If you’re not familiar with the travel habits of the Kardashians or goop and her relations, you might need a primer.
In a 2-part series, I hit up luxury travel blogger extraordinaire Wandering Carol ( Voted a Top 10 Luxury Travel Blogger by the readers of USA Today)for a two-part interview to get all the expert tips on traveling in style. Be warned, you might get hooked. Here’s Part I. (We’ll share Part 2 next week)
HOW DO YOU DEFINE LUXURY TRAVEL?
I think luxury travel is ‘experience.’ It can be a splurge, a moment, a perfect hotel, a new destination, beautiful finishings in a hotel room … even a walk in the woods. I’m so grateful to be able to travel at all when so many around the world don’t have the opportunity, so I think travel itself is a luxury.
WAS THERE ONE PARTICULAR TRIP WHERE YOU REALISED, “HEY, 1000 THREAD COUNT SHEETS > BUDGET HOTEL”
For me it’s been a gradual process. When I was in my twenties I thought a 3-star hotel was luxury – it was certainly a step up from a hostel. Even on a slim budget, though, I was fascinated by the world of luxury hotels, so I might step into a hotel bar for a drink. Now I want to sleep there as well.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LUXURY AND NON-LUXURY TRAVEL?
The biggest difference between luxury and non-luxury travel is probably convenience. Not having to seek out public transportation from an airport when you’re jet-lagged is total luxury in my mind. Taking taxis, eating at an expensive restaurant, but, best convenience with luxury travel is being able to travel business class. It’s a gracious way of getting from point A to point B with better service, better meals and much more comfortable seating. That said, I’m not lucky enough to always travel business class.
WHAT SHOULD WE BE FOCUSING ON WHEN WE WANT TO SPLURGE ON OURSELVES FOR A WEEK (OR TWO) AWAY?
Everyone is different so you need to pick your priorities. For many people a hotel room is just a place to sleep. Not me. My splurge is a fabulous hotel with a beautiful lobby, maybe some old world elegance and great facilities such as a pool and a sauna. I also like a great bar where I can have a glass of champagne.
For many people, a splurge equals good cuisine. In that case, you’ll want to do some research before you leave as to what the best new eateries are, or what are some iconic restaurants such as Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris in Monaco. Now that’s a splurge.
PRICE DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN QUALITY, SO WHAT ADVICE COULD YOU GIVE TO MAKE SURE YOU GET TRUE VALUE FOR YOUR $?
Again, I think it comes down to deciding what it is that is meaningful to you. If you’re not a wine lover, then ordering a Château Lafite Rothschild with your steak might not be value for your money. If you’re not into designer bags (I love designer bags) then spending thousands on a Chanel Boy Bag in Paris won’t be true value for you. (But it would be for me.)
When it comes to hotels, comparison shopping is a must. Check out different sites such as tripadvisor and booking.com before booking, but also check the hotel’s own website for specials. The same goes for airfares. And check dates. It might be worth your while to travel a day earlier or later if the price is drastically different.
When it comes to fine restaurants, consider going for lunch instead of dinner, or ordering the set menu.
OUR TASTES CHANGE AS WE GET OLDER. ANY ADVICE FOR TRAVELING IN YOUR 40S VS YOUR 20S OR 30S?
Go at your own speed. You don’t need to party all night and sightsee all day. You’ve done that. (Or was that just me?) I find that I’m much more interested in getting away from big centres now, and find more pleasure in a slower pace of travel. And I really appreciate going to a good spa, especially to a wonderful spa town in Europe with hot springs and grand old hotels.
YOU TRAVEL A LOT – WHAT ARE YOUR PERSONAL PACKING COMMANDMENTS ?
I’m the worst packer ever. I never seem to get better. I can’t seem to travel with fewer than four pairs of shoes. (Actually, it’s five. I was trying to sound practical.) That said, the one thing that helps is to have your wardrobe accessories based on one colour. Black purse, black shoes. Then your wardrobe kind of falls into place.
Click here to read Part 2. Carol wraps her advice on traveling in luxury and answers more questions, including her top three places around the world, and, and her where she almost spent her 40th birthday!
Carol Perehudoff is the mastermind behind WanderingCarol.com – a luxury travel blog for those who love to laugh. Her travel articles have appeared in a number of publications including enRoute Magazine, the Chicago Tribune and the Toronto Star. Based in Toronto, her passions are slow travel, hot springs and the South of France – and she is often gripped with the desire to be elsewhere. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram or visit her Facebook