Meet the Boss: Nick Van Gruisen, The Ultimate Travel Company


In our latest Meet the Boss interview, we talk family holidays with Nick Van Gruisen, Managing Director of the independently-owned The Ultimate Travel Company. Having started his working life as a safari guide in Botswana, Nick worked for Tiger Tops before buying a company called Eco Safaris. As ... Read more

From wilderness …


  … to urban jungle By Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays One of the things I love most about travel is contrast. That might be moving from a simple beach hut to a luxury hotel and back again, or stepping out of a gourmet restaurant to eat dessert at a noisy street stall. The […]... Read more

Would you try a home exchange?

By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer and Editor of 101 Holidays You’ve probably heard about home exchanges, but would you give it a try? Would you take the chance of staying in a stranger’s house and – more to the point – trust them with yours? I’m a fan of the sharing of t... Read more

10 things I love about Montreal

By Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays The French have an expression, “Bien dans sa peau,” which roughly translates as “comfortable in its own skin”. It could be used to describe Montreal, a city that effortlessly combines European flair with American openness. It’s been almost 12 days since we ... Read more

House exchange in Canada: bigger and better

[caption id="attachment_17853" align="alignnone" width="600"] Good deal: we traded a terraced house in London for a large home with pool near Montreal[/caption]

By Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays When I was working full time for The Sunday Times, I wrote several articles about house swapping, but never tried it myself. Then five years ago I took the plunge. A summer holiday in Montpelier followed in the autumn by a few days in Paris and our family […]... Read more

Meet the Boss: Alice Gully, Aardvark Safaris

In our latest Meet the Boss interview, we talk to Alice Gully, a director of Aardvark Safaris. Alice has been involved in African travel since 1995, her initial interest sparked by her entomology tutor at Newcastle University. When a second degree in veterinary science did not go according to plan, she fulfi... Read more

A return to Egypt: not if but when

By Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays Exactly one month ago today I was floating down the Nile on a small cruise boat, exploring 4,000-year-old temples and watching timeless riverbank scenes slip slowly past under a scorching desert sun. Egypt is now a different place, torn apart by an alarming new wave of v... Read more

Meet the Boss: Derek Banks, European Waterways

In our latest Meet the Boss interview, we talk to Derek Banks, Managing Director of European Waterways. It seems that rivers have always featured in Derek’s life – he went to three schools, all of them on the River Thames, spent his school holidays working in a boatyard and he, his wife Debbie and... Read more

Follow in the tracks of the Tour de France

 By Dave Holcroft, Headwater Holidays The 100th Tour de France, one of the greatest sporting events of the summer, gets underway in Corsica tomorrow. With interest in cycling in the UK piqued by Britain’s continued successes in the sport, more and more people are getting on their bikes for pleasure as well... Read more

Meet the Boss: Nicholas Malcolm, Sands Resort, Cornwall

Welcome to our new look Meet the Boss where this week we talk to Nicholas Malcolm, MD of Sands Resort Hotel & Spa. When Nicholas was five, his architect father decided to become a hotelier and moved the family from a lovely house in the country to a rundown hotel (now the Bedruthan Steps) where […]... Read more

My visit to Warwick Castle

ByHelenaHodson,age9IwentwithmymumanddadtospendadayatWarwickCastleanditwasamazing.Thecastleishugeanddatesbackto1345andtherearelotsofthingstoseeanddo.Herearemytopfive:1.     TheArcher:Hewasdressedinmediaeval[…]... Read more

7 best Japan travel blogs

ByJamesMundyJapanisoneoftheworld’smostexcitingdestinations,andoneofthemostbafflingforEuropeanvisitors.Sowhatyouneedifyouplantovisit–orifyoujustwanttolearnmoreaboutthisendlesslyfascinatingcountry–istogettheinsidetrackfromalocalor[…... Read more

No photography: Why camera bans might make us smarter tourists

By Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays I’ve just returned from a visit to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo where I spent three hours utterly enthralled by the treasures of King Tutankhamen. I don’t think I’ve seen a more impressive collection of artefacts anywhere in the world, brilliantly broug... Read more

Would you travel with a 20-year-old guide book?

By Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays I’m 30,000ft above the southern Mediterranean on a flight from London to Cairo and I’m reading a 20-year-old guide book. This might sound like a bad decision given that much of the text will be out of date, but in fact it’s turning out pretty well. My first e... Read more

Trouble in Turkey? Nah, it’s plain sailing

By Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays I recently returned from a magical week sailing the turquoise seas of south-west Turkey, leaving behind the cosmopolitan port of Bodrum to discover hidden coves and pretty harbours. As I write this – almost a month later – barricades are being set up on the s... Read more

Best Travel Blog Posts in May

 By Kathryn Burrington May has seen a wonderfully mixed bag of travel blog posts from the descriptive to the poignant, from the cute to the stunningly beautiful. Iain Mallory shared an interesting post about his visit to Tanji fishing village bringing the sights and sounds of the Gambian coast to life. R... Read more

The Cary Arms, Devon

By Catherine Leech, Director, 101 Holidays No – this isn’t a photo of the Cote d’Azur or some other resort in the Med. It was the early morning view taken through the window of our bedroom (Commodore) at The Cary Arms on south Devon’s Babbacombe Bay earlier this month. So many small ho... Read more

Why you can’t miss this slice of secret Tuscany

MaremmaisadreamycornerofItalythatfewtouristsknow.Discoverhiddenbeaches,naturereservesandlost-in-timevillagesBy DonnaStilesMaremma’slandscapedoesn’thavethefineclothesofthehand-toiled-for-centuriesSienesehillsorthecypress-lineddrivewaysofChianti,buta“p... Read more

Meet the Boss – Leslie Hurst, Siblu


This week in Meet the Boss we talk to Leslie Hurst, CEO of Siblu Villages. Leslie started his professional career as a lawyer but felt the lure of the travel industry in the 1980s when he joined Laker Airways – the first low-cost scheduled airline. Siblu operates 15 holiday villages througho... Read more

My Trip To Legoland

By Helena Hodson, age 9 Legoland Windsor is bigger and better than ever because of two new attractions – Splash Safari and Drench Towers in Duplo Valley. Last Sunday I went with my best friend Talia and our dads. Even though we arrived at 9.45am and stayed until it closed at 6pm, there was more […]... Read more

Best places in India to buy….

  By Balaji Kandasamy, Cox & Kings' India tours product manager

  By Balaji Kandasamy, Cox & Kings‘ India tours product manager India is a shopper’s paradise, famous for its fabulous silks, gems and jewels, silver, marble and leather. Few visitors return from a holiday to India empty handed, but with the enormous selection of products on offer it is importan... Read more

Meet the Boss – Nick Pulley, Selective Asia

This week in Meet the Boss we talk to Nick Pulley, founder and managing director of Selective Asia. Nick has travelled from the frozen tundra of the Canadian Arctic to the deserts of Namibia but fell hopelessly in love with Southeast Asia, the ‘heartland’ of his company, whilst travelling there i... Read more

Best travel blog posts in April

[caption id="attachment_16590" align="alignnone" width="600"] Guess where this photo was taken...[/caption]

By Kathryn Burrington Some wonderful travel photography has caught my eye this last month from an energetic, multi-coloured Holi festival to a stunning sunrise over snow-covered mountains. I’ve also enjoyed reading about lovely but fairly familiar locations, in particular, Kyoto and Tuscany as well as p... Read more

World’s 10 most unusual hotels

 By Catherine Leech, 101 Holidays

If you thought that the hotel comparison website, Trivago, was all about keen prices for bog-standard city centre hotels, check out this compilation of 10 unusual hotels on their books – from sleeping in the cockpit of a Boeing 747 to a hotel made out of salt. Malmai... Read more

Meet the Boss – Claire Wilson, The Adventure Company

This week in Meet the Boss we talk to Claire Wilson, Managing Director of The Adventure Company, one of the UK’s leading family adventure holiday specialists. During her seven years at the helm, she’s travelled with her husband and son (now 15) to far flung destinations including China, French Polynesia... Read more

1st newsletter

£500 off five-star all-inclusive Jamaica Seven nights all-inclusive at the five-star Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, Jamaica, costs just £1,199 pp (saving £500 pp) including Virgin Atlantic flights from Gatwick on selected dates in September and October. Children under two stay free and it's only £30 extra to travel in November. Details from The Holiday Place.

