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Luxury travel interview: Phillip James Munro of Destinology

Who doesn't love to travel? It offers escapism, the chance to experience new things and an opportunity to meet new people all rolled into one. We know that many of our clients enjoy nothing more than heading to sunnier climes - some to relax, others to explore. We have spoken to Phillip James Munro, personal travel consultant at Destinology - luxury travel experts offering tailor-made getaway options for all types of traveller - about his holiday recommendations for the over-50s.

 

Where would you recommend over-50s go on a luxury holiday this summer? 

Mauritius is a fantastic destination, and summer is also their driest season, with temperatures averaging in the mid to high 20s. The hotels in Mauritius are amazing and the service is brilliant too. Always check the location of hotels, as the west coast and the north are known to enjoy the warmer weather in summer months and the east coast can be slightly windier, but I would not let this put you off. When I visited Mauritius, I moved around a few hotels and I happened to leave a shirt at the Constance Belle Mare Plage. They delivered it to my next hotel washed, ironed and wrapped - that's some service! 

If you have never tried a cruise before or require a recommendation, I would suggest Silver Seas Cruises, Seabourn Cruises and Crystal Cruises. They sail all over the world to the most amazing destinations. One of my favourite things about cruising is the different excursions you can go on. Two of my favourites are Prickly Pear - a small private island just off the coast of Anguilla - and whale and seal watching in Alaska, complete with beautiful glacier surroundings. There are so many different cruise options that appeal to different people for different reasons, but we can help you make the perfect choice. 

 

Where would you recommend they go later in the year? 

Again, cruising would be ideal as it is a year-round holiday option. Cruise holidays are becoming so popular with so many different choices of cruise lines that cater to each individual. The benefit of going on a cruise in winter is that you get to follow the sun around a different area of the world. Allowing the captain to take charge at the ship's wheel and waking up in a different destination each day is a great feeling. 

For a land-based holiday, I would recommend Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Oman, there are so many hotels to choose from and the standard and service delivers the 'wow' factor every time. The region is known for being very hot during our summer months, so visiting from the start of October onwards - when the heat settles - makes it the perfect holiday destination. I love walking along the beaches in Dubai, either on the Palm or along Jumeirah Beach. One of my favourite hotels is Anantara Qasr Al Sarab, located in the desert about two hours outside of Abu Dhabi. This is a must-visit hotel and is a great option to twin with another hotel in Abu Dhabi or Dubai. 

 

Where is proving particularly popular among holidaymakers at present? 

As a personal travel consultant, you get to put together amazing holidays and you get to see what is trending on a daily basis - and cruises are definitely trending for those over 50 at the moment. At Destinology, we began selling cruises because we saw high market demand for this type of holiday. It's nice to be entertained, waited on and to have top quality food and drinks included as part of the package. There are some amazing deals on cruises that include all of your food, drinks and even your excursions and trips when in dock. 

 

Where would you recommend for those in search of a relaxing holiday? 

I would strongly recommend the Maldives or Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. You really will feel totally relaxed as you enjoy island life - being surrounded by soft white sand, snorkelling to see tropical fish and experiencing the most amazing a la carte restaurants. I was very fortunate to experience a stay at the Conrad Maldives in a deluxe beach villa. I had my own private pool and I got to visit an underwater restaurant, which can only be described as out of this world. When arriving at the airport in either the Maldives or the Seychelles, you then have the fun part of the journey - taking a speed boat or seaplane to the island you're staying on. Many companies will promote the Maldives as a honeymoon destination, which is lovely, but there are so many islands with amazing hotels and resorts that accommodate all ages.   

 

Where would you recommend for those in search of a more active holiday? 

For a long haul experience, I would suggest visiting Thailand - an amazing destination that should be on everybody's bucket list. You can fly into Bangkok and experience the bustling city life and striking culture. When I visited Bangkok, I left with so many amazing memories. You can twin Bangkok with an island, such as Koh Samui, Phuket, Penang or Krabi. Alternatively, you could fly into Chaing Mai, which is in the north of the country. Here I did a trek through the rainforest and stayed overnight with the tribal villagers, who put on a performance as they danced around a fire. I then took an elephant ride and ended the trek on a bamboo river trip - it was phenomenal! 

 

What are the benefits of going on holiday for those over the age of 50? 

There are plenty of benefits for those over 50 who go on holiday. The first I can think of is the wellbeing and warmer weather. You usually find those over 50 are at the peak of their profession and hold the senior positions in their workplace, which can be extremely tiring and stressful. A holiday offers the perfect time to unwind and shut off from the busy workload. You find most parents who are in their 50s have adult children, so financially it becomes easier to afford a holiday where they can spend a little more on themselves. They tend to prefer visiting destinations where younger generations can't afford, or where there are very few children, like Santorini. This is the perfect place to relax in a cliff side hotel, overlooking the Aegean Sea and taking in the most amazing sunsets. 

 

Why should they spend their money on a holiday over other purchases? 

I would say that going away on holiday is part of the culture we have created - most people get excited about going on holiday more than purchasing something tangible. The number one topic discussed between work colleagues, friends and family is the weather, and as we all know the UK is not the best at supplying vitamin D. When you hear and talk to someone going away, or if they have just returned, they seem happier within themselves. It's a total morale booster. It's also important for our health to relax and take a break from the busy schedules we all seem to have, and getting away on holiday can be the best medicine! So what are you waiting for? 

 

Are there any luxury destinations you predict will become particularly popular with the over-50s in the near future? 

I predict that New Zealand will become more popular for those over 50. Most people think this is a destination where you find a lot of outdoor activities like bungee jumping and sky diving, but it really is a hidden gem. The list of things to do and the sightseeing is something that will really give you a new perspective of the country. If you have time to take an extra-long holiday, a tour around New Zealand is ideal. You can stay in great bed and breakfast lodges at a reasonable price, or splash out on a 5* luxury hotel. My top tip for resorts in New Zealand is The Bay of Many Coves.  

Now is the time to travel and explore the world, and as they say 'the world is your oyster'!