My Needy Necessaries For A Dream Tailor-Made Trip
Everyone holidays differently of course – that’s the basic joy of it. For some it’s about carefully selecting a hotel and simply planning a fortnight of doing what takes their fancy on the day. For others it’s simply about a plane and a hotel, and figuring the rest will take care of itself. We’re big fans of the Do Nothing holiday – but also love to explore off the beaten track and discover the places other tourists don’t tend to wander.
Some people book a whole package and a one-click-sorts-it-all method, some let a company deal with some elements, and some want the flexibility of booking every single detail of a step themselves.
The trouble is – we all want the best of both worlds. We all want a trip which is bespoke and personalised exactly to what *we* need and want. And yet we don’t really have the time or patience to spend hours researching and planning and organising the fifty different strands which can make up an active family holiday.
I get it – we personally tend to work out a middle ground. We organise accomodation (nearly always a private holiday property – with six of us hotels are generally far too pricey for a long stay, and we just prefer having a private pool to ourselves) and we sort our own transport (C doesn’t fly, so all trips abroad are ferry and car driving distance; but even if it was flying I’d still book my own unless when I checked the package price was cheaper).
But then.. I’m on my own. I do research online. I read reviews. I read travel blogs. I do Google searches for the things we like to do with the place we’re going (‘kayaking sainte-foy-le-grande’ – loads of results, but which is actually a good one?). I create shortlists of museums, exhibitions, events, restaurants, activities… and then I need to check opening times, prices, do I need to book online, is there a citycard which will make entrance cheaper… I don’t mind, but it all sucks up a LOT of my evenings.
So when I was writing about the benefits of tailor-made travel over on LittleStuff, I got to thinking about my dream itinerary – what would be the things I’d make a demand list of were I to book a trip via a bespoke service from a travel company like The Voyageurs Collection?
Where to go?
Easy: somewhere sunshiney, pleasethankyou. We’re open to heading North and exploring colder regions, of course, but right now I am yearning for some sunshine on my damp cold British bones. I saw the forecaster last night say we’re predicted a settled spell of high pressure next week – and it’ll be the first time since last September! This winter has been too damned long and damp.
So. I’m going to have to drug C to get him on the plane with us, but to hell with it. This is my dream itinerary, and I want to be baked in hot sunshine. South Americas maybe – Peru? Cuba? Chile… All are high on my To Visit list. Or Africa – Morocco? Back to Kenya? No. Do you know where I’d go as top choice? Ethiopia!
If I have an expert on hand to help with the logisitics, then I have no need to stick close to home and go with what’s familiar. I can handle sorting a river adventure in France – but how do you even start that enquiry in Ethiopia?
So here I go then – I’m planning my much-needed bespoke travel to Ethiopia. What do I need to ask for? What’s actually important to me and mine on a family holiday?
What I need
Basic requirements aren’t too drastic: there will probably be five of us as the oldest at 21 will probably be doing his own thing and hasn’t been on a family holiday for a couple of years much to his sadness (he will keep using his holiday to do fun stuff with his girlfriend!). The three teens don’t mind sharing a hotel room for a night, but if we have a private property they like a room to themselves.
So short term stays in a hotel are fine – probably split us between two rooms. But more than a couple of nights and we’ll want our own place to spread out in.
We’ll want WiFi.
If we’re inside a city we’ll want a safe area to stay in which is tourism freindly, or a quiet residential neighbourhood.
But actually, we prefer to visit a city, but to sleep outside of it; rural environments are what we want, with wide views and no neighbours.
What I’d like.
Well we’re travelling with three tenagers, so we have a few requirements (beyond the necessary WiFi obviously).
We’d like a mix of adventure activities – hiking, kayaking, cycling etc are all good.
We’d like those mixed with a wide taste of cultural and historical visits – a scattering of ancient monuments, markets, museums etc. But with a personal guide to make these come alive and provide insight for us all.
But mostly we want some wildness – wide open spaces, mountains, plains – we love the great outdoors, and want to see as much of it as possible. Wild camping, long hikes – that’s where our heart lies.
Personal experiences – not necessarily big things, but knowing where to get up and see the sunrise from, where to find the quiter, more out of the way sights.
And of course, a personally recommended list of places eat – and what to try too!
How’s that, Voyageurs Collection? If you’d just like to pull that together for us? *wanders off dreaming happily of hiking in the Ethiopian mountains*