Everyone has experienced nightmare travel moments, whether it be generic overcrowded tourist hubs, sweaty packed tour buses or frightful accommodation. The sheer dread and stress that comes with planning trips and trying to make the most of your well-deserved holiday make you rationalise how the destination will be worth it, if we can just make it through the journey. However, with a rise of awareness for wellness and mindfulness, and a redefinition of the meaning of luxury, 90% of travellers are no longer happy with standard travelling experiences, and are seeking a more personalised experience that involves inner fulfilment and powerful moments that are unique to them. Travel is no longer just about a great week long holiday, but about how much culture, experience and personalised actualisation a person can get out of a trip.

Accessible Luxury
The luxury sector has undergone a re-brand, in the sense that it is no longer defined as the traditional concept of being exclusive, unattainable and about wealth and status. Contemporary luxury has become holistic in its approach to consumer journeys, and focuses on highly personal human-centric aspects of life. Luxury has moved from being about superficial material goods, to being something that is precious, authentic, personalised and immersive. This can be seen in the rising industry of cultural travel, as consumers now see the need to mix travel and tourism, focusing on “transformative moments” as being part of their travel experience. They need services that give them what they want, when they want it, and in the best way possible for them, and this rise in meaningful travel is manifesting in bespoke travel experiences from start to finish. The launch of Airbnb experiences is an example of how the nature of luxury travel is changing. The platform allows people to be immersed into the culture of their chosen destination, with curated and led experiences by locals in that specific area. This type of tailor-made program can be defined as highly individual and filled with exceptional experiences, that are still accessible to those open to holistic travel and authentic moments.

The Conscious Traveller
Self-actualisation and a more mindful way of living has transformed the nature of customer service. The trend of authenticity and transparency within brands has trickled down to people, who are now meaningfully re-evaluating how they spend their time, and how they choose to enrich and nurture themselves and their experiences. Companies now need to go above and beyond for their clients, including emotional value and experience based ideas into their services. Wellness travel is an emerging trend in the travel industry, with people focusing on staying healthy whilst travelling, and not compromising their values and beliefs during the travelling experience and in the spaces they find themselves. Collaboration plays a big role in luxury travel, as brands are working with the travel industry more and more, such as British Airways and Liberty of London collaborating to offer amenity kits to business class customers and United Airways and Saks launching the Polaris cabin, where premium customers can benefit from custom-made Saks bedding, duvets, day blankets, pillows, slippers, and pjs. By partnering with notable brands, travel operators are able to provide their customers with the luxury touchpoints that enhance their experiences and ensure they arrive at their destination feeling like the best version of themselves.

At Underscore we’ve long believed that experiences are what matter to consumers, that’s why when building a brand we place great emphasis on where and how your audience will encounter it, and how that experience will make them feel and behave. If you want help enhancing your customers’ experiences, why not get in touch at hello@underscore.co.uk and we can discuss how to take your brand to the next level.