About On The Map Travel
Find Your Place in the World with On the Map Travel
On The Map Travel is a boutique worldwide trip operator that was formed to provide individuals and groups with interesting and imaginative travel. The owners of On The Map Travel have more than 30 years combined experience sending travelers all over the world. We are dedicated, passionate, enthusiastic and professional. Most of all, we are travelers ourselves.
The difference is in the details. With On The Map Travel travelers don’t just see, they do. Every one of our trips includes activities, sights and experiences that are “off the map” – things no other tour company provides.
When you travel with us you may find yourself at a reading of Nobel prize winner Pablo Neruda’s poetry at dawn while sitting among the ruins of Machu Picchu. . . joining with one of the company actors of Shakespeare’s Globe in an acting workshop. . . or making your own gelato at a private lesson in Florence’s most famous shop.
We don’t just visit the markets of Africa – we have a scavenger hunt for local goods and foods so our travelers interact with the sellers in a way not possible when just buying a trinket. Picture yourself on a farm in Italy hiking through the fields to gather the ingredients to cook for lunch or climbing to a rooftop to watch the sun set over Beijing’s Forbidden City. These are the magic moments that memories are made of. What are the magic moments of your travel dreams? We’d love to make them happen for you.
Anne MacIntyre – Partner, On The Map Travel
Anne is a graduate of U.C.L.A.; she began her travel career in Los Angeles as Director of Marketing for the AARP Travel Service. She joined the INTRAV team in 1988, as one of the company’s top public speakers and tour managers. Anne has escorted over 30 tours to all parts of the world – she claims India, Ecuador and Turkey are her favorite destinations, but she’s happy to go anywhere!
She moved to St. Louis in 1990 and continued to work closely with INTRAV and Clipper Cruise Lines in addition to her on-going profession as a freelance travel writer. Anne’s clients included Travel + Leisure, Home & Away, Delta Air Lines, Swissair, the Australian Tourism Commission and the Fiji Visitors Bureau.
In March 2001, Anne and her husband became owners and partners in General Tours, one of America’s oldest tour companies offering more than 400 tours and small-ship cruises to destinations including Asia, South America, Costa Rica, India, Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, Morocco, South Africa, Turkey, Egypt and Israel.
Anne is especially proud of the travel programs she designed and operated for the company’s Global Navigator division – providing adventures around the world for clients including University of Southern California, Dartmouth College, University of Michigan, University of Washington and Forsyth and Whitfield Schools in St. Louis.
Anne and her husband sold their interest in General Tours in 2005; shortly after that Anne founded On The Map Travel with her friend and former co-worker, Audrey Kennedy.
Audrey Kennedy – Partner, On The Map Travel
Audrey loved traveling before she ever tried it. Always eager to go anywhere and everywhere, she took her first plane trip during college to participate in a Theatre Seminar in London. After studying Communications and Theatre at the University of Hartford, Audrey spent three years working as Production Coordinator on the educational children’s show Big Blue Marble, where she arranged for crews to travel the world in search of interesting stories about children. It was then that the wanderlust took hold for real, and for good! She moved to Los Angeles in 1977 to pursue a career in film production and, once again, found herself traveling to locations from New Orleans to Yugoslavia (where she gave herself a whirlwind tour so that she could write a destination guide for the cast and crew).
After the birth of her second child (her first accompanied her to Yugoslavia at the age of 3) Audrey took time off to raise her family. . . and to travel with them. Audrey and her family have traveled to Russia, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Mexico and the Caribbean. They spent Christmas in London and the English countryside, negotiated three weeks driving through Ireland and watched the New Year arrive at the Eiffel Tower — among other trips.
Creating, arranging and participating in travel have been her passion. In 2005 – after several years being a partner in TKO Productions – a film marketing company – she decided to leave the film business and change her avocation into her vocation by founding On The Map Travel with her longtime friend and frequent travel companion, Anne MacIntyre. Audrey heads up On The Map Travel’s Los Angeles office.
10 Reasons to Travel with On The Map Travel
1) Been There, Done That – And Loved It!
We have nearly 50 years combined experience, planning, operating and leading trips all around the world. Collectively we have traveled to and led numerous trips to more than 100 countries – as tour leaders, travel planning professionals, travelers and parents.
2) On The Map Travel Is Owner Operated
That means when you book with us you work directly with a dedicated owner of the On The Map Travel from start to finish. We are always available to answer questions – from packing to weather to local customs. Special requests? We’ve helped travelers attend a special concert, find the grave of a great-grandfather, visit long-lost relatives and even learn to ride a Segway!
