Travelers | Frequently Asked Questions | Updated June 2014

General 

When | How can I contact the trip.me team?

There are lots of answers for you to have a smooth trip.me experience. If you however can't find that you need, simply contact our team can help in English, French, German and Spanish!

  • Business hours are Mon-Fri 09:00 - 18:00 CET
  • Phone +49 30 2089 800-10 or -13
  • Email info@trip.me

 

Why book through trip.me?

At trip.me, we carefully select local agencies and their Destination Experts to ensure the highest standard of service before, during, and after your trip. We require our Destination Experts to have in-depth customer service experience, strong local knowledge and a genuine passion for the itineraries they offer.

 

Direct contact with a local Experts means cutting out the costly middlemen. This is an innovative cheaper, faster and better way to travel. By consulting the reviews you have the opportunity to read about previous travelers' trips and soon too share your own feedback about your experience. Last but not least, your payments are secured and transparent throughout the booking process.

 

What is a Destination Expert?

A Destination Expert is a local representative of a travel agency which trip.me has carefully selected for their excellent services, local knowledge and passion for tourism. Once you have chosen your itinerary or your destination, the English-speaking Destination Expert will work closely with you to personalize your travel according to your dates, budget and preferences.

When using our unique Trip Request Form, you have the opportunity to specify your personal preferences which will then be taken into consideration by the Destination Expert to help you to craft your ideal trip.

 

How does trip.me certify Destination Experts?

We select our Destination Experts by engaging in a detailed interview process before beginning each cooperation; among other criteria, we thoroughly review the language skills, expert knowledge of the destination, passion for outstanding services and fair labor conditions. All Destinations Experts enter into a binding contractual agreement with trip.me before sharing an itinerary online. Furthermore, on-going quality assessment and training are mandatory for our Destination Experts.

 

Finally, our team also travels with some of our Destination Experts every year to ensure consistent quality on site. We meet many of our agencies and Experts every year at the reknown world travel fairs, WTM in London or ITB in Berlin for instance.

Are flights included in the prices shown on the site?

We want to give you the opportunity to select the flights and airline that best suits you, so flights to and from your destination are not included in the price. However, you can always ask the Destination Expert to include those flights in the quote. Flights within your itinerary are inclusive (except for inland flights that are specifically noted as non-inclusive). In case of doubt, we always encourage you to clarify the price break-down with your Destination Expert prior to confirming your booking.

What are the levels of accommodation Standard | Comfort | Luxury?

We know how accommodation is important to you. With trip.me, the more diverse the trip, the more possibilities for different kinds of accommodation, from staying with a local family to spending the night under the stars in a tent. What’s more, no matter your budget, our destination experts will make sure you get the best value for it.

At trip.me, we value transparency and therefore require our destination experts to provide links and photos for every accommodation they offer. The accommodation has offered has been filtered down to three main categories:

 

The “Luxury Option” is usually a 5-star hotel which provides a remarkably high level of service and comfort. However, certain Luxury trips may have itineraries where no 5-star hotels are available; in such cases our experts choose the best available hotel for that location. For example on an African safari tour the trip is available with a Luxury Option when the Camping accommodation is considered Luxury (i.e. a real bed in a luxury tent with a private bathroom). To see the details, simply check the hotel information relevant to the day description, and always ask your Expert if you have specific expectations.

 

The “Comfort Option” is usually a 4-star hotel. This hotel level provides comfortable beds, room service, mini-bars, a great guest service, and sometimes spa facilities. Please be aware that trips in a comfort version may contain the odd night in standard accommodation. For instance, if a Comfort accommodation is not available in a destination or park. Here too, we recommend that you always ask your Expert if you have specific expectations.

 

The “Standard Option” is usually a 3-star hotel. Our experts carefully select this type of accommodation. It is usually a smaller and charming (with private bathroom) accommodation, which is often a family-run lodge, hotel or hostel. A great way to meet the locals. Please note that Trekking and Safari campings are marked as "Standard”, also when staying in tents. When selecting this Option, you can always ask your expert for a mix and spend some nights in a Luxury or Comfort hotel. Should your itinerary include more basic accommodation or no private bathroom, it would be displayed below in the daily description.

 

Simple & Basic.  trip.me does not offer trips with Simple accommodation by default. However, when standard accommodation is not available, some trips might have nights in simple accommodation. This level usually comes with regular beds, a small bathroom which may be located outside of the room. If there is electricity in the area, then it is available to the guests as well. Cold water might be the sole option in certain areas.

Finally, when no other options are available, the destination expert can recommend or include a night in a basic accomodation. For instance, when the tourism infrastructure is not available yet or when staying with a local family.

