The economy may still be in the doldrums, but it's not necessarily all bad news out there for travellers. With plenty of special offers around, boutique trips don't need to cost a fortune. Here are some tips on how to achieve luxury for less, so you can get the best price tag for a beautiful holiday.

Off peak

Travelling outside peak times will guarantee cheaper rates, you'll avoid the crowds, and there's even more chance to get a complimentary upgrade. Admittedly, some places are off peak for a reason but there are lots of beautiful secret options that are less hot and way less hectic. Ask us...

Don’t miss a trick

Early booking discounts are an obvious trick of the trade, yet we are often too busy (or too lazy) to make the most of them. As we write this in February, we're already busy booking people's Christmases away. We may have only just recovered from the festive season - physically and mentally - but planning while ideas are still fresh and airplane seats are still empty leads to inspiring trips for smaller price tags.

Celebrate abroad

Many hotels and resorts offer incredible discounts for couples celebrating an anniversary (sometimes up to 50% off), be it your 5th, 10th, 15th, 25th… If you're planning it in secret for your spouse, we guarantee you will win some serious brownie points with this one.

Use the Exchange rate

Sterling is finally strengthening against the EUR, so many parts of Europe that have been prohibitively expensive of late are now back in play. Non-Euro Europe is also still cheaper than most destinations, and with places like Gozo, the Canaries, Estonia and the Azores, there's plenty to discover and you will feel a million miles away from home, all without the time and cost of going long-haul.

Spring Skiing

So far, the snow has been very good this season, meaning that resorts such as Chamonix and Courchevel should stay open for longer. If you are looking for somewhere last minute, the skiing this April should represent a great saving and you might have the slopes to yourselves.

Alps in the Summer

Europe's longest and arguably most beautiful mountain range has just as much to offer in the summer as winter. Visiting off-season means excellent availability and great deals - as for what to do, a summer holiday in the mountains offers (among others) warm temperatures, fresh air, clear, blue skies, walking, hiking, mountain biking and most importantly, gourmet eating!

Be the first

Visit countries that are only just emerging on the tourist scene to venture down not so travelled paths. Not only will you have a more authentic experience, but steering clear of tourist hot spots means you're also more likely to spend less money. Our favourite up and coming destinations are Montengro, Senegal, Ethiopia, Egypt (in terms of re-emerging after recent blip), Ukraine and Estonia.

For more information on luxury holidays, contact Original Travel.