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Trending Up: The Most Impactful Luxury Travel Trends for 2023 and 2024

As the world of travel has returned to relative normality after the Covid pandemic, it’s safe to say that luxury travellers are making up for lost time. Because of this, we are seeing new luxury travel trends appear for 2023 and beyond.

Read on as we explore some of the most interesting new trends in luxury travel, as well as the components that make this branch of travel so exhilarating and alluring.

A female tour guide explains an ornate map to a small group of Ultimate Driving Tours guests.

Image: Ultimate Driving Tours

Experiential, immersive and adventure travel: the new luxury

The purpose of travel for pleasure is shifting. No longer satisfied with spending days on a homogenised all-inclusive cruise or gazing at a landmark from the window of an air-conditioned tour bus, luxury travellers want something different from their journeys.

This is why we are watching the rapid rise of experiential, immersive and adventure travel trends. Welcome to the new luxury.

What is experiential travel? 

Experiential travel is a form of travel that encompasses truly connecting with a destination rather than just visiting it.

This comes from immersion in the destination’s culture, cuisine, history, people and environment. This style of travel is about experiencing new things over merely travelling to relax and recharge, as one may do on a typical beach holiday.

Expansive views from a luxury hotel balcony across a forested mountain valley.

Image: Ultimate Driving Tours

There’s no single way to ‘do’ experiential travel, but trends are certainly developing. Specifically at Ultimate Driving Tours, we have noticed that after the Covid pandemic, the demand for luxury adventure travel has gone beyond anything we could have anticipated.

For example, our expected guests are back travelling, but many people who have been in contact with us for years are now finally taking that big trip of a lifetime, despite putting it off for so long. People are also not as hesitant to put some serious budget behind their trips.

As for adventure travel trends across the market, off-the-beaten-track travel continues to be popular. In other words, finding a place that is often completely overlooked by tourists and therefore still offers the experience of real life in these countries. This doesn’t have to mean scaling a mountain or traversing a jungle. It simply means choosing the path less trodden — Olomouc instead of Prague, Bari instead of Rome, and Ninh Binh instead of Hanoi.

Others want to experience travel that meets their interests, including food, ancestry, film, TV or music. This may be a culinary tour of Bologna or a classical music tour of Vienna, while some travellers want to visit places they have seen in their favourite shows, be it Yellowstone, Emily in Paris, or Game of Thrones.

Then comes travel with the explicit purpose of thrill and adventure, such as heli-skiing in Alaska, whitewater rafting in Zimbabwe, or sand surfing the Sahara. One way that people are satisfying their desire for adventure while truly connecting with a destination is through an exclusive driving tour. These small-group tours put you behind the wheel of some of the world’s finest supercars, weaving through stunning roads and experiencing parts of a country that tourists often overlook.

This also touches on another travel trend: over-the-top luxury. Whether this is a solo trip or a romantic honeymoon, premium tourists want to experience the highest-end of travel. This often includes exclusive suites, private jets, ultra-luxury service and unique activities, especially if money is no object.

What are the 5 C’s of luxury travel?

True luxury travel is a holistic experience that has to be felt to be understood. However, the following five elements encapsulate the essence of luxury travel.

A freshly dug truffle is inspected for quality.

Image: Ultimate Driving Tours


Luxury travellers don’t want throwaway experiences — they want meaningful travel that comes from immersion in new cultures. They want to learn new things about destinations through storytelling and direct experience. 

For example, guests on our Tuscan Supercar Tour learn the tradition of truffle hunting in Tuscany by hunting for truffles with an expert local trifolau, before enjoying a gourmet dinner made using their findings.

An ornate dining room with diners seated at round tables with patterned walls and large curtains.

Image: Ultimate Driving Tours


Every traveller needs to eat, but with high-end travel, dining becomes a priority and an experience in itself. This usually includes fine-dining in highly ranked restaurants that offer menus bursting with innovation, quality and locally sourced ingredients. 

Dining experiences are often complemented by immersive foodie experiences, whether that’s our truffle hunting afternoon, exclusive Champagne tastings, learning about authentic dishes with local cookery classes, or extensive gastronomic tours of cities.

Two men and a woman snap a happy selfie on an Ultimate Driving Tours luxury tour.

Image: Ultimate Driving Tours


No luxury traveller wants to spend 24/7 with others and they certainly don’t want to share bedrooms or bathrooms! Yet a sense of community is an important aspect of luxury travel. 

Ultimately, money can buy you most things, but on our small-group tours, the aspect that cannot be bought is the camaraderie and community that is created when a unique and shared unforgettable experience takes place — those memories are special, and are shared only by those who were present in the moment.

This is why many of our guests go on to keep in contact after the tour and often become life-long friends.

A dinner menu for a fine dining restaurant adorned with the Ultimate Driving Tours logo.

Image: Ultimate Driving Tours


As well as the experience itself, luxury travel relies on providing guests with quality content throughout the journey. Alluring and impressive marketing materials are expected, including social media and digital content, which should inspire and engage the audience ahead of embarking on an aspirational journey.  

We make use of first-rate content on our driving tours, with curated itineraries, special touches and personalisation, and quality supporting materials that make guests feel like VIPs. 

A person wearing sunglasses and a full face helmet is assisted as they sit in a blue Formula 1 car.

Image: Ultimate Driving Tours


Guests may love that the details are all taken care of, yet they still want a holiday that is designed exclusively for them. Ultimately, every guest’s idea of luxury differs, and that’s why we begin with a standard tour package comprising the core elements, including supercar hire, dining and accommodation — complemented by a plethora of optional add-ons to make it truly custom. 

