I’ve never been as mortified as I was the day I first saw the phrase ‘Luxury Traveller’ – what is this? What makes you a luxury traveller as apposed to all the basic travellers out there? Is it because you’re rich? Because you were given it for free? I’m not comfortable with this new fangled description of someone who has the pleasure of travelling the globe and doing it in a way that the majority of us cannot do. I am so supportive of influencers and all they have to offer and work for, but how can we be inspired by a ‘Luxury Traveller’ and why has this now become a title?
It’s nothing new that influencers get to experience incredible places around the world and do so in business class with a champagne arrival. The part that I struggle with, is the idea that these people get to visit these magnificent countries full of culture, experience and natural beauty yet show their following nothing more than the first class seat of the plane and the super queen sized bed they get to sleep in in the five star hotel.
If you have the platform to show the elegance of these locals, the heartache in the disasters that may occur or show the hidden gems off the beaten track for your followers to aspire to do themselves but you chose not to – what is the point? I had never left the country before I was in my late teens and didn’t explore further than Europe until I was in my mid twenties – travel wasn’t always an important thing for me but the more I delved into the travelling community on youtube and Instagram, the more I saw what I was missing and how much really was out there. Travel bloggers such as Kinging It, Flying The Nest and The Endless Adventure show the ups, downs and the best tips when it comes to experiencing new countries, cities or hidden spots. I appreciate a lot of the time they are gifted their flights or hotels but nothing they do is not achievable for you and I.
Labelling yourself as a ‘Luxury Traveller’ whilst exploring countries with so much hardship leaves a strange taste in your mouth. How does that work? I appreciate a ‘Luxury Traveller’ spending a few days in Dubai with a cocktail in hand but whilst walking through the Indian slums? Whilst exploring Asian island where the locals don’t even have electricity? I can’t see how that is constructive to younger followers who aspire to do exactly the same thing. It’s important, despite the fact it’s not pretty or happy, to show where we can help when you have such a massive following. Opening the eyes of young people – or even older people – what really is going on in some of the places these influencers are now travelling to is so important and the platform they have is invaluable to these places and the people having to live their daily lives in such a different way to what we’re used to.
For anyone who searches their hotels on Booking.com from lowest price order, takes the 5am flight to get the most out of your day or wraps a croissant or two in a napkin from the buffet to keep in your pocket as a free snack – don’t feel alone, because you’re not. Your experiences are just as important, embrace it.
I don’t think I’ve really made my final decision on how I feel about this new label, I just wanted to spill out some of my initial thoughts. I think it’s detrimental in two ways – making the following think that they should be travelling in this way but also leading people to believe this is what they’ll see when they book their holiday off the back of a Instagram photo or youtube video. There’s a responsibility to show as much of the real thing as possible if you’re going to provide readers with a link to book their visit when you know whole heartedly their experience won’t be any thing like yours.