Authentic Luxury Travel

I’m passionate about authentic travel because I think it can make the world more peaceful – plus it’s just more fun than being a tourist. I’ve always preferred to travel this way – and in 2008 I created the website Authentic Luxury Travel so I could share what I’ve learned.

Give peace a chance

Think about it? We (humans) are wary of people who don’t look like us or think like we do. But what if we met these “strangers” on a trip and discovered ways that we’re alike?…and gained understanding of their culture? We might start to reconsider what we think we know.

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Real vs touristy experiences

Authentic travel means traveling in a way that makes it easy to connect with the local culture. It can be as subtle as a visitor from the Midwest taking a surf lesson at La Jolla Shores Beach (instead of sticking to the standard San Diego tourist trio: the Zoo, Legoland, and SeaWorld). It can also be as dramatic as listening to an imam in Dubai explain his faith (which was a wonderful experience, by the way).

Making memories and having fun

When I tell people I write about Authentic Luxury Travel, they envision five-star hotels, gourmet meals, and private cars and drivers – which, in truth, can be part of the story – but the real luxury is traveling on a flexible itinerary that allows for spontaneous detours.

Another big element is staying in lodging that provides easy access to the local environment. That might be a deluxe bush camp in Zambia, a spacious tent with king bed in Sequoia National Monument, or B&B in a beautiful home on a New Zealand sheep station.Chiawa-Camp-on-the-banks-of-the-Lower-Zambezi-IMG_9346-editedfor-EH-net

On Authentic Luxury Travel, I also write about off-the-beaten-path restaurants that serve regional specialties, browsing in farmers’ markets, learning to cook local dishes, soft adventure experiences and other ways to meet people in a new destination.

I also recommend travel planners who are based in the destination and create bespoke itineraries based on their first-hand knowledge, and I cover vacation rentals, voluntourism opportunities, and special-interest trips (like hiking, snorkeling and scuba diving, and attending performing arts). Trip Reports and Guest Posts provide a way for travelers to share their experiences and insider tips.

Yoga on the beach in Barcelona. Finding the “best-ever” pho in Vietnam. Exploring Mumbai on foot with a private guide. These experiences are a way to get to know local people and can lead to life-changing connections. And – let’s be honest – isn’t this kind of stuff more fun that visiting a string of theme parks, “knocking off” the top ten sights in every city, and eating at The Olive Garden?

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