Paris, Chicago and Beyond: How to Have a Luxury Trip for Much Less Than You Think
Luxury travel can be experienced in two ways: by paying top dollar or by paying less. Given the choice, wouldn’t you pick the latter?
Of course, the idea of what luxury travel is can differ depending on the person. For some, it means hotels with butlers and fancy sheets and flying first class; for others, it’s about hitting restaurants with three Michelin stars and hiring the occasional private guide and car with a driver.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how you define high-end travel. What matters is that it doesn’t have to be had at a premium price.
Below are destinations where you can save money on an upscale trip without sacrificing a feeling of luxury.
Looking for a luxury vacation to Barcelona without paying top dollar? Done, says Virginia Irurita, the founder of Made for Spain and Portugal, a Madrid-based company that sells upscale trips. “Barcelona has become much more affordable in the last year, and a high-end trip on a limited budget is now attainable,” she said.
想去巴塞罗那享受奢华假期，又不希望花太多钱？没问题，马德里一家高端旅行公司“进军西班牙和葡萄牙”(Made for Spain and Portugal)的创始人弗吉尼亚・伊鲁里塔(Virginia Irurita)说。“过去一年里，巴塞罗那正变得越来越能让旅客负担得起，以有限的预算进行一次高端旅行是可以实现的，”她说。
Ms. Irurita’s advice:
WHEN TO GO Hotels in Barcelona have the highest prices from April through October. From November through March, rates are at least 25 percent lower. Many five-star hotels also offer attractive packages during this low season.
WHERE TO STAY Accommodations in residential neighborhoods offer better value than ones in touristy areas. Les Tres Torres, for example, has a few locally run, upscale properties, like Primero Primera, on a quiet, tree-lined street.
住在哪里：住宅区内的住宿比景区内的性价比更高。例如Les Tres Torres社区内有一些当地人经营的高档房产，普里梅罗第一酒店(Primero Primera)就在一条安静的林荫路上。
INDULGE IN LUNCH Locals make lunch their biggest meal of the day, and visitors should too, because they can take advantage of well-priced set menus at top restaurants. A starter, main course, dessert, wine and coffee is around 20 euros (about $23), for example, compared with 50 at dinner. Ms. Irurita recommended lunch at the Michelin-starred eatery Caelis, where a three-course meal with wine is 42.
SKIP CARS AND DRIVERS A car with a driver is an unnecessary expense in Barcelona. Taxis are readily available and reasonably priced, the Metro is clean and efficient and the city is very pedestrian-friendly.
Hong Kong can be a cost-prohibitive vacation destination, according to Brooke Lavery, a Southeast Asia specialist and an owner of the New York City luxury travel company Local Foreigner. “Hong Kong is one of the most expensive cities in the world, but also offers a great high-low balance which can be optimized,” she said.
根据东南亚专家及纽约豪华旅行公司当地外国人(Local Foreigner)的老板布鲁克・莱弗里(Brooke Lavery)的说法，香港可以是一个消费高昂的旅行目的地。“香港是全球消费最贵的城市之一，但它也提供了高低均衡的选择，这一点可以充分利用，”她说。
Ms. Lavery’s suggestions:
WHEN TO GO Hotel rates stay steady in Hong Kong throughout the year with the exception of June, July and August; these are the city’s hottest and most humid months, and hotel prices drop. However, they’re not the ideal time to visit, Ms. Lavery said, unless you don’t mind steamy weather.
STAY IN LESSER-KNOWN HOTELS Hong Kong has plenty of upscale independent and small-chain properties that are a fraction of the cost of hotels from well-known luxury brands. Examples include The Pottinger, on a stone slab street, and East HK, in the Taikoo Shing neighborhood.
住不那么知名的酒店：香港有许多高档的独立酒店以及小型连锁地产，它们的价格仅是那些知名豪华品牌酒店的一小部分。例如石板街上的中环・石板街酒店(The Pottinger)和太古城的香港东隅(East HK)。
SAVE ON FOOD, SPLURGE ON COCKTAILS Ms. Lavery recommended a Cantonese fine-dining experience, like Seventh Son in Wan Chai, for lunch because the tab is lower compared with dinner. For dinners, stick to inexpensive, casual joints that serve noodles or curry balls, and post-meal, head to a bar for a cocktail. “Drinks can be pricey, but you’re spending a lot less than you would on a high-end dinner,” Ms. Lavery said.
