A Design Process For Every Passion
Collaborating to create an itinerary that exceeds your goals
All of our independent travel support services are customized to suit each individual explorer's interests and needs, which we will have a chance to get a sense of during our initial conversation. Planning travel this way takes time. We recommend getting started with us 120 days or more prior to departure - this lets us work through all possibilities with you, and ensures you'll be able to get the best deal on flights and accommodation, although we can work with tighter timelines. To get a sense of the total costs associated with our independent travel services, check out our destination pages, where estimated prices include airfare, all costs on the ground, and our design fees. While every trip is unique, our design process for individual travelers follows the general flow below.
Book a Consultation
The design process starts with a consultation between one of our team members and the traveler. This gives us the chance to get to know each other, as well as your goals for your travel. The fee for this initial consultation goes toward the cost of your travels when you hire us!
Initial Consultation: Itinerary Planning and Brainstorm
We'll schedule 45 to 60 minutes to sit down and chat with you and prepare some general ideas for you based on your travel objectives - the purpose of this conversation is to make sure we know what you want to get out of your travels, and that we are on the same page in terms of the experiences being planned - when you hire us, you'll know what we're preparing for you and feel comfortable that our goals are aligned.
Hire Our Team
Now that we know your goals and objectives, and you've had a chance to hear how we plan to support your vision, we can begin the hard work of managing the details of your educational travel experience. Upon receipt of your initial payment, our team will get to work refining an itinerary that meets and exceeds your personal and professional goals.
Trip Design and Final Package Development
Working with our team and partners around the world, we will put together a travel plan for you based on our initial conversations and in constant communication with you. All elements of our signature service will be put together, and we'll walk you through everything via video conference. We'll make sure you set off on your adventure with every bit of information you need to feel safe and secure!
How does traveling with more than one person impact costs and pricing?
The per-person cost of travel (as listed on our destinations pages) tends to be reduced when traveling as a pair or small group - accommodation can be shared, and the costs of any private transfers your itinerary requires can be distributed among travelers. The impact this will have on your travel cost depends on your destination, travel style, and the activities you intend to take part in.
On our end, our consultation fee (calculated per traveler) is discounted by 25% when working with groups of young people who are traveling on the exact same itinerary as a group.
Why is the price for gap years sometimes higher, and sometimes lower, than the 21 day excursion price?
Since all of our itineraries and consultation work are custom designed for each independent traveler, the travel costs listed on our destination pages are carefully calculated estimates. Those estimates take into account a number of factors, including differences in airfare included (gap year travelers are less likely to be flying halfway around the world to and from each stop on their tour), as well as the duration of stay (independent travel estimates are based on a 21-day visit, while gap year pricing is calculated based on a month in the destination).
If you plan around the pricing offered on our destination pages, we are confident that we can assist you in designing the adventure of a lifetime within the listed estimate!
Do I need travel insurance?
While we require all travelers on our guided excursions to carry a minimum level of travel insurance, how you handle this in your independent travels is really up to you. That said, we strongly encourage you to insure yourself fully, medical treatment and evacuation are not typically covered by general health coverage policies and can be exceedingly costly. Medical evacuation, which can be necessary for something as simple and unpredictable as car or bike accident, generally costs upwards of $200,000 USD. Insurance for a summer of travel often costs less than $200.
In addition, as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, some insurance policies offer a "cancel for any reason" option which allows you to obtain a refund on your travel expenses should the global travel situation change significantly.
What other factors have a significant impact on final price?
There are a few main factors that impact the pricing of a final itinerary significantly and can increase the total cost of your travel quite quickly. These include:
Failing to make reservations sufficiently in advance - "last minute" pricing from airlines and accommodation
Heavy use of guided travel - especially as a solo traveler if private guides are necessary
Accommodation style - a luxury hotel is significantly more expensive than a local guesthouse
Frequent movement - transportation between stops on your itinerary has a cost - as you increase the frequency of your relocations, or the distance between them, costs tend to increase.
Food and drink - water is cheaper than fancy cocktails, and local food is cheaper than flashy restaurants