This post was originally published on November 25, 2013 on the Absolute Travel Blog
In a world where you can search almost anything, there are some things that Google just can’t find. Here are six reasons our luxury travel specialists are smarter than the world’s most savvy search engine. We weren’t named Travel + Leisure‘s World’s Best Tour Operator for nothing!
We Do the Work
Exploring uncountable travel websites, reading conflicting reviews, and doing hours and hours of research are all exhausting—particularly when you do a ton of work and it’s all for naught. That’s where we come in. We are discerning, we are opinionated, and we welcome the opportunity to share our knowledge with you. Our team of luxury travel specialists’ in-depth knowledge and expertise assure you’re on the right track. Not only does our firsthand feedback enrich your journey, but it also provides invaluable peace of mind so you can relax before, during, and after your trip.
We Vet, Test and Inspect the World’s Hotels So You’re Not Misled
We only give you firsthand hotel recommendations that have been gladly tested—one lodge, one hotel, one resort, one tent at a time. We can also arrange for you to travel through countries by boat, motorcycle, or private jet, and can have you sleeping in a room on the top floor of Dubai’s most luxurious hotel or in Mongolia’s most remote ger. We are honest and we are objective. We don’t trust magazines or press releases when designing your trip—we rely on our own in-house knowledge.
We all know what you see online isn’t always what you get. Even sites like TripAdvisor, which were created to provide trusted reviews, can’t be depended on. Fake customer reviews and altered pictures have resulted in many disappointing luxury vacations. We’re doing the research so you don’t waste any time on your long-awaited vacation disappointed. We stay in every hotel we recommend so you know what you’re going to get. We are unbiased. We do not have contracts that motivate us to fill beds in particular properties, but rather we make careful hotel selections to ensure the best hotel experience possible for our travelers.
Plus, our knowledge of the world’s best hotels, from charming city hideaways to over-the-top luxury skyscrapers means we can further customize your experience and help guide you so you’re vacationing in a hotel that merits a stay. Every night on your trip is carefully considered. Our expertise ensures you avoid that dreaded moment where you show up and it’s not what you expected. We don’t only know the properties, but we are friends with the general managers and can tell you where to go with the kids (and where not to), the most delectable breakfasts, the most superb service, and of course we know the best room in the house. Our expertise ensures we reviewed your options and gave you the behind-the-scenes breakdown so you’re confident that you are where you should be. You can’t Google that.
Travel Like a Local: Hit the Highlights & Experience What Makes A Place Unique
Visit any city with a guidebook versus exploring with a trusted friend, and you will go on two completely separate trips. We’re always happy to hit destination highlights, but what we’re really interested in are the deeper layers of a place that are so often overlooked on the tourist circuit. We unearth what makes a place unique: we don’t only take you to Hong Kong’s Michelin-starred restaurants, but we stroll through the bustling mom-and-pop noodle stalls; we’ll lead you to the Big 5 in South Africa, but we also want to introduce you to the too often overlooked and just as mesmerizing residents (even dung beetles have a captivating story!); we will take you trekking to meet Uganda’s wild mountain gorillas up close, but we want to introduce you to reformed poachers turned wildlife protectors to give you another perspective; we don’t just show you India’s decorated palaces, but we will introduce you to the locals who know their hidden passageways and the secrets that bring them to life. You can’t Google that.
Collaborate with an Expert
We’re not just booking off the shelf vacations; we take a considerable amount of time with every single client to work together on creating your ideal journey. It’s a collaboration. Throw out your ideas, and our luxury travel specialists will guide you until your trip is exactly what you want. We’re speaking from personal experiences, and stand behind our opinions, which are honest, authentic, and original. Think of our luxury travel specialists as trusted friends you can ask, “Is the simple thatched roof beach hut as charming as it looks, or should we splurge on the luxurious over-the-top beach villa? This is our first exotic family vacation—can I speak to someone who has done this so I know what we’re getting into?” We’re passionate people who care about creating inspiring trips that make a mark on your life. You can’t Google that.
It’s All Who You Know
In 2014 we’re celebrating twenty-five years of designing private luxury journeys to the world’s most remote corners. We’ve been around for a long time, and we’ve made a lot of friends along the way. Our extensive global network of insiders and experts allows us to create truly special experiences that oftentimes become the most memorable part of your trip. Want to practice your sun salutation in India with a legendary yogi? Soar above the great migration on a private helicopter safari? How about share stories over tea with a famous poet in Iran, or have an island in Southeast Asia all to yourself? We can make it happen. We have more knowledge, relationships, and expertise than anyone in the industry, and we use it to create one-of-a-kind journeys and experiences that you will cherish for a lifetime. You can’t Google that.
Our Passion is Contagious
There is no textbook, no film, and no lecture that offers the type of understanding that traveling the world can give you. And there is no website that can capture our team’s passion. A passion for travel is in our DNA. It defines us. Our desire to get out there, remove ourselves from our comfort zones, and take life by the horns makes us who we are, and it’s contagious. Sharing that genuine enthusiasm and those pivotal moments in our lives with you is what we’re all about. Our hunger for unearthing what’s out there and rubbing off on each other is something that does not occur with a click. We’ve gained a compassion and interest in people far from home, and learned a side of ourselves we didn’t even know existed; we believe our biggest gift is sharing those stories and that passion with you. You can’t Google that.