bookmark_border8 Exclusive Luxury Retreats For A Pampered Virginia Getaway

Cavalier Hotel Credit Ashley Lester

Discover luxury on the shores of Virginia when you book a stay at the Cavalier in Virginia Beach.

The Cavalier Hotel Indoor Pool Virginia Beach

Luxurious Lodging: Recently reopened after a multi-million dollar renovation, The Cavalier evokes memories of the Roaring 20’s, with an old-world grandeur and southern charm that is absolutely timeless. Originally opened in 1927, the historic building now houses a bourbon distillery, the only hotel in the United States to have an on-site distillery. Additionally, the hotel has three upscale restaurants, a full-service spa, beautiful saltwater pools, and a private beach club and bar. The Cavalier is pet-friendly, allowing you to travel with your four-legged companions without sacrificing style or comfort.

Fine Dining & Drinks: Dine at Becca and The Hunt Room at The Cavalier, or nearby restaurants like ZoesSalaciaTerrapin, and The Atlantic on the Pacific. For drinks, visit The Cavalier’s distillery, Tarnished Truth Distilling Company, or grab a cocktail from the Hunt Room’s bar. There are also a wide array of breweries in the Virginia Beach area if you’re looking to sample Virginia’s impressive craft beers.

Pleasure House Oysters, Chef's Table Tour

Upscale Activities: Get a real taste of Virginia’s world-class oysters during the Pleasure House Oyster Chef’s Table TourThis oyster experience is more than waterfront; the tour puts you knee-deep in the waters of the Lynnhaven River (wearing waders, of course) as you feast on oysters pulled out of the water only a few yards away. Hosted by the owner and oyster farmer, the three-to-four hour private dining event includes a picturesque boat ride to the oyster farm and an educational lesson in Virginia’s oysters. Bring a bottle of your favorite Virginia wine to pair with the succulent oysters for an unforgettable foodie experience.

Another option for outdoor luxury lovers is the kayak tours of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge or the Atlantic Ocean offered by Surf & Adventure. The wildlife refuge tours last approximately two hours and give you a chance to see the preserved waterways around Virginia Beach, where you may spot dolphins, loggerhead sea turtles, or other aquatic wildlife native to the region during the oceanfront tours.

Visit New Earth Farm in Pungo for a tour of the 21-acre sustainable and educational working farm. After touring the farm and perusing the brand new 2,000 square-foot market, attend one of the Farm-to-Table cooking classes, where you can learn culinary techniques from local chefs using local, seasonal produce that is both wholesome and delicious.

the cavalier virginia beach oceanfront beach club

If relaxation is on your agenda, spend some time at The Cavalier’s Oceanfront Beach Club or Sea Hill Spa, where you can book massages, body wraps, facials, couples treatments, and a wide variety of soothing spa packages.

Find More To Do in Virginia Beach

Discovering Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay

The Tides Inn

The lesser-known waterfront region of Virginia’s River Realm is a decadent destination for travelers looking to explore the Chesapeake Bay area.

The Tides Inn

Luxurious Lodging: The Tides Inn sits on Carter’s Creek, an inlet off the Chesapeake Bay in Irvington, infusing the expected Southern hospitality of Virginia with the centuries-old traditions of watermen in the region. The resort offers pet-friendly room options if you’re traveling with your pup, but the hotel’s true luxury lies in the amenities and activities offered. Guests can rent boats, kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards to explore the surrounding waterways themselves, or they can sign up for guided sunset cruises, mixology classes, oyster roasts, bike rides, jet ski rentals, and even sailing lessons. The inn has a disc golf course, tennis courts, a lavish spa on-site, and a stunning outdoor pool area where you can lounge in the summer sun.

The Dog & Oyster Vineyards

Fine Dining & Drinks: You’ll find lots of fresh seafood fine dining options around the Tides Inn, like ADRIFT, owned by a husband and wife team that both formerly worked in the kitchen at the Michelin-starred Inn at Little Washington restaurant, and Merroir, the original restaurant location for the Virginia oyster superstars, Rappahannock Oyster Company. Visit The Dog & Oyster Vineyardto try local Virginia wine along with some fried oyster tacos made at the winery’s high-end food stand.

