The principles of how we deliver on our mission with every vacation:
The Question We Answer
Whenever we choose a new location or develop a new itinerary, the result is based on the answer to one simple question:
If close friends and family were coming to visit us here, Where would we go? What would we do there, who would we introduce them to, and what would we eat?
The answer to that simple question is what makes our vacations so incredibly unique.
We design all of our vacations with the goal that our guests will have experienced the true culture of the country they are visiting, without sacrificing comfort and security. We always plan for rich cultural experiences that always compliment sightseeing. We pay special attention to food, always striving for the best each destination has to offer. We carefully balance sights, travel time and rest time to assure the best possible experience, and never sacrifice quality of experience for cost. Everything we offer is included in our base price, so our guests are never pressured into optional tours or activities.
All of our vacations offer cooking classes that are done in a hands-on, 'cook together' fashion, rather than by demonstration. We make cooking a major part of our vacations because we believe that cooking together is a truly bonding experience, and getting to know local culinary customs is an important part of truly appreciating the culture itself.
We treat each and every guest as though they are a close friend or dear relative visiting us. We engage them in the culture of the country we are hosting them in. We help them fully embrace all that makes the culture special. We connect with them, we laugh with them, and we strive to make every moment filled with fun. We take care of their individual needs at every opportunity. We represent their interests, above all others, at every opportunity to assure the best experience and fairest dealings at every step of the way while we are their hosts.
Our staff are hosts, and know that they are to always hold our guests interests above those of our vendors and others. This means that they cannot create diversions for personal profit or give preferential treatment to a vendor that offers them a commission. This is an almost unheard of policy in the tour business, but it is key to what makes our vacations such an amazing experience. Our staff are always professional experts at whatever service they provide. They are held to an elevated standard of excellence compared to the industry average. Our hosts are there to be on vacation with guests, not just to lead the groups. Our chefs are there to cook with guests, not just to instruct. Their primary duty is to have fun, because we know that when our staff are enjoying the vacation, our guests are too.
We have many partners that we work with, from wineries to olive mills. From factories to restaurants. We very carefully select them for a balance of honesty, service, authentic experience, and fairness. For example, we will partner with a small local winery that charges the same price (or lower) to our guests as they do local farmers. We will partner with a restaurant that consistently delivers the same quality food to our guests as they do the local population. In cases where this is not possible, we will always inform our guests so that they are fully aware of the dynamic that exists with a specific place of business or shopping area.
A Successful Vacation
Every vacation should end with hugs, tears, and promises to stay in touch. Our ultimate goal is to leave each of our guests having had the best vacation of their life.