£500 off five-star all-inclusive Jamaica Seven nights all-inclusive at the five-star Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay, Jamaica, costs just £1,199 pp (saving £500 pp) including Virgin Atlantic flights from Gatwick on selected dates in September and October. Children under two stay free and ... Read more

Traverse 2013: review and highlights

By Simon Willmore This weekend saw the launch of Traverse, a new travel blogging conference designed for people that don’t have an entire week to spare for TBEX or TBU. Founded by Michael Ball and Paul Dow, along with a team including Dylan Lowe, its aim was to connect bloggers, PRs, tourist boards and trav... Read more

Meet the Boss: James Morris of Holiday Cottages

This week in Meet the Boss we talk to James Morris, Managing Director of The company was founded by James’s father in 1989 and James took over the helm at the age of 21, in 1999. James got married in September 2012 and is currently renovating his home. * Where did you go on [&hell... Read more

10 best London blogs


  By Laura Porter London has so much going on you really need to get a recommendation from a local and that’s what makes these London blogs so great. Whether you’re looking for a spontaneous idea for today, want the insider news of the latest pop-ups or an honest restaurant review these blogs are... Read more

Best travel blog posts in March

By Kathryn Burrington It has been another great month in the travel blogging world that’s enabled me, virtually at least, to walk beneath Austria’s Hintertux Glacier, float above the wreck of the Titanic, enjoy the beauty of Washington’s State Parks and to visit a hospital in Malawi. Here ar... Read more

Meet the Boss: Craig Burkinshaw, Audley Travel

This week in Meet the Boss we talk to Craig Burkinshaw, founder of Audley Travel, one of the UK’s leading luxury tour operators. When Craig founded the company back in 1996 it was known as Asian Journeys. Today, Audley offers individual journeys, designed to match the traveller’s interests, tastes and... Read more

Portugal’s Alentejo is a corker

By Amy Donegan “They are cork trees and a huge source of income for Alentejo,” replied our guide José in answer to my query about the strange-looking specimens. Amidst carpets of green, yellow and white flowers, the cork trees are a key feature of the Alentejo landscape. Each tree must be harvest... Read more

Cape Verde – Out of Africa, Brazil and Portugal

By Catherine Leech, Director, 101 Holidays Cape Verde is one of the world’s fastest growing tourist destinations, according to a new report from the World Travel & Tourism Council. And it’s not hard to see why, as I found on a recent visit to one of the islands. Tell most people you are headin... Read more

Meet the Boss: James Thornton, Intrepid Travel

Here at 101 Holidays, we like to get to know the people behind the world’s finest travel companies. This week we talk to James Thornton, Managing Director of global adventure tour operator, Intrepid Travel. James took over the reins from the company’s co-founders, Geoff Manchester and Darrell Wade, in 2... Read more

Meet the Boss: Vijay Dandapani, President of Apple Core Hotels

Here at 101 Holidays, we like to get to know the people behind the world’s finest travel companies. This week we talk to Vijay Dandapani, President of Apple Core Hotels, a hotel ownership and operating company started in 1993, and now with five hotels in the mid-Manhattan area of New York. Vijay is a gr... Read more

Best holiday destinations for a weak Pound

By Daniel Abrahams The recent collapse of the Pound against the US dollar and Euro has badly hit the pockets of UK holidaymakers. Tourists will find their spending money does not go so far, and anyone booking an independent trip will find the price of accommodation soaring. But there is some good news: a few ... Read more

Best travel blog posts in February

 By Kathryn Burrington From a women’s co-operative in Jordan to a couple making a tandem bungy jump on Valentine’s Day, it has been an interesting and exciting month for the travel blogging community. Here are a few of the stories that caught my eye over the past four weeks. In The Giving Lens Gives Ba... Read more

Stapleford Park hits the mark

By Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays “Good shot! You took its right wing right off.” Gillian, my wife, turned and grinned as Malcolm Davison – corpulent and ruddy-faced beneath his tweed cap – cracked open the shotgun and reloaded. No animals were harmed in the making of this article. We wer... Read more

