What does Travel Luxury mean anyway?

Girl in floppy hat in swimming pool

It’s hard to describe our travel style in a single word, but one word it definitely wouldn’t be is luxurious. This month’s TravelLinkUp is all about luxury and opulence, and I admit to reading some of the other blogs linked up with more than a touch of envy. There are (in no particular order on the envy scale – although breakfasting with giraffes may take top spot):

  • Luxurious hotel rooms with private swimming pool
  • Deserted pristine white beaches with a discreet butler on hand to deliver cocktails served in a coconut shell
  • Bathtubs big enough for two overlooking a tropical rainforest or crystal blue ocean
  • Multi-Michelin-starred restaurants (for when one Michelin star just isn’t enough)
  • Seaplane arrivals, first-class airplane travel, cruise liners the size of Wales
  • The aforementioned Breakfasting with giraffes
  • Indulgent shopping trips to designer boutiques in New York, Paris and Milan
  • Never-ending supplies of champagne

As a travelling couple, we’re a little more on the frugal side, although admittedly it is Mr Fletche who is more likely to watch how we splash the cash than I am. We consider comfort, convenience – and yes, budget – when making our travel plans. Which is why we’re more AirBnB than five-star hotel, more public transport than private transfer, and more street food than gourmet food. But at the same time, we don’t choose the cheapest option, just because it’s the cheapest. We’ll opt for a slightly pricier flight for more reasonable flight times, a more expensive AirBnB if it’s in a prime location. It’s the age-old, “pick-the-second-cheapest-bottle-from-the-wine-list-so-you’re-not-a-total-cheapskate” trick.

“We might as well just throw our money out the window…” Gif via Giphy.com

But it doesn’t mean we haven’t indulged from time to time.

  • We spent our honeymoon on the beautiful island of Meeru in the Maldives. However, we did opt for a garden villa (with private hot-tub) over a water villa
  • We had a beautiful suite in Monterey with a huge fireplace and his and hers bathrooms. However, we’d balanced out the same trip with bargain Vegas hotel deals and cheap motels to allow for the occasional luxury
  • I struck off a bucket list item with the overnight train ride from Vancouver to Jasper, and splurged on a bunk rather than an economy seat. However, we travelled with ViaRail on The Canadian, rather than the spectacular but budget-busting Rocky Mountaineer
  • We paid to upgrade to the airport lounge at Moi Airport in Mombasa. However, after three days of Mr Fletche’s gastroenteritis and severe dehydration – and my increasing nausea on the final day – it was worth every penny
  • We took a private three-day safari tour in Kenya, just me, Mr Fletche, our own driver and the Big Five. No howevers on this one, except we did meticulous research to make sure we got the absolute best deal possible
  • Sipping Prosecco on St Mark’s Square in VeniceHowever we made our drinks last as long as humanly possible and ate every “free” snack offered to us to make the most of our 18€ drink. Each.
Passenger sitting in business class seat
Closest I’ll ever get to a upgrade…thanks to this Qatar Airways popup!

All of these experiences were amazing and I wouldn’t swap any of them for a more decadent alternative. But do you know what the real luxury is?

The real luxury for us is being able to travel. With a bit of planning, we have the time (mostly) and money (mostly) to allow us to enjoy trips and experiences both in the UK and abroad. We have few commitments which restrict travel, and we can choose to travel outside of school holidays and in shoulder seasons and off-peak. We are both fit and healthy, and have all our faculties (mostly) and there are no restrictions about where we can stay, eat or drink. It’s a luxury that we can travel our own way, either fitting in as much as possible, or just taking the time to relax and explore slowly. It’s a luxury that we can plan three, four or five trips in a single year, being able to mix and match budget trips with indulgences, UK staycations with globetrotting, city breaks with beach holidays. And it’s a luxury having a travel partner that is willing to accept my crazy plans, share – and add to – that bucketlist, and yes, keep an eye on the credit card that I’d brandish around with gay abandon if I had the choice (“si, signor waiter, another two 18€ proseccos per favore…”)

This post was inspired by the June #travellinkup, thinking of all things opulent – what are your travel luxuries? What’s the most luxurious travel you’ve experienced?  Let me know in the comments below!

