The Difference Between Luxury Travel and Affordable Luxury Travel

So what’s the difference between luxury travel and affordable luxury travel?

I’ll explain.

The Desperation of Luxury Travel

When we had fast rising corporate jobs our vacation time was our most precious commodity.

Matt Wald
Corporate Matt

My job provided more time off – 3 to 4 weeks – than most American companies. And Lisa worked for herself as an independent consultant.

So we traveled as much as we could (‘Don’t you guys ever work!?’ was a common question on our Facebook walls).

But every single day we could travel was incredibly precious to us.

We had plenty of money. What we didn’t have was plenty of time.

So we did luxury travel. Meaning we threw ridiculous amounts of money at travel to make it as intensely pleasant as possible in the limited time allotted.

We spent thousands of dollars on a 2-week trip including business class flights (which HAD to be on United Airlines since we were both Million Milers), luxury hotels, private transfers and expensive dinners.

We knew we could have had similar experiences for less money. But between work and our limited vacation we didn’t have the time to slow down and figure out how we might have had similar luxury experiences for far less money.

And, worse, if we took a chance on affordable luxury and it turned out to be crap then our precious vacation time would have been wasted.

We recognized that we were spending spending more money than necessary on our travel but felt we couldn’t risk our precious limited vacation time on ‘affordable’ luxury travel!

Now instead of spending thousands of dollars on a single trip we travel full time for thousands a month…and we have similar luxury experiences!

The Freedom of Affordable Luxury or Upscale Travel

Now that we are full time travelers and we run our business from anywhere and everywhere in the world the time-money equation has flip flopped.

We have all the time in the world but our resources are a bit more limited.

Affordable Luxury Travel
Working from Anywhere

And we quickly discovered that our hunch had been correct: we were wasting money – a LOT of money – doing desperate luxury travel.

With time on our side, we are able to slow down and look around.

We are able to spend some of that new-found time digging deeper into how to get cheap luxury travel.

Sometimes it’s about doing lots of research on affordable upscale destinations.

Other times it’s about finding tips, hacks and advice on affordable luxury travel.

And now rather than being tied to a loyalty program with a single airline we have become ‘airline agnostic’ and we seek out ways to find cheap business class tickets or an upgraded flying experience on discount airlines around the world.

Plus, when we fly out of crowded and uncomfortable airports we use Priority Pass Lounges as an affordable luxury travel hack!

Rather than blowing a lot of money on a wine tasting trip to Napa every year we find affordable unique wine tasting experiences all over the world!

Shifting from luxury travel to affordable luxury travel has come naturally to us. And the thought of spending $500 a night for luxury seems crazy.

But if you are still not sure exactly what the difference is between luxury travel and affordable luxury travel (or affordable upscale travel) is then here is an example for you to consider based on two trips we made to Koh Samui, Thailand – once on luxury travel and once on affordable luxury travel!

Bottom Line

Breaking out of the desperation of luxury travel has been a revelation for us.

Now instead of spending thousands of dollars on a single trip we travel full time for thousands a month…and we have similar luxury experiences!

And we are thrilled to share our experiences in finding affordable luxury travel with you!

Be sure to check out our 5 Tips For How You Can Become a Full Time Affordable Luxury Traveler Too!

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