James Wakelin

Travel Designer

My passion for travel has developed through diverse, personal experiences, having been fortunate enough to explore a range of countries, on weekend to yearlong adventures, from scuba diving in the Yasawa Islands of Fiji, to wandering the streets of Lisbon, and backpacking up the east coast of Australia to name a few.

Having studied geology at university, I thrive in the natural environment which is often reflected in my travel decisions and experiences, from trekking through the diverse landscapes of Iceland to scaling the volcanoes of Java, Indonesia. On the other hand, I am a city lover at heart, having lived in Melbourne, Manchester and currently in London, and some of my favourite trips have involved interrailling throughout Europe and spontaneous long weekends away to explore new cities.

One of the key aspects to memorable, unique travel is making connections, whether that be with locals, fellow travellers or expats, it is invaluable to connect with people to share experiences, develop new friendships and create memories together!

Europe

Best destination for families

Croatia

In my opinion, more families should travel to Croatia. It is a hugely diverse destination and one of the Mediterranean's most enchanting countries with activities for all ages. It has some of the most beautiful national parks, coastlines, medieval cities and crystal clear water.

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On my bucket list

Cappadocia

I would love to travel to Cappadocia in Turkey, to see and experience the extraordinary rock formations from above in a hot air balloon ride at sunrise.

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See where I’ve travelled

Traditional Greek fishing village

My favourite trip

Greek Islands Off the Beaten Track

The off the beaten track Greek islands example trip is one of my favourites as it is has a brilliant mix of adventure, culture and relaxation and has a wide range of exciting excursions including sailing, sea caves, scuba diving and hot springs. A perfect trip!

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Six Senses Douro Valley surrounded by lush greenery

My favourite hotel

Six Senses Douro Valley

One of my favourite European hotels is the Six Senses Douro Valley, which is a converted 19th century manor perched on a hilltop with views out to the famous Portuguese wine region and the Douro River. The property has a strong focus on well-being and features an expansive spa.

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My top tips

To avoid very hot summers and busy crowds, travel to Europe in Spring or Autumn

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Try some local street food, it is normally delicious and you are likely to meet some friendly locals

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Learn a couple of phrases in the local language to impress your guides

Take a reusable water bottle with you as many European cities have safe, clean and free drinking water dotted around

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