The Top 6 Luxuries in Travel

Paragliding in the Northern Lights, Vik i Myrdal, Iceland
Paragliding in the Northern Lights, Vik i Myrdal, Iceland

The way people view travel has changed so much over the last few years and with it the definition of what 'luxury' travel is. It is extremely subjective and it means different things to each one of us, not necessarily revolving around extravagant accommodation, far-off destinations or gourmet meals. Experiences, adventure and total immersion into another culture are top of mind for more travellers nowadays, alongside with having the flexibility and freedom to explore without being constrained by itineraries.

So what defines 'luxury' for me?


This is the opportunity to travel and visit places that allow you to experience them in privacy with very few people around. You are not a tourist, you are a traveller and even the most luxurious hotel with the most amazing facilities will not make you feel special if there are another few hundred fellow tourists around you 'enjoying' the same. It's pure indulgence and in this busy world doesn't happen very often so it is the ultimate luxury in travel. Whether it's a private tour or activity, spending time in nature in complete seclusion or sleeping in a tree house in the jungle, privacy is a highly valued commodity and a real treat to boot.


We are always running out or short of it, ticking off the stuff from our to-do lists as they get longer and longer. So when it comes to travel, one of the most extravagant things about it for me is having enough time. Time to enjoy, time to relax and time to experience and soak in all the new things around me. Everyone is different in the way they do it, some like to plan every single detail, some prefer to just let one thing lead them to the next. Whichever way you like it,  having time on your hands and not feeling like you are completing an itinerary that's been pushed  down on you because 'that's what people do' when they visit a certain place is one of the things that really brings luxury to your travel. You should try it if you haven't already!


When it comes to the travel industry, luxury is usually promoted as appearances. There's no denying that punctual travel arrangements, comfortable accommodation, with all the bells and whistles of fine dining and friendly and courteous service, are a welcome part of a vacation. But, there is a big BUT. How much do you want to be vacationing as opposed to 'experiencing'? If you've got the travel bug, you've probably had the feeling that after being to one 'luxury' resort you've seen them all. They seem to follow a pattern, which is absolutely fine if you want predictability. Travel for me is much  more about the experience of something new and different, so unpredictability is more than welcome, it's that special holiday treat. 


 "An adventure a day keeps the doctor away". Or was it an 'apple'? Whichever version your prefer, if you are one of those who find their comfort zone just as unappealing as over boiled cabbage, you'll know that travel for you is not about just changing locations while you try to replicate the same 'room with a sea view' or 'Margarita by the pool' year after year at different locations. It's about the unexpected and unpredictable joy of finding something that truly amazes and surprises you, soaking in new cultures but also constantly finding new things about yourself and those around you. Having the guarantee that the eggs you get served at breakfast will taste exactly the same in any of the branches of your favorite luxury resort chain around the world, doesn't cut it for me. Skip the eggs and go explore.


Travel IS about being free, so by definition we shouldn't even think of freedom as a luxury but far too often we don't have it even when we plan to get away. Very often we are our worst enemies by trying to pin down every single detail. Research is good but being open to the unexpected is even better. Let yourself be surprised and you will probably get hooked. Open your mind, grab a bag (btw, packing as light as possible is also part of the luxurious freedom of travel, but more about that in another post) and your passport and you'll be in the world of travel luxury instantly. 


We've all probably experienced one of these holidays or trips when you just feel like a statistic. It can leave a slightly very bitter aftertaste while you're wondering what made you agree to spend your precious few days being herded alongside many others to view the attractions or 'relax' on this 'ecxlusive' beach (together with the entire population of a small town) ... Luckily there are some benefits of living in a networked society and one of them is that you can  make your travel 'only yours' without that much sweat. Keep an open mind, research, talk to friends, to fellow travelers, don't be afraid to look at even the wildest options and you'll soon find out that you're already creating your own personalized luxurious adventure that you can't wait to get on with. 

So here's my own personal definition of luxury in travel and adventure. What is yours?