. For others, it is a night in a pricy hotel, or a single, fabulous meal. Frugal first class travellers don’t let others define what “first class” means.
Frugal first class travellers spend time doing the things they love…..
Not the things they think they “should” do. Trawling round an art gallery because “everyone” says you should is not first class if you’d rather be at the beach or enjoying the passing parade from a café. Doing things you “should” do rather than what you want to do is a waste of both time and money.
Frugal first class travellers know the best deals and sights are off the main drag
From the Ramblas in Barcelona to the Champs Elysees in Paris, the savvy frugal first class traveller knows the best food, best shopping and best people watching is actually away from the tourist hordes. Head to where the locals are, and enjoy!
Finding your own private corner or hidden gem not in your guide book is exhilarating and will add so much to your experience, without costing a cent.
Frugal first class travellers are open minded and forgiving
Trains and planes will be late, the weather will turn bad, and museums will be closed unexpectedly for renovations. Frugal first class travellers don’t stress over things they can’t control. They also have a plan B, a healthy sense of humour and the ability to be Zen about the most stressful situations…..
Stressing and getting angry and/or upset over things you can’t control is never first class – and just ruins your experience. Deal with the drama calmly and maturely, then breathe, release and move on….
What are your favorite tips for a frugal, but definitely first class experience?