The World is Your Oyster
Obliko Morale is a travel planning company. We specialize in creating customized itineraries.
You can trust us with the big things – like flights, hotels and car rental. And we can help you with the little things, too – from recommending fabulous places to eat, to booking transportation, activities and guides.
If you’d like us to fix everything up in advance, we can. If you’d prefer to keep a few things flexible, that’s fine, too. You can travel at a pace that suits you, moving from one destination to the next when the time is right, confident that we’ll always be on hand to finalise the details by email as you go.
We do all the legwork for you. All you have to do is relax and enjoy your trip.
New York, NY
Yana Kemelman: my world
The founder of travel planning company Obliko Morale, on the magic of travel
I love experiencing different cultures. It’s such a privilege to meet new people and see new places. And it’s always an adventure to try the local food in a region you’ve never visited before.
Over the last seven years, I’ve visited 32 countries in four different continents. Along the way, I’ve experienced almost every vacation activity you can imagine. I keep adding extra pages to my passport – and there are still three years to go before it expires.
Spontaneous, romantic journeys are pretty hard to beat. I really like the fact that when you’re visiting London, you can hop on a train and be in Paris exactly two hours and 15 minutes later.
The best travel experiences are truly unforgettable. I’ll always remember how it felt to walk along a beautiful cobbled street in Europe for the very first time. Or to drive through remote parts of Central America where the locals hardly ever see people from other countries, except on TV. Or to wander through an Asian market full of wonderfully appetizing aromas that are totally different from anything you’d find back home, even in an Asian restaurant.
I don’t buy postcards on my travels. My memories are so vivid, I’ll treasure them for the rest of my life.
Obliko Morale is a quote from a classic Soviet movie. It appears in a comedy called Diamond Arm, released in 1968. One of the characters, a guide, says “Russo turisto! Obliko morale!” in a mangled, Russianized-Italian attempt to declare that his client is a Russian tourist and therefore of high moral standing. Russians have associated the words Obliko Morale with tourists and travel ever since. It’s become an in-joke.
At Obliko Morale, we create customized travel itineraries. We do all the legwork for you. All you have to do is relax and enjoy your trip.
To those who tell me they don’t have time to take a vacation, I say: just go. Everything else can wait!
Travel Without A Map
If Not Now, When?
How it works
Step one: get in touch
We like to start with a phone call or email to find out what kind of trip you are looking for. For example, will it be a sightseeing trip, a beach vacation, a wilderness adventure, or a journey that combines several themes?
Step two: allow us to advise you
Once you’ve told us about your budget, your dates and how many people will be traveling, we’ll suggest some destinations.
Step three: we’ll start planning
As soon as we understand your requirements, we’ll begin searching for flights, planning a travel itinerary and tracking down accommodations to suit you, from luxury hotels to authentic B&Bs.
Step four: the really fun part
Next, we’ll start filling in the details: places to go, things to do, meals and restaurants, tours, guides, transportation… whatever your heart desires.
Step five: you’ll receive a full itinerary
A few weeks before your trip, we will send you by mail and email a trip dossier complete with travel itinerary, reservations, contact details and confirmation numbers. We’ll also include a dictionary, a map and a guide covering local history, sights, shopping, souvenirs, cuisine and recommended restaurants.
Step six: enjoy your trip!
You’re welcome to contact us at any time during your trip to request changes or additions to your itinerary. We will be checking in with you periodically via email to make sure you’re having a great time.
What it costs
Our fees depend on the duration of your trip.
Time Price 1 day $75 1 week $500 2 weeks $800 3 weeks $1,050 4 weeks $1,250 5 weeks $1,400
We ask you to pay a deposit of $250 before we start planning your trip. Our fees do not include expenses such as airfares and hotel charges. We will collect these, along with the balance due, once everything is booked.
Where we can take you
All our travel and vacation itineraries are completely tailor-made. If you already have a destination in mind, let us know. We’ll do our best to turn your dreams into reality. Not sure where to start? Here are a few ideas to inspire you.
Costa Rica and Panama
Visit Costa Rica and Panama, and immerse yourself in natural beauty. Tuck yourself away on a secret beach, waking to the sound of waves crashing beneath your window. Or stay in an open-sided jungle house, where monkeys are sure to pay you a visit. When you’re ready to explore, go hiking, taking breaks to munch on coconuts, fresh from the tree. Or soar over the stunning landscapes in a microlight. Perhaps you’d like to go swimming. In this region, you can take a dip in the Pacific and the Atlantic in the same day. If you like snorkelling, too, we’ll tell you about some gorgeous places which only we know.
Dreaming of hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu? We can fix you up with a ethical trekking company with an excellent reputation for mountain guiding and porter welfare. Before your trek, pause for a few days to adjust to the altitude in the fascinating Andean city of Cusco. Here you can visit historic churches, meander through the bustling artisan district and perhaps try the local delicacy, cuy – guinea pig. To continue your tour, you could enjoy the beauty of Lake Titicaca or fly over the Nazca Lines. And if you’d like to venture into the Peruvian Amazon rainforest, we’ll make it happen.
