What are the differences between a tailor-made holiday and a regular escorted packaged holiday?

We only organise, operate and offer bespoke exclusive holidays, which technically makes us a special events organiser and not a tour operator.

There are many other differences between a tailor-made holiday and a regular packaged holiday that it are not always transparent.

What constitutes a tailor-made holiday?

  1. hand-picked individual components are chosen that best suit the needs of a particular holiday and packaged accordingly i.e small individual hotels and camps, direct scheduled flights, local transport, local restaurants etc.
  2. exclusivity of a special host – in our case a well known artist or expert naturalist or conservation biologist
  3. the number of guests or participants are limited to ensure everyone has quality time with the host, has an outside seat in a safari vehicle, is made to feel part of a small private family etc
  4. each holiday is escorted by a co-host who is a professional travel director and is on hand to take care of all the practical arrangements and general welfare of everyone, and to facilitate any special requests
  5. uniqueness, experience and quality over-ride short cuts and competitiveness
  6. there is only one departure date
  7. there is a minimum number of participants required to operate the holiday which can be 3 or 6 persons
  8. what is included in the price is usually extremely transparent and normally includes everything except sometimes lunches and drinks
  9. late bookings within eight weeks prior to departure will often incur as surcharge because spare rooms in hotels and seats on flights will have been released and to secure extra places will be at  a higher price

Features of regular escorted packaged holidays include :

  1. the most competitive hotels (often large or inferior) and the cheapest flights or charter flights are contracted on the basis of multiple trips throughout the year
  2. the leader or escort is usually a local guide
  3. the group size can be +12 persons
  4. there is rarely a travel escort to look after you and to make sure everything runs smoothly
  5. price competitiveness is the over-riding criteria
  6. holidays have numerous departures and are repeated every year 
  7. there may not be a minimum number of participants needed to operate a departure
  8. check carefully what is included in the price, especially flights, baggage allowances, meals, park fees and entrances
  9. last minute discounts./ deals are sometimes offered to fill spaces  


Key points to consider:                   

You are more likely to travel with discerning and like-minded individuals on a tailor-made/exclusive/bespoke holiday

The level of personal service is unrivalled on a tailor-made/exclusive/bespoke holiday

If you are looking for something special and unique then check out the credentials of the expert hosts or guides

Book with a company that has a good reputation and track record and has been in the business for many years, knows their stuff and can answer your questions

The bottom line is – you get what you pay for

Only book a ‘packaged holiday’ with an ATOL licenced travel company to ensure your full financial protection

If you are looking for a painting holiday or safari that delivers the very best there is then please look at what we are offering this year

Finally…….  Thinking of packaging your own holiday?

If you decide to go it alone and to ‘package’ your own holiday then be aware :

  1. you won’t any financial protection if things go pear-shaped
  2. you can’t rely on anonymous recommendations (websites or reviews)
  3. you may end up booking through third party agents or not be aware of who you have actually booked with at all
  4. you won’t be able to choose who you end up sharing your experience, accommodation and/or transport with
  5. you may have an inexperienced local guide and whose English is not very good
  6. you may be short changed of the best experience available without your knowledge
  7. there may be no one to assist you or you may have to rely on inexperienced persons if you are involved in an accident or there is a local catastrophe