Luxury Travel : It’s time to get more intimate
There are so many preconceptions about the word ‘luxury’ within today’s travel market, a consequence of our enduring mortal inability to define the term. Overused, misleading and outdated: it’s no wonder we’re confused. But what is true luxury travel really?
Far from a one-way-fits-all approach, luxury travel should follow now more than ever the holistic path where all is interconnected. Our obsession is to enhance deeper, more meaningful conversations and personal relationships. Sustainability isn’t just the environment. It’s the preservation of cultural heritage and it’s making sure that we benefit local economy and the local people.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo Da Vinci
At Paladar y Tomar we have always defined thoughtful purposeful plans to optimize our client’s life experiences and their limited, most valuable, non-removable asset: their precious leisure time.
Let’s define luxury travel in 5 essential concepts.
1. Luxury travel is sustainability
Sustainability should be inherent to the travel industry. And luxury travel – where all revolves around story and mystique – should be more compliant than anyone with this core principle. We aim to respect and enrich the local environment to involve our clients in a dialogue that elevates their judgement in favor of ethical tourism on a finite planet. Sustainability means acting responsibly and contributing to a durable economic development with a positive impact on the community.
2. Luxury travel is human connection
When it boils down to it, our memories of great times past are what remain when everything material fades. The pure bliss of a late afternoon sun perfectly settling on a lover’s face as a bottle of local wine chills beside the table, the thrill of learning a new craft from a producer whose family has perfected it over generations, the euphoria of making new friends in the most unlikely of places — snapshots in time that together create the richest photo album of a life where material goods fall by the wayside.
Recently, consumers have been spending more than ever before on emotionally engaging travel, shifting away from tangible goods to instead indulge on these special moments. I believe that to truly travel luxuriously we need to utilize humanity’s best connectors – namely nature, culture and cuisine – to gain a sincere human bond with our destinations and appreciate the reality of the native atmosphere. We should stoke our curiosity to attempt to comprehend the disparate filaments that comprise our world, because it is through understanding others that we can more fully understand ourselves.
The most luxurious way to reach a destination’s true heart, I have found, is by opening up your own.
3. Luxury travel is the refinement of simplicity
To take the words out of Da Vinci’s notebooks, “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
We tend to think that there is a need to overcomplicate the way we travel: to muddle and restructure destinations to the point where they become almost unrecognizable (or replicas of our home countries). We do too much at one time, thinking that the Earth in its original splendor is not enough, fervently searching for ways to add more layers to our cake when the sweetness lies at its base.
The reality is that the most incredible of experiences are those that humbly present what is natural, beautiful and classically noble. There very rarely is a better group to trust than your destination’s local population: groups of people who have long worked to extract and establish the heart of a region, a culture. There is no need to cloud your travels by overcomplicating. The best way to find the refinement of simplicity is in the most local of places. One of our core values “small is big” will be from now on trending topic.
4. Luxury travel is personalization
Gone are the days of traveling in huge groups, adhering to a rigid schedule: quick photo-op here – 15-minute stressful leisure stroll there – don’t forget your souvenir – right – back to the bus. Seeing a destination completely through the eyes and direction of another is no way to travel.
When we spend most of our lives punching the metaphorical timecard day in and day out, why should we spend our leisure time continuing to follow rules? Although we’re all members of a human family, as travelers we think differently and true luxury is freely engaging in those activities that make up our individual ideas of enjoyment, of taste, or of adventure. Always aim to open your eyes and your heart when planning your travels, but stay true to yourself and your deep-rooted values and interests.
As new-generation luxury facilitators our goal at Paladar y Tomar is working constantly on custom itineraries with a bucket list of high-caliber experiences executed by the most experienced of local hosts and experts to truly create unforgettable travel experiences, getting today’s travelers out of their all-too-common search-engine-induced travel ruts.
5. Luxury travel is exclusivity
Despite its many definitions, luxury embodies an element of exclusivity.
Four thousand years ago, in a time where spices were highly prized and generated immense wealth for those who controlled them, a great trade arose. Vendors traveling along the Silk Road would chronicle elaborate stories of the rarity of their wares, perpetuating the age-old belief that luxury is limited. Fast-forward to today, where spices are so commonplace and inexpensive and in which technology has allowed us to explore almost all corners of the globe. Like spices, what was historically considered a rarity is now commonly a household good, and luxury-seekers – due to the lack of novelty in undiscovered goods – have awakened a new luxury trade: experiential luxury, favoring the rarity of a life-changing experience to something wholly material.
Travel agents: key players in a new travel era
As travel professionals one of the new challenges is proving our resilience when facing unforeseeable and unpredictable situations and turning them into new opportunities supporting new long-term social values and emerging stronger. Our role has turn essential as validators of authenticity and safety. Now more than ever discerning travelers will consider expert guidance when making their travel plans. Now more than ever the expertise will be valued.
As travel designers, we use the fuel from an adventurous spirit to fully uncover the excitement, flavor and beauty of each destination; we are purveyors of underground authentic realities, but for the most sophisticated travelers. New dining experiences right at the chef’s table, exclusive access to the most unexpected places or personalities are quickly emerging as today’s status symbols, and luxury is rapidly shifting from having to being.
Experiential luxury intertwines identity and self-expression, where gastronomical pursuits and culinary experiences around the world play a crucial role. Exactly this is our affair: building long-term relationships with food, wine, and destinations for those discerning individuals for whom this has become the sole vehicle left to do so with.