By Peter Mastrantuono
After hunkering down at home all year and encouraged by the ever-widening distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine, Americans are itching to travel. The timing couldn’t be better. Expect an inviting combination of attractive pricing from a travel and hospitality industry looking to resurrect its business and smaller-than-normal crowds as individuals slowly return to normal travel patterns.
Where to Find Luxury Travel Deals
There are countless outlets to find luxury getaways, but here are a few to get your imagination started.
At the top of the list is Zicasso, a travel matchmaker of sorts, which lets you describe your dream trip and then matches you with two travel specialists, selected from among a carefully vetted universe of luxury travel providers, that compete for your business. No need to bother with pre-packaged offerings that may not fully align with your interests and priorities. Instead, the specialist will help design an itinerary customized to the places you want to see and the things you want to do, helping with, among other things, hotel selection, tour guides, and personal drivers.
If you prefer a pre-packaged option, well, Zicasso also offers wonderful tours built by its travel experts.
Another option is TravelZoo, a travel site that offers “world-class vacations without the huge price tag.” Working with over 5,000 travel service providers, TravelZoo promises insider deals, each of which are reviewed by one of their travel experts. The site won its ninth consecutive “Best Travel Deals Finder” from British Travel Awards, a consumer-voted award in the U.K.
Virtuoso is another travel leader that combines personalized planning, access to thousands of travel advisors and insider knowledge to bring you a unique vacation experience. Virtuoso also promises travel perks and VIP access, such as touring the Sistine Chapel after hours or skipping the lines at Angkor Wat.
Elite Luxury Never Discounts
Then, of course, there is the next-level of luxury travel; it’s the kind that never needs to discount its price. For those who really want an over-the-top travel experience, here are two suggestions.
The first is National Geographic Expeditions, whose premier offering is a 24-day around-the-world trip by private jet for $89,995. As might be expected from an organization founded on a spirit of exploration, its travel packages focus on exploration, education and scientific research.
Adventurous travelers can choose from among a broad range of options, including a 20-day Antarctica/Patagonia trip ($20,630), a 13-day private expedition in Australia ($9,995) and an 11-day excursion to the mountain country of Bhutan.
The real distinction that National Geographic Expeditions offers is its intimate knowledge of these destinations and the accompanying experts that educate travelers in the natural, historic and cultural stories of each destination.
For those travelers looking for a more pampered experience, they may want to check out EliteLyfe, which offers what it refers to as “elite vacation solutions and platinum-standard concierge services in well-known, exotic and ultra-exclusive hotspots.” These services may include connecting travelers with the yacht, jet or car in which to get around and the villas and hotels in which they need to rest.
Peter Mastrantuono is a contributing writer to MyPerfectFinancialAdvisor, the premier matchmaker between investors and advisors. Peter worked for over 30 years in the wealth management industry, focusing on retirement planning, investing, asset allocation and financial planning.