Some are supported by travel industry stalwarts. Others are niche businesses started by enthusiasts.
But all bravely brave the misery of the Covid-19 calamity to give us new getaways for next year – from country houses and historic tours to wilderness expeditions and exotic cruises. Here is our selection …
COZY UP IN KENT
Some travel agencies bravely brave the misery of the Covid-19 disaster to provide us with fresh getaways for next year – from country houses and historic tours to wilderness expeditions and exotic cruises
Bloom Stays started in March. Co-owner Rowena Owen and her business partner Nicky Russon offer self-catering holidays and have put together a portfolio of nearly 50 properties for rent in Kent.
Choices range from an oceanfront studio for two to a converted oast house that can accommodate 42 guests (if permitted).
The couple know how to deal with ever-changing Covid rules, and all bookings are backed by the promise of a full refund if state guidelines prevent travel.
TOP TRIP: Dormestone Farm in Charing with 12 bedrooms and a dog friendly five bedroom Dormestone Farm is ideal for multi-generational gatherings. A week in June costs from £ 2,895 (bloomstays.com).
SAIL THE WORLD
Panache Cruises specializes in first class sea and river cruises. It offers a 7-day trip from Venice to Croatia in August 2021 from £ 1,492 per person
Introduced in July by industry veteran James Cole, Panache Cruises specializes in world-class sea and river cruises.
With 7,000 itineraries and eight “Cruise Connoisseurs” offering advice, the company is ready for the return of global cruising. “The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter,” says Cole.
The operators require minimal deposits, the booking conditions are flexible and there are some great discounts available, such as: B. £ 2,700 for a 14-day luxury cruise through Japan in 2023 with Regent Seven Seas.
TOP TRIP: A 7-day round trip from Venice to Croatia in August 2021 with Azamara Pursuit costs from £ 1,492 per person without flights – a saving of £ 1,103 (panachecruises.com).
TO GIVE SOMETHING BACK
Charitable Travel allows you to donate 5 percent of the cost of your vacation to a UK registered charity of your choice. If you take a four bedroom Barbados villa pictured from £ 1,332 per person based on six parts including flights and car, a donation of £ 400 will be made to your chosen charity
Charitable Travel is a start-up that allows you to donate 5 percent of the cost of your vacation to a UK registered charity of your choice.
The company was started in June by Melissa Tilling, who was the Managing Director of Funway Holidays for 11 years. It sells trips worldwide, with a portion of the commission usually taken by a travel agent that is diverted to charity.
Companies like Caribtours, Railbookers and Wendy Wu Tours support this warm-hearted company.
TOP TRIP: Check-in to a four bedroom villa in Barbados from £ 1,332 per person based on six parts including flights, car and a £ 400 donation to your chosen charity (charitable.travel).
SO THAT WE NEVER LIKE TO FORGET
Classic Battlefield Tours A five day bus tour that visits the pictured Bosworth Field and other major battlefields from £ 1,250 per person
Classic Battlefield Tours was launched in April by a fan of military and automotive history, James Stewart-Smith.
“I love the non-standard tours,” he says. In addition to trips to well-known locations from the First and Second World Wars, you can also visit battlefields from the English Civil War and the Peninsular War in Spain.
The scheduled departures offer four to eight day bus trips as well as guided, self-driving car tours to France.
TOP TRIP: Learn about the Wars of the Roses on a five-day bus tour that visits Bosworth Field and other major battlefields from £ 1,250 per person including transportation, accommodation, food and guide (classicbattlefieldtours.com).
Wilderness offers a four day expedition in the pictured trossachs starting at £ 3,500 per person including meals, drinks and activities
Wilderness specializes in high-end outdoor expeditions in the UK that are filled with bottle-test thrills like mountaineering, pack rafting and forward rappelling.
It was created by former army officers and the nights are spent with open celebrations of Michelin cuisine.
“We were just starting when the pandemic broke out,” says Mike Geldard, co-founder. Most of the trips are in the Scottish Highlands, with some in the Peak District and the Norfolk coast.
TOP TRIP: From Glasgow, a four-day expedition in the Trossachs costs from £ 3,500 per person including meals, drinks and activities (wildnis.co.uk).
NO FLIGHT ZONE
Byway organizes holidays in which people travel by train, boat, bus and bike. The seven-day trip through eastern France, including Strasbourg, costs from £ 594 per person
Don’t you want to fly? Byway, which started in March, organizes holidays by train, boat, bus and bike.
It is supported by a grant from the government agency Innovate UK and has an ABTA membership. Founder Cat Jones believes the pandemic “made people reconnect with the UK and lead a slower lifestyle”.
Byway eliminates the need to organize public transport, accommodation and luggage transfers and offers well-researched tips on activities and restaurants. A WhatsApp hotline also offers immediate support.
Byway is already very popular. Solo travelers will travel to Cornwall, Scotland and France in 2021.
TOP TRIP: Seven days to explore Eastern France start at £ 594 per person, including rail travel from London and time in Strasbourg, Colmar and Dijon (byway.travel).
The best of the rest
- Bucket List Experiences and Blue Zone Travel (to places where life expectancy is highest) are at the heart of Untold Story Travel’s upscale travel portfolio, which went on sale in April (untoldstorytravel.com).
- Awe365 emerged from an adventure travel blog and has been offering active holidays since May. For example, you can learn to climb in Spain or surf in Mexico (awe365.com).
- Low Season Traveler was launched in June and focuses on avoiding costly and congested peak times (lowseasontraveller.com).
- Huben Travel (named after founders Hugh and Ben) arranges premium vacations for the LGBTQ + traveler. It opened in July and promises travel with “flair and sophistication” (hubentravel.com).
- OurStay is only a few weeks old and specializes in tailor-made family vacations in UK luxury hotels (ourstay.co.uk).