SHOP FOR CUSTOM CLOTHES Hong Kong is known for its incredible tailors, and an article of bespoke clothing is a fantastic souvenir; most tailors can turn around a piece in 48 hours. Custom shirts generally cost 300 Hong Kong dollars (about $40) while suits can run 4,000 Hong Kong dollars. The Central area is full of talented tailors like Jantzen Tailor.
WALK AND TAKE A BOAT The ideal way to see the city is to stroll through its many back alleys and get lost. Or book a walking tour; Little Adventures in Hong Kong, for example, has walks limited to five people that are led by local journalists and chefs and cost $115.
步行或乘船：游览这座城市的理想方式是在里巷漫步并迷失其间。或去预定一次徒步旅行，比如香港探险(Little Adventures in Hong Kong)公司提供的最多五人参加的徒步游，由当地记者和厨师带领，价格为115美元。
Sailing Victoria Harbor on a traditional Chinese wooden junk is a quintessential Hong Kong experience. Instead of booking an expensive private boat, go for a reasonably priced small-group tour; Aqualuna, for one, offers a range of these.
A luxury trip to London on a limited budget isn’t hard to pull off, according to Nicola Butler, the owner of NoteWorthy, a London travel company specializing in upscale vacations in Britain. “The favorable exchange rate between the dollar and the pound make the city an affordable vacation choice,” she said.
Ms. Butler’s advice:
WHEN TO GO Hotel rates in London soar from May through July. From early September to the end of February, however, they drop slightly. If chilly days don’t bother you, January is the cheapest month to visit. “The hotels have the lowest prices, and restaurants, theaters and museums offer deals to boost business during a quiet time,” Ms. Butler said.
SPLURGE ON TEA, SAVE ON LUNCH AND DINNER Enjoying the famous London tradition of afternoon tea at a luxury hotel like Claridge’s is 50 percent less expensive than dinner in a pricey restaurant but has the same sense of extravagance.
CULTURE IS A BARGAIN Many of London’s museums, including the Tate Modern, have free admission. Art galleries are also free, while popular attractions such as St. Paul’s Cathedral have inexpensive entry fees, and some theater houses sell discounted tickets for same-day shows.
文化消费都很便宜：伦敦的许多博物馆，包括泰特现代艺术馆(Tate Modern)都是免费开放的。画廊也是免费的，而一些受欢迎的景点，如圣保罗大教堂(St. Paul’s Cathedral)收取价格低廉的门票，一些剧院还会出售同日演出的打折票。
SKIP CARS AND TAXIS Chauffeured cars and taxis in London can cost a few hundred pounds a day. Save money, soak up the city and get some exercise all at the same time by using walking as your main mode of transportation. For longer distances, rely on the Tube.
Italy’s fashion and business capital of Milan isn’t necessarily the ideal destination if you’re on a budget but enjoy high-end travel. Luca Finardi, the general manager of the Mandarin Oriental Milan, said that the city’s five-star hotels, designer stores and well-known restaurants can be expensive.
如果你的预算有限，但想要享受高端旅行的话，意大利的时尚与商业之都米兰未必是一个理想的目的地。米兰文华东方酒店(Mandarin Oriental Milan)的总经理卢卡・菲纳尔迪(Luca Finardi)说，这座城市的五星级酒店、名牌店和著名餐厅都很昂贵。
But he also said that there are ways to save.
Mr. Finardi’s tips:
WHEN TO GO Hotel rates in the city are up to 30 percent lower in November and December compared with the rest of the year. These months are Mr. Finardi’s preferred time to be in town. “The temperatures are mild, the holiday decorations are up and the atmosphere is lively,” he said.
DINE SMART Michelin-starred or otherwise pricey restaurants are common in Milan, and travelers who want to experience them should go at lunch, when the cost of a meal is substantially less than at dinner. At the two-starred Seta, for example, a three-course lunch with an amuse bouche and petits fours is 70, compared with 150 for a similar meal at dinner.
