recommend company to arrange private tour

Nov 26th, 2005, 04:33 PM
  #1  
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recommend company to arrange private tour

Can anyone recommend an Australian company that can put together a 2 week itinerary for 2? This would take into account our budget, travel style, type of things we like to do. We would like to visit maybe 4 cities. Ideally, this company would arrange all the hotels and internal flights, and ground transportation. It would be a private tour without a guide, customized for us. I saw one company advertised in the WSJ but they are quite pricey. We used a company like this to see Vietnam 2 years ago.
susiesan is offline  
Nov 26th, 2005, 06:42 PM
  #2  
 
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Are you in the US? If so I'll take the liberty of plagiarising previous advice from a regular contributor who is herself an Aussie specialist - Kennedy Kruises, Menlo Park CA. (Melodie can't advertise on Fodors but I guess there's nothing wrong with me mentioning her.)

"Go to australia.com. Scroll over to 'Plan Your Trip'. Under that you'll find 'Find a Travel Agent'. Then type in your state or zip code. You'll find a Premier Aussie Specialist in your state. Contact them and have a discussion of what you'd like to see and do, what your interests are and what your budget is. The Specialist will take it from there. You'll have your independent trip planned without consuming your time, except for making your own comments and observations. As there are a number of specials ongoing, your agent might be able to save you some money as well."
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 27th, 2005, 08:22 AM
  #3  
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Yes, I'm in Kansas City, MO. Probably aren't any Aussie speicalists here but the nice thing about e-mail is communicating with people anywhere in the world! I'll check your tip out.
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Nov 27th, 2005, 02:03 PM
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One in St Louis, one in Joplin, which I see are both a fair distance from KC.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 27th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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susiean-

We live near KCMO and recently returned from a 2-week trip to AU.

We originally tried arranging the trip through the local "specialist" listed on australia.com. I believe she was with All About Travel in Mission, KS. We went in to meet with her and get suggestions on what to see/do and, frankly, felt a bit like she didn't take us seriously. But we told her what we wanted to do and she put a loose itinerary and cost estimate together. We did about 20 minutes of research and found we could do the same things she suggested for at least $1000 less than the cost she quoted.

Now, I certainly don't mind paying someone for service and would gladly have gone with an agent like this one if I felt the $1K cost was justified. But I had plenty of time to scour the net and figure out what we wanted to do and how to do it (this forum being a prime tool), so it was much easier to simply plan it ourselves and use that $1K on fun stuff.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that there is indeed a specialist in your area. Just be sure to search for "Kansas" agents instead of "Missouri" and you'll get one in the KC area.
midwestcoup is offline  
Nov 27th, 2005, 04:01 PM
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midwestcoup makes a good point. Australia is an easy country for an American to navigate, so if you're prepared to sit down with a travel guide and work the Web you can definitely do it yourself. The main destinations and many of their attractions are well canvassed on this forum. 3-4 locations is about right in two weeks, and Sydney and Far North Queensland are the classic "Big Two". The others would depend on your interests and the time of year. YOu should also do better on travel and accommodation costs if you take advantage of discount opportunities. You could try picking the brains of this forum by listing your main likes and dislikes and expected month of travel.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 28th, 2005, 03:11 PM
  #7  
rcg
 
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Have you checked qantas.com. When we went to australia 1-1/2 years ago, we used them & they were wonderful and very reasonably priced. Everything was taken care of except the taxi to/from airport.

Audrey
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