Dive into the the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. It’s an adventure you’ll want to repeat again and again. Ride tuk-tuks through the city, marvel at the colors of the floating market and pull up a plastic chair to eat street food with the locals. If you like shopping for bargains, you’ll find the city’s a great place to hone your negotiating skills. Stop by at a local tailor’s shop to order a bespoke suit, and it’ll be waiting for you at the airport when you depart. Beyond Bangkok, there’s much to enjoy. Go island-hopping in the Andaman Sea or the Gulf of Thailand, cruising the turquoise waters in an iconic longtail boat. You can kayak to uninhabited islands, snorkel, dive or go rock climbing in rugged scenery with postcard-perfect views.
Still one of Southeast Asia’s best-kept secrets, Laos carries you back in time. This is a peaceful paradise of emerald green rice paddies, misty hills and serene temples. Visit local villages, ride elephants and shop at a night market in the historic royal city of Luang Prabang. One of the most amazing experiences is simply watching the locals give alms of rice, flowers or incense to the saffron-robed Buddhist monks who line the streets of Luang Prabang, with bowls in their hands, early each morning.
Step out of Siem Reap airport and hail a motorbike with a carriage for two people and two backpacks. It’s a fantastic way to begin a trip you’ll never forget. Ride through the backroads of Cambodia and you’ll pass food stalls selling palm sugar and ripe, exotic fruit. Stop at local eateries where you can eat like a king for under two dollars. And take time to walk around Angkor Wat. You’ll be bombarded by little kids who speak every language you can think of – they’ll try to get you to buy water, coconuts or postcards. Their favourite chants – “Mister, mister, you are a lucky man!” – will stay with you for ever.
The food, the people, the ambience… there’s nothing quite like China. Visit provinces and cities where western tourists rarely venture. You may be surprised at how much you can do simply by communicating via Google Translate or Word Lens on your smartphone. And you’ll soon begin to pick up a few words, even if it’s just “jiga…”, meaning “errrm, this one…”. Go to a soup or noodle restaurant for a crash course in local eating rituals – your waitress will help you out if you’ve no idea what to do. And treat yourself to a day or two haggling at knock-off markets for cool clothing, watches or handbags.
Sometimes, you have to get a little lost to find yourself. Wandering a maze of narrow cobbled streets in a pretty European town can be a magical experience. Before long, a café will tempt you to stop for a bite or a cup of freshly made coffee. Take a table in the window or out on the street, relax, and enjoy the scene as locals go about their everyday lives in this place of beauty. Europe has endless riches to discover, from magnificient ancient monuments to cutting-edge galleries, shops and clubs. You could ride a bike along Amsterdam’s canals, glide through Venice in a gondola, feast your eyes on the views of Buda and Pest in Hungary or make a wish at the Trevi Fountain in Rome. If your wish comes true, you’ll soon be back for more.
Discover Cuba’s secrets. Mix with the locals in Havana, and you’ll experience a different way of life. As you wander the beautiful streets, you may see people sitting on their stoops for a chat, or selling freshly made buns, pastries or omelettes from the kitchen window of their apartment. Why not sample a paladar, an authentic private restaurant in a someone’s home? Ring the doorbell and, once he’s checked you out through the peephole, the owner will invite you in for an amazing home-made meal in his living room. In the evening, take a stroll along the Malecon, where a guitarist will offer to serenade you. Then, after a wild night out with the regulars at Casa de la Musica, head back to your hotel with a bottle of Havana Club.
Israel may be small, but it’s crammed with history. There are few experiences more memorable than a visit to one of its synagogues, churches or mosques, or touching the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) in the Old City of Jerusalem and leaving a kvitel, a little note with a private prayer for something or someone you love. Try taking a dip in the Dead Sea. The water’s so salty that no matter how hard you try to swim, you’ll just float. It takes some getting used to! Rise before dawn so that you can hike up to Masada, Herod the Great’s hilltop fortress, to watch the beautiful sunrise. Or head to Tel Aviv to hang out on the beach and enjoy the buzzing night life.
US and Canada
Explore the United States on a culinary road trip. The possibilities are endless. Drive through the southern states of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, visiting Baltimore, Richmond, Lexington, Charleston and Savannah to feast on crab and barbecued pork. Or plan a trip through New England to try spicy sausage in the Portuguese quarter of Rhode Island, then continue to Boston and Maine to enjoy the local lobster. Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Washington and California offer fantastic outdoor experiences such as walking, cycling, hiking, rock climbing, bouldering and skiing. Tennessee is great for music. And of course you can travel abroad without leaving North America by visiting our neighbor Canada. Montreal provides a taste of French-speaking culture, while Niagara Falls is simply spectacular.