How to Travel (Relatively) Luxuriously on the Cheap

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If you think champagne on the cheap sounds too good to be true, then, well – you’re probably right. Budget travel typically won’t involve nights at five star hotels or days at top quality spas, but there’s a lot you can do to get those occasional sensations of living the luxurious life, whether it be an affordable fine dining experience, a spa treatment at half price, or a few free hours inside VIP airport lounges.

Collect travel points and book online

This one’s a no-brainer. If you’re doing a lot of travel, then collecting points through a loyalty scheme can add up and result in extra perks or discounts. Check with airlines and accommodation chains for membership cards. Some airlines offer frequent flyers time in their exclusive airport lounges. Booking online in advance, as opposed to booking at ticket booths on the spot, can also save you money on all types of transport.

Travel during off-peak season

Everyone knows that summer is the most popular season for holiday travels. Kids are off school, the weather’s great and – as a result – airline tickets and hotel prices skyrocket. Choosing to travel off peak season is not only cheaper, it can make for a more relaxing experience as you’ll be surrounded with fewer tourists. Off-season holiday package deals (flights and accommodation inclusive) are heavily promoted by travel agencies during non-peak season and can offer great value for money.

Activities and Excursions

Before paying for activities such as water sports or city tours, check online for special offers and discount codes that could apply to your purchase. If you’re visiting a popular tourist destination, then chances are that you’ll find at least some applicable promotional codes or coupons online.

Nightlife

Often, the best bars are the exclusive, chic ones that tourists don’t yet know about. So how are you going to find them? Ask locals, of course! Try the Like A Local Guide for insider tips on the best, and most reasonably priced, places to hang. Next, if you haven’t downloaded one of the many apps that help you discover which local bars are offering Happy Hour – then get on that right away! Nightclubs typically allow free entry until late, so turn up early and avoid wasting $30 on admission. Keep in mind that casinos sometimes offer free drinks to customers – just don’t be tempted to join a poker table or your financial loss might outweigh the benefit of a getting a couple complimentary mojitos.

Events

Joining international globetrotting and expat communities such as Internations.org often gives you exclusive invites to international events. Sites such as Meetup.com will give you access to competitive prices on numerous parties and social events. If you’re lucky you’ll even find cost-free meet-up events on here, ranging from ‘yoga in the park’ groups to wine tasting tours. Best of all is how international expat sites help you build contacts and increase your chances of getting on guest lists.

Accommodation

Boutique hotels, being smaller and local, can often give you the same luxury experience as big brands but at a lower price and with a more authentic feeling. Booking sites typically let you sign up for price drop notifications, meaning you’ll get an email update as soon as any accommodation that you’ve got your eye on decreases in price. Apps such as HotelTonight show last-minute room rates at what can be 70% off the original price. This is a good method for finding cheap luxury accommodation providing you’re comfortable procrastinating until last minute. Alternatively, check for home exchanges on sites like AirBnB – you never know who might be renting out their luxury apartment just in time for your visit…

Dining

If possible, opt for fine dining lunch as opposed to fine dining dinner. Lunch menus are typically cheaper (even more so if you go for a set menu) so this is the best time to grab some fancy grub.

Saving money on luxury travel can make all the difference for a vagabond who could not otherwise afford the full price of glamorous accommodation, fancy events and Michelin star restaurants. Taking advantage of all these budget tips requires a great deal of planning, but is nonetheless necessary for most people who want to travel luxuriously in the long term.

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Tips For Saving Money On Fragrances

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Perfumes and fragrances are an almost essential part of your wardrobe, yet they are so expensive.  The good news is that your favourite fragrance doesn’t need to cost a fortune, if you are clever and shop with a keen eye.  To help you out, here are some great tips on how to save money on smelling great.

Shop For Fragrances Online

Trying to save money on fragrances at the local department store can be something of a hit and miss affair.  Shopping online however, makes it a lot easier to find big savings on all your favourite designers and brands.  There are even some sites that specialise in selling designer branded fragrances and perfumes at discount prices.

Shop For Fragrances At Wholesalers

Following on from the first tip, another great way to save money on smelling great is by shopping for wholesale freagrances.  It is not just wholesale clothing you can get at these specialist stores, and as you are getting the items at the same price many retailers would buy them before adding their own price on top, you know you will save something.  Check out ApparelCandy.com for more information/

Look Out For Sales And Coupons

Although, much like any other piece of clothing or accessories, perfumes do go on sale, you have to keep a close eye on stores and retailers to spot when these sales happen.  Valentine’s Day and Christmas are usually the periods of the year you are likely to see the biggest reductions on items such as perfumes.

Look Through Clearance Aisles

One of the best ways to save money on the fragrances you want is by looking through the Christmas items clearance aisles.  Depending on the shop you go to, you are likely to find some fragrances that didn’t sell well over Christmas at greatly reduced prices.

Invest In Bigger Bottles

If you are particularly fond of a fragrance and know it goes well with what you wear and how you look and your natural body odour and want to save money, it may be worth your while buying a bigger bottle of your usual fragrance.  Although it will cost a lot more money upfront, you will save in the long run as you will have a bigger bottle that will last longer and generally the per ounce or litre price is lower, the larger the bottle you buy.

