What is the difference between a classic travel agency and a travel planner ?
- A classic travel agency sells pre-designed trips whereas a travel planner is a personal travel advisor. This advisor offers you support and/or advice service to help you design your 100% tailor-made trip step by step.
- Some specialized travel agencies offer 100% tailor-made services. They are extremely expensive and often remain unaffordable for a large number of travellers. The travel planner only charges for research time and offers personalized services at an affordable cost.
Why will you choose a travel planner rather than a classic agency ?
Because of the originality of your trip at an affordable cost; the listening time and the personalization of your project; the freedom of choice and the booking of your activities, of the control of your budget.
Design and organization of your trip
What to visit in the United States ? This country is vast and I cannot choose my destination ? I would like to leave the classic circuits; can you help me build up my itinerary ?
Composed of 50 States, all different from each other, this immense country extends over an area equivalent to 18 times the size of mainland France! The choice being vast and diversified, it is not easy to determine the destination which is appropriate especially if one wants to leave the traditional routes. I offer a one-hour advice formula called “destination” which aims to help you choose or refine your destination according to your interests, the season and your budget.
How long before my departure should I contact you for the complete creation of a trip ?
The earlier the better
American holiday makers generally book their accommodations and activities several months in advance, which quickly limits the offers available in busy areas.
The time devoted to planning a trip depends on duration, number of travellers and popularity of the spot chosen at the period of the year wanted. For example:
- For a one-week stay for 4 people in a large American city, at least a month and a half’s notice before your departure is necessary. This time is indispensable to research and compare flights (rather expensive when you do it at the last moment, especially if you are travelling with your family), to create your daily program, to achieve your interactive map, and your digital and paper travel diary.
- For a 15-day mid-summer road trip in a very touristy area such as the American West, a three months’ notice before departure – at least – will be necessary. If you do not have a large travel budget, the ideal would be a six month’s notice before departure to avoid paying high prices for accommodation booking.
Indeed, when you go on such a kind of road trip in the American West, it is extremely difficult to find accommodation at a reasonable cost a few weeks before departure.
Accommodation ideally located, at a fair price, to visit the most popular national parks in summertime can, be fully booked up to 18 months in advance!
Do I have to take out travel insurance (cancellation, health, repatriation, etc.) ?
I STRONGLY advise you to take out travel insurance when you go on vacation to the USA because of the huge costs of treatment and in case of hospitalization.
For example, the price of a consultation with a general practitioner in the United States varies between 120 and 230 dollars, compared to 25 euros in France!
My travel planning service “Your trip by Stef” does not offer any travel insurance.
On the other hand, I can advise and direct you independently towards insurers who have proven themselves in the field of “cancellation” and “health / repatriation” insurance in the USA. If you wish to take out insurance, by yourself, you will take it out directly with the company of your own choice.
Is it possible to entrust you with only part of the research ? Indeed, I live in the USA and I do not need you to search for flights or car rental.
Absolutely. I have created an “à la carte” formula that allows you to choose the services you need. If you want to go on a road trip with your own vehicle, I can only deal with the creation of your itinerary, the program of daily activities and the booking of your accommodation.
As for the integral creation, I work on estimate. The price will be established according to the services requested and the associated research time.
You can contact me via this form to make an appointment for a free one-hour discovery interview of your project.
Payment, cancellation and reservation
How much will I pay for the organization of my trip to the USA ?
It all depends on the formula you have chosen:
- For the “tailor-made trip creation” service, both my formulas “serenity” and “à la carte” are on estimate. The price will depend on the specifics of your trip and the time I will have spent researching. As an indication, the creation of a one-week trip for 4 people in Miami is from €350.
- For the provision of advice, the prices are fixed: €100 for the “destination” formula (1 hour of advice to choose your destination or refine your itinerary in the USA); €220 for the “autonomy” formula (2 hours to give you the keys to organize your trip to the USA yourself).
I ordered the creation of a trip, but I have to cancel my departure. Can I be reimbursed ?
Once we have defined together the formula best suited to your needs, and once you have validated the quote, I ask you to remit a deposit of 30% of the total amount.
Cancellation of the order is possible within 24 hours of receipt of the signed quote. After this time, I immediately begin the search. Therefore, no refund is possible as it is my research time that is paid.
When and how should I book the services, you offer me ?
For an integral travel creation service, after establishing your itinerary, I always start by looking for flights with the best quality/price/time ratio. As soon as I have found them, I will email you one or two suggestions with corresponding booking links. You then have 24 hours to book the flights, as prices often vary from day to day. Beyond this period, you take the risk of paying more for your flights.
For other services (car rental, accommodation, activities, etc.), once the research has been done, I will send you a document including all the necessary links for you to book – on your own – the services that suit you.
However, I advise you never to delay for your reservations, as once again, prices and fares can heavily fluctuate.