Q&A with Never A Wasted Journey travel expert
Never A Wasted Journey' is an award winning travel consultancy specialising in luxury tailor-made holidays and adventures worldwide. We recently spoke to Managing Director, Dan Salmon to find out his thoughts on how travel will be different in 2021 and some of his top tips for arranging that trip of a lifetime!
Dan says "My aim is to make your journeys less complex and more seamless in a world which has become more complex."
Where has been your favourite destination to travel to so far?
My favourite destination I have been lucky enough to visit, by far, has to be Uganda. It offered me the opportunity to witness everything from tree climbing lions on safari to staying on the banks of rivers teaming with elephants and hippos. The biggest draw however was trekking through the rainforest and coming face to face with a family of endangered mountain gorillas - a unique animal encounter that will stay forever etched in my memory.
Where is your favourite location for a holiday in the UK?
My favourite location in the U.K. is the Cotswolds. It’s no wonder why it has the crown for being Britain’s biggest designated area of natural beauty - endless humpback hills, picturesque villages and leafy rural lanes. There’s nothing better than simply getting away from it all here, exploring the cobbled streets, boutique shops and traditional pubs or simply putting your feet up by a cosy fire.
Do you see staycations becoming more popular in 2021?
I do. 2020 was known for the year of the ‘Staycation’ and I can see a similar trend for the year ahead. Accommodations are already getting booked up, especially during peak dates, with many wanting to escape their own four walls after many months of lockdowns, but still not quite feeling comfortable travelling abroad just yet. With many travel restrictions also currently in place for countries further afield, I feel people will explore corners of the U.K. they may never have thought of before - especially during the first part of this year and our summer.
What are your tips for planning and making the most of a holiday?
I would always advise booking through an expert. Anyone can simply book a holiday online, but by booking through a reputable agent you really will get so much more from your holiday. Yes you will be completely financially protected, but agents really do go above and beyond should any unforeseen circumstances arise. They will also be able to advise the best time to go, the best hotels to stay at and experiences you simply can’t miss. For my own clients I have arranged sunrise yoga at the top of the Empire State Building in New York for example, a private Samurai sword lesson from the lead choreographer of the Kill Bill Movies in Japan and can even arrange for underwater submersible hire to view marine life in Antarctica. We also have access to exclusive offers and through contacts around the world can include incredible added value at no extra cost - room upgrades, romantic beach dinners or complimentary spa treatments to name a few.
Would you rather visit a city or a more rural location?
Personally I like both. City breaks allow you to soak up the history and culture, while also trying some delicious local foods - from a long weekend in Europe to a backstreet vespa tour in Asia. More rural locations however allow you really to simply switch off, take in your stunning surroundings and recharge from your normal day to day lives.
How do you think the pandemic has changed how people travel?
There’s no denying that travelling the world has become more complex, expert help and guidance, with that all-important human touch, will be a prerequisite to making your travels as safe and seamless as possible in a world where transcending borders is now more intricate.
People also want flexibility when it comes to booking their holiday. For my clients I don’t hold them to standard terms and conditions and offer complete flexibility, including payment terms. If needed I allow amendments free of charge and if it isn’t possible to travel them a full refund - no questions asked.
Many have missed out on quality time with their loved ones and want to make up for lost time. Multigenerational holidays are now more popular than ever, and people are wanting luxury, to feel safe and complete privacy.
The main though is that people want travel to now be more meaningful, intimate and more than worthwhile.
Do you have any trips planned for later in 2021?
I personally can’t wait to get visiting all corners of the world once again and with over 15 years of working in the industry I have been fortunate to experience some incredible locations. The Maldives is one of my favourites, so I will return once it’s possible to do so, but I still also have Bali, Iceland and Japan to tick of my wish list.