Request & Booking 

Once I have chosen a destination, how do I communicate with the Expert?

So you've selected your dream destination and want to find out more, great! You can now contact your Destination Expert by email and start a conversation about your needs and budget. You set the pace and your Expert will do their best to get back to you promptly.

 

How do I book my trip?

4 simple steps to get you to your dream destination:

 

  • (1) Find your desired destination or preferred style of travel using our easy-to-use search. Click on 'Destinations' or 'Get Inspired' to see what's on offer. If you don’t know where to go, browse our suggested itineraries.
  • ​(2) Click "Book" "Customize" or 'Design" to be taken to our unique request form. Use this to craft your ideal trip. Choose the experiences you want, then hit the Send Request button.
  • (3) Your chosen Destination Expert will be in touch within 48 hours with an initial message and very often a first free quote. He or she will be available to offer what you need and make suggestions, using their in-depth knowledge and expertise to ensure your trip is everything you requested and more.
  • (4) Once your trip is ready you just have to confirm, pay and travel. Your Destination Expert creates a final offer, you accept it and pay via bank transfer or a secured credit card payment link.
     

We rigorously take every measure we can to maximize the security of your payment and are available to answer all questions related to your booking experience.

 

What is the preferred language to contact a Destination Expert?

The preferred language of communication is English. Should you know the language of our Destination Experts, feel free to contact them in their native language. And always feel free to ask what other languages they can communicate in.

What should I ask my Destination Expert?

trip.me provides you with a very easy and safe way to contact the Destination Expert by using the Trip Request Form to submit your inquiry. We also encourage you to be precise and add any questions or specific wishes you might have prior to your booking. This way, your Destination Expert will be able to match your request as closely as possible to make your booking process as smooth and fast as you need.

Can I request specific services in addition to the trip presented on the site?

Yes, absolutely! trip.me has selected the best destinations and Destination Experts so you can decide what is best for you and make your trip unique. Our online platform showcases some amazing trips for inspiration which you can tweak as you wish. Our Destination Expert will tailor the trip to your travel preferences, dates and budget. You can for instance change the itinerary, lenght of the trip, accommodation level and much more!

When will I receive a quote from the Destination Expert?

At trip.me, we value your time and understand that planning a trip impacts the rest of your personal and professional life. Once you have submitted your inquiry, your Destination Expert will get back to you personally within 2 business days, and very often sooner. Should your wishes need a bit more attention from our Destination Expert, he or she will of course inform you about the timeline and work closely to get everything you need to book on time.

Why is the quote different from the price visible on the site?

Depending on your destination and the time of the year, the price listed for an itinerary may vary. Your local Destination Expert will let you know if there is a difference, and why. Do not hesitate to discuss your needs with your Destination Expert, and keep in mind that there are a lot of ways to get the price and services right, such as changing your accomodation, your travel dates and extra services.

Do Destination Experts offer multi-country itineraries?

Yes they do! Our Destination Experts in various continents are able to offer you some amazing trips spanning over several countries. If you are interested, simply ask your Destination Expert if this is something she or he can offer as not all regions are suitable for a multi-countries tour. 

What is a Group Tour?

A group tour has a fixed departure date with a predefined itinerary. You will be with other travelers, usually between 4 to 12 persons in a group. If you are interested in group tours, ask your Destination Expert if this is an option offered for your preferred itinerary.

Can I book a Group Tour if I am traveling alone?

Yes, absolutely! You will be able to join others who have a common interest for your destination and still benefit from the same great service of the Destination Expert. Ask the Destination Expert about her / his upcoming group tours and decide if that's the best format for you.

Payments, Currencies & Fees 

What are the differences between trip.me Payment Plus and a Direct Payment to my Expert?

At trip.me, we let you decide how you would like to proceed with payment, but there are a few differences to be aware of when choosing your form of payment.

 

First and foremost, there is a 2.5% surcharge applied to your total travel price when booking through the trip.me Payment Plus that is not applied when doing a Direct Payment to your Expert.

 

For that extra 2.5%, you get the added advantages of using multiple forms of payments, including choosing between your prefered currency (EUR or USD) and having the option to do a credit card payment or bank transfer. Additionally, you get the peace of mind knowing that you are protected against agency insolvency in the unlikely event that something should happen to your Expert, someone from our network of over 200 Experts will be able to step in and offer you an identical (or very similar) replacement trip. Lastly, you can rest assured that we take extreme measures, including the 3D Secure program, to make sure that your transaction and money are safe within our German bank account until 2 weeks before your departure. Lastly, we make paying easy by allowing your trip to be paid in two manageable payments of a 20% deposit and a final payment 30 days before your trip’s departure.

