The simple pleasures of travel according to SLH INVITED Members

As part of our recent Seek Simplicity competition, we asked our INVITED Members about the simple pleasures you’ve missed most about travelling. The pandemic has put things in perspective for many of us, and by looking at the bigger picture, we’ve found new joy in life’s little things. From eating mango for breakfast to the smell and sound of the sea, here are 50 of our favourite answers which give us all the holiday feels…

1. The beauty of the sea and the sound of the surf. The unexpected, like walking from my hotel room to dinner and coming face to face with an elephant. The splendour of century old cathedrals. Wining and dining in new and different places. Breakfast in bed in a small luxury hotel.

2. The crunch of a perfect baguette, a glass of rosé on a sunny day, the sound of lapping water (be it a lake, a river or the ocean).

3. That first sip of tea in the morning.

4. A morning dip in the sea followed by an enormous breakfast.

5. Mangoes for breakfast.

6. I miss sitting in the sun, listening to the waves and watching the world go by.

7. To wake up with the sun shining through the windows and warmth in the air.

8. The smell and sound of the Caribbean Sea, walking barefoot on a pristine white sandy beach with the waves lapping at my feet, the warm turquoise water with small fish nibbling at my painted toes, taking a nap on the beach, a just-picked-off-the-tree ripe mango or papaya, views that take my breath away and bring me peace.

9. Floating in an infinity pool with a great view of ocean.

10. A gift in-room like a local bottle of wine or gourmet product (honey, jam, biscuits, chocolate, fresh fruits).

11. A warm smile from a stranger, a cup of coffee and cake, the smell of my favourite flower.

12. Sitting back in my airplane seat, looking out at the cotton wool clouds and the curve of the horizon.

13. Wine and cheese on a balcony overlooking the city.

14. Taking my shoes off and feeling the sand and sea between my toes and the sun on my skin, smelling the local delicacies cooking in the breeze and the sound of the wind in the palms.

15. Floating in the warm sea.

16. People watching with sun, shades and sangria!

17. The anticipation, the last minute trip to Boots, when you sit in your seat on the plane, the wave of warmth that hits you as you step off the plane, sand between toes, long naps, reading, eating out at hidden tavernas, cocktails, local languages, stray cats, sea urchins, golden skin, freckles, salty hair.

18. Watching the stars, the waves rolling in, dogs snoring on their backs, sitting in cafés watching the world go by and wondering where people are going.

19. A glass of Spanish red wine on a lovely terrace, strolling in the sun along a rocky Mediterranean coast, curling up with a good book while having a rejuvenating face mask on.

20. Beautiful views, soft cotton towels, crisp bed sheets, simple flavours.

21. Relaxing in a tub with a view at sunset with fizz!

22. Wandering new streets to find that little street café to sit and savour a morning coffee whilst the new city wakes.

23. The smell of hot wax when you walk into a shop that services skis.

24. Cool or warm towels at hotel check-in after a long trip.

25. I miss the human connection that comes with travel, especially sitting with a local and enjoying their food and culture and way of life.

26. The first glimpse of the ocean, discovering new tastes, taking time to savour the moment and beautiful surroundings, getting lost in a good book.

27. The scent of frangipani flowers at the end of a sun drenched day. Sunscreen fingerprints marking the pages of a dog eared paperback. Squeezing my husband’s hand. Clean fresh bed-sheets and a perfect pillow. The perfect square of gourmet chocolate. Hugs with those I love – boy I miss them.

28. Long lazy lunches with a glass of white wine by the beach.

29. Being the first person onto a ski run and making fresh tracks, like you were the first person ever to go there.

30. Staying in a hotel where you are treated like one of the family and not just a guest.

31. Walking my dog on a beach in the sunshine.

32. The aroma of fresh coffee and croissants enjoyed while seated on a veranda overlooking calm cerulean waters and a small town on the distant shore, with cobblestone streets waiting to be explored in the day ahead.

33. Looking at the stars.

34. Eating pizza while lying in bed.

35. The colours of international food markets.

36. Going for a midnight swim.

37. Just being away. Away from daily obligations. Away from the familiar. Away from what I know and into adventure.

38. Not wearing shoes for a week.

39. Feeling welcome somewhere we have never been.

40. A hammock, a beach, a beach margarita.

41. Eating ice-cream whenever I want.

42. I absolutely love to speak to locals about their daily life whenever I am travelling. I love hearing about their favourite things to do, their favourite places to eat and shop and just the life they live wherever it is I am travelling. The people I meet are always a highlight of all of my travels.

43. Writing postcards with a cocktail or coffee close to the sea.

44. Turning a corner and not knowing what magic awaits… a secret doorway, an imposing plaza, a tempting restaurant, a maze of wares for sale or simply a beautiful view. New smiles, new smells, new senses awakened.

45. Driving through the Tuscan hills.

46. The smell and heat that hits you when you first arrive in a hot country, a combination of flowers, sunshine and excitement. Enjoying your favourite drink, with your favourite person, while relaxing as the sun goes down. The smell of rain as it hits tropical plants as you sit sheltered from it watching the world float by.

47. I love to walk and explore, especially the side streets and back streets, finding places off-the-beaten-track, places the locals would go… away from the tourists.

48. Cycling through quaint villages, before stopping for a picnic.

49. I miss the smell of the sea air, the sound of sheer curtains moving with the breeze, putting on my dressing gown and starting the day with breakfast on the terrace or balcony.

50. Dining alfresco, because everything tastes better when eating outside.

Feeling inspired? As we know that it’s the little things which can go a long way, book now with our SLH Simple Pleasures rate to receive a £50/$50/€50 resort credit at participating hotels. Let us know how you spend your simple pleasure, whether it’s sipping signature cocktails on your balcony at sunset or a picnic spread by the sea – we always love to hear from our Members.