Travel-Quest is a high quality specialist travel directory, listing holidays, vacations, trips, tours, courses and weekend getaways in the UK, throughout Europe, in the USA and Worldwide – try us for adventure, activity and action or culture, crafts and relaxation.
Travel-Quest is a properly curated directory that uses editorial discretion when selecting who to list. The majority of our entries are added by our team, often as a result of researching one of the user-submitted queries we've answered. Businesses can also apply directly for an entry, but please note that not all applications are listed, each one is vetted by real human beings (not computer bots!) using our own strict listing criteria. Unlike a Search Engine, we assess the actual business, not just it's website.
Travel-Quest was born of a passion to experience life, to spend leisure time getting out and doing things, discovering new places, trying new activities, learning new skills and seeing what the world has to offer!
We were inspired by the web itself, by the opportunities it presented for finding out about specialist travel so much more easily. Before the web we'd spent a lot of time laboriously planning our trips, trying to get information about Telemark skiing courses in Canada, sailing on square riggers, or how to experience a hands-on archeology project (as examples); we used magazines, guide books, tourist offices, postal services and phone calls – then the web came along and we could see how it could make this all so much easier.
Travel-Quest was originally set up back in 1998/9 with the aim of organising information about specialist travel in an easily accessible way. Back then the Search Engines (remember Alta Vista, HotBot and the like?) didn't do a good job and much was missed because the technology wasn't capable of picking it up or site owners didn't know how to promote it.
These days we feel that the Search Engines are still not serving our specialist niches very well. Search results these days seem to concentrate on the bigger businesses at the expense of the smaller ones, and in many of our niches it's the smaller operators who are often the most innovative, relevant and interesting. People are missing out on some of the best trips simply because they don't know they exist!
We want to buck the trend, we don't want the internet to become like the high street – one homogeneous mass of the same old big name shops in every city. We want to celebrate diversity, innovation and independent business.
How we operate
Travel-Quest is not some big money making scheme, we are run by a small group of enthusiasts most of whom earn their main living doing other things (things like graphic andd website design, writing, photography or the technical side of the internet, so usually somewhat connected to Travel-Quest in some way). Needless to say we are all keen travellers too! We operate as an informal co-operative.
Our listings, editorial oversight
The majority of the entries in the Travel-Quest Directory have been independently researched and added by our team, often as a result of research undertaken to answer a reader-submitted specialist travel query (see Special Searches). Sites may be added as a 'Basic Entry' (when our time is tight) or as an 'Expanded Listing' (when we've had time to look at the business in more detail).
We also accept direct submissions from business owners. In this we operate in exactly the same way as the Yahoo or the Best of the Web (BOTW) directories. If a site is submitted we ask for a review fee to cover the time taken to review and check out the site.
No automatic entry
There is no automatic entry, sites are listed entirely at our discretion and every site listed has to conform to our strict listing and editorial guidelines – we spend time checking this out thoroughly. If a business does not conform the application will get rejected.
Our editorial service and review fee
The Travel-Quest review fee covers our editorial service, for the time spent checking a site is suitable for the directory at all, and then the time spent checking what specific categories it qualifies for (each of our categories has it's own strict criteria for entry). Then we look at the description suggestion that's been submitted and, in most cases, re-write it so that it reads as a proper factual directory entry, written to comply with our strict house style.
Free 'Basic Entries'
We allow applications from not-for-profit companies and registered charities, if these check out and are accepted we will list them without asking for a review fee.
Advertising and affiliate links
Within our listings you will also find some links to affiliate partners. These must qualify for their listing in exactly the some way as any other entry, but our arrangement with these companies is that they will pay us a pre-agreed fee if their entry results in a particular action, enquiry or purchase.
The fees thus generated enable us cover our expenses (server, hosting, computer, office etc) and allow us to spend the time to research and answer our reader generated queries and service the directory itself (adding editorial, Special Searches, new entries and checking for dead/repurposed entries).
Identifying affiliate links
Any and all affiliate links are indicated by the use of a 'no-follow' tag within in their URL. They are also increasingly indicated by anindicator next to their link; but we've not completed adding these throughout the entire directory yet, please bear with us while we finish this job!
We also offer 'Featured Site' advertising for qualifying businesses. 'Featured Site' listings are presented, like Google Adwords, at the top of a category page to highlight that business. All 'Featured Site' listings have a 'no-follow' tag on their link to identify them to the Search Engines.
Other 'Featured Site' listings
Not all 'Featured Site' listings are paid advertising, some are affiliate links (and are indicated as such as noted above) and some we just add because we feel like it! (That might be because they are offering something of particular interest to that category, or it might be a charity offering a special money raising trip, or a company offering a special one-off course etc.) To make things simple all of these 'Featured Site' listings also use the 'no-follow' tag.
Dead and repurposed links
The web is a fast moving place and websites and domain names (URLs) come and go, sometimes rapidly and without warning, we try our utmost to keep track of all these changes, but we don't always catch them all as quickly as we'd like. We apologise if you do find a dead link and would greatly appreciate it if you'd report such links to us so we can delete the entry.
More worrying is that sometimes websites and domain names change hands and get repurposed, sometimes becoming something that bears no relation to the original site and something that we'd not want listed on Travel-Quest at all! We try to keep track of these too, but they often can't be identified by automatic programs so we have to check them manually. If you come across any of these on Travel-Quest we'd really appreciate you letting us know.