This was post was written by Anne Marie Clarke from Across the Pond Vacations.
I don’t know about you, but it seems like everywhere I go these days, people are requesting customization. Money doesn’t seem to pass hands without the customer requesting that their end product, be it a latte or a laptop, is customized specifically for them. I have even overheard soccer moms in their mini-vans at the McDonald’s drive-thru requesting their children’s hamburgers be “pickle-free.” (Although my particular favorite is for the vegetarian who wants his or her burger meat-free. “So… just a bun and some condiments, madam?”) Nine out of ten times, I ask for my salad dressing “on the side” and I take my Tall Peppermint Mocha “non-fat, no whip.”
And why shouldn’t it be this way? We have become a nation of consumers who want what we want, how we want it, and we’re not afraid to ask for it. Those on the selling end are accommodating these requests – at least the smart ones are.
While I agree with the motto, “A lady never reveals her age,” suffice to say, I’m a Gen-X’er. It seems that this trend started with the generation that came before mine – those on the tail end of the Baby Boomers. The consumers made their request, and retailers answered the call. Perhaps it started many moons ago when a certain hamburger chain instructed those Baby Boomers to “have it your way.” “We will thank you very much.” Today, it is not only acceptable, but expected, to see the Gen Y’s and the Millennials making their customized, tailor-made requests.
So, if a $5.00 hamburger or café drink is important enough to customize, what about something on which we spend thousands of dollars per year – our vacations? I receive emails from my colleagues and competitors every day offering their pre-set packages. This concept reminds me of the famous phrase, “If this is Belgium, it must be Tuesday.” While these package deals (which usually mean traveling in a bus with 60 of your closest friends you’ve never met) may be cheaper, the saying, “You get what you pay for,” rings unfortunately true. They are just that – cheap in price, cheap in quality. So, rather than have your potentially once in a lifetime experience on the cheap, why not do it affordably, yes, but the way that you want it – YOUR WAY! This is where Across the Pond Vacations comes in.
Across the Pond Vacations (ATP Vacations, for short) custom-designs tours to the United Kingdom and Ireland just the way consumers want. We do this for individual and group travelers – party of one or party of fifty – we’ll design it just for you. Across the Pond Vacations’ Management and Staff are Destination Specialists for England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Selling travel to only these specific locations allow our team to become experts. We suggest, we guide, but in the end, we do it your way so that your travel experience is above and beyond your expectations. Is your idea of England tea and scones, the theatre, and top-class museums, or is it English Premier League Football, pubs, and speedboats down the Thames. How about Ireland? Bed and Breakfasts, or staying in a castle? Or both? We can make it all happen.
An additional benefit of using Across the Pond Vacations as your Destination Specialists – we save you time and yes, even money. Custom-designing will cost most travelers about 40 to 80 hours of Internet research. Very few people have that kind of spare time on their hands. So, why not let the experts do it all for you? This customization and expertise remains competitively priced, offering travelers tailor-made packages for about the same price as if they were to book everything themselves, sometimes for less!
So, how does it all work? Well, the first thing to do is either call Across the Pond Vacations at 310-791-6101, or fill out our online form “Design Your Own Tour.” Once we receive an inquiry, we’ll call to discuss the details of the trip and what that traveler has in mind. Based on that information, we provide a customized itinerary. (A small tour design fee of $25.00 is required, but will be applied to the overall price of your tour once you book with us, thereby eliminating this miniscule cost in the end.) Revisions are made until the client considers the itinerary absolute perfection. Once a contract is signed and a deposit received, we begin to make all the reservations. Seventy-five days before departure, final payment is made, and the remaining reservations are made. About three weeks prior to departure, the client will receive a binder from us which contains the day-by-day itinerary, all vouchers, tickets, receipts, and even a few extra bits and bobs of information. This ensures a seamless and carefree vacation that has been custom-designed, exactly as desired! The result:
- Saving about 40 hours of research
- Allowing someone else to make international calls and book reservations
- Destination expertise
- Competitive pricing
- The perfect vacation!
Even the most fervent Anglophile can enjoy the benefits of our Destination Expertise, travel planning, and time savings.