Congratulations, you are now officially on our travel planning calendar. Cheers to making an awesome decision to invest in your travel and thank you for entrusting Orbium Travel with the curation of your upcoming trip.
I’m here to make sure each moment counts — that the journey you embark on is both intimate and expansive. Private excursions and stays at boutique properties steeped in a strong sense of place make even the grandest of destinations accessible to you. And experiences that take you deeper — think market visits with a Michelin chef or a private wine tour at an award-winning vineyard.
Leave the research, booking, and all the details to me. You’ll receive my personal attention and support throughout the entire planning process so that the overwhelm that often creeps in when you try to organize your own vacation stays far, far away. Instead, you’ll embark on an effortless journey that’s brimming over with new discoveries, sumptuous details, and personalized experiences you didn’t even know were possible.
You are the most important part of my business and I strive to provide exemplary service to you. This guide includes helpful information on what to expect in the planning of your trip.
You are now in my planning calendar. Shortly we will book a longer consultation with you via video or in person. This allows us to dig a little deeper to uncover your particular travel preferences, style and must-do & see's
This is where my work really starts! It will take me about 1-2 weeks to curate your bespoke journey.
Once the proposal is finished, we'll present your custom travel proposal making any tweaks necessary until it is perfect for you.
Now we make it official. Once you sign off on your itinerary, we'll take it from here! Let us book and manage every travel component for you, including flights, hotels, transfers, tours and more.
Once your trip is booked and the deposit has been made, I'll walk you through the booking timeline of your trip. We will discuss the importance of travel insurance, how it works and the very strict timelines that must be adhered to. I strongly advise all my clients to purchase insurance to protect your investment and have peace of mind when traveling.
As your departure date gets closer, approximately 3 months out, we will take care of the "little" details like procuring museum tickets and making dinner/spa reservations. I will also keep you informed of upcoming payments, other important due dates and other details you need to attend to.
I love this part! From the moment of booking until you are wheels up, I'll be sharing helpful information on your destination, travel in general and other fun tidbits I think you might be interested in.
Approximately 14 days before your departure we will review your final itinerary with your and answer any questions you may have. You will also receive both a hard copy and a link to a travel app with your itinerary loaded on it. They will include all the necessary documents, reservations and downloads so that you are prepared and have everything you need for your travels. I will also show you how to contact me through the app.
The day has finally arrives and your vacation begins! We have all the elements of your trip perfectly arranged for you. Now sit back, relax and savor the journey. While you are traveling, I'll be working behind the scenes to ensure that your vacation is as seamless as planned. I'll always be there for any hiccups along the way to support you.
"Travel is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer"
One of the many perks of working with me is that I am here to answer any questions you might have. We work best together when we have a clear understanding of how to communicate with each other.
To ensure we provide the best service to each client, we work off of scheduled phone calls. If you would like to chat about your itinerary, please email me to schedule an appointment. While you are traveling, an emergency number will be provided for you to use.
Speaking of feedback, I ask you to respond in a timely fashion to any of my communications that have a deadline. Often, pricing & availability change without notice and if you do not communicate with me before the date I have given you, I cannot guarantee that what I have reserved for you will still be available. Insurance is another component that is very time-sensitive and needs to be responded to within the time frame given if you want to secure certain policies and you need to insure any preexisting conditions.
This is your vacation and should reflect everything you asked for. Be as specific as possible about what you want and need so I can curate your perfect vacation. I will be as precise and clear as I can in my communication and I welcome your open and honest feedback to ensure the best travel experience for you and your travel partners. The best time for your feedback is in the trip designing phase prior to confirmation. So speak up. After all, we both want you to be happy.
My office hours are: Monday - Friday from 9:00 to 5:00 pm CST
If you require a meeting outside of these time please email JanePombar@orbiumtravel.com and I can arrange a suitable time.
Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering into the unknown.
Most countries require a passport to be valid for six months beyond the return date of travel. It is your responsibility to ensure your passports are up to date. Several countries also require a visa to be secured for entry. This is an official document provided by the country you wish to visit, granting you permission for a certain amount of time. I will assist you with resources regarding how to apply but the application and approval process should be done by you.
It is your responsibility to check current policies with the countries/embassy to which you have chosen to travel as well as visit http://travel.state.gov to ensure your travel plans are not disrupted. I also highly recommend registering with STEP, the smart traveler Enrollment Program. http;//step.state.gov/step/beforeyoutravel
Please ensure you understand and comply will all TSA and FAA guidelines and restrictions as well as the relevant laws and ordinances of the country(s) you are visiting as they apply to you.
