What types of travel services do you offer?
We handle all aspects of a trip — from the moment you walk out the door until you return home — as well as a la carte elements. These services include:
- Air reservations
- Transfers, rail & water transportation
- Vehicle rental
- Touring and excursions
- Dining, spa, theatre, shopping and entertainment
- Travel insurance
- Luggage concierge
We focus on independent leisure travel but are experienced in arrangements for incentive groups, destination weddings and celebrations. For most clients’ trips, we provide a mobile device-enabled itinerary, which has instant messaging capabilities when wifi is accessible. Additional services include: passport and visa processing, currency, telecommunication and gratuity advising, general concierge support and 365/24-7 availability.
Why should I book my travel with you?
A professional travel advisor is your best asset manager for travel nowadays if your time is limited. Professional advisors offer traveling clients three elements essential to a personalized, well-crafted and well-executed travel experience: expertise, connections and customized service. We bring you into our network of destination experts, premier hoteliers, resorts and private villas, in-country specialty touring operators and top-rated guides. And we grant you preferential access to perks, amenities, connections and behind-the-scene opportunities. We make sure that each trip you embark upon is intentionally planned, and matched to your purpose, priorities and budget. That way your precious time is leveraged into priceless memories, and your investment is maximized. In short, we help you to plan and realize the journey of a lifetime, everytime.
I have never used a travel advisor. What is involved in working with you?
We take our clients through the six-step How to Flourish travel planning cycle.
It has helped numerous passengers take their dream vacation. Learn more here.
Do you have any specialties or niches in travel planning?
We can book any type of trip, of any duration, including simple last-minute hotel reservations for business purposes or impromptu weekends away.
We specialize in wellness travel, sustainable travel, adventure travel, family and multigenerational trips, as well as international destinations including Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Spain, Morocco, France, Italy, plus Latin and South America.
Whether your trip is a sun-and-sand getaway, weekend escape, group tour, volunteer tour, special occasion celebration, cruise, slow travel, event-based travel, business travel, bucket-list travel, culinary travel, art and cultural immersion trip, or a pilgrimage, we can make your dreams a reality.
Do you offer introductory consultations?
We offer an initial one-hour consultation by appointment on a complimentary basis. This consultation can be done in person, over the phone, internet chat (FaceTime, Skype) or via email. It’s a chance to ask and answer questions of each other. We’ll discuss your travel preferences and aspirations, your specific trip parameters (time, budget, pace, etc.), and how we can provide you with a worry-free, amazing travel experience.
Do you charge planning or booking fees?
Once we decide to work together, a good-faith, plan-to-go deposit of $100 minimum will be payable for most trips. In some cases (for example, simple one-destination air and land packages or cruises), this deposit will be applied against your total trip cost. In other cases, which involve customized, multi-stop, multi-service itineraries requiring more research and consultation, a separate Itinerary Planning fee of $250+ will apply.
Tell me more about Itinerary Planning Fees
Research and consultation taps into our time, expertise and exclusive trade relationships. Your nonrefundable, good-faith deposit empowers us to focus on your preferences and provides for:
- Expert guidance in curating locations, sequencing and pacing for your trip
- Selection of an array of properties, destination management partners, activities, and transportation providers matched to you
- Budget and price advice that matches your values with services proportionally
- Concierge travel services including dining, event, activity and spa bookings
- Mobile-enabled electronic itinerary and messaging availability throughout travel planning and the trip itself
- Assistance and advice as concerns arise prior to and during travel (currency matters, tipping, etiquette, immigration, immunizations and communications).
Itinerary planning fees vary depending on destination(s), complexity and duration of your trip, number of travelers and level of detail and time required. In most cases, we waive the $250 planning fees for repeat clients who confirm and deposit on more than one trip within a 12-month period.
Is there an average or minimum package cost?
