In summer 1946, French fashion designer Louis Réard introduced first bikini ever. He had to hire a nude dancer, since no model was willing to show the swimwear named after Pacific Ocean Atoll. Conservative society and Catholic Church were disgusted. Following lines present rather untraditional ways of spending a holiday that might seem as odd today as vacation in bikini used to be in 1946. Yet they could become very normal in years to come.
Chateau du Zombie
Fear and terror are perhaps similarly attractive holiday destination as Bahamas. In recent years, museums of torture flooded almost every European capital. Tourists may attend special ghost tours from Madrid to Moscow. Some castles or palaces even organize zombie guided (chased?) tours and undead risings, for example Mountfitchet Castle in the UK or Dětenice chateau in the Czech Republic. Tours to abandoned spooky places are a self-standing phenomenon. One day trip to Pripyat town near Chernobyl can be booked online from $ 89 up to $ 165.
Harry Potter and the Mystery of Expensive Trip
In medieval times, pilgrims wandered to holy places blessed by the Saints. Today, pilgrimages are organized to places blessed by famous movie production. In Ireland, more than five companies provide tours to shooting sites of fantasy series Game of Thrones. Sometimes you can even wear cloak, sword and helmet during the trip. In Croatia, Game of Thrones lovers may indulge in five days of tracing the filming spots. According to estimates, the turnabout of tourists in New Zealand grew about 50 % after Lord of the Rings trilogy. Could anybody resist seeing Hobbiton sites for just seventy and something dollars (price and queue depend on agency and booking)? In comparison, the charms of Harry Potter studio in London make only £33 vanish from wallets of visitors.
Some cities are worth seeing from different perspective. The participants of Unseen Tours in London do not admire Big Ben or Saint Paul’s. Their guide is a homeless or at least has experienced this misfortune in the past. He shows them how to get food on a street, where to beg, what places the drug dealers and prostitutes might use to conduct their business and how to survive daily routine without a place to sleep. This multi-award winning social project leaves large part of the profit to the guide, which helps him to improve his situation. The idea slowly spreads to other capitals and gains popularity even as a homeless-led team building.
You stay home, your teddy travels!
Unagi Travel in Japan organizes ordinary tours for extraordinary guests. It takes teddy bears and other cuddly creatures or dolls to all sorts of journeys. During Mystery Tour for $35, stuffed toys do not know where they are going till the very last second (not that they would know that during other types of tours). Other tours allow the teddies to “see” temples or historical sights of Tokyo. Most importantly, teddies are always photographed in front of their destination and their owners get the pictures. No matter how odd this sounds, the business seems to flourish and similar companies were established in Berlin (Teddy Tour Berlin) and Prague (Toy Traveling). If this is still not enough, one may take favourite teddy bear to space, either for free as a professional astronaut Claudie Haignere or for £14 million as space tourist Denis Tito.
This summer, Nicaraguan travel agency El Carmino Travel combats its competitors by employing professional selfie-creator. Although a selfie taken by another professional person is not entirely a selfie, the purpose is similar – to document the holiday and share it with friends on social networks. Or as more sarcastic person could say to make friends envious and simulate the holiday for the others rather than experience it. Unlike in 1946, it is impossible to shock anybody by spending summer in bikini. Yet, one may at least shock the others by flooding social media with selfies of such summer.