Virginia Oyster Trail Opening Event

Upscale Activities: Don’t miss the Tides Inn’s Virginia Oyster Academy, an immersive class that begins with a short lesson on the history of Virginia’ oyster industry, the ecology of the Bay that creates such fine oysters, and the tools used to harvest them. Once you’ve received a basic education on oysters, you’ll head out on a boat with a traditional Virginia waterman for a one-hour harvesting excursion. The waterman will let you hold the oyster tongs, feel live oysters right out of the beds, and show you how to choose the best oysters for fine eating. After returning to The Tides Inn, you’ll get a lesson in shucking, preparing, and pairing your oysters with flavorful sauces and complementary wines. The Oyster Academy takes place every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday during the fall season.

Tides Inn Premiere Sailing School

Another option for water enthusiasts is the Premier Sailing School at The Tides Inn. Opt for the four-day course and learn how to trim the sails, steer the boat, drop anchor, dock, tie nautical knots, and read the weather, after which you’ll receive a U.S. Sailing Basic Keelboat Certificate. If you’re only staying for a few days, the inn also offers a quick three hour sailing lesson that provides a less extensive albeit hands-on experience.

A Full Throttle Racing Experience

Primland Resort

Fulfill your need for speed in Southern Virginia with an absolutely extravagant getaway.

Golden Eagle Treehouse

Luxurious Lodging: A pet-friendly secluded property in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, Primland Resort sets a high bar when it comes to luxury. In addition to the posh rooms in the main building and private cottages with every amenity you’d expect from a top resort, Primland boasts palatial yet rustic “treehouse” cabins that are built around the solid branches of the treetops, offering majestic views of the Kibler Valley and the mountains beyond. If you’re interested in reserving these awe-inspiring cabins, keep in mind that they are not pet-friendly, so your furry companions should stay at home or you’ll need to opt for alternate lodging at the resort.

Primland Resort

Fine Dining & Drinks: Dine at Primland’s restaurants Elements9th Pub, and Stables Saloon. Elements has a “Resort Best” dress code, so you need to bring appropriate attire (think khakis or dress pants with a button-down shirt and jacket for men, dresses or dress slacks and a blouse for women), but the restaurant is a must for upscale dining. Kick things up a notch with the Chef’s Table experience, a seven-course tasting menu in the Lodge kitchen, where the chef and dining room staff will attend to your meal in a “behind-the-scenes” Chef’s Alcove.

Virginia International Raceway, Formula Experiences

Upscale Activities: The Primland Racing Experience is the ultimate experience for luxury lovers. Start with a private helicopter ride to Virginia International Raceway, where you’ll get behind the wheel of the most elite racing vehicles on the track, followed by a lunch with several racing pros, and then return to the resort via helicopter.

Fly Fishing

Primland has plenty to do on the grounds as well. Try your hand at sport shooting on the range with clays, or hunt wild game with guides including turkey,whitetail deer, or Orvis-endorsed seasonal wingshooting for pheasant, quail, and chukar. If aquatic game is more your style, Primland offers fly fishing on the remote banks of the Dan River, which has large native populations of brown, brook, and rainbow trout, as well as three ponds stocked with trout, bass, and channel catfish. Fish cleaning is available for guests that wish to enjoy their fresh catch at dinner.

More on-site activities include horseback riding and biking on over 20 miles of trails connected to the resort, an 18-hole disc golf course designed by George Sappenfield, a pioneer in the sport of disc golf, RTV trail riding, and kayak and paddleboard trips on the Dan River. Unwind at The Spa at Primland with pampering treatments like massage, body wraps, scrubs, and nail packages. In the evenings, head to the resort’s Observatory Dome for an epic stargazing experience, viewing the unusually clear night skies above the rural resort.

Primland Resort

Play a spectacular round of golf on Primland’s 18-hole Audubon-certified bentgrass greens course, carved from the natural landscape of the mountains by renowned golf course architect, Donald Steel. The course was ranked by GOLF Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Courses You Can Play”, and is a can’t-miss course for passionate golfers visiting Virginia.

Digging Deep Into The Historic Roots of Virginia’s Wine Country

Barboursville Vineyards

With over 300 wineries, many of them winning medals in international wine competitions, the Commonwealth is quickly becoming the premiere destination for wine enthusiasts on the East Coast.

