Frequently Asked Questions
How do you work?
Here is a summary of our 10-step process:
1. Complimentary consultation - Discuss client interests, needs, budget. Design itinerary outline.
2. Itinerary outline - Trip framework with dates, destinations, hotels, logistics, estimated budget - for client review and feedback.
3. $500 planning fee - Nonrefundable deposit toward trip. Higher fee if last minute or more complex trip.
4. Itinerary proposal - Day by day itinerary with activities and real pricing - for client review and feedback.
5. 35-65% deposit invoice - Payment confirms trip. All hotels, flights and touring are booked by Remote Lands.
6. Account Manager introduction - Meet your Account Manager who writes your detailed personalized itinerary.
7. Detailed itinerary delivery - Finalize your day by day activities and discuss optional special experiences.
8. Final payment - Due 90 days before departure
9. Departure & trip execution - Stay in close touch with our Asia ground staff who will answer any question and resolve any issues that might arise.
10. Trip feedback - Please tell us how we did so we can learn and grow and improve our services.
What does Remote Lands do?
We are a full-service private travel designer focused exclusively on high-end and intrepid Asia. Our clients are busy, successful professionals in other fields from finance to entertainment, medicine to media, who want the best of everything and entrust us with all aspects of their travel to Asia. We interview our clients in order to gain a firm understanding of their interests, needs, passions and preferences. Based on that we design their detailed itinerary including hand-picked hotels, top guides fully vetted by us, best vehicles, VIP Airport service and extraordinary experiences.
We pride ourselves on our deep knowledge of Asia, creative itineraries, attention to detail and personalized service during the trip planning process as well as during travel and afterwards.
We are based in New York and Bangkok and have country managers and teams on the ground in every country in Asia. We are behind the scenes following you every step of the way, checking and reconfirming every service to ensure that all logistics are smooth and seamless. If a problem arises such as a flight cancellation or medical issue, we are there to fix it, so you are never on your own.
Through our dozens of years of working and traveling in Asia, we have developed personal relationships with fascinating and prominent people across the continent including high government officials, art and architecture specialists, religious leaders and fashion designers, all of whom add a level of depth and gravitas to your journey.
Who are your clients?
Our clients are busy, successful professionals who value their own precious time above all else.
They know that engaging a high-end Asia specialist like us will save them dozens of hours of their own time attempting to figure out what we already know. Asia is a difficult place to navigate, but for us, it is our back yard, and it is all we do.
Remote Lands clients want the coolest possible trips with special access to people and places not normally accessible. They realize that they don't know what they don't know, and are happy to leave the heavy lifting to Remote Lands.
Our clients want to avoid aggrevation and irritation above all else, both before and during travel. We are behind the scenes constantly checking and confirming every detail, and if an issue arises while they are travelling, they know we will take immediate action and solve any problems for them. You are never on your own when you are on a Remote Lands trip.
Why should I work with you rather than booking the trip myself, and what value do you add?
We are travel professionals specializing in Asia. We have deep knowledge of Asia and think about Asia all day every day, constantly seeking out the latest and greatest, staying in touch with the pulse of Asia.
We assume you are coming to us because you are a successful professional in another field, and you are seeking out our expertise to create not just a regular trip that anyone can go on the Internet and book, but an incredible journey that you will remember forever.
We vet every guide, stay in every hotel, and test out every restaurant before recommending it. We have an extraordinary rolodex, with entree to people and places not normally accessible, allowing us to provide very special experiences to clients. We have very close relationships with the top hotels across Asia. We know the GM's and other top executives personally, and we are able to get our clients VIP treatment. The single most important thing is for your trip to go smoothly and seamlessly. This is what we ensure by being there on the ground overseeing every detail in real time. When problems and issues occur, as they often do, we immediately take action to find a solution. Otherwise, if a flight get cancelled or you miss a connection or any one of a myriad of typical issues arise, you are on your own.
As an analogy, why use a wedding planner rather than try to plan the wedding yourself? Like planning a trip to Asia, it is a complex process and there are many moving parts requiring massive organization as well as specialized knowledge and expertise and personal connections to top vendors. Sure, you can save money by planning your own wedding, but for busy people who are not in the wedding planning business, a wedding planner will make sure it is done smoothly, seamlessly and professionally, and is worth every penny.
