It really doesn’t matter if you’re planning a solo trip, couple’s getaway, family vacation or honeymoon, most of us are always looking amazing travel ideas and inspiration. So, I decided to reach out to some of the top travel influencers in the world to ask them about their favorite luxury travel experiences. From an African safari to a private island getaway, here’s a list of unforgettable luxury vacations you should consider adding to your travel bucket list.
Christina Vidal (Jetset Christina)
Travel blogger and Instagrammer, Christina Vidal is the brains behind the award-winning luxury travel blog Jetset Christina. This world traveler has visited 55 countries and her travel-inspired Instagram account is ranked in Travel + Leisure’s “8 Luxury Travel Instagram Accounts That Put Your Vacation Photos to Shame” and IZEA ranked it the #1 Luxury Travel Instagram in the World! Christina’s Instagram-worthy shots showcase the world’s most exotic and luxurious destinations, and that’s why we wanted to know which two luxury travel experiences she would recommend to travelers.
1. Escape to a Secluded Private Island
Looking for a romantic getaway or a solo travel experience not to be missed? Consider escaping to Song Saa Private Island resort located off the coast of Cambodia. “It now stands as my favorite luxury hotel experience I've had anywhere in the world,” said Christina. The pristine beaches, five-star food and world-class service are just a few reasons why this is the ultimate luxury experience. “Song Saa Private Island Resort has only 24 villas, which means you are one of maybe 40-something guests on the entire island.” Although you may not feel like leaving your overwater bungalow, there’s a lot to see on the island. Go on an underwater adventure to explore the marine life in the coral reefs and hike your way through a lush rainforest to a cascading waterfall. “The whole experience feels a little like heaven, and you’ll have to pinch yourself every so often to convince yourself that it really isn’t a dream.”
2. Relax in an Overwater Bungalow in French Polynesia
Looking for another island experience? Consider creating some unforgettable travel moments on the French Polynesian island of Mo’orea. “Staying in an overwater bungalow in Mo'orea was a dream-come-true for me, and something I think every traveler should experience in their lifetime,” said Christina. Guests here are able to go swimming, snorkeling and stand-up paddle boarding right at their overwater bungalow. And apparently, this island paradise and area is the go-to destination for honeymooners. “French Polynesia is the perfect place to do nothing but relax and soak up the sun and the romance. You have to see it to believe it!”
At 21 years old, Johnny Jet was able to step onto a plane after battling his fear of flying for more than 3 years. And today, the jetsetter has clocked more than 100,000 miles a year, visited close to 100 countries, and Forbes magazine named him as one of the Top 10 Travel Influencers for 2017. So, we asked him after all of his fun adventures around the world, what were two luxury travel experiences that he would recommend to other travelers.
1. Micato East African Safari
One luxury travel experience that Johnny Jet would recommend is an East African Safari to see the animals you’ve always dreamt about! Consider an amazing 12-day safari through the heart of Tanzania and Kenya. The dry season is from June through October, but you can visit anytime of the year. Plan your trip between November and August to see the Serengeti wildebeest migration in Tanzania. “Don’t miss out on a hot-air balloon ride at sunrise,” said Johnny. “It’s well worth getting up at 3 am for it.”
2. Seaborn Mediterranean Cruise
The other luxury experience Johnny would recommend to travelers is a multi-day Mediterranean cruise that could include amazing ports of calls, including Santorini, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Venice, Monte Carlo and the Amalfi Coast! “It’s a great way to learn about historic places and eat incredible food,” said Johnny. “Although May and early June may be the best times to go, you can beat the crowds by booking a Mediterranean cruise in September or early October.”
Tiffany Dowd (Luxe Tiffany)
A reputable luxury hotel expert, Tiffany Dowd – also known as Luxe Tiffany – was named one of the “25 Best Luxury Digital Experts to Follow,” along with digital experts from Apple, Burberry, Michael Kors and Ritz-Carlton. Tiffany has also written about luxury travel for publications, including The Telegraph, USA Today and US News & World Report. Here are her top two:
1. The Art of Sabrage at the St. Regis New York
Tiffany’s first pick for a not-to-be-missed luxury travel experience was to take a private lesson to learn the art of sabrage or champagne sabering at The St. Regis New York’s Astor Court. “Take a 30-minute masterclass to learn how to open a champagne bottle with a saber,” said Tiffany. For $350, this luxe lesson also includes one bottle of Veuve Clicquot and canapés. “This is such a luxurious experience at one of the most iconic hotels in New York City.”