Boar's Head Resort Charlottesville

Luxurious Lodging: Located on more than 500 acres of bucolic countryside on the outskirts of Charlottesville, Boar’s Head is in the heart of Central Virginia Wine Country. This quintessential Virginia resort offers exceptional service and world-class recreational opportunities, including squash, tennis, and several swimming pools in the Boar’s Head Sports Club, the Audubon-certified Birdwood Golf Course (re-opening spring 2020), an on-site spa, and a trail system for hiking throughout the property.

Other Luxury Lodging Alternatives in Virginia Wine Country:

Boar's Head Inn

Fine Dining & Drinks: Dine at The Mill Room at Boar’s Head1799 At The Clifton, or nearby restaurants like The Alley Light,The Ivy Inn RestaurantC&O RestaurantFleurie, and Palladio at Barboursville Vineyard.

Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

Upscale Activities: The Monticello Wine Trail contains over 30 wineries, so a self-guided tour is not advised if you plan on doing tastings at several vineyards. Instead, book a private tour with Monticello Wine Tour & Coach Co. These tours last about five hours and include stops at your choice of three or four wineries in the area, giving you about an hour at each vineyard to taste, tour, and enjoy the stunning scenery of the surrounding mountains. Several popular wineries in the region include Jefferson VineyardsPippin Hill Farm & Vineyards (pictured below), Barboursville Vineyards, and King Family Vineyards. Veritas Vineyards offers private Horseback Vineyard Tours, or if you’re a Dave Matthews fan, stop by Blenheim Vineyards, owned by the Charlottesville-based musician. We can’t guarantee you’ll get to meet Dave, but rumor has it that he occasionally stops by the tasting room.


For a taste of inspiring American history, travel to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Start with a tour of the house, painstakingly designed and implemented by Jefferson, then take the Garden & Grounds Tour, where you can learn about Jefferson’s lifelong love of botany and gardening as you walk the restored grounds, planted to reflect Jefferson’s designs. After seeing Monticello, spend a few hours walking the grounds at the University of Virginia, the prestigious college founded and designed by Thomas Jefferson.


Get more presidential history at James Madison’s Montpelier, about 30 minutes outside of Charlottesville. Plan your trip in early November to attend the annual Montpelier Hunt Races, now in its 84th year.

Boar's Head Inn

Still looking for a little extra luxury during your Virginia Wine Country vacation? Boar’s Head offers hot air balloon rides that give you incredible views of the gorgeous countryside in and around Charlottesville.

3 Star Michelin Dining in 18th Century Style

The Inn at Little Washington

Savor the subtle flavors of Virginia at a prestigious 3-Star Michelin restaurant, located in a charming small town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

The Inn at Little Washington

Luxurious Lodging: One of only 42 inns or restaurants in the U.S. to be named an esteemed Relais & Chateaux propertyThe Inn at Little Washington is located in Washington, another charming small town of Virginia that was surveyed and founded by George Washington in 1769. All of the 23 rooms and suites at the inn provide elegant accommodations, but for over-the-top opulence, book room six, which was inspired by the plush Ritz Hotel in Paris. All stays include a welcome cocktail upon arrival, afternoon tea, house breakfast, complimentary valet parking, and a guaranteed dining reservation each evening at the inn’s restaurant, which has been awarded three Michelin stars.

Other Luxury Lodging Alternatives:

The Inn at Little Washington

Fine Dining & Drinks: The obvious choice for luxury dining is The Inn at Little Washington’s Restaurant, the only 3-Star Michelin restaurant in Virginia or even the greater D.C. area. Helmed by James Beard-winning chef Patrick O’Connell, the restaurant has been rated the number 1 inn in North America and number 2 in the world in Travel + Leisure Magazine’s World’s Best Awards. Other local upscale dining options include Griffin Tavern and Foster Harris House.

Shenandoah National Park

Upscale Activities: Traverse Skyline Drive, the winding scenic drive that runs through Shenandoah National Park. One of the park’s four entrances is only a few miles from the inn, giving you a prime access point to the route. Stop along the way to hike through some of Virginia’s most magnificent landscapes.

RdV Vineyards. Photo by Jeff Mauritzen.

