The habits and preferences of world travelers have evolved enormously over recent years. Luxury travel in particular has opened the door to the most remarkable opportunities to see the world in new and interesting ways.
Going into 2019, it’s interesting to see how luxury global travelers are setting their sights on adventure and exploration over the coming months. Certain trends have already stood out as the big movements of the year – including but not limited to the following:
Improved connections between major towns and cities worldwide are enabling luxury global travelers to pack so much more into limited-time escapes. With just a week or so to play with, it’s no longer a case of being restricted to a handful of places close to hand. Regular connections, faster flights and organised micro-travel experiences help make the most of whatever short time you have available.
More travelers than ever before are shunning the services of local guides and heading out solo. The reason being that everything you could ever wish to know about a destination is now right there in the palm of your hand…literally. The combination of accurate GPS and real-time mapping software makes it almost impossible to get lost. Hotel reviews and recommendations, powerful booking engines, online communication platforms and so on – all becoming part and parcel of the experience. If anything, you could argue that some travelers are becoming too reliant on technology.
Portugal’s Powerful Allure
Investors worldwide are snapping up the finest real estate Portugal has to offer at record-pace. Just in the same way holiday home owners in key Portuguese resorts are laughing all the way to the bank. A renewed love affair with Portugal that began a couple of years ago looks set to continue its acceleration indefinitely. One of the most culturally and historically rich regions in the whole of Europe, Portugal is becoming an increasingly challenging place in which to buy or rent quality real estate. One visit and you’ll know exactly what all the fuss is about!
21st Century Cruising
The world’s most advanced cruise ships have always been impressive, but today’s flagship vessels are no less than spectacular. It’s essentially like taking to the seas in a 21st century city, with dozens of restaurants, entertainment facilities, casinos, shops, water parks, cinemas and so much more thrown in for good measure. The size and sophistication of 21st century cruise ships is reigniting the spark among luxury global travelers, for whom more generic cruising lost its appeal in the mid-nineties.
Bringing the Outdoors Indoors
While it’s not a trend among travelers specifically, we’re seeing significantly more facilities and service providers bringing a taste of the outdoors indoors. Restaurants and hotels in particular are packing their interiors (floors, walls and ceilings) with plant-life in all its various forms. Some say it’s about improving indoor air quality, others simply swear by the ambience of being surrounded by natural life. In any case, it’s no longer unusual to reside or dine in an establishment that appears to be the offspring of a traditional service setting and a lush greenhouse.
Creative Accommodation Options
Unforgettable experiences at home and overseas are about more than visiting new and interesting places. For today’s luxury traveler, the uniqueness of the accommodation matters just as much as its location. Hence, the growing popularity of everything from treehouse accommodation to sleeping ‘pods’ perched precariously on sheer cliff faces…literally. Irrespective of whether you intend to spend a great deal of time there, the accommodation you choose will have a marked impact of your enjoyment of the trip as a whole. So if the usual hotels and holiday homes don’t inspire you, why not consider something a little more creative?
Private Group Rentals
Remaining with the accommodation theme, the days of booking multiple hotel rooms to accommodate larger groups appear to have come and gone. Today, it’s all about the luxury and exclusivity of hiring private holiday homes, villas and even castles. Along with the privacy and prestige of a private group rental, it can also be a surprisingly economic option. The larger the group, the more likely you are to get superior value for money by considering a private rental, rather than booking a string of overpriced hotel rooms.
The fact that it’s so much quicker and easier to get from A to B these days means that’s exactly what people are doing. If there’s a place of interest just a 2-hour flight or so away from your current location, why not hop over and check it out? Multi-centre travel is becoming increasingly popular in luxury travel circles, enabling globetrotters to cram any number of destinations into a single trip.
Last but not least, sustainable tourism essentially means tourism that doesn’t have a harmful impact on the environment. Both on a global and a local level, travelers are becoming more aware of the importance of preservation and eco-friendly travel. Some luxury travel agencies now specialise exclusively in sustainable tourism – others are yet to make any real effort. Nevertheless, there’s always plenty the traveler can do personally to improve sustainability…and that’s exactly what today’s more conscientious traveler is doing.