European Revelling At Its Finest: G&T Weekends Are Redefining Experiential Travel
It’s an experience many twenty somethings are all-too-familiar with.
After months of deliberating, you finally find a weekend that suits your small group of friends to go away and agree on a destination.
After booking flights and accommodation, you’re already dipping well into your holiday spending fund.
On arrival, the transfer you organised in advance and already paid for fails to show up. Then the hotel manages to lose your booking, so you’re forced to stay in separate areas of the city.
Following a few days battling hoards of tourists, you’re left feeling more stressed than before and the group getaway feels more like an ordeal than a one-of-a-kind experience.
Making memories while enjoying travels with friends is something our generation has undoubtedly made a priority, and with good reason.
But more often than not, the reality of planning, organising and enjoying a stress-free getaway is much harder to attain.
Of course, there are big name tour operators who offer a typical, often generic, travel experience.
But for those seeking something a bit more unique, there are G&T Weekends.
The brainchild of best friends Gillian Scatliff and Tess Stokes, G&T Weekends hosts weekend holidays away in some of Europe’s most coveted corners for groups up to 30 people.
From wineries in Tuscany to a classic Swedish lakehouse, guests – or ‘revellers’, as the girls like to call them – are whisked to authentic and completely stunning destinations for a weekend they won’t forget.
Gillian and Tess met on a hiking and kayaking trip through Norway and bonded quickly over a shared love of travel and adventure, good food and wine and an unforgettable party.
These common interests are definitely in the DNA of G&T Weekends.
Their method is simple: participants pay one all-inclusive fee up front and don’t have to lift a finger (or open their wallet) for the entire weekend.
The fee includes transfers, unlimited food and alcohol, and accommodation in whichever incredible castle, mansion or lodge the girls have arranged.
This means no failed transfers and no awkward conversations about splitting the bill.
How did the brilliant concept come to be? Almost by accident, according to Gillian.
She recounts: “I was leaving London and wanted to throw a last hurrah with all of our friends, and Tess volunteered to help plan.
“We realised it would be easier to charge everyone a set fee to include transfers, accommodation, catered meals and champagne that flowed all night long.
“We organised clay pigeon shooting and country walks, and all 60 of our friends had the time of their lives! That is the basis of what we do now – all inclusive trips with adventure and cultural experiences, so our revellers can have a ball without wasting time on the planning process.”
In just two years, G&T Weekends have evolved from a celebration with like-minded acquaintances to an unforgettable way to meet new people.
Speaking of their phenomenal growth, Gillian said: “Our trips started with friends and friends of friends. Now, our network is expanding and we take on new members who apply to our Guest List.
“People find out about us from social media, our website, blog, and their friends. We’ve been very fortunate to have revellers who enjoy themselves so much on weekends, they shout about it from the rooftops.
“Word of mouth has definitely been our greatest marketing tool. Revellers come back from our trips with incredible stories, amazing photos and new best friends. Their mates instantly want to get involved as well.”
G&T Weekends pride themselves on providing an all-inclusive escape that caters to all needs. Whether you want to taste all the wine in Italy or relax with some fresh country air, revellers have the option to do it all.
Gillian continued: “None of our weekends are exactly like the other, but the common theme is a group of incredible people.
“Revellers are adventurous, inclusive, interesting, international, and of course – fun loving.”
The weekends are perfect for friends who want to skip the faff in organising their own escapades, but are also designed for singles wanting to meet new friends and like-minded people.
As Gillian put it: “Our weekends offer a great opportunity to meet new people, an international bunch outside your regular social circle.”
Which envy-inducing locations are next on G&T’s gallivanting agenda?
“We’re looking forward to Blue Lagoon swimming in our luxury lodge in Iceland over New Year’s Eve (and) we’ll be spending Easter weekend at a Moroccan Riad out in the desert.”
Spain and Greece are also on the hit-list for next year, but I suspect that’s just the tip of the iceberg for what G&T Weekends have in the works.
For more information or to apply for the G&T Guest List, head to www.gandtweekends.com