How To Travel Like Like A Kardashian When You're On A Backpacker Budget
The Debrief: Because it doesn't have to be crappy hostels the whole way
You’ve been wearing the same khaki fisherman pants for weeks, you’ve slogged it out on bus journeys that took longer than writing your dissertation, and you’re bleary-eyed after weeks of sleeping in dormitories with 20 other people who seem to have forgotten the backpacker rule of using a torch rather than flicking on the lights and shutting the f**k up when you go to bed at 5am. Your former fresh, stylish self may be a distant memory but fear not; whether you’re spending a month island hopping round Greece or travelling round South America, here’s a few ways to feel more Vogue than Lonely Planet – even when you’re travelling on a budget.
Hang out like a superstar (almost) in an airport premium lounge
Whether you’re just kicking off your trip or if you’re jetting off around the world ticket, you need to get all over premium airport lounges. If you’re travelling long-haul and facing the possibility of spending more than a few hours stuck in an airport, then do splash out (from around £10) on a premium lounge pass. You’ll generally make up the cost as soon as you enter the stylish lounge and scoff all the complimentary food and drinks, and log on to the free WiFi (a lot of airports charge extortionate amounts for accessing the internet) and read the papers and magazines. Amenities often include showers too. Otherwise you’re just in the airport spending all your dosh on all of the above when you can just pay for access and hang out in a cool lounge. Just remember to ditch the fisherman pants.
Swap the hostel for a hip apartment
Wave goodbye to the grungy hostel and check out what kind of cool Airbnb apartment you could afford stay in, even if it’s for a night or two. Or if you fancy splurging, pool your dosh together with other travellers to stay a night in a super stylish Onefinestay property. Also, don’t forget to check out the local boutique hotels. While a five-star hotel might be out of your reach in London or Paris, you could strike gold in counties like Thailand, Vietnam and Bolivia, and find a chic hotel for under £50 for two people. Just imagine donning those luxury bathrobes, jumping into a bed that’s freshly cleaned with white linen (bedbug count: low) and eating a buffet breakfast that doesn’t consist of bread, more bread and scraping the end of a jam jar. Hell, there might even be a spa.
Cocktails in a swanky setting
Yes, I’d loved to have checked-in at the iconic Copacabana Palace hotel when I was travelling around Brazil a few years ago, but I chose to be a journalist and not an investment banker. So instead I cranked up the style dial by donning my finest clothes (I always take one ‘you don’t look like a backpacker’ dress with me when I’m travelling) and headed there anyway for a couple of cocktails. We were treated like stars and served complimentary snacks (so saving on our dinner anyway). Check out any hotels that come with soul-stirring views – you might end up saving money anyway if you were going to fork out big bucks for vistas from some tourist tower. And if you're a little bold (like Samantha out of Sex and the City), you could always try taking your chances and walk into that hotel like you own the place and head straight up to that rooftop swimming pool*.
*Just don’t blame us if they throw you out.
Stay fit in hip surroundings – for free
Sign up to free trials at stylish gyms and classes as you travel. Try a cool spin class in New York, reformer Pilates in Sydney or practice your downward dog in Barcelona. Yes, you might have to say a few white lies and come up with a false address but if you’ve got some guts, you get to hang with fit locals and attempt to stop the inevitable weight gain from piling on as you travel. Just don't divulge that you're just passing through, never to be seen again.
Like this? Then you might also be interested in:
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How To Have A Holiday In Istanbul For Nearly No Money
Fun Stuff For Under £50 To Do In The UK This Summer If You Can't Afford A Holiday
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