I’m a bit of a princess when it comes to certain things in life, but I don’t have a family lineage that provides me with the money needed to live that princess lifestyle. But, I refuse to live without tasting the best things out there. Hence, Luxuriously Thrifty. I like to mix low priced semi-quality items with high priced quality items in my general life, and especially in my closet. So, why wouldn’t I extend it into my travel life?
Mixing cheap items with luxury goods, excursions or spa days can make the whole trip more enjoyable. Backpacking is not for me; I do not want to share a room with 12 other people and I am far past the best before date where it would acceptable to. But…I’m not made of money and chartered private jets, even though my spirit is telling me I belong there. So, how do I get that luxurious feel on trips that don’t break the bank? I downgrade on things that don’t matter.
I rent apartments instead of stay in luxury hotels…at least for most of the trip.
I always like to mix up my stay with a luxury hotel (or as luxury my budget will allow in whatever city I’m in) and have a spa-day on every trip. I offset the expensive cost of spa services and pools by staying in cheaper apartments without all of the amenities my diva heart so craves. This is the time of the vacation where it doesn’t matter how much things cost (obviously with a limit in the back of my mind, of course) as long as I enjoy them. Order the room service, get that massage, pay for the hotel’s over-priced restaurant meals simply because I don’t have to leave the hotel…this is when I overindulge.
I like to go grocery shopping. Yes, I actually love grocery shopping, both at home and when abroad. I love heading out to the store in a foreign city and picking out my fruits and vegetables for my stay, perusing the aisles for anything exciting that we don’t have back home. Sometimes, you end up spending a lot more than you thought you would. Why? Because it gets so fun trying all of the new-to-you items in the grocery store. As long as you keep yourself on a budget, grocery shopping will far outweigh the price of eating in restaurants every meal for your entire trip.
I head to the local market, or store, to grab what I need to make a delicious home-cooked meal that costs WAY less than what the restaurant would charge me. That way….
I get to buy the $25 Kir Royale.
Because, when you’re at Laduree you do not skimp. Because I’ve saved so much on restaurant outings by eating in and buying groceries, I can indulge where it counts. And, ignore prices on menus to gain that must-have experience of drinking a champagne cocktail on the Champs D’Elysees while a gay couple argues with the waiter on keeping their adorable and tiny dog at the table.
I get more money for shopping.
By taking public transportation, or walking everywhere, I save tons on the cost of taxis. Taking a taxi can eat up your money like nobody’s business. While I like to splurge on a taxi to and from the airport/train station (lugging heavy suitcases to and from places is the absolute worst), switching to walking or public transportation once I’m settled keeps the costs down, and is a great way to see the town/city you’re visiting. It also means I get to shop to my heart’s content. Or… until my credit card’s limit.
I get the best of both worlds.
Because I end up integrating myself into the culture that I’m visiting by shopping the markets and renting houses and apartments, walking to the museums and attractions, I feel like a local instead of a tourist. The mundane tasks turn into the everyday experiences while abroad and makes your trip a little more special. And then, I also get to live like a rockstar, ordering the duck confit and another bottle of champagne in Cannes with views like the above after my massage in Switzerland on a rooftop overlooking the Alps.
Michelle is an avid traveler, a great ranter, a lover of all things nature and beautiful. You can find her out of the city limits taking in everything that Earth has to offer. When she’s not dressed down in yoga pants and a t-shirt, you can find her piecing together the perfect outfit to show off in the busy streets with friends – careful to state that she is not a hipster. Her favourite city is Paris, with a yearning for its breathtaking streets, architecture, and fashion so strong that she repeatedly finds herself walking along the cobbled lanes and sitting down in the Tuileries with a cafe au lait, scribbling furiously in a Christian Lacroix notebook.
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