 

Each Destination Expert will have their own way of receiving money, and if you choose to pay your Expert directly, they will provide you with all the details needed to pay them (currencies, fees, etc.).

 

When will I pay for the trip I booked?

We have the same payment process with all of the local agencies we work with. 20% of the trip total price is to be paid upon booking and the remaining 80% must be paid one month before the trip's start date.

 

There are two possible exceptions:

(1) If your itinerary is very cost intensive (for instance, several domestic flights are needed) the agency may ask you for a higher initial payment than 20%.

(2) If your departure date is less than 30 days away, then 100% of the trip price is requested upon booking. trip.me does not offer the opportunity to pay in installments for your booking as your Expert must secure and pay the services you chose.

How do I pay for the trip I booked?

You have now planned your personalized trip with the help of your Destination Expert and are ready to book and pay. After your Destination Expert has created a final offer, you will receive an email to confirm the booking. When confirming the booking you have the option to pay directly with your chosen local agency, or using the trip.me Payment Plus. This option, coming at an extra 2.5% cost, offers extra security and the option to pay via credit card or wire transfer.

 

trip.me Payment Plus currently accepts USD or EUR, and can be used with MasterCard and Visa credit cards. Additionaly, the trip.me Payment Plus offers other advantages: for every trip in which you want to pay in a currency (USD or EUR) different from the agency’s, trip.me covers the exchange rate risk. With just one click you accept one price which won’t change, so you won't be surprised later by changing exchange rates when it is time to send your down payment and later your final payment.

 

Our trip.me Payment Plus also eliminates the need to pay several different bills from several different agencies when booking the same trip. Our trusted financial service partner, Wirecard, takes care of your payment and has certified trip.me as a secure payment processor.

 

Credit card payments with trip.me Payment Plus go through the 3D-Secure Payment procedure, which reduces the risk of fraud and increases security. 3D-Secure is a security program supported by leading credit card organizations which helps ensure that the card in question is being used by it’s actual cardholder. Read more about the 3D-Secure Payment procedure here and see also “What are the differences between trip.me Payment Plus and a Direct Payment to my Expert?”

What is a short term booking?

A short term booking means that your departure date is less than 30 days away.
In this instance, 100% of the trip price must be paid at once. It is not possible to pay later or in installments. 

Who is my travel contract with?

Your Destination Expert will be your preferred point of contact to help you prepare your trip, answer all your questions regarding prices, services and local tips. Once you are ready to book your trip, you will confirm the offer and the travel contract will be between you and the local agency. You will be able to review these Terms & Conditions prior to confirming your booking and down payment.

Can I split my payment between several payment methods?

To ensure your booking experience is as safe and smooth as possible, we require that each booking will be paid for according to the 20% down-payment at booking and 80% a month before the trip starting date. You can use one payment method for the first payment and another payment method for the final payment. The 20% and 80% payments cannot be broken into smaller amounts and must be paid with one bank transfer or credit card.

What are the currencies available when I book with trip.me?

With trip.me Payment Plus we allow clients to pay in USD and EUR. When finalizing the itinerary and services with your Destination Expert, simply let your Expert know which is your prefered currency.

 

In case you decide to make a direct payment to your Expert (choosing not to use trip.me Payment Plus), they will provide you with all the payment details, including the payment currency accepted by their specific agency.

 

Alteration & Cancellation 

What happens if I need to alter my trip? | if I need to cancel my trip?

We're sorry that after carefully planning your dream trip you now have some unexpected changes!

 

  • Before you cancel your dream trip, we strongly encourage you to reach out to your Destination Expert and see if it could not be simply altered; if your dates are flexible for instance, you might be able to find a great solution to avoid a complete cancelation.

 

  • If however you do need to cancel, then all our local travel agents apply the same policy. The breakdown is as follows:
    - up to 30 days before the trip start date, a cancellation fee equal to the previously agreed down payment or equal to 20% applies;
    - from 15 to 29 days before the trip start date, 30% of the total price of the trip is non-refundable;
    - from 7 to 14 days before the trip start date, 60% of the total price of the trip is non-refundable;
    - and 6 days or less before the trip start date, 90% of the total price of the trip is non-refundable;

What happens if the country I wish to visit is deemed unsafe?

In the case of travel warnings by Foreign Offices, there is no legal requirement for trip.me to call off trips. The best procedure for understanding the impact of civil unrest or other such factors on your trip, is to ask the local provider, which in this case is the Destination Expert. trip.me is of course interested in each specific case that involves travel warnings, and seeks to assist in finding a solution to make travelers satisfied with their trips

Services | Accommodations | Visa | Insurance 

What class of hotels are available when booking with trip.me?

