Insight /

We Know.. Because We Go

Our adage ‘We Know Because We Go’ has never been truer: read below to find out where the team have been and what we’ve learnt.

As you might imagine we are all passionate about travel.

This year has allowed us to explore further and deeper, collecting experiences that we know you will enjoy on your next trip.

We’ve been hiking in the mountains of Greece, diving in the Galapagos, cruising the Danube by boat, Big Five spotting in Kenya, tasting South Africa’s wines, sampling curries in Kerala, camping in the wilds of Oman and testing out the Caribbean blues of Bequia island among many other experiences.

Read on to for our personal piece of travel wisdom from our year of travels.

 

    Matt Fisher, Director

    “Go inland and find authenticity.”

    Exploring Crete in early spring allowed me to remember how lovely Europe is at this time of year and reframe an island that I previously thought of as touristy.

    Crete’s hinterland is full of authentic charm and a day spent on the farm harvesting vegetables, cooking, eating and drinking local wine felt like an enjoyable and authentic way to connect with Crete’s traditions.

    Sarah McLennan, Sales Manager

    “People make the place…”

    Oman is of course known for its diverse landscapes but what struck me most on my recent trip was the warm hospitality of the Omani people.

    You can be doing all manner of exciting activities from sand boarding to wild wadi swimming, yet the most memorable experiences are on a more human level, learning about Omani culture. Like a delicious home cooked traditional lunch in a villager’s house or accepting tea and having a chat with a market seller.

    Rob Milverton, Travel Planner

    “Don’t be afraid to wander away from the crowds and explore down the side streets.”

    It sounds obvious but we so rarely leave the trodden path. An example was a recent trip to Venice. Of course, I didn’t want to miss sights like St Mark’s Square, but by putting time into the itinerary to ‘get lost’, I discovered Venice’s true heart down off-radar side streets in delicious, family-run trattorias, tiny churches stuffed with stunning art and simply observing Venetians going about their daily life.

    Sophie Garland, Travel Planner

    “Go slow – and allow that sense of anticipation to get you into holiday mode.”

    I still dream about the trip I took to Sifnos. Taking the ferry creates extra effort but watching the island come into view and finally arriving at the port gives you the most delicious sense of anticipation.

    The slow pace continues on sleepy Sifnos, and I can confirm Sifnos’ foodie reputation is 100% deserved – for a small island you’re getting some extremely high-quality cuisine.

    Catherine Foxon, Travel Planner

    “Consider your time zones.”

    If you’re travelling with family and young children in particular, it really pays to look at destinations and where they sit on the time zones. I recently travelled to Asia, where local time means kids can stay up in the evening, and even better – sleep late in the mornings!

    Asia is also home to some seriously parent-friendly hotels where you don’t need to compromise on style. Hotels like Six Senses Laamu in the Maldives really know how to keep everyone happy.

    Sam Kelly-Shaer, Travel Planner

    “Go big and tick off your bucket list.”

    Something I have in common with Real Holidays’ customers is a shared passion for the experience of travel. And this passion allows me to keep exploring and discovering new things. I recently took a long-awaited bucket list trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos and found it emotional to finally see for myself the extraordinary landscapes filled with the world’s most unique creatures.

    If you’re thinking about that ‘big trip’- just go for it.

    Sacha Boase, Sales Concierge

    “Get a taste for Turkey!”

    I was pleasantly surprised by my trip to Kalkan in Turkey, and it made me realise how many places are worth visiting out of season.

    In April it was already a lovely 24 degrees and the combination of historical ruins, great hotels, stunning beaches and an authentic feel made for a wonderful visit. And I’d certainly recommend the beautiful Lycian Coast for a gulet cruise on its clear-as-glass waters.

    Pheebe Hewitt, Sales Concierge

    “Embrace independent travel.”

    If anyone is wondering whether to take a solo holiday, I can fully endorse it. I’ve travelled on my own on many occasions and always find that it opens up incredible opportunities and chance conversations. Not to mention the fact you never have to compromise on where to go!

    Recently I travelled from Bari in Italy by train southwards, soaking up sun, surf and stunning Italian architecture, all at my own pace.