Most commonly asked new client questions & answers.
How long have you been a travel advisor?
I started in mid 1999, and have been in this field ever since. I've been through 3 agencies over my career. Two of them have been a merger through the first 18 years of my career. I'm an associate for one of the leading luxury privately family owned Virtuoso agencies in the US, in Avenue Two Travel.
What types of travel do you offer?
My niche is in international customization, but I handle nearly all aspects of travel management. I arrange ocean cruises, river cruises, escorted tours, domestic & international luxury travel. Hotels, refined apartments, villas & private homes. There is very little I will decline, but I will say no on occasion.
What Destinations do you offer?
I'm an international specialist and my extreme depth of knowledge on many destinations and personal travels and experiences give me a wide range of destinations. I have many direct certifications by official national tourism boards, such as Italy, France, Japan, UK and more. You can relax knowing you can be very comfortable with my trusting local connections and arrangements in most international destinations. Nothing I do is questionable.
Do you arrange destination weddings?
Yes, I can arrange beautiful destination weddings to just about anywhere. Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, you name it, I can do it perfectly for you. I can manage the wedding arrangements, or you can do that and I'll manage all the travel arrangements (air/transportation/accommodations/etc)
Do you manage large/small groups?
Absolutely yes, luxury cruise groups, private tour groups, escorted tour groups, customized family and friends groups. I have connections to charter private luxury jets, yachts, coaches and can completely buy out hotels if your group requires it.
Do you offer Travel Protection Plans?
Yes, you as a client are requested in writing or verbally to either accept or decline travel protection once a quote is requested. As well Travel Protection Plans will typically cover any agency/personal cancellation fees we need to charge.
Do you charge service fees?
I charge management/planning & assistance fees, so yes, they vary depending on your arrangements and complexity of services, but you can expect between $100-$200 per person for all land arrangements. Air responsibility fees could range from $50-$100 per person. Young children can sometimes be discounted or free of my fee, but not air (depends on what I'm doing.) Domestic one hotel only simple bookings likely would have lower fees.
How is your response/turn around time?
- 24-48hrs for quoting of beach/tropical vacation programs.
- 24-48hrs for escorted tour or cruise programs.
- 48hrs+-to several days for international customization & initial itinerary building (no pricing at this point usually)
- Several Days+ for groups, customized groups & destination weddings
I do not quote trips or build customization without an initial agreement with you of approx trip budget costs and fees agreement in place.
Initial enquiry emails are usually responded to same day.
Do you meet clients for consultations?
Yes, pre pandemic I frequently met clients at a public locations the likes of a Starbucks or Panera locally for in person consultations. Currently due to pandemic my consultations are all virtual. I can use Zoom, Facebook or any other video chat service you want to take the consultation with.
Give me an idea of travel companies you work with?
There are tons, it depends on the type of travel.
- Escorted Tours: Tauck Tours, A&K, Globus, Collette, Journese
- Cruise Lines: Nearly all,... Silversea, Crystal, Regent, Celebrity, Holland America, Azamara, Princess, Ritz Carlton, etc...
- River Cruise Lines: Nearly all... Avalon, Uniworld, Tauck, AMA Waterways, Viking, just to name a few.
When it comes to customization, my sources are private and local and some of the best for that destination, drivers, guides, transfers and more.
What don't you do?
I've been known to decline lower end pricing on Carnival and RCCL, but that is not a given. I do not work with VRBO & AirB&B for rentals, I have my own sources for apartment, villa and home rentals worldwide. Short of that I nearly do everything & everywhere.
Why should I chose you as my advisor?
I'm very passionate about travel, and care deeply about your travel itinerary and arrangements, I'm easy to work with. I'm very responsive, professional & friendly. My fees are fair and not unreasonable for professional planning. I'll handle everything needed and always be here for you every step of the journey from beginning to the return home.
What are your spend expectations of me as a client?
Honestly as long as your budget and spend is realistic for what we are planning, I do not have any spend expectations. A lot of high end luxury advisors average a spend of $1,000 a hotel night + air + land. That's not me, I'll work with you on a realistic spend. It will vary depending on what you are looking for. A moderate all inclusive for a week may be $1,500-$2,000 per person, luxury higher. A 4 star two week customized trip to Europe may be $5k per person, 5 star higher. We will work together to figure this out.
Can't I just do this on the internet?
No, You can purchase travel online, but you can't get the personal service and advice I provide, not to mention the available Virtuoso advantages. It's not my job to sell you something but to take the time to understand your needs and to research the options so that you purchase the best trip at the best value for you. Online providers and travel companies are only interested in selling you their product or service.
Isn't it cheaper online?
It's possible, but it's unlikely to happen very often or to be much better. I use price and product search tech which is modern & sophisticated. Internet sources don't include the Virtuoso benefits and services I provide. What sometimes seems like a better price online is simply a lower price on a lower quality offering or service. Buying online also does not provide you with security or personalized service in the unlikely event should you have needs while traveling. The web is based on a silicon chip, mine is based on personal service and a personal commitment to you.