And don’t miss the Milanese tradition of going to a bar for aperitivo hour, usually from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Drink orders are typically accompanied by free food.
SHOP LOCAL AND HIT SALES Travelers can find well-priced fashionable ware from local designers in the many boutiques in the Isola and Brera neighborhoods. If you’re on the hunt for goods from Italy’s many internationally known luxury brands, come in January and February, when they have their sales.
WALK, BIKE AND USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION Mr. Finardi said that the center of Milan is small and walkable, and the public transportation system of metro lines, buses and trams is efficient and clean. To explore more expansive areas such as the scenic Parco Sempione, consider using the bike-sharing service BikeMi; daily rentals start at 4.50.
A luxury trip to Mumbai, India’s largest city, on a wallet-watcher’s budget isn’t hard to pull off, according to Fiona Caulfield, the founder of the India travel book series Love Travel Guides, who also lives in the country. “If you have some basic know-how, you can get a lot for your money without spending too much,” she said.
在预算有限的情况下，到印度最大的城市孟买开启一场豪华之旅并不难实现，印度旅游丛书《热爱旅游指南》(Love Travel Guides)的创始人菲奥娜・考尔菲尔德(Fiona Caulfield)这样说，她就住在印度。“如果你知道一些基本的技巧，你能省下很多钱，”她说。
WHEN TO GO Mumbai hotels rates are highest from October to mid-April. Prices drop at least 30 percent until the end of September, but Ms. Caulfield said that May and June are uncomfortably hot, while July and August is the heart of monsoon season. “The end of April and September are the most value-friendly and ideal times to visit,” she said. Also, many properties offer 10 to 15 percent discounts on stays of three nights or more.
AVOID EATING AT LUXURY HOTELS Mumbai’s many five-star hotels are full of pricey restaurants that usually aren’t worth the expense. Ms. Caulfield said that travelers can save substantially by sticking to independent places. Her favorite is The Bombay Canteen, which serves regional contemporary Indian food. Time Out Mumbai has an expansive list of options.
避免在高档酒店吃饭：孟买的许多五星级酒店内有很多高档餐厅，但它们通常不值这个价。考尔菲尔德说，游客们可以通过选择独立餐厅而剩下一大笔钱。她最喜欢的餐厅是孟买食堂(The Bombay Canteen)，这家提供当地现代印度菜。孟买时间到(Time Out Mumbai)则提供很多的选择。
SHOP AT BAZAARS AND MARKETS The city’s bazaars and markets sell high-quality, unique goods, and haggling to get the lowest prices is the way to go. Colaba Causeway has several street stalls that sell fashionable handcrafted leather sandals for men and women, and Chor Bazaar has vintage finds.
在集市和市场内购物：孟买的集市和市场上售有高质量且风格独特的商品，在那里你可以讨价还价。戈拉巴铜锣湾(Colaba Causeway)有几家卖时尚手工皮凉鞋的街边小店，“小偷集市”(Chor Bazaar)上有很多古董。
HIRE A PRIVATE GUIDE Compared with other large cities, private guides are a manageable expense in Mumbai. No Foot Prints and Bombaywalla are well-regarded local tour companies.
雇一个私人导游：与其他大城市相比，私人导游在孟买是一项可以承受的开支。没有足迹(No Foot Prints)和孟买人(Bombaywalla)都是当地颇受好评的旅游公司。
GET AROUND LIKE A LOCAL Avoid taking expensive hotel cars; taxis are safe, inexpensive and easy to hail, and Uber is also popular and affordable.
A luxury vacation to New York City on a budget can be done, according to Eric J. Gordon, the owner of Beyond Times Square, a company that plans high-end New York City trips. “New York is expensive, but there are ways to have an upscale getaway without paying premium prices,” he said.
