No, but it helps. While many traveling Americans have turned to local and regional road trips as the perceived safest mode of travel in a Covid-19 world, avoiding planes and minimizing person-to-person interaction to reduce overall risk, plenty of others have foregone getaways altogether. Hotel safety has remained a top concern for some, and others simply haven’t been interested in visiting new destinations while most recreational activities have been operating with reduced offerings or shuttered entirely. But, if you have around $30,000 to spare, most of your concerns can be resolved with an exquisitely luxurious, entirely private road trip with a fully customized itinerary, overnights in million-dollar homes, and private tours and excursions along the way.
Exclusive Resorts, a travel club with a network of nearly 400 privately-owned, seriously upscale residences around the world, reserved exclusively for members, recently partnered with All Roads North, the luxury travel planning group known for its meticulously plotted road trips throughout the United States. The new collaboration offers start-to-finish privacy and for vacations, including transportation, accommodation and exploration, further reducing risk of viral infection through near-total social distancing while sacrificing nothing along the way. All trips are fully customized, based on destination, activity and culinary interests, and include a detailed guide for every step, 24-hour live concierge, a multi-function app that acts as a virtual trip assistant, and accommodation within the extraordinary Exclusive Resorts collection. With an average starting cost of $30,000 per couple for a 7-night road trip, you might think there’d be low demand for such a dreamy getaway right now, but you’d be wrong.
Exclusive Resorts limits new memberships to approximately 100 families per year to preserve the caliber and privacy of its coveted collection, so year-over-year membership sales rates are essentially consistent, but the company noticed an interesting trend during this past spring and summer of quarantines and shutdowns: Interest for that period was higher than it’s been in years. August sales were higher than any August for the past 7 years, the summer season as a whole broke a 6-year sales record, and April sales, when the scope of the pandemic was first becoming clear to most Americans, spiked 540% over March.
For the first time, select non-members can experience some of the astounding homes offered to Exclusive Resorts members by buying into the collab with All Roads North at a minimum commitment of $15,000. Whether you have the cash but haven’t been able to land a membership yet, or you just want to see how the other “half” is traveling this year, here are some highlights from five sample itineraries you could create with these two top-tier travel brands right now.
- Explore Aspen’s magnificent Maroon Bells by bike or on foot with a private guide
- Set out on a guided horseback ride for another vantage of the incredible Aspen Snowmass area
- Cast your line alongside a private fly-fishing guide before a gourmet meal in the mountains
- Set out on 4×4 roads into stunning wilderness on a guided Jeep adventure
- Delight in Michelin starred tasting menus, as well as an exclusive experience at the members only Napa Valley Reserve
- Join wine country insiders for a private lunch amongst the vines and a private visit to an estate’s world class, outdoor sculpture collection
- Take in the state’s natural beauty cycling along the stunning coastline in Carmel and wandering amongst the giant redwoods of Big Sur
- Enjoy a local wine as you watch the sun drop over the California Riviera from a private yacht
- Explore the ranches and private wineries of the Santa Ynez Valley on horseback
- Get an insider’s view of L.A.’s thriving art scene with a former curator of the Getty Museum
- Brush up on your backcountry survival skills during a day of hands-on field work in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
- Escape the crowds of Antelope Canyon as you join a Navajo family on their private land to explore a spectacular slot canyon
- Rapel, climb, squeeze and wade through sandstone slots and gorges in Capitol Reef National Park’s canyon playground
- Get off-road by 4×4 before exploring hard-to-reach nooks and crannies of Canyonlands or Arches National Park on foot
- Navigate thrilling white water rapids of the Colorado River before returning to Moab via a scenic flight with a bird’s-eye view over Canyonlands National Park
- Capture the Milky Way sprawling over red rock arches and spires with the help of a professional astrophotographer
- Get the inside scoop on the New England fishing industry as you help haul traps on a Maine lobster boat
- Circumnavigate Chebeague and Cousins Islands by bike after commuting across Casco Bay on the mailboat
- Take a leisurely road trip through the rolling hills and dairy farms of Vermont’s remote Northeast Kingdom
- Toast to the sun setting over the Adirondack Mountains from your wooden schooner in the middle of Lake Champlain
- Meet and work alongside local producers as you produce fresh cheeses, explore orchards and sample syrup alongside a fifth-generation maple sugar farmer
- Experience two of the South’s most beguiling cities, Charleston and Savannah in the company of expert local guides
- From the early Colonies and Independence to the Civil War and Civil Rights, visit a collection of sites that have played a pivotal role in the history of the United States
- From some of the country’s most acclaimed restaurants in Charleston, to off-the-beaten-path BBQ joints in the Low Country, taste the full, mouthwatering gamut of Southern cuisine
- Experience the unique culture of the Gullah on tiny St Helena Island, home to the Penn Center, and in Savannah, where you’ll learn about Savannah’s complicated past with an acclaimed Gullah Geechee storyteller
- Whether from a kayak with a naturalist or on foot at an important nesting site for migratory birds, see the abundant wildlife and magical natural beauty of the Low Country
- Travel the protected saltwater marshes of Georgia’s Golden Isles on a working shrimp boat, learning about the industry and the myriad sea life that call these waters home