Songlines Music Travel: The Tours
What are they all about?
How do they work?
The formula is simple but effective: a partnership between two organisations - one a leading authority on world music, the other an expert in travel. Together they are offering a unique experience in music travel.
Songlines magazine wants to share the unbeatable experience of seeing world music in situ with its readers. The Tailor-Made Groups Company has over 60 years of experience arranging travel to most parts of the world. Their attention to detail, research and planning are essential for tours like these, along with experience of how to ensure everything operates seamlessly. Put these two areas of knowledge together and you have Songlines Music Travel.
The objective of all our tours is to get you close to the music of your destination: through evenings listening to live bands, time spent at festivals, dropping in on instrument makers or enjoying sessions with local musicians. The music is the focal point for these journeys.
However we aim to offer a balance of music with time for other activities – sightseeing, exploring or just chilling out. We offer some musical activities as part of the programme whilst others are optional, so thus catering for both the die-hard music enthusiast and those who want a little of everything.
Flexibility and Variety
The variety of tours is a feature of our programme and choosing between them might be your only problem. We offer tours close to home – just a few hours flight from the UK and ideal for four-day weekend breaks – like Seville, Lisbon or Marrakech. We also offer trips further afield – like Senegal or Argentina – that will take just over a week of your time. Some of our tours are designed around specific music festivals, such as the Festival of a Thousand Stars in Ethiopia. Others are planned to allow you to just drop in on the local music scene – so more in the nature of a musical journey, visiting several places en route; other tours see us based in one place.
The flexibility of our tours is a key feature. You can travel with us from the UK, utilising our flight arrangements, or you can just book the land arrangements, purchasing your own flight tickets and joining the group at your destination (this is particularly useful if your destination is served by low-cost carriers, bookable online at considerable cost-saving).
The meal arrangements on your tour are intended to offer you further flexibility so you can eat where and when you prefer. Only breakfast is included in the price of the tour. This allows you to sample the cuisine of the country as you wish. Whilst dietary preferences can sometimes be catered for, we do ask travellers to understand that in some countries there is a limited choice of foods available and a limited understanding of some dietary requirements.
Songlines Travel Leader
The Songlines Travel Leader is an integral part of the experience. Each tour is led by a professional Travel Leader who ensures that the often complex tour arrangements run as planned, smoothing away the inevitable difficulties of travelling in some destinations and ensuring you receive the holidays we have promised you. Through them, and with the assistance of local guides where appropriate, you will also learn about the music and the destination you have chosen to visit. Providing a Travel Leader adds to the cost of your holiday but we feel they make the difference between a visit and an experience.
Accommodation and Tour Group Sizes
The need for responsible travel is at the heart of our programmes. We use modest locally owned accommodation wherever practical, rather than luxury international hotel chains, ensuring that your money goes straight into the local economy. Our Songlines Music Travel tours are operated by The Tailor-Made Groups Company.
Groups are not large – between 10 and 20 participants (the average group size is about 15). This allows you to get closer to the music, visiting small clubs and intimate venues. It means you will get to know your fellow music lovers better too. And of course we offer you the chance to offset our travel – simply click here to link with the Travel Industry Carbon Offset Scheme.
The accommodation on our tours is based around the use of modest three star, or sometimes four star hotels. Our criteria are that the accommodation should be clean, safe and comfortable. Your accommodation should be a good base from which to spend your time exploring the local music scene.
The single traveller will find our tours ideal. Whether travelling as a couple, with friends or travelling alone, accommodation is not a problem. We do not charge a mandatory single supplement. Many of our clients are flying solo, so if you book as an individual, we will room you in a twin room with a fellow traveller of the same sex. However if you do require a single room, these are often available but will incur an additional cost.
Whilst you may be able to visit many of these destinations at a lower cost, we believe that our music tours, expert Travel Leaders and travel know-how make our trips unrivalled.
For information and reservations, call Songlines Music Travel on 020 8505 2582