Audley Travel uniquely positioned to deliver on future travel trends
Published: 04/28/2020 / Updated: 04/29/2020
BOSTON, MA — After repatriating 1,600 travelers and providing ongoing support to thousands of clients who need to reschedule their spring travel plans due to ongoing travel restrictions, Audley Travel is starting to look forward and help travelers plan future trips once again.
Many of the clients who call in have expressed a need to have something to look forward to when this is all over,” said Marc Dolman, Head of Sales and Service at Audley Travel. While we can't advise exactly when that will be, we have issued a new Book with confidence policy that makes it easy to reschedule a trip, given the uncertainty we all face at the moment.
Audley Travel, a custom tour operator with trips to 80 destinations around the world, has compiled a list of early observations about how and where Americans will be traveling once shelter-in-place and travel restrictions are lifted.
1. A return to nature
Reconnecting with nature has been proven to offer a wealth of physical and mental benefits. We’ve asked Audley’s Country Specialists (experts who have lived, worked or traveled extensively in the part of the world they represent) to highlight their favorite wide-open spaces, far from the crowds, ideal to help reconfigure your perspective after months of confinement between four walls:
Donegal, Ireland - Northwestern Ireland is relatively untouched and home to the Slieve League Cliffs which are three times the size of Cliffs of Moher, without the crowds. To find yourself totally alone, head to Malin Head, the most northern point in all of Ireland.
- Where to stay: Glen House B&B - ideally located on the Wild Atlantic Way’s Inishowen Peninsula, with only nine guest rooms.
The Scottish Highlands - Explore Europe's last swathe of Caledonian Scots Pine in the Cairngorms National Park. You’ll find forest, mountains, lakes, wildlife, and not many people.
- Where to stay: Culloden House - a beautiful country manor that served as battle headquarters of Bonnie Prince Charlie before the disastrous Jacobite uprising of 1745.
Hokkaido, Japan - The high mountains, crystal-clear lakes and wide-open spaces set it far apart from the hustle, bustle and city lights of southern Japan. This northernmost island is also home to Japan’s highest concentration of national parks.
- This 14-day trip idea feature’s Hokkaido’s wildlife and hot springs.
Northern Iceland - Nearing the Arctic circle, Iceland’s Troll Peninsula and Lake Myvatn regions offer waterfalls, fjords, hot springs, and snow-capped peaks.
- Activity: Bathe in Geosea thermal baths, situated on the edge of a cliff overlooking a deep fjord and the mountains beyond.
- Stay: Deplar Farm - a 13-room retreat set in the secluded Fljot Valley, surrounded by towering mountains of the Troll Peninsula, Deplar Farm provides a plush base in the far north of Iceland for active explorations of the region’s great outdoors.
New Zealand – Known for its boutique hotels and isolated nature, any of the country’s luxury wilderness lodges are sure to rejuvenate the senses once travel resumes to the country.
2. Creative crowd avoidance
Social distancing is the new norm, and even after treatments or a vaccine are made available, new definitions of personal space and crowding won’t soon be forgotten. Below is a list of trip ideas that enable travelers to incorporate social distancing into their explorations:
Private stays - Book a private villa in Greece with your own private chef, or a small safari lodge just for your family with private daily game drives included. Here are a few of our favorite private accommodations:
- New Zealand’s 'Pure Pods' are designed to disconnect from devices and reconnect with nature (or wine, your choice).
- Stay in the middle of a Bolivian salt flat in a private airstream camper.
Limiting flight connections and shared transportation – whether you rent your own car, or your own catamaran with cook and captain, the following ideas will limit your access to crowds:
- Self-drive vacations – enjoy flexibility and mobility when you get behind the wheel on your next trip. Audley Travel can also prepare multi-country self-drive trips like this 15-day itinerary from South Africa to Namibia.
- Private custom travel – trips designed around your interests and preferences by country specialists who have been there before. Their in-depth regional knowledge means they can accommodate special requests and give you pre-travel advice so that you travel safely and confidently.
Stay on a private island
- Wa Ale Resort in Myanmar is a beautiful hotel set on a private island that plays an active role in the conservation of their natural paradise.
- The Royal Chundu Island Lodge in Zambia is set on an island in the Zambezi river.
- Waterford Castle in Ireland sits on a private island in the River Barrow and is only accessible by ferry.
- Song Saa Private Island in Cambodia is located in the Koh Rong Archipelago on two islands inked by footbridge.
3. Rewards for the early explorers
The day that travel restrictions lift, hotels will be eager to chip away at zero occupancy numbers, the world’s greatest sites will be empty, and the best guides and experiences will be readily available for the first time ever. For the intrepid few that venture out immediately, there will be unheard-of opportunities when it comes to price and access, not to mention being the lone target of the local tourism industry’s gratitude and hospitality. Imagine a visit to these bucket list destinations as an early explore would have seen them:
- Angkor Wat
- Taj Mahal
- Machu Picchu
- The Pyramids
- Beaches of Thailand
4. Travel planning as an outlet
"We’re seeing travelers who’ve been directly impacted by Covid-19 start to book trips – from urban dwellers on lockdown in pandemic hotspots, to recovered patients, to medical professionals on the front line. The nation’s first responders have sacrificed long hours and their own personal well-being to get us through this crisis, and it’s an honor to work with them to build plans they’ll have to look forward to.” - Marc Dolman, Head of Sales and Service
About Audley Travel
Audley Travel connects discerning travelers to a more rewarding experience in Asia, Africa, the Americas, Antarctica, Australasia and Europe. Their travel advisors are known as Country Specialists – experts who’ve spent years gaining first-hand knowledge of the best routes, guides, food, lodging, and local secrets in one specific corner of the world. Audley clients work with one specialist from start to finish to plan completely custom trips tailored to their individual interests. They travel at their own pace, but use their Country Specialist’s knowledge to open eyes and doors to travel opportunities that are typically only experienced by locals and repeat visitors. For more information please visit https://www.audleytravel.com/us