The word bespoke always conjures up fabulous handmade wooden floors or unique hand-tailored suits. But bespoke travel can be exactly what it says without breaking the bank. You can tailor make your perfect holiday and within your own budget. Before you think you can get a week at The Shangri-La in the Shard for a few pounds, you will have to cut your cloth according to your purse.
The value of a good bespoke travel agent is second to none—someone with experience, who has all the tools and tips of the trade, who is well travelled, and who can steer your holiday into the right hotel for the right price.
With the ever-expanding Internet, we can all practise being a travel agent, but trawling for hours on end for the perfect hotel in the right location, or the room with the ultimate sea view, can be very time consuming.
Who knows what you might be missing, when a fresh look at your trip might uncover an idea you never dreamed was possible.
For example, a couple recently planned a trip to Australia from London to visit relatives and they wanted to spend some time on a nice beach on their way home. They had exhausted all the usual places in the Far East and so I presented them with an idea: a seven-day stopover in the Seychelles, which worked perfectly with timings and climate. They were delighted. Another couple exploring different honeymoon suggestions were astonished that they could experience the beauty of Kerala in India with the contrast of Sri Lanka.
People long to visit Venice and don’t realise how crowded and hot it becomes. Yet, you can stay cheaper, and stress free, while still enjoying the delights of St Marks Square, just a short water taxi ride away on the Venice Lido.
If you have ever cruised you know how depressing the last day can be with setting off at the crack of dawn and then a whole day of filling time before catching the red eye home. I always advise my cruisers to allow some extra time, so the dream can continue with a happy ending.
With my extensive experience in the travel industry, I have often found that the holiday people think will suit them most is often not the right choice. I remember two friends who longed to go to St Lucia and waxed lyrical about how they imagined it and all the things they would like to do, but listening carefully, they really had different needs, and they actually ended up on a trip down the Nile.
You can read every review, you can listen to your friends, but nothing can beat an unbiased opinion from an expert who will counsel and advise you on making the right choice at the price you can afford.
John Warrington is director of Janaway Travel. For more information visit: www.janawaytravel.com