I bet we all miss planning every single detail about our upcoming travel schedules and destinations. At least I do, as well as preparing ahead of time to make it a memorable experience. However, I am starting to see some hope in the near future. Some of us are already able to travel a little more but still following the safety precautions.
When it comes to our travel adventures, given the current limitations brought by the pandemic, a lot of us are looking to spend it truly experiencing a place on a local and cultural level. We seek more than simply being in another country, taking a peek at the popular landmarks. We are in search of something that is lasting and we can bring with us once we get back home – could be shareable skills or teachings from rich history or traditions observed.
This yearning of a different and holistic experience brought the rise of experiential travel. Definitely not a new concept, this term was already mentioned in different publications hundreds of years ago but has become much more significant. People long for a truly unique experience –immersion with the local culture and community, learning the local cuisine and traditions, engaging in a cultural excursion, or a historically-themed tour. Ever since then, the industry adapted to the demand and needs of the tourists offering these exceptional experiences that are often
One of the travel buzzwords of the moment is “authenticity” – customers slowly losing interest in packaged tourism and want to escape from homogenized experience in large groups which leads to a new breed of the packaged trip – striking the balance between assistance and freedom and of
personalization and authenticity. Vacationers want more interactive experiences and not just passive visitors. As this trend is reshaping the industry, let’s take a look at ten of the best companies that have already started to work like this.
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10 Best Experiential Travel Agencies
This travel company founded by 2 ex-British army captains is currently disrupting the travel industry maximizing their military knowledge.
It is named after an old navigation tool used in the bearing of a sea vessel.
Pelorus does not just ensure a bespoke trip but also prepares contingencies for various scenarios gaining the trust and confidence of every client.
Employing a wide network of connections ranging from different government agencies, conversationalists, and events to research centers – no obstacle can stop you from completing a travel design.
Pelorus has made the impossible possible multiple times such as utilizing helicopter-assisted summits for those who aren’t physically capable of scaling up mountains.
Aside from its private adventures, it also explores the oceans through its yacht expedition pushing its boundaries.
Velocity Black brings the world in the palm of your hands through their mobile application. This isn’t a travel agency but a travel planning app that allows you to book unique, experiential yours as well as luxury hotels and plane tickets at a discount.
“Experiential travel agencies provide a travel experience that is not just about the destination, but about the journey, the people, and the experiences along the way.”— The Telegraph
Merging artificial intelligence and human capabilities to bring the most meaningful lives to travelers.
In a time where time is a scarce commodity, it seeks to remove the barriers and let people be who they want to be, living their lives to the fullest.
Velocity is like having an around-the-clock tourist assistant who lets you reach distant territories, buys you a VIP ticket, brings you to a Japanese hidden gem in New York, and gets you a ticket to space.
Basically, it gives you worldly experiences making travel dreams come true.
Not just a state-of-the-art hotel reservation system but also offers ultra-luxury and experiential activities.
“Experiential travel agencies offer a new way to travel that is focused on creating lasting memories and meaningful connections with local communities and cultures.”— The Independent
LuxuryBARED provides answers to what travelers are looking for spiced up with a unique insight to every destination around the world.
LuxuryBARED will let you enliven your adventurous spirit by hiking an active volcano within a lake in the Philippines, rake you on a private trip to pristine beaches in Croatia, or enriching yourself in a gastronomical quest in South Africa.
It provides travelers with the right tools to make the right travel choices armed together with an efficient system. LUXE membership is free, as they say, “there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
4. Black Tomato
Black Tomato is like your friend telling you, I’ve been there and I understand you, every moment counts in your travel experience, allowing you to see every curated destination through their unique lens.
Every experience for every traveler is fashioned exclusively according to the preferred design of the customer.
Each design blueprint is unique for every traveler, nothing is ever repeated even for the same destination.
Aside from integrating aerial drones to capture different unreachable vantage points, it also brings you to an unknown and uncharted destination in order to find yourself in the process.
5. Vivid Travel
Vivid travel provides you with vivid experiences. Intertwining the extensive knowledge and on-the-ground experience of the travel designers, every client is ensured to be provided with idiosyncratic activities aligned to their blueprint in mind emphasizing flexibility and personalization.