Covid - 19 has certainly caused problems with travel these last 2 years. Rules and regulations change daily it seems and it is difficult to keep up with all of them. While I will do my very best to inform you of any changes to testing and entry requirements of the country(s) you will be traveling to. It is ultimately your responsibility to be aware of the requirements and procure the tests that you will need in a timely fashion.
We work best together when I have a clear understanding of what you are looking for in your vacation. Be as specific as you can with what you envision and be honest in your feedback. Speaking of feedback, please respond in a timely fashion (24 - 48Hours) so we can ensure pricing and availability.
I ask that you do not book components of your trip without consulting me first. Most importantly, trust me! I am a travel industry professional. I work extremely hard to provide excellent service to you.
All quotes are provided in a bundled package. Many of the partners we work with get great negotiated rates, and pass on that benefit to you. It becomes very difficult for them to break down all the component parts as they are dependent upon each other. I can give a general breakdown if that is what you desire.
However if you desire to have a comprehensive breakdown, please inform me before I start working on your itinerary as that might affect which partner I choose to work with.
Of course! Three changes are included in the planning fee before we finalize the itinerary. My goal is always to perfect the proposed itinerary so that it suits you to a tee!
I do not book Airbnb due to a variety of reasons foremost being I cannot guarantee the quality of Airbnb or the service you will receive.
If you still have your heart set on a holiday apartment or vacation home and it truly is the best fit for you, I do work with partners all over the globe that provide fabulous homes, villas and apartments available to you.
That really depends on you and the type of vacation you want to take. When you book with us, we will always book a minimum of a 4-star hotel or resort. We never book flights below premium economy, and ground transfers are always included. Recommended experiences and dining will be chosen for you based on your budget and their value to you.
More of a luxury 5-star traveler? This is excellent news as there is no maximum budget. If you dream it, we can do it. We have access to private jets, luxury villas, private after-hour tours (Versailles after hours, anyone?). No request is too extravagant.
If you are interested in using points for flights or hotels it is important to let us know during our Discovery Call.
As part of our initial research, we are happy to look into flight and hotel options that will fit within your loyalty program guidelines, but we cannot confirm the actual booking with your points.
Airlines and hotels consider points personal property and therefore do not enable us to confirm a booking on your behalf with points. When it comes time to confirm reservations, please confirm these components with your points and forward all confirmation details to us to include in your itinerary.
If after you have made your deposit and/or final payment, and you decide to cancel or change any or all parts of your itinerary, our travel suppliers and partners will charge a change or cancellation fee. These fees vary and will be outlined clearly in the Terms and conditions that I will present with your proposal.
We confirm all flight itineraries through our Air Desk. Often, flight schedules change causing long layovers and missed connections, or a flight reservation needs to be cancelled. Having the Air Desk's support to revise and reroute your flights is invaluable.
It is also possible that flights are delayed or cancelled while you are traveling. Having access to our Air Desk enables us to assist with your flights which helps you tremendously when phone lines are busy and lines are long. If you book your flight yourself, we are unable to assist with any unexpected changes or cancellations. If we are not the original booking agent, the airlines do not provide us the access we need to modify or update an itinerary.
If you would like to confirm business class or first class flights with points, there is a service that we are happy to recommend. Please ask us for more details.
The check in process must be done by you 24 hours before the flight at which time you will receive your mobile or printable boarding pass. As your trip gets closer, I will be sending you helpful information on luggage requirements for your airline, along with packing guides and lists to help you.
Airline travel can often be the time in your vacation that causes the most stress! Several weeks before your flight I will send out a frequently asked questions document dedicated to understanding what to do in these types of scenarios. This information will also be available on your e-itinerary as well. We will work together to mediate any unexpected situations
Our Research & Design fee is the only cost that will be paid directly to Orbium Travel.
For all other bookings and reservations, we will confirm these details on your behalf using the payment information that you securely share with us and they will be paid directly to our carefully vetted travel partner.
Yes, if you request this at the very beginning of the itinerary design process.
Earning points requires that we confirm your reservation directly with that hotel and not through another partner so if we don’t know this up front, we may not prioritize this type of booking, which means points will not be accrued for that stay.
We like to confirm all reservations on your behalf.
In order to provide a seamless experience and to proactively ensure all details are in place for your travels, we prefer to confirm all bookings on your behalf as it is imperative that we have these details at our fingertips at all times, both before and during your trip, to ensure the trip is as smooth as possible.
If we have not made the bookings ourselves, it is harder for us to assist you if there are any issues before or while you are traveling.
On average, from filling out the initial Design My Trip form to booking flights and confirming reservations, the itinerary design process lasts 3 - 4 weeks.
Once my design fee is paid, I provide a proposal to you in 5-7 business days.
