Looking for tour companies prepared to offer you something different, something out-of-the-box, something perfectly tailored to you? U.S travel writer Beth Graham has done just that. Here is her selection of four tour companies guaranteed to elevate your travel experience.
1. Bespoke Experiences
You can pretty much travel anywhere and experience a destination all through your phone, without ever having to engage with another person. But who wants to look at a screen the entire time they’re sightseeing?
Bespoke Experiences is a tour company out to disrupt this impersonal approach to travel by offering private, customized tours to clients who appreciate a high-quality experience. “We are more than just a tour company. We are personal curators, selecting only the destinations and topics that meet our clients’ specific desires and requests,” says founder Jennifer Simpson.
Bespoke Experiences is ideal for families looking to share a special memory, couples and friends enjoying a getaway, or business colleagues determined to enjoy more than a meeting room. The company’s highly vetted guides are experts in their respective cities covering topics such as history, architecture, art, cuisine, culture and others.
Bespoke Experiences currently operates in New Orleans, San Diego, San Francisco, Nashville, Toronto and Chicago with plans to expand to many more markets.
2. Fork Monkey
One of the reasons I love to travel is for the culinary experiences, so when I heard about Fork Monkey, the Uber of dining, I was more than intrigued.
Fork Monkey is a membership-based organization that offers access to secret foodie experiences in select cities around the U.S. Members get invites to private dining events in discreet locations like closed-door kitchens, on private rooftops, in secret-password penthouses, at chefs’ private homes and in other locations not open to the public.
According to founder Marta Wolaver, members were recently treated to a pop-up event featuring an interactive 12-course tasting menu created and served by Chef Jacob Demars in Chicago. Another recent event included a formal dinner party featuring a 5-course meal prepared and presented by Chef Massimo Bruno in his own studio space in Toronto.
Fork Monkey currently offers events in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Denver, Washington DC, London, Toronto and Vancouver with more locations coming online soon.
An All-Access membership to Fork Monkey is $69 annually while a Concierge-level membership is $129 annually, and includes upgraded access to an extended network of underground culinary experiences in more cities around the world.
A friend’s son recently got married and along with a traditional registry for gifts for their home, they also had a registry to help fund their honeymoon experiences.
Let’s face it – honeymoons are expensive these days and many couples have to skimp on their experiences as they’re just starting out. Enter Honeyfund. This popular honeymoon registry is a simple way for wedding couples to register for what they really want — a fantastic honeymoon!
Once a couple has registered, they share their wish list with guests, who can then contribute to the couple’s honeymoon fund covering everything from airfare to excursions. Newlyweds have helped fund amazing honeymoons including African safaris, cruises, and all-inclusive resort stays.
Honeyfund is now the #1 wedding registry app and most-used universal wedding registry site on the market.
4. Pack Up + Go
For the more adventurous traveler and the ‘wing it’ crowd, Pack Up + Go will plan a trip for you but not tell you where you’re going until you arrive at the airport.
You don’t have to hassle with deciding on a destination, doing all the research on where to stay and what to do. You simply fill out a questionnaire, choose a budget, and Pack Up + Go does the work for you. The survey asks about prior travel destinations, hobbies, preferred types of accommodations and much more to ensure the experience is a fit.
Pack Up + Go plans 3-day weekend trips around the United States for solo travelers and small groups. Using the survey information, planners select the destination, book all travel, and create a suggested itinerary all that sync with Google Maps to serve as a guide. Travelers are told how to pack, and simply show up at the airport where they get their secret itinerary.
Many Pack Up + Go travelers say using the service sent them somewhere they never would have gone on their own. The company also offers gift cards.