Our thoughtful experts are ready with ideas, inspiration and advice for your next journey.
Life is in the detail
For a truly authentic flamenco experience in Seville, head to Casa Anselma in the gypsy quarter. Enjoy watching traditional flamenco performed by locals to live music, safe in the knowledge that you'll be the only tourists there.
Jess - Original Traveller
Original Travel Expert
Travel Things I Want To Do Before I Die
- See the Northern Lights - the first thing I ever put on my bucket list
- Take a road trip through Europe in a vintage car - eating and drinking my way around
- See the Mayan, Incan and Aztec ruins in Mexico and Peru - I'm a bit of a history geek
- Go on a riding safari in the Okavango Delta - a combination of so many of my favourite things
- Summiting Kilimanjaro. Having spent most of the summit night stumbling onwards (remaining upright while stationary became particularly challenging) and thinking I was surrounded by little gremlins (altitude sickness is weird), reaching the top in time for sunrise was one of the most rewarding things I've ever done.
- Bungee jumping in New Zealand. I resolutely did not want to do this but pitifully succumbed to peer pressure... and I'm so glad I did!
- My favourite place: the beach at Refugio De Vida Silvestre La Flor (rehash.lowdown.kooks - for all you What3Words fans) on the west coast of Nicaragua where I watched turtles lay their eggs in the small hours of the morning. Having schlepped through the jungle to reach the remote coastline as night fell, we spent most of the night gazing up at the stars and listening to the ocean roll in onto the shore, before the turtles rocked up and did their thing... absolutely amazing.
Toughest Travel Moment
- Having to make the decision to send my friend back down Kilimanjaro half way through our climb because she wasn't well enough to continue
Weirdest Travel Moment
- Sharing a bag of deep-fried insects with a local guy on a bus in Laos while he rested his head on my shoulder and we watched a movie on my iPod.
Explore my blog posts
They say three is the magic number but really we all know it's 57,268,900. It is, after all, the landed area of Earth in square miles - positively spacious, we think you'll agree. It would seem that there's a whole world of, well, world out there to explore. Which can be hard to believe when…
Want to put the spring back in your step after the dark doldrums of winter? We've got just the ticket, and with Easter plus two May bank holidays, spring is one of the best times of year for an epic escape. Here's where to go in spring 2020…
There is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to honeymoons. Some want pure beachside R&R - and rightly so, we would always recommend some downtime as part of a honeymoon (never underestimate how tired you'll be after the months of preparation and wedmin) - while others want to start…
Summer may not have even begun (and who knows if it ever will) but before we know it autumn leaves will be falling, the Pimm's will be heading back into the cupboard for another year and the pervading pong of barbecue will have faded from the air. A stark reality we're sure you'll agree. And…
'New year, new me'. Many of us have uttered those immortal words, certain that this year we really will start morning spinning classes and dedicate our evenings to learning Spanish. Almost inevitably, once the first week of best intentions wears off, those resolutions start to slip. In fact,…
While the rest of the country dejectedly throws out the Quality Street rejects (Strawberry Delight, anyone?) and valiantly attempts a Dry January, why not beat the blues by jetting off to pastures new this January? Whether you're looking for good old fashioned outdoorsy adventure,…
Space travel may be coming to a Virgin store near you in the not-so-distant future but there's really no need to start practising your zero gravity moonwalk when there is so much of good old Planet Earth left to explore. Space may be the final frontier (thanks for the soundbite, Captain…
The way we travel is constantly evolving. Destinations fall in and out of favour and technology makes more and more of the world accessible, but the current trend du jour is definitely all about circumventing your fellow sightseers and living like a local while on holiday. That's where we…
The satisfying pop of a cork, the glorious glug of a bottle, the reassuring rattle of a cocktail shaker - whether it's a Virgin Mary, a classic G&T or a Bubble Bath Martini (lychee, poppy-seed, lavender, rose air and a rubber duck, obvs), a good drink at the end of a day spent by the…
