Welcome & Introduction
This is your journey, we’re just here to guide you through parts of it.
We are looking forward to working with you on your next adventure… and many more to come!
We love our clients, and want to make sure that you enjoy working with us as much as we hope to enjoy working with you – and one of the ways this starts is with the right expectations. So, before we really jump into the specifics, more than anything, we know that serving you well begins with the right fit.
So please take a moment to read through this document and let us know if you have any questions at all. If you’re ready to move forward, the next steps are at the bottom of the page.
“Half the fun of the travel is the esthetic of lostness.”
**STEP 1: DISCOVER YOUR VISION**
We want to get to know you and your travel preferences. This is a lot of fun for us, and as we move forward and work on future trips, understanding your style, tastes, and preferences will help us better serve you.
**STEP 2: DESIGN YOUR EXPERIENCE**
Here we look to make sure we have a full understanding of your desires so your dreams really start to take shape. We’ll take your Travel Quote Request and any other information we gather to craft your initial itinerary & proposal and send to you for feedback on anything you’d like to add, remove, change, or have questions about.
Collaboration and communication are some of the primary components of this part of the process as we tweak and hone your itinerary until the finished product is where you want it to be. Once your itinerary has been perfected, we’ll work on the bookings & reservations, confirming amenities, special requests, and seeing to anything else possible to make your holiday that much more unique and pleasurable.
Before you depart, you will be provided with your custom itinerary, any necessary travel documents, and other reference material to help build your anticipation!
**STEP 3: EMBARK!**
While you’re traveling, we want you to be able to fully enjoy the moments, we’ll be keeping an eye on the details of your trip both leading up to your departure and while you’re away. We’ll be double-checking the details, connecting with our suppliers, and finding any other ways we can to make your adventure extraordinary.
Once you return, we always love to hear all about your journey! We want to know what you liked, what you didn’t, and learnings we can apply to your next adventure. Oh, and please share your photos with us. Use the hashtag #edgeofwondertravels if you post any to social media while you’re away!
Travel is the largest industry in the world…and also one of the most complicated. There are so many different countries, currencies, regulations, and cultural differences – not to mention the specific details of your own adventure.
Since every trip is unique which makes it’s difficult to say exactly what will be included in your trip, but these are the things that are pretty standard across the board:*
- Customized travel itinerary crafted based on your specific requests, vision, and preferences.
- A dedicated Edge of Wonder Travels Unlimited Travel Designer, looking out for you and your best interests at every stage of the journey.
- Most travel designs include accommodations, transfers, and tours/activities, and taxes in the pricing.
- Meals, other local charges, and other costs may also be included leading to less out-of-pocket costs while you’re traveling.
- Many trips provide value-added “extras” – for instance, room upgrades upon arrival, a bottle of wine while traveling, additional cruise onboard credits, destination guides, etc.
* Nuances relative to your specific trip will be communicated to you by your travel designer prior to booking.
In assisting in the planning and booking of your adventure, we may act as agent/intermediary with local operators, suppliers, and partners (such as cruise lines, tour operators, wholesalers, transportation suppliers, etc.).
Tour operators, cruise lines, and wholesalers may be making accommodations and arrangements with the various suppliers for travel services in your itinerary. Whenever we use the words “supplier” or “partner,” we are referring to any of these types of service providers that may be involved in putting your adventure together.
Note that because we and our partners at times buy travel in bulk and often utilize group space, things like cancellation fees, penalties, and deadlines for fees may differ from those listed in brochures or online. For cruises, you can typically access your reservation online as well as check-in, provide additional information if necessary, and book any shore excursions you may not have specified at time of booking. Be sure to note your cabin and verify its location and bedding options.
Pricing, Payments, Fees, & Cancellations
Our trip designs are typically structured to include all accommodations, transfers, tickets, taxes, etc. and therefore are priced as a package. This is so that we can leverage our partners and their confidential, negotiated contracted rates, and discounts for bundling services, accommodations, etc.
This is how most professional travel arrangements are priced (when not done a la carte) which usually results in us being able to negotiate much better overall rates if we bundle everything together. It also makes it a lot easier while you’re traveling to manage all the moving pieces and support you locally when and if you need it!
Payment schedules vary greatly depending on the policies of the various services, tour operators, cruise lines, and other suppliers who may be involved in the planning of your adventure. We will always let you know what the deposit and final payment schedule is for your specific itinerary.
Generally speaking, a deposit will be due upon finalization of the itinerary to secure any hotels, cruises, tours, or other services. This amount varies by supplier (tour operator, cruise line, hotel chain, etc.) and/or country, but is typically anywhere from $100 per person to 50% of the total trip cost.
Final payments are typically due prior to departure and also varies by supplier and/or country. Most final payments are due 30, 45, 60, or 90 days prior to departure. Some suppliers require full payment within 180 days, although this is not common. Separately held hotel reservations which are not part of a priced package are typically payable at check-out.
