Q: How on earth do you guys make money?
A: So here’s the truth: we don’t work for free. For each hotel, vacation package or cruise that we book, we are paid by one of our travel partners in the form of commission. Bottom line, we must book your hotels/cruise on your behalf.
Q: Why do you charge a planning deposit?
A: Due to the pandemic, we put thousands of hours of work that we will never be compensated for due to cancelled or postponed trips. At this time, we have implemented a $300 planning deposit to ALL trips. We will collect this deposit on Venmo and send an agreement for you to sign before the planning begins. Once your trip is taken, we will then return the $300 deposit via Venmo. If your trip is canceled for any reason, your deposit will be forfeited.
For any reason includes but is not limited to:
- changes in travel restrictions
- country closure or lockdown
- fear of travel based on COVID
Plain & simple if you take your trip, you will be returned your deposit in full. If not, it will be kept by us.
The planning deposit cannot be used to skirt the budget minimum, and does not allow clients to use our services if they book using points/corporate rates.
Q: Why is there a budget minimum?
A: As a small team, there is only so much work we can take on. We never want to sacrifice the quality of trips we design for in exchange for a larger quantity of trips, that’s just not our style. The budget minimum allows us to recommend the best hotels and tours within your price range, ensuring a more flawless trip and overall experience.
Q: How does the budget minimum apply to our trip?
A: We are currently only accepting trips with a budget minimum of $10,000 or higher – this budget requirement is based on a 2-week trip for 2 travelers in total, for hotels & intra-country transportation only (this excludes the cost of international flights, activities & food/drink) . If you do not meet this minimum, we apologize but wouldn’t be the best fit to plan your special trip. Therefore, all $10,000 trips should end around the $12,000 mark.
Please note that this budget minimum is also dynamic and will depend on the destination chosen and desired length of trip. For more information, please refer to the Budget & Destination Guide.
Q: Can this trip be done for cheaper?
A: Probably, yes. However, as a luxury travel agency we may not be the right fit to help you plan the cheaper trip.
Q: Which parts of the trip do you guys handle?
A: Almost everything except flights.*
On your behalf we will book:
- All hotels
- Cruise (if applicable)
- All ground transfers and ferry transportation (if you prefer to have these arranged in advance)
- All daily activities & excursions (if you prefer to have these arranged in advance)
- While we don’t personally make restaurant reservations. We work closely with your hotel concierges to make any and all dinner reservations you wish to make in advance.
*If you wish for us to book any flights (long-haul, international or connecting flights within your trip) on your behalf, we can absolutely do so but there may be ticketing and service fees involved with this service. We previously offered this service for free but due to mass cancellations as a result of COVID-19, we can no longer provide this service as complimentary. This does not apply to booking fights with points/miles which absolutely must be completed by you.
Not to worry! We will still provide you the best flight options for your trip if you choose to book these on your own.
Q: I am not from the United States. Can I still book with you?
A. It depends…If you are not a US citizen, you must have a US credit card & a US billing address (no exceptions here). All non-US citizens are responsible for checking with their government for any necessary Visa requirements. If you are a US citizen, please skip this section 🙂
Q: I have like a million Starwood points and airline miles. Can you book my trip with points?
A: We love points! We are actually obsessed with points — like next-level obsessed. We encourage you to mosey on over to the “Travel Like Us” blog (shameless plug) for tips and tricks on using points. That said, we cannot book your trip with points. Hotels, cruise lines and tour companies do not pay commission for clients booking with points and as much as we looooooooove to work for free, it’s just not a sustainable business plan. 🙂
Needless to say, we highly recommend using your points for sweet business class seats on your way to your Honeymoon or luxury vacay and we’d be thrilled to give you advice and pointers.
*Occasionally, depending on your trip budget, we may allow clients to book 1-2 nights using points. This is solely at our discretion and will vary on a trip-by-trip basis.
If you book using your points, you will also be forfeiting your planing deposit.
Q: Can we use you but booking through AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts or can we use a corporate rate that we get through our jobs?
