Luxury travel isn’t solely about the level of accommodations anymore. These days, it’s also about the unique experiences, personalized itineraries and destinations that travelers can choose around the world.
According to the most recent travel trends survey conducted by Travel Leaders Group, luxury travelers are most interested in exclusive access, including VIP tours, cars and drivers and customized culinary experiences, or even opportunities for combining their trip with a volunteer project that takes them out of their comfort zone to make a deeper connection.
For train buffs, there’s nothing as memorable as a rail journey where you can sit back and enjoy the magnificent scenery. When you explore the Canadian Rockies aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, you’ll find impeccable service and awe-inspiring vistas as you travel from Vancouver to Banff and Lake Louise. With the highest-level GoldLeaf Service, passengers travel in a bi-level domed coach. Gourmet meals featuring regional cuisine are served in a dining room with large picture windows.
If you have a safari on your bucket list, Travel Leaders advisors can help you plan a vacation that will make the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. On a luxury trip, you’ll travel in a private 4X4 Land Cruiser with a naturalist guide who will help you spot the “big five” — lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and Cape buffalo. In the East African countries of Tanzania and Kenya from July to October you can watch the Great Migration, as more than 2 million wildebeest, zebra and antelope make their famed annual pilgrimage.
Some less-traveled destinations can offer tremendous opportunities for historical, culinary and cultural experiences without the enormous crowds.
To see a part of Europe that’s a little off the beaten path — but still full of charm — consider a trip to one of the cities on the Baltic Sea. Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is a port of call on the Baltic Treasures trip aboard the Crystal Cruises’ ship Serenity. Old Town, with its historic buildings and cobblestone streets, is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Northern Europe.
About an hour off the coast of Naples, the small, mountainous island of Ischia is perfect for travelers who want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the nearby Amalfi Coast. Ischia, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, offers some of the best beaches in Italy. Outdoor enthusiasts can head to the town of Fontana, where they can hike to the top of Mount Epomeo, rising more than 2,500 feet above sea level and offering stunning views.
To really get away from it all, take a Silversea or Windstar cruise in the South Pacific, where you can uncover hidden spots like the Tuamotu Islands, a French Polynesia chain of nearly 80 islands and low-lying atolls. Manihi, built on a coral reef, is less than two hours by air from Tahiti. Known as the Island of Pearls, its lagoon is perfect for scuba diving.
For help planning a luxury vacation, contact your travel advisor at Travel Leaders / Destinations Unlimited.