SheSociety columnists – Michelle Beesley and Ruth Greening- felt young at heart and happy being lucky enough to participate in Topdeck’s travel brand launch party. We kicked off with champers and delicious canapés served by the friendly staff from the scenic HQ rooftop Bar. We had been invited to Topdeck’s home in Brisbane’s Southbank to experience the unveiling of their captivating new brand, with samplers of the unique and offbeat adventures on offer. Oh, to be that young again!
We participated in a fun travel board game, Michelle was taken on a winter in Europe trip and Ruth sailing. It came down to yes or no answers depending on our travel choices and the end results were spot on, which didn’t surprise us. Topdeck is known for its group travel options and it was interesting to hear about some of their new initiatives and exciting new travel routes to exotic locations.
Have you ever travelled on a Topdeck tour? These adventure travel experiences for 18 to 39 year olds have been luring young travellers for 47 years. Queenslander, Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner and his friends began the tours using London double decker buses back in 1973. Now after extensive research on what the modern day traveller wants Topdeck have launched their ‘Feel Real’ adventures for the traveller who is after real experiences and real moments filled with real value and real passion. They are also launching some limited edition tours to new and exotic places like Ecuador and the Galapagos, Sri Lanka and even a pioneering adventure to Georgia.
Topdeck has found that travellers are tired of the same- same travel experiences. Topdeck Global General Manager Charles Knowlton says, “ The company intends to break through the travel conformity trending social realms by redeveloping routes across the world, drawing attention to the elements of travel that ‘ feel real’ and liberating individuals from the rules of normal life. We know that our customers desire deep culture, meaningful connections and to be able to not just see, but really feel a destination, as well as take everything the journey has to offer along the way.”
My sons are in their 20’s and when I quizzed them on their group travel experiences they say they loved the fact that all accommodation was booked and ready for them, their luggage was always safe and they enjoyed meeting different people from all around the world. They have made lifelong friendships after doing group tours. My son who toured America says it gave him the chance to cover long distances without having to jump on a plane and he saw more of the changing landscape of America this way. Having inspiring trip leaders who could handle any eventuality was another big plus.
Topdeck Global Head of Marketing – Anna Fawcett agrees, “ Travel has become commoditised and homogenous. Travel should be more than just offering the standard ‘copy and paste’ experiences. It should offer people the chance to escape the mundane of day- to – day life, meet new life long friends, gain new perspectives and broaden their horizons. We want people to feel liberated from the rules of normal life. Travel is about discovery and being you, without feeling the need to conform to the ‘ sameness’ we are exposed to every day.”
Topdeck’s ‘ Feel Real’ branding has responded to the shift in values of the Gen Z and Millenial travellers. They offer group travel itineraries spanning culturally rich destinations like Europe, Asia, Australia & New Zealand, North America, Africa and the Middle East, as well as the new limited edition trips available from 2020. ‘ Feel Real’ is committed to ‘ Real Moments, Real Passion, Real People, Real Time and Real You.’ Looking through the engaging brochures there are tours for the time poor and tours for those who want to immerse themselves in the travel experience. Want to ski New Zealand? Visit Oktoberfest ? Are Greece and the Balkans on your radar? There really is a tour for everyone’s taste.
A night of nostalgia ignited my feeling of freedom, experienced every time I travel to new and intriguing destinations. I wandered around Topdeck’s rebranding display of old photos and posters from the seventies, a baby boomer taken back to wonderful memories in liberated times.
I was in my thirties and remember flying off to Greece all alone to sail around the Greek Islands. It was fun, exciting and different, just like many of the new opportunities on offer with Topdeck. Albeit a little daunting at first, once I joined the skipper and crew on the glorious island of Paros I felt at ease. We scanned the island map for our first drop anchor destination, our adventure had begun.
They were real moments with real people and I still carry them with me as a mother and grandmother. I want my grandchildren to experience this. There is so much on offer. It looks better than ever as I came across one of Topdeck’s new European ventures, a 10 day Greek Island Hopper. The travel opportunities look stunning, a wonderful opportunity for young people to be exposed to and such diversity.
It is precisely what Anna Fawcett talked about when Michelle and I spoke to her. Travellers from way back, we nodded our heads in agreement and smiled knowing what is ahead for our young travellers.
What a way to connect with new people on a global scale, an opportunity to broaden young minds, change their perspective on life, challenge their preconceived ideas and perceptions about other countries. The how and why’s of alternative living conditions, trying new food, and the fun challenge of communicating in non-English speaking towns. It’s all part of the experience, feeling real about what you do.
I am inspired just browsing through Topdeck’s creative, informative and inspirational brochures. They are different, a bit like playing a game too and fun to work through. They offer a “no strings guarantee” with change of mind options, flexible deposit arrangements, book now pay later or pay by instalments. They pretty well have it covered. What a treat our 18 – 39’ers are in for! And if you’re over 39 look out for the Back – Roads boutique experiences. There really is a tour for everyone!
Thank you @SheSociety for our invitation from @theredrepublic on behalf of #Topdeck
For more information and expert travel advice visit www.topdeck.travel
SheSociety is a site for the women of Australia to share our stories, our experiences, shared learnings and opportunities to connect.