Frequently Asked Questions
Bella Vita Travels curates highly customized Mediterranean vacation itineraries for clients who are traveling to Italy, France, Spain, Greece, or Portugal (or a combination of those countries).
- Our services save you time by providing access to expert planning, concierge-level service, and building ongoing relationships to create highly personalized luxury 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.
As all of your trips are completely custom designed, we cannot provide exact prices of our trip packages, but the follow guidelines represent the estimated per person per day cost based on two people traveling for 10 days:
Our Luxury Trips include the absolute best that Italy, France, Spain, Greece and/or Portugal have to offer such as 5-star hotels, all private guides, private cars and/or first-class train transport, and more. These vacations start at around $800 per person per day.
Our Upscale Trips are a mix high-end and comfort including hand-picked 4-star accommodations, mostly private tours, a mix of private transfers and 1st or business class train, and more. These vacations start at around $500 per person per day.
Our Classic Trips feature 3-star hotels and charming B&B’s, a mix of private and small group tours, 2nd class-train and possibly some private transfers. These vacations start at $350 per person per day.
We normally arrange for all your accommodations, transportation, local guides for tours, restaurant reservations and any other fun activities and experiences from the moment you arrive at your until the day of your departure. Depending on your travel wishes, your trip can be planned to the minute or can be more “open” with less planned activities. The choice is yours. Additionally, you receive unlimited communication, guidance and assistance from Bella Vita Travels before and during your travels.
Upon booking a 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 and contacts for your accommodations, tours, excursions and transportation.
Yes, in order to take advantage of our expertise planning a custom itinerary, we do charge a $300 trip planning fee. This fee is applied to your trip.
Bella Vita Travels only works with what we consider to be the very best lodging experiences in the Mediterranean in a particular category. Whether it be a charming B&B, a luxury 5-star hotel or a private villa, we have hand-selected our accommodations partners based on our stringent requisites of high quality, convenient location and superior customer service.
Ideally, at least 6 months in advance–especially during the high season of May–September. We can certainly plan a custom vacation with less lead time, but the risk is that you will have fewer options for hotels, restaurants, guides, etc. We always want the best for our clients and the more time we have to work with the more likely it will be for us to fill your trip with your top options.
No. While we generally recommend which airport to arrive and depart, we do not sell or book air travel arrangements.
We are not is a travel agency but rather a small team of travel experts that create customized, “from scratch” vacations throughout the Mediterranean. We custom design trips using your travel wishes, our extensive knowledge of these countries and vast network of hand-picked guides, drivers and local experts who help us create the “Ultimate Mediterranean Experience” for you.
Yes. We can add, delete and revise until your custom trip itinerary is just right for you and your travel companions.
In order to make your trip as seamless and manageable as possible, we strongly prefer to handle your hotel accommodations. But we also understand that you may have points for free or discounted rooms that you want to use. We can discuss cases such as these during our initial travel consultation.
The final payment is due 60 days before your departure.
No, we do not provide line item breakdowns of your trip price for two reasons:
- We work with local suppliers who bundle hotels and services into package prices and we do the same for our clients. This is standard practice across the industry.
- It can get unreasonably complicated and confusing. A single trip price is a function of exchange rates, individual reservation details, multiple suppliers, banking fees and a host of micro costs. We are not out to be sneaky; we are out to keep things simple and clear.
Yes, absolutely. We strongly encourage you to purchase travel insurance at the time of booking in the event you must 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 recommend Square Mouth Travel Insurance.
It depends on what you’re looking to do.
We personally feel the month of May, early June and the month of September are the best all-round times to visit the Mediterranean. Late June through August tend 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 months between November and March can also be fantastic options for travel into the Alps, or for enjoying certain parts of the Mediterranean during times of greater availability, fewer crowds, cool temperatures and less expensive prices. The downside at this time is that certain areas may close down entirely during the off-season.
Most of accommodations will have WiFi access available. In the rare occasions that you may not be able to access the internet via your own computer or mobile device, most hotels will have PC’s with internet access. If you need wifi access at all times anywhere you may be, you can also consider renting or purchasing a portable global wifi hotspot device such as SkyRoam.
If your personal cell phone is compatible overseas (check with your wireless carrier), 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.
Electricity in Europe is supplied at 220 volts AC at a frequency of 50 Hz. You will need a European adapter which are easily found online and in most big-box retail stores and hardware stores in the USA.
The best exchange rate will always be with your credit card as many do not charge foreign exchange fees. Please keep in mind that many places in the Mediterranean do not accept American Express as their bank charge is higher than Visa or MasterCard. 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 to let them know you will be using your credit card in Europe. If you don’t do so your banks fraud protection system may put a fraud stop and block charges on your credit 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 a 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.
How you pack for your trip to the Mediterranean depends on the time of year, where you will be going, and what you plan to do. Upon booking a custom vacation with Bella Vita Travels, we will provide you with a “welcome guide” customized to your trip and the time of year you will be traveling. 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.