Frequently Asked Questions
What is the typical cost of an Adventure Alchemy Trip?
Just like our trips are custom, so are the budgets. There isn't a set price for any of our trips. The range varies widely based on a number of factors including the length of trip, time of year, and whether you want to fly or drive to your destination. A good starting budget is $1,000 - and that would *generally* be for a 3-4 day trip to a destination within driving distance.
We work really hard to work with your budget and can even help you figure out what a good budget might be for your goals. That said, we have worked with budgets from $800 to $8,000 and everywhere in between. Let's talk!
What is included in the cost of our trip?
Adventure Alchemy will book your lodging, airline ticket (if flying), rental car (if needed), and may book you on tours or events during your trip. We always let you know before anything is booked so you know how much it costs. YOU have the chance to say "yes" or "no" to all purchases.
Once on your trip, you are responsible for the cost of your meals, souvenirs, and any activities not pre-arranged, as well as parking, resort fees (if any- we'll give you a heads up in advance), tolls, etc.
How do I know what is being spent?
Adventure Alchemy works hard to stay within your budget with every decision made. For extra confidence, your travel planner will contact you (usually by text message) before any and every purchase is made and you have the opportunity to say “yes” or “no” BEFORE each purchase.
For example, we may text and say: "I found flights that are both non-stop leaving your airport at 7am and you would land on your return date at 3:45pm. The total roundtrip, for two is $394. Does that sound good?
You then can say "yes" or "no" or ask for adjustments- a later/earlier flight, etc. This is how all items of your trip are booked.
We firmly believe in transparency and every invoice has detailed line items showing how much was spent on each item and has all of Adventure Alchemy’s fees broken out on their own line. Once you get your trip itinerary, receipts for all of the purchases are neatly organized into one section for you to review!
There won’t be any surprises to the cost of your trip – we don’t like those kinds of surprises and we know you don't either.
Are there fees other than the cost of my trip?
Adventure Alchemy is not part of any travel consortiums. That means that we do not earn any commission or bonuses from airlines, hotels, etc. for booking with them. We want to always make decisions that are in YOUR best interest, rather than being influenced by who is paying the highest commission.
Because we work for YOU and not any brands, we do collect a non-refundable Mystery Trip Fee at the start of planning any trip ($225). After that, there is a booking fee that is simply 15% percent of the trip cost. The booking fee does not apply to things that you pay for during your trip like food, souvenirs, etc, and there are no booking fees for Trip Insurance, if you choose to purchase it!
For our Travel Portfolio Management clients, there is an annual Portfolio Fee, instead of a per trip fee and the booking fee decreases to 10%.
Can I use my frequent flier, reward/membership programs?
Yes and no. When completing your traveler information profile, you will be asked to provide your membership numbers. However, these memberships will NOT be used when booking for Mystery Trips as your travel plans would then show up in your member account(s) and some companies are "so helpful" in sending emails leading up to your trip that they might ruin the surprise!
We want you to collect those miles/points though, so once you return from your Mystery Trip, you can contact the membership program to have your trip aded to your profile and redeem the benefits of the program.
If you are NOT taking a Mystery Trip, we make sure to add your membership number(s) to all reservations. We are also happy to book your flights/hotels using your points. In this case, the booking fee would be based on the retail cost of the flight or stay.
When do I pay for my trip?
Your Mystery Trip Fee is due up front and is the official kick off to when we begin planning your trip.
Because we do not charge a flat rate for our trips, you will not be billed for any additional amounts until travel is purchased. Once you approve the spend and the purchase is made, an invoice is created, and payment is due within 14 days.
Typically, airfare and lodging are booked at the same time and will be the most immediate purchases. After that, as your itinerary is crafted, there will most likely be at least one more invoice for tickets, tours, etc...
You will always know how much is being spent (and when) and will give approval before the spend is made, so there won’t really be any surprises about the amount and timing. The entire trip must be paid in full before the itinerary is released. A credit card will be put on file at the beginning of planning your trip; but, will not be used unless an invoice is past due - and you will be notified before any charge is made to a card on file.
Do you plan roadtrips?
