What Is Bespoke Travel?
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.
Even though bespoke travel would be an exciting experience, I can see a few down sides to this style of traveling. You would probably have a guide with you most of the time. It could get a little annoying if he was constantly giving suggestions and making comments.
Another thing - half the fun of traveling is running into surprises and deciding to change your plans, which might be difficult when someone has set everything up just so.
When a bespoke travel experience is being planned, I imagine there needs to be a lot of communication between the client(s) and the travel agent.
The client needs to tell the travel agent exactly what kind of travel experience they want to have. It really has to be client driven, although the travel agent takes care of all the arrangements and minor details.
If I was going on a bespoke vacation, I would choose to go to small villages, in out of the way places. I would want a home visit with some of the residences. Having some experience with trying out the native language would be good.
There are several luxury travel companies that offer tailor made tours. If this is the kind of thing you are looking for it is really best to go through a travel advisor because they can probably draw on resources that you don't have access to to plan the funnest and easiest trip possible.
Planning a truly exotic trip is not easy. Travel is basically a logistical process and there can be a lot of confusing details to work out, especially if you are traveling to another country with another language. Seeking out a professional to provide travel solutions can save you a lot of headaches.
When I was in college I dated a girl who came from a very well to do family. One winter break she invited me to go with her and her parents on a bespoke trip to Africa
They had had it planned by some high end travel agent who was able to find the most exotic and adventurous experiences possible. We stayed in some wild hotels, went on safaris to places other people don't get to go, experienced a lot of native culture and had a lot of authentic cooking.
The whole time we had a guide who was an expert in the area. He was able to take us to some out of the way places but also educate us on the nature and culture that was surrounding us. It was an amazing if frivolous trip and I will always be grateful that I was invited along. Unfortunately I broke up with that girl soon after so I was never invited back.
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