Bespoke travel refers to an upscale form of travel, in which a trip is specially designed for a client and focuses on unique, highly local experiences. It originates from the use of the word bespoke in the context of custom-tailored clothing. Every aspect of bespoke travel is meticulously planned to give the traveler the most educational, individual experience possible.
Typical travelers often venture to popular global destinations such as London or Paris, often using mass travel websites for booking trips. Travelers who have already visited popular locations or who want a more localized, culture-intensive trip may turn to bespoke travel. This type of journey is usually arranged by a professional travel agent, who may specialize in a certain part of the world, in order to provide the most intimate, detailed trip possible. This style of travel can be expensive and is often engaged in by an affluent segment of the population.
Individually designed travel often includes experiences that differ from typical famous sites or group-led tours. Learning and cultural immersion are two key elements of bespoke travel. A bespoke traveler often wishes to be surrounded by a culture with completely different customs than his or her own. This allows for an exotic trip that is not experienced by many travelers. The trip may include a personal tour guide but, rarely, if ever, a large group tour.
Bespoke travel includes an extensive planning process with a professional travel agent. The traveler’s needs and desires are assessed as well as his cultural and location interests. The agent then makes suggestions for a uniquely designed trip and arranges details such as flights and hotels. This type of travel often includes accommodations beyond the normal chain hotel, such as a small, boutique inn or an individual cabin. Many destinations planned through bespoke travel are remote, and the traveler may use his or her own private plane to reach the destination.
This type of journey often includes a high level of personalized service, such as a private escort from the airport or a one-on-one tour guide. The popularity of bespoke travel has risen in recent years as older, well-traveled individuals seek new and different experiences. Global, exotic locations are the most requested type of travel, as these journeys provide the most intimate cultural experiences and can be difficult to plan without the assistance of a travel agent. Some travel agencies now focus exclusively on bespoke travel, marketing luxury experiences outside the realm of typical destinations.