How to Enjoy 5-Star Resorts on a 3-Star Budget
My wife Carol and I have greatly enjoyed quite a number of spectacular resorts in the course of the last year. This is a photograph that I captured of Carol enjoying our in-room infinity pool as we luxuriated on a rainy August afternoon at the Jade Mountain Resort on the island of St. Lucia.
Back in August, as I was enthusiastically sharing our Jade Mountain experience with our Facebook fans, someone made a comment that evoked quite a number of emotions. Her comment was simple, and direct: “It must be nice to be rich!”
I didn’t respond to her comment as I wasn’t sure if she was being sarcastic, showing a sigh of exasperation, or perhaps even jealously.
This comment has haunted me a little over the past months as the last thing we are striving to do is flaunt ourselves as somehow being above, or better than someone else.
The simple truth is, we love to travel and we greatly desire to share our experiences in hopes that you too will get out there and enjoy this beautiful planet and the people that occupy it.
As I have further mulled this woman’s comment around in my mind, I realized that I perhaps have important information to share: you don’t have to be rich to enjoy 5-Star resorts. Anyone, with a 3-Star budget can enjoy 5-Star resorts with a little planning, discipline, desire, and patience.
Shoulder and Off-Season Travel
There are financial cycles in the travel industry. Certainly economic prosperity is one of the important financial cycles, but one of the most critical financial cycles in the travel industry is the traditional summer vacation, the winter flow of snow-birds to the south, and various other calendar events that set travelers in motion.
If your habit is to ride the crest of these travel tsunamis, then you are certainly destined to pay top dollar for your vacations.
I suppose that some of my readers have no choice but to travel when everyone else is traveling, but I also suspect a great many of you could change your tradition a bit and save a great deal of money.
Generally speaking, folks don’t travel to Arizona in July because they think it is simply too hot. However, this thinking creates a sharp in-season/out-of-season here in Scottsdale. Therefore, 5-Star resorts that typically bring $400-500/night in January are on sale for under $125/night during July!
My wife and I took advantage of the off-season to put together our Arizona AAA Five-Diamond Resort Tour. This series was put together in the Arizona summer heat. There were no pressing crowds, we spent the hot afternoons in the pool, and we had a remarkable time!
We did the same thing with our 25th Wedding Anniversary Caribbean Island Resort Tour. August, in the Caribbean, is at the beginning of the hurricane season. For this reason, the crowds stay away and the prices fall.
Traveling in shoulder and off-season will get you into a 5-Star resort at 3-Star prices!
Follow Your Favorite Destinations and Airlines Online
I have been writing about this for weeks. The whole travel industry is shifting a great deal of its time and money to communicating directly with their potential customers using social media tools.
Rather than serving up redundant information, you can find my most recent article on using Facebook and Twitter to find great travel deals, and you can even find us talking about it on a local television station.
Here’s your homework:
- “Like” your favorite travel destinations, airlines, restaurants, and parks on Facebook.
- “Follow” your favorite travel destinations, airlines, restaurants, and parks on Twitter.
- “Subscribe” to your favorite travel destinations, airlines, restaurants, and parks monthly newsletter. These can generally be found on the front page of their websites.
If you like, follow, and subscribe to your favorite destinations, I promise that you will begin to see wonderful deals coming right to your computers. If these organizations find that they can drum up business by directly communicating with their customers, then you will find increased savings as they cut out the advertising middleman.
Furthermore, when your favorite destination starts to move towards its shoulder/off-season, you will begin to see incredible offers.
This is yet another way for you to obtain a 5-Star resort at a 3-Star price.
Travel Sites Like TravelZoo, Expedia, or Groupon
While it is true that deals can be found at these sites, I believe change is afoot.
Recently American Airlines announced that it is pulling away from offering its fares through online discount sites. Southwest Airlines makes it well known that you will only find their fares on their Internet site. This saves the airlines millions of dollars that can be potentially passed on to their customers.
US Airlines has recently launched a significant marketing effort where they are offering Twitter-only deals to their customers.
Furthermore, destinations and airlines are learning that they have another free marketing channel with smaller travel websites like … yours truly … The Roaming Boomers®.
We recently approached destinations looking for substantial specials for our clients and we found that these destinations were absolutely willing to pony up some great deals because we were not asking them for money. We were, instead, looking to build good will with you, our readers.
Just look at the recent deals we were able to announce to our Facebook fans!
I hope I have convinced you into action. Either one of these strategies will likely help you transition from a 3-Star resort to a 5-Star resort. However, the combination of both creates a certainty in my book.
Now, get out there and join us at the world’s most remarkable resorts!
Ready. Set. Go!
PS In addition to these suggestions, you will also want to “Follow Us” and “Join Us” as we will continue to offer you exciting information, travel deals, and contests to win free stuff. Simply head to the right column of our website and “Follow Us” and “Join Us“. Thanks!
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Thanks for the article. My husband and I have had the opportunity to travel at low-travel times and always beat the crowds and the high prices!
Thanks for the vote of confidence regarding our article. Sometimes, having the beach to yourself is WAY cool.
Absolutely. People are always wondering where we get the money to travel. All it takes is a bit of planning, saving, luck and a willingness to CONSTANTLY scour for deals to places you want to go. $40 a week (coffees? restaurant visit? et al) will give you over $2K for travel a year. You can do a LOT on $2k. 😎
don’t forget to go to “unfashionable” places. My wife and I traveled to Cambodia in 2006 – before the tourism press found it – and stayed at 5 star resorts for under $100/night and ate for $25/day. A taxi for 4 of us (with fresh water) for $25/day. I suspect Laos is still that way… think adventure travel – even if you stay at 5 star resorts!
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