If you look back at the travel industry, you’ll see that the idea of luxury travel has always had a been in high demand. There’s always been a desire to travel on the Orient Express, fly first class on the Concorde and eat at the finest Michelin starred restaurants.
However, in the twenty-first century, luxury travel has been ripped up, torn apart and turned on its head. Travellers still want to locate the best places to eat and stay in the same swanky gaffs, but luxury travel has become far removed from the conventional ideas from yesteryear.
Luxury once meant the best of everything. Now, it means the most authentic, exclusive and sought after experience possible. While anyone can book themselves onto a luxury tour and mingle with like-minded people, only a select few venture into the very heart of a culture or community in the destination which they’ve chosen.
If you’re heading to Brazil, what will make your trip most memorable? Is it the Westernised meal you had at the Michelin starred restaurant or is it the supper you shared with an elusive, secretive Amazonian tribe that only the most privileged traveller gets to meet?
The accessibility to these unique and authentic experiences is what makes travel luxury in the modern day. Having the contacts to make experiences like this possible requires the use of an external agent and one that will cause quite a dint to your pocket. However, if you have the means and money to find yourself spending a week in Outer Mongolia with the traditional basket weavers of the mountains, why not just go for it?
You could be staying in the finest and most impressive five-star hotel in Tokyo but if the check-in is slow, the room lacks a view, and the wake-up call is five minutes late, you will become frustrated sooner rather than later.
If you’re venturing out onto the streets of Akihabara and you’re keen to get a subway to the bright lights of Harajuku, you don’t want to be stressing about timings or traversing the streets with very little knowledge of where you’re going. Companies like Travelsphere will take the organisational aspect of your trip, allowing you to enjoy the experiences stress-free.
You’ll be waking up each morning with your meals planned, your accommodation for the next night booked and your transport already paid for. You might be partaking in a tea ceremony with the Geishas of Kyoto or witnessing a Sumo bout in downtown Osaka. Whatever you end up doing will be authentic, well organised and will run like clockwork.
Although it may sound a little snobby, if you are a luxury traveller, you don’t want to be going on tours that thousands of other tourists go on. The Pyramids are the number one sightseeing stop for any traveller to Egypt but do you want to be joining an escorted tour of the site with loads of other people that will probably do your head in with their oo’s and ah’s. These standard tours tend to have less qualified guides and only touch on the bare minimum of historical facts to cater for the masses.
For a more luxurious trip to the ancient ruins of Egypt, you could employ a personal guide for you and your family or travelling companions. These highly bespoke experiences will result in an expert leading you through the tourist hotspot and answering every question you may have.
If you want to spend a little longer marvelling at the hieroglyphics, you can do so because you won’t be herded along with a wealth of other tourists. The exclusive nature of luxury travel means you can do what you want, at your own pace and with expert guides at your side.
While it was once the done thing to stay in the largest, grandest and most impressive hotels across the globe, the emphasis is now shifting towards the most authentic, simple and culturally significant places where you may wish to rest your weary bones. Instead of opting for the 1500 roomed skyscraper in the heart of the city, people are flocking to the more intimate boutique residences. This means your accommodation is more authentic and reflects the community where you’re staying much more accurately.
While I understand the lure of sunkissed Italy, Australia’s outback and the African safaris, it’s the more quirky destination choices that can offer the luxury that we crave nowadays. Ever thought of heading to Rwanda to do some trekking?
What about exploring the barren landscape of Greenland? Maybe even a top class ski resort in Kyrgyzstan? Venturing to a country relatively unexplored by other tourists means you’re tapping into an exclusive travel destination and heading off the beaten track to get your kicks.
Whilst luxury travelling may still be quite niche, there are so many options out there that can give you a taste of parts of the world that you had no idea even existed. Finding places out there that don’t fit the usual city break or sun holiday mould may be something you’re interested in – why not give it a go?