We might not all be able to afford private jets and chauffeured cars but we can still enjoy a touch of the champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget. If you feel like you want to inject a little glamour into your travel then you can do it for cheaper than you might think. Here are some of the ways you can travel like a celeb no matter what your travel budget might be.
One of the first things you can do is enter competitions. There are competitions all the time to win 5-star holidays in luxury resorts and it is normally completely free to enter. All you need to do is put in your details and you might have a shot at winning!
Winning such a competition could set you up for the holiday of a lifetime. It is not uncommon to see packages worth thousands of pounds being given away as prizes. You could get a week's all-inclusive stay in a luxury hotel, plus spending money and more. All you potentially need to do in response is a little promo work for the brand sending you but it should not take more than an hour or two. If you are searching for a way to get a once-in-a-lifetime trip for very little, this could be a way to do it.
Sign Up for Discount Sites
If you don't mind putting your own money towards it, why not sign up for a discount site? There are sites out there which cater exclusively to massive discounts for luxury getaways. You may be constrained by certain dates or times but it can be a great way for you to pick up a stay in an amazing place you otherwise might not be able to afford.
Keep an eye out for flash sales and other even bigger discounts you can use. Who knows what kind of a deal you might be able to score if you are ready to search for it? A holiday of luxury might be easier to grab than you think.
Dress Like the Celebs at the Airport
How many celebrities do you see arriving at the airport done up to the nines? Very few. Celebs would much rather don cosy sweatpants and other items rather than dig out their couture for check-in. You should seek to emulate this.
Whether you go designer or budget, there are many stylish clothing pieces on the market which you can invest in for the airport. Anything loose and comfortable will keep you happy no matter how long your flight is. You should also choose shoes that will slip on and off. This will be useful both at security and once you are on the plane and ready to make yourself comfortable.
Check with your airline to see whether or not they will allow you a second, smaller piece of carry-on like a handbag. Even if they don't, there are many attractive backpacks and other bags you could use to store your things for the plane. Think about taking a spare shirt if you can. Being able to change after the flight will help you to feel instantly refreshed.
Finish off your perfect airport outfit with a pair of statement sunglasses. There might not be any paparazzi waiting for you but that does not mean you can't have a little fun and play a small game of make-believe.
Make the Journey Stress-free
When was the last time you saw a celebrity get frazzled at the airport? Even travelling through major hubs like Heathrow Terminal 5, they can stay cool and collected. It is very easy to take a leaf out of their book and relax a little while travelling, even with something as simple as Terminal 5 Heathrow airport parking.
It is actually very easy to find Heathrow parking at T5, even if you are travelling one of the busiest days. All you need is a little foresight and some planning. Thanks to Heathrow Parking, you can pre-book a parking space. Simply turn up on the day and park in your designated parking space before breezing into the terminal. This system is perfect for anyone who doesn't like to get flustered when they travel. If you would rather chill out and take the airport at a leisurely pace, this might be the right sort of thing for you. Take some of the stress out of parking at the airport now. It is just what you need to start a holiday in style.
Treat Yourself in Duty-Free
Duty-free shopping is one of the major perks of flying and you can pick up so many amazing things here. From cosmetics to fragrance, if you need to pick up something special then you might find it here. Depending on where you live, duty-free shopping might be one of the few chances you get to pick up a fragrance and test it first. Airports have many designer brands which you simply might not be able to test out back home. Take a look and see what is available. If you find something you really like, treat yourself.
Starting the holiday with a treat from duty-free is the perfect way to kick things off. Make sure you leave enough time to properly have a look around and search everywhere. It might be very upsetting if you have to abandon a purchase halfway through because you need to run for your gate instead.
Take as Many Photos as You Can
One of the things which can truly make us envy the celebrity lifestyle is looking at all of the amazing photos they post on apps like Instagram. If you are going somewhere particularly Insta-worthy, it is time to get snap-happy.
Within this, make sure that you are taking photos which make you happy. From places all around you to photos of you and your travelling companion, your happiness should be at the forefront of your mind. Don't take photos for likes on Instagram or for validation. Take them to record the memories and the experiences you are currently having. If you want to get a little bit better at taking pictures, look up some free online tips which will help you with framing and editing. With a few small changes, you will start taking amazing photos which will be worthy of any Instagram post.
Have Fun with It
Pretending to be a celebrity when you travel is nothing more than a bit of fun. If you are able to plan your trip well, you can score some awesome discounts which can see you heading all over the world on beautiful adventures. Take the time to properly investigate everything you could find online and grab those deals where you can find them. It might be easier than you think to book a luxurious holiday which will be the envy of all your friends.
