Trying tailor-made

Trying tailor-made

Trying tailor-made

Tailor-made holidays are all about getting to do what you want, when you want, for as long as you want, and where you want. Fancy giving it a try?

…a personal holiday planning service…

It’s a personal holiday planning service. A tailor-made travel company such as Tribes will talk to you about what experiences you’re hoping for from your time away, and work with you to get as close as possible to your dream.

This flexibility means that you could, for example, choose to have a few days in a luxury lodge on the beach, but follow that with some real adventure trekking in the rainforest.  Or you might want to join a group trip for the first week of your holiday then have another week doing your own thing.

A tailor-made holiday also allows you to choose the specific accommodation and methods of transport that you fancy (subject to availability of course) and pick the most appropriate activities and experiences for your interests.

In comparison with a group holiday you will probably be paying extra, as you don’t get the economies of scale when it comes to sharing costs of transport, guides and so on.  However, you can still very much expect value for money.

Tailor-made doesn’t have to be all about taking a luxury trip. Sometimes set (or even flexible) itineraries, however great, just don’t fit what you need, whether that’s in terms of activities or even just timing. Recently, for example, we had a client who needed two mini-breaks tailored to sit either side of a conference her husband was attending in Costa Rica – she struggled for weeks to find a company to create these for her until she came to Tribes.

You get to talk to one of our friendly consultants.

Tailor-made with Tribes

When you talk tailor-made to us we start by getting a picture of what you want, whether that’s a set of parameters to work with or a highly-detailed wishlist, along with an indication of your holiday budget.

You’ll be dealing throughout with one of our friendly consultants, someone who loves, specialises in and really knows the region you want to travel to, and who can suggest improvements/amendments that might make your dream trip even better. They will know all about those added extras, such as bespoke experiences or excursions off the beaten track, that make a good holiday into a trip of a lifetime, and, once they understand how you tick and the specific requirements you and your fellow travellers have, can suggest things that you may never have thought of but that add immeasurably to the whole experience. And they don’t work on commission, so can give you truly impartial advice.

To help us get a clear picture of what would work best for you, in addition to bearing in mind your approximate budget, we’d need to know things like:


  • How many of you will be travelling – and will there be any children or travellers with specific needs (e.g. disabled travellers) in the party?
  • How long would you like your holiday to be and when (or approximately when) would you like to travel?
  • Is there are particular country orregion that you want to go to?
  • What you hope for from this holiday – is it for deep relaxation, an action-packed adventure, or perhaps you want to immerse yourself in culture?
  • If there is something specific you want to do – perhaps you’ve always dreamed of horse riding in Patagonia, hiking along the Inca trail or mastering the art of a particular cuisine?
  • Whether you’ve set your heart (and budget) on luxury hotels and spas throughout or have a yen for rustic lodges or perhaps wild camping in the African bush, and whether you want beach, mountain, desert, rainforest, city – or a bit of everything!

Then we start to plan your trip – always remembering that it is your trip.

You’re never presented with a ‘take it or leave it’ itinerary (unless there is a lack of availability), we work closely with you to truly create a bespoke itinerary that gets as close as possible to what you’ve set your heart on. And, once your trip is booked, we are still there for you, making sure you have everything you need both in the lead-up to and on your holiday.


© Shutterstock – Joseph Mortimer

A client who travelled tailor-made to India with us recently commented, “Paul put together a great holiday for us – he listened to what we wanted and made the itinerary accordingly”, while a client for whom we tailor-made a holiday in Ecuador said “It was planned to be a memorable and unique holiday and that’s how it turned out so we were delighted.”

Going tailor-made – what you need to know

Finding a really good travel company and consultant that you trust is key.  You need someone who is going to listen to you carefully so that they understand clearly what you are wanting from your holiday.

A consultant that has a good range of destination knowledge is also important, as they are able to compare different places for you, and so get you closer to the experience you are looking for.  Hopefully they have visited many of the places which are on your wishlist, and maybe also know quite a few of the lodges and hotels you could consider.

Obviously, for a really special and luxury holiday, you don’t want to worry about your services. You want to know that everything will run like clockwork, that the services are high quality, and that you also have good backup in case of unforeseen problems.  So, choosing a reputable company is critical. Look for membership of trade organisations such as AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators) who have quality standards for their members.  And testimonials can give you a good idea of a company’s reputation, as long as there are plenty of them, so it’s obvious they’ve not been made up!

Here is a checklist of things to look for in a travel company:

  1. Has the company been going for some time?
  2. Are they members of AITO or other industry associations which promote quality?
  3. Do they have all the required licences? Are they bonded with ATOL (5802) and ABTOT so able to provide 100% financial protection?
  4. Do they have any regard to social and environmental responsibility?
  5. Are there testimonials from previous clients you can read?  Or perhaps even an actual client they can put you in touch with? Or maybe verified client satisfaction ratings?
  6. Do they have consultants who really know their destinations well?
  7. Do the consultants work on commission?  On the whole, you might expect a more honest service from those not on commission.
  8. Is the company independent and can therefore sell any services and properties they wish, or are they tied to certain hotel chains etc?   Don’t limit your choices unwittingly.
  9. Does the company put enough store on your health and safety?
  10. Do they have adequate back up services in case you have a problem?

