Do you ever feel like you spend longer planning a trip than actually being on the trip? Sorting out an itinerary for your dream break that combines adventure with time living like a local, exploring the landscape and its culture, then relaxing in a luxury hotel and spa – and all for a reasonable price – is HARD! If only there was someone to do the legwork for you…
That’s exactly the concept behind The Not So Rough Guide, an advice website for travellers set up by two women who also love to travel. It enables you to get to far-flung places without being tied to a tour group, for the lowest cost and knowing that you will have highly recommended accommodation. Phew!
The women travellers with a plan
Caroline Harris and Heather Mitchell found that they were spending far too much time trawling the internet planning their breaks so thought they could put together a collection of guides containing suggested itineraries that they had researched and often experienced themselves at first hand.
The pair found that they had complementary skills. Caroline is a graphic designer and Heather an award-winning journalist. Both have project management experience and have travelled extensively and so were able to devise and develop The Not So Rough Guide website.
“Caroline explains: “The website contains unique travel routes to enable you to get the best value for money and save so much time researching.””
Heather adds: “Our new business aims to fill a gap in the travel marketplace. Between us, we have a wealth of experience of marketing, social media, travel writing, product development, project management and graphic design. We are using our skills and our world travel experiences to launch a venture aimed at travellers who want a not-so-rough travel experience of between 2- 12 weeks”.
The ‘Not So’ Rough Guide
Products on their website include:
- Free travel routes ideas to read on the web site
- Low cost (just £1.99) more detailed travel guides showing interesting routes of up to 12 weeks to buy.
- News items, features, travel advice and tips
- Advertising opportunities for tourism boards, tour operators, hotels and resorts, airlines, ferries and travel clothing and goods producers.
The pair are big fans of Thelma and Louise too. Caroline used the site to find travel companions for a trip she made to China to walk remote sections of the Great Wall.
“It was wonderful to find women who wanted to share the experience and by joining up we were able to negotiate better prices as well as have ready-made travel companions.”
Caroline spent a year backpacking across Australia and Asia when in her twenties as well as more recently holidaying in South and Central America. Heather has worked, as a marketer and business consultant, in North America, Continental Europe, Africa, the Far East and Middle East.
“We hope that websites like www.thenotsoroughguide.co.uk and www.thelmaandlouise.com can introduce people to wonderful opportunities and experiences they never knew existed. The world is still big enough to engage and delight the adventurous traveller.”
And what of their own, very favourite places? Caroline says the challenge of walking sections of the Great Wall of China was “life changing” and enabled her to join world expert William Lindsey (remember he guided Joanna Lumley along the Wall in her Trans-Siberian Adventure TV programme?) . Heather reveals that “tracing human civilisation through 12,000 years from the Wadi Rum desert petroglyphs to the breathtaking pink city of Petra and then bustling modern day Amman in Jordan is very special”.