COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GENERAL

Why Use A Travel Advisor?


1. TIME. Because travel advisors are experts in planning and booking vacations, they can create a wonderful itinerary for you in a more time-efficient way than you could on your own. That’s especially true for complex trips involving groups, multiple stops and several travel providers. People feel that doing their own planning is empowering, and that giving it up will diminish their experience. Our clients decide the level of involvement that’s right for them, and this may even vary from trip to trip. If you enjoy research and planning, you’ll have a professional partner. If you prefer having your advisor handle all the details, they can do that, too. Either way, you’ll enjoy quality, customized service.

2. KNOWLEDGE. The internet has information but how do you decipher what is good in general and good for you. A great advisor can validate your own research, and offer insightful recommendations to tailor each trip to your preferences, interests, and budget. The experience and expertise of a travel advisor ensures that clients will have a superlative travel experience designed to meet their specific needs. They provide ideas you can’t find anywhere else as well as VIP access to special experiences that aren’t readily available. We travel the world scouting and discovering to develop knowledge of specific destinations, specialties and skill.

3. VALUE. A travel advisor has access to the same (and often better) pricing than available online, and can secure VIP benefits, amenities, access, and extras that you can’t get on your own. To quote Warren Buffet, “Price is what you pay; value is what you get.” Our clients rely on us as an advisor to make travel planning more efficient and enjoyable, to save time and money, and to lend expertise that makes a world of difference. We work on your behalf before, during, and after every trip. That’s peace of mind you can bank on.

4. PEACE OF MIND. Like a v1. TIME. Because travel advisors are experts in planning and booking vacations, they can create a wonderful itinerary for you in a more time-efficient way than you could on your own. That’s especially true for complex trips involving groups, multiple stops and several travel providers. People feel that doing their own planning is empowering, and that giving it up will diminish their experience. Our clients decide the level of involvement that’s right for them, and this may even vary from trip to trip. If you enjoy research and planning, you’ll have a professional partner. If you prefer having your advisor handle all the details, they can do that, too. Either way, you’ll enjoy quality, customized service.2. KNOWLEDGE. The internet has information but how do you decipher what is good in general and good for you. A great advisor can validate your own research, and offer insightful recommendations to tailor each trip to your preferences, interests, and budget. The experience and expertise of a travel advisor ensures that clients will have a superlative travel experience designed to meet their specific needs. They provide ideas you can’t find anywhere else as well as VIP access to special experiences that aren’t readily available. We travel the world scouting and discovering to develop knowledge of specific destinations, specialties and skill.3. VALUE. A travel advisor has access to the same (and often better) pricing than available online, and can secure VIP benefits, amenities, access, and extras that you can’t get on your own. To quote Warren Buffet, “Price is what you pay; value is what you get.” Our clients rely on us as an advisor to make travel planning more efficient and enjoyable, to save time and money, and to lend expertise that makes a world of difference. We work on your behalf before, during, and after every trip. That’s peace of mind you can bank on. 4. PEACE OF MIND. Like a valued investment manager, Virtuoso travel advisors are entrusted with managing the most precious of assets – a client’s leisure time. Working with an expert who knows a client’s preferences and the best options for the desired vacation eliminates risk and results in exceptional experiences. The advisor is the client’s partner in planning and booking these treasured travel experiences. Clients can rely on their travel advisor before, during, and after every trip.alued investment manager, Virtuoso travel advisors are entrusted with managing the most precious of assets – a client’s leisure time. Working with an expert who knows a client’s preferences and the best options for the desired vacation eliminates risk and results in exceptional experiences. The advisor is the client’s partner in planning and booking these treasured travel experiences. Clients can rely on their travel advisor before, during, and after every trip.




What Is A Typical Trip Budget?


Every trip we design is unique and customized to client's interest to deliver the best experience. Therefore budgets may vary greatly. We are here to work with you to maximize the best return on your investment. We will discuss an itinerary and budget range that fits your exact travel style and closely consult and advise you on the best options. Pricing can vary depending on time of year, availability and destination.

