A. Holidays have evolved into Journeys and Activities has evolved into Life Enriching Experiences
A holiday, which use to be a break on the beach, hills or the islands is now beginning to incorporate personal discovery and learnings that transforms it from a simple leisure holiday into a transformative experiential journey filled with personalised life enriching experiences. The Shift from Responsible Holidays to Experiential Eco Journeys is real, let’s dwell right into the reasons why?
While in the past experiences during holidays were primarily history and terrain based activities i.e. walking tours in historical areas, hiking in the hills, sailing on the sea, paddling on the rivers, birding in the forests, etc. but now experiential travellers are incorporating their personal passions and hobbies like food and brews, arts and crafts, music into their journeys, not as mere spectators but as spect-actors when they participate in the process.
A holiday is visiting and exploring other places and countries while a journey is a very personal pilgrimage of what you are passionate about. A cyclist irrespective of the country they visit, whether its Scotland or Cambodia, Peru or India are sure to to do a little bit of cycling in the charming countryside.
Ditto a foodie, who will not only go out of the way to visit hole in the wall eateries that the local rave about but maybe even spend time to learn to cook a few of the dishes they fell in love with.
4 Trends That Shows The Shift from Responsible Holidays to Experiential Eco Journeys
- There is something for everyone in the family – We want a forever memorable experiences for my fantastic family irrespective of their age and interest areas in ways that every one in my family has a happy holiday.
- Life Enriching Fun & Learn Experiences – We want to have a great time in our holiday but we have this inner quest also to know more, travel real and come back home more enriched and more knowledgeable than we arrived in the destination. So please pile on interactive workshops, meet ups and talks, food tours, guided heritage tours and hands on experiences please.
- Life is an Adventure – Adventures of all kinds are essential and now a de-facto part of all holidays. Whatever landscape we are visiting – we will surely love to go flying, biking, hiking, driving, paddling, sailing, paragliding, cycling, camping, diving, snorkelling, feasting and more through it.
- Wellness is Wonderful and Fitness is Fantastic – We are conscious of our well being and want an itinerary where we can rejuvenate and revive our body, mind and soul, however short the treatment is. After all a little bit of pampering is par for the course. Especially after a long ramble on the golf course or the hills.
B. A Holiday is Going Wider But a Journey is Going Deeper
Its now about going deeper versus going wider, about knowing intimately versus a superficial been there done that checklist tour, and most importantly about a forever memorable real crystal clear experience versus a smorgasbord of hazy confusion that looks good as facebook posts but you cant remember them after you return home.
In a real experiential journey, you go deeper into the real story of how the Amber or Nahargarh forts of Jaipur had ample water around the year despite being nowhere near a river and so close to Thar desert!
You go where nobody goes to see, study, appreciate and marvel at the massive rain water harvesting channels that will reminds you of Roman aqueducts and at the application of simple physics to clean and manage the precious resource of water, without which couldn’t have lived here for centuries.
In the end, you may not have see all the famous monuments of Jaipur, but you now know intimately its way of life and how it lived in harmony with nature by managing its daily resources better than we do when we just see its famous monuments in a half day sight-seeing tour.
4 Trends That Shows How Experiential Journeys are Going Real, Deeper & Bespoke
- Connect to Nature – We are not only ok going outside the comfort zone but we embrace it with a fervour. Traveling to sites unseen, really remote place and closer to nature is a choice.
- Raw & Real But No Compromise on Comfort – While we seek raw & real but it better be comfortable. We are quite ok with going back to basic and traveling to really remote places and staying in a B&B or a local inn but that doesn’t mean we will compromise on the 3 basic things; to be safe, to meet good people of our types and to be highly comfortable for we cannot downgrade our lifestyle. So yes, give us the basics and make that simple but it must be fairly comfortable (read luxurious:) at the same time”
- Tailor-made & Bespoke, My Holiday My Way – One-size fit all travel package is dead. We prefer a flexible, modular & on the fly customisable itinerary, where we can stick around in a destination if we like it or move on if we are done with it.
- Give Back to Place and its People – Today travellers are considerably well off and more responsible and more connected to the world. They want to give back to the places that gave them such a memorable time so its important to let the travellers know before they arrive in the destination how can they give back in ways that isn’t demeaning to the people of the place.
Its a sniper approach versus a machine gun. You don’t scatter your energy going all over the place at break neck speed but use your time more effectively like a sniper and make every bullet count.
As a Goan would put it, its a handmade in February Urrack made on his/her farm with a clean palate instead of the factory made Feni in a very fancy bottle at fancy prices. While the Sikkimese and Assamese tea lover craves for a hand-rolled at home loose leaf artisinal tea and is quite amused by the prices at which some of the factory made tea from famous tea estate fetch at the auction, which they say they wouldn’t drink for love or for money.
Both of them like to keep things hush hush for they believe that if you start making a fuss about it, the prices will go through the roof and the quality and authenticity will hit rock bottom. But if you want a real experience and an insider’s insight, its the time spent with these very people that you will find forever memorable.
So summing up, both going deeper and going wider are good but experiential travellers are ok with a smaller 3 course menu made by a 2 star michelin chef versus a larger 7 course menu made by sous chefs. They like their journeys real but intimate, simple but luxurious, relevant but personalised and most importantly the best delivered by the best in business.