Go Ahead—Indulge Yourself in Luxury Travel!

By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Expert

Luxury travel means different things to different people.  I think most folks would opt for more luxury in their vacations but worry about the costs.  According to the L.E.K. 2017 Luxury Travel Study, only 10% of the respondents considered themselves luxury travelers, but 85% reported they indulge in travel luxuries sometimes in their travels.  We think the key is value, not an abstract term like luxury.  To me, this raises a couple of questions.  How do you know what luxury features you would like to add to your trip to enhance your experience?  How can you enhance your travels without blowing your budget? 

So, let’s explore these topics together.

Life Enhancing Experiences

We are in the life enhancing business.  To help you get your life enhancing trip experience, there are 4 items necessary for us to help you plan your travel.  There are 1) Some idea of a trip you would like to take, 2) a realistic budget, 3) dates when you want to go, and 4) your trip is a good fit to the services we offer.

To get started on your trip, we make it easy for you to communicate your desire to start thinking about a trip.  Please visit www.dreamdestinations.com, select Send Us Your Travel Request and contact us.  This short form will start you on the road to a great travel location.

How Do You Know What Luxury Features You Would Like to Add to Your Trip to Enhance Your Experience?

Chances are you really do not know all the options available for your trip.  Everyone wants to get the most for their money but if you are fixated on price alone, chances are you will get a sub par experience.  How do I know this?  In my 45+ years of traveling to Europe, every time I cut a corner to save a buck or two, the results was usually wasted time and a poor experience.  Would you like an example—I once refused to pay 5 Marks to go see a fabulous wood carved church altar in Rothenburg, Germany—something I really wanted to see.  I had spent well over $6000 for this trip and balked at 5 Marks—it just doesn’t make sense!  Someday I will get to visit the church again—it was a really poor decision.  What is the reason for this story?—we are here to save you from yourself.  It is very hard for us to keep up with all that is happening in Europe, or on river cruises or on ocean cruises, so how can you be expected to know what features you need to add to get that special feature or luxury experience?  Let us help guide you through the process and the outcome will be a better trip.

They key to adding luxury features is to know what your desired outcome of the trip is.  The most important thing for us to understand is why you are going on the trip.  What do you want to experience and what type of treatment do you expect?  Do you want down time in a luxurious spa?  How about a skip the line entrance to the Vatican Museum?  What is the right mix of seeing the sights at the right pace?  What level of comfort are do you expect on your trip?  What type of hotel do you want to stay in?  Those are just a few of the questions we will ask to get you the trip you desire.

How Can You Enhance Your Trip without Blowing Your Budget?

There are many ways that expensive trips can become a better value and may cost less but still deliver the experience you desire.  For example, traveling when fewer people travel is a good way to get a luxury trip at a better price.  For example, spring, fall and Christmas Market trips are excellent values on Europe River Cruises.  Most of the group river cruises we plan are during these non-peak times.  Not only is the price better, there are less crowds.  Sometimes the weather is not the best, but overall it is our favorite time to travel to Europe—a great trip at a better price.  You really can enhance your traveling experience many times by just letting us search your desired time period for travel to let us seek the best travel value for you.

Christmas Market Schonbrunn Palace 2012 467
Christmas Market Stall on a river cruise–great value for a luxury experience!


Another way to enhance your trip, is to pick the right vendor who offers the services and level of care you want.  We carefully vet our preferred suppliers—we know who will deliver the experience you expect and will exceed your expectations—our ultimate goal.

Budapest at Night with Dream Destinations Slogan
Budapest at Night–on the right river cruise line, this is included in the fare!

We also look for upgrades.  We always try to make personal connections with hotels, for example, letting them know our valued clients are coming and asking for the best treatment they can offer.

We Can Inspire You to add some luxury features to your next trip!

With our extensive experience and knowledge about travel, we will match you to the right trip and help get exactly what you expect from your trip.   We will get you the best value for your money on a trip, if you will spend some time us.  The more we can learn about you, the better we can serve you.  We also help you decide if a slight increase in your budget might result in an enhanced experience.

My Final Thoughts

We have tried to convey information about our specialties and how they can benefit you.  We have also tried to get you to consider, when deciding whether to use us or not, why you should use us.  We feel that you will get the highest quality, expertly planned trip because of our excellent credentials combined with our passion to help you and our attention to detail—it is a true winning formula!  It is especially true for a Europe river cruise vacation. 

Whatever your Dream Destinations are, we are here to help you get the best possible vacation based on what is important to you!  We will provide you high quality, expertly planned travel.  Please give me a call 713-397-0188 (Hank) or email me at hschrader@dreamdestinations.com.  We want to help you:  Savor life…make memories…Visit Dream Destinations!  Your journey begins here!

Hank Schrader
Hank Schrader

HANK is a certified Western European Destination Specialist (DS) who has been traveling to Europe for 45 years.  He is also an Accredited Cruise Counselor (ACC), conferred by the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA).  This recognized expert in cruise and leisure travel is a retired Army Officer, and taught World Geography for 8 years.  He is a `71 graduate of West Point and has earned 2 master’s degrees.   His other Certifications:

  • AmaWaterways River Cruise Specialist
  • Viking River Cruise Specialist
  • Scenic River Cruise Specialist
  • Emerald Waterways  Specialist
  • Avalon Waterways Specialist
  • Brit Agent



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