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Discover a new way to travel

10th March 2010 Print

In February 2010, globetrotting travel writers, Terence Carter and Lara Dunston, embarked on a year-long project in partnership with HomeAway Holiday-Rentals, called Grantourismo. Their aim is to explore more authentic and enriching ways to travel by staying in holiday homes around the world, and thus living like locals.

They are sharing their experiences on a dedicated travel blog,, along with the reviews of the properties, the local secrets, the sights, smells and sounds they discover along the way, plus their top tips for truly making your home where you hang your hat.

Lara and Terence have been creating media-rich content, loaded with inspiring and compelling ideas, evocative writing, multimedia slideshows and original photography. Their aim is to capture everyday life and highlight the rich experiences that can be enjoyed by living in local neighbourhoods, cooking traditional dishes and learning from locals. With the help of HomeAway Holiday-Rentals they can now escape the tourist traps and really discover those hidden gems that make a place truly distinctive!

After launching the project in Dubai and London, Lara and Terence’s first stop on the Grantourismo map was Marrakech, an exotic city with a rich local culture that offered enough inspiration to keep them busy in trying to get an insight into the real Moroccan life. They have provided countless tips and recommendations on things to do and see in Marrakech, and also Essaouira, where they did a weekend escape, so stay tuned for the following destinations, from Europe to Thailand and South America to Africa.

For those looking for a genuine travel experience as well as tips and advices, the Grantourismo blog provides the ideal resource for inspiration. Follow Lara and Terence on their quest to get beneath the skin of each destination and find out more about what they’ve been doing to explore experiential travel, from learning how to cook tajine in Marrakech from the riad’s personal chef, to exploring local markets. The possibilities are unlimited when staying in holiday homes!

Lara comments, “As travel writers, we’ve spent years checking in and out of hotels every couple of days, frustrated by how little time we’ve got to stay in places, and we’ve seen travellers doing the same thing, barely scratching the surface of a place and its culture. We’re thrilled to have had this opportunity to spend two weeks at a time in a destination, living in homes and discovering a place through its local people and its everyday neighbourhoods. We’re hoping our content encourages other travellers to do the same.”

In addition, Lara and Terence are providing loads of very practical advice and information for travellers too, tips based on their actual experience. As they are staying in unique holiday rentals, like riads in Morocco or trulli in Puglia, they are writing property reviews to help others make the right choice for their holiday. For example, based on their experience in two riads in Morocco, they have provided a list of tips on renting a riad in Morocco. They are also focusing on learning new things from the locals and are offering shopping tips, language lessons and, most importantly, insider tips on how to get the most out of a place.

The Grantourismo project will allow Lara and Terence to experience a place from the inside rather than view it as an outsider. A closer encounter with each location will enable them to learn more about its cuisine, customs and history than a one-day jaunt through a city can ever provide. You too can stay in a holiday home, take a language or a cooking class. All these opportunities will allow you to meet and talk with people who you may never encounter as a regular tourist staying in a hotel.

Throughout their trip, travellers will be able to interact with Lara and Terence and share their experiences via the Grantourismo blog and Twitter page, as well as on and the company’s Twitter, Flickr and Facebook pages.