Luxury adventure travel is one of life’s great rewards. It as many advantages: It lets us explore the world and expand our horizons beyond work and the obligations of daily life. Luxury adventure travel enables us to go for the deep dive into a passion or try something new. It challenges us and tests our limits. It sends us to remote corners of the world where few are privileged to go.
Most of all, luxury adventure fulfills dreams of a lifetime.
When I travel I like to try different things each time. These may be unique to the destination or type of trip I am taking. On a wildlife expedition, for instance, I worked with a professional photographer to better my photography skills. I am not an expert; I do not use professional photography equipment. But I am better on my iPhone for having had that experience.
So when it comes time for your next luxury adventure trip – and every one after that- it is helpful to do a little planning beforehand. Here are my top 10 tips for your next big adventure.
My Top Ten Tips For Your Next Luxury Adventure Trip
1. List Your Passions and Interests.
What do you like to do? What would you like to explore, to taste, touch, hear, and smell?
Now pick some to place front and center for this trip. For some, it is a set-aside dream to dive deeply into a field of study such as photography (like me). For others, it is an opportunity to refine skills, such as garden design, or an artistic pursuit. Some want to explore the wine of a region; others a cultural immersion. Of course, nothing is exclusive of another, so list everything you can think of that would make your journey truly fulfilling for you.
If you are traveling with others, ask them to list theirs. On a vacation, it is important that ALL feel their own fulfillment. Time can be made for experiences both solo and together.
2. Make a list of any problems of health and safety concerns
Should these stop you from realizing your dream? Not at all! Where there is a will, there is a way.
Those with specialized knowledge can help you find your way.
I have clients who pursue luxury adventure and active travel for the whole family, even the mother who has MS. We plan and make accommodations for her to enjoy what she yearns to do. The active family members’ time is not compromised, nor is she left behind.
3. DO the research and create a list of destinations that fascinate you, and list WHY.
This is an important step. A young couple I know wanted to go everywhere in Europe in a short amount of time. They told me Paris was on the list to see the Eiffel Tower. I asked them if they had a special interest in engineering or architectural design. Their answer was, “No, it is just a popular thing to see.” When we talked more about WHY they were traveling, it turned out Paris was off the list for a more tailored exploration of Italy- a place that really fascinated them for a variety of personal reasons. In the end, they saved Paris for when they could spend more time exploring the city in depth, not just one of its features.
The point is, the WHY of what you want to experience while you travel may dictate the WHERE. So, be open for alternatives to the picture in your mind.
4. List times of year you are able to travel.
Is there one time better than another for some travel, like school holidays for your grandchildren? Do you prefer off-season to avoid crowds?
Don’t attach too much importance to the activity- or even the climate- to determine your time to travel; you can ski in both winter AND summer, depending on the destination. The same with the beach. The same with safari.
5. Decide on the type (s) of adventure(s) you would like to investigate (active, cultural, volunteer, educational, pursuit of a passion, etc.) and of experiences that light up your soul.
- Would you like to hike or bike through a region?
- Sail on a yacht?
- Would you like to learn a new cooking technique or cuisine?
- Explore the wine in a region?
- Contribute to a wildlife conservation effort?
- Enhance the education of your grandchildren beyond the pages of a textbook?
Don’t attach all your dreams to one specific place. Stay broad in your list at first because you don’t know where in the world your passions can lead you.
6. Decide on a budget range.
Remember that the less you dedicate, the less of an experience you will have.
The great stuff is behind hidden doors that you just can’t find on your own, so to really be a TRAVELER you have to have them opened for you.
Why skim the surface when you can be connected to a local expert to immerse yourself for try satisfaction and return on your investment?
7. Now for the DON’TS: Don’t waste time
Hours on the Internet searching and searching for the ‘right” accommodation, tour, etc. may still yield subpar results – simply because you still don’t have all the facts!
A. You are leaving too much to chance for your dream trip.
Instead, seek the advice and guidance of an expert, a luxury Travel Advisor with expertise in luxury adventure travel.
You will save tons of time because an expert is able to quickly hone in on the proper resources based upon what you want- they know the great, the so-so, and the truly bad from first-hand experience and are able most of all to pick the perfect place just for you.
B. Don’t waste money.
Your investment of money is as important- or more so- than your investment of time. If you shop “deals” 2 things happen: you get a subpar offering AND you get subpar treatment.
I am not saying pay top dollar for everything, by no means! Your luxury Travel Advisor advocates for best value for your dollars invested- the best pricing, exclusive value-added amenities not offered to the public, perhaps additional night for free , for example.
A good Travel Expert knows the ins and outs- and must have the affiliations to advocate on your behalf.
C. Don’t be the “head cat-herder” of your own- or others’- experience.
When you are the one in charge, you miss YOUR opportunity to fully enjoy the trip! Let a luxury Travel Advisor put the pieces together for you, suggest easy transitions, put experts in place where needed in your touring or transportation..
D. Don’t miss out.
As experienced as you are of handling many details, when it comes to your vacation it is important that you are at all times in the moment for maximum enjoyment- and the opportunity for the serendipitous. Only a well-planned and seamless journey can help you slow down for the happy, connective moments.
8. Be open to advice- from experts.
Don’t crowd-source your dreams through the opinions of anonymous postings online- or even to your family, friends, acquaintances and neighbors! The reason: their expectations are completely different from yours.
You shouldn’t settle for others’ expectations when it comes to your own dreams!
9. Find a great Travel Advisor
- who takes the time to work with you one-on-one to create a vacation that mirrors your dream
- who can ignite other fires of discovery you might not have imagined.
Avoid those that point to places in brochures, for your trip will not be customized to you.
10. Look for a Travel Advisor who has certifications in experiential travel- culture, sustainability, luxury, wellness- as well as associations with top partners worldwide
And here is the best part – all the details will be handled on your behalf, you will be recognized as a special guest wherever you go, and you will be fully supported before, during and after the luxury adventure trip- all problems and glitches will be handled by the professional in your corner!
If you’d like to have more ease in your travel planning, I’d love to help!
You can stay informed and inspired in planning your travel in 2018 by reading more of my blogs. You can also follow me on Facebook. Twitter @enlitndjrntrvl, and Instagram @enlightenedjourneystravel. Sign up to receive the blogs and a newsletter filled with more insights and offers so you don’t miss a thing.