在预算内进行一场纽约豪华之旅是可行的，一家致力于规划纽约高端旅行的公司时报广场之外(Beyond Times Square)的老板埃里克・J.戈登(Eric J. Gorden)说。“纽约的物价很贵，但还是有一些方法可以在不必花大价钱的同时享有高端之旅，”他说。
Tips from Mr. Gordon:
WHEN TO GO Hotel room prices in New York are highest from September to the first week of November, and from Thanksgiving to New Year. They’re also high in the spring and summer. In early November and from January through early March, however, they drop by around 20 percent. The city’s hotel industry is driven by business travelers, so nightly weekday rates at upscale hotels are as much as $150 more than weekend rates.
EAT STRATEGICALLY If high-end dining is a priority for you, Mr. Gordon said to plan your visit during Restaurant Week (usually at the end of January through early February, and at the end of July through early August), when a three-course lunch at some of the city’s finest restaurants is $29 and a three-course dinner is $42. And, at any time of the year, many pricey restaurants like Estiatorio Milos offer comparatively affordable prix fixe lunch and dinner menus, usually during certain hours.
策略性地用餐：如果你的首选是高档餐厅，戈登建议你在餐厅周(Restaurant Week)――通常在1月末到2月初――前往，这段时间内，在纽约一些最顶级的餐厅用餐，一顿有三道菜的午餐只要29美元，晚餐只要42美元。此外，在一年当中的任何时候，许多像Estiatorio Milos这样的高档餐厅都会推出相对便宜的定价午餐和晚餐套餐，通常是在某些固定时段内。
CULTURE IS A BARGAIN Some of the best sightseeing in New York is inexpensive. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has $25 admission, and your ticket is also valid that day for the Met Cloisters, in Upper Manhattan, and the Met Breuer, a 10-minute walk away. The city also has free festivals and street fairs throughout the year, and Central Park, Hudson River Park and Battery Park host many free concerts.
文化消费很便宜：纽约一些最棒的旅游景点并不贵。大都会艺术博物馆(The Metropolitan Museum of Art)门票25美元，还可以在同日用来参观位于曼哈顿上城的修道院艺术博物馆(Met Cloisters)，以及步行十分钟以外的布劳耶分馆(Met Breuer)。纽约市全年还有一些免费的节日和街头集市，同时，中央公园(Central Park)、哈德逊河公园(Hudson River Park)以及巴特里公园(Battery Park)内都会举办许多免费的音乐会。
SKIP CARS Relying on taxis or car services for transportation can add up to $100 or more a day. Take the subway or walk instead. Mr. Gordon also recommended the NYC Ferry: a one-way ride is $2.75.
An upscale vacation to Paris can be a pricey proposition, says Barkley Hickox, a Paris specialist and an owner of the New York travel consultancy Local Foreigner. But she also said that there are plenty of ways to stretch your dollar and have a high-end getaway.
一次前往巴黎的豪华假期可能是一项昂贵的提议，身为巴黎专家、同时又是纽约旅游咨询公司当地外国人(Local Foreigner)老板的巴克利・希科克斯(Baekley Hickox)说。但她也表示，还是有很多方法可以帮助你省钱，并享受到一次高端的假期。
WHEN TO GO Get the best value on hotels by visiting Paris between November and April, when they have their lowest rates. Some high-end properties offer further discounts if you book a stay several months in advance.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT ACCOMMODATIONS Families traveling to Paris should consider booking a luxury apartment through a company such as OneFineStay or Paris Perfect. It’s less expensive than booking multiple rooms at a high-end hotel, and having a kitchen to cook meals helps cut food costs. The city also has several affordable but upscale boutique properties including Maison 1400, in one of the oldest houses in the Marais district, and Le Roch Hotel & Spa, set in a 19th-century house in the heart of the city.
选择恰当的住宿：一家人去巴黎旅行应该考虑通过像OneFineStay或是完美巴黎(Paris Perfect)这样的公司预定豪华公寓。这比在一家高档酒店内定几个房间要便宜得多，而且有一个厨房可以做饭，也能减少用餐开支。巴黎也有一些便宜但高档的精品酒店，例如位于马雷(Marais)街区一幢古老的楼内的Maison 1400，以及在市中心一幢19世纪的房屋内的乐洛克酒店及水疗馆(Le Roch Hotel&Spa)。
EAT SMART Dine at one of the city’s renowned restaurants at lunch, when the tab is much lower compared with dinner. Several popular places offer affordable midday prix fixe menus. For dinner, Ms. Hickox recommended going to restaurants in residential neighborhoods such as South Pigalle, the Haut Marais and Montmartre, where a meal with wine can be between 35 and 50 a person. In warmer weather, pick up a baguette, cheese, pastries and wine and head to Luxembourg Gardens or another park for a decadent but wallet-friendly picnic.
