How to have a 5 star holiday without the price tag

Dreaming of a luxury break? Here’s how you can go 5 star without paying a fortune.

Whether it’s an interstate getaway or an overseas adventure, A Current Affair showed viewers how to holiday like the rich and famous without the hefty price tag.

“You really don’t have to pay a fortune to go 5 star,” says Quentin Long from Australian Traveller Magazine.

“There are so many deals out there that will make your luxury dollar go really very far. The whole world really is open to us now in Australia, there’s so many different destinations where you can get luxury for less but the classics are Bali, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia,” he added.

If you’re looking a little further afield though he says there are other great options.

“Iceland in Europe, the eastern part of Europe so places like Croatia, Slovenia is really really popular. Portugal, Scandinavia,” said Mr Long.

Of course you don’t need to travel overseas for an amazing 5 star holiday, there are plenty of world class destinations in our own backyard.

In fact 80 percent of domestic travel bookings are usually to Queensland for example Port Douglas, Sunshine Coast, Noosa and Hamilton Island.

With three young girls Emily and Anthony Gibara are always looking for ways to save.

“Food is really expensive when you’re feeding 5 at a time and activities are really expensive so if you can get things like that included then it makes a really big difference,” says mother Emily Gibara.

Recently the family enjoyed holidays in Brisbane and Hamilton Island using booking site Expedia.

“We have been to Hamilton Island twice, we love going there, we find that that is a really luxurious place to go, there is lots for the kids to do,” she said.

By booking through the site they believe they’ve saved upwards of $2,000 over the past few years.

“We found so many deals where you can get 50 percent off and when we have been able to do that it means that we can have a longer holiday or it means even that we can have more money on the ground when we get there,” added Mrs Gibara.

“We’ve got flights, hotels, activities, car hire even insurance you can go in and get everything sorted in one go,” she added.

Lisa Perkovic from travel booking site Expedia says she has noticed more demand for luxury travel.

“What we are seeing is increased demand for 5 star experiences, 20% increase in searches for 5 star properties,” said Ms Perkovic.

And the good news she says is that there are plenty available, for example Bali, Maldives and Sunshine Coast.

“If you want the best value for your money definitely think outside the box, look at going outside of those peak holiday periods, shoulder destinations, places like Europe are always going to be cheaper and less crowded,” she added.

“Phuket is a fantastic deal at the moment on our luxury list, it is 7 nights for 2 people for around 900 dollars it includes airport transfers, massages and a 3 course meal,” said Lisa.

So how can sites like Expedia get such good deals? According to Lisa it’s all about supply and demand.

“They know they have rooms to fill and they have people that they can get in by adding these bonus inclusions,” she added.

The Gibara’s says the money they’ve saved has allowed splurge things they would normally have to miss out on.

“We’ve been able to get places that have like food credit, resort credit, spa credit. I never thought that we would be able to get massages included those sorts of things are real luxuries that we don’t sort of do in our day to day life,” confessed Emily.

Before you book that dream holiday though Quentin says it’s important to know what you’re in for.

“Make sure it’s going to suit all your needs and understand what the terms and the fine print is really saying. Are you able to travel when you want to travel? Are you going to be able to travel in the style you want to be able to travel and is it going to cater to all your needs?,” said Mr Long.

* In highlighting particular offers we are not making specific recommendations as this article does not cover all available products and may not compare all features relevant to you. Any advice provided is general in nature and does not take account of your needs, objectives or financial situation. Individuals should consider their own circumstances, and if in doubt seek appropriate advice, before proceeding.