Now that we’ve turned the page on the challenges and restrictions of the last two years, luxury vacation travel is surging. The post-pandemic term coined for this phenomenon is “revenge travel.” We want to spend time with loved ones and make up for the time and experiences lost during the pandemic. We’ve realized that we value experiences over material things, so pushing personal limits and making memories is suddenly more important than buying designer clothing or the latest tech gadget. Luxury vacations are tailor-made for exercising these revised values.
What is luxury?
Luxury is service. It is unique. It is personal. Luxury vacation travel means something different to everyone. For some, it is dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant. For another, it might be having authentic fish and chips in a pub full of singing Irishmen. Luxury can be sitting on the balcony of your penthouse suite with a view of the city lights or swinging in a hammock under the stars while glamping. Although luxury travel can take many forms, when location, accommodations, food and other factors are equal, service is the magic ingredient that makes a vacation memorable. Personalization and meticulous service elevate an experience to the luxury level.
What are luxury vacation destinations?
As the surge in luxury vacation travel continues, destination trends are starting to emerge. Europe, especially tried and true favorites such as Italy and France, remain in high demand. Japan and South Africa are increasing in popularity, as are Greece, Portugal and Spain. The dollar’s strength and the prevailing “life is too short” attitude make international travel desirable. Domestic travel remains strong, too, with U.S. National Parks and outdoor adventure ranking among the favorites.
Why do we desire luxury travel?
Many luxury vacationers are on a quest for next-level stimulation. They want experiences to share at work, on social networks and with friends. About a third (34 percent) of luxury vacation travelers seek adventures that push their mental and physical limitations. Think swimming with whale sharks in Mexico or hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Another 37 percent travel for cultural engagement. That might look like a market visit with a chef, followed by an interactive cooking class to use the ingredients purchased. Expedition travel is also on the rise with 16 percent of luxury vacation travelers pursuing bucket-list experiences such as visiting Antarctica, the Galapagos, or Churchill Manitoba to see polar bears in the wild.
Multigenerational travel began growing before the pandemic and now it is flourishing. Even in the face of rising prices, the majority of luxury vacation travelers place value on spending quality time with family and building memories together. In fact, 44 percent plan to travel with children under 18, 22 percent with children 18 or older, and 20 percent with extended family.
During the pandemic, private accommodations and services were preferred for safety and seclusion. Now, those who indulged don’t want to go back, and others are catching on. Private villas, boutique accommodations, yacht and airplane charters combine exclusivity and security with personalization and service — a recipe for a luxurious experience.
You can see there is no single definition of luxury vacation travel. It has everything to do with your personal desires and interests. Although luxury does come at a cost, it does not have a specific price range. Do keep in mind that the all-important service factor begins even before you travel, so be sure to work with a professional travel advisor to arrange your trip.