Summer is a time to take off with the family and create memories that last a lifetime. For those who enjoy an adventure overseas, here are The Agency’s top picks for bespoke travel companies, allowing you to travel in style and explore the world exactly as you like.
1. Beck & Score
If you’re thinking of heading to Brazil for the World Cup, you won’t do better than Beck & Score, a members-only company offering tailor-made experiences, ultra-luxury accommodations and personal on-site concierge to the world’s premier ticketed events. In Brazil this summer, their members will be doing far more than attending the world’s greatest sporting event. They will also be experiencing an adventure of the epic kind — playing small-sided soccer games with Beck & Score partner Steve Nash and legends of the game and then jetting off to Buzios to surf with big wave surf legend Garrett “GMAC” McNamara. In addition to your own concierge, members are equipped with a mobile device complete with the fantastic Beck & Score Valet app, containing activity schedules, local vetted recommendations, and suggestions on where to eat, shop, relax and play.
One of the largest and most established travel companies for safaris and exotic expeditions, Abercrombie & Kent excels at luxury, all-inclusive trips. Their Galapagos, Machu Picchu and African Safari options are especially popular. Choose from a Luxury Small Group Journey or Signature Series personal itinerary, or a “custom independent journey” created just for you.
This family-friendly and environmentally-conscious travel company specializes in ecotourism and excursions throughout Central America. While they also have other destinations all over the world, we particularly recommend their Belize and Costa Rica trips for a combination of natural beauty and outdoor activities for all ages.
This London-based company has the motto: “Luxury travel beyond your expectations,” and they do it justice. Sarah Mason and Tanya Rose work with a team of world travellers who boast the insider knowledge and customer service skills necessary to make your next trip exceptional, whether it be to the Italian lakes, an Indian Ocean island getaway, or an adventure trip to Australia.
5. Nota Bene
This ultra-high-end travel company treats its members to a mouthwatering selection of foreign delicacies. Experts in travel, fine dining and lifestyle, Anthony and Elaine Lassman have travelled the world for over 30 years and built a business dedicated to the finer things in life.
Since 1967, Mountain Travel Sobek has brought the world high-adrenaline, high-altitude itineraries. Choose from excursions like a two-week, lodge-to-lodge hike in the Everest region of the Himalayas ($3,295) to a nine-day trek along the Inca Trail in Peru ($3,795).
Another king of eco-tourism, Elevate organizes trips that are fun for you and good for the community. Take, for example, their “Surf & Serve” safari in Peru ($3500), which combines nine days of coastal adventures and surfing with the chance to help support local schools by aiding teachers with English and surfing/swimming lessons. Plus, five percent of the cost from every trip goes to local, environmental non-profit groups.
Are you a Scotch drinker? Or of Scottish clan? Rated the No.1 Adventure Travel Company in Europe by National Geographic Magazine, this outfitter offers all types of lowland and highland adventures: ski touring in Cairngorms National Park, whitewater canoeing the River Spey, mountain biking from coast to coast, and of course – glorious single-malt Scotch tastings.
Kensington Tours specializes in extra private adventures, offering one guide for every two travelers. The company, founded by Royal Geographic Society Fellow Jeff Willner, also claims it keeps costs 30 percent lower than its competitors.
10. Aventura! Travel
This brand new travel company out of Baja Mexico specializes mostly in the Baja region, along with Morocco and Argentina. A husband and wife team, Darren Skilton is a racer famous for the Dakar Rally, and Erin Lee Skilton is the lead casting director for Top Chef and Cut Throat Kitchen – so they have the adventure / epicurean combination mastered. In their own words, they are “a travel company specializing in adventure, cultural, wine, spirits and culinary tours.”