We want to get to know you - find out what you like, what you love and what you would rather do without - so that we can create a tailor-made holiday where every detail is curated to you and your needs.
No two travellers and no two itineraries are ever identical. Each is truly original. Our thoughtful team of knowledgeable experts are here to do the hard work for you. To take care of every need and smallest personal request from the second you contact us to the moment you return home from another memorable trip or adventure, be that a week in Europe or a year travelling the world.
Whether you want to go wild and track game with San bushmen in the Kalahari Desert, or learn the art of pizza-making with your family in the Tuscan countryside, we provide something a little different on our tailor-made holidays. Not only do we have the inside scoop, bucketloads of experience and specialist knowledge in a huge variety of destinations (our team have lived or travelled in 161 countries, and counting), but we also have a whole portfolio of additional extras and services to take your trip to the next level.
These include a roster of expert guides and our network of clued-up local Concierges to ensure you’re making the most of your precious time away, plus seemingly simple but infinitely wonderful fast-track services through security and immigration in airports, fun packs for little travellers and a handy app to keep all of the important info in one place.
From your personalised itinerary to the service you’ll receive, it’s the tiny details that matter and make an enormous difference. We’ve proudly been doing detail since 2003 (a crisp and icy morning on the 6th of January, to be precise) and we want to share our experience and passion with you.
Eighteen years old and counting. Find out how we got where we are today.
2003 The three founders leave the City, the Army and Fleet Street and Original Travel (and the Big Short Break) is born.
We scoop our first award, for Best Brochure, at the prestigious Guardian/Observer Travel Awards.
2005 Our second brochure picks up the Best Brochure gong again at the Guardian Observer Travel Awards.
2007 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.
2008 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.
2009 We acquire well respected Africa, Latin America and India specialists Tim Best Travel, and pick up the Best Short Break Tour Operator award again.
2010 We launch Original Diving with Tim Simond, author of the best-selling Dive in Style books.
We bag the Guardian/Observer Travel Awards Best Short Break Tour Operator award for a fourth straight year.
2011 We go from strength to strength, organising wonderful trips - some more high profile than others - to far flung corners of the globe.
2012 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.
2013 We join forces with much-loved children's party people Sharky & George to enhance our family holidays.
2016 We move into a shiny new office in Putney to accommodate the ever bigger and better team, which now numbers 50.
2017 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.
2018 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.
2019 Our expertise goes from strength to strength as head of Original Diving, Louisa Fisher, is officially named a Travel + Leisure expert on diving, while Amelia Stewart deservedly snags a Condé Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist 2019 award for her expertise in Georgia. Meanwhile 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.
2020 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. Elsewhere, 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.
2021 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. There’s more good news because 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.
2022 Travel makes a long-awaited comeback, and travel writers, editors and readers vote us one of The Times and Sunday Times Travel Awards top ten Luxury Tour Operators, and Conde Nast Traveller’s Readers’ Choice winners as well.
2023 Break out the champagne! Original Travel reaches the grand old age of 20. By way of celebration we contribute no less than 13 expert consultants to the Conde Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialists list. Not just the most of any UK travel company, but any travel company anywhere. Testament to the unparalleled expertise within the team. We also launch our concept of Kintsugi Travel. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold lacquer to create a piece considered even more beautiful than the original. Since the pandemic, we aim to be the gold lacquer piecing travel back together better than before, with a focus on positive impact innovations such as Undertourism, Flight-Free Travel, Community-Based Tourism, Indigenous Tourism and Philantourism. In short, we believe travel can, and should, be a force for good, benefitting visitor and destination alike.