About Us

Life is in the Detail

We are a creative luxury travel company who take a thoughtful approach to creating tailor-made holidays.

When it comes to our approach we’re proud to say we’re different to your average tour operator or travel agent. We offer something a little more special.

We start by understanding you

Tom Barber, Co Founder

Taking the time to understand what you want from your holiday allows us to provide the truly transformative details that turn time away into a memory that will last a lifetime.

  • Give us a call or drop us an email to find out more
  • Drop by our offices for a chat
  • Or we can come to you, armed with maps and plenty of ideas
Image of Neill Ghosh

We do the hard work for you

Neill Ghosh, Director

We take great pride in creating an itinerary tailored around you. We can finesse every detail so your holiday is not only special but hassle-free too, with every detail taken care of.

  • You'll receive a lovingly crafted itinerary pack
  • Every detail will be fine tuned for you
  • All your travel documents will be collated so the only thing you need to remember is your passport

We’re there for you while you’re away

Tom Barber, Co Founder

We want you to be on holiday while you're on holiday. Your Original Travel expert is here for last minute tips and our 24hr helpline is always available in the unlikely event something should go wrong.

  • Your expert will happily send you any last minute advice you need while away
  • If something should go wrong our 24hr help line has you covered

Our Story

Eighteen years old and counting. Find out how we got where we are today.


The three founders leave the City, the Army and Fleet Street and the Big Short Break is born.

We scoop our first award, for Best Brochure, at the prestigious Guardian/Observer Travel Awards.


One client goes on seven Big Short Breaks and our team now numbers nine.


Our second brochure picks up the Best Brochure gong again at the Guardian Observer Travel Awards


The team (now 14) head to Iceland, and in our quest for world domination we launch our long haul portfolio.


We turn publishers, launching our Big Short Break coffee table book.

The big one. We win Best Tour Operator at the Guardian/Observer Travel Awards in only our 5th year.

(and we also sweep the board at the inaugural Matrix Skeleton Challenge, hurtling down the Olympic bobsleigh track in Lillehammer.)


Alastair beats an opponent from one of our competitors at the Boodles Boxing Ball, raising money for the Starlight Charity.

The winning habit continues with a Best Short Break Tour Operator nod at the Guardian/Observer Awards, and the BT Essence of the Entrepreneur Award to boot.

The Original Travel baby boom begins with Tom's twins, and - not entirely coincidentally - we launch our new family holiday portfolio.


We acquire well respected Africa, Latin America and India specialists Tim Best Travel, and pick up the Best Short Break Tour Operator award again.


The hardier members of the team compete in the Blenheim Triathlon to raise money for one of our key charities, the admirable TUSK

We launch Original Diving with Tim Simond, author of the best selling Dive in Style books, and Dive Master and former Mr Universe, Neill Ghosh.

We bag the Guardian/Observer Travel Awards Best Short Break Tour Operator award for a fourth straight year. Huw Edwards seems less than impressed.


We go from strength to strength organising wonderful trips - some more high profile than others - to far flung corners of the globe.


With the acquisition of Simoon Travel, founder Amelia Stewart brings the finest Middle Eastern and desert culture specialists on board.

A clean sweep of both Best Tour Operator and Best Short Break Tour Operator at the Guardian/Observer Awards. Trophy cabinet now officially groaning.

We move to our lovely new office, the former home of Victoria Beckham's fashion label.


Original Travel turns ten!

We join forces with much-loved children's party people Sharky & George to enhance our family holidays. Meanwhile the Original Travel baby count hits 23.


A sparkly new Original Travel website launches with over 3,000 pages and 20,000 photos of holiday inspiration. Share your holiday plans with friends using My Ideas and find your Travel Tribe.


We move into a shiny new office in Putney to accommodate the ever bigger and better team, which now numbers 50.


Two of Europe's best tailor-made travel companies join forces as French tour operator Voyageurs du Monde takes a strategic stake In Original Travel. Expect even better service and destination expertise.


We introduce a range of additional services, including our global network of Concierges, fast track through airport check in & security, and access to airport lounges. All as standard on every trip.


Our expanding team now numbers over 60! Original Travel's Amelia Stewart deservedly snags a Condé Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist 2019 award for her expertise in Georgia.

Our expertise goes from strength to strength as head of Original Diving, Louisa Fisher, is officially named a Travel + Leisure expert on diving.

family traveller award

Original Travel scoops a trophy in the Family Traveller Excellence Awards 2019 in the 'Above & Beyond' category which recognises companies who put families at the heart of what they do.

woman hammock magazine

We are listed in the 'Top Tour Operators' category in the 2019 Condé Nast Traveller's Reader's Choice Awards with over 600,000 readers voting.

The gongs keep coming with Original Travel honoured in the Best Adventure Travel Experiences category in the Departures Magazine Legends Awards.


A fab four of the Original Travel team are featured in the 2020 Conde Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialists list, celebrating the finest in the field of travel.

In the toughest imaginable year for the travel industry, we launch our new Travel Less, Travel Better ethos, because travel should be a force for good.


Original Travel turns 18! Thank you to all the clients who have helped us come of age. We wouldn't be where we are without you.

