OK, so you might not be able to hop on your private jet to zip away on vacation to a private island like some of your favorite celebrities might be able to do. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add a little luxury and star power to your next trip. There are many ways to feel like you’re traveling like a celebrity that won’t break the bank and we’ve put together some of our best tips. Don’t forget your sunglasses and remember to smile at the paparazzi.
Celeb travel: General tips
Look for all-inclusive resorts
One of the easiest ways to feel like you’re traveling like a star is to book an all-inclusive vacation. Many all-inclusive resorts offer gourmet dining and unlimited top-shelf liquor so that you can travel like a celebrity without even opening up your wallet throughout your trip. It’s a great feeling simply ordering a drink and heading back to the pool minus the part where you have to ask for a bill.
Score a first-class upgrade
What better way to feel like a celebrity while you travel than with a first class upgrade. An upgrade will likely mean access to a lounge where you can have a drink in a relaxed setting before you board. Plus, you’ll have comfier seating on the plane, better service and a hot meal you can enjoy with a glass of wine.
Search out spa discounts
Scoring a spa treatment for less can be easier than you think. Many spas offer discounts if you book at specific times during specific days of the week. A simple web search of your destination plus “spa discounts” or “spa deals” will be a good start to your search. Or, booking a cheaper treatment (like a simple manicure versus an elaborate massage or facial) can usually give you access to luxe perks like the steam room, spa pool, sauna and full spa amenities, so you can pamper yourself without the price tag.
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, United States
Being the preferred getaway spot for numerous celebrities, Martha’s Vineyard is the perfect destination for traveling like a star. But you don’t need to do it on a celebrity budget. There are plenty of low-cost spots to eat and free and cheap things to see and do that will keep your budget balanced.
Start with the Aquinnah Cliffs, formerly known as Gay Head. The breathtaking clay cliffs were carved by glaciers millions of years ago and are well worth a visit and it won’t cost a thing.
Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs was built in 1876 and has achieved landmark status. A ride on the iconic area attraction only costs $2.50 and it’s a fun activity if you’re traveling with kids. If you feel like being amongst nature, you can explore Polly Hill Arboretum. The Martha’s Vineyard horticultural and botanical landmark is beautiful to walk around and it’s just a $5 suggested donation to enter (kids under 12 get in free). Free and open year-round sunrise to sunset is Mytoi on Chappaquiddick, a beautiful Japanese garden, which is reachable by ferry. Other free options include hanging out at Katama beach and sunset-watching at Menemsha Beach.
In terms of eating on the cheap it doesn’t get much better than the Grace Church where you can get a huge lobster roll with chips and a drink for $17. Faith’s Seafood Shack is another good spot where $12.95 gets you two over-stuffed fish tacos. Sharky’s Mexican Cantina is a tasty, wallet-friendly option with many menu items under $10.
South Beach, Miami, Florida, United States
South Beach is another locale loved by celebrities, but you can experience it at a more budget-friendly price tag. Start by booking your stay at a boutique hotel, which are trendy, but usually affordable and can offer a more personal touch than a larger property. It’s also a good idea to visit during off-peak times (not during spring break or the Art Basel Show, which sees the area swell with visitors).
If you’re looking for some free or cheap things to do, there are many options. To start with take an art walk since the city is known for its culture. Simply wander galleries on your own or, depending on when you’re visiting the Wynwood Art Walk takes place the second Saturday of every month. The large scale event runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and it’s a great way to check out the art scene, sample food from food trucks and generally have a lively time in South Beach without spending much. Another must-do in the area is taking some time to check out the Art Deco District with its huge concentration of Art Deco architecture. And of course, you can’t come to South Beach without hitting the beach. Lummus Park Beach is ideal for people watching and sunbathing, both of which are free and fun.
Another celebrity-inspired getaway spot is the island of Ibiza. Although it’s known for its party scene, there are also many other things you can do in Ibiza that don’t include a cover charge. First off, exploring Ibiza’s beautiful beaches doesn’t cost a thing and there are many to choose from. Most beaches also offer opportunities for various watersports if you feel like getting active. Playa d’en Bossa Beach is the longest beach and is great for beach walking, while Cala Jondal Beach is known as one of the best beaches on Ibiza.
If you feel like browsing for souvenirs there are a few markets you can check out. The Sant Jordi market is open on Saturdays all year long and has a bit of everything, from clothes to books. The Gorila Hippy Market runs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and features live music. Punta Arabi Hippy Market runs on Wednesdays from April to October and has been attracting tourists since 1973. Hundreds of craftspeople and artisans display their wares, so you’re bound to find something.
Walking up Dalt Vila in Ibiza town is a must when visiting Ibiza. The UNESCO World Heritage site and medieval fortress, meaning “high town”, takes you up a steep climb into a series of winding cobbled streets well worth exploring. Ibiza town is also where you’re likely to find the most budget-friendly accommodations and food and drink.
Featured image: Roderick Eime