Paris, Chicago and Beyond: How to Have a Luxury Trip for Much Less Than You Think

Mexico City

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.

Her tips:

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.

Take Uber “Uber is inexpensive and efficient,” Ms. Aviles said.


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.

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.