Travel Trends

The 'Gratifications' our Specialists are Planning

The 'Gratifications' our Specialists are Planning

Travel has well and truly taken off again. With the last of the travel restrictions scrapped (meaning no more pesky passenger locator forms, COVID-19 tests or quarantine when you arrive in the UK) we’re seeing a trend towards super special trips – or ‘Gratifications’ as we’ve coined them - that pull out all the stops. Perhaps there’s a destination you’ve always wanted to visit, an experience you’ve always wanted to try, or a sight you’ve always wanted to see. Or perhaps it’s all the above, rolled into one big bucket list-sized holiday. In need of some inspiration? We asked the Original Travel team to describe their ultimate Gratification...  


Go Hiking in Bhutan

Jacqui Brooks 

'The lockdowns have left me with a renewed love of walking and top of my hiking bucket list is the Trans Bhutan Trail, which is set to open this spring after years of restoration. This ancient pilgrimage route spans the breadth of the country (over 250 miles!) from Haa in the west to Trashigang in the east and is one of the most culturally rich and least explored trails in the world. My dream trip would be an outdoorsy holiday with my husband with lots of fresh mountain air, beautiful landscapes and visits to remote villages, fortresses and monasteries.’ 


See Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda

Isabel de Galleani 

‘To be able to sit with a family of gorillas interacting with each other, for even a minute, would be a lifelong dream. Volcanoes National Park, in the far north-west of Rwanda, is famous for its population of endangered mountain gorillas who live in the lush rainforests on the slopes of the Virunga Mountains. Accompanied by an expert guide, you can trek through the bamboo forests and grasslands in search of a family of gorillas. Once you find them, enjoy an hour or so just watching them go about their daily routine: a truly unforgettable experience.’ 


Go on a Couple's Adventure in Costa Rica

Oliver Rodwell 

‘As an avid wildlife lover and adventure seeker, being stuck in the UK for so long has been a challenge. I passed the time dreaming about my next trip to Costa Rica. For nature lovers like myself, Costa Rica is pure paradise, with every kind of habitat imaginable, from long sandy beaches to primary rainforests. Now that the country is open to tourists without any testing requirements, I'm planning a couple’s adventure holiday. The country is relatively small so we can travel around without any internal flights and see as much of the country as possible.' 


Go on a Foodie Train Trip Through Europe

Harriet Hartford

‘During the lockdowns I spent far too much time watching cooking shows and dreaming about my next foodie trip as I waited for the travel restrictions to lift. Now that the world is open again, I’ve got my sights set on Europe. My dream is to travel by train through some of the continent’s famous foodie hubs, including the Spanish city of San Sebastian (famous for its pintxo tapas-style dishes) and the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna (famous for its fresh pastas and parmigiano reggiano cheese).’ 


Search for Snow Leopards in Ladakh, India

Frances Mavor

‘I’ve always dreamt of travelling to Ulley Valley in Ladakh to see snow leopards in the wild. These majestic creatures (nicknamed the “ghosts of the mountains”) are incredibly hard to spot so you need a good dollop of patience, luck and expert local guides and trackers to maximise your chance of seeing them. Despite my main aim being to see snow leopards, you can also spot Asiatic ibex, Ladakh urial sheep, golden eagles, red-billed chough, Himalayan griffon vultures and thick haired Himalayan wolves. And the mountain scenery is so beautiful it is well worth a trip there in itself!’