The way one looks at travel has completely changed over the past few years. Travellers no longer want to spend their time doing nothing on scenic beaches or relaxing in the comforts of their over-the-top luxury resorts. Modern day travellers are known to dig experiential travel, a form of travel that gives them long-lasting memories and unique experiences, which make the holiday priceless. Today, experiences have become much more important that creature comforts and attractions, more important than must-sees and photography sessions. In fact, experiences are one of the main things that compel people to travel all over the world today.
According to Cynthia Ord, the Newsletter Editor of The Travel Word, experiential travel reminds her of a scene from the movie Amelie, where Amelie plunges her hand into a bag of beans while browsing through a street market simply because she wants to experience how it feels. Cynthia defines this feeling as the whole essence of experiential travel – the concept of enjoying a sensory experience in order to determine how a place really feels and to engage with cultures across the world.
Experiential travel is certainly not a new concept, but it has become much more significant of late. As globalization made the world a smaller place, destinations that were once known to be inaccessible and unknown have hit the limelight. There was a time when only adventure travellers sought out such destinations. However, with changing perceptions, one can now find luxury travellers running after experiences as well.Irrespective of the kind of traveler, you can always expect him or her to explore local life, run after cultural insights and relish a chance to experience the traditions and customs rather than simply exploring the sights and attractions that the destination has to offer. This is one of the main reasons why things like holiday rentals and homestays have become so popular. They allow travellers to live like locals and experience the destination the way locals do. The rise of amateur chefs is another concept which allows travellers to enjoy experiential travel to its fullest. There are a number of amateur chefs who arrange meals for their guests for a price and invite them to their own homes for the meal. This allows travellers to enjoy authentic cuisines as well as engage with the locals they’re visiting.
Modern day travel is all about authenticity. A number of travel agents and tour operators have also caught up with this trend and are now offering their customers with unlimited choices when it comes to experiential travel. It is also important to understand that the concept of experiential travel means different things to different kinds of people. Some might want to explore local life for that perfect experience while others might prefer access to solitary meditation. Some might love to dine with the locals, engage with cultures and try out authentic cuisines while others might prefer to climb a mountain for a sense of personal achievement.
Ultimately, experiential travel is all about giving a meaning to the holiday and creating experiences that they can relish throughout their life.