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The Rough Guides get smooth

Blog | By Nigel Summerley | Mar 18, 2019


New research by Rough Guides concludes that older travellers still want adventure – but without the ‘rough bits’.

Rough Guides says it is aiming to appeal to this growing market of old softies with the launch of its new 'tailor-made adventure trips' service.

This involves a local travel expert creating an individual trip based on the customer’s criteria, making sure it is full of new experiences and ‘off-the-beaten-track’ elements – but with the desired creature comforts.

CEO René Frey says: 'While many of our loyal readers would never travel without their Rough Guide, they perhaps want an itinerary that is a little less rough. And accommodation that’s not rough at all. So as part of our commitment to continue to serve adventurous travellers of all ages, we’re proud to launch our tailor-made trips.'

I'm not so sure about all this. I've tended to be more of a Lonely Planet kind of guy, although the Rough Guides are pretty good too. However, I think travellers are defined not by their age but by their tendency either to have everything safe and soundly organised, or to be willing to take a few risks, because they know that that way come the serendipitous experiences that cannot be organised.

I'll be 70 next year and I still think the best trips are those that you put together yourself, complete with the challenge of linking up flights, trains, ferries and accommodation in order to get to places you've never been to before but have a feeling that you're going to fall in love with.

And if you really do want to luxuriate in the Full Monty of organised adventure, never mind the Rough Guides – you could do no better than check out the 'Smooth Guides' who lead The Oldie trips.