We specialize in high-end travel and work primarily with five-star hotels & resorts as well as equivalent boutique properties, villas, and safari camps. We do have a limited list of 4-star properties that meet exceptional standards that we recommend based on destination and client interest.




Who Are Your Typical Clients?


You are a discerning traveler, a lifestyle enthusiast, a busy professional, a cultural explorer – you are simply an individual who has the distinct palette for amazing travel and lifestyle experiences. You are a person who invests in yourself and your environment and understands the value of having a professional resource for things that matter. You are intelligent, motivated, social and have worked hard - so your free time is extremely valuable. Travel for you is an opportunity to enjoy, relax, discover, rejuvenate or escape. Your lifestyle experiences are ones that you treasure and want to be memorable.




What Is Virtuoso?


Virtuoso is the leading by-invitation only global network of luxury travel advisors, hotels, tours cruise lines and agencies specializing in experiential travel. As a proud member of this diverse professional organization, we have access to a carefully curated collection of offers and exclusive access into some of the world’s most bespoke experiences. We can offer our clients perks, prices, and value they can’t get anywhere else. More than 1,800 luxury travel providers, including hotels, cruise lines, airlines, tour operators and government tourism boards, are part of the network. Virtuoso member agencies generate $26.4 billion annually in travel sales, making the network the most powerful in the luxury travel segment.




I Like Planning On My Own - How Can You Help?


We definitely aren't a fit for everyone. If using Expedia and other online booking platforms is your joy and scouring the internet for hours gets you going then we are probably not for you. However as proven by the recent global pandemic these online sites left many travelers stranded and out of pocket financially. Just as you’d go to a financial advisor for expert counsel on making the most of your money, we recommend you partner with a travel advisor to make the most of your vacation time and budget. Building this kind of relationship, where an advisor knows your preferences inside and out and can work with you to design your ideal vacation, isn’t possible over the internet. We look at travel as an experience that enriches your life, not a commodity to be bought at the lowest price. The value an advisor brings to that travel experience can’t be replicated online. That includes customizing a trip to your tastes, offering exclusive complimentary value-added amenities, and advocating for you should any issues arise along the way.




Travel Agent Vs. Travel Advisor?


Travel agents are order-takers who perform transactions that their customers request. They book a hotel, flight or rental car, much like the sort of simple bookings people handle themselves online. There is no personal relationship or value added. Professional travel advisors provide expert counsel to clients. They consider a client's leisure time their most precious resource and take a long-term view of planning for a lifetime of travel experiences. Akin to a financial advisor who assist with nvesting another precious resource – your money - travel advisors do the same for your leisure time. Our travel advisors have firsthand knowledge of destinations and extensive expertise in planning luxury vacations. They take their profession seriously and engage in ongoing professional development. They look at travel planning as a collaborative activity with clients, where they help tailor an experience to the clients’ wishes and interests. Our travel advisors are able to bring added value to their clients through the relationships they enjoy through the network. And, unlike do-it-yourself travelers, they are there for clients if something goes wrong during the trip.




What Is Luxury Travel?


The definition of luxury travel is subjective and constantly evolving as people’s vacation tastes shift. It can be characterized by the following:

  • Authentic experiences that enrich travelers’ lives, such as taking part in a cultural tradition with locals.
  • An itinerary tailored precisely to the needs and wants of the traveler.
  • VIP access to rare privileges, such as backstage access at a sold-out show.
  • Discovering an emerging or little-visited destination, including space.
  • Exceptional value for the price, which could include extras such as credits and airport transfers.
  • Products and services that provide a superior experience, including first-class or business-class air travel, five-star hotels, luxury cruises on upscale lines, and exclusive-use travel such as private jets, yachts and villas.




I Usually Book Through My Credit Card....Is This Different?


