One of my favourite things about Go Girl Travel Network is the emphasis we tend to place on the do-it-yourself, low cost, roughing it approach to global travel. It can be so difficult to afford a plane ticket, let alone all the side costs associated with a trip, that travel (especially foreign travel) can be inaccessible to many. Increasing awareness of cheap travel tips is just one way to bring the world to everyone.
But there’s a case to be made for luxury, too. Ever look at photos of the sumptuous luggage travelers used to take on ocean liners or months-long sojourns abroad, and feel yourself drooling with envy? Or wish, in the middle of a crowded airport while lugging your thousand-pound suitcase, that you had a personal baggage handler? What about just a little more leg room on that 12-hour flight?
I won’t have any of these on my trip to Turkey provided by the amazing Mediterranean Delights Fitness Voyage, but the idea of taking a fitness cruise in a foreign (to me) country got me contemplating the pros and cons of luxury travel, especially when you’re a younger woman (in my case, under 30). Here’s what I came up with:
Fewer details to sort out on your own
If you’ve ever been lost in the middle of an unknown street trying to navigate geography, language, and culture all at once, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Someone to help you with the minutiae means less stress and planning. And that means more time to enjoy your trip.
A chance to step back
Maybe you’re always working and living on a tight budget. Or maybe your job is just emotionally draining. Sometimes, having someone else pamper you can be a great reminder that life is more than your work.
Ease into traveling like a pro
There’s something to be said about going on a cruise or guided trip, especially for new travelers. Having a trip taken care of for you can give you good tips on how to put together an excellent excursion on your own, so one day you can be the Carmen Sandiego you dream of being.
Go beyond the ordinary
A company that really knows the area you’re visiting may give you the chance to see places and sites you wouldn’t consider otherwise. A tourist on her own may be tempted to stick to primary attractions, but a guide may know all of the off-the-beaten-path restaurants and museums that will make any vacation spectacular.
A sense of security
Going with a tour can provide you with safety, especially if you’re traveling in a volatile area. Guides and tour companies will know the places to avoid and the places to keep a close eye on your wallet, and being in a group means that someone else can ensure you return safely to your room at the end of the day.
Most tour companies have a pre-existing set of options for you to choose from while traveling, from shore excursions to menu plans. You may find that you are on metaphorical rails, so to speak, for the entire journey. While this may reduce stress, it may also be tiresome to a traveler accustomed to creating her own itinerary.
As much as we may be dreaming of taking a luxury vacation to an exciting foreign land, the reality is that such vacations are very expensive. You may find that there is simply no money in the budget for the trip you’ve been eyeing, at least not for now.
Not all companies are ethical, and some may offer you luxury travel at the expense of the local people, economy, and environment. Be wary of the costs- financial and otherwise- of the trip you’re planning and make sure to do your research before booking your trip.
Staying within the ordinary
Sometimes, tour companies have made their reputations (and their money) by offering travelers access to the same-old, same-old. If you sign up for a tour in the hopes of getting a novel experience without seeing the itinerary ahead of time, you may be disappointed. Check the company’s itinerary before you commit!
Crowds are bigger targets
Pickpockets and thieves are looking for people who are distracted, lost, and vulnerable, which makes tourists a perfect target. Traveling with large groups of people in high-traffic areas may increase the risk of having someone snipe your wallet or passport.
Bottom Line: Some of the things that make luxury travel so appealing may also be the things that turn you off to it. While it may never be your “thing,” I highly recommend giving it a try at least once in your life.
Editors’ note: Erica’s post is sponsored by the amazing Mediterranean Delights Fitness Voyage, who is sending her to Turkey as part of our “Bring a Go Girl to You” program. However, our views and opinions are completely our own! Click here for our full disclosure statement.