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The Benefits of Going Private

Looking to travel again, but wanting to ensure your trip is as safe as possible? Private options may be the answer when you choose to fly, stay or sail next.

As the Indagare community gets back out in the world, there’s soaring demand for extra breathing room, everywhere. Here’s what to know now, whether you’re heading on a charter flight, a private yacht or to a villa.

Related: Coronavirus Travel Safety & What is Being Done as the World Reopens

Contact Indagare or your Trip Designer to discuss whether flying, sailing or staying private is right for you, or to learn more about coronavirus travel safety, including the destinations that are open to travel, new COVID-19 hotel policies, future trip-planning advice, inspiration and ideas.

In the Air: Charter Flights

While commercial airlines have faced staggering losses, private aviation has seen something of a boom, including a significant uptick from first-time private fliers over the summer and into the fall. The obvious, most significant reason, of course, is travelers’ desires to avoid planes full of strangers and potential lines and touch points at airports, due to Covid-19.

But chartering a flight has other upsides as well: “Convenience and control are the greatest benefits,” explains Indagare Trip Designer Lizzie Eberhart. She notes that charter passengers get around commercial carriers’ routes and ever-alternating schedules. They can also fly directly into most airports, including smaller airstrips closer to their final destinations like Aspen or Jackson Hole.

And just as legacy airlines have sought to assuage fears by touting new safety and sanitation measures, charter companies have boosted their own protocols, enacting many of the same policies, and then some. Our partners have implemented regular Ozone treatments, removed non-essential onboard materials like decorative towels and relocated dishwashing to high-temperature facilities on the ground (as opposed to on the plane).

Related: Charter Flights: What to Know Now

On the Ground: Villas

Vacation rentals have long been a favorite trip idea for Indagare members in search of a comfortable base, either for exploring a destination or simply for relaxing in privacy, and from Turks & Caicos to Tahoe and Cape Cod, it’s possible to find a beautiful villa. What’s important is finding the right one, though—one that actually feels like a home away from home.

For some travelers, a house close to town or affiliated with a nearby resort or hotel provides the perfect combination of exclusivity and access (to restaurants, coffee shops, fitness classes, etc.). Others prefer staying someplace further removed, opting for a home with fewer amenities or a lavish villa with every convenience under the sun.

Yet while the options are endless, availability is often not. For many of our top destinations, the best accommodations can fill up months or even a year in advance. This year, with exclusivity at an unprecedented premium and fewer destinations open to international arrivals, early planning is crucial. One reason: Many travelers are opting for longer stays, now that remote work and Zoom classes are ubiquitous, meaning there’s less turnover. For these extended trips—workcations or staycations—having strong WiFi, reliable phone service and separate areas for being productive are key factors when choosing the right rental. And though it’s easy to initially rule out traveling to areas with quarantines in place, such as the UK, Ireland, Barbados and parts of Hawaii, some travelers have decided that forced downtime in a dream Cotswold cottage or Caribbean beach house—complete with a pre-stocked kitchen—is actually just the getaway they’re looking for.

Related: Villa Rentals: What To Know Before Renting a Villa (and How to Avoid a Travel Nightmare)

At Sea: Yacht Rentals

Yachts are ideal for groups of friends or family looking to visit multiple spots—covering a lot of ground and having a fabulous time along the way.
This year, “flexibility is key,” says Craig Cohen, of Burgess, a top charter company. That means potentially repositioning the embarkation or final ports, if entry requirements shift last minute—a move also made easier if you’re flying privately, rather than having to cancel and rebook a commercial flight.

Itineraries themselves have shifted, as well. In the Caribbean, where previous sailings might have gone from Saint Maarten to Antigua, with stops in St. Barth’s and Anguilla, most trips now focus on one administrative area—like St. Vincent & Grenadines—or even a single island, to avoid the need for multiple Covid tests during the journey.

Knowing there will be less island-hopping and more yacht-time, crews have gotten more creative with what guests can do onboard. Expect anything from new waterslides and eFoil boards to services like scavenger hunts for the kids, massages for the grownups and watersports “Olympics” between guests and crew.

Charter companies have added additional safety measures to their yachts, too, including changing air filtration systems regularly and using UV sanitization along with extra cleaning regiments. There are daily temperature checks for everyone on board, though mask usage is left up to guests’ discretion (since crews are required to have negative test results or quarantine before departure.)

Related: The Private Yacht Charter: 5 Tips You Need to Know to Book Your Next Trip

Contact Indagare or your Trip Designer to discuss whether flying, sailing or staying private is right for you, or to learn more about coronavirus travel safety, including the destinations that are open to travel, new COVID-19 hotel policies, future trip-planning advice, inspiration and ideas.

– Peter Schlesinger on November 10, 2020

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Quotable

Convenience and control are the greatest benefits
~ Indagare Trip Designer Lizzie Eberhart

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