This year, treat yourself or your family to the experience of a lifetime by taking a luxury outdoor vacation.
Although the great outdoors have traditionally been associated with a certain amount of discomfort or “roughing it,” many guided trips through nature now have luxury counterparts, allowing you to have the best of both worlds.
Learn to enjoy your surroundings with an exclusivity that only comes with having the economic means, and immerse yourself completely in the wilderness by staying in secluded locations with your every need catered to.
No matter what the season, landscape or activity you’re looking to experience, you’ll find your perfect match with one of these luxury outdoor vacations.
For those who enjoy the concept of sleeping under the stars, but don’t want to deal with the hassles of camping or the possibility of uncomfortable sleeping arrangements, glamping has become a popular choice as a luxury outdoor vacation.
Instead of sleeping in tents or primitive cabins, you can stay in a yurt, treehouse, teepee or even an igloo. Under Canvas offers camps near U.S. National Parks — such as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and Zion — that have canvas tents and teepees complete with king sized beds, ensuite bathrooms with running water, and private decks.
They’ll even create all-inclusive, custom packages for you, which may range from yoga retreats to multi-sport adventures. Prices for a family of four starts at $2,900 USD for two nights.
Wildlife safaris have long been a top choice for luxury outdoor vacations. While you can find safaris in countries like Jordan, India and Costa Rica, African safaris have remained the most in demand and, in turn, the most glamorous options for tracking big game and exploring the exotic terrain.
Ker & Downey offers a Botswana safari with a private guide and stays in two to three luxury camps located in the Okavango Delta. You’ll go on morning and evening game drives, explore the waterways by motorboat, and take guided bush walks to search for animals such as elephants, buffalo and impala.
Spectacular views, comfortable accommodations and a private chef await you. As Ker & Downey craft custom safaris for luxury travellers, prices are available upon request but expect to pay in the $15,000-20,000 USD range for a week and a half.
If a wintery escape with the promise of exclusive slope access, chic apres-ski offerings, and a private hot tub in your backyard sounds like the trip of a lifetime, a luxury ski trip might be your perfect match.
While there are plenty of gorgeous resorts in the United States and Canada, to get a taste of classic ski culture that attracts the rich and famous, consider a European destination such as France, Italy or Austria.
In Meribel, France, you can rent out an entire seven bedroom chalet as your base of operations for a weeklong luxury ski holiday. At Chalet La Chouette, you’ll receive an exclusive experience with gourmet, catered food and drinks, an outdoor hot tub and sauna, and courtesy chauffeur service to the aptly named Delicious Mountain.
Also acting as a ski concierge, the chalet can organize equipment rentals, lift passes and lessons as you desire. While the chalet itself will cost about $15,000 USD a week to rent out, expect to pay another couple thousand for use of the mountain’s ski facilities.
If you’d rather take to the open seas, there are luxury outdoor vacations catering to adventurous water lovers all over the world. Fancy international cruises, multi-destination scuba tours and ritzy yacht charters will whisk you off to paradise across the water while still allowing you creature comforts and impeccable service.
Choose from sailing and motor yachts to craft a luxury charter trip to the Amalfi Coast in Italy and visit impossibly beautiful destinations like Naples, Capri and Sorrento. Silver Star Yachting has yachts ranging from $12,000-300,000 USD a week, with varying degrees of included services and amenities.
Most have small crews of two to four, with some mega yachts requiring crews of 10 to 15, including a private chef. Expect to find designer linens, wood flooring, fine art, water toys and impeccable interior design across the board.
Off the Grid
Off-the-grid vacations are not for everyone. They often include strenuous hiking, biking and kayaking across pristine, but sometimes unforgiving landscapes. Nevertheless, you can still find luxury amid rugged trips to some of the most remote places in the world.
While you will have to sacrifice cellphone service, TV and WiFi, going unplugged will allow you to truly bond with your travel companions, or connect with yourself.
Shakti has off the grid experiences in the Ladakh, Kumaon and Sikkim regions of India. All are unpopulous, rural areas surrounded by mountains and untouched nature.
Their sample itineraries will have you staying in luxuriously restored village houses, indulging in fresh, catered meals, and maybe even enjoying private cooking lessons from your private chef.
You’ll visit remote villages and Buddhist monasteries by foot, boat and bike while taking in the beauty of your natural surroundings. For a trip spanning 10 days, expect to pay around $9,125 USD per person.
If you love horses or consider yourself a seasoned equestrian, why not consider a vacation centred around these majestic creatures?
Many vacation destinations offer horseback riding day trips along scenic beaches, mountain trails and rural byways. Luxury equestrian vacations allow you ample time for riding, often with guided trips by local professionals in combination with appropriately classy digs.
Equestrian Escapes crafts unique equine trips throughout locations in Europe, Africa and South America. One of their more interesting itineraries will take you riding along a medieval castle trail in the Italian countryside of Tuscany.
Not only will you get to tour and ride to each castle, but you also get to stay overnight in the castles, sleeping and dining like royalty all for around $2000 USD per person plus airfare. The combination of history, nature and activity will undoubtedly reinvigorate your mind, body and spirit.
No matter your preference, these luxury outdoor vacations will likely inspire a sense of wanderlust within. Take the time to find an experience that speaks to you and your budget, while allowing you to become one with your surroundings.
Now more than ever you can stay active while you travel without compromising the sort of service and amenities you’ve come to expect.