Any good company should be able to answer all of these questions easily and positively.

So, for a very special holiday, don’t risk your money and your precious time. Get help from a good tailor-made holiday company. There are lots out there – and one right here!

Something to look forward to

Something to look forward to

Something to look forward to
4 October 2017
Sometimes when you return from a holiday you experience a sense of unreality, temporarily suspended between the world of travel and that of everyday life. Rather than fall into the trap of PBH, the post-holiday blues, I recommend some self-help and for me nothing works better than throwing myself into planning my next trip. Indeed, having not long returned from my travels I have already booked the next adventure and am happily anticipating the holiday to come.
With that in mind, should you find yourself in a similar situation and requiring a dose of holiday-planning therapy, where better to start than our wonderful website. We’ve collected together some inspiring experiences and grouped together holidays in types to make it easier for you to see what takes your fancy. It may be that once-in-a-lifetime trip to iconic destinations such as the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu or the Antarctic, spending time with mountain gorillas, meerkats or jaguars, seeking thrills through zip lining, white water rafting or mountain biking, or just relaxing on an exotic beach.
Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Photograph by Paul Cook

Quite a choice, you’ll agree. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve got specialists websites dedicated to the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, Botswana and Tanzania, each brimming with ideas, information and photos to engage you, and our consultants are not only experts in their fields, but keen travellers, too, eager to help you make your dreams become reality.

“I recommend some self-help and for me nothing works better than throwing myself into planning my next trip”
So whatever you fancy, I’m sure we have can conjure up something that you will enjoy looking forward to.
Meerkat adventures.
Photograph by Fiona Ayerst via Shutterstock
Photograph via Costa Rican Trails
copyright Time & Tide/Miavana Costa Rican Trails
Photograph by Jo Crebbin via Shutterstock

Responsible travel is more fun!

Responsible travel is more fun!

Responsible travel is more fun!
November, 2016


Responsible travel.  It sounds a bit ‘sensible’ doesn’t it?  So what does this have to do with holidays and having fun?
Well the fact is that travelling responsibly is a positive experience which actually makes travelling more fun, not less.  And on top of that you get that warm feeling of knowing that you’ve made a difference in some way – perhaps you’ve helped with the conservation of rainforest, or helped to fund an anti-poaching patrol, or brought money to a community development scheme.
maasai meeting
When you travel responsibly you might be very aware of the benefits your visit is bringing, for example if you go on a gorilla trek you know that your permit is being used to help protect the gorillas. However sometimes it’s much less obvious. An example of this is if you stay at a luxury lodge where you get the best accommodation, delicious cuisine and top notch guiding in a remote reserve.  It’s not immediately obvious that the lodge is in fact owned by the local Maasai community and that all profits go to help conservation and development projects in the area.
“So how are responsible, sustainable holidays more fun? ”

Well they are quite often far more interesting than a ‘standard’ holiday, and they can connect to you to the place you’re visiting more readily. Also the people you meet are usually really keen that your experience is a superb one. They know that your visit is bringing benefits, and they appreciate that.

Here are 10 examples of fantastic diverse things you could enjoy on holidays which make a difference:

  • Become a Maasai warrior for a week!
  • Trek in the Peruvian Andes and stay at community-run campsites for a more authentic experience.
  • Go pony trekking in Lesotho and stay in local villages.
  • Stay in a romantic treehouse on an island in the Indian Ocean.
  • Go jaguar spotting in the Brazilian Pantanal.
  • Visit musicians and craftsmen in small villages in Kerala and get involved.
  • Take a short break in a kasbah in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains.
  • Enjoy a safari in the Masai Mara staying at a luxury lodge.
  • Explore the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador with Huaorani Indians.
  • Chill out on a remote beach in South Africa, staying in a reed chalet.

There really are so many exciting things to do, so ask us for inspiration if you want, or check out the website for great ideas.

Go on, give yourself a treat, and know that your fun is bringing positive change.

Viewing Rhino

Search Me, Inspiring Experiences and When to go Where

Search Me, Inspiring Experiences and When to go Where

I hope you’ve had a chance to look at our new website now and like what you see! There are some features I’d like to point out as they should make it easier for you to find the precise information you want from all that is on the website. All these are to be found on the home page of our new site.

There’s now a search facility in the top right corner. Just type in a word or phrase, wait for a millisecond and browse through the results. Whether you’re looking for a particular animal, activity, location or property, it’s an invaluable aid. Why not put it to the test.


With so much choice of destinations and activities It isn’t always easy to know where to start when planning a holiday. That’s where our ‘Inspiring Experiences’ come in. Between us we’ve gathered our personal top 20 travel experiences, which range from wildlife encounters to sheer indulgence. There should be something among them to spark a few ideas and get you excited about your next trip. Take a look!


We’ve also grouped holidays by type, so if you’re wanting a family trip, something cultural, an emphasis on eco-tourism, or somewhere really special for a honeymoon, the ‘Holiday Types’ (add link) button is the best place to start. Within each section you’ll find trips spanning a range of locations. And as most of these are tailor-made we can always tweak the itinerary to meet your wishes exactly.

