What makes for an exceptional experience — the type of experience you remember for years with a smile on your face?
The travel industry proclaims it’s the level of luxury you experience: attentive service, fabulous food and luxurious accommodations.
Yet luxury, although nice, is not what makes an experience exceptional.
Exceptional experiences are about connection, engagement, and making a difference. Those times when we meaningfully connect to another person by sharing our stories, talking about what matters most to us and having fun together. The times when we do something that makes us feel alive. The times when we make a meaningful and positive difference in someone’s life.
When my son graduated college in 2013, we took a family bike trip in Croatia. Although the food and accommodations on the trip were quite nice, what made the trip exceptional was our ability to connect to each other and the other bike riders on the trip, and our ability to feel totally alive as we rode our bikes along the Dalmatian coast overlooking the water and picturesque villages.
If you can afford it, go ahead and enjoy that luxury vacation. Just don’t let the luxury get in the way of creating an exceptional experience you will remember with a smile on your face for years to come.