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Redefining the luxury holiday — simple pleasures result in a 5-star feeling

Published: 02/08/2023   /   Updated: 02/08/2023

Research conducted by Audley Travel reveals the evolution of luxury travel.

1 August 2023 — Tailor-made holiday specialist Audley Travel has conducted research* into what defines a luxury holiday experience and has concluded that a ‘5-star feeling’ is indeed a more measured personal preference, with almost a third of people explaining that spending time in nature provoked a feeling of opulence (29%), and 38% saying time spent with family on holiday was the luxurious gift they crave.

For many Brits (60%) the classic combination of indulging their taste buds and relaxing by the pool (43%) whilst on a break was front of mind when thinking about what luxury means to them during holidays taken in the past (in the UK or abroad). Almost half (46%) explained visiting ‘new places and cultures’ was important, and for almost a fifth of people asked, indulging in a good book and meeting local people (18%) felt lavish to them. Being away from the crowds is a luxury for more than 3 in 10 (31%) with 14% going further to say spending time completely alone is a holiday luxury.

The findings showed however that when trying to please others when planning a trip that luxury feeling can be lost. Unsurprisingly deciding where to go on holiday can be a stressful experience when trying to please a group with 35% of those asked struggling to fulfil everyone’s wishes. The findings showed that 21% explained the cause of family and friends wanting to do different things was to blame, with 20% mentioning it is difficult to identify a destination that will meet everyone’s needs. To help combat this, more than a third (34%) of people said they would like to seek the advice of someone who had visited the destination before so they could plan better and avoid friction among the group (13% said wanting to do different things leads to arguments).

Audley Travel CEO, Nick Longman said: “As a nation, we’re on a journey to become more mindful in everything we do, and our findings show that travel is no different. What makes a holiday feel luxurious is actually a very personal preference. It’s the seemingly simple moments that are most appreciated, from a stunning sunset to a meaningful exchange with a new person.

“Designing a trip with an Audley expert means individual or group tastes can be taken into account. There are multiple ways of experiencing the same place, for example in Cape Town some people prefer to walk up Table Mountain, others take the cable car and some happily enjoy the view from the base. All preferences are catered for and everyone has their wow moment.”

When it comes to deciding where to go on holiday the majority of people surveyed (43%) said they searched online for inspiration, whereas 35% preferred the familiarity of destinations they have been to before and liked. Friends and family recommendations were cited as a trusted source when planning a trip with 31% of people answering this impacted their decision making, and nearly a fifth of respondents (19%) were enticed by far flung, exotic locations or chose ‘unusual destinations’ (18%) with the same number choosing to stay within a short flight of the UK.

Notes to editors:

*Research conducted by Vital of over 2,000 UK adults in July 2023.

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