The pandemic has turned many vacationers on to the benefits of long-term travel. In other words, traveling to a destination with the intent of staying for a month or more, vs. a quick weekend visit or one or two-week stay.
Some, whose jobs have suddenly gone 100% remote, are looking to escape their usual work from home surroundings. Others believe that some of the hassles of modern travel are mitigated when you opt for a longer stay. Still, others are looking to take a life at a slower pace – to really be able to experience a place before moving on.
Whatever your motivation for long-term travel, some locations are more suited to it than others. Especially if you’re looking for a high-end experience. Here are 5 top destinations for long-term luxury travel:
You might not have ever even heard of the island of Montserrat, a British Overseas Territory located in the Caribbean. But it’s a long-term luxury travel paradise worth getting to know.
To encourage a safe return to travel during COVID, the island instituted a 12-month travel permit, with strict requirements for acceptance. To qualify, travelers need to prove a minimum annual income of $70,000, along with other eligibility criteria. If accepted, you’re free to make Montserrat your extended travel home.
This exclusive spot, nestled alongside Guadeloupe, St. Kitts & Nevis, and Antigua, is reachable by ferry or flight from Antigua. Rent a villa on the Caribbean Sea to wake up to gorgeous waterfront views. There are plenty of activities to keep you busy – hiking, kayaking, yoga – or simply spend your time relaxing on a tranquil beach.
Far from the tourist hordes of more well-tread Caribbean locales, such as Jamaica or the Dominican Republic, you’ll find a true escape on Montserrat.
If island living isn’t your thing, consider the tiny European country of Estonia. This northern country of just under 1.5 million residents earned the nickname “e-Estonia” for good reason. Years of serious investment in the country’s digital infrastructure made it a known tech hub and the perfect place to run your online empire while enjoying long-term travel.
Like Montserrat, Estonia also offers extended visas for travelers who meet strict eligibility criteria. The capital, Tallinn, is the preferred spot to settle in once there. Rent a luxury apartment in the city center (some even come with your own sauna) and enjoy charming walks through the city’s Old Town – a well-preserved medieval enclave.
As part of the European Union and the Schengen Area, Estonia is also an ideal home base for extended European travel. Tallinn’s location on the Baltic Sea places it a short ferry ride from Helsinki, Finland, for example. Book a Business Lounge seat and car service is included with your ticket. Flights to other major cities such as Berlin, Stockholm, and Prague are short and frequent.
Southeast Asia is often seen as an affordable location for long-term backpacker travel. And while this is certainly true, it’s a mistake to overlook it as an option for extended luxury travel as well.
Among the countries offering long-stay visas (called “special tourist visas”), qualified travelers to Thailand will find a welcoming spot to put down (temporary) roots. There is no shortage of luxury resorts and hotels to choose from, and many offer long-term rates. Another option is to book a high-end villa, for a more private experience. Travelers seeking wellness experiences should definitely look into Thailand, as exclusive spa and yoga experiences are widely available here.
A closer-to-home option that is attractive for extended luxury stays is Mexico. Visitor visas let you stay in the country for up to 180 days, or you can apply for a Residente Temporal visa, which allows you longer stays and certain residency privileges. It’s one of the reasons Mexico is also a popular destination for American retirees.
As in Thailand, luxury hotels and resorts abound in Mexico. High-end apartment rentals are easy to come by in Mexico City if you’re looking for an urban getaway (and a foodie paradise), while fit-for-paradise rental villas dot the coasts if you’re more interested in a beach escape.
Why You Should Plan Your Long-Term Travel with Lugos Travel
Lugos Travel specializes in luxury, personalized concierge travel. For a short trip of one to two weeks, this could include a detailed itinerary with private guides for the must-see destinations on your list, private transport between cities, and 24-hour assistance.
For long-term travel, we’ll manage the same arrangements (if needed – many long-term travelers don’t want detailed daily itineraries, for example), and keep an eye on the details that you don’t want to have to think about when you’re in vacation mode. Changing COVID travel regulations, proper visa and other paperwork preparation, and long-term rental agreements – let Lugos Travel manage the details. All you have to do is enjoy.