Luxury travel taking some new roads

Some luxury travelers are taking a new direction: They are booking more private yachts, villas and jets than ever before, says American Express.

Their Platinum Travel team was formed to plan and book these types of vacations.

"Specialists reported that there has been a significant increase in first-time customers who are seeking more customized and enriching travel experiences with friends and family, in addition to frequent bookings by travelers who rent yachts and villas numerous times per year," the company says.

These travelers are looking to spend less time planning, packing, and transporting, specialists say, and more time indulging and immersing in the destinations and experiences with loved ones.  

"Whether our specialists are customizing private yacht charters in the Caribbean or booking private villas in the South of France, we are delivering unique experiences for our customers that are personal and unforgettable," said Audrey Hendley, vice president.

She said that requests for private villas are at an all-time high, especially from multi-generational families or groups of friends looking for privacy, space and a "home away from home" with additional comforts. These include personal gourmet chefs and housekeeping staff; private pool and beach areas; extra space for family and friends; and close proximity to a nearby town or city where they can enjoy the local shopping and dining scene, as well as the local culture by way of culinary/wine tours and historical experiences.