1) To boldly go where very few have gone before, visit www.spaceadventures.com. They offer trips into space, a snip at £14 million (cosmonaut training included), or for those on a (slightly) more down-to-earth budget, a Mig-borne journey to the edge of space for just under £9000. Also available will be sub-orbital space flights in zero gravity and trips to space-related earthbound locations, such as asteroid craters and shuttle launches. Early booking is advised, presumably to beat the headlong stampede of jaded millionaires seeking the ultimate destination. If you can wait, however, you may prefer to do your sub-orbital space travel with Virgin Galactic, whose ships are currently under construction and whose aim is to make '...private space travel available to everyone'. Travel insurance essential.
2) Next up is the site that made our founder wish it were 1911 and he the son of wealthy gentlefolk, so that he might travel in cocooned splendour all the way to Istanbul. If you visit www.orient-express.com you will find not merely the opportunity to travel on the famous train itself, but also a number of equally sumptuous railway journeys, cruises and hotel destinations. Be warned that the "Road to Mandalay" ends in Myanmar, formerly Burma, which is currently ruled by a military dictatorship charged by the United Nations with a “crime against humanity” for its systematic abuses of human rights, and condemned internationally for refusing to transfer power to the legally elected Government of the country – the party led by Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who they keep under permanent house arrest. (Find out more about this situation at www.burmacampaign.org.uk. Although a Daily Info staff member who recently visited found that local people, especially in the countryside, were enthusiastically friendly to meet foreigners, and only too happy to discuss politics - without any prompting whatsoever.)
3) If you want to explore the earth's last truly wild frontier, visit www.wildwings.co.uk, who will take you many thousands of feet beneath the waves to visit such colossal wrecks as the Titanic or the Bismarck, or, going even further back, to see Roman ships at the bottom of the Mediterranean. Also available are trips to the "Real North Pole", 15,000 feet below the polar ice, and to the "Undersea Volcanoes of the Azores" where smoke billows forth and startles the odd creatures. Once again, not an option for those of slender means, with ten days at the Titanic costing an iceberg-sized £25,000.
4) If you seek not so much peculiar adventures, but rather straightforward decadence, then top-notch accommodation is guaranteed via www.lhw.com. The acronym stands for Leading Hotels of the World, and this site gives you the opportunity to search through them by name, location or activities provided, and then link to their own websites to make bookings. Do not show this site to any anti-capitalist activists of your acquaintance if you wish the fabric of society to remain unshaken.
5) Oxford graduates may like to take a look at luxury holiday specialist WEXAS Travel, which offers Oxford alumni free lifetime membership. Company founder Dr Ian Wilson (Brasenose, 1966) started the tailor-made travel company soon after leaving Oxford in 1970. Benefits of lifetime membership include no annual fee (usually £85 per year), 24/7 emergency assistance abroad, financial protection through ABTA and ATOL, free UK airport lounge access, family and friends booking privileges, access to exclusive print and online content, and special discounts. WEXAS Travel will make a small contribution to the Oxford Alumni Office for each Oxonian who signs up for free membership.
As ever, this selection merely scratches the surface. Do let us know of similar sites worthy of inclusion, and if you should happen to go on any of these holidays, we'd be delighted to hear/see how it was. (See www.national-lottery.co.uk for funding assistance.)