Do you have set holiday dates or a particular month that you prefer to travel? If so When to go Where’, right at the top of the page, is invaluable. We’ve prepared a comprehensive month-by-month guide, detailing the best places for wildlife and nature holidays, beach and relaxation, sightseeing and adventure, plus some suggested itineraries to whet your appetite.


When you a few moments please take a look at the website and try out some of these handy tools.  It should prove both information and enjoyable, and remember this is just the start, as your personal travel consultant is just an email or phone call away, waiting to make your holiday ideas a reality

Going Solo around the World

Going Solo around the World

Travelling solo may seem like a daunting prospect. Admittedly there are certain destinations that are just geared up for solo travellers and others…well, not quite. I’ve been lucky enough to have travelled to 76 countries and 40 of these as a solo but for every country that is easy to travel to, there are some that just aren’t and for those, I recommend taking a group tour.

Local guides know the best places to go and the areas to avoid and give you that added security of travelling to a country that you may feel intrepid travelling to by yourself.

Which countries should you use a guide in? Here’s my pick:


Travelling through Africa is not easy as a solo and this is a country where a local guide is best. I travelled to Botswana and Malawi on an overland tour. If you’ve never been to Africa, you have to go to Malawi. Known as the heart of Africa, Malawi is one of my favourite places. It’s so lush with a lake a third of the size of the country, sandy beaches and sugar plantations. Then there’s Botswana; the friendliest border crossing I have ever been through. A trip to the Okavango Delta will get you up close with the animals and you can sleep under the stars with the sound of hippos nearby.

My highlight – the walking safari in the Delta

Giraffe - taken by GirlaroundtheGlobe

Giraffe – taken by GirlaroundtheGlobe


You can’t travel to Bhutan unless you’re personally invited to the country or on a tour. I visited the Land of the Thunder Dragon on a four day trip through this fascinating little country. This Kingdom is completely different to any other country I have ever been to and you get a real sense of peace as you land in its capital, Paro. You really have to be into culture here as each tour will lead you around temples and monasteries and teach you about their Tibetan Buddhism roots.

My highlight – the Tiger Nest monastery.


Tiger Nest Monastery – Bhutan


I spent a month teaching English to Tibetan nuns and exploring the country in my time off. The country is a blend of religions: Hindus and Buddhists and exploring each temple gives an insight into each culture. You can’t go to Nepal though without experiencing some trekking. I chose to yoga trek in Pokhara but if you prefer normal trekking then the Everest base camp and Annapurna ranges are the places to be.

My highlight – Trekking in Pokhara.

Fishtail - taken by GirlaroundtheGlobe

Fishtail – taken by GirlaroundtheGlobe

The Middle East

If you’re travelling solo and especially as a woman, you may feel more comfortable taking a tour here. Jordan is an amazing country and you can’t beat a trip to the Dead Sea. There’s so much to see from desert castles to lost civilisations and the stunning landscape of Wadi Rum but getting around is tricky unless you have a guide and private transport.

My highlight – floating in the Dead Sea

Lisa floating in the Dead Sea - taken by GirlaroundtheGlobe

Lisa floating in the Dead Sea – taken by GirlaroundtheGlobe

If you’re travelling long-term, a tour and a local guide is a good way of getting a feel for the country before growing the confidence to go it alone. It’s not cheating as a solo honest!

This article was written by Girl about the Globe, making solo travel easier. Visit the website for solo travel advice.

Post-summer blues and how to beat them!

Post-summer blues and how to beat them!

With autumn seemingly upon us and the school term getting into full swing we’re well and truly into the season of post-summer blues. As the nights start drawing in and the long dearth of bank holidays (the next one’s not till Christmas, sorry!), it’s hard not to easy to fall prey to the pervading sense of gloom.

But, in the words of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Jonesy from Dad’s Army, ‘don’t panic’! Help is at hand. This is just the time you can and should look ahead and start thinking about your next holiday! Be this a short break at half term, a family holiday over Christmas, a long weekend in the spring or next summer’s big vacation, now’s the time to dream – and plan.

Where to start?

With so many destinations easily accessible these days, it’s not always easy to decide. You have a good idea of when you want to go but not where, and that’s where we can help. We’ve created a handy When-to-go-where” guide.

Alternatively just visit the “where to go when” section on the Tribes website, with its month-by-month shortlists you’ll see our pick of the best places to visit and why. For instance, did you know that in December you can see the zebra migration in the Kalahari, witness the hatching of giant tortoise eggs in the Galapagos, bask in Mediterranean-style weather in South Africa’s winelands and cruise the backwaters in Kerala, to name but a few? Or that April is ideal for Jordan with lovely warm weather, great for High Atlas treks in Morocco and the best month to see shoebill storks in Zambia.


Why not take a look. If nothing else you can start dreaming about your holidays to ward off those winter blues. And of course, we’re here, just a phone call or email away. Our consultants – you’ll see their photos and bios on the website – are the cream of the crop, they know their destinations inside out, can’t wait to tell you about them and just love planning holidays.