Unusual vacations guide


By their very nature, all vacations are meant to be unusual. They were created out of a relatively modern desire to go in search of ‘the other’. Meaning, the quest for something different from the banality of everyday life. They respond to that desire for a vacation to be a ‘dream come true’. We get that. We also get that staying in a cave in Andalucia might be a dream come true for one person, but hell on earth for another, for whom a week in the Arctic watching polar bears is breaking the humdrum with a bang. Unusual vacations do also go in trends, of course. However, with a collection of vacations and members that can make the impossible possible, this Unusual Vacations guide aims to guide you beyond the trends to a place that truly taps into that ‘other’ you, not the trend setters, have been seeking.
See our Unusual vacations guide for more details.

Responsible Travel


Search engines do what they say on the tin. They allow you to search for the unknown. They proffer surprises. They reveal the unexpected. And, in the case of vacations, this is certainly no exception. Which is why we have decided to create this Unusual Vacations guide. Quite simply, people go in search of unusual vacations and then land on our site. So, instead of making you go on a treasure hunt around our garden of exotic wonders, we have put them all into one piñata. Break it open and let a whole world of ‘who knew?’ fall out. Who knew you could watch grizzly bears en masse in Alaska, feasting at the annual salmon run? Who knew you could explore Jordan’s Petra and Wadi Rum on a bike? Or go singing in Italy? Skiing in Montenegro? We also know from experience that one person’s unusual might be another person’s norm. Island hopping in the Adriatic by kayak might be banal for some. But for a family with teenagers, who have done all-inclusive resorts for the last ten years, this is living on the edge. The chances are, of course, once you have ventured into the unusual, there is no looking back.

Tales of the Unexpected

The trick is to look beyond the travel guide books when you are book browsing, and go to the shelf marked ‘travel writing’. These are personal accounts of people’s journeys, where they share both joyful and lonely moments. The quirky and the queasy. The wilderness and the wildly exciting. Here are a few of our favourite accounts by those who undertake the unusual.
  • Travel journalist Norman Lewis wrote an extraordinary collection of essays on his travels, collated in “A view of the world” (2004). As well as being Graham Greene’s favourite journalist, one of his news articles "Genocide in Brazil" (1968) led to the creation of Survival International, a charity set up to protect indigenous people around the globe.
  • 'Eight feet in the Andes' by the inimitable Dervla Murphy (2003) who recounts her travels through the Andes with her nine year old daughter, and a mule.
  • 'Travels into Bokhara' was written by Alexander Burnes (2012) who was like the James Bond of the 1800’s, working as a British spy in Afghanistan, Persia and Pakistan.
  • 'American Indians and National Parks' by Robert H. Keller and Michael F. Turek (1999) – we all know about USA’s national parks, but their real history brings a whole new perspective to their magnificence.
  • Robert Macfarlane – putting emotions into landscapes is what he does best. He can have a country lane reduce you to tears. Or your heart soar as he explores a remote island. Take your pick of any of his books, but 'The Wild Places' (2008) is probably the one that will take you to places you never dreamed existed.

Photo credits: [Top box: Adam Rifkin] [Who knew: Mario Micklisch]
Written by Catherine Mack
Georgia & Armenia cultural vacation

Georgia & Armenia cultural vacation

Journey to the furthest reaches of Europe

From £2245 16 Days ex flights
Ivory Coast small group tour

Ivory Coast small group tour

Explore the little known but welcoming Ivory Coast

From £2389 11 Days ex flights
Learn Spanish & hike the Camino de Santiago, Spain

Learn Spanish & hike the Camino de Santiago, Spain

Spanish Course + walking in the Camino del Norte

From 699 7 Days ex flights
Vietnam small group cycling vacation

Vietnam small group cycling vacation

The best of Vietnam on two wheels

From US $2179 14 Days ex flights
B&B self drive tour of Tasmania, meet the locals

B&B self drive tour of Tasmania, meet the locals

Self-drive staying in Tasmania's most charming B&Bs

From AU $1100 14 Days ex flights
Photo credits: [Page banner: Paul Vinten]
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