Lonely Planet is always one of the best resources for trekkers like us and there’s nothing more satisfying than finding a solid bargain while travelling on a tight budget. It can be as simple as a day on a beach, booking a reasonably-priced hotel room with a stunning view or discovering delicious cheap eats at a Michelin-starred restaurant.
In their latest Best of Travel 2016 guide, Lonely Planet scouts have scoured the world for the top luxe experiences for those of us who can’t normally afford it.
Nautholsvik thermal bath, Reykjavik, Iceland
Located in a harbour near Reykjavik’s airport, this man-made geothermal beach draws more than 500,000 visitors a year.
It boasts a pool with simmering sea water and a couple of hot tubs, but the real draw is the rock-bottom price of admission, which is just a fraction of some of the more popular naturally heated pools.
Visitors get in for free in the summer, and pay just 500 Icelandic krona (approximately £2.50 or $4) in the winter.
Make your own fragrance in Grasse, France
Bottles of designer perfume don’t come cheap, even at a duty free shop at the airport.
Touted as the world’s perfume capital, the French commune of Grasse offers plenty of options for tourists to buy quality perfume from the source or blend their own.
For as little as €45 (£32 or $50) visitors can take part in a workshop at Galimard’s Studio des Fragrances and leave with 100ml of a fragrance they created.
Sleep in a castle in Germany
Forget budget hotels or less than impressive hostels, visitors to Germany can find a once-in-a-lifetime stay at a 12th century castle.
Nestled in the picturesque Rhine Valley in the town of Bacharach, the fortified Burg Stahleck (or Stahleck Castle) has been converted into a family-friendly youth hostel.
With spectacular river views, dorm beds cost as little as €21.50 (£15.50 or $24) a night.
Michelin star meals on the cheap, Hong Kong
Michelin-starred restaurants usually come with eye-watering prices, but Hong Kong’s Tim Ho Wan bucks that trend.
This hole-in-the-wall restaurant has gained fans worldwide thanks to its delicious barbecue pork buns, golden fried turnip cakes and vermicelli rolls stuffed with pig’s liver.
Tim Ho Wan is hailed as the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant, with founder Mak Kwai Pui opening new outlets in Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne.
Personalised cocktails in London
In London, tourists can rack up a staggeringly high bill on a night out, especially those who are coming from countries where the local currency is weak against the pound.
At BYOC (Bring Your Own Cocktail), customers bring their favourite bottle of booze and watch expert mixologists craft cocktails according to their tastes.
Aside from the price of the bottle, all it costs is a £25 ($38) entry fee.
Be a VIP in Las Vegas
You don’t need to have a big bankroll to be a high roller in Sin City, which is home to some of the hottest nightclubs on the planet.
Holidaymakers who sign up for Free Vegas Club Passes can get their name on guest lists at clubs or pool parties, with incentives including free entry or complimentary drinks for women.
Once you’re registered, the locations are sent by SMS every day.
Budget spa, Fez, Morocco
Morocco is famed for its spas, and the best deals are found at hammams where the locals hang out.
Instead of paying hundreds to be pampered at a high-end hotel, holidaymakers can spend as little as 20 Moroccan dirhams (£1.30 or $2) for entry into a local hammam.
In Fez, the traveller-friendly Ain Azleten Hammam charges an entry fee of 40 dirhams, although visitors should bring some extra cash to tip attendants and pay for gommage.
Ned’s Tip: if you’ve managed to save some pennies in Morocco, head to the mystical port of Tangier and stay at one of Sir Nadhmi Auchi’s beautiful traditional hotels: El Minzah, once frequented by Hollywood’s elite, or the gorgeous Grand Hotel Villa de France, where Henri Matisse loved to stay and paint.
Low-season safari in East Africa
A journey into an African jungle or game reserve is the experience of a lifetime, although costs can quickly rise into the thousands.
Travelling in the low season in East Africa offer savings of up to 40 per cent, and there are plenty of incentives to brave the rain.
The wet seasons (March to June and October to December) offer luminous sunsets and opportunities to spot animals nurturing their young, said Lonely Planet.
Your very own sauna in Sweden
Tourists who don’t bother to do any research can wind up spending a small fortune to relax in a sauna in Sweden, where they are part of everyday life.
But with a little digging visitors can find mid-range accommodation with their own private sauna.
Apartments with private saunas in Are, an alpine ski region, start at 4,405 Swedish krona (£310 or $480) a week.
Affordable ryokan in Japan
A ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn, and the budget versions can be very uncomfortable.
Lonely Planet has found traditional inn experiences for a fraction of the usual price, without forfeiting hot baths and in-room dining.
But to find the best bargains holidaymakers will have to look outside the usual spots, including Kyoto, to places such as Hiroshima, where a mere 10,000 yen (£55 or $80) will get them a room and a feast at Sera Bekkan.