Multi Centre Itineraries

This is something I absolutely love working on for so many reasons. Firstly this is something I can really use my skills and expertise, knowing what works and what doesn’t. If it is somewhere that I have already been I can use my personal experiences, if not I can really learn a lot from the research. Multi Centre itineraries are very time consuming and virtually impossible to create from scratch on the internet without knowing exactly where to look

I really love the challenge of putting pieces of a jigsaw together until it all gels and I get a real sense of achievement and satisfaction when it all works out and goes according to plan.

Sometimes the client more or less has a plan already and I just have to tweak it and sometimes the client has only some vague suggestions and I have to fill in all the holes and create some padding as well and sometimes clients have absolutely no idea whatsoever so I am literally working on budget, likes and seasonality and offering suggestions

Sometimes the plan looks interesting but doesn’t quite work, maybe the fare is too high or the journey too long. Sometimes I run into availability problems because of a trade fair or a sporting fixture, sometimes there is a seasonal difference in price or a difference in midweek/weekend price.

Even my own holidays are usually very complicated and I work them out to precision timing. For example my last holiday involved Singapore/Auckland/Rotorua/Napier/Wellington/Dunedin/Invercargill/Stewart Island/Te Anau/Doubtful Sound/Milford Sound/Queenstown/Franz Josef/Christchurch. This involved flights, buses, trains, boats and tours.

Last year we went to Calgary/Banff/Lake Louise/Jasper/Rocky Mountaineer/Whistler/Vancouver/Seattle/7 night Alaska cruise/Victoria/Vancouver – this one involved flights, tours, trains, cruise ship, ferry, seaplane

My recent client challenges this year were client that wanted San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas on self drive. I worked out a feasible plan trying not to exceed 3 hours of driving a day with a one night stop or 6 hours with a two night stop. I also had to factor in jet lag, parking fees at hotels, stopping at places that are picturesque or interesting, road closures due to weather patterns and budget. I originally worked this out clockwise but the cost of San Francisco was considerably lower a few days later and Las Vegas costs less at weekends, so I had to completely reverse the itinerary to allow for this and this lowered the cost considerably. These clients will be staying in 8 places in 2 weeks and covering a distance of about 2000 miles

Another interesting one was more or less planned by the client and just needed tweaking and changing the order a little to reduce the budget as much as possible. The final itinerary was London/Rome/Florence/Venice/Salzburg/Munich/Prague/Paris/London using Easyjet and trains throughout including some tours well within the budget allowed.

Another itinerary I am currently putting together is a multi centre Caribbean and cruise. It is taking shape with a few twists and turns but it should end up as a 3 island holiday plus cruise in the middle

Another client needed to combine business and pleasure with a Bilbao/Madrid/Barcelona itinerary. This proved to be easy and by playing with different ways of constructing the fares, surprisingly cheap as well

Sometimes I need help from tour operators that have great relationships with local ground handlers to achieve the right result. I had a client that was interested in Brazil but the cost was simply too high but after going to a Brazil promotion it triggered a lighbulb in my head of a possible routing and with some shuffling around, I was able to give them a 4-centre itinerary to include beach, culture, Iguassu falls in one of the world’ leading hotels and Rio, slightly over budget but achievable

I am currently working on a multi centre Egypt and Jordan itinerary and an Ecuador and Peru itinerary

Occasionally things do go wrong with the best laid plans and the ash cloud was an example of that, but the good thing about working at home and being independent is that I can very quickly come up with a plan B. At the time of the ash cloud, I had clients already on a multi centre itinerary in Italy which I had organised. I was literally working from place to place according to what was possible and where they ended up. I wasn’t able to organise last minue rail travel within Italy but I could tell them the schedules and we were able to communicate by text

Another thing that is more likely to wrong with multi centre itineraries is flight cancellations, strikes or weather but so far I have been lucky. Another thing that does often go wrong with multi centre is that the chances of at least one of the hotels being a bad one is a lot higher particularly if I am trying to work to a budget

If you would like help with organising and booking your complicated multi centre itinerary, please contct me on 0845 0587458 or email cathie.odea@travelcounsellors.com

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s