We want to make sure that you book what best suits you in terms of services and budget. Therefore, our Destination Experts offer a vast selection of accommodation to match your personal preferences. Hotels are available from economy to standard to luxury. We strongly recommend you to ask your Expert what the various levels are for each destination. (See "General" above "What are the levels of accommodation Standard | Comfort | Luxury?")

 

What types of meals are available when booking with trip.me?

trip.me thrives on being a totally personalized service. We want each request to be reviewed and matched by our Destination Experts. For the best service, we always encourage you to let your Destination Expert know what your preferences and requirements are prior to your booking. This way, your Expert can make sure that what is important to you will be available during your trip. Should you have dietary requirements, simply inform your Expert who can help address your needs.

If I need a visa, can the Destination Expert help me?

Each citizen and country have different requirements for travelers and our Destination Experts are usually not equipped to provide official documents such as visas. In case of doubt, we strongly recommend that you contact the embassy of the country you want to visit and ask about visa requirements prior to confirming your booking. Please note that not getting a visa once the booking has been confirmed does not constitute a sufficient ground to waive the cancellation policy. 

Does trip.me offer travel insurance?

No, trip.me is not a tour operator and therefore does not offer travel insurance. Your Destination expert will be able to inform you about local risks, and we strongly encourage you to get your own insurance prior to your booking or departure.

Assistance & Tips 

What about tips and gratuities?

Tips and gratuities are not included in the total and final price of your trip. Tipping is never required but may be a local custom, and recognizing excellent service is always a great idea. We do encourage you to tip if you are happy with the local services you receive. If you would like to know more about tipping at your destination, we recommend that you briefly research this issue or even simply ask your local Destination Expert!

What happens if I need further assistance during my trip?

At trip.me we want you to feel safe and relaxed before and during your trip. We recommend you to discuss any specific concerns you might have with your Destination Expert during the booking process. Once you are ready to travel, you will receive a 24 hour emergency contact phone number for the local agency at your destination.

Feedback & Review 

How | Where can I share my trip and experience?

At trip.me we value transparency, appreciate your feedback and love sharing your great experience from the booking to the trip itself. As our travelers, you have the opportunity to share your story via several channels.


On our blog. Send us a message info@trip.me with the subject "blog".


You can follow us on twitter and connect with us on FacebookLinkedinPinterest, and Instagram.


If you have your own twitter account, we have a number of hashtags that we would like you to use. If you tweet about your destination please use these trip.me prefered hashtags:  Twitter

#travel    #ttot    #tni    #rtw = round the world    

#NGTradar    #TripMe     #streetview    #airlines    #aviation    #airline    #tbex    #lp lonely planet    #travelmassive    #gosolo    #tourism    #travelers    #foodie    #food     #cooking    #eatingout    #foodfriday    #German    #Chinese    #sustainability    #TreeTuesday    #TravelTuesday

If you have an idea for additional hashtags, simply tweet them @ us!

Why | How to write a Review?

We believe in free speech, transparency, and clear communication. Our business relationships with both Experts and travelers are built on trust, and trust comes from honest conversation. Therefore, we ask for reviews that are truthful, clear, and helpful to both the review’s recipient and the wider-trip.me community.

 

When creating a review, we ask that you stick to the facts. The best reviews provide constructive information that helps the community make better decisions and is educational for the Destination Expert. We strongly discourage personal insults, opinion that’s not backed up by examples, or generally unsociable behavior.

 

Trip.me default position is not to censor, edit, or delete reviews. However, there are rare cases in which we may take the extraordinary step of editing for better understanding, disallowing or removing reviews. We reserve the right to remove portions of reviews that violate review guidelines.

 

Review Content Guidelines

By posting content on trip.me, you agree to abide by these Guidelines and other trip.me Policies. We reserve the right to remove content, in whole or part, that violates these Guidelines or the Terms of Service, or for any other reason in our sole discretion.

 

In the event of repeated or severe violations, we may suspend or cancel the account(s) in question. Trip.me determination on whether any specific content is prohibited will be final and conclusive. We expect our Destination Experts to create itineraries that are honest, clear, and helpful to potential travelers.

 

Genuine reviews are the cornerstone of our community

We prohibit: 

  • Advertising or other commercial content. 
  • Reviews that do not represent users’ personal experience.
  • Reviews unrelated to the actual reservation (e.g., political, religious, or social commentary).
  • Content that endorses or promotes illegal or harmful activity or violence, or is profane, vulgar, obscene, defamatory, threatening, or discriminatory.
  • Content that violates another person or entity’s rights, including intellectual property rights and privacy rights (e.g., publishing another person’s full name, address or other identifying information without permission).
  • Content that is proven to be used as extortion.