I reminisce a lot about travel, probably too much if we’re honest. It’s my passion though, and I feel mostly favored in my preoccupation, which is kind of how this post came about.
It’s also a reaction though to a lot of questions I get about how I travel, why I choose several places to visit and how I get the most out of the travel experience. So, after reminiscing about this topic for months, I have decided to finally put into words Why We Love Luxury Tourism And You Should, Too!
Not only experiential
For years I’ve solely called my style of travel experiential luxury. It was the real way I could think of to accurately portray the amalgamation of styles I’ve assembled into one concrete definition. Not only that, but I even defined this single term in a couple of different ways; I now realize that this was because it wasn’t the most accurate term. But, before today I usually described it like this. There are some travel experiences, some entire trips even, that are so exceptional they are de facto luxury travel experiences.
The definition is more traditional, which is luxury travel but a luxury that doesn’t cut the traveler off from the areas they visit. Thankfully, this has been the pattern lately, and all of the luxury travel specialists have been quoted saying that experiential travel is a new luxury, and I couldn’t accept more.
Sure, spending some time at a nice tropical resort where you do nothing but stay by the pool can be exquisite, but more often people want more. They require to get out and explore, experience local communities and customs and feel like they’ve traveled somewhere. Nice pools exist everywhere, but those cultural connections, those are unique.
I talk to a lot of people when I travel, often because I have a natural interest. I learn a lot about their lives but also why they move in the first place. Lately, I’ve noticed a powerful trend amongst all types of travelers. They don’t require things that are too prepackaged or bundled. Instead, they want spontaneity and to feel like they’re traveling.
This goes for everyone from that strongly independent backpacker to people I’ve met on planned tours. I was most interested in the latter category, especially since they selected to join a tour in the first place. After conversing with them, I learned that while, they required some elements of their trips planned for them (hotels, meals and so on), they also needed the luxury of free-time and investigated new destinations on their own. We’re not addressing Millennials here either, but Baby Boomers and beyond. It’s enthralling to me.
They’ve noticed how others are traveling and desire the same experiences. They want the excitement and rush of discovery, but also specific assurances built into the trip.
This is actually what I have always defined as experiential travel, but I now believe that definition didn’t go far enough.
Put all of these concepts together, and you have what I am calling Honest Luxury. It’s the system in which we join the finer elements of the travel expertise with the real, simple look into a new destination. For a while I’ve worried that my writing didn’t accurately portray the luxury side of my travels enough. Even though I almost perpetually pay special for that upgrade and favor five-star hotels instead of Airbnb, I looked around at other luxury writers and saw something very different.
In their articles, I saw fine watches and expensive meals detailed almost every day, and I felt as if I wasn’t considered to be a “real” luxury traveler. But then I recognized, my amusement with culture, history and the destinations themselves are really what is at the heart of the luxury experience. It’s the new way that luxury is being redefined thanks in large part to those slightly annoying Millennials, but also to the other generations who have emulated their style of travel.