'I'm a luxury travel planner for the rich and famous. These are the requests I always get.'

It's my job to organise holidays for some of the world's richest and most famous people.

As a luxury travel planner with Portmanteau Travel, I've been curating fabulous trips for some very lucky clients for years. And time and time again, I see the same requests come up. 

So if you've ever wondered what kind of holidays the rich and famous want or what their absolute deal-breakers are on vacation, I'm going to fill you in. 

Here are some of the most common requests I get...

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They need a big wardrobe. And I mean HUGE. 

My clients always want a massive wardrobe space, or even a separate room their clothes and shoes and hats. 

There is no living-out-of-a-suitcase for these travellers — everything must be hung up and there needs to be space to walk around for those important decisions of what to wear. 

I will never forget one trip I organised for one of my best clients; he and his partner travelled all over UK and I recommended a very quaint and beautiful 500-year-old farmhouse in Devon, Grade II listed and set in four acres of apple, damson and chestnut trees. 

Charming, but to his horror the rooms had what is now considered a 'trendy' freestanding wardrobe rail. 


He checked out immediately and I booked him alternate accommodation! 

No check-in or check-out times.

Check in times at hotels seem to get later and later; 4pm is usually about right in many hotels these days which is really rather annoying. 

That won’t do at all for my clients so, unless I know the hotel manager very well and/or have booked many times (in which case they'll do me a favour and organise check in and out when required) I simply book two extra nights — one at the beginning and one at the end — to make sure they can settle right in or leave as they please.

Privacy is everything. 

Many of my clients value privacy enormously and so for them it's always private houses as opposed to hotels.

Last month a client hired an entire castle in Scotland just for himself — he had a team of staff to cater to his every need and I ensured that all his favourite foods were ordered in to make his stay super special. 

A common request for clients who stay in private residences is to have a private chef and, because only the best will do, that often means a chef that isn't local to the area, so I'll need to book separate accommodation for the chef, as well as a driver. 

One of our clients hired a private chef in Italy but demanded that all the ingredients be flown in from three-star Michelin restaurants in Paris.

Image: Supplied.


Tours needs to be private, too.  

A 52-seater coach trip with 50 people that you don't know is just not going to work! 

Private, private, private, all the way. 

My clients want the best guides every step of the way as well as private gallery and museum openings wherever possible. 

I love the stories my clients tell me when they get home, particularly when they have spent time with local guides who they very often meet up with again, often invited to join the guides for a meal with their family. 

It's great to be immersed in local culture and forge friendships through travel experiences.

Plans will change on a whim. 

This is definitely not my favourite part of the job but, alas, it certainly comes with the territory. 

Changing plans whilst on holiday is something most people don't do if they can help it, because it almost always comes with a hefty bill, but when money is no object, changing plans is perfectly normal and rather a luxury! 


A memory I have from many years ago still makes me laugh now, but it certainly wasn't fun for me at the time. Some clients were staying in Monaco, at Hotel de Paris of course, and I had organised for them to drive a couple of F1 racing cars around Circuit du Var Luc, which is 128kms from Monaco. 

All was set, everything was organised, the car was arriving at 7am to collect them for a prompt 8.30am start at the racing track. At 9am my time (midnight in Monaco the night before) I received a text message "not going to be up in time for car, pls organise chopper, cheers." 

I fear a good night was had at Le Louis XV restaurant in Hotel de Paris, but I am pleased to say that a chopper did in fact take them to the race track!

Wine and cigars need to be top notch. 

Always a big discussion for those that want rare vintages and wine from prestigious wine regions around the world or for those who want cigar pairing dinners. 

One of the most fun jobs I've had is to source a local winemaker to expertly help my client to create their own signature blend when they were on holiday in Turkey – apparently it was delicious!

Happy travelling 😊

Emma McCallum is a luxury travel planner for Portmanteau Travel. 

Feature Image: Supplied.

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