01. MAKE CONTACT

Just as with Escorted Travel, you begin by contacting a company that deals with facilitating travel plans. But unlike the Escorted Travel plan with its fixed price pre-packaged itinerary, here you contract to have that same company facilitate a unique personalized trip. The picture is of us and the Kaufman's on a one month 5 country designed trip that no company would ever offer as an escorted package or one that we could never have coordinated for ourselves. Designed travel was the only way to go!

 

02. FIGURE YOUR COSTS

Whereas the Escorted Travel plans are prix fixe, the cost of your Designed Travel plan will be figured option by option plus the company's fee for their time. Possibilities:

  • The number of stars on your hotel's brochure.

  • Theater tickets in a private box or the balcony?

  • Public transportation or a rental car?

  • How many days do you want to have a personal guide? And for how many hours?

  • How many flights, trains, or riverboats need to be scheduled?

  • Travel Insurance

  • Tipping​

03. PROS OF DESIGNED TRAVEL
  • Planning Help: You have professional help in coordinating and facilitating the details of your trip. They will know the locations you will be visiting and use their extensive experience to satisfy the level of comfort you requested. And they and their trusted local contacts will make sure the arrangements chosen for your stay assure your safety and the people chosen to guide you will be knowledgeable and trustworthy.

  • People Control: You get to control the number of people in your party and you will get to pick your traveling companions.

  • Flexibility: You can change any scheduled activities along the way.

  • Damage Control: The unexpected hits: local guide gets sick: missed airline connection: hotel not as advertised: a monsoon arrives. If you cannot solve these problems locally, you should have ready access to a representative of your travel company at their home office for advice/assistance. These trusted companies listed below have performed just such services for us in the past.

 

04. CONS OF DESIGNED TRAVEL

Costs:  Variable and a bit unpredictable. It's rather like packing your luggage. You start out adding everything in that you just "must" have for the trip and then find you can't lift your suitcase. In the same way, you may spend quite a bit of time going back and forth with the travel personnel as that 5-star hotel begins to look a bit too pricey and alternatives have to be sought. Keep your expectations in check - save time and money in the process.

 

05. YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES

Remember that you are responsible for all the items in the section Prepare to Go. Pay particular attention to the section on Visa and Passport Alerts and understand all that has to be accomplished before you set off for your adventure.  Make sure it is getting done in a timely manner whether you're doing it yourself or delegating it to others. If that visa doesn't get approved on time or your passport will be out of date before you get home, your trip is over before it begins.