Most of us would prefer not to be summoned on potentially life-endangering assignments, but we probably would not mind sampling some of the high life James Bond experiences on his travels.
The latest 007 film, Spectre, will certainly stir up some wanderlust as Daniel Craig speeds and zooms across the globe on his next secret mission. But how do you go about recreating the Bond experience (minus the near-death encounters) on a budget?
Unfortunately, few of us are able to afford first-class airfares, but it is still possible to get upgraded on flights.
According to research by price comparison website Skyscanner, customers can improve their chances of getting bumped up by sticking with a single airline and their partners and joining the relevant loyalty program.
Even if you cannot accumulate enough points to purchase an upgrade, you might still be in with a chance of securing a swish seat as airlines will always offer upgrades to frequent flyers first.
To further improve your chances: travel alone (in a survey of cabin crew, Skyscanner found 72 per cent were more inclined to offer upgrades to passengers flying solo); travel light (it is easier to accommodate those with less luggage on an earlier or later flight where upgrades may be available); be flexible (airlines often overbook flights, then offer vouchers to passengers willing to take another flight).
If you really want the full Bond experience, consider flying by private jet. Companies frequently reduce the price of fares on flights that are not full, with a list of good deals featured on Jetsuite.com, a US-based private jet flight aggregator that flies to more than 2000 airports. Just be prepared – like Bond – to jet off with little notice.
Once comfortable (hopefully) in your premium economy or first-class seat, continue the 007 theme by ordering a suitable cocktail. Virgin Atlantic serves Vesper cocktails (as featured in Quantum Of Solace) at its Upper Class bar, or make your own alternative White Russian by ordering Baileys and vodka from the drinks trolley.
Unfortunately, the five-star hotels Bond tends to frequent are generally expensive, but it is worth looking out for last-minute deals – particularly during low season.
Alternatively, settle for a drink at one of the many rooftop pool bars where 007 would feel at home, such as the Four Seasons Hotel at London’s Canary Wharf where the Shanghai scene from Skyfall was filmed.
Then relax in the knowledge that your holiday can be enjoyed uninterrupted – one luxury James Bond is rarely afforded.