吃得精明：在巴黎有名的餐厅吃午餐，这比吃晚餐要便宜得多。一些受欢迎的餐厅提供便宜的午市固定套餐。至于晚餐，希科克斯推荐去位于住宅区内的餐厅吃，例如南皮加勒(South Pigalle)，上玛黑(Haut Marais)和蒙马特(Montmartre)地区，在这些地方吃一顿配红酒的晚餐，人均花费在35欧至50欧之间。天气暖些的时候，带上法棍、奶酪、酥皮糕点以及红酒到卢森堡公园(Luxembourg Gardens)或其他公园内进行一次纵情但便宜的野餐。
DITCH TAXIS AND CARS Ms. Hickox’s favorite way to explore Paris is on foot. “You can fully appreciate the city’s beauty by walking, and it’s designed for walkers because there are walking paths and sidewalks everywhere,” she said.
For longer distances, she suggested using the city’s bike share system, Vélib’ Métropole, or using the Metro.
Buenos Aires isn’t an expensive destination to begin with, and travelers seeking an upscale vacation to the city can have it without too much effort, according to Jennifer Gillmore, an Argentina expert at Travel Beyond, a travel company in Wayzata, Minn. “I know from personal experience that you can get luxury in Buenos Aires without paying luxury prices,” she said.
布宜诺斯艾利斯不是一个费用高昂的旅行目的地，想在这座城市内寻求高端之旅的游客们不用太费力就能享有，位于明尼苏达州威扎塔市一家旅行公司在远方旅行(Travel Beyond)的阿根廷专家珍妮弗・吉尔摩(Jennifer Gillmore)这样说。“据我个人经验，你可以在布宜诺斯艾利斯过得很奢华，而不必花大价钱，”她说。
When to Go Peak season in Buenos Aires runs from November through March, Argentina’s summer, but Ms. Gillmore prefers visiting from May to September, when hotel prices drop by 15 percent or more (and temperatures are also mild). Luxury hotels such the Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt frequently offer promotions during these months: one example is paying for two nights and getting to stay for three. Breakfast is typically included.
何时前往：布宜诺斯艾利斯的旅行旺季是每年的11月到次年3月，也就是阿根廷的夏天，但是吉尔摩更倾向于在每年的5月到9月间参观，这时酒店的价格会下降15%或更多（而且气温也很温和）。豪华酒店例如柏悦(Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt)常常会在这些月份促销，比如付两晚的房费来住三晚。早餐也一般包括在房费内。
Culture Is a Bargain Buenos Aires is part of the microtheater movement, where a series of short plays is performed over the course of the evening at small venues; tickets are usually $10 or less a person. And instead of spending money on a touristy and overpriced tango show, visit a milonga, or tango hall, where you can watch locals dance and also participate for between 137 and 219 Argentine pesos, or $5 to $8 a person.
Indulge Away High-quality meals in Buenos Aires don’t have to be costly. Parrillas, for example, serve hearty and reasonably priced steaks, while dinners with wine can be had for less than $25 a person at popular restaurants.
Take Taxis or Walk Taxis are a safe and economical way to get around; Ms. Gillmore advised having your hotel or restaurant call a radio taxi, which registers all its drivers. Her favorite way to explore the city is on foot. “The architecture, the streets and the locals is what makes Buenos Aires special, and the best way to appreciate that is by walking,” she said.
There’s good news for travelers to Chicago who want a high-end trip: Shawna Owen, the president of Huffman Travel, a Chicago travel consultancy, said that compared with other large cities, the Midwest metropolis is relatively wallet-friendly.