Spend a day wine tasting when you visit The Inn at Little Washington. The Faquier County Wine Trail stretches north of Washington and has almost 30 wineries and cideries, including Linden VineyardsDelaplane CellarsPhilip Carter Winery, and RdV Vineyards, an exclusive appointment-only winery where your visit entails an in-depth tour of the property and a tasting paired with locally-sourced cheese and charcuterie.

Historic Elegance in Virginia’s Colonial Capital

History comes alive during educational and hands-on tours at this famed destination.

Colonial Williamsburg
Exterior of the Williamsburg Inn.

Luxurious Lodging: If you’re interested in getting a little extra luxury during a visit to Colonial Williamsburgstay at The Williamsburg Inn, an alluring inn just steps away from the Revolutionary City. This pet-friendly establishment offers world-class dining, recreation and amenities, such as a full-service spa, tennis courts, two outdoor pools (one of which is heated), and an indoor pool at the spa, as well as complimentary shuttle service around the grounds of Colonial Williamsburg. Child care services can also be arranged by request.

Other Luxury Lodging Alternatives:

Williamsburg Winery

Fine Dining & Drinks: Dine on-site in the Rockefeller Room, or at one of the local fine dining options like Fat CanaryLe Yaca French Restaurant, or Wedmore Place’s Cafe Provençal, where you can also sample Coastal Virginia wines at The Williamsburg Winery. Indulge in the Thomas Jefferson Wine Dinner at King’s Arms Tavern, a special historic dining experience offered multiple times throughout the year.

Upscale Activities:Visit Colonial Williamsburg and wander the colonial streets just outside of the Inn. If you get tired, grab a carriage ride to explore the historic area in style. Book a Behind-The-Scenes Tour of Colonial Williamsburg for a private tour filled with little-known facts and secrets of America’s early leaders.

The Golden Horseshoe Golf Club

Golfers should fit in a round on the links of Golden Horseshoe Golf Club, which features three separate pristine courses to total 45 unique holes. The Gold Course at the club has been ranked as one of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses” in 2019 by Golf Digest.

The Equestrian Experience in Virginia’s Horse Country

Salamander Resort & Spa

Virginia’s Horse Country is the true essence of luxury travel, containing everything you need for an elegant countryside retreat. 

Salamander Resort & Spa

Luxurious Lodging: Set in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia’s famed horse country, Salamander Resort & Spais a countryside estate just 50 minutes west of Dulles International Airport. Book a deluxe room at the resort, or for special occasions, consider upgrading to one of their 17 lavish suites. The resort features an equestrian center with fully-equipped stables and practice ring, a pool and outdoor cafe, hiking and biking trails, archery, fishing, zip lining, tennis and basketball courts, a disc golf course, and even falconry lessons. Book treatments at the resort’s spa, an indulgent 23,000-square-foot facility that sees to your every comfort.

Other Luxury Lodging Alternatives in Virginia’s Horse Country:

Goodstone Inn Restaurant

Fine Dining & Drinks: There are many farm-to-table fine dining options in the area, including L’Auberge Provencale’s French Restaurant, the Goodstone Inn Restaurant, and Hunter’s Head Tavern. For a more hands-on dining experience, Harrimans Grillat Salamander Resort has an adjoining cooking studio that lets you learn from the resort’s chefs during interactive cooking classes that utilize seasonal ingredients.

Salamander Resort & Spa

Upscale Activities: Salamander offers an extensive list of on-site activities, so we recommend spending at least a day on the property to get the full experience. For the horse lovers, there are several equestrian programs that you can sign up for, whether you take in the pristine countryside during a trail ride, learn the basics of horseback riding during private lessons, or book a half- or full-day package that includes all of the above and more. Don’t miss meeting Cupcake, the resort’s resident celebrity (she was featured in People magazine!) miniature horse.

The charming town of Middleburg centers around the historic Main Street, lined with quaint boutiques and many well-established antique shops. Stop by The Red Fox Inn & Tavern for a little local history. Dating to about 1830, it is believed to be one of the oldest continuously running inns in Virginia. At The National Sporting Library & Museum, discover the rich history behind equestrian, angling, and field sports, including archery, shooting, steeplechasing, polo, and foxhunting.

While the region is widely known for its equestrian roots, the countryside is also home to several noteworthy wineries. Greenhill Winery & VineyardsBoxwood Estate Winery, and Chrysalis Vineyards are all a short distance from Salamander Resort. In fact, Salamander hosts a Wine & Cider Bike Tour that takes you to Boxwood Estate and Mt. Defiance Cidery & Distillery, combining the beautiful scenery of Middleburg with the best of the region’s beverages.