Should you decide to not work with us (perish the thought!) and either cancel your trip or do the bookings on your own, the cancellation policies of each individual supplier apply.
Please note that there may be also cancellation policies in effect from tour operators, cruise lines, and other service providers once deposits have been submitted up until departure. Be sure to read through any Terms & Conditions documentation you receive and familiarize yourself with any cancellation policies relative to your trip prior to departure.
We have a strong aversion to fees, but as in most industries, sometimes they’re unavoidable.
We only charge a conditional planning fee for our services (typically $100-150 per person) with new clients if we go beyond two (2) working versions of a trip design. The condition? That we finish out the whole trip design process and send you off on your adventure! As soon as your final payment is due, you’ll have the choice of either being refunded, or we’ll be happy to apply your planning fee towards your final payment. For returning clients, we waive any planning fees.
There may at times be fees for certain itineraries or types of travel (for instance, airfare) which your travel designer will communicate with you in advance.
As far as compensation goes, ours comes largely from the industry standard commission rates paid directly from suppliers, partners, tour operators, hotels, cruise lines, services, etc. Since much of the time itineraries are priced as a custom package, it’s all seamless to the traveler!
Office Hours & Communication
Our normal hours of operation are Monday – Thursday, 9am to 5pm and Friday 9am to 4pm (Pacific Time). Saturdays are by appointment only.
Our available hours for inquiries and available phone appointments are Tuesday through Thursday, 9am to 5pm Pacific Time. Scheduling calls allows us to focus on our travel design work and take care of our clients currently on the road without interruption.
During your trip design process, we will primarily use email for communicating. (We’re working on a personalized client portal in the future which will help keep everything organized and in one place.) We do our best to reply to all communications with clients actively planning a trip the same business day, but we ask our clients to all be understanding that we may have some adventures that take priority because they are departing in the immediate future, or during times when unexpected travel emergencies pop up (you know, like hurricanes, blizzards, earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions) which may delay our ability to respond.
If you would prefer to chat via Skype/FaceTime/phone, you can schedule an appointment with us at any available time using our online meeting scheduler. As an existing client, make sure you select an Existing Client Trip Design Discussion or the Quick 15-Minute Follow-up.
Other Common Questions We Get Asked
Is everything you do custom, or can we book pre-packaged tours and cruises through you?
It depends… We have very close partnerships with certain tour operators whose quality and level of service are at the same level that we also strive for in taking care of our clients. This includes small ship cruise lines (such as Windstar or Uncruise) and small group tour companies (such as Natural Habitat Adventures or Butterfield & Robinson).
Booking tours or cruises with our partners through us won’t cost you more, and in fact, we often have value-add amenities or additional perks/upgrades we can extend to our clients due to the relationships we have with these partners. So in essence, you get even more for your investment!
Do you only plan big trips?
We’ve been known to plan all kinds of travel – honeymoons, family vacations, individuals, weekends away, retreats, cruises, golf journeys, safaris, ski trips…
While it’s true that we have a particular fondness for itineraries that pull you off the beaten track and are experiential in nature, taking you “away from the things of man” and maybe outside of your comfort zone, in the end, our focus is more about relationships than just certain types of itineraries.
We encourage our clients to call us anytime they’re thinking of doing anything where you wouldn’t be sleeping at home – if we can’t help, or don’t think we can add value, we’ll let you know!
Do you book flights?
We are a full-service travel agency so, depending on the type of trip, airfare is sometimes included. We are unable to book flights with points or miles, but we can still help research which flight itineraries would best fit with your trip design.
When it’s not a part of your trip package, our internal air departure can still research and issue your tickets, but note that there are ticketing fees between $75-100 per person for most itineraries. To avoid the ticketing fee, we will often just advise on air schedules and let you book your own flights – this ends up being more cost effective, but we’re happy to do whatever helps you most!
What licenses or accreditations do you have?
We are an accredited agency through IATAN (International Airlines Travel Agent Network), a member of CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), and a member of ASTA (American Association of Travel Agents).
We are also registered with all States that require Seller of Travel registrations:
California – CST #2116049-40
Florida – Seller of Travel License #ST41301
Iowa – Travel Agency #1458
Hawaii – Certificate of Authority File #188281 C6
Washington – UBI #603 388 563
Our owner/founder, Deborah Miller, is also a Certified Travel Associate (CTA) which is an industry-recognized accreditation given through The Travel Institute.
Let us know if you have any questions on the above!
We’re ready whenever you are, but the first thing we need is your quote request. The travel quote request form provides us with the preliminary information we require to begin working with new clients.
So the question becomes, have you already sent us a quote request?
NO, I have not yet submitted a Travel Quote Request
No problem! Submit one now using the button and we’ll be able to kick off the process.
YES, I already submitted my travel quote request.
Wonderful! We already have what we need if you want to move forward, so please confirm below which direction you’d like to go in and we’ll kick everything off…or not.