NOTHING stirs the imagination quite like a new adventure. Having a big trip planned is a great motivator and gives us all an excuse to search for destinations that inspire us.

Bespoke luxury holidays are a dominant force within the current climate, with more and more travellers setting their sights on worldwide locations and unique pursuits. If you are hungry for experiences, craving excitement and new cultural insights, then there are a number of experts, airlines and tourism groups with the tools to help match you with your dream bespoke holiday.

Travel Counsellors – David Bishop

When planning a holiday, whether it’s a multi-stop adventure to far flung places or a week in Spain, it’s important the trip is tailored to you. Designing the perfect holiday is no easy task, yet with the help of a specialist travel consultant, the process can be simple and stress free.

David Bishop has extensive knowledge and experience when it comes to booking holidays. After working for 10 years with travel experts, Trailfinders, he made the decision to become self-employed and now works under the umbrella company Travel Counsellors. With a unique network of travel professionals, independent experts like David can offer expert advice to tailor holidays to the individual.

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Based in Edinburgh, David is happy to meet clients in person to discuss their trip, whether it’s over a coffee or via a home visit. Alternatively, he can discuss plans over the phone or through email.

Taking into consideration all aspects of the trip, from the flights to transfers, accommodation to insider tips, David creates dream breaks for his clients. No matter what the destination or budget, his skills and commitment mean no details are forgotten.

Some clients may seek a relaxing getaway in luxury resorts with day trips factored in; others may want an action-packed break, camping under the stars or trekking amongst beautiful landscapes. Whatever the plan, David can help make the dream a reality.

At Trailfinders David specialised in organising premium cabins with all major airlines, along with world-class ground arrangements including the Ghan, Indian Pacific and the Transalpine. This has provided him with in depth knowledge of the luxury travel market.

If clients want to visit some stunning locations, open-jaw itineraries involving cruises can be a unique way of travelling between incredible places, be it Singapore to Sydney, Darwin to Perth or perhaps Fjordland night cruises in New Zealand.

He is also particularly passionate about helping clients plan holidays to Australia and New Zealand, thanks to two years spent living there and exploring the many delights of the two destinations.  

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Much like a hotel’s concierge service, the personal service David provides is not limited to the flights and accommodation. He will take care of restaurant reservations, spa services, recommend night life hot spots and anything the client wishes. While away on the holiday, he will also be contactable in the rare instance where an issue occurs.

Trusted and relied upon, David is a Gold TC (Travel Counsellor). This means based on customer testimonials and sales, he is in the top 10 per cent of 1800 TC’s worldwide and one of very few Gold TC’s in Scotland.

To get in touch and find out more, contact David on 0131 516 3920, email david.bishop@travelcounsellors.com or visit www.travelcounsellors.co.uk/david.bishop

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Icelandair

Icelandair operates from the UK and Ireland, serving direct flights to Iceland from five gateways: London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin with easy onward connections to 18 destinations in the USA and Canada, places such as New York, Boston, Washington.

When you fly with Icelandair, you will enjoy their unique brand of Icelandic hospitality and comfort. On-board experiences include special features such as, the latest Icelandic music, comfy leather seating plus interactive in-flight entertainment systems designed to make the short flight to Iceland fly by. Passengers enjoy generous legroom, complimentary seat selection and 10kg hand baggage allowance as standard.  At the front of the cabin, in Saga Premium (the journey becomes part of the holiday) their exclusive luxurious seats have extra legroom, and you’ll have dedicated staff attending your every need, offering a pre-flight drink and later the choice of gourmet meals and fine wines.  

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Photograph: Icelandair

Before boarding your onward flight to any of our North American destinations, why not sample the Saga Lounge. Staff will welcome you with their famous Icelandic hospitality.

Alternatively, why not add an Icelandic touch to your trip when flying across the Atlantic? Stop over in Iceland for up to seven nights at no additional airfare. Visit Reykjavík, the world’s most northern capital, and enjoy the island’s geological contrasts with some of the largest volcanoes on Earth and its magnificent glaciers. It’s not called the Land of Fire and Ice for nothing.

There are plenty of things you can do on an Icelandair Stopover.

If you’re looking for some relaxing options, they recommend taking a day trip through the southwest of Iceland. Start at the Blue Lagoon on route from the airport to Reykjavik and spend your first few hours in Iceland, soaking in the milky blue water. Then head to Reykjavik for a refreshing cup of coffee downtown before plunging your feet into the Grótta footbath with a breath-taking view over the Faxafloi bay and neighboring mountains.

Now your feet are refreshed, go for a cocktail and a lovely meal at Slippbarinn, the bar at Icelandair Hotel Reykjavík Marina. Fancy a bit of adventure? After a good nights sleep, explore the legendary Golden Circle, bringing you to Iceland's most famous natural attractions.

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Photograph: Icelandair

Some of Iceland’s best-known jewels lie in the South, which should be at the top of your itinerary.

With a well-equipped rental car, you can cover a lot of this adventurous region, with activities like ice climbing, snowmobiling, horse-back riding, swimming and visits to the famous waterfalls.

Not forgetting that before you head on to the airport, make a stop at Sóley Natura Spa for a relaxing massage before your flight.

Visit www.icelandair.com/en-gb for more information.