If you’re a travel blogger and you want to join in the #travellinkup fun, just pop your post up over the first week of the month (the 1st – 7th June 2018), add it to the link up widget found on Adventures of a London KiwiSilverSpoon LondonFollow Your Sunshine or on the blog of guest host Sarah from More Than Just A Cupcake Lover.

There are no rules – just check out some of the other cool bloggers that are involved in that months travel link up; make a few comments here and there and tweet a few of the posts out to your followers that you think they will love. It’s a great way to meet some new travel bloggers and share some blogging joy!

The Travel Link Up is open to all bloggers as long as the post is relevant.

This month's #'TravelLinkUp is chatting about all things luxurious and opulent. Not the way that A Brummie Home and Abroad usually travels...


28 Replies to “What does Travel Luxury mean anyway?”

  1. I totally agree with your philosophy. We don’t go five star (except for our honeymoon – part 2) we don’t tend to go for the cheapest either – a happy medium where we get what we want without paying a fortune!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. We have splurged (occasionally) in the past and look forward to splurging again one day when our son is old enough to appreciate it. For now though we, like you, are enjoying our own modified version of luxury when we go on holiday! I’d love to go to the giraffe breakfast hotel…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post Emmalene, I feel like we’re on the same wave length in our luxury travel. You’re so right about being able to travel – that itself is a luxury.


  4. Totally agree that the real luxury is being able to travel in the first place. And given that I live in Kenya…I haven’t breakfasted with the Giraffes either…it wasn’t even a “thing” until Instagram happened! I used to go to Giraffe Manor as a child and wonder what they were doing sticking their long necks into the house! Maybe I need to splurge on that and add it to my list! #travellinkup

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good post, Em. Yes, we are budget travellers and as someone has already mentioned the fact that we can travel is luxury in itself. Luxury is a personal thing as what seems a luxury for one won’t be for another. Airbnb is not necessarily the cheap option. We are tending to use Booking.com. Though we don’t need to book accommodation for more than a week as we seem to be getting housesits one after another which helps!!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A friend once said uber budget was when he was younger. Put some years on and comfort becomes more appealing. They were doing motorbike tours round Europe and it was campsite versus hotel. His bones were saying “Older person now” so he used hotels… although once he went opulent and stayed in a castle just so he could say “I’ve slept in a castle.” Personally I think the company makes the enjoyment of a trip. Around that budget comes into it, but cheap or mega expensive doesn’t necessarily make the holiday. Identify the actual needs and anything else is a bonus. If you’re travelling around site seeing then accommodation is just somewhere to sleep. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I am in your camp travel wise. Airfare expensive from where I am sitting so always a good chunk of change. I look for somewhere safe, clean and public transit available. I’m not into paying for a high luxury hotel where I am just crashing at the end of the day. You are so right it is experiences I want. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m not even thirty, but I tend to steer clear from true budget travel, only because I don’t travel very often and want to really enjoy it when I do! I don’t really consider most of what I do true luxury, but I usually have two to three true luxuries when I travel. Sometimes it is buying a particular piece of clothing or accessory, sometimes it is going to a specific spot; on my trip to the UK in Feb, I’m going to have tea at Fortnums- quite expensive for one meal, but it’s a manageable luxury and I’ve wanted to do it for years. I’m lucky in that I know what I consider a “must have” luxury and what is just a “nice to have” luxury!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I am really with you on this! We normally travel on a bit of a budget, but splurge occasionally to treat ourselves. But I always feel soooo lucky to be able to travel at all. We really are privileged. We’re also lucky to have passports that make it easy to visit so many places. It is a lot harder if you have to apply for visas everywhere!!

    p.s. I need to learn about the Candian trains!! I didn’t even know there was a cheaper option!! I thought the pricey Rocky train was the only one!

    Liked by 1 person

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