We’re lucky enough to get great feedback from our customers when they travel around the world and we think this recent piece of feedback sums up why they love using us and why we’re different. We’re confident that if you travel with us you’ll feel the same as Johanna does below.

Part of an effective general life coping strategy (particularly in Christchurch) is getting the hell out of Dodge every now and again.  The best holidays are often those where you impose on a friend and they are obliged to show you all the local sights and take you to do things that most tourists don’t know about.  The best meals are at the tiny family run restaurant on a side street, with recipes passed down through generations, that you wouldn’t notice if you walked right past it.

“Well now you don’t need friends because you have Black Tomato.”

They are an award winning, high end, tailored, experiential travel company that specialise in putting together exceptional boundary pushing trips around the globe.  What this means in non-marketing terms:

  • Black Tomato plan amazing holidays for you.  Flights, hotels, sightseeing, guides, drivers and insider experiences that are usually reserved for people who know people.  Completely customised.  No tour buses, no enforced bonding (though they could probably round you up a posse if that’s what you are after).
  • They are awesome and people know it.
  • I don’t want to say it’s not cheap, because for the sweet trip we have just booked, I’m happy that I’m getting huge bang for my buck, but it’s not for the entry level holiday maker (funding wise).  If you opted for the “On a Shoestring” version of the perennial favourite Lonely Planet for your location, best stick with that for now.  BT only recommend and line up places they have experienced and been wowed by so, put it this way, you won’t be slumming it.
  • No trip is the same.  There are suggested itineraries and trips on their website (which is hard core travel porn – I suggest amassing a hefty sum in your savings accounts before viewing because you may not be able to control your wanderlust once you have) but when they plan your trip for you, it will be totally personalised based on what you want to get out of it.
  • Its not just flights and hotels; the most exciting parts of the itineraries are the special touches and cutting edge experiences they line up for you to make sure you not only tick all the necessary boxes for the particular location but have a unique experience and get fully immersed in everything the region has to offer.  Plus you get smug holiday stories that didn’t originate from a page in a guidebook.
  • If you are looking to take your travel next level, they can arrange almost anything.  One of their most epic experiences, diving between tectonic plates in Iceland, probably won’t be of great appeal to Cantabrians (it’s testing enough being on top of them) but there is something to keep everyone not only happy, but getting mileage off the memories way beyond touching down back home.

We just booked a holiday (though epic adventure seems a more accurate description) to India with Katie who is based in Black Tomato’s UK office (they also have an office in NYC but have teams on the ground basically everywhere).  I cannot stress enough how much of a straight up star she is and the trip she has put together for us is unreal.

“When the first phone call is to discuss what you want to get out of your time away, you know you aren’t just being handed a pre-packaged holiday for the masses.”

You are fully involved so still get all the planning and decision making excitement but without the fear that you just accidentally booked a hotel where the bathroom is actually at the petrol station down the street or the weeks nervously wondering whether “quaint” actually means “decrepit”.  The time difference isn’t ideal, but was managed with no hassle at all.  Their exceptionally slick branding definitely extends to slick service and  I basically plan to contact them every time I propose to leave central Christchurch from now on.
I may have to be forcibly removed from some of our hotels as I doubt I will leave voluntarily, but it’s the care and thought that goes into the experiences for you that is Black Tomato’s forte.  My highlights: going with a local family to the market then back to their home for a cooking lesson, a sunrise yoga session, going backstage in Bollywood.  And Katie didn’t exactly say this, but I’m almost certain that “backstage” means I should show up in a sari with an “impromptu” dance routine nailed and probably become a Bollywood superstar.  It’s pretty easy to jump online and book flights and hotels so it’s the personal element and their impeccable taste that significantly increases your odds of having a trip that is memorable for all the right reasons.  At the very least do it for the poor folk you are inevitably going to regale (bore) with your holiday tales.  Anyone with the internet can visit cntraveller.com you know.

“While I’m confident they can make even the most well-travelled spots a new experience, it’s a particularly good way to check out some more intrepid spots.”

It’s impossible to take all the surprises out of travelling but feeling like you are in safe hands, staying at places Black Tomato know and trust and having local guides, transport and support on call 24/7 definitely makes the unbeaten track feel more attainable.Check out their website and prepare for a rapid expansion of your travel to-do list.  It’s addictive.Time off is a pretty valuable commodity so don’t waste it.  The people at Black Tomato appreciate this.  Next time you want to escape, get in touch.You’ll wonder why you ever bothered to go on holiday without them. If you are wondering, a black tomato is is a rare fruit that is only found in particular locations and climates, and its taste (when discovered), is an unforgettable experience.

To get in touch with Katie to plan your own trip to India email katie@blacktomato.com or to begin planning another contact us.

Read more from Johanna via her blog We Built This City.