Box-ticking, highlight-skimming holidays are now cliché. Post pandemic, travellers are retrofitting their travel bucket lists with slower-paced, more meaningful and longer sojourns, especially after such a long period of confinement. Some prefer to immerse themselves in the cultural and scenic diversity of Europe via train travel – the slower the better – while discerning explorers are searching for tranquillity and perhaps a little adventure in the snow-covered tundra of the Arctic Circle. Tropical workcation: how to get a digital nomad visa in Southeast Asia The “2022 Global Travel Trends” study conducted by American Express Travel confirms widespread changes in the rationale of travellers – 76 per cent of respondents planned to travel more with family in the current year than they did in 2021, while 81 per cent showed interest in travelling to destinations where they could immerse themselves in the local culture. “The past two years proved how special exploration can be, as well as the weight our travel decisions hold for local communities. Looking ahead, travellers are making decisions with purpose in mind – from understanding where their money is going to finding time to connect with loved ones,” says Audrey Hendley, president of American Express Travel. “Stay duration increased, especially among families travelling together,” says Davis Gerber, a photographer and marketing professional at Cuixmala, who has spent more than half a decade capturing the area’s natural beauty and expansive landscapes, along with the traditional Mexican cultures the property seeks to preserve. Nestled on the coast, Cuixmala’s 40 rooms grant access to 12,140 hectares of nature reserve, offering plenty of ecological and cultural experiences for long-staying guests. The property has watersports and beach activities, horse riding, a marine turtle sanctuary, and even zebra and eland animal reserves. Why the Taipei Performing Arts Centre is next on our travel bucket list “Cuixmala has always appealed to more eco-conscientious travellers, but Covid-19 lockdowns and supply chain issues certainly heightened everyone’s awareness, so there has been even more of an appreciation for the farms and eco initiatives the hotel has always had in place,” he adds. Nick Davies, projects director at Cookson Adventures, a bespoke travel planning company, echoes Gerber’s sentiments. “Extended trips are definitely on the rise,” he said. “If people are going to put in all the effort to take Covid precautions and get PCR tests done, then they would like to be away for a little bit longer and travel more meaningfully.” Cookson Adventures has organised deepwater private exploration tours in the Solomon Islands in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, and also in the Cocos Islands’ shark-rich waters, to the west of Australia. “We are seeing a lot of our clients interested in educating their kids about the world, and engaging with conservation organisations and historians, so that they come out of the trip with some learning and education,” adds Davies. “People want to travel in a more meaningful way now. There is a growing realisation that fast travel has to change. This means not just treating travel as an act of consumption, but as an act of deep connection and appreciation,” adds Nicolas Streff, global brand and corporate communications director at Belmond. The luxury hospitality group operates a collection of experiential train journeys across the world, including the iconic Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. To meet an increasing demand for slow-paced and immersive travel, Belmond has introduced new, glamorised, luxury suites on board, plus fresh routes criss-crossing Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands. “People have realised what is important in life. They are craving authentic experiences more, now. They only want the best of the best. They are opting for the top suites. If they want a yacht, then they want it for two weeks instead of one week,” states Jaclyn Sienna India, a luxury travel planner whose client list includes former US president George Bush and pop diva Mariah Carey. Where do billionaires go on holiday? From Jeff Bezos to Mark Zuckerberg While travellers are spending on immersive experiences and longer holidays, they are doing so with an increasingly eco-conscious mindset. “We offer our clients opportunities to get involved with different types of plantation projects. Some take part and some don’t. However, we don’t ask our clients or charge them to offset the carbon footprint of the trips. We do it ourselves, through a project within the area of the trip,” says Davies. In the Arctic region, Janne Honkanen, of travel company Luxury Action, has organised escapes for many ultra-high-net-worth individuals, including former Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli and Emilia Clarke of Game of Thrones fame. Post pandemic, one of Honkanen’s properties, Octola Villa, is busier than ever before. “In 2022, people are still looking for safe places to stay in. We are in an isolated place with minimum human contact,” he explains. Surrounded by around 300 hectares of forest, the land is home to reindeer and indigenous Sami people. Preserving the environment is paramount for Honkanen. “We use a geothermal heating system and clean energy from wind power. Our backyard is our supermarket. We pick cherries and vegetables from our forests. There are no processing ingredients used. It is also extremely important for us to use local chefs and local crafts in our properties,” he explains. How does Julia Roberts spend her epic US$250 million net worth? “I would like to educate about transformative travel. I don’t want people to rush to the Arctic before the beauty of this region is gone. I want people to come here and spread the word about how important this place is.” He adds, “Our guests are also the best messengers to spread the word.” Want more stories like this? Follow STYLE on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube and Twitter .