- Why Malaysia?
A hugely diverse country, Malaysia is a hidden gem in Southeast Asia that is rich with culture, wildlife, and activities. It's a country where you can experience the beauty of tropical islands, enjoy the glitz of big city lights, come eye to eye with endangered species, wake up to the sounds of the rainforest, and feel like a local being invited into homes with open arms. Malaysia is one place that probably isn't on your bucket list, but it should be.
My (Annie's) first encounter with Malaysia was when I visited my father's childhood home in a small town on the island of Borneo. This wondrous place had so many new sights, smells, and sounds. Throughout my journey I developed lasting friendships with locals who were so proud to teach me about their home land. And we're all still friends...so you can trust that you'll be in good hands when you visit!
- Why Singapore?
Singapore is a major metropolitan city-state well known for its financial prowess. Although every inch of conference centers & offices have been trod by business travelers, few have stepped outside to meander the streets of Chinatown or local night markets to discover the true essence of Singapore. We examine Singapore's split from Malaysia in 1965 and the vision that led the country to its current state. And of course, we discover the food! Singaporeans are notorious for being serious about their food...from traditional dishes served by old aunties & uncles in the night markets to modern restaurants serving up the finest in culinary experiences.
- Why Italy?
The people have spoken! Italy was chosen by popular vote as a dream destination for discovering food culture, and we couldn't agree more. We visit regions where so many well known foods originated such as parmigiano-reggiano cheese, pizza, prosciutto, limoncello, and of course many wineries. We'll lead you to some undiscovered treasures and you'll feel like a local getting into making fresh pasta and visiting local farms.
- Why Peru?
Out of the most selfish of reasons, I traveled to Peru in 2016. It had been one of my top-3 bucket list destinations since living in Chile 10 years prior. Coincidentally, Peru had been gaining popularity on the travel circuit so I altered my "vacation" to include more destinations for a well rounded research trip. During my trip I fell in love with the stunning scenery of the Sacred Valley, the colorful clothing worn in small villages in the Andes, the delicious local cuisine, and the artsy neighborhoods of Lima. Although I had high expectations, Peru managed to exceed every one of them!
- Will you offer travel to other countries?
Yes! We offer local, authentic travel experiences to many destinations but they might not be on our website. If your'e interested in a specific destination and want to do a private tour please email us at email@example.com. There are many places where we have the contacts and the experiences but we haven't yet developed a set itinerary; we can always put together a custom trip for you.
- What are the hotels like?
Although our travelers are adventurous they prefer a comfortable, clean room at the end of the day. We partner exclusively with accommodations that have received 4 to 5 star ratings. We also prefer to work with hotels that exude some local culture or feeling in their property. We live by the 4 c's - cleanliness, character, comfort, and central location!
- Will I have to carry my own bags?
Porterage of bags is typically taken care of so you don't have to worry about your bags. When transferring from hotel to hotel you will leave your bags in the room and they will magically appear in your next room! There are certain times when you may have to carry or roll your own luggage, typically when traveling by train or plane. Please consult your Terms & Conditions for specifics on your tour.
- What is the minimum number of people for a private small group tour?
Eight people is the minimum for a small group tour. However, if you're a smaller group we can put together a custom itinerary with more or fewer services as your budget permits. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How are small group tours different from private travel?
Small group tours give you a few companions with whom you will experience a prearranged itinerary where you don't have any worries or planning. Plus you'll have a Tour Director and/or Assistant available to you around the clock. That person will be there to make sure you have whatever you need, whenever you need it.
Private travel gives you the flexibility to have more input on the activities, accommodations, or dates of travel. You can opt to have more services and as much or as little arranged for you in advance.
- Can you build me a custom itinerary?
Yes! Whether you're looking for a dive trip in the Malaysian islands, a Vespa tour in Italy, a safari in Tanzania, or a luxury journey on the Trans-Siberian railway, we can put together a custom travel option for you.
- Why is food so important?
Well, other than the obvious reason pointing to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, food is something that brings us all together no matter your culture, your age, your nationality, your gender. We all must eat. And we seem to like doing it together.
Food is a great way to experience a different culture and learn from locals. It gives us an opportunity to bond over a meal, share experiences, learn, and laugh.
- Will I get sick?
Although all the dining experiences on our group tours have been tried and tested, dining anywhere can be a risk. Quite frankly, we've had food poisoning more frequently eating in the USA than abroad! That being said, if at any point you feel uncomfortable or prefer different food, your requests can be met; please alert your Travel Director.
- What if I don't like what's on the menu?
Many of the meals on our group tours are prearranged, have multiple dishes, and are shared family style. In the unlikely event that there isn't a single dish you enjoy (sad panda!) we will find you something else to eat. We wouldn't leave you hungry!
- What should I pack?
Prior to your trip you will receive an extensive suggested packing list. It varies significantly based on your destination and season of travel. We recommend that you pack as lightly as possible and leave room in your suitcase for gifts or souvenirs.
- What should I do before I leave home?
Prior to your trip you will receive a pre-departure checklist of important things to do in order to prepare for your international trip. Your checklist will be specific to the destination, however you can see a general checklist here.
- Do I need shots?
Vaccinations also vary depending on your destination. We advise you consult the World Health Organization website for update travel health requirements.
- Do you book flights?
We do not book international flights, however we can provide you with recommended travel agents who can book for you.
- Do I need travel insurance?
YES! Travel insurance is extremely important and it is required that all travelers on our international trips show proof of adequate medical coverage. If you have pre-existing health conditions please notify your insurance provider so they can include any additional protection as necessary.
Please note that travel insurance is different than trip cancellation & interruption protection, although many suppliers will package them together. Trip cancellation protection is recommended but not required to travel with us.
It is critical to review your plan details and coverage benefits to verify your destinations, activities, and possible reasons for cancellation are covered in your plan.
- Do you have a recommended travel protection provider?
Our preferred provider for travel protection is Travel Insured which has over 25 years in the travel protection industry. On small group tours, we offer basic travel insurance through our group plans with additional coverage options available for purchase. For individual coverage on private itineraries you can get a fast, no-obligation quote online or request a quote by contacting us at +1.425.894.8976. If you do not want trip cancellation/interruption then enter your trip cost as $0.
More questions? We're all ears!