When people think about luxury travel, the first thing that comes to mind is the cost involved. Indeed, high-income earners love to embark on these luxury travels for several reasons. The most notable reason is to experience a trip of a lifetime. With a global net worth of this industry exceeding $900 billion, it makes sense why people who can afford it are looking for newer trends to further define their getaways. It takes some planning to go on a luxury trip alone, and so it will require additional effort if you’re going with a family. For example, you will have to sort out your shopping checklist for newborn babies, before embarking on a trip. Here are a few options to keep in mind.
- Lifestyle brands
Ever since the introduction of the first string of boutique hotels in the early 1980s, luxury travel has never been the same. The overwhelming success of this marketing strategy brought forth the rebirth of lifestyle brands in the luxury travel space. Lifestyle brands are known for their design-oriented and customer-centric approach to product details. Whether it’s a service or a tangible product, these companies make it a personal mission to focus on a positive customer experience while simultaneously making significant profits.
Moreover, due to the intense market competition in this high-end space, it has become imperative for lifestyle brands to continually redefine their products. This explains why two different companies selling the same product may have noticeable distinctions that positively impact the customer experience. These variations can make the difference in choosing one lifestyle brand over another for luxury travelers.
Apart from the brand comparisons, lifestyle brands are also active in the airline industry. It is why you hear so much about innovations in airline services with a special focus on exclusivity and comfort. This year, most international airlines are revamping their upper-class and executive suites services. Because experience means so much to lifestyle brands, they tend to define luxury travel.
- Environmentally-friendly luxury
Today, the debate on an environmentally-friendly world goes beyond global political circles. It has transcended into fashion, domestic chores, the workplace, and even in luxury travel conversation. While it is exciting that more people are catching on to making the planet a healthier place for present and future generations, there is the need to set the dream in motion. In the luxury travel space, this includes offsetting the carbon footprint of airplanes.
Currently, there is growing concern that poorly managed air travel could contribute to 43 metric gigatons of CO2 emissions in less than thirty years from now. Airplanes zip around the world, which is taking a toll on the planet as a whole. Therefore, if these numbers mean anything to you, it would be a great idea to rethink your travel options. For example, you can choose luxury train transport instead of planes if that option is available.
Compared to airplanes, trucks, and cars, the train exudes less emission and has a lower energy footprint. If train travel is impossible for any reason, you can research the airlines that contribute significantly to a green environment. This can be in the form of their contribution to reforestation or considerable investment in greener fuel.
- Off-the-grid luxury travels
After spending considerable time in the hustle and bustle of cities, luxury travelers are gearing more towards off-the-grid travels. In other words, these travelers are constantly in search of luxury locations devoid of mass tourism. The idea here is that the fewer, the merrier. These off-the-grid destinations are known to be smaller but have rich tourism resorts only a fraction of people can afford. Indeed, these relatively unknown places profit from their expensive and exclusive services.
In the recent past, overcrowding in notable travel spots like Venice, Rome, Nepal, Mount Everest, etc., made international tourism appear too common. And going to less crowded places is a good idea for a family. According to luxury revelers, overcrowding in these locations tend to take away from the exclusive experience many high-income earners desire. Sometimes, by finding these remote places, travelers discover heritage sites talked about only in history books. In the bid to escape mass tourism, off-the-grid destinations became a key trend in the luxury travel space.
- Sustainable development via luxury travel
Australia, The Bahamas, Haiti, Sri Lanka, Puerto Rico are examples of holiday destination countries that suffered natural disasters in the last four years. After these disasters, the local areas where these disasters happened suffered varied economic implications. For the island nations, it became imperative to go back to the drawing board, especially because their main national revenues are derived from tourism. For a family, it will be a great learning experience about places other than home.
Sustainable development luxury travel refers to the growing interest in places that survived disasters of various magnitudes. Perhaps, it thrives on a subtle element of curiosity that people have. Naturally, people want to see how these places have developed after that fact. They wish to be part of the success story that such places have become known for. Typical examples of these places include Rwanda and Putumayo (Colombia). In some circles, it is also known as disaster tourism and thrives on the effective use of danger psychology.
In truth, the danger psychology associated with these destinations usually becomes an effective marketing tool. For instance, if a high-end tourist wants to visit the exact spots these disasters happened, they may have to pay more. The satisfaction of being there and having a picture moment on ‘ground zero’ may be worth the money paid. To some extent, sustainable luxury travel also supports the commitment put into rebuilding disaster spots. Therefore, what better way to recoup the monies spent than hyping these places.
- The staycation trend
Staycation became a ‘thing’ when the Coronavirus pandemic struck the rest of the world (after China) in early 2020. The introduction of lockdowns and international travel restrictions made it possible for people to find newer ways to enjoy trips without leaving their home country. This also compelled local hospitality industries to revamp their luxury community services. Hotels, restaurants, guest houses, and self-serviced apartments improved their in-house amenities to satisfy the growing local demand.
All the extra indulgence in these places not too far from home continues to redefine the luxury travel space. Moreover, with a raging pandemic and countries experiencing their third and fourth waves, what could be better than enjoying luxury travel in your home country? Even better, there are no airport check-in times or queues to rush to. You can even revel in the absence of jetlag.
- Hybrid experiences
Adventure, engagement, relaxation, and rejuvenation are a few examples of experiences luxury travelers are after. While an adventure seeker may be interested in the thrill of quests and missions, they may also want to derive wellness benefits from these activities. Again, another person who seeks an immersion experience may also want to learn about the local culture in foreign lands. In effect, hybrid experiences refer to the combination of positive effects that luxury travelers want to feel when these trips are over.
For many thrill and relaxation seekers, these experiences are intended to give a feel of something different from the usual. Being able to transform from a luxury traveler to an explorer is one of the several defining moments for many people.
- Personalized itineraries
On many occasions, vacation travels are characterized by generic itineraries as spelled out by tour operators. While this may seem like a cost-effective way to handle groups of tourists, it also takes away the personalized element. For this reason, several luxury travelers find it more comfortable booking private tours. Another emerging trend is arranging customized vacations through high-end travel operators. Admittedly, this eliminates cookie-cutter experiences.
Because activities are tailor-made and individualized, luxury travelers have a greater chance of getting their monies’ worth, which makes it a great option for families as well. Moreover, it is in the interest of these high-end travel operators to exceed customer and client expectations. It is one effective way to retain their clientele base. More importantly, personalized itineraries improve relaxation and allow luxury seekers to have the time of their lives.
- Longer vacation stays
The tourism and hospitality sector playfully christened this key trend, ‘revenge consumption.’ It comes on the back of COVID-19 and the mandatory lockdowns that happened worldwide. When governments worldwide began to loosen these restrictions, coupled with vaccinations, luxury travelers who felt restricted in that period felt the need to ‘break free.’ This led to an increased number of high-income earners prolonging their vacation stays than they ordinarily would have.
Consequently, longer vacation periods often translate into more spending and an improved focus on what the extended stay should contain. Perhaps, this trend has contributed to better luxury travel planning. It is an excellent option for families because it means everybody can have their experience before the vacation is over. Additionally, the tourism sector believes that it has also influenced the wealthy fraternity to book their travels in advance to avoid sudden inconveniences. On social media, longer vacation stays often translate into luxury travel posts.
Last but not least, thanks to advancements in technology, luxury travel planning is easier than ever. With a few clicks of a button, you can plan a family trip from flight tickets to luxury accommodation, activities, etc. Indeed, there may be a reduced need to see a travel planning company in person.