Finding and booking a cheap holiday always feels like a big win. But sometimes it’s worth treating yourself to a luxury holiday with all the trimmings. That’s not to say that luxury holidays can’t be cheap… but every now and then, it’s nice to splash the cash on a well-deserved break. We’re all familiar with the usual glitz and glamour of 5-star holiday destinations, but if you go for somewhere off the beaten path, you may just wind up with an affordable luxury holiday to remember.
Instead of Dubai, choose Abu Dhabi
The extravagance of Dubai is enough to fall in love with, especially for travellers who love luxury holidays. In fact, Dubai may just be the king of luxury holidays! The towering skyline – home to the tallest building in the world, the 5-star all inclusive hotels, the man-made island – Palm Jumeirah… not forgetting to mention the nightlife is insane too, just think of all the yacht parties!
But many may not be willing to part with their hard-earned money on a trip to Dubai, where it can be quite easy to burn a hole in your pocket.
If that’s the case, then why not try Dubai’s neighbouring emirate (and capital of the UAE), Abu Dhabi? Although many often overlook Abu Dhabi for the more favoured Dubai, Abu Dhabi has a lot to shout about in the way of luxury holidays.
It’s also home to elegant 5-star resorts, high-rise skyscrapers to rival Dubai and glistening marinas. Plus, you can find the Yas Marina Circuit here which often attracts the likes of the rich and famous.
You wouldn’t want to miss the iconic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Corniche lined by a waterfront promenade and high-end shops. Let’s not forget that Abu Dhabi caters for kids just as much as Dubai does too – think Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld and of course Abu Dhabi Beach. So, if you’re thinking about heading to the Gulf for luxury, relaxation and fun, you’re in for a treat!
Swap the Maldives for Mexico
The Maldives have long been the ultimate luxury holiday destination. And, who can dispute that?! These islands are easily recognised by their powder-white sands, crystal-clear waters and the sheer jungle beauty.
They exude a private island feel that is hard to replicate anywhere else. Just think of stilted bungalows where every morning you wake up to views of the surrounding turquoise sea. A dream made in heaven, right?
On top of that, there’s opportunities for watersports like diving where you can spot the unique marine life and admire the colourful coral reefs. You might even get to catch a glimpse of cute sea turtles too! The Maldives are a true island paradise, but they’re not to everyone’s liking, particularly because of its price tag.
Not to worry! That’s where the gorgeous north American beauty contender comes in – Mexico. Also boasting 5-star all inclusive resorts, sugary white sands and blindingly blue waters, Mexico definitely puts up a fight when it comes to luxury holidays.
Top resorts like Cancun and Playa del Carmen may not give you quite the secluded vibe as the Maldives but you won’t miss out on the stunning beaches and fun watersports. Plus, with day trips to nearby Isla Mujeres, Isla Holbox and Isla Blanca, you may still get to experience that private island feel, even if it is just for the day!
During your 5-star Mexico holiday, you can explore the jungle as you zipline through the canopies. Or, have a pleasant swim in one of the many cenotes to be found in Mexico. These natural sinkholes are a fit addition to any luxury Mexican holiday.
Skip the Greek Islands and make a beeline for Italy
You’ve no doubt seen the pictures. Whitewashed villages perched on the hills and mountain side of the popular Greek Islands. White churches topped off with iconic blue domes and narrow cobbled alleyways leading you to lively tavernas which are filled with the pleasant aromas of traditional Greek food.
You’ve no doubt heard the stories. Couples who tell you that the Greek Islands were one of the most romantic breaks they’ve ever been on. The likes of Santorini and Mykonos continue to top the list, but even the old classics of Crete and Rhodes still provide the typical luxury Greek getaways you’ve heard about.
Well, they’re not wrong… But the Greek Islands aren’t the only luxury destination going in Europe. In fact, the old romantic’s favourite of Italy is not one to be forgotten about. Whether it’s the incredible capital of Rome steeped in history with the likes of the Colosseum encapsulating the views. The stunning island of Sardinia boasting its Mediterranean flair. Or the unforgettable pastel coloured villages along the Amalfi Coast. Italy has always been luxury at its finest.
But it doesn’t start and end with the views or its magical mysticism. In fact, the luxury carries on for miles. From pastas and pizzas, to gelatos and coffee. From high-end boutique hotels and dainty villages to fabulous beaches and the sound of Italian lingo rolling off the tongues of the locals. Whatever you want in a luxury holiday, it’s bound to be found in this Mediterannean gem.
Take your eyes off Thailand and dream of the Dominican Republic
Thailand is definitely on the list of top luxury holiday destinations. The picture-perfect beaches, the lush jungle terrain and the friendly locals are just some of the things you can expect from the ‘Land of Smiles’. Enjoy boat rides to the idyllic Koh Samui or zip in and out of the towering limestone cliffs along Krabi’s shore.
Thailand is also a hit with travellers who love a foodie luxury holiday. You can learn how to cook Thai style or just rock up to one of the local food markets for a sample of the rich aromas and spices used here.
Sightseeing opportunities in Thailand include the 40,000 temples dotted around the country which ooze sweet Thai tradition. The local markets are perfect for picking up a bargain, from antiques to clothing. And, you might even enjoy a lesson in Muay Thai!
But why not try somewhere new and different? We’re talking about the Caribbean country of the Dominican Republic which is laden with 5-star resorts and perfect for your luxury holiday dose. The Bavaro beaches boast fine sands and sparkling waters. The beachfront all inclusive resorts will have you sipping on colourful cocktails as you lap up the waves right on your doorstep.
Much of the sightseeing in the Dominican Republic is based in the capital of Santo Domingo. Spend the day exploring Alcazar de Colon and Basilica Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor. But it’s also one of the Caribbean’s finest golf destinations (Teeth of the Dog continually being a highly rated course), so if you fancy putting whilst the sea breeze whips past, the Dominican Republic doesn’t disappoint.