Some of these tricks won’t cost you a thing.

Flying in first class is not without its perks, but you don’t need to splurge to enjoy some of the benefits of elite travel. In addition to those cushy seats, a premium ticket may include a series of other benefits that make the entire travel experience decidedly more luxurious.

And it’s easy to experience small upgrades — just like those travelers at the front of the plane — without depleting your savings account. Hotel guests, too, can get a taste of the VIP experience just like those guests staying in top-tier suites.

For $100 or less, here are the easiest ways to indulge on your next vacation.

Hang out at the lounge.

One of the biggest differences between an economy and a first-class ticket (aside from the seat, of course) is access to the airport lounge. If you’re expecting to spend a significant amount of time at the airport — particularly during a long layover — there’s no better way to pass the time than with a complimentary meal and cocktail at an airport lounge.

Many airlines offer one-day passes to their signature lounges for less than $60. Third-party retailers, like Lounge Buddy, also make it possible to buy access to airport lounges at hubs all around the world, starting at $30.

Take a spa break.

Instead of an airport lounge, travelers can also fritter away the hours before a flight at a nearby gym, pool, or spa. The new Sanctifly app grants access to facilities at fitness centers (like 24 Hour Fitness) and hotels (including Marriott and Radisson properties) for a one-time fee of $25.

In certain locations, airport spas and exercise studios are also included. Frequent fliers can even pay for a membership to get unrestricted access to Sanctifly’s partners.

Get a luxury car transfer.

One of the best perks included with certain business and first class tickets is luxury car transfers to and from the airport. Emirates, for example, offers chauffeured drives in a BMW or Mercedes-Benz. Easily replicate the experience by splurging on an Uber or, even fancier, a black car. It sure beats riding public transportation with your luggage, or jockeying for a taxi outside the airport.

Use Red Cap service.

Train travelers with Amtrak tickets can have a VIP journey without spending a penny more than the standard fare by opting for Red Cap service. Available at major train stations across the country (including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and D.C.), Red Cap is a little-known amenity that allows travelers to have complimentary assistance with bags. And that means early boarding and better seat selection. Just be sure to tip.


Read more: http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/luxury-travel/inexpensive-ways-to-upgrade-your-vacation

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