+ I’ve never been to France and don’t know where I want to go or what I want to see - will you help me pick my French destination(s)?
Absolutely! In our initial consultation with you we will get to know you, your travel companions and how you like to travel. Do you like outdoors or museums? Relaxation or on-the-go? Beach, mountains, country, or city? What has been your favorite vacation, and why? What do you hate when traveling? Are you more of an organized tour person, or an off-the-grid DIY traveller? All of the above at once? France will have just the place(s) for you and we will help you find it to have the most unforgettable getaway.
+ How long does it take to plan a trip?
Did you know that on average, it takes 30 hours of research and logistical planning to put together a two week international trip? We are going to take the burden off your hands so you can live your busy life and not stress yourself out comparing hotels, activities and destinations! In order to allow for the most customized and thorough itinerary from AuO, we like to begin planning your trip no later than six weeks prior to your departure date. If you would like to travel sooner than that, (almost) nothing is impossible - simply contact us and we can discuss the possibilities. As a general guideline, the sooner the better - especially if you are planning a trip during high season, May - September.
+ How does the process work?
We believe you cannot get to know someone by having them fill out a survey with drop-down menus! A getaway should be so much more than picking from options A or B!
Step one is going to be a one hour consultation with AuO. In this consultation, we will have a chat where we get to know you and all pertinent information about where you may want to go, how you like to travel, what your passions are, which vacations you have loved, which vacations you have hated, who will be coming with you, and so on.
At the end of the consultation you will be able to determine which level of service you would like us to plan, and at that time the base service fee will be due. If we are taking care of any bookings, we will require the credit card information that you would like to use, as well as any loyalty numbers you want to include.
Next, we will begin designing your French Getaway based on all of the information we learned about you. We will send you a draft of your final itinerary and have you sign off prior to finalization. Depending on your desired service, we will present you with your included itinerary and travel design items and all booking confirmation information (if applicable).
If you have any questions at all throughout the process, please contact us and we will answer any and all of your inquiries! We like to have open communication and encourage you to email or call us any time you think of something else you feel is important for your trip! We will also let you know if we have any further inquiries as we begin planning.
+ How much will my trip cost?
The cost of your trip will depend on many variables: the time of year, the number of travelers, the duration of your trip, what type of accommodations you will be staying in, etc. The great news is, we only charge one flat service fee, and do not make any commission from “suppliers” on the back end. This means you can rest assured that any costs of the trip include no mark-up or back-end fees. Please inquire with us so that we can put together a realistic trip budget.
+ What are your fees?
See services page for details. Note: the initial consultation fee will be applied toward the flat rate when you move ahead with our itinerary services. The consultation fee is non-refundable if you choose not to move forward with our services.
+ Will you be available to contact during my trip?
Absolutely! If we have booked any part of your itinerary, you can call us with any concerns or inquiries about the items we have booked while you are away. If you simply have a question or need a recommendation, you may contact us any time on your trip no matter which service you purchased.
+ I don’t know anything about the place I’m going - will you provide me with info in advance?
Yes! With each level of service, we provide a personalized getaway guide with maps and recommendations for places to go and things to see in each of the locations we are sending you!
+ Will all my bookings / confirmation be in one, consolidated document?
Yes! We will provide you with everything you will need, including booking confirmation information and applicable contact information in a digital document prior to the trip.
+ I don’t speak French, will that be a problem?
The short answer is no. As with any foreign country, there are going to be places in France where almost everyone you encounter will speak English (much more common in the large, touristic cities), and some places where it may be a bit harder to communicate. If you are traveling to an area that we think may fall under the latter category, we will inform you in advance that this may be the case, and can speak with you about the best options to make it easy for you. We even offer a “Basic French phrases to get around France” lesson, which you can take prior to your trip, which you can read about here.
+ Is France safe?
Yes! Much like any big city or small town in the U.S. there are areas in every region that are safer than others. We will always give you this information in our dossiers. As a general rule, you can feel as safe in France as you do in your own hometown in the U.S.