Booking hotels through us ensures that you are not just treated as another guests but as a VIP. Our special partnerships and personal relationships with hotels and general managers around the globe allow us to deliver exceptional experiences for our clients that they simply can't receive on their own. With us you aren't reaching a call center like with AmEx. You are working with a specialist who can ensure your travel needs and personal preferences are delivered to the property. Our special special amenities are generally much better than AmEx and also include room upgrades, daily breakfast, welcome treats, and hotel credits (usually ~ $100 or more) at applicable properties. Additionally, our relationships with hotel owners and general managers result in you being treated like a VIP, added amenities and special room availability not accessible to the general public.





SERVICE FEES

Statement of Fees & Transparency


LaVon Travel & Lifestyle is a luxury travel consultancy, thus as with any other professional service we charge fees for our expertise and time. We believe in quality over quantity and remain fully transparent when it comes to your travel investment. Our clients are our top priority and thus we deliver unbiased and personalized travel advice, which is based on your travel needs and interests - and influenced by any nominal commissions we may receive for a booking.

We understand that one size does NOT fit all for travel planning. Therefore, we have designed our services and fees to allow you the flexibility in choosing what works best for your personal travel needs.

_________________________________________ REASONS WE HAVE FEES 1. It covers the hours of research & planning that a bespoke trip entails. As each itinerary is crafted especially for you, there is a substantial amount of work involved upfront. 2. We provide a specialized service and personal on-going support throughout the process and during travel. We belive in collaborative consulting for the best experience. 3. Our valuable industry relationships and in-depth knowledge will ultimately benefit you on your travels – through local destination knowledge, confidence in the services we book you, and VIP treatment throughout. 4. You get access to our exclusive networks and hotel partnerships which provide you with tangible amenities like upgrades, complimentary meals, spa credits & hotel credit 5. We Care! You are not just a number or another client to us, if you consider travel as an investment in your leisure time and life then you will find tremendous value in working with our professional services




Cancellation Policy


We make every effort to ensure your travel experience is exquisite - and we leverage an extensive network of partner, affiliate and personal relationships to achieve this for you. Significant time and effort goes into designing and managing your travels, however we understand that circumstances change and it may become necessary to cancel your travel plans. As such, we highly recommend protecting your trip investment with an insurance policy. You may be able to add any travel service fees to your claim for potential reimbursement. All travel services provided are subject to the following cancellation policy:

Hotel & Resort Only Bookings: 10% of each hotel booking (pre-taxes & fee) Custom Trip Design Itineraries: Trips that were charged an Itinerary Management Fee will not be charged a cancellation fee. All other bookings (including, but not limited to a cruise or retail travel products) that are cancelled prior to departure for any reason are subject to a 10% cancellation fee. Cancellation fees cover for any potential loss of revenue due and may be waived at the discretion of our team based on circumstances. All service fees are non refundable and non transferable. Our cancellation fees are independent of any fees imposed by supplier or operators for cancellation. All clients must agree to this policy via our Client Services Agreement prior to services being rendered.




Custom Trip Design & Planning


We are experts in planning exquisitely tailored luxury holidays. Using our creative design process, we design a fully customized itinerary incorporating all of your desires. Whether it's a cross country road trip, African safari adventure , Romantic honeymoon or Alaskan expedition - we will meticulously craft the trip of a lifetime and handle every detail for you. CONSULTATION & DESIGN FEE - (collected up front) The fee includes initial consultation, the time involved in research, design and development of your custom itinerary, and close consultation with you on revisions until all the details match your needs. Charging a fee allows us to allocate the appropriate time and resources needed during this important phase of itinerary development. $300 - Trip length 1-4 nights $500 - Trip length 5-10 nights $675 - Trip length 11-14 nights Fees for trips longer than 15-days and with more complexity will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Trips requested less than 45-days from departure are subject to an $150 additional service charge. ITINERARY MANAGEMENT FEE - (collected at trip deposit)

We work with dedicated destination partners and specialist around the globe to curate an exceptional experience for you. To maintain our promise to transparency, we quote all custom designed itineraries in NET pricing, which reflects the wholesale industry pricing that is not marked-up and is non-commissionable. We then collect a separate itinerary management fee of 12% of the cost of the trip services booked (not including airfare).

