A noticeable shift has occurred in how accomplished individuals today are spending on leisure activities as it seems the extravagant vacations of previous generations are no longer appealing. 

More and more, high net worth individuals and families are being drawn toward the concept of enriching trips to unique locations or participation for a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience they’ve always dreamed of. Wealth these days means more than the accrual of assets; it’s about adding meaning to life. 

But meaningful travel with inspiring experiences adds a layer of complexity to the planning process, making preventive measures essential. The goal is to ensure that details fall into place and that a rapid and thorough response is available should a mishap occur. 

So, where are accomplished individuals going, what kinds of experiences are they choosing and why is careful planning critical? 

Baby boomers for example, are attracted to a fulfilling retirement with an element of adventure. Rather than cruising around Alaska, they’d rather explore the state’s mountain peaks and hike its snowy glaciers. And, while sailing and yachting remain popular for travelers of all ages, nowadays those travelers can rent a submarine to explore the undersea world.   Or, in order to foster global consciousness, a family’s African safari trip might just include a human-connection component for their children, having them volunteer with local communities.

But, these incredible opportunities can be risky and require meticulous planning. There are important actions to take beforehand:

  • Do your research. 
    Assess both your destination’s conditions and your own physical condition. The more exciting a trip sounds, the more you must evaluate your preparedness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes the “three P’s” of safe and healthy travel: Be proactive, prepared and protected.” This means visiting your doctor before booking to make sure you’re in good health and physical condition and that you receive any required and recommended inoculations.

    So, embrace the appeal of an exotic site, but recognize that there are critical details you must be aware of. Be sensible about food and water consumption; wear appropriate gear; use insect repellant; and know which animals to steer clear of. 

  • Reduce exposures with adequate insurance protection. 
    Meet beforehand with your insurance broker to arrange for protection against any setbacks. For many, the peace of mind that travel insurance offers is worth its weight in gold. If you’re leaving the country, it’s especially important to verify with your broker that your liability coverage is worldwide. A good plan will provide extensive coverage, including specifics you might not consider or be capable of handling should a mishap occur. Consider the possibility, for instance, of an “express kidnapping,” where a supposed “taxi driver” forces you to retrieve money from an ATM. In that scenario, a policy’s kidnap and ransom insurance will recover your losses. Or, if you experience a serious illness or injury, the right travel insurance will coordinate a medical evacuation to get you to the best facility available—while sparing you an exorbitant personal expense.

    While you can’t predict devastating events like a terrorist attack, natural disaster or cyber theft, an insurance coverage-and-risk analysis will enable you to monitor the conditions and advise on how to respond to a crisis. 

Keep your eye on the prize and seek a thrilling, memorable and perhaps philanthropic travel experience. Just don’t lose sight of the planning and protection you need against large and small exposures. The stakes are high, and the last thing you want is to put any of it in jeopardy.