Positano, Rome or Barcelona? Planning a luxury vacation is exciting, but booking a dream destination can also be costly. Luckily there are a few things you can do to potentially save you some money when visiting some of the world's most glamorous places.
Booking a comfortable transatlantic flight (in first class if you can) isn't as easy as it used to be. Here are a few ways you may get a great deal on a flight to your dream destination:
Be open with your dates
Thanks to more advanced algorithms and up-to-the-second booking software, old “hacks” for getting cheap flights to Europe no longer work (flying on a Tuesday doesn't guarantee the deal it used to). The best way to find great flights to Europe is to be open with your dates.
Adding just a few days on either side of your departure and return dates can produce incredible rates on flights, and possible first-class upgrades to places you never thought you'd visit.
Be flexible with your destination
This doesn't mean you shouldn't visit Paris if that's where you're dying to go. However, you can find some incredible deals if you expand your search. Some online flight booking tools allow you to use a map to compare what flight costs are if you were to slightly alter your destination.
Fly in the off season
Everyone wants to visit Europe in summer, but that means that flights, hotels, tours, restaurants, and everything else is going to cost more than it could if you were to visit off season. Expand your search to visit late spring, or early fall and you're likely to save money (and experience shorter lines) seeing the sites you want to see.
How to use a TD® Aeroplan® credit card: Hands down the best way to fly to Europe is when you redeem Aeroplan Miles for a flight. TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Card members get instant access to:
- Air Canada® Benefits: Priority Check-In, Priority Boarding and 1st checked bag free for the Primary Cardholder on all Air Canada® flights
- Global Airport Lounge Access: complimentary Standard Priority Pass Membership with six passes to over 1,200 Priority Pass airport lounges in airports around the world
- VIP Fast Track Lanes to bypass security lines at: Vancouver, Ottawa, and Montreal-Trudeau airports
- Extensive Travel Insurance including: Lost or delayed luggage, medical coverage, trip cancellation, and rental car insurance
Booking a luxury hotel
Finding a deal on luxury hotels and B&Bs in Europe can be a challenge. Language barriers, outdated booking sites, and competition from thousands of other savvy travelers can mean slim pickings and steep rates. But you can beat the competition and relax in style with these simple luxury booking tips.
Book during January
Do you need a better reason to travel than escaping winter? Many European five-star hotels offer incredibly discounted rates on luxury suites that would otherwise lay empty. Penthouse suite anyone?
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Cardmembers get access to the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection of luxury and boutique properties around the world.
Don't fly direct
Flying direct to your destination may sound good, but layovers are one of the best ways to build in a sense of adventure on your luxury vacation. Some airlines offer free stopover rates that let you explore destinations like Reykjavik or Dublin. Use the savings from the free layover to splurge on a luxury hotel for the weekend.
Live on the edge
Staying on the edge of major European cities can save you hundreds of dollars on accommodation. Staying just outside of the main old town centres of European cities is also helpful if you decide to rent a car. Parking is much easier outside of historic districts, and you won't have to navigate as many narrow streets and tight corners.
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Cardholders get at least 5% off rentals at participating Avis/Budget car rental locations all over the world. And you earn 1.5 Aeroplan Miles for every $1 you spend on gas. Stay a little out of town and enjoy the freedom and benefits of mobility that earns you even more bonus reward miles.
Follow the money
One of the most interesting ways to find incredible luxury hotels in European cities at a fraction of the price is to search the financial districts. Cities that host a lot of high-end business travelers can have a lot of vacancies during the weekend. You can find luxury hotel rooms for a reasonable price in many major European cities on the weekend.
If you expand your search, are flexible when and where you fly and stay away from the crowds on the outside of town, you could well be on your way to planning an unforgettable and reasonably-priced luxury vacation to remember.
*Trademark of Visa International Service Association and used under license.