These Companies Can Hook You Up With a Totally Bespoke Vacation
As the weather gets chillier and days get shorter, you bet we’re dreaming of a winter getaway to start off 2019 on an adventurous note. And as the holidays approach, no one has enough time to shoulder the planning all alone for a honeymoon, babymoon, bachelorette weekend, or solo trip. Bespoke travel was once available only for luxury consumers, but now that many world travelers are looking for the most customizable, ‘grammable experience possible, it’s being designed to be more accessible to the average customer’s wallet. “Today, thanks to the internet and social media, everyone can now witness the magic of experiential travel, and so, packaged tours to mass tourism destinations have lost their appeal. Everyone now wants to come back with a unique story that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives,” says Jose Pablo Toscano, the CEO and co-founder of Jubel, a custom experiential travel company. That’s why we’re giving a shout out to six travel companies that will partner with you to create the vacation of a lifetime.
1. Black Tomato: If you’re looking for a luxurious trip to commemorate a big anniversary, birthday, or another important occasion, Black Tomato can create something unforgettable. All you have to tell them is the country you’re dreaming of — on any continent — or the vibe you’re hoping for in your next trip; they create the rest, including booking all of your flights, hotels, or resorts. Once you decide where you’re headed, Black Tomato’s travel experts put together a sample itinerary with pricing to which you can make tweaks or accept immediately. You can even include unique add-ons like a drone experience to create a custom film or photo reel from your trip or a customizable proposal service for you or your S.O. to pop the question (hint, hint), which ranges from “private” to “showstopper” style.
2. Jubel: First, you establish your personal travel style profile with a survey, to figure out if you’re a “Culturist,” “Oceanist,” “Party Purist,” or one of Jubel’s other traveler types. Then you curate your travel proposal with the Jubel team — or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even select a completely surprise destination based on your travel style, which could land you in places like Morocco, Vietnam, Australia or New Zealand. In fact, CEO JP Toscano confirms that about a third of their customers like to go for the element of suspense. Regardless of which option you choose, even during your trip, you’re not left hanging — there’s a 24/7 concierge service available to chat with online. Check out the site for itinerary ideas to drop some subtle hints in your entry survey; prices start at about $700 per person per week.
3. Stride: Rather than having to compare prices on a million different travel sites, Stride does the work for you. You can use their search service to find a cruise or stay on land for your vacation, or you can get matched with an agent to customize a trip to your budget and desired length of time (and choose to receive as much or as little direction as you like from local tour guides once you arrive). Once you’re there, Stride can hook you up with any activities you might want, like a safari, birdwatching tour, or culinary and wine tasting experience (sign us up!).
4. Journy: Also starting from a questionnaire on your travel habits and preferences — like whether you prefer cozy, lesser-known restaurants or bustling, family-friendly popular attractions — Journy specializes in local recommendations for spots you’ll want to hit for food, fun, and culture. The best part is that you can get as fancy or keep the trip as chill as you want; you can even stay in an Airbnb if you choose. With planning packages starting at only $25 a day, it’s a great deal to have Journy’s experts help you plan the outline of your next family vacay or even a couples’ staycation with visiting friends; for the full price of $50 a day, Journy takes care of your accommodation arrangements and booking too.
5. Pack Up and Go: Sometimes, if you’re looking for a quick holiday weekend getaway, it can be even more tedious to plan when you need to squeeze all the fun into just three short days. Pack Up and Go Is the perfect planner for a three-day weekend anywhere in the US. All you have to do is fill out your budget and typical travel habits (like if you only prefer to fly economy or have extra leg room on the flight, or if you want a short trip accessible via train), and you’re sent a heads-up for the weather conditions and what you might want to pack based on that before you leave. For busy holiday weekends, a budget of at least $850 per person is suggested.
6. Pravassa: For all wellness-related journeys, turn to Pravassa to make your plans. You can select one of their packages (like a “Body and Soul” trip to Thailand with a Muay Thai or yoga concentration), or with their CustomWELL service you can build your own trip from the ground up — think locations such as Cambodia for a digital detox or Indonesia for nutrition coaching. On your introductory call with Pravassa’s travel team, you’ll specify your wellness and vacation goals, and then they’ll make it happen.
Have you tried bespoke experiential travel? Tag us in your vacay Instagrams @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty)