Anthony Dowlatshahi has travelled with us to South America and will soon be setting off on his second adventure to Alaska. We spoke to him about his experience of booking with OutOfOffice.com and his travel tips.
What was your experience like with OutOfOffice.com?
Really positive – the variety of holidays / trips / adventures available are truly stunning and you can see that the team at OOO have been hard at work to put together packages for all budget types, lifestyle types, for singles, couples, honeymooners – they are thinking of it all. My experience has been first-class all the way through. Marcus booked me on a trip to Peru which was run by a really intimate and high-quality gay tour operator – the group was about 30 people in total. I have to say, I was quite anxious as I've never been one to travel alone anywhere. However the team at OOO were re-assuring and quick to reply. They wanted to ensure that I found the holiday I wanted as opposed to just selling me a holiday they thought I would like – and I had loads of fun choosing the holiday too.
Tell us a little about your trip and anything that you particularly liked or enjoyed?
I ended up going to Peru on a trip to the Lima, The Amazon Rainforest, Machu Picchu and Cusco. From the moment I checked in at airport, I didn't have to think about anything, and there were no worries. Everything was taken care of. I had all the right contact information. I knew where I was going and who I would be meeting on the other side. The agenda ran like clockwork. It was just amazing. I don't think I would have had the option or the thought to take a trip into the heart of the Amazon if it weren't for OOO. It would always have been one of those trips I would have taken in my mind as I watched a wildlife documentary. I got to swim with pink-nosed dolphins, held a baby crocodile as well as a giant tarantula the size of my face! You could see the sloths hanging upside-down in the canopy chilling out in slow-motion and the food was out of this world. The stars at night were simply unreal. The group was fairly eclectic – lovely people just all wanting a nice group of people with no 'alternative agenda' to go on a life-changing trip with. And the energy at Machu Picchu is exactly as people say. It's an extraordinary place, and over 14 days I met some really interesting and amazing people I know I can call on whenever I am in their part of the world and vice-versa.
Our aim is to open the world of travel to all, regardless of their sexual orientation – what do you think to the OutOfOffice.com ethos?
Bring it on!! I'm booking my next trip to go to Alaska this summer. No doubt Marcus is going to have about 1000 e-mails from me and a relentless stream of calls! But yes, I am fully bought into your ethos. You're enabling me to see the world, and with the option of seeing and experiencing the world which I would not have thought to do alone. The OOO value-proposition differentiates itself because it gives the LGBT community the option to see the world versus being segregated from it from a travel perspective.
I have to say, I went to the Maldives with Kuoni and my god it was a sterile and boring experience. The travel agent was dull and all very 'hetero-normative'. I was so completely bored. They didn't sell to me and I felt they didn't really cater for gay men or have a clue as to what I as a gay man might want. I was stereotyped through their ignorance and while the holiday was good, the experience was a little dull for the money I paid. OutOfOffice.com Vs Kuoni? No contest – save yourself the bother and go to OutOfOffice.com.
It is a terrific business which I really believe has the potential to excel and support thousands and thousands of us in the LGBT community who want to have a 'go to' travel agent who is there to enable us to see beyond our usual horizons. Have a look at what they have done! We have the option of going all over the world now thanks to [CEO] Darren Burn's initiative.
We should be supporting this business and enabling them to thrive. I just can't wait to see Alaska this year, then perhaps I'll go to Nepal they year after and see the Himalayas.
Do you have anything else to tell others who are thinking of using OutOfOffice.com for their next trip?
Just give them a call and get chatting about where you've always wanted to go. The team is welcoming, warm, happy, has good energy and will send you on a trip of your lifetime, knowing full well that there'll be an even better trip to go on after that.
This is a trust-worthy company run by good people who want to make a difference. They are a gem – a rare find. Hats off to Darren, Marcus and the team of OutOfOffice.com.
Read more customer reviews about OutOfOffice.com on our Trustpilot page. If you want to experience a trip like Anthony then get in touch with one of our expert team via the website or by calling 020 7157 1570 / 1-888-489-8383 from the USA.