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Plan a Trip

First step

We do require a brief telephone conversation so that we can better understand your travel needs and wishes, explain how we work, and make sure we are a good match for your travel requisites. As a rule we require a minimum of five (5) nights lodging, transfers, domestic transportation, and car rental(s) as required by an itinerary.

Getting to the nitty-gritty

We’ll ask you to complete a travel survey specific to the country or countries you wish to visit. Each survey asks you to identify the types of services you desire and your estimated budget for those services. Knowing your budget and “must do” travel priorities is essential to designing the perfect itinerary. There are two ways to proceed from here. Upon receipt of your survey(s), we can provide you with either [1] the big picture, the estimated cost for a program with those services you requested, or [2] the detailed picture, a suggested basic itinerary with an outline of specific services and the corresponding cost.

Retaining our services

To provide you with the big picture, there is no commitment to work with us. We are happy to give you a rough idea of the cost of the trip you have in mind. To provide you with a detailed program including the itinerary and specific services, we do ask you to commit to utilizing our services and require a per-household retainer in the amount of $500; for groups of 10 or more, the retainer is $150 per person. The retainer is non-refundable but applies fully to the cost of your journey. Upon receipt of your retainer(s), we will prepare a basic day-to-day itinerary and gather all relevant documents and information, e.g., destination descriptions and hotel options (including booking the suggested hotels with an option date to confirm availability), and forward them to you for your perusal in preparation for the travel consultation.

The consultation

If proximity allows, you may wish to meet in our office. We are also happy to schedule a telephone call or Skype. The consultation itself generally takes from one-half to 1-½ hours. This conversation provides the opportunity to answer your questions and/or fine-tune the itinerary and services to best reflect your interests and expectations. We will then create a comprehensive proposal for your perusal. If you wish to make further adjustments to your program, we will consult one more time to make these necessary, complimentary changes. Further revisions that you require will each incur a change fee. This fee will be billed to your account (as per your prior authorization) and will not be credited toward your trip cost.

The booking process

Upon acceptance of your travel proposal, registration and a deposit are required so that we may proceed with booking your services. Then the ball is in our court. We’ll keep you apprised as we confirm your services, and you can sit back and relax while we hammer out the details and make your complete travel program a reality.

And away you go

We do our best to answer your questions before you ask them. You’ll receive a welcome packet upon registration and a documents packet shortly before your departure. We’ll provide you with FAQs, a very detailed itinerary, vouchers for services, lists of suggested restaurants, maps, and more. We strive to provide a worry-free travel experience.

A special note

As a tour operator, our rates are based on confidential tariffs and exclusive agreements with our suppliers. These agreements do not allow the disclosure of individual service prices, and we are unable to provide price breakdowns. Please remember that you are purchasing a tour package.

Planning ahead

Planning ahead has its rewards! We pride ourselves on our attention to detail and our perfectly tuned itineraries. We really appreciate it when you give us enough time to thoroughly plan your services and prepare your documents. Furthermore, the closer we get to your departure date, the more difficult it is to assure space availability in those favorite establishments that best meet your needs.

Expediting fees

When we must set aside the work of our current clients to attend to the urgency of last minute requests, an expediting fee is required. Note that late applicants (those applying less than 60 days prior to departure) will be charged a late registration fee. Applicants applying less than 30 days prior to departure will be charged a rush fee. All applicants residing outside of the United States will be charged an additional fee on final invoice to cover the cost of additional expenses.

Your task, coordinating a trip that would accommodate the interests and needs of six travelers, was not simple. But you pulled it off in a seemingly effortless (in fact, entirely pleasurable) manner.

—D. Hruby, Edina, Minnesota

This tour was a true adventure. I felt more like a traveler than a ‘tourist.’ Not a boring minute! Excellent attention to service, comfort, and safety… The entire trip was first-class—not inexpensive, but I felt I got excellent value.

—K. Duffy, La Mesa, California