When you’re searching for somewhere to go on holiday, do you always know where you’re going? What about the times when you’re looking to do a ‘gap yaar’ and want to wonder around and find yourself…
And sometimes you know exactly where you want to go as it’s been sitting on your bucket list for 15 years waiting to be ticked off. But isn’t there also somewhere in between..?
You can always click ‘give me inspiration’ on Kuoni or click the ‘Sensatori’ collection (whatever that is) on Thomson Holidays. But sometimes you do know, sort of. You know the type of experience you want but don’t necessarily know which part of the world, country or even part of a country you’d need to go to in order to get it.
I was looking for that perfect log cabin experience. You know the one: it’s a wooden building, dead animals on the walls, open fire, snowing outside etc. I thought, which would be the best service to help me find this? Air B&B – that would be the best, surely. Air Bnb is a pretty beautiful site, lots of inspiration for cities to visit, usually Hipster ones of course. It is very pretty.
But it only asks you where you want to go.
What if you don’t know where you want to go? Only the experience you want and the budget you have? If you type in ‘log cabin’ it does come back with some stuff, but only stuff in the US, so unlucky if you fancied anywhere else in the world.
What about Secret Escapes then? I love their mobile app, really pretty with a strong focus on visuals and pretty easy to use if you’re just having a browse (gets more complicated if actually want to book a holiday, of course). I typed in log cabin in the Secret Escapes website, and this is what I got:
This is better, more aligned to what i was after i guess… But there’s only two so… If i don’t want Finland or France then that’s about the extent of it. Let’s see if Google can help. I type in ‘log cabin holidays’ and find myself faced with a load of Centre Parcs and Hoseasons options, which, no offence to those who like it, I’m not a particular fan of. I eventually find a site imaginatively called ‘Forest Holidays’ which does offer log cabin holidays, but when I go to search for some, again, it asks me to tell it where I want to be first.
I understand this is to narrow down the types of cabin that will be available when I want, but if I’m experience driven, I’d like to know what’s possible and work out my logistics around that. You can even do a search by ticking ‘underfloor heating’ and ‘outdoor hot tub’ even though many of the types of cabin offer it, you have to sift through them all in order to understand which do and which don’t. Who’s got time for that?
If you just Google ‘log cabin’ you get directed to Wickes or B&Q of course. All of the holiday offerings allow customer to search based on the company criteria and ease of database search. There is definitely an experience lead offering that’s missing here.
Other types of service offer the feeling of buying the experience alone – what about ‘Red Letter days’? It’s all about the experience of what happens to you – you worry about the date and timings later – often the recipient can choose it for themselves at multiple locations. Hospitality companies need to entice customers with the promise of the experience first and worry about the logistics of it later. And this means going further than offering just a poxy gallery and hoping customers have the patience to imagine themselves as part of it.