From New Beginnings to Legacy Curation, luxury travel design of tomorrow will hinge on life milestones and emerging trends such as Radical Sabbaticals and DNA Pilgrimages. Jenny Southan reports

Produced in partnership with tailormade luxury travel specialist cazenove+loyd to mark its 30th-anniversary milestone, this “post-demographic” report (Travelling With Purpose: Milestone Motivations and Luxury Travel Trends) from Globetrender reveals seven Milestone Motivations for people of any age, which are pegged to seven luxury travel trends and seven concept itineraries.

For most people, travel plays an important role in punctuating life’s journey with memorable and, often, formative experiences. When you look back on your past, it is these times abroad that form colourful episodes in your life story or even the start of a new chapter. Interestingly, they are rarely accidental – usually, people plan trips in advance to mark certain transitions or celebrations in their life.

In this report, we examine how these “Milestone Motivations” (a term coined by Globetrender) help inform people’s travel decisions, and how cazenove+loyd can provide bespoke planning and itinerary ideas for clients throughout the entirety of their life’s journey.Milestone Motivations reportWhat’s key, though, is that while many travel companies focus on the behaviour of certain demographics, we recognise that Milestone Motivations can apply to people of any age. For example, wanting to take a “gap year” isn’t just relevant to Gen Z students – these days, many older people also like to mark a career break or retirement with an extended period abroad too.

Jenny Southan, editor, founder and CEO of Globetrender, says: “With human lifespans getting increasingly longer, for the first time in history there are seven generations of people alive at one time. When it comes to travel, gap years aren’t just for young students – they can be for people in their sixties, too. Equally, cruises are evolving to appeal not just to retirees but to families and more intrepid solo travellers in their 30s.

“Taking a ‘post-demographic’ approach to travel design means that instead of focusing on the stereotypes associated with certain generations, advisors can instead identify what is motivating clients to book. More often than not it can be pegged to a life “milestone” of some kind – a birthday, redundancy, divorce, bereavement, wedding or inheritance, for example.”Paradise Camps family ©UnsplashAmong the luxury travel trends identified in the report are: Paradise Camps, Indigenous Immersions, DNA Pilgrimages, Carpe Diem Celebrations and Radical Sabbaticals

The seven corresponding concept itineraries from cazenove+loyd focus on the following destinations: The Congo, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, Brazil, Bolivia and Peru, Thanda Island in Tanzania, and Northern India.

Nabila Richardson, marketing director of cazenove+loyd, says: “Up until now, many companies looking to the future of travel have focused on the under-40s, but at cazenove+loyd we believe that every generation is relevant. And as people get older, the desire to mark certain life milestones with extraordinary travel experiences has become more pronounced.

“Since the pandemic, we have observed a 40 per cent increase in requests for ‘Carpe Diem Celebrations’,
for example, to mark 50th, 60th or 70th birthdays. ‘Radical Sabbaticals’, meanwhile, are not only of
interest to Millennials – Gen X and Boomers are now taking career breaks and gap years instead of
waiting for retirement to pursue their dreams.

“We have therefore devised a set of seven new trend-based concept itineraries to run alongside these
Milestone Motivations, available on our website. In addition to cazenove+loyd’s expertise in bespoke
luxury travel, we strive to deliver fresh inspiration to prospective clients before they contact us.”

Carpe Diem Celebrations ©Soneva Fushi

Globetrender’s Seven Milestone Motivations that relate to the fundamental purpose of the trips people want to book…

1. NEW BEGINNINGS: Being able to “turn a new page” is vital to people’s mental health and ability to move forward, especially after experiencing something traumatic such as a divorce or bereavement. But New Beginnings also relate to more positive chapter endings such as graduating, relocating, starting a new relationship, or becoming an entrepreneur.

2. MEANINGFUL DISCOVERIES: Meaningful Discoveries is a powerful motivating force for travellers who want to evolve their understanding of something specific, open themselves up to trying something new or undertaking a “once in a lifetime” adventure.

3. BUILDING BONDS: Whether it’s a multi-generational holiday, a special parent-child trip, a group getaway with friends or a journey with a partner, Building Bonds is a Milestone Motivation that is pegged to one of our human needs – to feel connected.

4. MEMORABLE CELEBRATIONS: Whether clients are going on honeymoon, having a destination wedding, or marking a birthday or anniversary, the most standout Milestone Motivation is Memorable Celebrations. When everything is riding on a certain special day, using an expert travel advisor to coordinate the logistics of an incredible overseas party for family and friends is priceless.

5. PERSONAL LIBERATION: This Milestone Motivation relates to people wanting to make the most of their adulthood before becoming parents or after their offspring have left home. But it also aligns with anyone who wants to take a gap year, work remotely or make the most of retirement, for example.

6. ACTIVE CONTEMPLATIONS: This relates to the role travel can play in achieving a sense of closure, reassessing who you are, gaining perspective and achieving clarity when looking to the future. Wellness tourism is often pegged to this Milestone Motivation, but trips can take many forms. Clients may be retiring from work, going on a sabbatical, resolving a personal loss or preparing for a new opportunity.

7. LEGACY CREATION: The final Milestone Motivations is tied to longevity, ancestry, the building of families and investment in personal betterment. Whether clients are grandparents who want to nurture their relationship with their grandchildren or people who yearn to explore their heritage, Legacy Building trips provide a lot of long-term value.Radical Sabbaticals ©Unsplash

Excerpts from four luxury travel trends…

Radical Sabbaticals

Sabbaticals traditionally last up to a year but Radical Sabbaticals can be achieved in a few weeks. The idea is that they are hyper-focused and intentional, and allow for deep rest or accelerated change, whoever you are, and whatever life stage you are at. As the demand for career or life breaks with purpose increases, extended itineraries that focus on specific intentions are becoming more relevant than ever before.

DNA Pilgrimages

With just a single drop of saliva, one can discover where their ancestors came from. By combining innovative science with expert historic research, DNA Pilgrimages offer the chance to bring one’s legacy to life and learn more about who they are and the people and places they have come from. Whether it’s tracing an ancestor’s life journey or taking advantage of affordable and freely available home DNA testing, a new wave of tourism is being fuelled by genealogical and heritage curiosity.

Paradise Camps

Families looking for the ultimate Robinson Crusoe experience are heading to private islands and lodges to help teach their children about the natural world, in a utopian environment. For high-net worth Millennial parents of Generation Alpha (aged 0 to 12 in 2023), travel is increasingly being used as a way of expanding the minds of their offspring and providing them with educational opportunities they wouldn’t get in the classroom.

Indigenous Immersions

Community engagement is one of the best examples of tourism as a force for good in the world. For travellers who want to truly broaden their horizons, spending time with indigenous people holds great rewards. Indigenous Immersions provide a unique opportunity to spend an extended period with a tribe, village or family that is very different to their own.

Free download: Travelling With Purpose: Milestone Motivations and Luxury Travel Trends