When you hear the term “luxury travel,” it tends to conjure a set of very specific images—white beaches, infinity pools, champagne on the balcony—and very specific destinations. You may think of the Algarve, Paris, even Dubai. More recently, even words like privacy, eco-friendliness, safety and health may come to mind.
Properties at many luxury destinations have their own charms, and are great options for older travelers given the attentiveness, levels of service and the many amenities provided. However, what if you’re in the market for something just a little more adventurous, or off the beaten track?
It’s a big wide world out there, and there are plenty of ways to see it whilst still treating yourself to luxurious facilities. Once border and air travel restrictions lift, here are a few ideas of more distant locations to visit and explore, depending on your interests.
Destinations with luxury beaches
If you’re looking for white beaches, pristine waters and a location bursting with character tourists, French Polynesia could be the destination of your dreams. A group of tiny islands located in between New Zealand and South America, this is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.
It may take a while to fly there, but once you’ve made it, you’ll be surrounded by a gorgeous, lush environment, and able to stay in one of the islands’ luxury hotels. French Polynesia is particularly known for its amazing scuba diving, so if you’re looking to punctuate your holiday with an element of adventure, this could be the perfect place for you.
Travelers have been veering towards eco-tourism for years, wishing to see the world whilst keeping it safe and healthy for their children and grandchildren. As a result, many companies have attempted to take advantage of this by offering ‘eco’ packages which are not all that they claim. However, the bespoke tour company &Beyond operates a series of lodges across the African continent which have been recommended by National Geographic for their commitment to best practices and support of local endeavors.
Their luxury lodges include an incredible treehouse, and opportunities to experience the wildlife of Africa up close and personal whilst supporting ecological causes that protect their wellbeing from loss of habitat and poaching.
Even if a holiday isn’t marketed as eco-tourism, that doesn’t mean you can’t experience amazing wildlife whilst supporting conservation and communities. In 1835, Charles Darwin and his team of naturalists visited the Galapagos Islands and returned to Britain with a wealth of information about the marvelous new species there, including penguins, a host of rare birds, huge Galapagos tortoises, and the now-infamous marine iguana; the inspiration behind the blockbuster Godzilla movies.
You’ll realize that The Galapagos Islands certainly have a lot to offer if you take a peek at any Galapagos travel guide. The landscape is pristine, with only three percent of the islands allowed to be built upon, much of which is taken up by gorgeous hotels where you can base yourself while exploring the wildlife of the islands.
Cultural Retreats and City Break
When you think of a city break, what cities do you picture? New York? London? Paris? If so, it’s time to drastically expand your horizons and look to.. Japan! The heaving streets of Japan’s major cities, from Tokyo to Kyoto and Osaka, are a unique experience that everyone should have at least once in their life.
The cities are filled with a host of weird and wonderful activities, from maid cafes to hotels staffed almost entirely by robots. If you want your expectations challenged and your mind stimulated, a city break in Tokyo will be the perfect holiday for you. If the drama of the city ever gets a bit too much, you can easily retreat to one of the beautifully kept shrines and public parks that pepper the city, recharging your batteries with greenery and beautiful water features before plunging back into the streets.
Destinations offering family fun
Of course, sometimes you may want to travel with your family, big or small, and find a location which will suit all of you. This is especially true during a time of social distancing. The best holidays offer adult relaxation without compromising on adventure and fun for the kids – and these can be hard to find without venturing into well-trodden territory. Well, rather than heading straight for the amenities of Europe, why not consider a trip to the Caribbean? This could offer the perfect balance, as the islands are full of resorts with white beaches and relaxing lounges, whilst offering a host of activities and adventures including water sports, nature walks and dedicated areas for kids to inhabit. That way, you can spend quality time with your extended family without feeling like anyone is losing out.
A Colder Trip
Up until now, we have focussed on the warmer side of life; tropical countries, gorgeous beaches, and exotic safaris. However, a holiday doesn’t just have to be about heading into the sun. If you’re willing to wrap up warm, there are a host of unusual delights to be found by heading north.
Your first port of call should always be Iceland. The island country offers some unique holiday experiences; you can head into beautiful mountainous territory, find a remote cottage right by a fjord, visit reindeer, and even spy a glimpse of the incredible northern lights. If you’re looking for something extra special, it’s also well worth making an excursion into Sweden to visit the iconic ice hotel, where you stay in an ever-changing work of art built entirely out of ice.
The world is filled to the brim with wonders at various destinations, from beaches to wildlife to mountains and ice. Next time you are planning a holiday, don’t get trapped by your usual habits, or by locations that have been visited by tens of millions each year. Instead, cast your net a little further afield to find unique, luxurious locations that you will remember forever. The world awaits us!
All photo credits: Pixabay
*This is a collaborative post written by Amelia Hudson.