Where to travel when

Where to travel when

One of the most common questions that people ask when starting to plan a holiday is “when is the best time to go?”.   It’s never an easy question since it depends on so many differing factors.

Often weather is the prime factor in deciding when to travel.  If you’re simply trying to avoid rain, or perhaps go somewhere when it’s really hot, well this is simple to advise you on.

However it’s when you begin to add in other factors that things get a little more complicated.  For example, birders interested in travelling to Africa might want to be there in sunny weather, but actually the birds are best seen in the green (rainy) season.

So the kinds of things that will make a difference to getting the right place at the right time are:

  1. Climate and environmental conditions.  This is an easy thing to check if you’re just talking about whether it’s sunny or rainy, cold or hot.  On the Tribes website we have climate charts.  However the climate affects other issues such as whether roads are passable, if seas are rough, whether grasslands are high making wildlife viewing more difficult, and so on.
  2. Wildlife migrations.  Migratory patterns of birds and mammals are often key to deciding when to go where.  We have ‘Best Times to Go’ charts on our accommodation and itinerary pages which help you with this information.  For example, see our Masai Mara Big Cat Safari page and hover over the ticks on the chart on the left hand side of the page.
  3. Wildlife cycles. You might want to be around when the plains game are giving birth in the Serengeti, when wild dogs are denning, or when the waved albatross is mating in the Galapagos Islands.  Again, our ‘Best Times to Go’ charts will help you with this.
  4. Festivals.  Sometimes it’s great to link your travels with times when festivals or specific events are happening, such as Diwali in India.  It’s always worth asking if this is of interest to you.
  5. Seasons.  Lastly, another important deciding factor will be whether it’s high or low season both for accommodations and also for flights.  This can hugely affect prices, and of course you might prefer not to travel to certain places when they’re really busy.

A good place to start for advice on where to travel when is our Travel Calendar, though it’s always worth chatting to us too!

Why choose a luxury tailor made holiday?

Why choose a luxury tailor made holiday?

A tailor made holiday means that you can get exactly the holiday you want, at the time that you want it, stay in the places which are just right for you, and have the experience you really want.

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? Eg ATOL if they sell flights, and another form of financial protection for non-flight holidays (eg bonding).  These protect you financially if they go bust.
  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!