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Pursuits
The Year Ahead/Luxury

Experience Designers—Not Travel Agents—Will Plan Your Next Trip

New travel company Prior wants to be a modern-day Explorers Club.

Prior members on a boat in Maheshwar Ahiyla Fort in central India.

Prior members on a boat in Maheshwar Ahiyla Fort in central India.

Photographer: Gentl & Hyers

The thing that’s most broken about travel ­planning, says 35-year-old David Prior, is that in the era of social media, it’s too easy to see the film before reading the book. “Too many people are concerned with recreating the shots that other people have taken—rather than putting themselves in an original story.”

In September the former contributing international editor at Condé Nast Traveler opened a new breed of travel agency, Prior LLC. As he says, the company is “less concerned with the existing benchmarks of luxury—status, thread counts, infinity pools—and more about ­extracting the essence of a place.”