The Itinerary Management Fee covers the the meticulous execution of your approved itinerary design. This includes: booking and confirmation of all trip components, travel insurance guidance, communication on your behalf with all destination suppliers, support throughout duration of your trip, additional recommendations and destination guidance and anything else required so that you enjoy a stress-free planning and vacation experience.

This Itinerary Management fee does not apply to retail travel products such as cruises, group/pre-designed tours or hotels we may book directly as our compensation is already included in the publicly quoted price.

_________________________________________ All consultation, design and itinerary management fees are separate from any trip costs, non-refundable and subject to the guidelines of our Cancellation Policy. If you decide you’d like to explore a different destination entirely additional fees may apply. We are currently accepting new clients with a minimim travel budget of $7,500 per trip (excluding airfare).




By Invitation: Elite Service


You’ve earned your place in this world where the finer things are your things. You have a top financial advisor. A top tax advisor. Maybe even a top attorney, interior designer, trainer, nutritionist and stylist. So who plans what you do with your most precious commodity… your TIME? This highly inclusive, curated and bespoke service is by invite or referral only. We offer a limited number memberships for this service and it is by annual retainer only. Private Client Elite includes all services and additional fees are waived. To be considered for an invite you may submit a request here.




Hotels & Resorts Concierge Program


In these changing times hotels, resorts & villas are becoming the new destination travel experience. Savvy travelers are seeking an elevated booking experience combined with the personal support they simply can't receive online or via credit card call centers.

Our innovative Hotels & Resorts Concierge Program combines value, experience and service to give travelers flexible options when booking their travel accommodations. Our program solutions give you all you need to elevate your hotel experience. Services range from complimentary to annual memberships.

This is a hotel ONLY service. Additional trip planning and design services are at an additional cost.




Flight Concierge


With our access to a full service air desk and contracts with every major airline - we can navigate the most complex flight requests. Flight Concierge Service:

  • Premium airfare quoting and ticketing
  • Access to special unpublished and discounted fares (where applicable)
  • COVID Flight Guidance
  • 24/7 Emergency Air Support Number
  • Cancellation & refund support
  • Mobile Itinerary w/ Flight Notifications
Fees* start at $50 per ticket. For group pricing please contact us directly. We also have partnerships with the best in private aviation for those seeking to elevate their flight experience or enhance the safety of their travels. We will provide a quote complimentary. *Flight services are included with for all HRCP Annual Members, Custom Trip Design and By Invitation clients.





COVID RESOURCES

COVID Travel


The world and travel landscape has changed drastically and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. We remain vigilant in keeping up with all the important details and regulations that will be necessary to ensure that when you do decide to travel it can be done safely and without hassle. Now more than ever travelers and industry leaders are expressing the importance of using a trusted travel advisor.

Forbes: In A Covid-19 World, Here’s Why You Should Use A Travel Agent
CNN: Travel advisers: A secret weapon during Covid-19




Travel Insurance


Emergencies can happen when you least expect it. LaVon Travel & Lifestyle highly recommends that you protect your vacation with a travel insurance policy. The cruise lines, airlines, hotels and tour operators can charge high penalties for cancellation, ranging from the full deposit to no refund at all. Another important fact to keep in mind is that that most health insurance policies will not cover you and/or your family when you are out of the country, especially when it comes to COVID. We include travel insurance on all custom designed itineraries and will offer a quote for you on other services. We recommend insurance coverage with COVID-19 policy inclusions.





Experience The Difference

Inspire. Dream. Explore.

#TravelExquisitely

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LaVon Travel & Lifestyle, LLC is independently owned and operated.

A proud affiliate of Coastline Travel, a Virtuoso® Member Agency CST NO.: 2040360-10

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