3) On or Off The Beaten Path – It’s Always On The Map
We have trips all over the world. From Paris to Patagonia, Zanzibar to Zurich, New York to New Delhi . . . and all the wonderful places in between. We can design a trip especially for your family, school group or association. We work with you to choose the destination, the perfect number of days and the ideal itinerary.
4) Extraordinary Travel You Couldn’t Arrange On Your Own
No matter how much you search the Internet, there are simply some experiences you won’t find available. Academic discussions with university students and professors, after hours private tours of world-famous museums, invitations to private palaces, behind the scenes visits to artists’ workshops. Out of the ordinary? Impossible to find? Not with On The Map Travel. We provide these unusual activities for clients every day.
5) Travel Questions Answered: Our Comprehensive Pre-Departure Documents
It’s a matter of pride for us – we think our pre-departure documents are the best in the industry. They run from 10 – 25 pages and include up-to-date information on all aspects of your trip – from currency to weather to tipping to electricity. We also include packing lists, recommended reading lists, wildlife checklists, lists of our favorite restaurants and shopping spots – even hotel contact information sheets for you to leave behind with your friends and family.
6) No Hidden Costs
Our prices and what is included are stated clearly right up front. There are no financial surprises for our travelers. That’s it in a nutshell.
7) In A Busy World – We Save You Time
The last time we Googled “Hotels in Paris” we had 13,600,000 pages come up! Who has time to read that much material and distill it into the perfect trip to Paris? We are constantly traveling, researching, reading and talking to travelers – gleaning information that can make the difference between a good trip and one that was so much fun you can’t stop talking about it after you get home. We like to think that we craft each itinerary so that our guests get an extraordinary experience, a great value and the kind of memories that bring a smile to your face every time you think about them.
8) Like-Minded Partners
We have partners all over the world – travel professionals who share our philosophy, attention to detail and love of travel. We take time every year to visit with them, talk about our company goals, remind them of our passion for details and make sure that they view our clients as people worth going the extra mile for.
9) We’re On Your Side
We represent you not only when things go well, but when they don’t. We take this responsibility seriously and work as your advocate if issues arise. We are very important to our partner companies as we bring them so much business. This means that your voice is heard and problem solved. Book on your own and you are on your own. Why risk your trip investment?
10) We Do This Because We Are Travelers, Too
Here’s the bottom line. We love to travel. We love everything about it – the excitement, the education, the experience. We love to think about, talk about and plan great trips. And we think our enthusiasm rubs off on our clients.
Oh, The Places We’ve Been
We’ve said it before, travel is our passion.
We are often on the move, exploring new places and finding hidden treasures in some of our favorite spots. Over the past few years we’ve traveled to the following destinations seeking out the best hotels, restaurants and attractions to share with you:
British Virgin Islands
Charleston, South Carolina
French West Indies
New York City
Turks & Caicos
Destination, Hotel & Cruise Specialist Certifications
Travel is our passion; we love to talk about it, dream about it and we love to plan it.
But, how do we know where to send our clients? Where they should stay and what they should do? Well, that’s easy… we are constantly learning about destinations, hotels and cruise ships. We stay in or visit hundreds of hotels a year, cruise (sometimes as onboard hosts) the seas and rivers and take many of the tours we recommend so we will know what we’re talking about when we suggest them to you.
Of course, we can’t be everywhere in this big, wide world, so when we are here at home, we read, study and talk to our colleagues and friends in the business. We attend seminars and meetings with suppliers from all over the world to learn as much about their products as we can.
We spend hours and hours taking courses offered by the Travel Institute (the Ivy League of Travel Advisor education) and by hotel and cruise companies. And when we are through, we are certified by them, which means, we can speak with confidence and recommend the best options for our clients.
Here are some of our certifications. And, we are always adding more…
National Geographic Orion – Linblad Expeditions
Niche Cruise Alliance
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Star Clippers Tall Ship Cruises
Uniworld River Cruises
Variety Cruises of Greece
Voyages of Discovery Cruises
Britain & London
AIR, HOTEL & RESORT SPECIALIST
The Doyle Collection
Marriott Hotel Excellence
MGM Mirage Hotels
Pousadas de Portugal
Pueblo Bonito Resorts and Spas
SPECIALTY TRAVEL SPECIALIST
How We Work Policies
At On The Map Travel we create close relationships with our clients, working hard to bring you the best travel experience we can. In that spirit, we want to candid about what we will do for you and how we work.
