In the era of TripAdvisor and Orbitz, vacation planning sure sounds easy. And yet, researching that 12-day trip to Bhutan (lucky you) is still harder than anticipated.
That’s why a travel agent--or “consultant”--is still totally worthwhile.
We checked in with Yana Kemelman--founder of a recently launched New York-based consultancy--to learn what she can do for us that we definitely can’t do for ourselves.
Find the best experiences During a Web or in-person consultation, Kemelman will get a sense of the type of trip you’re after (scaling mountains? sipping mai tais?); she’ll then present you with a proposed itinerary. And while you might not know about the secluded Bocas Del Toro bungalow you can reach only by canoe, she is all over it.
Score the best prices Through her travel connections, she knows about great hidden deals. (For our upcoming Thailand trip, she wrangled airfare that’s 25 percent cheaper than anything we found on online.)
Plan every detail... Kemelman will book everything--down to the cab ride to the airport--and send you off with a minute-by-minute playbook.
...Or none at all She can also leave things open-ended and help you while you’re on the road. Just check in with her from your hotel in Peru, tell her you want to go zip-lining in the rain forest and she’ll make all the arrangements.
Kemelman’s services start at $500 for a weeklong trip.