FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Bespoke Tour Operators Take the Stress Out of Planning a Family Trip

by Carley Wade

Feb 27, 2018

Hongqi Zhang (aka Michael Zhang) | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

Willing to pull out all the stops but don’t have the time to plan your own deluxe vacation? Upscale luxury tour operators will do all of the hard work for you as long as you give them your dream destination and budget. The relaxation starts with bespoke operators who take the pain out of finding family-friendly hotel room layouts, reserving five seats together on an airplane and tracking down allergy-friendly foods when your daughter can’t have gluten and your son can’t do dairy.


Scott Dunn started in 1986 as a ski vacation curator, but the U.K.-based company and its new San Diego office put together adventures as far as India, Africa, South America and via private yacht. There are suggestions for different age groups and interests, physical ability levels and price points as low as $3,000 per person with convenient seven-night itineraries. Parents can kick back with private nannies or at select hotels, the Scott Dunn Explorers kids clubs, with four different levels geared toward those as young as 4 months and up to 11 years old. Parents can relax while someone else takes care of pureeing the baby food and putting the kids down for naps, with indoor and outdoor play areas for all age groups.


Camels in Oman desert on tour

© Djallaud | Dreamstime.com


U.K.- and Boston-based Audley Travel sends its product curators overseas to experience each destination’s activities and lodgings so they are able to take your family’s preferences and tailor a true custom tour focusing on luxury, adventure and safari. Want to search for orangutan in the rainforests of Borneo or have a 4X4 adventure in the Oman desert? See the Big Five in Africa? Or stay in an all-inclusive tea plantation bungalow with pools and garden views in Sri Lanka? The specialist who works with you has likely done it all and can offer expert advice from start to finish based on the interests of everyone traveling with you. (If you’re in the Boston area, this can also be done in person at their historic office with panoramic views.) Service continues once you’re on the ground, with hand-picked guides assisting you 24/7.


What better way to show kids life lessons than travel and the value of giving back? In the shadow of Harvard, Cambridge, Mass.-based Elevate Destinations does eco-friendly luxury smarter, with tours that connect kids from different countries and circumstances. On a trip to Peru, hit all of the highlights like Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail and archaeological sites, but also meet schoolgirls in the Sacred Valley and Cusco, and help support their education. For each trip booked through Elevate, local children get to visit the tourist sites in their own country through the Buy a Trip, Give a Trip program. On a Kenya “digital detox,” enjoy safari, a tented-camp safari stay at a private conservancy, visit community projects in Nairobi and volunteer at a school for girls.


spinning yarn for tourists in Peru

© Nicole Andersen | Dreamstime.com


Regional charities also benefit from trips booked through Jacada, where you can help save the rainforest in Costa Rica, protect endangered rhinos in South Africa and build schools for Burma. The model is much the same: Regional specialists take your preferences and build a customized itinerary swimming with sea turtles in the Galapagos, kayaking Thailand’s beaches or taking a private tour of the Alhambra in Granada. You’ll get hand-picked guides and family-friendly restaurants.


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