TRIP PLANNING FEE
Our planning fee is $250 - $1,000 depending on the complexity and booking timeline of your trip. This fee is non-refundable even if you cancel and is charged to your credit card at the initial stages of work. The fee is per trip, not per person.
For custom, private trips, our minimum booking is 5 days including all hotels and activities. Depending on your specific needs and budget, this can be slightly adjusted.
Minimum bookings for resorts, cruises and package tours depend on the trip booked and may be different from above.
The trip planning fee includes the following services:
We will discuss with you (via phone or email) your expectations/requirements to determine what destinations, properties and services would best suit you. You will then receive:
- A proposed program for your entire trip, including a preliminary daily itinerary with specific daily activities – both included and optional - subject to your approval. We also provide suggestions for what to do in your free time.
- We will research air travel to match your itinerary. We review the best combination of fares, flight times, and number of stops to give you the best value, comfort and convenience and the best way to employ your frequent flyer miles and credit card points. If we book your air tickets, you will have 24-hour access to assistance with flight delays, cancellations or changes. For airline tickets our booking fee is $100 per person for international tickets and $50 per person for domestic tickets. Please note that, unless otherwise requested, air tickets are non-refundable. A change to your ticket will incur a fee imposed by the airline plus the additional costs of any changes in the airfare. Cancellations will also incur a fee imposed by the airline, but the remainder of the funds can be used for another ticket up to one year from the date the ticket was issued.
- In certain destinations, we will put the entire program together; including transfers, hotels, tours and other services. In others, we will provide a comprehensive list of hotels picked specifically for you.
- Once we have agreed on all the services for your program, we will give you pricing and, on approval, make all arrangements. You will be given the information regarding necessary deposits, final payments and cancellation policies.
- About 3-4 weeks prior to your departure, you will receive a complete set of pre-departure documents electronically. If you prefer hard copies we are happy to mail them to you for a $15 fee. These documents include:
Interesting information about your destinations, a complete day-by-day itinerary, contact numbers for local service providers and hotel confirmations. If we have booked a rental car, train tickets, theater tickets or restaurant reservations - you will receive these confirmations as well. You will also receive packing lists, restaurant and shopping lists and a few other fun things we throw in according to where you are staying. We are also happy to book your train tickets and to make restaurant, bike rental, concert tickets and spa reservations and any other special requests you have. The fee for booking these services vary from $20 -$50, depending on difficulty/amount of time needed. We do not charge for restaurant reservations.
We are happy to help with any special requests you may have.
Each trip we do is completely customized and takes many hours of work and thought; the planning fee covers only a small part of our time and effort. For this reason, we ask that, if you find something online that we have not discussed, please bring it to our attention and do not contact the hotel/service provider directly. Most hotel rates are the same if booked through us (and sometimes lower); the same is true for other services. If a client starts to make contact directly, things get very confused and can lead to double booking or cancellation of reservations. Should this happen, any charges incurred will be assessed to the client. In addition, if clients choose a property or service/tour that does not pay the standard industry commission (10%) client will be invoiced a booking fee by On The Map Travel. Redeeming hotel rewards points often complicates a booking, and we request you advise us at the beginning of the process if you wish to use points and this may incur a service fee.
We are happy to make changes to your itinerary. We provide two sets of revisions at no additional cost. Additional changes to your itinerary will be charged at our standard hourly fee of $50.
Once services have been confirmed, any changes you make (travel dates, route, hotels, etc.) will incur a $50 per person fee plus costs for the new/revised services.
In the event we book and confirm any services for your trip and you cancel for any reason, we charge you a cancellation fee of 10% of the cost of the services that were confirmed.
In addition, you may also incur cancellation fees from other service providers (including, but not limited to, airline tickets, hotels, tours, transfers, train tickets and car rentals). These fees vary by provider and service booked.
For these cancellations (and many other reasons) we require you to sign a “Accept or Decline” travel insurance declaration waiver form which we will provide in electronic or hard copy form.
Payments to On The Map Travel, LLC can be made by credit card (American Express, MasterCard or Visa) or by check. Please note that there is a 4% merchant service fee for use of a credit card. Any expenses involved in overseas payments on your behalf including wire fees and currency adjustments will be invoiced to you.
We cannot assist you with services we have not booked. If something should occur for which you would like our help, we charge our hourly fee of $50 with a one-hour minimum.
In certain destinations, we are unable to break out prices because of agreements with our partners who can offer us proprietary rates.
We look forward to working with you!