2. Decadent Chocolate-Making at Jade Mountain
Chocolate lovers don’t want to miss out on this tasty experience, according to Tiffany. Travel to the island paradise of St. Lucia and stay at Jade Mountain, which not only has an amazing view of the Pitons, but guests can discover the secrets of making chocolate. “This Caribbean resort features its own Chocolate Lab, where the finest chocolate is produced on their own organic Emerald Estate in the Soufriere Hills of Saint Lucia,” said Tiffany. “It’s a truly an exotic and interesting experience at the most romantic resort in the Caribbean.”
Dave and Deb (The Planet D)
Dave and Deb are married adventure travelers who are known for their award-winning travel website, The Planet D. Last year (2017), Forbes magazine ranked the traveling duo as one of the Top 10 Travel Influencers in the world. And today, this married couple of more than 20 years has experienced high-end, jaw-dropping adventures on all seven continents and more than 100 countries, including Australia, Egypt, Bhutan, Morocco and Croatia. You’ll want to add their top 2 recommended adventures to your travel bucket list.
1. Hike Along Australia’s Great Coastal Walk
Experience an epic hike in luxurious style. Dave and Deb recommend the four-day, 34-mile trek that takes hikers along nine of Australia's most stunning coastlines to the Twelve Apostles. “The days are grueling as you trek in the heat and along the rocky coast, but you do it in style,” said Deb. “Each evening you go back to the luxury lodge that features five-star dining, private chic rooms, and full baths with hot showers.” A shuttle takes hikers to and from the trail head each day where you continue on from where you started. With incredible packed lunches in hand, everything you need is provided, right down to sun hats and backpacks. Each day ends with staff waiting for you at the end of the trail with cold towels and refreshing ice water. The trip ends with a helicopter flight over the iconic Twelve Apostles. “It's an amazing reward to see the view of what you just trekked from above.”
2. Visit Stingray City on a Luxury Charter in the Cayman Islands
Heading for the Cayman Islands for your next vacation? Plan an excursion to Stingray City to swim and interact with the stingrays. “One of our favorite luxury travel adventures was hiring a private yacht for a day in the Cayman Islands with Cayman Luxury Charters,” said Deb. With their own captain and guide, Dave and Deb explored the Cayman Islands, visiting quiet coves and secluded beaches. “While other party boats had crowds of people, we were alone with our private guide who gave us our own personal tour and helped us safely interact with the stingrays.” The private tour also gave the couple an opportunity to go jet skiing, snorkeling and swimming at Starfish Point off the coast of Grand Cayman. Being served cocktails under the canopy on the boat is the perfect way to end a full day of adventure.
Katie Dillion (La Jolla Mom)
Katie Dillion is a well-traveled luxury travel writer and luxury travel digital influencer. But you may be familiar with her successful blog, La Jolla Mom. After living at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong for four years, she and her family were spoiled for life. And now, Katie regularly checks into Four Seasons and other luxury properties around the globe. Her luxury travel expertise and advice can be seen in Four Seasons Magazine, Luxury Retreats Magazine, USA Today and Luxe Getaways Magazine.
Private Tea Excursion in Hangzhou
Travelers planning a trip to Hangzhou – the capital of China’s Zhejiang province – should consider a private tea excursion. “We stayed at the Four Seasons Hangzhou and they arranged a lovely day out for us with a guide to take us through some of the area's Longjing tea fields,” said Katie. “This tea is considered to be the ‘Rolls Royce’ of green tea, and we were able to learn what goes into the process of preparing the tea leaves.” Arrange transport to take you to Longjing Village, located south of the city to watch tea pickers in action. Visitors also have the opportunity to try hand-drying the leaves in a large iron wok. End your day by dining at the local Longjing Manor, which features tasty organic Hangzhou dishes, such as roast fatty pork, beggar’s chicken and Chinese yellow wine. Reservation are recommended before heading to this popular spot for both locals and tourists. It’s the perfect way to end your tea-making adventure before heading back to your luxurious accommodations at the Four Seasons.
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