Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

This year 62% of UK travellers are going to plan their travel budgets next year more tightly, to enjoy travel within their means, and as a result travellers are seeking more bang for their buck without sacrificing on style.

According to Booking.com’s Travel Predictions for 2024, travellers will employ money saving hacks to cut costs, yet level up their holidays with ‘à la carte’ luxuries from glam yachts to supercars. These à la carte ‘affluencers’ are adept at crafting creative travel itineraries to enjoy the finer things in life without the hefty price tag.

Want bougie hotels over basic backpackers and once-in-a-life-time experiences? As a global travel leader with a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, Booking.com shares seven tips on how to enrich the travel experience with VIP perks that don’t break the bank.


Snag a complimentary hotel room upgrade. 

Strategies include visiting during the low or shoulder season to avoid competition in busier peak periods – or checking in as late as possible; by this point room allocations will be clearer to staff, and they will know what they can offer. Travellers can also unlock perks through Booking.com’s Genius loyalty programme which, in addition to free breakfast, offers Genius Level 2- and 3-members free room upgrades automatically applied at select stays. Membership is completely free, easily accessible and lasts a lifetime and travellers get more perks the more they book. Top tip: increase chances of a peaceful and spacious stay by requesting a corner room in advance – due to the structural layout, these rooms generally have the most square footage with the lowest noise level.

Experience luxe hotels without checking in.

Almost a half (46%) of UK travellers would pay to use the amenities of a 4 or 5-star hotel in 2024, rather than actually staying there. Day passes are a ticket to enjoying all the facilities an upscale hotel has to offer without technically being a guest or paying full whack – and there are some fantastic deals to be had. For example, a Bluewater Panglao Resort Day Pass gives access to the resort’s private beach, lagoon-style pool and Asian fusion restaurant. Over in Mérida, Mexico, one of Booking.com’s 2024 Trending Destinations, the upmarket Casa Lecanda Boutique Hotel offers passes where visitors can access all areas, enjoy a cocktail reception and get credit for the restaurant, all at cut price.

Add luxury bolt-on experiences.

If travellers are willing to save money upfront on accommodation or travel, they can allocate a portion of their budget to splurge on lavish experiences that will bring high-end vibes to any holiday. Conquer the art of smart spending and sprinkle cost-saving holidays with some ‘à la carte’ luxuries to live the high life – even if it’s just for an afternoon. Booking.com has a wealth of well-priced experiences that will boost a budget trip from a Private Car Charter Service in Bohol to see famous attractions around this Philippine island to a Downtown Champagne Brunch Cruise along the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, one of Booking.com’s 2024 Trending Destinations, with unlimited bubbles.

Rent premium cars at cut-price.

For travellers seeking a scenic road trip or just looking to cruise around in style, renting a high-end car will elevate any escape. In fact, more than a third (32%) would pay to rent a nicer car on their travels than they have at home in 2024, and there are ways to indulge in this perk without splashing out. Booking.com’s car rental platform allows travellers to compare prices and browse some of the biggest car hire companies offering deals on everything from cool convertibles to SUVs, while Booking.com’s Genius loyalty programme offers discounts starting from 10% on selected car rental, making it easier for travellers to level up their trip. With the majority of car rentals offering free cancellation up to 48 hours before pick-up, travellers can lock in good prices well ahead of time. Rental car picks can be “nicer” to the planet too, with Booking.com providing travellers with access to Electric and Hybrid cars in over 100 countries. Top tip: keep an eye on the included mileage, try to rent from major cities for better deals and avoid one-way rentals to avoid substantial delivery fees.

Take taxis without spending a small fortune.

It’s always a treat to be able to travel by taxi while on holiday, and it saves having to carry heavy luggage on potentially complicated transport. Travellers can make their journey smooth with professional airport transfers on Booking.com at competitive prices, with greener taxi options also available in 239 cities worldwide. It’s also worth travellers emailing their hotel ahead of a getaway and asking the usual cost for a designated trip, and a local will be able to inform them accurately of a fair price to save being ripped off.

Book an amazing stay for less. 

There’s nothing more satisfying than revealing the bargain price secured for an incredible stay. With over 28 million total reported listings and counting, Booking.com has plenty of deals on extraordinary and unique stays from scenic treehouses to igloos, and family-run B&Bs to boutique hotels. Upscale hostels are also having a renaissance for those who want to ensure hard-earned money goes towards lavish experiences rather than sleeping: the luxe Viajero Buenos Aires Hostel, for example, features well-priced private rooms or dorms in the heart of this Argentinian capital (and one of Booking.com’s 2024 Trending Destinations) with comforts including a restaurant, bar and indoor and outdoor pools.

Uncover hidden gems. 

Another trick for inexpensive luxury travel is to go somewhere obscure. By choosing less popular and under-the-radar destinations with favourable currency exchange rates, cost-conscious yet luxury-loving travellers can enjoy all the perks. In fact, over half (53%) of UK travellers’ plan on picking destinations in 2024 where the cost of living is less expensive than in their hometown. Booking.com’s 2024 Trending Destination Guide shines a light on some of these hidden gems from Vlorë in Albania, Europe’s answer to the Maldives, to the tropical paradise of Panglao in the Philippines, one of the most cost-effective island destinations in the world.

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