10 travel bloggers with most Social Authority

By Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays

Who are the most influential travel bloggers? There are several ways of measuring influence but the latest is Social Authority, as calculated by Followerwonk, now part of the SEOmoz empire. It’s all about ReTweets: the more you get, the more social influence you ar... Read more

10 UK travel writers with most Social Authority

By Mark Hodson

There have been several attempts to measure influence on Twitter, most notably the much-maligned Klout. Now comes Social Authority, a new metric launched by SEOmoz, through its recent acquisition, Followerwonk. Despite its awkward name, Followerwonk is a useful tool, slicing and dicing data fro... Read more

Best travel blog posts in January

 By Kathryn Burrington From close encounters with wildlife on freezing Arctic ice floes or the heat and dust of Africa to some of the most unusual traditions and places we ever heard of, there has been a wonderful variety of interesting and quirky travel posts this month. In her post An Arctic Encounter wit... Read more

Get under the skin of Provence

By Dave Hanson So you’ve been to Provence. You saw lavender fields, you took trips to the Pont du Gard and some of the major wine estates, you soaked sun aplenty at the main Côte d’Azur beaches and even made time to scoot round the three A’s: Arles, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence. So what now? What [&hell... Read more

Skiing in Klosters: if it’s good enough for William and Harry…

By Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays The Swiss ski resort of Klosters is famed for its royal connections: Prince Charles has been a regular visitor for most of his life, and he’s often joined on the slopes by Princes William and Harry. But aside from that celebrity tidbit, most British skiers know lit... Read more

How to keep warm at minus 20ºC

By Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays Cold outside, isn’t it? Well, a bit. Last week I was skiing in the Swiss resort of Klosters where the mercury dropped as low as minus 20ºC. Believe me, that is seriously chilly (hence the frozen beard). I love skiing but I feel the cold, especially in my […... Read more

2nd newsletter

33% off fascinating tour of Ethiopia Ethiopia is emerging as one of Africa's most exciting destinations. Join this 8-day Highlights of Ethiopia tour for £875 (saving £450) departing between 20 and 24 September. It includes a three-night trek in the northern highlands staying full board in community-run lodges, plus five nights B&B in hotels in Addis Ababa and Lalibela. You'll witness the spectacular Meskel festival plus the famous rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. Flights cost around £600 extra. Details from Tadele Travel.

33% off fascinating tour of Ethiopia Ethiopia is emerging as one of Africa’s most exciting destinations. Join this 8-day Highlights of Ethiopia tour for £875 (saving £450) departing between 20 and 24 September. It includes a three-night trek in the northern highlands staying full board in community-ru... Read more

Jo Whiley’s tips on family holidays

By Mark Hodson My son was 14 months old before we took him abroad for the first time. As new parents, my wife and I were not very brave. No backpacking with a papoose for us. We went to a Mark Warner resort in Corsica and had a fabulous time, which I wrote about for […]... Read more

Best travel blog posts in December

By Kathryn Burrington From picturesque walks in the Turkish countryside to death-defying white-water rafting (without a raft) in Finland, we’ve discovered a wonderful collection of travel posts published in December. On Travel Unpacked, Gordon Lethbridge tells how he joined a bunch of adventurous locals in ... Read more

Perfect start to the ski season in Verbier

By Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays Ski holidays can be risky: there can be too much snow or not enough snow; people get injured, flights get cancelled. But when everything goes right there is no more exhilarating experience in the world than blasting through a field of knee-deep powder in brilliant sunshi... Read more

The Maldives: up close and unfiltered

By Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays Instagram, the photo sharing platform, has turned millions of smartphone users into budding photographers with its use of digital filters. But there’s one place on Earth that can’t be improved by adding a filter: the Maldives. A 10-hour flight lands you in a ... Read more

15 Best Travel Blogs to Follow in 2013

By Kathryn Burrington Thousands of new travel blogs are launched every year, as adventurers set off to explore the world and – perhaps – to build a group of online followers. While we love travel blogs, the sheer volume of words and images uploaded every day makes it almost impossible to keep up. ... Read more

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