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6 luxury vacation ideas to quell your wanderlust right now

If quarantine has you itching to leave your four walls, we can relate. The truth is, the only cure for wanderlust is travel, but that can feel like a daunting feat right now. The good news is, with approved vaccines being distributed and as borders, businesses, and accommodations begin to re-open, our options are broadening, little by little. However, even as the world begins to unlock its doors, you still may (understandably) be concerned about safety. The solution? Change your mindset from social distancing to voluntary seclusion by planning an exclusive stay away from the crowds. Below, we’ve shared some safe luxury travel ideas, whether you’re seeking solace, family fun, or a getaway fit for a rock star. Book a luxury villa, near or far As seclusion is synonymous with relaxation and high-end travel, now is the perfect time to book a private villa for some family time and R & R. Choose from properties with sprawling lawns, water views, exciting game rooms, or a private pool that’s just for you. And the best part? You don’t even have to leave the country — or, board a plane, for that matter — depending on where you book. Of course, the first step is to rent your villa through a stellar company with a trustworthy reputation. As a travel professional, one of my most-trusted partners in this space is Steve Lassman, Vice President of Villa Product and Agency Relations for Villas of Distinction. I reached out to Steve, a travel industry nominee for Virtuoso’s Best Ambassador for their “Best of the Best” awards in 2019, to ask how Villas of Distinction is ensuring safety amidst the pandemic. “We have always ensured our luxury villas were deep-cleaned inside and out, following strict sanitization policies, in between guest stays,” Steve explains. “The Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) released their COVID-19 cleaning guidelines, to which we and the villas’ owners adhere. Guests can rest assured that their villa staff now wear gloves and masks while they are in the villa, and more antibacterial lotions are available throughout the villa for guests’ convenience and safety. We are recommending owners leave days open in between reservations for precautions.” We asked Lassman to share some of his favorite destinations for villa stays, which you can book today. Steve’s top picks A place to unplug: Westhampton Waterfront Home – Westhampton, New York Artists and music lovers will appreciate that this gorgeous estate formerly belonged to the world-renowned composer, Marvin Hamlish. But even if you’re not a music aficionado, you’ll be swept away by the property’s sprawling grounds and proximity to Westhampton’s quaint downtown, if you feel like venturing out. It’s the ideal place to unplug and “detox” from the stresses of daily life — you may even find creative inspiration in this peaceful sanctuary. Steve, a native New Yorker, says “The Westhampton Waterfront Home has all the accessories of a private beach estate: its own private dock with ocean access, immaculately kept grounds, separate staff quarters, seven bedrooms and 4.5 baths to accommodate up to 20 guests — plus a pool, spa, and sauna. It’s idyllic, private, and a true retreat.” A family-friendly getaway: Nona at Reunion Resort – Orlando, Florida Steve says that Orlando, Florida is his favorite destination for families. It’s especially convenient if you’re feeling adventurous enough to venture to Disney, which re-opened in July under a strict set of safety protocols. But even if you don’t head to the parks, you’ll feel like you’re staying in a royal palace at his favorite property, Nona at Reunion Resort. The mansion has 9 bedrooms and 12.5 bathrooms, and there are plenty of entertainment features for “kids” of all ages: a massive pool, bowling alley, racquetball court, private gymnasium, game room, home theatre, and Turkish bath. For young vacationers who are set on experiencing some Disney magic, Steve says Villas of Distinction can bring it right to you. “Booking with Villas of Distinction brings personalized experiences unavailable on a Disney property,” he explains. “We can arrange a character breakfast at your villa, so the children have time to really interact, not just pose for a photo with their favorite character. Our staff has access to a Disney yacht, so you can watch the nightly fireworks on the lake.” A taste of the good life: Celebrity Oceanfront Estate – La Jolla, California Live like a rockstar (at least, for a little while) in this stunning 9,100-square foot paradise. “For those close to the West Coast, the Celebrity Oceanfront Estate in La Jolla is more like a resort than a home,” says Steve. “This house is truly spectacular.” Despite the lavish interior, vast ocean views through floor-to-ceiling windows are the star of this mansion’s two living rooms. It also includes two fully furnished kitchens (including one with access to the estate’s spacious pool area), a billiard room with a ping pong table, a rooftop pickleball court overlooking the ocean, a movie theater, a gym equipped with a sauna and steam room, and more. You’ll also have access to a street-legal, 4-passenger golf cart, on which you can cruise to the lovely Tourmaline Beach, just a short ride away. If you’re dreaming of a European escape… If a European escape is what you’re after, let me introduce you to Andy Swann Voyage, a French destination management company that offers bespoke luxury vacations in France. While your trip is completely customizable (and you can choose from à la carte experiences), Andy, the company’s founder and director, offers collections with mapped-out itineraries if you don’t want to start from scratch. Although Andy Swann Voyage is not currently booking trips for Americans due to travel bans amidst COVID-19 restrictions, “We are preparing actively for the return of Americans, hopefully in 2021,” he assures. In fact, the company is working on designing some new health and wellness-focused itineraries for the new year. Andy shares a sneak peek: “The program for the week will vary according to the region and season, but might include, for example, yoga, cycling, hiking, healthy food (and cooking classes), private tastings of wine and other local / bio products, etc., all set in spacious and peaceful surroundings ‘far from the madding crowd.’” In terms of planning your next dream trip, now is the perfect time to start looking ahead. Below are two more of Andy’s unique offerings. Voyage into the World of Perfume If you’re captivated by fragrance and wouldn’t leave home without a few dabs of your “signature scent,” this once-in-a-lifetime trip, which is part of Andy’s Voyage Collection, will help you indulge in the world of perfume. This itinerary, which is mostly focused on the Riviera, from the coast to the hinterlands (exact locations vary depending on the season), includes VIP workshops, visits with artisans, and intriguing exploration into the connection between scent, emotions, and memory. Andy describes this enchanting getaway as “a real ‘wow.’” A Taste of Burgundy Lovers of wine and history will savor the best of Burgundy in this Classic Collection trip. Featuring tours to historic sites and vineyards, A Taste of Burgundy is a feast for all the senses and is an unforgettable introduction to this famous wine region in France. Adds Andy, “October and November are great months to be there with the grape picking harvest”. Making the most of traveling today While options for safe travel may be limited for the time being, they’re still plentiful if you know where to look. If a case of cabin fever has your wanderlust piqued, consider it an opportunity to plan a getaway you may not have considered before. But if you’re still dreaming of faraway lands that aren’t accessible quite yet, remember: Now is the time to start planning, and once the world is settled, your dream vacation will await. Eric Hrubant is Owner and President of CIRE Travel. CIRE Travel is a concierge style travel agency specializing in luxury vacations and honeymoons, once-in-a-lifetime bucket-list journeys as well as group and corporate travel. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Eric Hrubant

