This year, some of our team members here at Trafalgar’s digital team went on a familiarisation trip. Ross, our Digital Copywriter, was one of the lucky ones and this is his account.
Which trip did you go on?
I went on the first four days of Trafalgar’s 8-day Italian Holiday trip.
Where did you go?
My trip began in Rome, where we spent a few days exploring sights like the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican, before moving onto Venice.
I left the trip in Venice, however the rest of my group went on to visit Lake Garda, Pisa and Florence. It took heaps of willpower to tear myself away early!
What was your experience having a TD at your disposal?
Typically, I’m an independent traveller who likes to pick up a guidebook or go on friends’ advice, often winging it. It dawned on me that after going on this trip, I’d seen, heard and experienced so much more than I would’ve done wandering the streets, waiting for something extraordinary to pop out in front of me.
There’s a reason why Trafalgar’s Travel Directors do what they do. They live and breathe their homelands, spending years and years exploring and meeting new people; much like we do in the areas we live in. That’s experience you simply don’t find in a book or happen upon by chance.
It was also amazing not having to plan a route which, in the past, I’ve found time-consuming and takes some of the fun out of travelling. Everything’s planned to make the most of your time, and there’s flexibility to go off and do as you please too.
You went on your own, didn’t you? What was it like to travel with a large group?
I won’t lie; I was apprehensive about travelling on my own. But I needn’t have been and it was a genuinely enlightening experience. The great thing about Trafalgar’s trips is that you meet people from all over the world, from all walks of life. Travelling alone allowed me to dip in and out of different groups and generally chat to people I wouldn’t usually interact with if I was travelling with friends, family or a partner.
Italian Holiday provided lots of opportunities to interact with people, particularly at the welcome reception dinner where we all shared pizza together around a big table.
What was your favourite sight?
One night, our Travel Director Danillo made a stop-off in a quieter part of Rome. He led us to a small bridge, at just the right time in the evening, so we could capture a beautiful shot of the Vatican City. As a budding photographer, it really made my evening and I’m sure it’s not a shot that most people have in their photo album.
What surprised you most on your trip?
It had to be seeing the Pope at Sunday mass. Danillo timed our visit to this part of Rome perfectly, and I know I wasn’t the only one to have enjoyed the experience.
What will you remember most from your trip?
The people I travelled with were amazing, and we shared some great moments. I was made to feel so welcome and it was great to hear about other people’s travel experiences.
I also won’t forget entering a secret part of the Vatican – Bramante’s staircase – which I know I definitely wouldn’t have got to experience by myself!
If you’d like to go on the Italian Holiday or any other of Trafalgar’s trips, have a look on https://www.trafalgar.com.