Getting to know: Travelusion Tours

Hello, can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about what you do?

Hi, I'm Dr Lillian Céspedes González, I'm a historian (PhD) and tour guide. I run Travelusion Tours: a company advocating for accessible, affordable and sustainable tourism. So I try to bring history, culture and heritage closer to people in a way everyone can engage in their own terms and without having the elevated costs that these activities normally incur.

How long have you been running your business for?

We registered as a limited company in Oct 2021 but were working on launching since that summer.


What made you start your business?

I've always been passionate about giving people access to history, because history is everything and everyone. I've never been fond of how elitist and unapproachable academia is. So when I had the opportunity to do some tour guiding during my degree I took it. I realised I was helping more people learn in this way than by writing however many papers I've got at my name.

I want to empower people. I know how hard it can be for some people to travel (regardless of covid!).

So many people have to consider disable access for places and get marginalised. People don't always have money to travel, or they have commitments or sociopolitical reasons that stops them from doing so. And I didn't want them to be excluded from this conversation. Finally, I really care about the environment, and the tourism industry of masses we have created is awful for it. So I'm trying to change people's mentality about how to travel responsibly.

Who would you say your Experiences were for?

Anyone! Our walks are free for under 16s, and all our routes are planned with wheelchair/pushchair access in mind. We even welcome pets on our tours. Honestly, I know that sounds cliche but we try to cater for as many people as possible.

However, I think you'd get the most our of our Experiences if you are curious about history and culture and want to dig into the tissue that makes society.

What can people expect from your Experience?

All out guided tours are personal. Even if you are in a larger group, we will care and accommodate for every person. We care about people, so you can expect that much from us. You can also expect to do some walking, and we will spend over an hour going from place to place to see the city we are in. And you will get so much history knowledge and anecdotes. Particularly in our Southampton tours, we try to really dig in beyond the surface of what you can see, and we want people to get involved. So we may ask you questions, maybe even do a silly quiz or have a debate with you about the stuff we are learning and what you think about it all.

What do you love most about Hampshire?

Hampshire is great! It just has the perfect balance, because we got the New Forest and South Downs to enjoy nature, and we can enjoy the coast in places like New Milton and Lymington. And of course there is just so much history in Hampshire! Just in Winchester alone, you can go through every single period of history. And, you know, not every place in England can claim to be the old capital of the Kingdom!

Who are your favourite Hampshire businesses?

I'm very fond of a few local coffee shops, like 321 cafe in Shirley High Street or Retro Cafe in Bedford Place. I also love Dice in Portsmouth, a great board game cafe where you can have lots of fun and play board games to your hearts content.

What do you prefer?:

Beach or City? Both! I was raised in Santander where living in the city centre I was in the beach after a 30 min walk so I never had to choose!

Tea or Coffee? Tea, for the sake of everyone else. I go really hyper on coffee!

Spring or Autumn? Definitely autumn. There's something magical about doing tours in those orange and red tones with crisp leaves crunching under your feet.

Cosy pub or bustling restaurant? I'm more of a restaurant person.

Something active or something creative? Both again. I've danced since I was little so it's the best of both worlds.

Finally, what are you most looking forward to over the next 12 months?

I'm looking forward being able to do more and more tours and meet so many people excited to see the world in person again!

You can join Travelusion Tours on a Guided walking history tour of Southampton | £10 per adult

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