An Iconic Stay in Virginia’s Capital City

Jefferson Hotel

Visit Virginia’s capital city and stay at the classic Jefferson Hotel for a memorable experience. 

Luxurious Lodging: Since 1895, Richmond’s Jefferson Hotel has been the epitome of luxury, with breathtaking architecture both inside and out. While the rooms offer plenty of amenities (think televisions built into the bathroom mirrors, Molton Brown shower products, and plush bathrobes), the real showstopper sections of the hotel are the lobby areas; the two-story Rotunda Lobby is lined with massive marble columns and adorned throughout with sumptuous furnishings, and the main entrance lobby, called the Palm Court, is illuminated by an expansive Tiffany stained-glass dome. Just off the hotel lobbies are two restaurants, a full-service salon, an indoor pool and fitness area, and even a florist.

Jefferson Hotel
The Rooftop Bar at Quirk Hotel

Fine Dining & Drinks: Enjoy an upscale dinner at The Jefferson’s Lemaire Restaurant, and on Sunday mornings, don’t miss the hotel’s Champagne Brunch, an all-you-can-eat meal complete with custom-made omelets and waffles, fresh seafood, and tables full of seasonal fare. This isn’t your average buffet, it’s a lavish feast filled with every brunch menu item you could possibly desire. Richmond has no shortage of critically-acclaimed restaurants outside the hotel, too; L’OpossumThe RooseveltShagbark, and Brenner Pass are just a few of the hot spots known for their culinary masterpieces. Follow up your meal with drinks at The JasperCan Can Brasserie, or one of the capital city’s rooftop bars.

Upscale Activities: Experience Richmond’s burgeoning food scene with a Real Richmond Food Tour. Centered around ten of the city’s biggest foodie neighborhoods, private tours can be customized to your taste and appetite.

Virginia State Capitol

First settled by colonists as a town in 1742, Richmond is teeming with historic sites. Visit the grand Virginia State Capitol, designed by Thomas Jefferson in 1788, and St. Johns Church, a National Historic Landmark made famous by Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech.


Maymont, a 100-acre American estate bequeathed to the city by the affluent Dooley family, frames the history of the property within the picturesque grounds, which contain Japanese and Italian gardens, a Nature Center that showcases Richmond’s abundant wildlife, and a farm that offers VIP Animal Experiences.

Shirley Plantation

Richmond also has outdoor activities in spades, including kayaking the James River, mountain biking on over 50 miles of trails, and biking or hiking along the Capital Trail, a 52-mile paved trail that connects Richmond to Williamsburg, with notable historic sites all along the way. Take the trail to a few of the historic plantations just east of Richmond, like Shirley PlantationBerkeley Plantation, and Westover Plantation, then continue on towards the end of the trail to visit Historic JamestowneJamestown Settlement, and Colonial Williamsburg.


We are excited to share the top student travel stories of the summer, selected by our interns (and former Glimpsers), Anderson and Layla! We have enjoyed reading each of the nearly 1,000 blog post reflections written by students as they experience first-hand the power of immersive travel – from hiking the highest peak in the Ecuadorian Andes and dancing bachata in the hot Dominican sun, to gaining new appreciation for the value of community and complexity of immigration.

Each of the vignettes below provide a peek into the impact of the Global Glimpse community on the lives of young people. From our local partners, bus drivers, and food providers to our volunteer educators who champion learning outside of the classroom, we are beaming with pride as we round out our biggest summer yet! Enjoy.



“The Ecuadorian terrain caused some grumbling amongst the group — a natural response for visitors exploring a new place. However, the local community made it look so easy; the indigenous Kichwa have walked these mountain paths for a very long time. Once I had this realization, I became much more observant about their actions and movements […] I saw little kids walking their alpaca and gently picking flowers along the side of the trail. They were completely unphased by everything that made us tentative. Carlos, our guide, explained that nature is considered a value above even people. It is not here for exploitation.”  

What stood out to Layla & Anderson:

On their hike, Glimpsers experienced what everyone feels when traveling: culture shock. However, they practiced curiosity before judgment and looked at this moment with the Kichwa community and nature, as an opportunity to listen and learn.



