Travel planning and research have become somewhat tiresome and convoluted, especially with the unending spread of unverified content on the web. Numerous additional challenges arose during the pandemic. The pre-covid trend of luxury travelers preferring to ‘do it all themselves’ is being upended by new travel services promising to deliver better outcomes.
One such company is New York based tourism disruptor, VIP Traveler, whose personalization technology pairs with a network of personal ‘travel stylists’ to allow members to live their best travel life. Using personalized recommendations, hyper-local travel advice, and booking connections, VIP Traveler, is designed to ensure their customers get the most value out of their trips.
Today we chat with Joshua Borenstein, one of the New York based co-founders of VIP Traveler, to get a better understanding of how their company is filling a gap in the luxury travel market and how they ease the stressors of building the best luxury vacations possible based on individual members’ preferences and style.
– What motivated you to start VIP Traveler?
Even before Covid, we understood that the way people traveled was changing. You don’t have to wait until you’re retired; you can live and work just about anywhere: laptop poolside in the morning, a swim, Zoom meetings, then cocktails at a resort in the evening. If anything, the pandemic has only reinforced this trend, and as the world gradually starts to re-open, the possibilities are endless.
We built VIP Traveler because no travel company had adapted to the way we live and travel now.
For some, luxury may be a lavish and ornate palace in the heart of Italy or India, and others, it’s a minimalist space in the desert, with access to incredible nature.
We all lead busy lives and can’t be experts in everything. So luxury, in another sense, is being able to save our clients the time and frustrations associated with ‘doing it yourself.’ Imagine not having to do the grueling research, or miss out on opportunities, because you have us – a friend in the travel industry – working full time on helping you live your best travel life!
– What were the challenges faced in starting VIP Traveler?
We intended to launch shortly before the pandemic. Still, the industry downtime allowed us to really focus on our model and the time to continue building a beautiful brand, develop our technology, and foster new relationships as the industry was in flux.
– How do you think the pandemic will shape the future of luxury travel?
I think the immediate response has been to consider travel to more isolated and remote locations, where you are not on top of other travelers or fighting for sun lounges by the pool at a big box hotel.
I guess that was always the case with luxury travelers – personal space and tranquility were always coveted – but moving into the future, we believe that travel will be more considered, layered with multi-generation and reunion trips.
– How does VIP Traveler enhance my luxury travel experience?
We get to know our members’ travel style and preferences so that we try and introduce personalized opportunities that we think they’ll like from the outset. These may be experiential, such as exotic tours that included everything or limited availability hotel or travel-based events (e.g., a celebrity chef is being featured at a hotel), or they may be more opportunistic – such as a value-added filled experience at a hotel we’re following for you.
– How do you choose the perfect hotel for your clients?
If our clients contact our travel stylists, there’s already a pretty good relationship there and an understanding of what they like. It’s then a matter of honing in on the time they can travel and the type of experience they are looking for. Our stylists will then be able to recall a hotel that they know would be a fit, leverage the collective expertise of our other Travel Stylists, or contact one of our local destination experts for real-time advice.
– Can you tell us how many countries you have visited? Which countries impressed you the most and why?
Between the founders, we’ve visited over 50 + countries, and there are so many stories, your readers will no doubt fall asleep by the end of it! But some of the experiences that come to mind for all of us tend to revolve around food.
– What are your goals for VIP Traveler for the next 5 years?
To be the leading alternative to the ‘do it yourself’ way of traveling and be each member’s ‘friend in the industry’ – who is there as a proactive and on-demand resource to save time and money and deliver more value when booking travel.
– Can you share some money can’t buy experiences?
Generally, money can buy most of them! You just need to have the right connections and then charge a bit more to ensure exclusivity!
– What destinations would you recommend for someone taking their first trip after the pandemic?
Somewhere in nature, fresh air, and immersive in the environment – whether a small tropical island with private villas, a beautiful desert setting, or in the wilderness.
If you’d like to join VIP Traveler head to VIPTraveler.com or call 1-888-707-1159 in the US for further information.