对于想去芝加哥进场一次高端之旅的游客们来说，有一则好消息：芝加哥一家旅行咨询公司霍夫曼旅行(Huffman Travel)的总裁肖娜・欧文(Shawna Owen)说，比起其他大城市，这座中西部大都市要相对便宜得多。
“Your money will go far here, but there are ways to stretch the dollar even more,” she said.
Below, Ms. Owen’s tips:
When to Go Chicago’s upscale hotels offer great deals and their lowest rates during the first quarter of the year. In 2018, for example, the Peninsula Chicago had a promotion where guests who paid for two nights got a third night free. Nightly rates during those months started at $399, which is more than a 50 percent savings from peak season rates. Ms. Owen said that hotels also tend to offer promotions in August.
Eat Affordably Enjoying some of the city’s most popular restaurants doesn’t have to break the bank, Ms. Owen said. And, since the food portions are generous, it’s possible to split dishes and save even more money. Her top picks for reasonably priced eats include Lou Malnati’s for deep-dish pizza, Small Cheval for burgers and Publican Anker, a vibrant gastropub with creative dishes.
吃得便宜：欧文说，在芝加哥的一些时髦餐馆吃饭不一定要花很多的钱。而且，因为餐馆每份菜的量很大，可能几个人分吃，因此能省下更多的钱。她评价最高的几家价格合理的餐厅包括，做厚披萨的Lou Malnati’s，做汉堡的Small Cheval，以及一家做创意菜且充满活力的美食酒吧Publican Anker。
Soak Up Culture Chicago has a fantastic and affordable culture scene, Ms. Owen said. Admission to the Museum of Contemporary Art, which has groundbreaking exhibits from global artists, is only $15, and some theaters have discounted tickets for same-day shows. Steppenwolf, for example, allots 20 tickets priced at $20 each for some performances.
浸泡在文化中：芝加哥有相当不错的、且价格可以承受的文化风光，欧文说。当代艺术博物馆(Museum of Contemporary Art)的门票只有15美元，那里有来自全球艺术家的开创性展览，一些剧院还出售当日演出的打折票。比如，斯泰彭沃夫剧院(Steppenwolf)为某些演出的每场保留20张售价20美元的门票。
Walk or Take the L Regardless of the time of year, Chicagoans love to walk, and Ms. Huffman recommended that visitors do the same. As an alternative to walking, the L, the city’s rapid transit system, is an efficient and inexpensive way to get around.
There’s never been a better time to take a luxury-for-less vacation to Mexico City, according to Lillian Aviles, the director of business development for Journey Mexico, a Mexico travel company that sells upscale trips to the country. Ms. Aviles, who lives in the city, said that the peso is weak compared with the dollar, and prices, in general, are low. “You can get a lot without spending too much,” she said.
When to Go Mexico City is a corporate-driven market, so weekends are the time to go; weekday hotel rates can be twice as much. Prices also dip between May and September, when the weather is hot, but given the temperatures, the savings may not be worth it.
Eat Like a King High-end dining in Mexico City is a bargain compared with other large cities. Ms. Aviles’s tops picks include Limosneros, which uses pre-Hispanic ingredients like the leafy greens called quelites in modern dishes (the average dinner per person without a drink is about 466 Mexican pesos, or about $25) and Los Danzantes, which serves upscale Oaxacan cuisine (the average dinner per person without a drink also about 466 Mexican pesos).
Dining at a taco bar is another option: two or three tacos with wine will set you back between $5 and $10 a person.
Shop at Markets For the best deals on fantastic shopping, hit Mexico City’s many markets. On Saturday, for example, the San Angel neighborhood has a bazaar where local designers sell wares ranging from ceramics to jewelry, and Mexican painters sell their canvases. The daily artisan market La Ciudadella sells handmade goods from around the country.
在集市上买东西：想花最低的价钱买很多东西的话，就去墨西哥城的各种集市吧。比如圣安吉尔街区(San Angel)每周六都有一个集市，当地的设计师们会在那里卖从陶瓷到珠宝等各种东西，墨西哥画家们也会在那里卖他们的油画。墨西哥城堡工匠市场(La Ciudadella)每天都开门，那里有来自全国各地的手工制品出售。
Take Uber “Uber is inexpensive and efficient,” Ms. Aviles said.