“The Haitian immigrant community of Colonia Kennedy shared their homes, hearts, and life stories with us. Hearing about their current situation and some loss of hope for a better future deeply saddened us. Every day, immigrants experience heavy discrimination, including unfair wages, poor living conditions, and segregation from the Dominican citizens […] This experience inspired our group to make an effort to take action in aiding the Haitian immigrant community. We held an amazing nightly meeting filled with great ideas and plans to support them in the future.”  

What stood out to Layla & Anderson:

This captivating blog showcases Glimpsers getting an inside perspective on the ongoing immigration challenges between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Seeing firsthand the discrimination and poor living conditions many Haitians face caused a feeling of sorrow for the Glimpsers. However, the exposure to this situation motivated the Glimpsers to take action and brainstorm solutions to support this crisis.



“With curiosity in our minds and sleepy eyes, we rode from the crowded streets of Riobamba to the tranquil indigenous community at El Morino. Once we arrived, we met Cesar Ayol, the elected leader of this community, who served us a breakfast of bread, cheese, hard boiled eggs, and colada morada, a warmed fruity beverage usually served on Día de los Muertos. Over our delicious meal, Cesar discussed the culture, history, and politics of the community.”  

What stood out to Layla & Anderson:

This Living Like a Local blog justly captures the real, sometimes less exciting, day-to-day activities of life in Ecuador. Pancito con queso fresco, huevo duro, and colada morada spell out an Ecuadorian morning. These Glimpsers don’t focus on how they ate plain, showered cold, or held back on spending; but how they tried new foods with cultural significance and had the opportunity to learn about indigenous history from the people who know it best.



“During the day, our group ran into some hurdles that turned out to be blessings […] It was discouraging at first, but we were able to find small tasks such as picking up trash, digging out dirt, or mixing cement to help make the construction of the benches run as smoothly as possible […] Ultimately, this challenge conveyed to us the importance of listening to a community’s needs and building a strong relationship with them.” 

What stood out to Layla & Anderson:

This delegation’s first day of their Community Action Project came with anticipated obstacles, but these Glimpsers turned them into lessons. As they began their project, they were met with a lack of trust from the community and disappointed themselves, thinking they hadn’t helped as much as they could have. However, the Glimpsers recognize that they learned an important lesson that day about the complexity of aid and community development work.



“Our experiences have shaped our perspective on the importance of daily face-to-face interaction, and taught us that no matter the amount of apparent differences, there is always a common thread that connects us. We learned that it’s okay to lean on others for support, and that tears can signify strength. Never before did we look at the earth and thank her, and never again will we not do so.”  

What stood out to Layla & Anderson:

Minga (originally mink’a in Kichwa, an indigenous language of the Andes) is one of those words that doesn’t translate well into English — it’s  when two distinct cultures come together to work, support, and create as a community. This blog thoughtfully shares how Glimpsers spent their final day reflecting on the critical role that community and collaboration play in developing and implementing a sustainable Community Action Project.



“The students’ blog posts over the past weeks demonstrate our efforts to improve knowledge of service and leadership. But part of what makes these trips special goes beyond that. It’s the birthday cakes and trips to the clinic. It’s munching on Raptor Doritos and queso cebolla […] When you allow yourself to be vulnerable, your emotions and memories of the experience are more vivid […] Many of us will maintain these relationships, but the 30 of us will likely never share the same space again.”  

What stood out to Layla & Anderson:

This reflection from a Global Glimpse Leader reminds us of those special micro-moments we experience while traveling and the power of forming human connection through shared experience. Global Glimpse Leaders are our courageous and wise teachers who volunteer their time to mentor and guide students throughout the trip.



“On my way home, everything was odd and fresh to me […] As we drove by residential houses, I thought about how much work was put into its paint job. In thinking about the work we did in San Juan de Llullundongo, I’d never thought about who painted houses, or how much work was put into it — it was simply a house that was painted white to me. Where the tomatoes at the supermarket came from did not matter to me; it was just a bunch of little red fruits that came in a plastic package. It took this trip to understand and grasp that everything, whether it be an object, concept, or problem, has people behind it.” 