Eric Hrubant is a 20+ year travel industry veteran and owner and president of CIRE Travel, a corporate and leisure travel agency. Eric and his team of agents use their A-list connections to deliver an exceptional, concierge-like travel experience. Vacations, honeymoons, business trips and once-in-a-lifetime bucket list journeys…CIRE does it all. CIRE has offices in New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington DC and Kennebunkport, Maine and serves clients across the country and around the world.

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  1. Thinking about the World of Perfume I’m guessing that you’re talking about the French Riviera.

    I once spent a day up in the hills in Grasse visiting some perfume houses. It was absolutely fascinating but I got the impression that we’d only just scratched the surface. Would be good to go back and learn more,

    1. Sounds like a delightful day in Grasse, Janet! There are so many wonderful regions of France that beckon us to see, smell, and taste the day away. I, for one, can’t wait to get back. I postponed a trip this past summer and am planning my triumphant return summer 2021! Au revoir, Eric

  2. To start with I was really surprised that I didn’t have wanderlust back last April and May. I’d done so much flying for work and holidays that I enjoyed the early months without departure lounges and queues. Then it all changed, now I’m getting wanderlust bad. There are so many places that I want to go that I don’t know where to start. This post gives me even more ideas.

    1. Hello Piers! I don’t think you’re alone. I can’t wait to get on the road again! I’m looking forward to some domestic/US trips this coming spring (Washington DC, Boston, NYC) and then getting back to France in the summer. I’m glad you got some good ideas to add to your future travel plans. Cheers! Eric

  3. I’ve had wanderlust since I started walking! But seriously, I’ve had two trips that I had to cancel this year and was planning two more Asian destinations for 2021. All that went down the drain and made me so sad as I had so many plans for those trips. I’m still not sure about 2021 and will wait to see how the vaccinations will go. Dying to get to Europe for a real change of scenery, but wondering about the different travel restrictions especially if we’re thinking about multiple country destinations. I will settle for anywhere out of state if it is still that difficult or restrictions haven’t been lifted.

    1. The wanderlust is REAL! I’m right there with you, Margot. My colleagues in the travel industry are very hopeful that the vaccine will make a big difference in safer travel in 2021. Best, Eric

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