Dave and Deb
Founders of The Planet D
Mediaplanet interviewed Dave & Deb, founders of Planet D. Discover their luxury travel tales, North American gems, wellness fusion, and expert tips for crafting unforgettable journeys!
Can you introduce yourself and your travel blog? What inspired you to start sharing your travel experiences?
Dave and Deb started The Planet D in 2008 when they decided to cycle the continent of Africa. Having worked in the Toronto film business for more than a decade, they spent many winters traveling abroad seeking out new adventures. Each trip inspired them to try something new and step out of their comfort zones. Their travels changed their lives bringing them closer together. With each new adventure, they learned more about one another and learned to rely on each other for strength and inspiration. As time went on, they wanted to show people that travel can be a life-changing experience and that there is more to traveling than going to an all-inclusive resort or joining an organized tour.
They decided to start The Planet D to inspire Adventure in Everyone and show that ordinary people can live extraordinary lives. You don’t need to be rich, or an uber-athlete to have the ultimate adventure. They wanted to show that if they can do it anyone can.
So, they signed up for the world’s longest cycling race from Cairo, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa in 2008 and shared their experiences, both highs and lows on their travel blog.
They have been traveling and sharing their adventures from around the world ever since. In 2017, Forbes named The Planet D one of the top 10 travel influencers in the world and they have won numerous blogging and photography awards. What keeps them motivated is being able to help people plan their travels and enjoy a trip of a lifetime.
Luxury travel has become increasingly popular. In your opinion, what sets North America apart as a destination for luxury travelers seeking unique experiences?
Now that is a difficult question as North America has so many luxury experiences that offer a wide range of experiences.
With world-class cities like New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Vancouver, to cultural and historic cities such as New Orleans, Quebec City, and Mexico City, the opportunities are endless. Each city has luxury hotels, Michelin-Star restaurants, and top-tier experiences. As of 2019, there were a total of 121 hotels that are ranked AAA Five Diamond Ratings alone.
North America is massive with diverse landscapes from snow-capped mountains to sandy beaches.
As far as unique experiences in North America, one of the ultimate luxury adventures we have taken part in was walking with Polar Bears in Churchill. Churchill Wild has luxury lodges in Manitoba where people can enjoy fine wine and dining as they go on daily safaris in search of polar bears.
In Big Sur, Ventana Resort has the ultimate glamping experience among the massive California Redwoods. Stay in luxury tents along one of the world’s most iconic driving routes.
The Rocky Mountains offer incredible backcountry heli-skiing or backcountry lodges with personal chefs where we cross-country skied to a remote region of Banff National Park.
One of the ultimate train journeys in the world is the Rocky Mountaineer where passengers take a two-day journey from Vancouver to Banff while enjoying five-star dining and luxury seating in a dome train.
From kayaking and camping with personal chefs and guides in the Baja Peninsula of Mexico to luxury Alaskan cruises, the opportunities are endless in North America.
Many travelers prioritize health and wellness during their trips. How do you incorporate wellness into your travel experiences, and what benefits do you see from this approach?
We always add adventure to our travels. We aren’t fans of going to the gym or working out in our hotel rooms, but we love the outdoors. Getting out in nature is the best way to prioritize our wellness. We almost always follow our outdoor adventures with a pampering couples massage or a day at the spa. We love combining an adventure that pushes us to our limits with a rewarding experience in a luxurious spa.
We also almost always get on the water no matter where we go. We love paddling be it kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, or canoeing. Exploring a destination by paddling is our favourite way to explore. It’s a great workout that doesn’t feel like work, and we can cover a lot of ground while seeing places from a different vantage point.
If you aren’t into the outdoors, we find that simply walking is an amazing way to stay active. When exploring cities like Zurich or Athens the last two summers, we walked 20,000 steps a day. Now that is a workout.
Planning a trip can be overwhelming. What advice would you give to travelers seeking to create a luxurious and wellness-focused itinerary for their North American journey?
Before you start planning, think about what you like to do. We enjoy paddling, hiking, and cycling so we would plan our trip around one of those activities. Ask yourselves whether you want to be active, or if you would prefer to have transportation take you from one destination to another. Do you want to paddle or cycle from one destination to the next, or would you rather hop on an Alaskan Cruise or take a train like the Rocky Mountaineer through the Rocky Mountains?
Is your idea of wellness getting out in nature, or is it going to a retreat to enjoy a luxurious spa treatment?
Before you book your holiday, think about what activities will make you happy. If you aren’t excited about nature, book a luxury hotel downtown with a full-service spa and world-class chef. If the idea of being in the city makes you anxious, look for a five-star hotel that is located on a quiet lake and includes outdoor activities, massage therapy, and a chance to stroll through its walking trails.
There is no wrong answer, travel comes down to your preferences. It’s your time, so before you choose your destination, consider what activities you want to do and then look for the destination that can cater to your wants and needs.
Read more about Dave and Debs luxury adventures and travel trips by visiting ThePlanetD.com.