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Journey to the Heart of Africa

Top "Indie" Travel Experiences

European Waterways

"I did it my way" isn't just a line from a famous song by Frank Sinatra. It's also a popular mantra for independent-minded travelers who like to put their own, unique spin on their vacation adventures.

Below, we share Hideaways' Top "Indie" Travel Experiences. Even if you're decisively not a DIY traveler, we encourage you to be open-minded—after all, with the help of an expert agent at Hideaways Travel Services (800-843-4433), you're never truly on your own when it comes to travel planning (and we're also there for you should something not go as you expected during your vacation).

For each experience, we also include a less-independent option for those who prefer to get by with a little help from new friends!


When Hideaways Founder Mike Thiel assembled his 30 Wonders of the Hideaways Vacation World, he had a lifetime of exceptional travel to choose from . . . and barging was his #1 pick!

With its charming and diverse waterways, Europe is a fantastic destination for this type of adventure, especially in Ireland, England, and France.

"Experiencing the countryside, villages, cuisine, wine, and culture at a relaxing
5 mph" is why this type of travel topped Mike's list. He also enjoyed "the independence of captaining [a] self-hire barge and learning the ropes of barging."

Barging . . . with a Little Help from New Friends
Leave the driving to the captain and let the barge crew members take care of you when you experience a Crewed Charter Barge. Mike also has experienced this, and thoroughly enjoyed "the luxury of being waited on hand and foot." Hideaways-recommended Crewed Charter Barges include The Moorings in the Caribbean and European Waterways.


There are destinations, especially of the exotic variety, where the do-it-yourself approach definitely doesn't work due in part to unfamiliar territory, significant language barriers, and the need for very complicated itineraries. But don't let that stop you! You can still honor your independent streak, while satisfying your travel yearnings for out-of-the-ordinary parts of the globe, with a custom tour.

Even Hideaways' Mike Thiel— one of the world's top travel experts—knows when he's got to enlist his own expert assistance. When he traveled to India, for instance, he worked with a private tour company to customize his experience. Must-Read Article: Mike's India trip required careful planning—find out how much that investment paid off.

Must-Read Custom Tours Articles

Even independents won't see "tour" as a four-letter-word after reading these missives.

Special Report: Personalized Tours

Special Report: Exotic Travel

Take a "Long Journey" to Discovery

Traveling . . . with a Little Help from New Friends
You don't have to plan an extensive bespoke tour to get to know a destination; booking a full-day or half-day tour with a local guide provides inside know-how in both exotic and everyday destinations. Schedule such a guide with Hideaways Travel Services (800-843-4433), or by contacting the local chamber of commerce (or equivalent) at the destination. Must-Read Article: See how Hideaways Founder/President Mike Thiel got to know the inside secrets of Malta thanks to his local guide.


You can rent a vacation home almost anywhere in the world, from a sprawling country manor in Europe to a modern beachfront estate in the Caribbean. With a villa, you'll enjoy personality, privacy, and all the comforts of home (like a washer and dryer, a bedroom for everyone, and even the kitchen sink!) at a great price. You'll also live like a local, totally independent, and with all the unforgettable thrills and challenges that presents.

As your one-stop villa resource, the expert agents at Hideaways Travel Services (800-843-4433) will help you find just the right vacation home to fit your needs and budget (we have access to scores more than the villas available on our website).We also can arrange for transportation, tours, and hotel lodgings before and after your villa stay. If you'd like, we can also see to it that your villa's refrigerator is filled with all your essentials on your arrival.

Must-Read Villa Articles

Here are a few of our favorite missives on the joys of villa vacationing.

Gathering Friends Together for a Villa Vacation

Try a Villa Vacation - You'll Like It!

As You Like It: European Villas

As You Like It: Caribbean Villas

Last Call for Caribbean Winter 2014 Villas
January through March is peak season for villa rentals in the Caribbean, which makes this time of year a "last call" of sorts for booking a Winter 2014 rental. Get matched with your perfect vacation home when you contact Hideaways Travel Services (800-843-4433).

Sneak Peek at 2014 Italy Villas
The 2014 season for villa rentals in Italy will open up for booking in September; get a jump start and find your perfect Italian vacation home now, well before the masses, which increases your chances of booking the villa that's just perfect for you.

Villa Vacationing . . . with a Little Help from New Friends
When you want to vacation in a place with the privacy, space, and personality of a villa along with the services, amenities, and pampering of a resort, you want a villa resort! Like villas, villa resorts are diverse and include stand-alone private residences (traditional villas), cottages, condos, and apartments. Below are some favorites from around the world. Identify your ideal villa resort when you contact Hideaways Travel Services (800-843-4433).

Villas: Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic; Round Hill Hotel & Villas, Jamaica; Scrub Island, British Virgin Islands; Hotel Punta Islita, Costa Rica; Santa Marina Resort & Villas, Greece; Covecastles, Anguilla; Alila Villas Soori and Alila Villas Uluwatu , Bali

Cottages: Blue Waters (also has suites), Antigua; Guana Island (also has villas), British Virgin Islands

Condos: Coral Stone Club, Cayman Islands; Princess Heights, St. Maarten; Villa Renaissance and The Regent Grand, Turks and Caicos; Mt. Cinnamon, Grenada; Carimar Beach Club, Anguilla

Apartments: The Athenaeum, London; The Turnberry (also has cottages), Scotland

Do-It-Yourself, With a Little Help from Hideaways

When you're ready to enjoy your next adventure, independent or otherwise, contact a Travel Specialist at Hideaways Travel Services (800-843-4433) or request more information. Like a matchmaker, our expert agents will introduce you to travel experiences best suited for your style and budget, with special perks and privileges along the way.

Rent your car:    Insure your trip:    Send your luggage ahead: 
Italian Villas Luxury Cruises   767 Islington St., Portsmouth, NH 03801
Caribbean Asia Hotels   TF: 800-843-4433 / US: 603-430-4433
Paris, France Vacation Homes for Rent   Fax: 603-430-4444
Hawaii European Vacation

* Hideaways Aficionado Club is a registered trademark of Hideaways International, Inc.
Copyright © 2017 Hideaways International, Inc.
All Rights Reserved