Crack open some freshly harvested sea urchins on Hokkaido’s Rishiri Island and eat them on the spot. (Photo: Dynasty Travel)

The phrase “time is a luxury” might sound like a cliche, but it most certainly rings true to anyone in today’s hustle culture. And the more hectic our lives get, the stronger the yearning to escape. 

With Singapore reputed to be one of the most overworked cities in the Asia-Pacific, is it any wonder that Singaporeans are such avid travellers? The desire for unforgettable experiences continues to grow, yet the reality of planning a free-and-easy holiday isn’t often seamless. 

In fact, it can get overwhelming. Just think: There are reservations at highly sought-after dining destinations to secure. There are tickets for exclusive exhibitions and performances to be booked. What about backstage access to a concert? Or entry to a hidden gem that only locals know about? 

The process can quickly turn into a logistical puzzle, requiring months of planning. Plus, you’d need contacts on the ground. And that’s the thing. Isn’t planning a vacation supposed to be exciting? 

Building the anticipation is half the fun, but more often than not, it becomes an exercise in frustration. No wonder, then, that private tours are fast gaining popularity among savvy travellers.

Discover a tranquil oasis hidden within the Sahara desert on camelback in Morocco. (Photo: Dynasty Travel)

Tailored to perfection

The trend has not escaped unnoticed by leading players such as Dynasty Travel. The company recently unveiled its own interpretation of private tour offerings, leveraging on its passionate owner and team’s extensive network of friendships around the world. 

With fully bespoke itineraries, Dynasty Travel’s trip designers are determined not only to relieve holidaymakers of logistical hassles but also deliver an entirely new level of personalised luxury. 

Choose to fly solo or travel in a pack – there’s no cap on the minimum or maximum number of travellers. You can create an uber-luxurious itinerary from scratch and savour everything money can (or can’t) buy. Or simply go to Dynasty Travel with an outrageous idea, and they will have the creativity, expertise and connections to make it happen. Or you can take it down a notch but still reap the benefits of Dynasty Travel’s white-gloved trip planning services from its carefully curated selection of five-star accommodations to influential local contacts who can provide insider access to closely guarded secrets they share only with friends.

Experience the truly original

The point is, affluent globetrotters can get a genuinely original vacation with everything they desire based on the trip investment they are prepared to make, venture off the grid and deeper into a culture, travel hassle-free and with peace of mind, knowing that a highly experienced team is working tirelessly behind the scenes to deliver a seamless experience. 

For those seeking introspection and respite from urban life, imagine living alongside monks at the Dodey Drak Monastery in Bhutan. It offers a unique opportunity for soul-searchers to immerse themselves in the daily life of monks, witness Buddhist rituals, and partake in the serene environment that characterises the region. 

In India’s Ladakh region, Dynasty Travel also offers the opportunity for spiritual seekers to spend an evening in the presence of a tulku in the city of Leh, where deep conversations and the frank exchange of ideas can be expected. In Tibetan Buddhism, a tulku is an individual who has been recognised as a reincarnation of a past Buddhist master.

Immerse yourself in the splendour of Hemis Monastery, which is located at an altitude of 12,000ft near Ladakh in India. (Photo: Dynasty Travel)

Local sights, sounds and tastes

Having trawled through Tokyo’s most revered sushi joints and devoured the best pintxos in San Sebastian, gourmands might want to consider an excursion to Bogota next to sample the vibrant Colombian capital’s culinary offerings. With a buzzing dining scene characterised by innovative takes on fusion cuisine and a growing emphasis on sustainable practices, Bogota might be the ticket to a world of hidden pleasures.

The new flex is all about authenticity, insider knowledge, and going as local as possible. Interacting with local artisans, craftsmen and growers or giving back to local communities – create opportunities to forge personal relationships that bestow a lifetime of memories.

