Traveling like a celebrity doesn't mean you have to save for years or live way beyond your means. In fact, upgrading to first class and securing a wildly expensive room for cheap can be as easy as signing up for an airline or hotel credit card. If you want to travel like a hotshot without spending all that paper, check out these tips and tricks from the experts in travel.
Very rarely will you ever find an A-list (or even D-list) celebrity in coach. Why? They can afford the upgrade! Even if money is a little tight, treat yourself to the first class upgrade. Not only do you receive more personalized attention, but all alcoholic drinks and meals are included in the price. Plus, you get about two to five additional inches of legroom, a pillow, blanket and hot towel so you can sleep and rest easier. In addition, most airlines comp inflight entertainment and WIFI for first class guests, so you can answer email or watch movies without an additional cost. If that's not enough to convince you, first class passengers board first and are often granted space in the chic airline lounges, which also boast free drinks, entertainment and snacks.
Since many of us don't have the budgets these celebs do (or the connections), there is a strong chance we won't get the same treatment (like free champagne when we want it). However, that doesn't mean we still can't eat and drink without worrying about the bill. According to Cheap-O-Air, booking a four or five star all-inclusive resort is the perfect way to enjoy a celebrity inspired trip without worrying about budget. The drinks, food and many activities are included in the price of the room, so you aren't left worrying how much dinner will set you back. If you are on budget but still dream of vacationing like the Hollywood royalty, book your trip during the winter which is when many resorts offer holiday sales. For additional savings, book your vacation during the off-season so you can expect seclusion and A-list quality service from the hotel or resort staff.
Want to really experience the world like your favorite celebrities? Go where they go! Do research on where your favorite celebrities like to travel and look for hotel and flight deals to that location. In addition, you can also book trips picked out by your favorite celebrities for a one of a kind trip. American Express Travel just introduced their Insider Escapes, which feature eight unique destinations picked out by some of the biggest celebrities out there, including Tom Colicchio, Lisa Ling and Jonathan Adler. The trips are coordinted by travel agents and feature in-depth itineraries complete with hotel reservations, restaurant recommendations and excursions hand picked by the celebrity spokespersons. David Patron, Vice President for American Express Travel, says these are the perfect trips for those looking for a luxurious "insiders" vacation.
"If you are a foodie, what is more exciting than following in the travel footsteps of iconic chefs like Tom Colicchio? [It's the best way to get] the inside travel scoop from a celebrated expert."
If your budget and vacation time allow, book your trip during large, celebrity events. For example, if you're planning a trip to the South of France, book it during the Cannes Film Festival. Or book your trip to LA during the Golden Globes or Oscars. Not only will this make you feel like a celebrity, you'll be sure to see a ton of them there too!
Want to score first class and hotel upgrades, free drinks, restaurant vouchers and even free trips like many celebrities do? Sign up for your preferred airline and hotel's credit card and their points programs. Airlines and hotels use these points and credit cards as a means to reward you for your loyalty to their brand. According to John Swanciger, as quoted in ABC News, "Rewards of all types, such as air travel, hotel accommodations, and retail merchandise, are the tools airlines use to fill that expectation [of consumer loyalty]." Not only do many points programs offer upgrades for a discounted fee or free, they also give preferential treatment to these credit card and point holders, allowing them to board on the first or second zones or giving them free room upgrades. Just be sure to do your research on which airline and hotel would work best for your travel needs.
If you want your vacation to feel as luxurious as possible, allow yourself a few splurges while at your destination. Treat yourself to a fancy 5-star dinner, book a sunset champagne cruise, upgrade your room to a suite for the last few days of vacation or buy one really nice bottle of wine to enjoy on your balcony. Another way to ensure you come back from your vacation feeling like a well-pampered celebrity is to visit a nice spa. Upgrade to the 90-minute massage or the pedicure. If you can only afford one expensive upgrade, ask the concierge what they recommend.
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