Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from our clients. Our goal is to provide you with a hassle-free vacation planning experience. Therefore, many of these topics will be covering in our first meeting.
The short answer to that question is “yes.” We have a menu of fee-based services that we provide based on your needs, ranging from $60 to $750. These fees cover our time in the research and development phases of your travel planning, much in the way you would compensate any professional for their services. We start with a FREE one-hour consultation, during which we meet with you (in person, by phone, by Zoom, etc.)and discuss your travel plans, needs, desires, and any preliminary research you have conducted yourself. At the end of the consultation, we discuss with you the next steps to be taken, including the exact fees involved for your specific travel needs.
We do endeavor to work within any realistic budget, with the belief that travel does not have to be outrageously expensive for it to be rewarding and memorable.
Although many professionals do charge fees as we do, not everyone does. Travel professionals that do not charge fees solely rely on their travel suppliers to compensate them. If your travel plans involve a lot of components that do not include suppliers that pay commission (airlines, bed & breakfasts, independent tour operators, etc.), these travel professionals end up not being compensated for their work. The only options they have are to limit their business to only working with suppliers that pay commission or charging clients a fee (upfront or built-in and undisclosed).
We have accumulated years of education, training, and personal experience, and have cultivated strong personal relationships with our supplier-partners. These relationships and our expertise have value, and we want to focus that value on clients that are serious about working with us through the whole travel process.
More importantly, we work for YOU not for our suppliers. We focus on your needs, and what suppliers are the best fit for you. If we relied solely on being paid commission, then we would focus only on those suppliers that paid us commission (especially those that paid the best commission or offered bonuses). If a tour, Bed & Breakfast, airline, or other travel component would be a better fit for your needs, we want to be able to offer it to you, even when there is no commission involved. We want you to be assured we are working for you and with your best interests at heart.
It might also help you understand our services by explaining our philosophy of doing business. If your only objective is to get the cheapest price possible, we may not be the best fit for you. We strive to provide value and incomparable service, in crafting memorable travel experiences customized just for you. We utilize our own experience, training, and perspective to craft our recommendations. And we recognize that we may not always be able to offer the cheapest price. Most travelers are savvy enough to know that the room booked at a given hotel on Expedia or Hotels.com and a room booked through a preferred agent who has a relationship with that hotel are two very different rooms. We usually confirm reservations directly with each property, involving the Sales Manager or General Manager in flagging you as our VIP client, often negotiating extra amenities, upgrades, or special inclusions. Our travelers appreciate this level of personal involvement and enjoy the special recognition they receive.
While our trips may not be the cheapest, we believe that value beats price every time. We welcome the opportunity to put our expertise to work for you.
For an uncomplicated, straightforward booking (as an example, you come to us already know exactly what cruise ship, sail date, and room category that you want to book) we may waive our upfront fees, instead of charging an administration fee in the event of cancellation (which can be included in an insurance claim if you purchase travel insurance).
No worries, during our FREE consultation we will detail what, if any fees, we charge.