Insider Tips for Luxury Travel 

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”  

The above quote by Saint Augustine resonates with the best of today’s generation. There is absolutely nothing that can compare to experiencing different places and cultures. Travel enhances you. It makes you richer in ways that material wealth can’t begin to compete. A well-traveled person is a sophisticated person that by default enters a higher society.

travelamericanexpress

St Maarten

There is a certain type of mystique around somebody who prioritizes experiencing the rarity of this world through the many forms of luxury that come along with it – from local dining to first-class hotels.

Travel is a drug. Those who share this addiction will agree that once you’re hooked, there is no going back. And why would you? Embrace it for all it’s worth.

Here are our insider luxury travel tips to hopefully awaken your travel bug.

Plan around a worldclass event

There’s nothing like a world-class event to bring the crème de la crème to a single destination.  Residing in Toronto, we can all recognize the feeling associated with the Toronto International Film Festival, the second largest film festival in the world. A-list celebrities, busy and closed down streets, restaurant launches – the whole city radiates energy. Although not a mandatory requirement, I prefer to plan my travels around world-class events.  Explore your interests – museum openings and art gallery launches, concerts, wine festivals, sporting events – you name it. Need an idea? Join me in Abu Dhabi end of November 2015 for the final Grand Prix race.

Photo: Timeoutabudhabi.com

Photo: Timeoutabudhabi.com

Stimulate your taste buds 

Travellers alike will agree that exploring the finest cuisine whether a hidden local gem or a five star exclusive hot spot is a must when probing the unknown. When searching for a dinner destination on the first night of arrival, I typically prioritize the following criteria: the view. It’s invigorating to be able to arrive at your destination after hours on a plane, sit back and enjoy a breath taking view with a delicious meal. Without a doubt, restaurants have long been setting tables in the world’s most prominent locations.

The higher the skyscraper, the more likely there’s a five star restaurant with a dazzling view.

  • Reminder: The Shard in London. However, some of the world’s most spectacular restaurant views are born, not made.
  • Reminder: Panorama in Dubrovnik. Top tourist destinations will always deliver the promise of leading chefs and culinary experiences. Start your research and prepare your taste buds for an unforgettable ride!
  • Travel tip: The American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card comes with access to concierges who are able to get you reservations at some of the hottest and most exclusive restaurants around the world.

theshardview

Delve into culture 

The world is a small place. You realize that more as you travel and learn about other people’s culture and background. Culture shock is a feeling that disappears quickly as you find common ground with individuals. There are two aspects of experiencing culture.  On one hand it is the rich history of museums, archeological ruins, and national monuments. When planning a trip, make sure to explore the history of your location. One of my most memorable highlights on a trip that taught me history included taking a tour of Barcelona and learning about Gaudi’s architecture. On the other hand, these ancient icons do little in the way of illuminating the current culture of the country that includes everyday life—modern, messy, and malleable–that is just as interesting to a world traveler. Be sure to not only include the historical museums but also finding ways to immerse yourself in local culture. One of my most memorable experiences includes attending a Buddhist temple in Thailand during a prayer.

marina arnaout

 

Use a card to maximize your travel lifestyle

Luxury travellers never underestimate the value of little details. How are you going to get to your hotel once you land? Will the airplane meal meet your dietary restrictions? Will the wifi at the airport be fast and seamless? The key ingredient for a stress free travel is the technicalities. As a frequent traveler, your patience and time are valuable and so it only makes sense that you receive the best treatment on your jet set experience. Start your travels with priority check-ins and executive lounge access… talk about starting you trip on the right foot! Here are a few of my favourite perks offered by the American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card, the most recent addition to Amex’s suite of Cards:

  • $200 Annual Travel Credit when booking through American Express Travel Services
  • American Express Concierge Service
  • Access to the Annual Partner Ticket (redemption limit of up to 25,000 miles)
  • Unlimited access to Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges
  • Aeroplan Miles earned on all purchases
  • Priority access to the Aeroplan Contact Centre
Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt

Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt

To offer the best and most exclusive perks to Canadians, American Express Canada, Aeroplan and Air Canada partnered to launch the American Express AeroplanPlus Reserve Card – designed for the frequent luxury traveler. If you’re an avid traveler seeking a premium experience with top of the line perks, check out the Amex website to learn more. 

St Barths marina arnaout

St Barths

So, is your travel bug awake yet? It’s the memories above that remind me time and time again that the best personal and professional growth comes from experiences abroad. Time to start planning my next trip!

“This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.”

 

Founder of AffluenceAvenue.com - Toronto's First Luxury Lifestyle Guide focusing on travel, food & drink, arts, culture, fashion and business & career advice.

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