Luxurious But Cheap Places To Travel by Sophie Polak

It’s lovely to treat yourself once in a while, especially by taking a break somewhere with good weather, great food and a little bit of luxury thrown in too. Being on a student budget, we tend to always assume that luxurious destinations are out of our league, but with a bit of savvy research you could be living the high life on a low budget. Check out our top tips and our favourite luxurious but cheap places to travel.


Santorini is one of Greece’s most popular islands, and it clear to see why. The beaches are spectacular, the towns have gorgeous white wash buildings and there is still a lot of culture about the place, with ancient Greek ruins to visit. Santorini has made a bit of a name for itself with celebrities too, the rich a famous flock there because of the luxury hotels and privacy the island offers. Just because Beyonce is a regular there, doesn’t mean you can’t be too! Your best bet is to head to the East of the island, to towns like Perissa and Kamari, where there’s plenty to keep you occupied and the black, volcanic beaches are surprisingly stunning. A really good thing about travelling in Greece is that the exchange for Pounds to Euros is generally very good, so your money will stretch that bit further.

United Arab Emirates

Dubai is the definition of luxury, nicknamed ‘The City of Gold’ it is home to countless high rise buildings and a seven star hotel, of which there are only a handful in the world. Back in the 90’s Dubai was a vast dessert, and its growth as one of the best cities in the world has been unprecedented. As Dubai’s hotel rooms have been named as the second most expensive in the world, it’s going to be a little harder here to find luxurious but cheap places to stay, we definitely suggest browsing the web for some great deals and looking to visit towards the end of April or early May. Peak season (November-April) will always be more expensive but weather during the off-peak season can soar to 40 degrees Celsius, and that’s not going to be comfortable for sightseeing. Also it is good to research when the month of Ramadan will be, this is a religious festival of fasting, where eating, drinking and some other activities are prohibited in public and at certain times. As a visitor to the country, you will be expected to adhere to these rules too.

British Virgin Islands

If you’ve got a bigger budget and really want to treat yourself, then head to the British Virgin Islands where luxurious but cheap is still possible. Although a stay on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island, is out of the question, at an eye watering price of £39,000 a NIGHT (that would pay off our student loan nicely, thanks). Staying in the main town, Tortola, lowers costs slightly, you can get flights and a beautiful hotel for around £700, depending when you travel. Although you’re not on a private island, Hotels are still surrounded by gorgeous white, sandy beaches and nestled in tropical gardens so you can still feel secluded and relaxed. Contrary to what you may think, the British Virgin Island currency is not the British Pound, but the US Dollar and currently the exchange rate is pretty decent.


Bangkok is a buzzing city with more visitors than any other city in the world, so you would expect the same hotel prices that you find when staying in London, New York or Paris. Take the Amari Boulevard Hotel for example, it’s a four star hotel, with a pool, a gym and is in a great location. In peak season you are looking at paying £70 Per Night, compared to the £180 you would pay in a prime location in London. If you fancy some island luxury, Phuket has some amazing luxurious but cheap places to stay, overlooking crystal clear waters and some offering spa facilities; it’s the perfect place to pamper yourself. The currency in Thailand is the Thai Baht and you can get a lot for your money there, especially in terms of eating. There are many options from street food to upmarket restaurants and neither will break the bank if you don’t want them too!

Wherever you are off on your travels this year, make sure you get your currency sorted before you go. You can easily get it in store from the Post Office or even order it online just by clicking the link below.

  • Subscribe to The Student Pocket Guide for exclusive competitions, deals, discounts, tips and advice!
  • Read The Student Pocket Guide.