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Why Use a Trusted Travel Expert: FAQs

by Wendy Perrin | September 14, 2014

Wendy answers your Frequently Asked Questions about her Trusted Travel Experts:

Q: What’s a Trusted Travel Expert?
A: A Trusted Travel Expert (TTE) is a Wendy-vetted destination specialist who arranges and books custom-tailored private travel. Some TTEs arrange small components of a trip (say, a unique one-day guided tour), and some book cruises (filled with special touches), but all of them focus on creating complete itineraries. They solve travel dilemmas, especially when you and your travel companions have conflicting needs and complicated requests. A TTE is a trip choreographer, psychologist, and magician rolled into one. And a TTE is your advocate—your troubleshooter—should something unforeseen happen on your trip.

Q: When should I use a Trusted Travel Expert?
A: When you’re planning a dream trip and it’s proving challenging or time-consuming—or when you want extraordinary experiences or V.I.P. perks that you can’t get via the Internet—that’s when you turn to a Trusted Travel Expert. For run-of-the-mill trips you don’t need one.

Q: What makes Wendy’s Trusted Travel Experts the best?
A: Local expertise, superlative connections, honesty, and value. Most of these trip designers live at their destinations at least half the year and have longtime relationships with the local insiders who can make the magic happen. They open doors, make lines disappear, and expedite transportation so that none of your precious time is wasted. They add value you can’t get on your own—not necessarily in the form of lower prices, but in the form of experiences that may cost more but are vastly superior to what other travelers get. They maximize the highlights, and minimize the drawbacks, of your trip.

Q: Where’s the proof that Wendy’s Trusted Travel Experts are the best?
A: I’ve monitored these destination specialists for years—many for more than a decade—poring over feedback from thousands of Condé Nast Traveler readers and, more recently, from readers. TTEs have been thoroughly road-tested and have a proven track record of wowing sophisticated travelers. You can read first-hand, unedited reviews of TTEs on written by the travelers who’ve taken trips with them.

Q: How does Wendy choose her Trusted Travel Experts?
A: I’ve been rigorously vetting and selecting them, from a universe of thousands of travel-planning firms, for nearly two decades. It all started when my travel advice column The Perrin Report debuted in Condé Nast Traveler in 1996 and my book Wendy Perrin’s Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know (Fodor’s) came out in 1997. Readers kept asking me the best way to book their trips to assorted destinations around the world. After several years connecting these travelers with the best sources to design and book their trips, I realized I could save everyone a step by publishing my Rolodex (remember those?). In June 2000, Condé Nast Traveler published my little black book of travel specialists, calling it, literally, “Wendy’s Rolodex.” The list became so popular that I was asked to compile it annually, and eventually the name was updated to “Perrin’s People.” I curated the Condé Nast Traveler list of top travel specialists for 14 years, basing my decisions on feedback from readers who were continuously road-testing the travel specialists. After I left Condé Nast Traveler and started, I invited a select group of those travel specialists to be Trusted Travel Experts on The WOW List. Today the world’s finest trip designers can apply for the opportunity to become a Trusted Travel Expert and earn a spot on The WOW List.

Q: What if I can’t find the Trusted Travel Expert I need?

A: I write about and recommend hundreds of travel planners and providers—across a wide range of destinations and specialties. So click on Ask Wendy and send me a message. Be sure to say what destination(s) you have in mind, where you’re flying from, how long the trip is, who’s going, and what your trip goals are.


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1 Comment

  1. Helen Mastache

    Why use a Trusted Travel Expert? Because while it may cost more, it will be worth every penny. I also figure that their expedience is planning saves so much time that we get to see twice as much as we would, so that if you figure I am getting a 14-day experience in a 10-day trip, you can figure that is like getting an almost 30% discount of the quoted price.

    We have used TTEs Andrea Ross (Cambodia) for more than six trips of various lengths for up to 10 people at a time. We have used Diane Embree for a week in Bali. All these trips were amazing–well planned, comfortable, and interesting. I cannot say enough good about these two agents!

    I am somewhere between a budget and a luxury traveler. I look for value in all my purchases, and using a TTE is definitely a great value.

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