A: Unfortunately, no. All hotels must be booked through our own suppliers on our own booking platforms. There are no exceptions to this rule.
You will also be forfeiting your planing deposit.
Q: We absolutely love vacation rentals and only want to stay at Airbnb’s for our trip. Can you book those?
A: Yes and no. We can absolutely book apartments and vacation rentals on your behalf if they are available through one of our travel suppliers– just not the ones on Airbnb/VRBO, sadly.
Q: This is an amazing itinerary! Thanks for all your hard work — brb while we book these hotels ourselves.
A: Oooooh, rough. Each itinerary is meticulously crafted for our clients and we spend hours upon hours making sure every detail is perfect. If you book the trip yourself, it’s like you’re stealing from us. And that really hurts our feelings.
B. Selecting hotels is the easy part of trip planning. What makes planning challenging is the coordinating of all other details. If you leave us after the hotel planning stage, you will not have access to all of our local expertise, comprised of the very best tour guides, drivers, restaurants and hidden gems. We also can’t stress enough the importance of having an expert at the helm who has planned hundreds of special trips to your specific destination, double checking every detail. This is the most crucial piece in ensuring a flawless trip.
All trip itineraries are the work product of OTM. OTM reserves the right to cancel/delete client’s trip itinerary without prior notice, if it is suspected that client is using OTM’s work product to book on their own.
You will also be forfeiting your planing deposit.
Q: We found a lower hotel price on our own, can you guys price match?
A: Almost always, Yes. If you find a cheaper price we kindly ask that you check (1) that the dates are the same (2) the room rate includes all taxes, and applicable fees (OTM hotel quotes are always inclusive of all taxes and fees) (3) and the cancellation policy is the same. If the answer is YES to all three questions, we can certainly price match 🙂
Q: We picked one of your specialty countries, but we only want to go to off-the-beaten path cities/towns. We don’t want to go to any of the main cities everyone else goes. Can you help us plan this?
A: It depends…when we personally research new destinations we aim to sell, we visit the spots we think most, if not all of our potential clients would want to experience. Occasionally, we’re able to stop & see a few hidden gems along the way. As the overwhelming majority of potential clients want to see the highlights of each country, our specialty & expertise typically is planning trips with those main cities in mind.
Q: We picked out/narrowed down all of our favorite hotel choices & preferred flight/train/ferry times, what are the next steps?
A. CONGRATS, you’re halfway there to your special trip!
To be honest, this is probably one of the most frequently asked questions we get. It’s probably a good idea we explain this here. Without further adieu, here are the next steps:
Step 1: Please go ahead and book your flights. Please remember this is the only portion of the trip you will be responsible for booking on your own. We always encourage that all clients book their international flights before proceeding with any hotel bookings. There is a method to this madness, we promise 😉
Step 2: We will then send you our Over the Moon booking forms which consist of a credit card authorization form as well as an intra-country transportation form so we can book the rest of the trip on your behalf. Whenever you’re ready please send back those forms.
Step 3: We will do one final price check to make sure that the special hotel/room type you guys have your hearts set on is still available. Please remember that all prices quoted are based on BAR (“best available rate”) travel agent rates. Prices and availability are dynamic and can change at any time (no really, they can change at the drop of a hat). Over The Moon Vacations cannot guarantee room availability or rates until booked. If you’ve been working with us, you’ve probably noticed this message is on all of our signature block as well as on the top of all itineraries we send. Basically, rates/pricing/availability cannot be locked until booked.
Step 4: After pricing & availability have been confirmed, we will begin to book your special trip with our special suppliers.
Step 5: Once all hotels & intra-country transportation (if necessary) have been booked & arranged, we will then schedule our favorite call to discuss all the day-to-day details.
Step 6: After all the day-to-day details have ben finalized. We will send you a final PDF itinerary 3-7 days prior to you leaving.
Step 7: Enjoy your once-in-a-lifetime trip! Follow & tag @overthemoonvacations on Instagram so we can live vicariously through you!