As travel begins again with the increase in vaccinations and summer approaches, family travel planners are clearly on the hunt for new ideas. This is the observation of the professional organizers of the tailor-made travel agency Black Tomato who have seen a 70% increase in multigenerational travel requests since the start of the year with a particular interest in rewarding experience travel and learning. Their response is a new “Take Me to a Story” program launched today, a collection of five immersive and international travel itineraries using famous novels popular with young people as the basis.
“This year, more than ever, the goal is to return to travel and approach it with intention,” explains Tom Marchant, owner and co-founder of Black Tomato. “And although these are stories that have been celebrated and told countless times to children and young adults for many years, we asked our team the question a few years ago: Haven’t you always wanted to dive more? deep into these rich and fantastic worlds regardless of age? ? “Take me on a Story” is all about harnessing beloved literature to provide incredible backgrounds and share experiences that won’t be soon forgotten. ”
Retrace the steps of Alice in Wonderland in Oxfordshire. Accompanied by Oxford historians specializing in the works of Lewis Carroll, the guests of this five-night trip to the English countryside live adventures inspired by his classic Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. Among them: a treasure hunt involving several characters from the book as they search for Alice’s lost key, face a challenge from the queen, and decipher the puzzles of Tweedledum and Tweedledee with a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party with instructions in the subtleties of croquet using a flamingo and hedgehog. Combining sightseeing and storytelling, there is also a Thames River Cruise from Oxford to Godstow retracing the boat trip in which Carroll told Alice Liddell and her sisters the story he was making and a tailor-made costume experience. tailor-made in a Cotswold village. Guests stay at the famous Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saison with its two Michelin star restaurant by chef Raymond Blanc.
Call of the Wild in Alaska. This nine-night trip through the wilds of the state’s mountainous interior that inspired Jack London’s famous novel during the Klondike Gold Rush includes extremely high octane adventures. A rafting experience on the Spencer Glacier past spectacular icebergs and mountains in part replicates London’s 500-mile boat trip on the Yukon River. Another aquatic adventure, whether by kayak, paddleboard or canoe, is an animal safari that allows you to see moose, bears, wolves and beavers. There’s also a private helicopter over a 1,000-year-old glacier and a day of dog hunting, learning to command the pack on a trail. And to test your survival skills, a customizable course ranging from foraging to abseiling in crevices or climbing walls of ice. Accommodations include the Sheldon Chalet, a private lodge on a glacier in Denali National Park, also accessible by helicopter, and the rustic Winterlake Lodge, accessible by seaplane.
Thousand and one nights in Morocco. Completely different landscapes take center stage in this six-night trip to the Sahara Desert with hints of witchcraft and magic. A diviner in the winding streets of a souk will give guests a map of the adventure and challenges to come; Helped by a genius, they will search for the golden keys and the magic lamp in the caves and in the narrow streets of Ait-Ben-Haddou, the city of mud bricks designated and frequented by UNESCO in the mountains of the ‘Atlas. They will also cross the desert on camels and in a 4X4 vehicle to camp under the stars and receive a royal outfit and an invitation to a dinner at the palace. Accommodation includes Kasbah Azul and Azalai Desert Lodge, both located in desert oases, Riad Caravane in Ait Ben Haddou and La Sultana, an atmospheric hotel in the medina of Marrakech. An optional extra is a takeover of Dar Ahlam, a kasbah near the Berber village of Skoura designed with its own sense of mystery and whimsy.
Travel to the center of the Earth in Iceland. Jules Verne’s sci-fi fantasy of what the Earth’s interior would look like comes to life in this six-night Icelandic exploration. Customers follow a map loaded with secret codes and decipher messages detailing the course of the journey that begins with a 400-foot descent into a dormant volcano, the Vatnshellir lava cave beneath a glacier on the Snæfellsjökull Peninsula. Other adventures include a Zodiac boat ride through the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon and a climb up the Vatnajökull glacier in search of a clue. The rewards include alfresco lunches on lava sand beaches and thundering waterfalls and in ancient caves. Accommodation includes the contemporary Hotel Husafell lodge surrounded by nature in the West Iceland countryside and the authentic but modernized huts of Torfhus Retreat.
Treasure Island in the British Virgin Islands. In the spirit of Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1883 classic, the buccaneers and the buried treasure are the main elements of this seven-night journey. First of all, the young guests enroll in the pirate school to learn what a typical day in the life of a pirate would be like: fighting with a sword, hoisting sails, learning how to insert a message into a bottle, make rum (without alcohol). Navigation tools are also needed for learning to read the night sky to guide you through the stars with a barbecue and bonfire to end the day. They are then transported by boat to a secluded beach, armed with a personalized map for an elaborate treasure hunt followed by sailing to Dog Islands on a catamaran. Other days are filled with searching for treasures underwater, trading seashells for bounties on the shore. And to commemorate the trip, works of art are commissioned with the child pirate as the main character.