By George Mirabelli-Montan
Travelling friend at Travel Nation
Posts (31) See Georges profile
If you’ve come across this phrase, you can certainly be forgiven for asking ‘what is tailor-made travel’?
Put simply, it's a unique itinerary where every part of the trip has been created individually to suit your style, taste and budget. The term is interchangeable with ‘bespoke holidays’, meaning your flights, stopovers, accommodation, tours or vehicle hire have been arranged to match your individual requirements.
Before you stop reading and start thinking, “Hold on, this sounds expensive!” - it doesn’t need to be! The concept is just to create a trip that suits you, designed by someone who knows plenty about where you’re going.
A tailor-made travel agent is an experienced consultant who is knowledgeable about a specific country or region and can therefore offer you first-hand experience and recommendations in your chosen destination. A tailor-made agent will usually also work very closely with a local agent in the country you're visiting, who has up-to-the-minute knowledge of the different types of accommodation, the latest tours and the kind of trip that would suit you. There's no sticking a pin in a map and hoping for the best hotel, your tailor-made agent can help you make informed choices about your trip.
At Travel Nation, our team includes experienced tailor-made travel specialists for a number of countries. Besides destination experience, they all have in-depth flight knowledge so they can suggest a range of flight itineraries and interesting stop overs that you may not have considered. They’re a widely travelled bunch - you can read what they write about their trips here.
First things first; you need to have an idea of how long you want to travel for, when you’d like to go and how much you want to spend. After you’ve that’s decided, it’s time to talk to us!
Our consultants will listen to your ideas and talk to you about what you most enjoy, so they can identify the most important aspects of this trip for you. The important factors could be relaxation, cultural encounters, wildlife spotting, beaches or just the freedom to get about at your own pace.
Once we’ve spoken to you, we go away and begin planning. Within a few days (it can take a few days to research each bespoke trip) we’ll email you the first draft of your unique itinerary. This will include your flights and accommodation, a brief description of any tailor-made tour suggestions and the total price (usually separated into ‘flights’ and ‘ground’).
The idea is for you to read through your itinerary to see if you like the sound of it. At this point nothing is booked, so if you choose to switch any hotels or add/remove any options, you can. The whole point is that the final say is yours – we want yours to be the trip of a lifetime!
With bespoke holidays you have control over the airline you choose, the time you depart, your stopovers along the way and the cabin class you fly in. Sounding good so far?
If you’ve been collecting air miles for one alliance or you just have a preferred airline, we can tailor-make your flight quote to include these. Travel Nation works with all the airlines and our Air Product Experts (APEs) stay on top of all the best flight deals, so we can offer you the best flight prices.
If you’d like to upgrade your holiday to premium economy or Business Class, we can very easily quote for that too. With tailored travel, you could upgrade your cabin class for some or all of the flights as you choose – that’s another neat little flexibility.
A little-known fact is that travel agents sometimes have access to air fares that you won’t find online. It’s not a silly 'make-you-book-with-an-agent’ trick, it’s just that some fares require you to book them alongside accommodation, so you won’t find these fares on flight-only websites like SkyScanner.
We recently had some astonishingly good value fares to South East Asia with very minimal fare rules and generous periods of travel. We could book these flights alongside accommodation as part of your trip, but those would not have been available to non-agents if you’d looked online.
You have complete freedom to choose the location, style and budget of each element of your accommodation. If you’ve read about an amazing little place, we can get a quote for you or suggest similar places, based on what you tell us you like. Want a hotel with a great view? We can find it for you!
Why not mix the standard of hotels on your trip? For example you could opt for a 3* hotel in a more expensive city but a 5* hotel in a cheaper city, to balance your costs. If you can’t justify a swanky stay for every night of your trip, tailored travel means you could opt to stay in a few hand-picked, great-value properties to free up some budget for a few extra special nights so you can stay in somewhere truly memorable! We can often find characterful, boutique properties that you’ll love as much, if not more than a 5* hotel so you never feel like you’re missing out if you don’t have an enormous budget!
In terms of getting around, tailored travel can include car or campervan hire, or a private car and driver – the choice is yours!
If you’re planning a road trip, we can recommend a vehicle with the right comfort level to suit you. We’ll talk you through all the insurance options to make sure you understand everything and have complete peace of mind. Pre-booking your vehicles before arrival is a weight off your mind, but it also guarantees the best price and availability.
Often the highlight of a trip like this is the opportunity to plan acitivities or tours around your interests.
If you enjoy cooking, we can arrange bespoke tours like a guided street food crawl to help you find the most authentic foods or a cooking class with a local chef. If you love being out on the water, we can find you sailing day trips, kayaking, jet ski tours – whatever you like the sound of! If you’re a history buff, we will find you an informative, English-speaking guide to help you discover the history of a place through the eyes of a local.
So now you know; tailor-made travel just means custom-built trips, built around your individual interests, style and budget. If you’re interested in planning a holiday and it’s your first long haul trip, or it’s a destination that’s new to you and you feel like you need a little expert help, Travel Nation can help organise all of your arrangements.
Despite the wealth of options involved, there’s no need to feel daunted by choice; be assured that we’re here to listen to you, make good recommendations and take any pain out of planning your holiday of a lifetime!
at Travel Nation
After finishing her Geography degree, George settled into a digital marketing role and never managed to take a gap year. That didn’t stop her pooling every available week of annual leave to visit the USA, Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam, Australia and Venezuela. She joined Travel Nation in 2011 as Digital Marketing Manager and has since added Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia to her visited spots. When George isn't at work you can find her walking her dog and thinking up new ways to use her Travel Nation travel fund to visit any destination accessible from SFO where her American in-laws are based (Hawaii, anyone?)