With the right planning and a smart attitude, why not even aim to make every holiday a celebrity experience. Before you know it, you could be going away to beautiful destinations whenever you can. Holidays are a chance to indulge in some escapism, so there is no reason why you cannot dictate what form this escapism takes.
Marriage can be a tightrope act: when everything is in balance, it is bliss and you feel safe, but once things get shaky, you are unsure about next steps. Add outside forces into the equation like kids, work, finances or a personal crisis and now there's a strong chance that you'll need extra support to keep you from falling.
My husband and I are no strangers to misunderstandings, which are expected in any relationship, but after 7 years of marriage, we were really being tested on how strong our bond was and it had nothing to do with the "7-year itch"--it was when I was diagnosed with PTSD. As a survivor of child sexual abuse who is a perfectionist, I felt guilty about not being the "perfect partner" in our relationship; frustrated that I might be triggered while being intimate; and worried about being seen as broken or weak because of panic attacks. My defense mechanism is to not need anyone, yet my biggest fear is often abandonment.
I am not a trained therapist or relationship expert, but since 2016, I have learned a lot about managing survivorship and PTSD triggers while being in a heterosexual marriage, so I am now sharing some of my practical relationship advice to the partners of survivors to support my fellow female survivors who may be struggling to have a stronger voice in their relationship. Partners of survivors have needs too during this process, but before those needs can be met, they need to understand how to support their survivor partner, and it isn't always an easy path to navigate.
To my fellow survivor sisters in romantic relationships, I write these tips from the perspective of giving advice to your partner, so schedule some quality time to talk with your boo and read these tips together.
I challenge you both to discuss if my advice resonates with you or not! Ultimately, it will help both of you develop an open line of communication about needs, boundaries, triggers and loving one another long-term.
1. To Be or Not to Be Sexy: Your survivor partner probably wants to feel sexy, but is ambivalent about sex. She was a sexual object to someone else and that can wreak havoc on her self-esteem and intimate relationships. She may want you to find her sexy and yet not want to actually be intimate with you. Talk to her about her needs in the bedroom, what will make her feel safe, what will make her feel sexy but not objectified, and remind her that you are attracted to her for a multitude or reasons--not just because of her physical appearance.
2. Safe Words = Safer Sex: Believe it or not, your partner's mind is probably wondering while you are intimate (yep, she isn't just thinking about how amazing you are, ha!). Negative thoughts can flash through her mind depending on her body position, things you say, how she feels, etc. Have a word that you agree on that she can say if she needs a break. It could be as simple as "pause," but it needs to be respected and not questioned so that she knows when it is used, you won't assume that you can sweet talk her into continuing. This doesn't have to be a bedroom only rule. Daytime physical touch or actions could warrant the safe word, as well.
3. Let Her Reconnect: Both partners need attention in a relationship, but sometimes a survivor is distracted. Maybe she was triggered that day, feels sad or her defense mechanisms are up because you did something to upset her and you didn't even know it (and she doesn't know how to explain what happened). If she is distant, ask her if she needs some time alone. Maybe she does, maybe she doesn't, but acknowledging that you can sense some internal conflict will go a long way. Sometimes giving her the space to reconnect with herself before expecting her to be able to focus on you/your needs is just what she needs to be reminded that she is safe and loved in this relationship.
4. Take the 5 Love Languages(r) Test: If you haven't read this book yet or taken the test, please at the very least take the free quiz to learn your individual love language. My top love language was Touch and Words of Affirmation before remembering my abuse and thereafter it became Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation. Knowing how your survivor partner prefers to be shown love goes a long way and it will in turn help your needs be met, as they might be different.
5. Be Patient: I know it might be frustrating at times and you can't possibly totally understand what your survivor partner is going through, but patience goes a long way. If your survivor partner is going through the early stages of PTSD, she feels like a lot of her emotional well-being is out of her control. Panic attacks are scary and there are triggers everywhere in society. For example, studies have shown that sexual references are made anywhere from 8 to 10 times during one hour of prime time television (source: Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media). My husband is now on high alert when we watch TV and film. He quickly paused a Game of Thrones episode when we started season 2 because he realized a potentially violent sexual scene was coming up, and ultimately we turned it off and never watched the series again. He didn't make a big deal about it and I was relieved.
6. Courage to Heal, Together: The Courage to Heal book has been around for many years and it supported me well during the onset of my first flashbacks of my abuse. At the back of the book is a partners section for couples to read together. I highly recommend it so that you can try to understand from a psychological, physical and emotional stand point what your survivor partner is grappling with and how the two of you can support one another on the path of healing and enjoying life together.