Dynamic duos: think gin and tonic, French and Saunders, pineapple and pizza… okay, maybe not that last one, but the fact remains that some things are just better together - greater than the sum of their parts and thus elevated to legendary status (definitely not that last one, then). The…
Authenticity: a perennially peddled promise which is rarely truly fulfilled. Yet authenticity is increasingly what we look for in our holiday experiences; the desire to feel like we've seen the real destination; that we've got beneath its skin and seen into its soul. Well, authenticity just…
Whoever said failure to prepare is preparation for failure clearly never experienced the thrill of being spontaneous or, for that matter, the chaos of trying to juggle (delete as appropriate) family/work/home/pets/social life. While it's all very commendable to book things months and years…
We all know that slightly smug feeling of having discovered something new, be it an experience or a place. We also all know the struggle that follows - do you let the cat out of the bag? Or do you keep schtum and save it for yourself? Well, our inner blabber-mouth just can't keep it together…
What do Bond girls, the Pope and Boris Johnson have in common? They all know how to make an entrance (who can forget Boris swinging from that zip wire?). And while we don't necessarily recommend 'doing a Boris', the slightly smug feeling of having really arrived in style is something we can…
Life often feels like a whirlwind of work, social commitments and life admin: frankly it's exhausting. Well, that's where your travel guardian angels come in (that's us). We're here to show you the light and point you towards the giant beacon of hope that is a holiday. And when it comes to…
Travel trends come and go, and for every fad that eventually gets committed to the tourism equivalent of Room 101 (extreme heat holidays, anyone? - have a google) there is one that becomes entrenched in the collective travel psyche. Having burst onto the scene in the mid noughties, glamping…
In musical terms (stay with us), the phrase "deep cuts" refers to the true gems that are found later in an album; these tracks offer the same musical style of a given artist but don't ever make their way into the public consciousness. The music of true music lovers, if you will. Well, the…
The summer vacations may feel like a world away now but come June they'll be a veritable beacon of hope amidst the (organised) chaos of early morning wake-ups, school runs and vain attempts to prevent toothpaste from finding its way onto every single item of school uniform. Frankly, it's…
Don't panic, but Christmas is just 305 short days away **alarm bells start ringing**.While that might sound rather dramatic, Christmas and New Year are two of the most popular dates in the travel calendar and if you'd rather swap Brussels sprouts for beach scenes or awkward gatherings with…
January is finally over and, boy, was it a long one. But winter ain't over yet, people. We still have to survive February. Lucky for you the Original Travel Department for Life Enhancement (sounds dangerous) has come up with a few key tactics for seeing out a seemingly endless winter.…
Between Storm No Name threatening to blow Britain away and Trump's assertions of his 'stable genius' credentials, January isn't exactly turning out to be a classic is it? There's only one thing for it: ignore January entirely and look determinedly ahead. And in particular look ahead to all…
Anyone with an interest in wildlife, habitats and adventure will have a safari on their bucket list. Whether you're in search of the big five in Africa, evoking memories of the jungle book in India or seeking exotic wildlife in Latin America, we know the very best luxury hotels, camps and…
The advent of a new year often brings with it dreams of transforming oneself into a fitter, healthier, more cultured, better organised and generally super-charged version of the previous year's self: new year, new you and all that jazz. But now that the New Year hangover has worn off and the…
Winter is here. The woolly hats are on, layering to Michelin-man proportions is back in fashion and we've all begun to ponder when it's legitimate to start scoffing mince pies. It's a magical time, we can all agree. So naturally we've decided to by-pass all that and look ahead to spring -…
Meet the rest of the team
We’re seasoned travellers who combine our personal insights and exceptional knowledge to create memorable trips and experiences.
Isabel de Galleani
Gustav van Damme
Start creating your tailored trip today
Working with you we'll craft an unforgettable trip and tailored itinerary.