In Hokkaido, for example, intrepid travellers can learn how kelp farming fights climate change, release baby sea urchins into the wild before joining local fishermen on a hunt for prized Ezo-bafun and Murasaki sea urchins, and finish the day trading stories over a specially arranged barbeque dinner with the town mayor and local community members.

Joining Japanese fishermen on their hunt for prized uni in the pristine waters off Rishiri Island is a rare treat for seafood lovers. (Photo: Dynasty Travel)

Naturally, the success of any authentic travel experience lies in the hands of reliable guides and drivers. Dynasty Travel is known to work with trusted partners to ensure that each tour is accompanied by experienced professionals who are responsible for enhancing the journey’s safety and enjoyment. It helps that Dynasty Travel has been in the business since 1978, making its network of on-ground contacts unparalleled. 

Mr Teo Tianyi, Owner of Dynasty Travel, says: “When dealing with well-travelled clients who are investing substantial sums, what we create needs to fit them at a very personal level, and have enough in-built flexibility because what these clients want is likely to change multiple times before and during the trip. Anyone with sufficient time and budget can plan a luxury trip, but doing it well requires a whole different dimension of resourcefulness, tenacity and passion.”

Tourist traps, begone

Experienced travellers who are seeking value-driven curated tours, and yearning to take deeper dives into targeted destinations, can look to Dynasty small group tours instead.

To cater to travellers looking for affordable luxury, these tours depart with 15 people or less – significantly lower than the industry average – for a more intimate experience while still reaping the benefits of economies of scale. Avoiding tourist traps, itineraries run the gamut from Pied Piper tours in Germany to stargazing encounters in New Zealand.

Since airline seats and hotel rooms are secured way ahead, these all-inclusive tours have fixed departure and return dates, but in return, travellers get to enjoy more value than if they were to book the same trip on their own. 

Watch the Milky Way unfold before your eyes at Cowan’s Private Observatory in New Zealand. (Photo: Dynasty Travel)

In the picturesque Saxon town of Hamelin, admire historic half-timbered buildings associated with the Pied Piper and take snapshots of his bronze statue in the heart of the old town. Visit the Hamelin Museum to learn more about the fairytale legend. In summer, Pied Piper-themed festivals and performances add zest to the town’s already bustling atmosphere.

Halfway around the world, explorers can delight in the dancing colours of the Southern Lights (Aurora Australis) at Cowan’s Private Observatory. It is located in New Zealand’s only International Dark Sky Reserve, which are designated areas around the world with minimal light pollution, making them ideal for observing the heavens. The stunning turquoise Lake Tekapo, in the Aoraki Mackenzie region, is also especially spectacular for night sky photography.

Wander with purpose

Increasingly, travellers are looking for fulfilment beyond material purchases. To that end, Dynasty Travel has put in place initiatives that give back to local communities and producers – for example, farmers and artisans. The end goal is to allow travellers to experience a deeper connection to the places they visit while playing a part in revitalising local cultures, traditions and communities. 

This new approach to travel was highlighted at Dynasty Travel’s Zoom Out 2023, an experiential showcase held at Wisma Atria over two weekends in August. Far from being a run-of-the-mill travel event, the agency sought to transform the mall into an international cultural hotspot, with live Brazilian Samba performances, cultural showcases from Japan to Hawaii, tastings that featured artisanal Swiss chocolate and traditional Mexican ice cream, and ikebana and kokedama workshops. 

The travel agency is also turning to technology to elevate its offerings for would-be customers with a travel app, available on both Apple and Android platforms. Users can book Dynasty Travel tours, look out for one-off exclusive events, plus access their travel itineraries that have live updates of key travel information like flight and accommodation details, activity bookings and weather conditions. There are also curated destination guides and insider tips to trigger more travel ideas for the next vacation.

And because of the bespoke nature of Dynasty Travel’s itineraries, you’ll get the full attention and hyper-personalised service of travel curators, partner guides, and drivers at every step of the way. 

Experience the world like never before with Dynasty Travel. Click here to book your next holiday now.

Brought to you by Dynasty Travel