At Bon Voyage we have quite a few serial repeat clients. Something about the US and Canada, booked by their favourite tour operator, proves irresistible. But we had never had this sort of confession before. We feel the same Nick Reed.....................
They’ve given me experiences and memories that will last a lifetime – thrill-a-minute weekends in vibrant cities, amazing adventures off the beaten track, encounters with weird and wonderful people in quirky small towns. Most recently, we just left the rest of the world behind, threw a couple of cases in the back of a bright blue Mustang, and drove into the sunset along America’s most iconic highway. So many kicks on Route 66.
Yes, Bon Voyage has been my mistress for more than two decades and I just can’t give her up. Luckily, my wife thoroughly approves!
We first travelled together on our honeymoon (Bon Voyage and me that is – of course my wife was there too) – a heart-stopping beautiful drive around New England in the fall. Leaf-peeping, mountain climbing, whale watching, lobster-munching… an experience of a lifetime, let alone a perfectly blissful holiday.
Next came New Orleans for our 20th anniversary. As we queued at the airport to come home after three action-packed days, another English couple in front of us looked blearily into each other’s eyes. “Well, we survived,” he said. Anyone who’s been to the Big Easy will get that – it’s loud, it’s tacky, it’s brash, but it’s also bold, beautiful and bloody brilliant.
The wilds of Montana and Wyoming soon followed. Grizzly bears, wolves and cowboys, from the geysers of Yellowstone to the snow, ice and Big Sky of Glacier National Park driving the Going to the Sun Road. Stunning, simply stunning. This trip was with my son to mark the end of his A-levels – he was old enough to eat in what our hero Jack Kerouac called ‘the end of his quest for the ideal bar’ – the M&M Cigar Store in Butte, Montana – and to see the Big Hole of Great Falls (it’s big…and it’s a hole…whatever floats your boat) but not, alas, to drink in the town’s notorious Sip ‘n’ Dip Bar. Another time, eh?
And then, last year, three weeks driving the Mother Road from Chicago to LA with a buddy… music, murals, motels and magnificent Monument Valley, from big cities to small towns to mountains to meteor craters and Pacific beaches, with stop-offs at the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Hoover Dam and more besides. An Americana overload taking in eleven states and a thousand memories. There are people who say they don’t like America, or Americans.
Personally, I think they’re the ones who have never been. Or have only been to Disneyland. Or Cleveland.
I’m totally aware this sounds like an ad, by the way. But it’s a genuine opinion. The Bon Voyage planning, advice and support before and during each trip has been amazing. No issue has ever been too small, no request too large. Every hotel/motel/apartment has lived up to expectation; every driving instruction has been spot on.
Even on the rare occasions we’ve had a problem, Bon Voyage has been there to sort it without fuss or fanfare. Which is why we keep coming back of course.
Next up, another adventure to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary in September 2019. Three weeks starting in Vancouver, whale watching from Victoria Island, the Coastal Starlight train down to San Francisco and then pick up another Mustang to do Carmel, Monterrey, Big Sur, Napa and Yosemite. It’s less than a year away now, and I’m getting really excited.
Who would have thought that being unfaithful could be so rewarding? - Nick Reed