Watch Out For Samplers

If however, you are still looking for that one scent to call your own, fragrance samplers are definitely the right option for you.  These are usually free, as they are meant to serve as introductions to particular scents, with the hope that once you like your sampler and it runs out you will pay the full price for a bottle

Consider Generic Perfumes

Have you ever seen those generic versions of designer fragrances that claim to smell just as good.  While it is true that a great number of these do not live up to their bold claims, if you look a round a little you will definitely find some that are as good as their more expensive counterparts.

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Everything you Need to Know about Estate Agents

Have you ever wondered what estate agents do, or considered a career as an Estate Agent? Well, estate agents take up the role of marketing and selling property on behalf of property owners. That is, they monitor the chain of buyers and sellers, liaise with the solicitor, negotiate with sellers and buyers as well as deal with all the paperwork.

Estate agents may also recommend to solicitors, surveyors as well as mortgage brokers to quick house buyers and sellers. Thus, you may talk to them even if you will not use their services. Unlike a popular misconception that estate agents double up as property valuers, this is not true. While some estate agents may give you a valuation of your property, the only valuation that is admissible by financial institutions is that done by professional surveyors.

Estate agents have a way of adding a positive spin on the description of properties, the same way a marketing expert may spin a title tag, or description of a website for seo purposes. This is a great way of selling property without offending clients. However, you need to be cautious because there is a degree of opinion involved in the description of the property.

Estate Agent Regulation

The definition of estate agents is solely the mandate of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). Further, the Estate Agents and Redress Act 2007 and the Estate Agents Act 1979 regulate the operations and conduct of estate agents.
Additionally, estate agents may also subscribe to certain bodies like the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This is the principal body for UK property professionals dealing with commercial, residential as well as agricultural property. In fact, estate agents are legally required to belong to a redress scheme to trade as an agent. Consequently, agents who do not belong to any redress scheme as this governs agents.

Estate Agent Fees

When buying property, you are not required to pay estate agent fee. However, property sellers will pay between 0.75% and 3.5% of their property’s selling price in estate agent fees unless you are selling with a fast house sale agency. This can significantly have an impact on the amount that is due to you at the end of the transaction hence the need to consider negotiating for better rates. It is advisable that you check if the fee is inclusive of VAT, otherwise you may end up adding another 20% of the fee.

Overall, estate agents are an important link between property buyers and sellers. However, you need to understand that they may not always have your interests as heart as they are in business. Therefore, you will do well to research widely and understand the process so that you do not become a victim of estate agent traps.

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Ways to Moneysave, and Save Up

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Collaboration with Poppy J.

 

It is becoming increasingly difficult to squirrel away a few extra pounds, or to save towards a bigger essential buy – let alone long term and for the future. With a bit of extra diligence, it is possible to start – and starting is the hardest. We look at small changes you can make to make it happen.

Shift Down A Brand

When grocery shopping, think of the price range of your favourite consumer brands and the next time you go for supplies, look a level lower on the shelf. Supermarkets place the premium brands at eye level and the bargains towards the bottom of the shelf, so try out alternative brands. Words like ‘luxury’ on more copious packaging lure us into shelling out more for the premium range, whereas ‘basics’ offers more no frills packaging and can still even be hiding a better quality product underneath. We are tricked into thinking pricier equals better quality, but it doesn’t always. If you buy brand names (Kellogg’s, McVities, etc.) opt for supermarket own brands next time and see if you can taste any difference in quality.

Put a Money Away for Each Day of the Year

This might take a little effort to remember and you can always tick it off on the calendar, but if you remember the 365 Day Challenge craze, it could come in handy for you. Imagine January 1st is day 1, and December 31st is day 365, then putting the number in pence into a box can save you a total of around £670 a year. There are free downloadable charts to keep you on track. If towards the end of the challenge you are putting away £3. 63, then £3.64, then £3.65 the next day and this proves change you just can’t spare, commit to putting a set affordable amount away each day, for example a pound a day will still save you £365 a year. Of course, day one can be August 31st and day 365 August 30th the following year so you can begin any time.

Spread The Cost Out For a Bigger Purchase

If you just can’t save up for an item you need now, such as a bed, make it affordable in the interim by spreading out payments, so that you are able to budget for other essentials and save more easily. In some cases, like with cars, it can mean paying more long term for an item, but not always. The resources that opting for purchasing goods on finance saves can also help you to end up actually saving money elsewhere in the long run.

Take Advantage Of Online Price Codes

For groceries, make use of the introductory offers from every supermarket offering home delivery. Sainsbury’s off £10 discount for the first five shops and Morrison’s and Ocado off £10 or £20 a first order. Try each supermarket out for each shop, to make the most of these introductory offers. On top of this, periodically, individual products can be added to the basket for free, some several at once. Very often companies have promotional codes can that be used concurrently with other codes, a practise known as code stacking.

For clothes and electricals, keep an eye out for price glitches, where you end up with heavily discounted or even free entire orders. If you spot it early enough, very often providers end up honouring these, and shoppers have ended up in the past with pricey new TV’s for a fraction of the price, or in season fashion buys for pennies.

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