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Elitsa Nixon – Travel Counsellors

Passionate about helping customers create their perfect holiday, travel specialist Elitsa Nixon has years of experience creating bespoke trips. Based in Dumbarton Elitsa has worked under the umbrella company, Travel Counsellors, since last year as an independent travel consultant and one of the areas she specialises in is niche expedition cruises.

After settling in Scotland over eight years ago, Elitsa gained a master’s degree in International Tourism Management before joining a major UK tour operator specialising in itineraries to long-haul destinations such as the Far East, Middle East, Africa, Indian Ocean and Australasia.

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Today Elitsa specialises in cruises, particularly focusing on niche expedition cruises.  An increasingly popular way to travel, expedition cruises are changing the face of cruise ship holidays. Accommodating a few hundred passengers only- as opposed to the thousands normally found on cruise ships – they take passengers to incredible and remote corners of the world.

Expedition cruises are perfect for inquisitive adventure seekers wanting to explore places such as the Galápagos Islands, Antarctica, the Arctic and Australia’s Kimberly Coast. These once in a lifetime trips take passengers to spectacular locations on smaller, custom-made cruise ships designed to navigate icy waters and gain access to places not easily accessed by visitors.

As an up and coming holiday option, most travel agents aren’t well versed in expedition cruises. Elitsa however has a keen in interest in the specialist holidays and having worked on a cruise ship for five years, is well versed in normal cruise ship holidays too. 

Whatever the length of trip, choice of destinations or budget, Elitsa can help create a truly bespoke cruise holiday. Many people will include land experience in addition to their cruise in order to make the most of their dream vacation and completely immerse themselves in new destinations and cultures.

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Elitsa is proud to offer customers a flexible and personal service. She is happy to meet customers face to face or can discuss options over the phone or online. With the benefit of working from home, she can work around the customer’s schedule to provide impartial advice.

To find out more about how Elitsa can help plan your dream holiday, visit www.travelcounsellors.co.uk/elitsa.nixon, call 01389330004 or email elitsa.nixon@travelcounsellors.com or simply check her Facebook page @Elitsa Nixon – Travel Counsellors

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Thorya Travel Consultancy

If you have been collecting a bucket list of travel destinations, activities, or pursuits you’ve always wanted to venture into to but are unsure of where to start then there is a simple solution.

With a lifetime of travel experience and industry knowledge, Birgit Thorya De-Schuster Orsi decided to help others in discovering their dream adventures, and thus Thorya Travel Consultancy was established. The Austrian/Canadian Hotel and Tourism Management graduate of Strathclyde University and hotelier wanted to combine her luxury hotel customer service and travel management skills to offer a truly unique and personal service to her clients.

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Six years on, Thorya Travel has been responsible for pairing numerous clients with their perfect travel experiences, all tailored completely to the personal needs of individual clients.

From weddings and honeymoons, to scuba diving liveaboard experiences, escorted tours, solo or group trips, Birgit can ensure you get the most out of your trip without you having to deal with any of the hassle.

Birgit’s professional methods and extensive industry knowledge have ensured many customers return to seek her services.

Once a client gets in touch with Thorya Travel, a meeting or online communication can be arranged to discuss budgets, dates, destinations, activities etc. Once Birgit understands the needs of a client, she will create a bespoke travel proposal listing flight, hotel, and any other relevant options for the client to pick and choose from within their budget. The option to add any extra experiences is also always available. Once an itinerary is finalised, Thorya Travel will create a single pdf laying out all your relevant info (dates, times, flight details, booking confirmation numbers, receipts etc.) in one handy place for your convenience.

Birgit is always conscious of the latest deals and strives to offer all her clients the best prices she can find on the market. Some popular destinations that Birgit recommends at present include once in a lifetime trips such as the Rocky Mountaineer train journey through the Canadian Rockies which is currently offering a fantastic deal that includes a free hotel stay for 2019 or 4 free perks for 2020 bookings.

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Bhutan is another recommendation from Thorya Travel, where Birgit herself has been. A country where progress is measured by Gross National Happiness as opposed to GDP. This spiritual nation believes in controlled tourism which is why all visitors are required to book travel activities via a Bhutanese Government licensed tour operator, who work directly with Thorya and her partners.

Thorya is your personal travel consultant. Your journey planner specialized in bespoke travel tailored to fit your personal needs. There to help you put your travel dreams together; to help you find the perfect holiday experiencefor you as an individual, a couple, or as a family, make it into a reality, ensuring you get the most of your experience every time.

For help creating your ideal tailor-made holiday or for more information on what Thorya Travel can do for you call Birgit on 0774 282 8456 or find her online:

www.thoryatravel.com

www.facebook.com/ThoryaTravel

www.instagram.com/thoryatravel

twitter.com/ThoryaTravel

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Visit Frankfurt

In years past, Frankfurt had the image of a grey-in-grey banking city. Happily, those days are long gone. Today, this little metropolis on the River Main is a popular global travel destination, located in central Europe and Germany.

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But did you know that Frankfurt is also one of Germany’s greenest cities? That there are traditional farmers’ markets selling regional produce all throughout the week? That elegant fashion shops may be found next door to the boutiques of up-and-coming designers? It’s true!

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Frankfurt is a city full of contrasts, a city constantly offering new impulses, new impressions and new experiences.

www.frankfurt-tourismus.de/en 
#visitfrankfurt