We define luxury as experiences that lift you out of the ordinary into a place where indelible memories are created.
Here are ten ways to uplift your trip to the luxe side of life.
1. Experience a spa treatment that takes advantage of local, indigenous herbs, practices or traditions. Luxury is remembered through all the senses. The smell of jasmine oil on your skin or the scent of champa incense will live in your memory for years to come.
2. Talk to locals and find out where they eat. Choose a place that you'll remember forever, whether an amazing meal at a hole-in-the-wall or a high-end restaurant on which you splurge half a paycheck. Luxury is about connecting with culture through taste, one of the most lasting sense memories you can make.
3. Bring your best outfits and dress the hell up. If you look Instagram-ready, you'll feel that way, too. Luxury is sartorial bliss and nothing makes you feel, as the French say, "Bien dans son peau," or good in one's skin like wearing something wonderful.
4. Wherever you are, find a place where you can wander, sit down, and be alone with your thoughts--let the surroundings infuse you with a unique, out-of-the-ordinary energy. Write something in your journal while you're there. Luxury is solitude and silence--increasingly hard to access in this too-connected world.
5. Learn to say the word, "Beautiful" in the language of the country you're in, and take every opportunity to tell people you meet that you find their country and their culture, "Beautiful." Gratitude is a form of emotional luxury.
6. If you're traveling as a couple, spend some of the day apart doing things that the other isn't necessarily interested in doing. Then get together for a "date" at a local restaurant and share the images and souvenirs from your independent sojourn with your lover/friend/spouse. Luxury is about independent exploration and the joy of sharing your adventures.
7. Delve into the spiritual life of your destination. Visit a temple, mosque, church, cathedral or other holy site, and learn as much as you can about it. Make sure that your clothing conforms to local customs, and keep an open mind. Luxury is as ineffable as a call to prayer, a candle lit beneath an ancient icon or a centuries-old temple of a goddess.
8. Enjoy the luxury of "wasting" time. Don't get up early in the morning. Laze around in your hotel for the morning, don't rush anywhere, put the schedule aside and drift through your day. Luxury is not being chained to a schedule and having all the time in the world to enjoy yourself.
9. Taste the local wines, spirits and homemade brews. If you're lucky, you'll get invited to taste local whiskeys or digestives that are often made at home or by artisanal spirit makers in local restaurants. Remember the limits of your in-flight liquid allowance but try to take a bottle or two home with you so you can relive your journey with each sip. Luxury is a sensible escape from sobriety.
10. Splurge on something special that will always remind you of your journey. Something just for you. A piece of local art, a great pair of leather shoes or a bag bought from the artisan who made it...if you love it and you can afford it, take it home or have it shipped home. Luxury lives in our memories and memories attach themselves to the treasures we bring home.
[Some of our own special treasures from our journeys will be available on an exclusive, curated basis on our own site, extremeluxurygetaways.com where you'll be able to read the story of where and how we acquired the artifacts from our own travels.]