The Art of Luxury Travel

The Art of Luxury Travel

Lauren and Peter Rubin have ideas on how to make travel more memorable and worry free.

After 37 years with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and now with the AJT, , Jaffe’s focus is lifestyle, art, dining, fashion, and community events with emphasis on Jewish movers and shakers.

Peter and Lauren Rubin visited lush Giverny, France.
Peter and Lauren Rubin visited lush Giverny, France.

In the world of travel, “luxury” is defined by elevated experiences, top-tier amenities and unprecedented vistas with a minimum of vexations. After spending years in the Navy, the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan and then 15 years in the food and beverage industry, Peter Rubin was prepared to join his wife, Lauren, in her Sandy Springs travel agency, About Going Places.

Lauren, who left her job as an editor at Fox 5 Atlanta, has now traveled to 46 countries and five continents. Together, sometimes with their three children, the Rubins love to indulge their wanderlust, satisfying their thirst for knowledge and sharing unforgettable trip ideas with their clients.

“This is tough, as it’s an individual experience and expectation,” Rubin says when asked just how he defines luxury travel. “Our job is to define that for each client, then meet or exceed these expectations. We have luxury clients who are very experiential — they want PhD-level guides.

Others want the highest level of service and accommodations and aren’t as ‘destination-specific.’ Do they want a private experience or a small group of like-minded people to travel with? Do they want local/authentic accommodations or more traditional places? ‘Barefoot luxury’ has become more prevalent, which is ‘high-touch’ service, well suited accommodations and cuisine in a relaxed environment.”

The Rubins said that they were busy throughout the pandemic. “Our bookings looked very strong, but the problem has been the ability to actually get clients to the destinations,” Rubin said. “As the world is opening back up, our clients are traveling now more than ever.”

The Rubins enjoy gourmet dining and local cuisine. Peter is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan.

Peter waits for destinations to open up before confirming a trip for a client. Some clients were interested in visiting Australia, but had to wait until the borders opened to leisure travel.

Currently, the Rubins say, buzz is swarming about destinations such as Dubai, Zurich, Singapore and Reykjavik. Peter imagines unusual potential destinations, such as an expedition to the remote Svalbard Islands. There are East and South African experiences, Morocco, Europe, South America (Galapagos, Peru, Chile) and more.

“Some of this may be exotic to some and just another vacation to another,” Rubin notes. When it comes to the U.S., “there are many wonderful resorts that people don’t have on their radar here, like luxury lodges, ranches, farms, coastal, vineyards, glamping, experiential, lakeside, adventure and the wellness arena that’s in a category all on its own.”

What about luxury travel with kids in tow?

“Absolutely, we have a lot of repeat family and multi-gen clients,” Rubin says. “There is a ton of luxury/high-touch family specific product out there. From traditional luxury to expedition, experiential, river cruise, yacht, multi-sport, fun and sun and more.”

The recent rash of hiccups in airline service has thrown a bit of a wrench into things. Rubin calls this the most impactful issue in the leisure travel industry.

The Rubins delight in unusual experiences such as skeet shooting.

“Beyond any COVID restrictions are the ever-changing and cancelled flights and extra-long layovers,” he lamented. “This can take away the joy of anticipation of travel and provide uncertainty. We’re trying to stick with traditionally more consistent carriers, such as Delta. We have clients heading to Ecuador and put them on Delta versus American. Their in-country logistics are slightly more complicated, but we felt it was worth it due to potential issues with the flights.”

Rubin also recommends hiring a professional tour guide. “When you are in a group tour you get information that’s a fantastic overview,” he says. “With a private guide, you get all of that, plus what specifically appeals to you. Are you an architecture enthusiast, culinarian, modern art lover, shopper? Do you need to stop by the bathroom? Grab a gift for the kids? Private guides factor all of these into the experience to suit your needs.”

When it comes to their own travel experiences, the Rubins honeymooned in the South of France. They recall it as one of their favorite trips. Staying at the Four Seasons Terre Blanche, in the southern part of Provence, they rented a six-speed convertible. “We dined like royalty,” Rubin recalled fondly, “wandered adorable Riviera towns, hiked along the coast — all at our own pace.”

In July, the Rubins are off to Italy to celebrate milestone birthdays in Capri, the Amalfi coast, Tuscany and Lake Como.

About Going Places is located at 6047 Sandy Springs Circle. (404)-256-1131.

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