Five Tips to Enjoy a Little Luxury Without Busting Your Budget

After being on the road and living as cheaply as possible for a few months now, I crave for some luxury like sleeping in nice hotels, eating buffets, drinking, etc. But since I don’t have a fix plan in this trip, I need to make sure that I stay on budget at all times (or most of the time) to prolong my travels.

Here are Five Tips to Enjoy a Little Luxury Without Busting Your Budget:

Five Tips to Enjoy a Little Luxury Without Busting Your Budget

1. Look for Hotel Deals Online: Google late stays promotion, hotel promotion or last minute hotel deals in (destination) or any related keywords. Check the price of your desired hotel and then go to the hotel’s website and compare the price. Sometimes, these companies could offer as much as 70% discount especially during low season. If the price seemed to be too good to be true, then send an email to the hotel. I just sent an email to a hotel to confirm the promotion price that I saw in one website because it seems to be too good to be true (from $400/night to $8)… turned out to be wrong information. But there tons of real deals out there, I scored some nice hotel promos myself (I once booked a boutique hotel that offered as much as 60% discount on an 80 sq m gorgeous room), so just be patient in researching and you might find a great deal.

You can also find really good deals on timeshare rentals by submitting offers through an online by-owner marketplace. As the date gets closer to a set timeshare week, the more pressure the owner has to rent it out so they don’t get stuck with a week they can’t use but have already paid for. If you can wait til the last minute, this makes it more likely that a lower offer will be accepted.

2. Bang for the Buck: Always look for value. Example, two hotels offer $40/night promo price. Go for the one that includes free breakfast and other amenities that you intend to use (like swimming pool, gym, wifi etc). If another hotel offers more for just a few more dollars (example: free massage, sauna, spa on top of the above mentioned facilities) then go for it (this always depend on your allowable budget).

3. Dining: Here in Siem Reap, there are multitudes of options when it comes to dining. There are some who offers a $12 buffet with free Apsara dance shows. One restaurant offers ala-carte menu with the same kind of show. A buffet in one local restaurant offers $5 without the show. One restaurant offers $10 with free use of pool. Choose your dining splurge depending on what you want to experience. Maybe you can try each of them on a weekly basis (if you’re travelling long term). This would ensure that you get to enjoy and maximize your stay without busting your bank.

4. Drinking: Ever heard of happy hour? It’s like a promotional offer by a bar or restaurants where they usually slash the price of their drinks for a couple of hours – usually in the afternoon till 7PM or 8PM. This is the best time to enjoy cocktails without paying for full price. Some hotels offer more, one hotel here in Siem Reap offers free use of their swimming pool if you spend $10 on your food and drinks. Another option is to buy your drinks from the supermarket and just hit the bars after you’ve had your fair share of drinks in your hostel. This will keep your bar tab at the minimum cost.

5. Shopping: Craving to buy something new? Then research online and compare prices. I’m thinking of getting an Itouch or a Tablet PC and I’ve been comparing prices of the same items in different places in Southeast Asia. It turned out that the cheapest Apple products can be bought in Cambodia. They seem to follow US prices but without the tax. If you’re thinking of buying original Lacoste shirts then Bangkok seemed to be the best place to buy it. If you’re just buying any souvenirs that you can send back to your friends, always visit local markets and compare prices. Buying in bulk will help you save a lot of money too.

Hope these tips help you enjoy simple luxuries on the road without busting your budget.

Do you have additional tips to share? Feel free to leave them on the comment section.


  1. It’s true that drinking can quickly drain your money. As for shopping, I didn’t realize that apple products are generally cheaper in Cambodia than some countries in Asia. That is good to know!


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