Vail Resorts has sponsored this conversation on how to get more from a luxury trip.
Getting more out of life never became so important than the year I hurt my back on a trip. I cried when the doctor told me I needed immediate back surgery, which meant cancelling a month-long cruise in the South Pacific.
During the weeks of recuperation, I had plenty of time to reflect. And Alan and I had many deep conversations about what we were doing with our time. Were we going to spend most of our hours in front of a computer screen writing articles or editing photographs? Or were we going to take the hikes we’d been putting off, book that long cruise we’d been drooling over or visit the special places that had been sitting too long on our bucket list?
My back surgery was the wake-up-call that both of us needed.
We made a vow to get more out of everything, including travel.
For boomers, incidents like a health scare, serve as valuable reminders. So are birthdays. Once I hit 50—and 60—time suddenly started racing by. I don’t want to waste a minute. That perception colors every facet of my life, including travel. Now I’m more determined than ever to get more out of a trip.
Alan and I travel a lot. But it’s not about keeping busy or checking destinations off a list. As luxury travelers, we look for quality experiences to get more from the time and money we have to spend.
Personal service is the key to our luxury travel experience
For us, a luxury trip isn’t about high-thread-count linens on the bed, although they are an appreciated amenity. Above-and-beyond-service is the key to finding value in a luxury travel experience. Things like a welcome bottle of wine in the cabin of our favorite Montana guest ranch, the daily 2 p.m. champagne toast at Tahoe’s Northstar Ski Resort, or the dining room staff that calls us by name during a small ship luxury cruise.
Quality over quantity is important to us
If Alan and I have to choose between numerous trips in a year or pairing travel down to a couple of above-and-beyond destinations, we’ll pick the special destinations every time. We can always fill in the rest of the year with close-to-home fun.
Our Antarctica cruise qualified as a quality trip-of-a-lifetime. Seeing the great white continent on a journey that also celebrated Christmas and New Year was the type of value-added luxury experience we appreciate. The journey reignited our love for nature and the environment. And it inspired us to try new things. I returned home with a renewed interest in cold weather trips. After gearing up for Antarctica, I’m certainly prepared for freezing temps.
Since I like my cold weather to be tolerable, I’m thinking a spring ski trip at Colorado’s Beaver Creek could be our next quality trip. Did you know that they offer a snowshoe and wine adventure? See what I mean about those special touches being the keystone of a luxury trip?
We get more by doing less
Filling every minute of the day with activity is not our idea of a fun trip. Busyness does not equal unforgettable—and it doesn’t mean that we’re getting more for our money or time. Alan and I would rather participate in one or two wow moments than a hundred so-so ones. Besides, if we’re going to stay in a luxury destination, we want time to savor our surroundings.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Vail Resorts. The opinions and text are all mine.