For weeklong+ duration trips (two persons) within the US/Mexico/Canada/Caribbean, $5,000 is a minimum starting budget. For Europe and other continents, a minimum starting budget of $7,500 is suggested. In addition, we are always delighted to handle hotel and resort bookings for short-term getaways, city breaks, and long-weekends at destination-specific wellness and adventure properties throughout North America.
How do you plan my trip?
Once we’ve determined your trip scope, budget and components, you’ll receive a proposed itinerary that may or may not offer a range of options in each service category. As we discuss and you make your selections toward completing your itinerary, it’s time to move ahead with ‘goalpost’ purchases (e.g., flights, tour deposits, insurance). Reservations are confirmed, deposited upon and/or paid in full, with us acting as your intermediary for all deposits, final payments, and documentation from all service providers. You’ll receive a detailed final itinerary, usually in both a mobile-enabled format as well as travel documents in paper form. During the weeks prior to your departure, we stay in touch with both you and the service providers in your destination(s) to build anticipation and cover off all the small but critical logistical details.
What type of payment do you accept?
We recommend using a credit card in most every instance. Most vendors accept widely recognized bank-issued cards (VISA, MasterCard, AmEx, Diners Club, Discover). As we are not the source or actual supplier of travel services, but rather the agent acting to purchase on your behalf, we will securely record and transmit your credit card details to each service supplier. Using a credit card typically offers you the opportunity to dispute charges and receive credits in the event of a vendor ceasing operations, or for cancellations for covered reasons. Many credit cards also offer elements of trip protection, so it is always important to know your card membership benefits, rules & restrictions.
Is everything priced in US dollars?
For international travel, not necessarily. This depends upon our joint decisions about your trip components, the service suppliers selected, and where these suppliers are domiciled. For example, a trip through Spain organized by and purchased through a Virtuoso OnSite (an in-country destination management company) will be denominated in Euros, for a single purchase price. On the other hand, a similar trip purchased through a U.S.-based wholesaler will be denominated in US dollars. We always advise our clients to notify their credit card-member bank in advance of making a foreign currency-denominated purchase, as such purchases are often flagged as potentially fraudulent and the charges automatically rejected without prior authorization.
Do you troubleshoot issues if I encounter problems while I’m travelling?
Through the mobile-enabled itinerary you receive, you can message us directly and immediately from any location that offers wifi access. We are always available to provide advice, support, and to assist with itinerary changes, additions and glitches. Depending on the matter, we will either handle it ourselves, or direct you to the emergency support contacts on the ground. If the matter involves air reservations and we have booked your air for you, we will contact our 24/7 support desk. In some cases additional fees may apply.
Can you help me with passports and visas?
If traveling internationally, every passenger must have a valid passport, ideally with an expiration date later than six months from projected return date of the trip. Depending on your destination(s) and nationality, visas may be required. We typically request and maintain on file copies of all passports from our clients and are available to assist clients with advice on procuring new or renewal passports as well as requisite visas in a timely manner. We also work with expedited service providers for passport and visa processing for short-notice situations for an additional fee.
What is the policy on cancellations?
If you cancel a trip but have already paid an Itinerary Planning fee, this fee will not be refunded. In addition, all travel suppliers have individual cancellation policies, schedules and fees based on the class or category of service purchased, of which clients are notified at time of purchase and responsible for in full.
Do you recommend travel insurance?
We encourage all our clients to consider purchasing protection from unforeseen events during any type of trip, domestic or international (but especially international travel). We offer a wide range of products through insurance partners. Your investment in vacation travel is a precious asset like any else that you would insure. Many trips require deposits and full prepayment.
- Whether your health insurance covers you outside of the U.S.
- What you would do if you couldn’t depart on your travels due to sudden family illness, an accident or a natural disaster in your destination.
- How you would manage without your clothing and medications for several days.
- The added costs of flight cancellations and missed connections.
Travel insurance offers standard protections (with many add-on options) in the events of trip cancellation, delay, baggage delay and loss, theft, emergency medical (accident/illness) and more.