Secret Strategies for the Pampered Traveler Exceptional Trips that you’ll never forget
Love to be pampered AND want to get the best value for your dollar without breaking the bank or going into debt?
Yearn to visit the trendiest hot spots for living the good life or experience a once-in-a-lifetime milestone journey?
Seek exceptional service, 5-star treatment, and/or the opportunity or assistance to fulfill all your worldwide bucket list dreams?
Want to learn about unique, high-quality accommodations, experiences and activities that will meet all your luxury specifications?
A quality luxury vacation experience begins with careful planning upfront and can mean quite varied and different expectations for what you seek. Luxury may be all about the trendiness or exclusivity of a destination, the quality and reputation of accommodations, the uniqueness of a mode of transportation, the top-of-the line amenities provided, the variety of dining experiences offered, the wow factor of activities offered, attention to detail, the high level of service received—or all of these combined.
Travel agents can advise and match you with the unique experience you may be seeking.
1) Luxury destinations can be found many places in the world, but some especially focus on attracting the well-heeled by promoting exclusivity. For the Caribbean, you may want to take a look at Barbados, Aruba, St. Lucia, Anguilla, the Cayman Islands, or St. Bart’s. For the South Pacific, you may want to take in the stunning beauty of Tahiti/French Polynesia, island-hop in Fiji or sail the Whitsunday Islands in Australia. For Asia, cultural exploration trips to Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore come to mind, or you can play like a maharajah and visit a UNESCO World Heritage site such as the Taj Mahal in India. For Africa, consider a luxury safari with daily game drives, a visit to Victoria Falls, sailing the Nile River in Egypt, or a trip to South Africa to experience the wineries and swimming with sharks. South America hot spots include exploring Machu Picchu in Peru, viewing Iguassu Falls, dancing a tango in Buenos Aires, watching the action on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, viewing the scenery of Patagonia, soaking in volcano-heated spa waters in Costa Rica, or meeting the wildlife up close in the Galapagos Islands. North America offers all-inclusive resorts throughout Mexico, while the USA and Canada both offer plenty of 5-star hotels and guest ranch stays. Europe highlights can include being serenaded in a gondola while in Venice, soaring in a hot air balloon in Cappadocia (Turkey), or visiting the famous palaces and museums in St. Petersburg, Paris or London. In the Middle East, newly popular destinations include Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE, or visiting Petra in Jordan. For the adventurous, cruising to the Antarctic or viewing the northern lights in Iceland or Scandinavia is a must-do.
2) You have many choices for unique modes of transportation. You can sail away on a luxury cruise or private yacht, jet off in first-class aboard a commercial airliner or chartered jet, take a one-of-a-kind rail journey, embark on a luxury guided tour where all you need to do is show up since all the itinerary details are handled, or even rent a Harley Davidson motorcycle or luxury car to explore back-country roads.
3) Unique dining experiences could include trying the local cuisine in restaurants with famous chefs, attending food tastings and wine pairings, having a romantic candlelight dinner for two on a beach, and trying dine-around options if offered. If having a variety of fine dining choices are important to you while on vacation, ask about your options such as how many a la carte choices you’ll have if staying at an all-inclusive resort, if room service is included or if a special meal may be set up.
4) For activities, consider requesting a local treatment at a world-class spa, golf on a championship golf course with a private instructor, hire a local guide/chauffeur for a private tour, and/or simply have an adventure doing whatever the local culture offers—elephant trekking, horseback or camel riding, zip lining, parasailing, river rafting, Jeep rides, Bedouin desert tours, etc. Ask your travel agent to book activities in advance that are very important to you in order to secure the time/date slot you want and avoid disappointment of something being sold out.
5) One-of-a kind accommodations experiences could include staying in a castle in Ireland, a overnighting in a wigwam in Arizona, residing with a local family in a Tibetan yurt, watching the fish swim from your overwater bungalow in Tahiti/French Polynesia, living like a local in a thatched cottage in England, and/or enjoying your own private staff in a Caribbean villa. Many all-inclusive resorts have remodeled and invested money into their properties so guests will have a more luxurious experience.