FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Tell me a bit about how Bella Vita’s Mediterranean travel services work?
We have a fairly simple trip planning process which is clearly outlined on our HOW WE DO IT page.
Can you tell me the cost of a custom Mediterranean vacation with Bella Vita Travels?
As no two trips are alike, we are unable to provide exact costs. Our itineraries are considered upscale to luxury and include 4-5 star hotels, private tours, business/first-class transportation, and an abundance of unique travel experiences. Our trips typically start at $700 per person per day. The cost includes the travel elements listed above plus our expertise, research, execution, and support before and during your travels. Obviously, this number can change based on the number of travelers, destinations travel days, and overall intricacy of your trip.
What is included in my custom vacation package?
Normally, we arrange for all your accommodations, transportation, local guides, and any other fun activities and experiences. Your trip can be planned to the minute or can be more “open” with fewer planned activities. The choice is yours based on your travel wishes. Additionally, you receive unlimited communication and assistance from Bella Vita Travels and our in-country partners before and during your travels.
If I book a custom vacation with Bella Vita Travels, what kind of information will I receive prior to my trip?
Upon booking a Mediterranean vacation with Bella Vita Travels, we will provide you with an information kit for each country you will be visiting. You will also receive our exclusive destination kits with our dining recommendations and “on your own” excursion ideas. Approximately 2-3 weeks prior to your departure date, you will receive your final day-to-day itinerary with information, start times, and contacts for your accommodations, tours, excursions, and transportation.
Why do you charge an upfront, non-refundable itinerary planning/consulting fee?
Every Bella Vita Travels vacation is 100% customized. It takes a good deal of time and research to design just the right itinerary for you. And just like any professional service such as lawyers, accountants, architects, etc., we are compensated for our work. We ask for a minor commitment on your part. In exchange, you receive a dedicated team who will work very hard for you. The fee also includes unlimited revisions until you are completely satisfied. Our planning fees start at $500 and are based on the number of travelers, number of travel days, and overall intricacy of your trip.
Tell me more about the accommodations used by Bella Vita Travels?
We only work with what we consider to be the very best lodging experiences in the Mediterranean. Whether it be a charming B&B, a luxury 5-star hotel, or a private villa, we have hand-selected our accommodations partners. This is based on our stringent requisites of high quality, convenient location, and superior customer service.
Unfortunately, we are unable to work with Airbnb and VRBO as they do not allow for proper screening of their properties. We take it seriously that you have entrusted your trip with us and we want to insure the quality of your accommodations.
How far in advance should I begin booking my custom vacation?
Pre-COVID, we requested at least 6 months in advance. With the current situation, we understand that is not possible and we’ll work with you and your time frame to make your dream trip happen.
Does Bella Vita Travels book my flights?
Currently, we do not handle international, across-the-Atlantic flights. Occasionally, we will book inter-continental and island flights within Europe on a case-by-case basis.
Are you a travel agent?
Bella Vita Travels is not is a traditional travel agency. We are a team of travel experts specializing specifically in the countries that “touch” the Mediterranean. We custom design trips with our own hand-picked resources. We never resell someone else’s trip.
We are a fully licensed seller of travel, members of CLIA and the Travel Institute.
Can I make changes to my custom vacation proposal?
Yes. We can add, delete and revise until your custom trip itinerary is just right for you and your travel companions. This is included when you have paid the itinerary planning fee. However, once the balance has been paid, additional service fees will apply. Within 30 days of your trip, there will be no refund of services already paid for and any additions will apply on top of the overall cost of your trip already paid.
Is it possible to book my own accommodations?
In order to make your trip as seamless as possible, we need to handle every aspect of your trip. This includes hotels. By giving us control over these elements, we can provide the best possible service. It also allows us to quickly fix anything should it need to be.
We have very close relationships with our preferred hotels. We have personally stayed in or performed an extensive site inspection. We also have exclusive contracts with the majority of them which is an important part of our compensations.
