Traveling like a VIP is a lot easier and in many cases more affordable than most realize. There are VIP experiences available all over the place, you just need to discuss it with your travel planner before you go.
Before you travel
It’s probably going to sound like the easy answer (with me being a travel professional and all) but use a travel professional. This is what we do day in and day out full time. We know who to talk to, where to get the best rooms, the best service. Yes, there are times we get the best rates, but that’s not the real reason for using a Travel Professional. When you use a Travel Professional (or travel agent) you are getting their experience, their connections, and their resources. A quality travel professional is someone who is constantly growing their connections with industry leaders. They are growing their network of destination connections that ensure you get the most authentic and exclusive experiences. A travel professional can also help you with your visa preparations (if required) for the destinations that you are headed to.
Next up, use a car service. Don’t worry about the stress of finding parking at the airport, transferring luggage a second time on to the shuttle or driving home after that long flight home. Using a car service from your home to the airport and back again is a great way to take some of the stress out of the travel day.
Flying in first class is often the automatic goto when flying VIP style. If you’re ready to really step it up, let’s get you set up with a private plane. If you’re not quite ready for the private plane or possibly even first class, I strongly encourage at least flying in the comfort seats. They have a few more inches of legroom, nothing extra for the shoulder room typically, however. This can be a great gateway into a more VIP world, especially if you’re traveling with children and aren’t quite wanting to get them hooked on the first-class …. yet.
When you fly all night to a destination like Europe or all day and night to destinations such as Africa or the South Pacific, the last thing you want to do is look around and try to figure out where to go. Having a car service waiting for you is a great way to take away that frustration from flying a long way without sleep. When you step out past the luggage there they are, with your name on a sign. They are waiting for your flight to arrive, and know exactly where you are going to exit. Trust me, having them waiting for you is such a relief after a long flight, and sometimes it is just the boost of energy you need after those flights overseas to get you pumped up to get the exploring started. A great way to improve that VIP experience is by selecting the car service that is best suited to you. While the bus or van that has a specific pick up a spot outside of the terminal is the most economical way to travel, a car service will offer an assortment of cars to choose from. You can select an economy car, a luxury sedan, an SUV or even a limo depending on the location. Most important is that with each car upgrade, often there are other upgrades that come along with it as well. You can even book a bit of a driving tour en route to your hotel if that is of interest. I like to get a bit of a lay of the land on the way to my hotel, especially following a red-eye – anything that keeps me going instead of having a nap on that first day.
A true VIP upgrade that I’ve discovered and my clients are absolutely loving as at many airports in Europe, one of my suppliers offers a gate meet and greet. This means they will meet you right at the gate of the plane, and escort you to and through customs, from there they help to gather the luggage and take you to the car that’s waiting.
During the Vacation
The hotel is a great way to crank up the feeling of VIP. The room category is the most go to. Getting a room with a better view, larger room or added amenities are all great ways to enhance the experience. Simply staying at a better quality hotel is an upgrade all on its own. My personal choice for a VIP enhancement is location, location, location. When you stay in a property with a better location, you will have better access to the sites all around you. Unless I’m in town for a conference or just a few hours, the airport hotels aren’t typically my goto – no matter how awesome the suite is. I want to get into the heart of the city or destination. There’s nothing like stepping out the front door of your hotel and immediately be immersed into the culture, history, and story that destination has to tell.
There is nothing quite like seeing a destination through the eyes of a local. Hearing the stories of what it’s like to live there.
The tales of generations before them. Call me weird, but I geek about knowing what the ‘real’ life is of a destination. When I travel to Europe, I always wonder how do they haul their groceries up the streets where cars can’t get to? Or how far away is the grocery store? How often do they shop for groceries and how much do they cost? Finding out how much it costs to live in different areas, where do the locals really live vs what are just rentals and tourist places. If you want to add a VIP experience to this, let’s set you up with a private guide. This is a guide for just yourself and your travel companions. It means that when you want to take more time somewhere you can, you’re not holding anyone else up. Have questions? Want to know more? No problem, the guide is there just for you. The only thing better than a local guide is a private local guide.
The best part of any destination has to be the food. Trying new things, finding the best pubs with live music or an amazing Michelin starred restaurant. Having access to a concierge during your vacation or an amazing travel professional who can hook you up with great reservations to the best places to dine. When it’s the end of an exciting day of touring, there is nothing like having a plan already set for dinner rather than trying to figure it out when you’re already starting to feel a twinge of hangry.
To sum it up, the reality is – VIP is achievable for anyone, simply because it means something different to each person. VIP could be as simple as doing something you haven’t done before that makes this adventure more special, or as over the top as the private plane, with every detail taken care of for you. No matter what your style of VIP is, I’m here to help make it an experience you’ll never forget.