Momatiuk - Eastcott/Corbis
Giordano Cipriani/Grand Tour/Grand Tour/Corbis
Cath Urquhart/ /Design Pics/Corbis
Jonathan and Angela Scott/JAI/Corbis
It’s that time of year when we all start to fantasize about getting away. Whether it’s to escape the polar vortex or just have a break from the post-holiday haze, we can’t help but dream about trips to far-flung locales where we can disconnect and enjoy life. While travel has been on the upswing for a while now, luxury travel is making a major comeback as consumers continue to place a greater emphasis on experiences over more tangible goods. As a result, 4 and 5-star hotel bookings have increased over the past two years, with many hotels striving to surpass 5-star status. Meanwhile, business is booming for many luxury tour operators who specialize in providing unique experiences in lesser-known destinations like Mallorca, Tanzania, Bhutan and Indonesia. They report that today’s travelers are looking for variety: everything from blissful spa visits to helicopter tours, zip-lining and volunteerism. Multigenerational travel, small ship cruising and river cruising have been particularly popular within this segment of travelers who crave a more intimate exploration of a destination’s culture and people. Regardless of the destination, it’s become increasingly apparent that it’s the experience that matters most and that people are willing to pay for memories that will last a lifetime.