What stood out to Layla & Anderson:

This introspective post by a Glimpser nearly a week after returning back to the U.S. paints the way she feels about experiencing reverse culture shock. You see her observing the U.S. with new eyes, realizing that her normal isn’t everyone’s normal. We are proud to see how Glimpsers have integrated Kichwa into their learning and used “kayakama” to remind them that it wasn’t over just because the trip was over.


Hello from Global Glimpse alums, Anderson and Layla! We’ve returned to GG this summer, but this time as interns in the New York and Bay Area offices. One of our favorite parts of the day is to follow along with student reflections on the blog as Glimpsers share their travel experiences in the Dominican Republic and Ecuador. We enjoy reading how they are broadening their perspective, growing their leadership skills, and preparing to contribute meaningfully to their communities when they return home — just like we did!


This article won’t be about encouraging you to pack your bags, quit your job, and become a travel photographer. Although many of our photographers have done just that, there’s a way to fit travel photography into your lifestyle without leaving your life behind as you know it and it’s easier than you imagine.

photography trends 2018   group of friends traveling

A little bit on travel photography

Some underestimate how diverse travel photography is. It stretches beyond landscapes, beautiful scenery and cityscapes. Commercial travel photography actually taps into the trillion dollar global tourism industry. Images include hotels, resorts, adventures, events, capturing culture and different customs.

Travel photography can be used by anyone, but more prominently advertising, print and merchandising. Interestingly, photographers of all disciplines can contribute with wildlife photography, landscape, portrait, reportage and  many more practices. Regardless of your niche in photography, packing your bags and seeking new landscapes can transform your practice into a new hobby and a generate a new source of income.

photography trends 2018   artistic travel photography

Million dollar question: Can travel photography bring income?

You bet. Not only is it a great side hobby to have that can potentially generate income, there are photographers that solely make a living while traveling. They integrate travels into their business and sell photographs to agencies and stock photography platforms. A notable example of one photographer that does this is Mikhail Dudarev.

Something worth mentioning is that you do have to have a more practical edge, and having smart business sense is essential. Our contributors all seem to be of the opinion that you learn along the way anyway. This means that you can put aside worrying about marketing, sales and a business plan because the first step is to get out there and do it!

It can be one trip to test your skills, and see if this path is right for you. In finding new opportunities, you’ll be able to research more on the topic and make this business idea a reality. To get started with travel photograph, we prepared useful tips from our notable contributors to encourage you to take the first mandatory step – get out into the world and show the world your unique vision.

photography trends 2018   friends traveling

Licensing your travel photography

Travel photography has always been a trending and popular topic on stock photography platforms. If you’re new, and want to see if your photographs will sell, consider uploading your best work to Depositphotos. Depositphotos images sell under a royalty free license, and getting started is easy. Your images can be sold multiple times, and if you’re familiar with the process, add travel photography as an extension of your portfolio, don’t hide your best work on forgotten hard drives.

2018 photography trends   travel

2018 trend – Artistic Expression Through Travels

The trend ‘Artistic Expression Through Travels’ is really about your personality. It’s a more personal approach to how you travel, what you do with your free time and how travel photography is changing. It’s no longer about ‘the perfect shot’, an image that is simply stunning and mesmerizing. This year’s trend is about expressing yourself.

What do we mean by this? Simply that traveling far isn’t a necessity, but sharing your artistic vision with the world is a must. Regardless of your level of expertise, you have something unique to say and communicating through your images about something that brings you sheer joy will inspire others to do the same.

At the end of the day, this type of photography inspires and motivates others to get out there and bring their camera (just in case). In 2018, even a phone with a camera will do. The implications of travel photography are many, but rarely is creativity addressed. We’ve all grown too used to the perfect images that embody the glamorous side of travels. What we want to see more of is people having a genuinely good time, and vantage points we haven’t seen before. Focus on telling stories, and do it well.

2018 travel photography trends

Whenever you’re ready

Like previously mentioned, you don’t have to go far. Plan a single trip somewhere, anywhere, and see where the sails take you. Bring your camera, come prepared for adventures, and share your vision with the world.

Hopefully this article provides you with enough motivation and resources to plan your next trip. For more inspiration, see our article on 21 travel destinations for photographers, and 30 Instagram photographers to follow. We also have a special collection just for this trend, featuring some of our best shots and different interpretations of 2018’s most anticipated trends.

See the collection

2018 travel photography trends