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Archive for September, 2010

I’m not always the one that goes for the 4-star hotel or the up-scale restaurant when travelling (don’t get me wrong because I’d like to if my pocket could afford it). Usually on a tight budget, I’d rather eat with the locals in the local restaurants and pubs and sleep in backpackers hostels or guest houses instead of at chain hotels that are familiar from home.

But a friend of mine just came back from a trip to Marrakech, a friend that also travels on a budget and I couldn’t imagine her photographs and the stories about the places she stayed at. An average budget apparently affords a lot in Morocco so I asked her how she did it.

I know I’m not the only one that lives travelling like a diva but has never had the pocketbook to afford it so here is what I took from her advice, of course I did my own research into the topic as well and this is my short guide.

How to travel luxuriously on a budget

(some of these tips I’ll definitely be trying on my upcoming trip to Italy).

1. Savings Plan

(I hate this already) Luxury travelling takes savings and the preparations start long before the holiday does. At the start of each year start a holiday jar, adding £15 to it every week, or as often as you can. After 12 months, you’ll have £720, which can definitely cover the hotel bill and your cheap flights to Marrakech if you’re creative.

2. Save money on food

Instead of eating out every meal, go grocery shopping as soon as you arrive, picking up snacks, breakfast foods, etc which are easily eaten in your hotel room or at your riad. Book a hotel room in Marrakech that includes a microwave and a refrigerator. Make a “dining out” budget while on holidays for special nights and spare some change for grabbing street food at lunchtime.

3. Book in advance

If you know that you want to take a holiday in Morocco, or anywhere else for that matter, then book it as soon as possible. Riads and hotels often have special deals so call ahead and inquire. Look for “early bird” or “off season” savings especially.

4. Plan excursions online

Camel tours and special excursions are sometimes much cheaper if booked or reserved online. The savings might not seem like much but they certainly add up. You’re likely not to find too many museum savings on the internet in Marrakech but hotel-organised trips, definitely.

5. Save on the flights

If there’s anything I’ve learned from travelling is that transportation is easy to save money one and that there’s incredible savings out there if you know how and where to look. I use a travel search engine, liligo.com but I know there are a few others out there too. Search once and compare the fares available, then it’s easy to see what you’re missing (or not) without having to guess. Look for low cost airlines, off-season flights and book them in advance, it’s the best advice.

I don’t know about you, but I’d really love to take a luxury holiday one of these days, Marrakech sounds perfect. Where would you go on your all-inclusive luxury jaunt?

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