As everyone navigates the ‘new normal’ of travel, there is a surge of interest in private vacations across the industry. Travelers are re-imagining future travel, with a renewed interest in discovering smaller, authentic and off the beaten path locations. At Travels with Audrey, we believe that a private tour is one of the safest ways to travel, and with our small group tours, traveling off the main trail, are the reasons we founded our company and are not just words or a trend. Customized private tours guarantee you an exclusive and unique experience. In this blog, I share with you why this type of travel works so well for the times we’re in and how you can take advantage of it to handcraft your own trip of a lifetime… on your terms.
Travels with Audrey: Small, Local, Well-Connected Mean More Than Ever
In a time period when you are probably looking for a genuine, authentic, experience, our fully escorted private tours are truly the most boutique in the industry. Many companies tell you that they are well-connected and then they hand off the operations of your trip to another company they pay to operate your vacation. That’s one way to operate a tour company, certainly, but it’s not the way we like to travel. Audrey, your tour leader, is a LOCAL. That means that you travel with real, well-connected friends when you travel with Audrey.
5 reasons why private is the biggest travel trend
You choose who you hang out with
Coronavirus lockdowns have seen us sheltering in place within our homes. Some have been able to introduce other friends or family members into their shelter-in-place ‘bubble’ but for many, it’s too soon to be in close proximity with people we don’t know. With a private tour you can go where you want, when you want, for however long you want, traveling with those most important to you.
Take the trip you want, the way that you want it
Private tours allow you to choose the destination, the dates and the activities you want to do without any of the hassle of having to put in place the arrangements. Your expert local host, Audrey, has only you in mind to ensure you have the best vacation and authentic experiences with your friends or family.
Each country has its own border opening plans. It gets overwhelming. Private tours put you in the well-connected hands of someone who knows the ‘new normal’ of the place you’re visiting like the back of their hand. Without knowing it’s happening, you’ll be seamlessly steered from crowds (because at Travels with Audrey we know the routes less traveled and times less busy), served in the best restaurants (for food, locale, and social distancing), and given exclusive access to sites. And if a site is suddenly closed, before you even hear of it, you’ll be on the path to a brilliant plan B.
Seamless sanitization and social distancing
You’re exploring a country’s most fascinating places, staying in some of the most charming boutique hotels, dining on the most authentic and delicious local cuisine. So why should standards drop when it comes to your health? Travels with Audrey’s lifetime of travel experience and relationships with our in-country associates means that strict protocols are adhered to as you enjoy your trip. It also means that some benefits that were in place on tour for other reasons suddenly take on entirely new meaning. For example, our Check-in procedures at hotels are so that guests do not have to waste time waiting in line at hotels. It was created as a time saver. Now, in the ‘new normal’, time savings is still great. But not being in a group of people at the front desk is even greater.
Two private tour myths
Private travel is only for the super-rich
Sure, if you want to charter your own plane, hop into a helicopter for transfers and buy out a whole hotel, it can be done… but the price will hike up pretty quickly. But rest assured that our private tours don’t have such astronomical price tags. Especially with a company like Travels with Audrey where our private departures average only 6 to 8 guests, you’ll often find that a private trip might cost the same as a published one with another tour company whose small groups are 16 or more people.
Private tours aren’t social like group tours
Interacting with others, locals, while traveling is our reason for being. So why should you have to give up engaging human interaction because you want to feel safer? With us you have your amazing and well-connected local guides. And, along the way you’ll be interacting with shepherds in their fields, winemakers in their vineyards, botanists in their gardens, olive oil makers in their groves. Safely, yes. Socially distant, yes. But far from anti-social.