This can include anything from additional experiences (such as a track day in an F1 car), to hotel room upgrades, chauffeur transfers, helicopter transfers, private jet travel and more.

A lady in sunglasses takes a glass of white wine from a waitress’s tray.

Image: Ultimate Driving Tours

‘Frictionless’ travel 

Friction in travel can be summed up as unwanted interruptions during the journey. When flying, this includes the points where you present identity and travel documentation, the achingly slow TSA security process, and the boarding of the flight. While many interruptions on a trip are logical and necessary, being held up can become tedious and can negatively impact the experience.

Additionally, friction can stem from anxiety about the unknown: 

“How am I getting from B to C? What if I miss the connection? Will there be additional costs?”.

Frictionless travel seeks to streamline the journey, taking a traveller from A to B and beyond with no stress, limited waiting, and the removal of any anxiety-provoking surprises. After all, a seamless, frictionless experience is a core component of luxury travel. The memories of a lavish week away can quickly be eroded by terrible transfers and hour-long queues.

At UDT, we take frictionless travel a step further. This is where we aim to deliver an experience that goes beyond five-stars. We learn the likes, dislikes, wants and needs of each guest without being intrusive, then anticipate the delivery of this before guests might even know what they want or need. To us, this is frictionless travel at its finest.

A red Lamborghini crosses a bridge over a large body of water.

Image: Ultimate Driving Tours

Customised and personalised travel experiences

In the luxury travel sphere, one size no longer fits all. Over the last few years, and particularly after the pandemic, we have seen a shift towards a greater demand for personalised travel.

As holiday budgets rise, so too does the need for the perfect holiday — nobody wants to pay over the odds for mediocrity. But because everybody’s version of perfect is different, customisation is essential.

Customisation is blooming in the world of luxury hotels, many of which now encourage guests to instruct them as to how they want to enjoy their stay. Do they want remote check-in and instant access to their room, or would they rather arrive and linger over a cocktail at the bar while their luggage is taken care of? Other hotels don’t have menus, but instead ask what guests would enjoy eating, then create bespoke dishes specifically for them.

With such demand for personalisation, we are more determined than ever to cater for every personality. Whether it’s a corporate day in Europe or a self-drive tour in the USA, our tailor-made travel services are customised to the individual, which we find makes for the ultimate satisfaction for many guests who want something truly their own.

A group of smartly dressed party guests on a rooftop enjoying evening views across a historic city.

Image: Ultimate Driving Tours

Private and small-group tours 

If your idea of searching for an available sun lounger among hundreds of sunburned families sends shivers down your spine, then you are not alone. Luxury travellers prefer smaller group sizes, or often complete privacy to enhance their journey.

On our luxury driving tours, group sizes are kept compact — often no more than 16 people. This gives guests the essential camaraderie of sharing experiences with like-minded travellers, without losing the element of exclusivity or serenity.

Still, some travellers prefer private tours and complete solitude. This may be to ensure safety or simply to enjoy time alone. This could be anything from booking a private jet, to checking into a secluded hotel at a remote destination where the word ‘tourist’ isn’t in the local lexicon.

For this kind of traveller, we offer complete privacy on our luxury self-drive holidays, which are designed for guests who want to follow their own itinerary, while still enjoying the key elements of a driving tour: exotic cars, curated luxury accommodation, and insider knowledge on the perfect driving routes. 

Two men happily pose for the camera while sitting in a yellow Ferrari.

Image: Ultimate Driving Tours

What do luxury travellers and tourists want from their experiences?

I personally spend a lot of time with our guests on each tour, so I understand exactly what each trip means to them. Here are three of the most valued attributes I find are regularly mentioned or alluded to. 

First and foremost, travellers within the luxury adventure space seek access and exclusivity. They want to explore the world in a way that is beyond what the everyday traveller has the opportunity to experience.

The second aspect our guests seek is adrenaline and adventure. Our guests are typically well travelled and have often ‘been there, done that’. They are too young to go on a river boat cruise, but too mature to backpack to the top of Mount Everest. Instead, they seek something in between — excitement paired with the finer things in life. They want adrenaline, but they also want to finish their day at a beautiful property with a glass of Champagne in hand.

Finally, something that our guests adore about our tours is not having to make a decision. The guests we typically host are decision fatigued — in their everyday lives and businesses, their world is filled with constant decisions. So, to be able to switch off and enjoy being taken care of — knowing that the decisions made for you are the exact ones you’d make yourself — that’s the real luxury.

Is the luxury adventure travel market growing?

The simple answer is yes — the luxury adventure travel market is growing. Fast. In fact, this exciting global market will continue to flourish over the next decade, with an estimated market value of more than $2,105 billion by 2032, according to figures from a recent luxury travel sector report.

This growth can be attributed to several factors, including the increasing number of high-net-worth individuals, strong economic growth in developing countries, and a rise in luxury travellers seeking unique experiences and authentic destinations.

A red Ferrari rounds a hairpin corner high up in the mountains.

Image: Ultimate Driving Tours

Be a trendsetter — experience something truly unique with Ultimate Driving Tours

From traversing the twists and turns of the Italian Alps in a latest-release Ferrari to driving specialised vehicles on replica F1 circuits carved into frozen Arctic lakes, Ultimate Driving Tours has a truly unique luxury experience waiting for you.

There really is something for every traveller. Inspire your next trip by reading about our bucket-list driving tours across Europe, the USA and Australia. To learn more, chat to our friendly team today.

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