Traveling the world can open a person up to experiences they never imagined. It can also burn a hole in your pocket too deep for you to get out of. While some people are fortunate enough to fly first class and stay at pricey hotels and luxury resorts, many of us have to travel on a budget and get the biggest bang out of our little bucks.  Here are a few ways to make your luxury travel dreams a cheaper reality.

Try Tour Packages

Traveling solo and creating your own itinerary can be great, but it can also get a bit expensive.  Using tour companies can deflect some of the travel costs since they are able to negotiate deals with hotels and airlines.  For example, try where for as little as $1200 per person you can hit up places like Costa Rica, Barcelona and even Thailand. Thinking $1200 is too much? What if I told you that the $1200 included your airfare, hotels, tours and even a few meals? I know it sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. I personally used them to travel to Greece for 10 days for only $1300 and again to Thailand for $1500.

Travel During Off-Peak Seasons

Sure it sounds great to travel to Europe in July, but unless you’ve got about $1000 for the flight alone, budget travel in the summer is a going to be a tough one.  Try traveling during off peak seasons like fall and winter.  Depending on where you go it may not be 95 degrees, but the weather may still be just as lovely…and so will the prices.  Deals to cities like Barcelona and Dublin can be as low as $400 round-trip!  Just keep your eye on sites like Airfarewatchdog, Kayak Buzz and Skyscanner.

Skip The Hotels

If you’re looking for a way to cut expenses without having to sacrifice safety and comfort, then skipping hotels is one of the best ways to do it.  Believe it or not hostels are a great way to save on lodging.  Hostels have gotten a bad rap for being unsafe, party havens for the young and drugged, but the reality is hostels can be better, and cheaper, than some hotels.  Hostels like Hostelle in Amsterdam, Pangea People in Germany and Saphaipae in Thailand, are centrally located and offer private rooms complete with your own bathroom, flat screen televisions and other amenities you pay double for in a hotel. If hostels still aren’t your thing, try renting an apartment from a local on for cheap rates and a more authentic feel.

Danielle Pointdujour is a native Brooklynite living and writing in the Big Apple. You can find Danielle sharing her personal outlook on love, life and travel on various publications across the web.