Families and lone parents seeking travel experiences that are boutique, cultural, authentic and family friendly. Also if you are seeking other families or single parents to travel with.
I have had some awful experiences in my life, spending money on horrid travel experience. I also wanted my own daughter to learn the confidence of travelling. Recently she just flew on a plane all by herself to a developing nation - aged 12. Why do I spent this money on travel? Sadly today, in the UK, children are turning more and more to gadgets instead of exploring the world around them. I think it is an investment in her cultural and intellectual development. To help free her up, motivate and reward her as well as getting her to open her eyes and look around the world.
My curated holidays cover wide variety of destinations that will always be family friendly and authentic. From luxury to inexpensive or even intrepid. From UK to abroad to oceans and even snow.
Ready to pack your family's bags?
Words to define you are 'wanderlusters', 'thrill seekers', 'voyagers' or 'intrepid' travellers seeking like minded folks to travel with. You could be a seasoned traveller or a beginner. You seek an authentic experience that helps you discover the world around you - with or without your family. Sometimes parents just need to get away.
All are welcome to join. Male, female. Grandparents or Carers.
WHY MY MEET UP?
It's hard finding family or lone parent friendly destinations and travel experiences. Add to that, a need for authentic, boutique experiences where you get to connect with the locals. Phew! A tall order. Well do not worry. Help is here. I wanted to share my experience and contacts within the travel industry.
Often you want to travel but your friends can't join the dates you want. Or destinations you want. Also, maybe you end up organising that holiday but want the headache removed?
Next, I have personally travelled to Jerusalem, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Austria, Sweden, Croatia to San Francisco. I enjoyed crossing from suspicious Israel into Jordan - by local bus (but wearing a pretend wedding ring to stave off male attention). Drinking mint tea in Jerusalem with an Austrian man From slumming it (sleeping on the floor) to luxury stays (Bali) and then sailing a boat in the Isles of Scilly. I slowly learnt to dig out the local folks (from persuading a tuk tuk driver in Sri Lanka to show me where he buys his sarongs) to planting rice in a paddy field while chatting with the farmer.
I have been on the trail of the Royal Bengal Tiger, witnessed honey collectors. eaten fresh prawns collected by fishermen and their troupe of otters from the world's largest mangrove forest. When it comes to authentic experiences, I am hoping that you can trust in my knowledge of rooting out experiences that will enlighten, and entertain you.
Incidentally, my day job is founder of Lovedesh®,a new philanthropic travel brand that is aiming to get the whole world exploring remote, poorest nations. My work there has been featured in the media: The Guardian, BBC Radio and in April 2014, Conde Naste Travellernamed me as an 'expert' for 'undiscovered destinations'. Read a foreign newspaper interview, on how I want to help the world to explore remote destinations. here.
Due to the work I do for Lovedesh, I come across many excellent tour operators, who offer boutique tours. I can ask them to create experiences and holidays that is Muslim friendly. From the diet to ensuring that there are times for people to pray.
I will often be on the hunt for special events with a travel theme for my Poyagers. Offering humorous, fun travel advice at our dinner meet ups that showcase some of the more exotic or unusual cuisines from around the world (halal of course). To talks from intrepid travellers and experts as well as discussions hosted on this forum about being a Muslim and travelling.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Two types of holidays will be on offer.
TO (Tour Operator Run) - especially to more far, or luxury or remote destinations where as a group, it is not viable or safe book without the help of a tour operator. You will book directly with them and pay all monies to them.
MUR (Meet Up Run) - A more cheaper DIY option where I save you the time on Trip Advisor etc. This is where either I, or other fellow members research destinations and hotels and then arrange a group trip to a destination which you must book yourself, following my links. It is possible that I will also attend but this is not guaranteed. You are all expected to be responsible, show up and keep to the itinerary. To respect one another.
As, all aspects of the booking are directly booked and reserved by you (equally, any problems - is yours) but to book a place onto the trip, you must pay an extra non-refundable reservation admin fee (this will depend on the destination) to help cover time spent on legwork, research, flight links, negotiating discounts etc into an easy format ready for you to book (and save money). After all fair's fair, right? Moreover, it is also to help fellow travellers not to be left abandoned. Should someone pull out, they will think twice first (because they paid this reservation fee).
I cannot host or lead all the tours as I work full time. Sorry :( But tour leaders will always be chosen who empathise and respect a family or lone parent traveller's requirements.
Will do my best to ensure any tours or experiences or holidays are sustainable. So they contribute positively to the folks on the ground. I can arrange philanthropic donations so if you have zakat - you can disperse this via Amcariza Foundation's FFABB project. More on that to follow.
I urge you to attend my meet ups rather than leaving online messages and questions for me. Any meet ups I arrange are also face to face Q&A times to find out more detailed information or answer the FAQs.
From time to time, I may post my own Lovedesh curated holidays (be silly not to) but currently these are very limited spaces.
Any profanity, prejudice, gender/sectarian/racial discrimination. spamming, abuse or intolerance towards me or any other member, will not be tolerated and result in immediate banning.
Goes without saying but you must respect the local culture, folks and religious or cultural practices. Which may be very different to your own.
Anyone travelling with under 18s must be responsible for them.
Please drink responsibly.
If you have never travelled alone, in a group or without family, please know patience, open mindedness and respect is a pre-requisite. But do not let that put you off because we all had to start somewhere. I will help you all you can to get travelling.
If this Meet Up is successful, I reserve the right to to charge membership dues at a future date.
Anyone booking a holiday is responsible for their own behaviour and conduct. And to follow tour operator's and local guides' guidance. I cannot follow up on complaints about fellow travellers on MUR trips on how they behaved or should have - (unless it is a criminal or offensive nature). This is what travelling is all about.
Comprehensive travel insurance must be booked prior to any travel.
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