I have always loved to travel and as our kids have got older we wanted to take them places that really got them to see the places and understand the culture they were visiting. More than just a fly and flop on the beach, but to go places and come back with stories to tell. We wanted experiences that involved meeting different local people, tasting different foods and getting involved in local activities rather than just see sites that would allow us to tick boxes – been there done that. We wanted to experience things that would build lasting memories.
We went on a group holiday once, and whilst there were some great places we visited, we found that it didn’t totally fit our agenda. It’s our holiday and we didn’t want to compromise. We also wanted to choose our own route and our own accommodation. And honestly there were a few people on the group that we wouldn’t choose to be on holiday with. (and I am sure they wouldnt choose to be on holiday with us either!!!)
We also found that when we went on our own trips (with 3 boys) we spent loads of time trying to find the activities to do at the times we were going, without really knowing whether we were choosing the right activity or the best person to do it with.
After speaking with a lot of friends and colleagues we saw a number of people having the same issues, they didnt want to go where the masses were going, they wanted to know what was on locally at the time they were going to be there, they wanted to find activities that were unique to the area they were visiting (you know Thai cooking lessons in Thailand – not in London).
We also spoke to a number of people who provide experiences for travellers – so many local passionate people who love and want to share what they do.
So we set up Not In The Guidebooks with Ambassadors in each region, local people to source and vet the best experiences and keep up to date with local events and gigs. We wanted to set this up as a global collective whereby every one of our ambassadors and partners would own part of our business and share in our success. It is a vision that we truly believe in, helping them set up their own local business and supporting local people and local communities. We won’t move to another region until we have found the right partners who shares our values.
If this sounds like you – please get in touch at [email protected]