Over the past couple of years, I have noticed a shift in the way I like to travel. I have noticed how I find joy and pleasure in the moments of travel both at home in the UK and abroad. Or perhaps, I have become more aware of what makes me happy.
The process was gradual, and it may be my age (maturity can do that to a lady!), but I do find I am drawn increasingly to luxury travel (and my new obsession with spas).
Gone are the days when I would drag out my ageing backpack from the attic, pack the bare minimum and go trotting off around Asia with little more than a pair of flip-flops.
Instead, I have found that I look for comfort, top quality service, beautiful surroundings, and something a little unique.
And yet, some things I look for in travel have not changed. The flea-ridden hostels might have been swapped for suites in a 5-star hotel, but I still yearn for authentic experiences. I want to learn about local cultures, food and history. I want to see stunning landscapes and untouched views. I want to see the world for all that is beautiful in it.
So what does luxury travel really mean? Why is luxury travel so appealing?
Recently I went to a travel conference for content creators called Traverse, where I heard a fantastic talk about luxury travel from travel brand Chloe Johnston.
In this one talk, the speaker managed to articulate everything I had been thinking, experiencing and transitioning to when it comes to travel.
There’s something rather reassuring about having your thoughts articulated by somebody else in a public sphere.
As it struck home so much to me I want to share some of the main points from that talk along with my feelings about why luxury travel is so appealing.
The TL;DR version is – luxury is not just about 5-star hotels (and ‘things’), it’s about experiences.
Why Is Luxury Travel So Appealing?
Luxury is about goods, services and experiences that bring us a feeling of abundance and happiness but isn’t a necessity for life. Luxury is about the beautiful, expensive or scarce.
Traditional luxury was focused on high-value things such as 5-star hotels, but nowadays luxury is more about rare experiences and the feelings that they evoke.
We have this desire to have experiences that are not just about pleasure (although that is a key factor) but it’s about finding something deeper. Often this deeper pleasure is through simplicity and beauty.
Luxury is about having the opportunity to enjoy the simple things in life, such as time, space, and peace.
We desire experiences with a level of exclusivity, privacy or security. Living in such a well-traveled, connected world it is increasingly difficult to ‘get off the beaten track’ and find new places to see, or opportunities to experience.
We have all become explorers. Not just in our own lives, but through digital channels. More of us have become curious, looking for new and interesting journeys.
Luxury is finding the path less travelled. It is looking for authenticity, local experiences, that which is undiscovered.
Luxury is a moment rather than a thing.
For so many of us, time is the most precious commodity. Luxury lies in having time. It is about being able to truly switch off and to not have to think.
“It is almost impossible to truly get lost these days. It would take a lot of effort to experience this luxury.” – Marcin Rusak, designer
Luxury is about personalisation and flexibility, but still being connected and with modern amenities. We still look for comfort with luxury.
There has been a shift in perspective when it comes to luxury travel. It is pointed more towards reflection, authenticity and personal development. It’s about meeting with nature or culture in order to reflect on ourselves.
But most of all, luxury travel is about creating memories.
Experiences over things. Something that has always resonated with me.
Tell me: What does luxury travel mean to you?
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I attended the Traverse conference as a digital ambassador for Three to talk about their awesome Feel At Home service. As a long-time Three customer and early adopter of the service, I can vouch for just how useful this is.
Feel At Home essentially allows you to use your current Three contracts when you go on holiday to one of the 42 (and counting) countries they’ve partnered with. That means no more roaming charges, hoorah!