We contribute no fewer than five experts to the annual and illustrious Conde Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialists list. That's more than any other UK travel company.

  • 2003
  • 2004
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020
  • 2021

Who we are

We're seasoned travellers who combine our personal insights and exceptional knowledge to create memorable trips and experiences.

Tom Barber

View Tom Barber
Image of Neill Ghosh

Neill Ghosh

View Neill Ghosh
Image of Isabel de Galleani

Isabel de Galleani

View Isabel de Galleani
Image of Louisa Fisher

Louisa Fisher

View Louisa Fisher
Image of Harriet Harford

Harriet Harford

View Harriet Harford

Rebecca Lowe

View Rebecca Lowe

Carys Bedford

View Carys Bedford

Lucy Bailey

View Lucy Bailey

Susie Thorne

View Susie Thorne

George Kefallinos

View George Kefallinos

Abigail Harness

View Abigail Harness
Image of Jacqui Brooks

Jacqui Brooks

View Jacqui Brooks

Ella Mawson

View Ella Mawson

Olivia Lee

View Olivia Lee

Frances Mavor

View Frances Mavor

Arran O'Kane

View Arran O'Kane

Emily Dundas

View Emily Dundas
Holly in the mountains

Holly Barber

View Holly Barber

Matt Shock

View Matt Shock
Image of Rosie Whitefield

Rosie Whitefield

View Rosie Whitefield

Claudia Campbell

View Claudia Campbell
Image of Kate Little

Kate Little

View Kate Little

Charlotte Houldsworth

View Charlotte Houldsworth

Oliver Rodwell

View Oliver Rodwell

Ana Hashimoto

View Ana Hashimoto

Susie Little

View Susie Little
Image of Charlotte Cox

Charlotte Cox

View Charlotte Cox
Image of India Tyndall

India Tyndall

View India Tyndall
Image of Nadine Torilla

Nadine Torrilla

View Nadine Torrilla

Interested in working with us?

A Different Kind of Workplace: Our dynamic team now numbers 60 in a lovely office in Putney, London. We take enormous pride in our team, and go to great lengths to engender their pride in the business.

Asia & Diving Sales Consultant: We are excited to be recruiting a new Sales Consultant for our Asia & Diving Sales team. Our key requirement is someone who is passionate about, and experienced in, diving. Knowledge of, and a willingness to learn about, worldwide dive destinations is a key requirement. Original Diving, as part of the Original Travel family, is the foremost provider of high-end bespoke diving holidays in the UK and beyond. Our Diving portfolio covers diving destinations worldwide, with a large proportion of our business for travel within Asia, and so knowledge and experience of dive locations in the Far East is preferable. In terms of diving experience, the successful candidate should have a demonstrable passion for diving with a minimum Rescue Diver qualification (Divemaster or Instructor would be preferred), or Advanced Open Water with ideally 200+ logged dives. This position is a very hands-on role and the successful candidate will be passionate about diving and travel, be highly organised, driven, be an excellent communicator, and clearly understand our customers' needs. We are inviting applications both externally and also internally. Candidates need not be UK citizens. For more information or to apply for the role, please email jacqui@originaltravel.co.uk by Monday 28th June.

Africa Sales Consultant: We are excited to be recruiting a specialist to join our Africa Sales team. Our key requirements are passion for Africa and the Middle East and knowledge of key destinations. We will consider people with solid general knowledge of the regions or people with specialised knowledge in subregions or countries. We would be particularly interested in candidates with experience of Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, particularly Oman, Jordan, and Israel. As a company, our goal is to offer detailed itineraries, organised by true specialists, and delivered with a service that is above and beyond that being offered by any competitor. We seek candidates who feel they can support this vision. This position is a very hands-on role and the successful candidate will be passionate about Africa and the Middle East, be highly organised, driven, be an excellent communicator, and clearly understand our customers' needs. We are inviting applications both externally and internally. For more information or to apply for the role, please email isabel@originaltravel.co.uk by Monday 28th June.

Original Travel and Original Diving (together 'Original Travel') have become aware that members of the public are receiving emails which contain fraudulent employment opportunities with Original Travel. We are taking appropriate legal action. These emails often contain fake offers of employment requesting personal information or payment to process a job application or payment to process visas. Please note that Original Travel never requests payment or fees for the processing of job applications.

How to recognise a fraudulent offer of employment?
Original Travel email addresses always end in "@originaltravel.co.uk or @originaldiving.com" Our recruitment department will never email you from personal email accounts such as Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail. All genuine Original Travel vacancies are advertised on our About Us page. Original Travel will always conduct an interview process before determining a suitable candidate for a job vacancy. Therefore, offers of employment without any form of interview are most likely to be a fraudulent offer. Original Travel never requests payment or fees for job applications.

If you have never applied for a job vacancy with Original Travel or via a reputable recruitment agency, you should be cautious of random emails offering you employment.

Discover what makes us different

Our thoughtful team of knowledgeable experts are here to take care of every need, from the second you contact us to when you return

  • Efficient and friendly service
  • Flexible and hassle free
  • Passionate, honest experts
  • Value and prices
  • Unparalleled support
  • Don’t just take our word for it

What makes us different?