Wealthy travelers walk barefoot and make a difference
Gone are the days when travelers wanted to flaunt their wealth on vacation with designer clothing, mega yachts and other indulgent travel items.
These days they want to dress casually, let loose, make a difference and relax, whether it’s in a resort overlooking white sandy beaches or in a safari lodge that shines a light on conservation.
The concept of barefoot luxury is nothing new, but the travel industry is maximizing its potential by creating new experiences.
Money is not an issue for some travelers, and those who can afford vacations prefer to take trips away from traditional luxury travel.
Andrea Britt, co-founder of Secret Getaway, said more travelers want to immerse themselves in outdoor and nature experiences without compromising on luxury.
âBarefoot luxury isn’t about being cheap, it’s about the immersive experience that customers can enjoy. These experiences are very different and different from what many have had before, âshe explained.
According to Britt, this trend is rustic and relaxed but still offers a lot of comfort.
âYou don’t have to wear a suit and tie or an expensive dress. You can dress casually while enjoying all the comforts that come with luxury travel.
âSeveral new properties, especially high-end lodges, include these rustic activities in their list of experiences. They want to showcase the authenticity without skimping on the price.
âBarefoot luxury is thoughtful and well regarded,â she said.
Shezaad Gani, COO of Travel Juice, a halal travel concierge company specializing in South Africa, believes the barefoot luxury trend is quickly gaining popularity with Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Y travelers. Generation Z.
âAs the name suggests, the basic concept is simple. It’s a luxury vacation experience where you ditch your shoes and spend most of the time barefoot, âhe said.
âBarefoot luxury travel is more than that, however. They satisfy a urge to reject the traditional bling experience and, instead, to connect and be at one with nature without compromising on luxury.
âA vacation where you can be who you are.
âThis concept was most likely the result of people reassessing life’s priorities and adjusting perspectives,â Gani added.
Barefoot luxury travel is in high demand, according to Gani.
âAccommodation in a private villa by the sea is popular. Here you have the perfect blend of luxury, beach, and private spaces, all wrapped up in the amenities of any five-star hotel. It’s the best of both worlds, and that’s how the holidays should be, âhe said.
Where to go
Britt said Africa is quickly becoming a trendy barefoot luxury attraction for travelers.
She said many properties in Africa provide guests with barefoot luxury experiences – from hiking and conservation camps to starry bed experiences.
Among the destinations adopting the trend were Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana and parts of South Africa.
Places like Xigera Safari Lodge in Botswana âcaptivate the senses of guests and stir their soulsâ through evocative interiors and unique encounters.
Here, guests can take an art and design tour conceptualized by Toni Tollman, Philip Fourie and Anton de Kock in collaboration with award-winning South African gallery Southern Guild.
You can also embark on a helicopter safari, stargazing and sleep under the stars at the Baobab Treehouse.
At Travessia Beach Lodge in Mozambique, guests can enjoy a bush and village walk that allows them to learn about the customs of the locals and visit sites like the rare baobab tree or the local bush bakery.
Although the walk is free for guests, they can donate to the Village Fund which helps build and maintain schools and local infrastructure.
Other experiences at the lodge include beach biking, ocean experiences, and market tours.
The Marataba Conservation Camps in Limpopo aim to balance conservation and adventure with fun and relaxation. The privately managed 21,000 ha section within Marakele National Park allows travelers to engage in rhino conservation safaris.
How to plan a luxury barefoot trip
Gani said travelers are in total control of what they want in a luxury barefoot vacation.
He said travel agents build experiences around customer preferences.
âSome families prefer cooking lessons with their children while others like to go horseback riding on the beach.
âSome couples want a romantic dinner on the beach while others book helicopter tours. Other guests want to soak up the view from their villa and connect with friends, âhe said.
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