YES! Adventure Alchemy can plan trips that are within driving distance as well as those requiring a plane ride! No problem! How you want to get to your destination is one of the very first things we ask when talking about your trip!
Do you offer Trip Insurance?
Yes! We are firm believers in Trip Insurance and offer insurance through our partner provider, Trip Assure. This is an affordable way to ensure you are covered if anything unexpected comes up with any elements of your trip and ensures you can recoup financially for things that are well outside of anyones control!
How do you choose my destination?
Our deep commitment to creating a great relationship with our clients makes us stand out. You won’t fill out an online form – we will have a conversation, giving you the chance to tell your travel planner all about what you enjoy doing, where you’ve been, any trips you already have coming up, what the purpose of your trip is, any allergies, special needs, deal breakers, special interests (i.e. coffe shops, sports, history, bakeries etc…).
During the first conversation with your travel planner, you will also have the chance to share if there are any definite deal breakers for your destination (i.e. NO snow, I’d like to go out west, NOT Florida, etc). If you don’t provide these parameters, we won’t know to avoid them.
Then, based on your budget, the criteria you’ve provided, and your individual personality, your destination is chosen.Everyone is looking for something different and the best part of our job is matching you with the perfect destination!
OUR GUARANTEE: No two trips are ever alike!
Want to learn more about how we choose your destination? - CLICK HERE!
How do I know what to pack for my Mystery Trip?
A week before your Mystery Trip, you will receive a packet in the mail that includes a packing list specific to your destination and the suggested/planned activities on your itinerary. The packet will also include the weather forecast at your destination in order to help you make educated decisions about your attire! We closely monitor the weather at all destinations and will contact you a couple days before your departure if there are any major changes.
What if I need to change my dates once the trip is planned?
We know that life can get crazy and things come up. If the trip dates need to be rescheduled, there is a $150 reschedule fee (unless it's something out of your control like a natural disaster at the destination, pandemic with govermnent travel bans, etc.)
All purchased travel is subject to the rebooking policies and fees that each company has (i.e. airlines, hotel). We do not control their policies.
In the event of a medical emergency or weather disruptions, trip insurance through our partner, Trip Assure, will be your best friend; but, trip insurance must be purchased before you leave on your trip- we recommend purchasing it within 14 days of your first booking invoice. There is also a policy that covers cancellations for any reason, which may be a good fit for you if you need the additional security.
What if I have an issue while I’m on my trip?
Even the best laid plans can have hiccups. Your travel planner is available to you during your trip by text, email and cell phone. We want to help with any issues that come up - and the sooner you let us know, the better! We can't help if we don't know!
For example, issues with lodging can often be corrected quickly. Definitely let us know ASAP! We want the chance to address the concern before it's too late. We can’t do anything if we find out AFTER the trip!
In the event of major illness, weather disruption, natural disaster, etc. you may be eligible for compensation/reimbursement through our insurance partner and a Trip Assure insurance policy.
What if I don’t like my destination?
We will ask if there are any places where you definitely do NOT want to go, and we ask a lot of questions about what climate, terrain, and size of destination you are interested in. Using the information you share, we choose a destination that matches to YOU.
That said, Mystery Trips are not for everyone. If you are concerned that you won’t like your destination, a Mystery Trip may not be for you. To enjoy a Mystery Trip, you need to be willing to let go of expectations and experience something new and unknown. We work very hard to choose destinations based on what you tell us about you.
The key to enjoying a Mystery Trip is in releasing expectations and enjoying whatever comes your way!
Do you plan trips that are NOT a Mystery?
We do plan non-mystery travel for our clients in Portfolio Management only. Outside of Portfolio Management - it's all Mystery, all the time!
How far in advance do I need to book my Mystery Trip?
Ideally, we like to have a minimum of 2 months' notice to be able to get you the best rates and availability for an amazing trip. But, honestly 3-5 months is the sweet spot.
How many people can come on my Mystery Trip?
Any trip of 6 travellers or more (that are not all in the same household) falls under a Group Trip and requires additional information and has a slightly different pricing structure. We want to make sure that you have an amazing experience and that we can seamlessly coordinate all of the awesome people on your trip!