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Jo's Blog: Introducing Not In The Guide Books

Not In The Guide Books. The name alone is enough to trigger the Shaylometer of travel-love to new heights. The eternal search for the ‘road less travelled’ and immersive experiences ends here.

Whilst researching closer to home travel options during the pandemic, I came across these guys; my interest initially piqued by the idea of a crochet retreat in Cheshire. Sadly, I didn’t make that trip, but with the world’s borders now re-opened and wanting to broaden my offering of unique options for clients in this area, I find myself contemplating cookery classes in Tuscany, scuba diving between tectonic plates in Iceland, learning to paint in Spain and knitting yogurt in the Himalayas with fresh yak’s milk. Okay, so I made the last one up, but you get the idea...

How we travel and where we visit were perhaps among the many things that the pandemic caused us to consider differently, especially being restricted from doing so in a way none of us had ever experienced before.

There is undoubtedly an increased awareness that travel should broaden our horizons, open our minds to other ways of living and thinking, and most importantly it should bring people closer together.

It should, wherever possible, also support local communities and truly benefit the people who are proud enough to show you around their country and home whilst being kind to the environment and wildlife.

I’m chuffed to now be working with an impressive new partner who support important values in all the authentically local, sustainable experiences and fabulous experiential holidays they provide.

Not In The Guide Books partner with local guides and small operatives who get you off the beaten track and help you to experience a place from the unique perspective of someone who knows it intimately.

You will see how the locals live, eat, socialise, and things that are important to them; helping you dodge the crowds, typical tourist routes and being dragged around with large groups; and staying in well-researched, tried and tested independent accommodation.

In addition to a growing range of exciting trips carefully designed around hobbies, special interests and creating unique memories, there are numerous daily experiences I can offer that can be added to existing bookings: food tours, guided hikes, whale watching, private balloon rides and many more. A well-planned day trip can add to the whole feel of a holiday.

Diverse destinations include much of Europe, Asia, Africa and both Central and Latin America with an assortment of holiday types including wellness, adventure, food and wine, outdoor activities and hobbies, from painting to learning languages, that will appeal across the generations.

I will be sharing further details and insights in due course, but the following should provide a taster of what you can expect:

Freedom Explorers

After more than just a beach? These experiences may appeal to couples, friends and single travellers.

Precious Moments

These experiences may appeal to honeymooners, or for special birthdays or multi-generational trips.

Family Adventures

Memorable and immersive family experiences for those with younger teenagers or the last opportunity for a family holiday with older kids.

Me Timers

Local activities and hobbies. Great for solo travellers, meeting fellow travellers with similar likes and for those looking to try something new.


Memorable shared and unique experiences.

Please contact me for a chat if these are the kind of authentic experiences and holidays that you may be looking for.

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