When and how do I pay?
Upon agreement to work with Bella Vita Travels, an upfront planning/consulting fee is due (see above). Once you have approved your itinerary, the deposit is due. Note, the usual deposit is 25% but there are cases in which a larger deposit is required to due necessary full payments upfront by certain suppliers. We will provide you with that information when presenting you with an itinerary. The final payment is due 90 days before your departure.
Do you provide price breakdowns?
We do not offer price breakdowns for a few simple reasons.
It is standard practice as a wholesale travel business to have confidential agreements with our preferred hotels and suppliers which are provided to us in bundled pricing.
We charge competitive market rates. This combined with top-notch expertise and service, and an unforgettable travel experience is priceless. This is what keeps our clients coming back year after year to work with us.
Ideas on the best time of year to visit the Mediterranean?
We personally feel the months of May, early June and September are the best all-round times to visit the Mediterranean. Late June through August tends to be the hottest months and the most crowded. While April and October are generally pleasant times for sightseeing, they are not ideal times if you want to enjoy beach or island resorts to the fullest.
The off-season can be wonderful for touring cities. We can often find fabulous deals for the best accommodations.
Should I purchase travel insurance?
Yes, absolutely. We strongly encourage you to purchase travel insurance at the time of booking. This is your protection should you cancel and forfeit funds or in the unfortunate case of injury or loss. The cost of travel insurance is relatively low and is worth the peace of mind knowing you are protected. We can provide you with a comprehensive coverage plan via our partner, RoamRight. If you prefer more choices in plans, please check with your credit card company.
Should I bring my mobile phone or rent one in Europe?
We suggest checking with your service provider for overseas plans. If your cell phone is compatible overseas, then we highly recommend activating your international coverage and bring it with you. If you do not bring it with you, we recommend you rent an international cell phone from CellularAbroad. It is just a little extra “comfort” should you have any mishaps or have questions during your travels.
Do I need a travel power adapter in Europe?
Electricity in Europe is supplied at 220 volts AC at a frequency of 50 Hz. You will need a European adapter which is easily found online and in most big-box retail stores and hardware stores in the USA.
How should I pay for my purchases in Europe?
The best exchange rate will always be with your credit card as many do not charge foreign exchange fees. Note that many places in Europe do not accept American Express due to high bank fees. Using your ATM card is second best. Note, you will have fees (usually 1-3%).
IMPORTANT: Be sure to contact your individual credit card companies advising them of your overseas trip. By doing so you will avoid any fraud protection block on your card.
In the event you prefer to use traveler’s checks, we recommend you get them in Euros, not dollars as you can be “double charged” for the higher exchange rate here in Europe. American Express tends to have the best exchange rates both in the USA and Europe. In Italy, there are AMEX offices in Venice, Florence, and Rome.
Is there a best method to pack for my Mediterranean vacation?
Packing for your trip depends on the time of year, where you will be going, and what you plan to do. Bella Vita Travels will provide you with a “welcome guide” customized to your trip and the time of year you will be traveling. Ultimately, these materials should give you good direction regarding clothing, packing, and much more. Plus, your personal travel specialist will be available to help you at any time.
Please explain what does Bella Vita Travels offer through its services?
Our team curates highly customized itineraries for clients who are traveling to Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Croatia, Morocco, Slovenia, Malta (and a bit of the UK).
- Our services save you time by providing access to expert planning to create highly personalized vacations throughout the Mediterranean.
- We offer access to a vast, curated collection of exceptional luxury vacation options, each hand-selected to meet our standards.
- We deliver peace of mind by removing the stress of vacation planning to ensure each trip exceeds expectations.
We provide all arrangements to make your vacation easy and worry-free. From meet and greet services at airports and train stations to English-speaking drivers and licensed historic tour guides, cooking lessons, and winery tours, you select the components that you would like to experience and we build your dream trip for you. We will craft a unique itinerary around your travel goals, style, and budget which will be sold to you for one price.