What is RAW Travel?
RAW Travel was an unusual name for a travel company when we launched it but we felt it encompassed how we best like to encounter the world: real, unprocessed and vibrant ( it was also an acronym for Real Adventures Worldwide). At that time the founder Dave Reynolds already had a long history of organising active adventures around the world and wanted to distill the best of his hard gained travel experience into real adventures that would both equally thrill and challenge people. He also wanted to stay away from mass tourism and take people exploring off the beaten track for more authentic travel experiences – and so the concept of RAW Travel was born.
Since that time we’ve organised thousands of active trips to far flung corners of the globe and introduced countless happy travellers to their first long distance walk. RAW Travel remains a business run by travellers for travellers and a family owned business as well. Many trips and faces have changed but the spirit of RAW is still the same – creating inspiring journeys for our travellers that offer physical challenge, genuine interaction with the people and cultures we visit, backed by a personal but expert service.
The world, one step at a time…
We passionately believe a walking trip offers unique experiences & opportunities that vehicle bound travel can’t. Travelling on foot means you slow down and really see the world around you. Walking is a great detox to the stresses of modern life and life on the trail is an enriching experience that energises, stimulates and excites your senses but it allows you to escape the everyday routines; sharing experiences with new friends on the way, connecting more deeply with one another and the local people & cultures. Exploring regions on foot is also by its nature very eco-friendly, not to mention what it does for your health and fitness!
RAW now concentrates on a small selection of the World’s most iconic walking trips, choosing those destinations that we feel can offer unique experiences for our travellers. Though it’s an intentionally small list we’ve still got walks for complete beginners right through to demanding treks that will satisfy and thrill even veteran adventurers.
So what makes us different?
Trips tailored to you
Since we first started, Travel itself has changed tremendously and many more people have now discovered the joys of walking and adventure travel – so we have to work harder to be different and relevant to our customers. We start by listening to our clients, understanding what you want to get out of your trip and designing experiences to match your desires – not trying to fit you into a pre-determined trip.
It’s a flexibility that many of our customers really appreciate along with the friendly and helpful attitude of our staff whose mission is to encourage you to realise your travel dreams. And of course we’re always interested to hear where you want to go next!
We’re a specialist company and we enjoy providing a friendly, personal service where you’re treated as an individual – no call centres here!
Our ambition is for all our staff to truly become Destination Experts, which allows them to deliver you a level of advice and experience that comes from being 100% focused on our chosen walks (rather than hundreds of different trips, as is often the case with bigger companies). We pride ourselves on our intimate knowledge of our chosen walking destinations and we really do “know because we go”.
Our staff take these walks each year and share their insider insights with you to help create exciting journeys where you can experience the best of your chosen destination, while being reassured that all the details are taken care of and help is never far away should you need it from our locally based staff and suppliers.
Solo travellers and women’s trips
RAW Travel has always welcomed single travellers and does not require anyone to pay a surcharge for travelling alone on our guided group trips. On all of our group adventures (not self guided) we will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveller of the same sex and if we can not match you up we will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share a room then just pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room.
We also have special departures, such as solo or women’s trips where you can join other like-minded travellers on self guided trips and enjoy the benefits of company without compromising your flexibility as an individual traveller.
Giving back and treading lightly
Our trips have helped raise over $A18 million in funds for 40+ charities in Australia and overseas through our charity challenges. We are proud to have been part of so many great fundraising initiatives that have substantially impacted & improved people’s lives whether through combatting Human Trafficking, lifting people out of Poverty, helping the Environment or research into disability and disease. There have been too many causes and great people to list them all here!
In today’s world travelling lightly is no longer just an admirable sentiment but a necessity. We always look for ways to improve our impact on the ground by monitoring our group’s environmental and cultural impacts. At RAW, we have achieved advanced eco-certification on our Great Ocean Walk and have always been committed to ‘grass roots’ tourism. In particular we favour small local suppliers to ensure the benefits of travel are distributed equally and to the people who need it the most. We also donate to KIVA micro-lending throughout the world and encourage you to also look at this commendable scheme.
So, rest assured, your travel with us will leave a positive, lasting impact on you and the places you visit!
We won’t cut corners or ever intentionally compromise the quality of your trip. We don’t want to run thousands of trips every year – because the quality of your experience is much more important than quantity to us. We’re still small enough to care about our travellers as individuals and we want to stay that way!
We know that nowadays people desire a certain level of comfort along with their adventure, so great accommodation and discovering delicious local food is a hallmark of our trips. RAW owns and operates its own adventures, with our own staff on the ground in many destinations so we are able to keep control over the quality of our trips at the same time as we offer you reassurance and support. We take notice of the feedback you give us and your opinions do matter.
As a primarily ‘direct to customer’ company we avoid the commissions and overheads associated with the traditional travel distribution network. We charge fair prices but still provide great advice before you go, experienced leaders who love their groups, good quality accommodation and solid value for your money.