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.
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 Venice. However 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.
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 Kiwi, SilverSpoon London, Follow 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.