Once you approve the proposal, we provide you with a detailed, day-by-day itinerary and prepare an estimated budget within 3 business days.
I answer any questions you might have about the itinerary within 1-2 business days.
Once I receive your final approval, all reservations will be confirmed within 2 business days of receiving credit card details.
Much of this timeline is based on your response time. The sooner we receive your questions and feedback, the quicker we are able to respond and move on to the next step in the itinerary design process.
3 months before you travel I will confirm the restaurant reservations that you desire on your behalf. I do this after all other parts of your trip are confirmed to avoid any conflicts in the schedule.
If you would prefer to be more spontaneous with your restaurant selections, I will provide you a list of excellent restaurants & coffee shops in the destinations you will be traveling to.
Once guided tours and activities have been selected and a detailed itinerary has been laid out, we’ll fill in the free time with recommended things to see and do.
These are only recommendations and do not require strict scheduling so you can decide spontaneously what you would like to do day by day.
We design our proposals and itineraries online. Once your itinerary is confirmed, we’ll send you a link to download the Trip Plans app. This app enables you to access all the details of your itinerary on the go, even without a wifi connection.
Just like airlines, most hotels, cruise lines, tours only need a form of identification to locate your reservation. When they do need a confirmation number, providing this through your mobile device is sufficient.
If you prefer physical travel documents, it is possible for us to provide them, but this will not be automatic, so please let us know right away so we can prepare these for you.
f you are planning on driving abroad, applying for an international driver's permit (IDP) is important.
Most countries require foreign drivers who have a license in English to obtain an IDP prior to arriving which can easily be obtained at your local AAA office. The IDP makes it easy for law enforcement ( and others like the staff at the rental desk to learn your name address and other information without language barriers standing in the way. This driving permit is a requirement to drive and without the permit, you could face punishment if stopped by law enforcement officials while driving. American drivers must have both their American and dip in their possession while driving.
It is best to plan ahead for all events while traveling. If you test positive before you leave, you will have to cancel your trip. Your travel insurance should cover a large portion your investment. Contact me right away and I will assist you in filing your insurance claim.
If you test positive while abroad, you will have to follow the country's quarantine protocols. If you have comprehensive insurance it will cover you for the extra time you have to spend there in quarantine. There are other options you might consider in advance if you prefer to fly home immediately and quarantine at home. We can discuss that when we discuss insurance coverage.
Travel insurance is a plan you purchase that protects you from certain financial risks and losses that can occur while traveling. These losses can be minor, like a delayed suitcase or significant, like a missed connection, a last-minute trip cancellation, or a medical emergency at home or overseas.
It's always a good idea to contact your health insurance and credit card companies to see what they cover during the planning stages of your trip. Most health insurance does not cover you in International destinations. While credit card companies will often offer some protection, with cancellations it is almost always inadequate to cover the entire expense of a loss. You may not be getting the coverage you think you are getting. In addition, credit card companies will only reimburse you for expenses paid up front, while insurance takes care of the costs immediately.
This depends largely on the company but generally, they range from a small medical policy all the way to Cancel for any reason (CFAR). This is a premium tier that does what it says, if you cancel your trip you may be eligible for a refund of 75- 80 % of cost.
This is an important one! To receive all the benefits from your policy's most important coverage for pre-existing health conditions, the policy MUST be purchased within 14-21 days of when you pay your first deposit. I monitor this date closely and will make sure I keep you aware of any deadlines.
There are a few independent insurance companies I have grown to know and trust
(and use for my own travels as well). I recommend these to my clients. I am authorized to send you quotes and discuss the coverage options directly from these companies and you can purchase directly from the quote. I am not a licensed insurance agent however and by law must refer you to the company directly for more in-depth conversations and questions.
It is imperative for you to understand that if you cancel your trip before you leave because you have concerns about COVID - 19, even with Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) insurance, you will not get the entire amount you have invested in your trip back. Please read the fine print on what the insurance policy guarantees you for the cancellation of your trip. Many people are unaware of this detail so it is important for me to be clear about this in advance.
It is your sole responsibility to understand your travel insurance policy benefits, limitations, and restrictions, regardless of whether or not I recommend or book the policy for you.
I will assist you in dealing with the insurance company to the extent that I am able to do so but, ultimately, your policy is an agreement between you and the insurance company.
The cost of a policy depends on several factors including your age, state of residence, and the type of policy and coverage you desire. We insure only the costs of the trip that are non-refundable. Normally the price can range from 8 - 20% of your prepaid non-refundable cost depending on the policy you choose. We include all travelers on the same policy if they reside in the same household.
We all know by now anything about travel that applied in "normal times" is not applicable now, and that includes the processing time to get or renew your passport. Know what to do to make sure you are prepared.