There are 2 different types of Independent Travel.
The First one is what I call à la carte where I put together an itinerary based on the areas you want to see and your wants & needs.
The Second is booking with a Tour Company that has a pre-selected Itinerary for you with some included tours but a lot of time on your own. I will break them down for you below...
à la carte Independent Travel
When booking a à la carte Independent Tour with me I do require a non-refundable deposit down of $300 that will be put towards the overall total of the trip once booked. Since Independent Travel is a very time consuming trip to plan and there are a lot of pieces of the puzzle; you can imagine that we may have to go through several options before you book the trip. With that said I have unfortunately done a lot of work for clients in the past who have taken my work and then chose to use that information and book on their own. So I have made the decision to require a $300 payment to start the process; but again; once booked that $300 goes towards the overall trip balance and it is not a fee. Please feel free to ask me any questions regarding this.
With an à la carte trip; I start with asking what areas you want to visit and how many nights you are planning to be in each location. We discuss then your accommodation needs (I.e. 3*, 4* hotels, etc.), transportation needs (I.e. airfare, car rental, train tickets, private transfers), local sightseeing tours (I.e. Wine tour in Tuscany, Blue Grotto in Capri), and much more. Once I have all of this information I will then put together an à la carte itinerary for you and we can tweak different elements of it to get it perfect to meet your needs.
Independent Tour Companies
One of my favorite Tour Operators that offers Independent Travelers that little extra is Monograms. What is included in a Monograms Tour and why is it considered Independent Travel?
Monograms is an affordable way to travel with pre-packaged itineraries for multiple travelers or solo travelers. They are owned by Globus Tours (Escorted Tour Company) so they are able to negotiate great hotel pricing as well as sightseeing pricing.
The packages include: airfare from your city, transportation to & from the Airport, transportation from city to city (If by train - the local host will pick you up from your hotel and drop you at your specific train and a new local host will meet you at the next stop to get you situated in your next hotel), hotels in each city (they give you a few options to pick from in each city based on your comfort level), you are given a local host as a contact in case of any questions or issues that arise on the trip and you need help from a local that speaks English, and sightseeing tours (They include at least 1 day of sightseeing, usually a half day tour, in each city on your tour).
Learn More About Monograms Here
Read a Blog Post from Ashley's Client who did a Monogram Tour