Highlights include a 16-day ‘Following the Phoenix’ in China – enjoying the famous soup dumplings, living the Avatar dream on a mountain hike, and experiencing the ‘Vegas of China.’ Meanwhile, take off to Ireland for a 14-day tour of the “Land of Thrones,” actively searching for the filming spots of the Game of Thrones – exploring Castle Greyjoy and touring the Winterfell.
Vivid gives you the steering wheel while it becomes your map to experience the desired journey while reaching the destination.
Beginning in the plains of Africa, Abercrombie & Kent was developed, pioneering this new style of traveling and launching a new benchmark for every travel agency to follow.
“Experiential travel agencies offer a unique and personalized way to travel that allows travelers to create their own adventure.”— National Geographic
The company has been creating memorable experiences in 100 countries across seven continents for 58 years employing their local virtuosity and insider access.
Fusing a premier dining experience, first-class accommodation and transportation invigorated with a local theme, it continuously and passionately delivers exceptional tours, giving you the journey of a lifetime.
Abercrombie & Kent brings you a holistic experience where it doesn’t only orbit around the place to be visited but also circles it about the clients.
Combining culture, nature, food, and drink all at once, filling your suitcases with unforgettable memories and a better grasp and appreciation of the world we live in.
Full flexibility and expeditious personalized planning, together with its emphasis on supporting local economies and ecosystems ensure exploration and immersion for every traveler.
Aiming to connect every traveler to the places they visit making the memories stay with them wherever they go.
Daring and exciting adventures are arranged from a rainforest to the jungle, swimming in the beaches to exploring the caves, and snorkeling and sailing ancient temples in the Belize Barrier Reef.
Meanwhile, in Europe, it shows the hidden gems of Prague, Vienna, and Budapest learning the abundant history and local culture.
8. MT Sobek
If you’re an adventure finder, MT Sobek is what you’re looking for.
Each uniquely designed trip is meant to “exhilarate, enliven and excite” every traveler connecting with the nature and culture of the destination. Sobek is an adventure company.
Different audacious activities lined up are varied, from rafting and adventure in the national parks of North America to hiking and trekking in Alaska, or cultural immersion in Sudan.
Founder Manhattanite Leuzinger recognizes that pieces of advice from a local are cherished and valuable resources for every travel.
LOCALIKE provides a direct, straightforward, simplified guide in New York despite its complexity.
With a simple process of completing a profile on the website, a personalized itinerary is crafted within 5 days by their local experts.
10. Niquesa Travel
Niquesa Travel unceasingly provides clients with hyper-bespoke travel experiences.
“Experiential travel agencies offer a range of customized itineraries that are designed to meet the unique needs and interests of individual travelers.”— Lonely Planet
Each experience aims to deliver how the clients want to feel whole there not just where they want to go.
Each tour is designed to disconnect from pressures and distractions, reconnect with one another, rekindle and strengthen romance, escape the business and stress, indulge in quietness and stillness, and celebrate milestones.
Vacationers can choose to relax and have afternoon tea with a Maharaja in India, delve into the true concept of Zen in Japan, party in your private camp with a DJ on a glacier in Iceland, swim with the whale sharks in Mexico, or indulge in al fresco picnic of mouth-watering local lobster in Iceland.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
As there is an increasing number of travelers bidding adieu to ‘traditional’ sightseeing and the idea of ‘experiential travel’ has taken the world by storm, it has changed our bucket lists to more than just being able to go to a place, but really knowing and experiencing the culture and connecting to the locals. – exclusive network of the industry leader.
Authenticity seems to be the new mantra of modern-day travel. Ultimately, wherever you choose to go, whatever activity you choose to take, experiential travel is about bringing transformation, leading to self-discovery and growth. Like Anthony Bourdain, a famous travel documentarian, once said, “The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody.”
So, how’s experiential travel changing your bucket list?
Christian Petzold is a successful touristic entrepreneur, experiential traveller and round-the-world backpacker. He holds an academic degree in tourism management.
His touristic expertise has been covered in radio, newspaper and television.