Q: On a Private Departure, do travelers get to choose their preferred schedule and budget? Is it really that flexible?
A: Yes it is! Give us your dates and we'll find out the best available properties that work within your time frame. Of course the more latitude you give us, the better chance we can book exactly what you want. You could potentially even book your international airfare with air miles and let us form an itinerary around those dates you have booked. However, please give us as much time as possible so availability does not become an issue!
Q: On Smithsonian's group departures, a team of experts add educational value to the experience, and a tour manager handles logistics and any problems that might arise. What happens on a Private Departure?
A: We have expert guides who we can work into your itinerary. Also, we and Smithsonian Journeys will be happy to find you a full-time study leader if you wish. You are met and greeted by our select representatives along the way. Our local representatives will be able to handle problems on the spot and we provide all travelers with an after hours emergency phone number so that we can assist you if need be!
Q: How far in advance can you book a Private Departure? Is there travel insurance in the event of cancellation?
A: We have booked itineraries one week out, however, considering possible visa requirements, shots, accommodation and flight availability, the sooner you can book the better. Generally one year is perfectly adequate, six months is nice and three months is possible. Yes, we recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance since the trip can be non-refundable as you approach departure date. We also include emergency evacuation insurance for every traveler as part of your tour fee.
Q: Is a Private Departure more expensive than a group departure?
A: It certainly doesn't have to be more expensive than a group tour. Because the private departure is designed around your specifications we are able to help you manage your budget by choosing from a variety of accommodations, routing, and time of travel.
To reserve your Private Departure, call 1-877-547-1701 or click here for more information.