How does Remote Lands get compensated?
We are a wholesaler so we enjoy strong wholesale rates at our preferred hotels and with our other vendors. This is the majority of our compensation. For this reason, we need to handle all aspects of the trip including hotels and touring, but not including your long haul flights.
We have a successful and ever-growing business because we are excellent value for money, and our pricing is at competitive market rates for our high-end service. Indeed, our clients come back to us over and over and refer their friends and family to us because of our results.
Why do I have to pay a planning fee?
Like other successful professional advisors such as lawyers and accountants, we get compensated for our services. We are in the very fortunate position of having high demand for our services, so we are only able to take on clients who are serious about working with us and are no longer shopping around.
We ask for a minor commitment from you, and in return we promise to work very hard on your behalf and prove ourselves to you. We agree to provide excellent service to you before, during and after travel. We will create an exceptional itinerary for you based on your own interests and needs.
Can I book my own hotels and/or use points?
No, and here is the reason. The most important thing is for your trip to go smoothly and seamlessly, so we need to take full responsibility for all aspects of your trip including hand-picking your hotels and rooms. It is in your best interests for us to control the entire trip in order to ensure that if something goes wrong or is not to your liking, we fix it.
We have very close relationships with the top hotels across Asia. We have personally stayed at every one of them, and we know them intimately, including which rooms and suites are the best and which to avoid. We know the GM's and owners personally, and our clients enjoy VIP treatment. We have wholesale contracts with the top hotels in each destination in Asia, and capturing the difference is the part of our compensation. Without booking the hotels, we would not be able to move forward.
Can I get the Amex Platinum benefits?
Complimentary upgrades, early check-in and late check-out are provided based on availability, and breakfast is always included. Other benefits vary by hotel, and overall our perks are often superior due to our close personal relationships with hotel owners and GMs who prioritize Remote Lands clients over faceless bookings over the Internet or from Amex. As a result, our clients often enjoy VIP treatment such as in-room snacks/ libations, GM greetings, upgrades, special amenities and clearing space that was previously impossible.
Do you provide price breakdowns?
We are quoting the entire trip as a special package so we cannot provide line item breakdowns. As a wholesale tour operator, our contracts for hotels are confidential and can only be “packaged” together with other services. Furthermore, we work with local suppliers who bundle their offerings into package prices, which is quite standard in the travel industry.
A huge amount of work comes into creating the perfect holiday for you. Behind the trip there is a maze of complicated costs that go into the planning and execution - the exchange rates, reservation details, taxes and many other fees. We are certainly not trying to hide anything, but we need to keep things simple and clear.
Furthermore, breaking out prices invites website comparison, and most people do not realize that hotel and flight prices, like flight prices, change daily or even hourly based on demand. This can turn into a tedious and time-wasting exercise which Remote Lands would rather not engage in. Exchange rates also come into play and their fluctuations further complicate hotel quotes, as do widely differing terms of payment and cancellation.
Suffice it to say that Remote Lands charges competitive market rates, and we are fair and reasonable which is why our clients get excellent overall value and come back to us over and over again.
Do you have a minimum length trip?
Our minimum length trip is 5 nights in most cases depending on the country, number of travelers, complexity and total price of the trip. If special services such as helicopters, yachts or jets are required, we can sometimes make exceptions and shorten the minimum length, or if a larger group of people are travelling and more hotel rooms are required.
Do you charge change fees?
It is standard practice in the travel business to charge change fees if a client makes major changes to a trip, such as altering dates or locations or other aspects of the trip that require significant additional work. The amount varies on a case by case basis, as in other industries like architecture, design and construction where change fees are commonplace.
Why do I have to give you a budget? I have no budget or cap.We want to give you exactly what you want and make the planning process as efficient as possible. The more we know about your needs including your desired investment in the trip, the smoother the process.
What is your typical pricing?
Pricing varies widely within Asia from country to country, with Japan and Korea at one end of the spectrum and The Stans and Siberia at the other end. Please see the estimated starting prices for individual itineraries to give you a better idea. Prices are per person based on double occupancy, including hotels/taxes, daily breakfast, airport transfers, touring with private car/driver and guide, activities and entrance fees. Additional costs include lunch, dinner, flights and extra special experiences such as helicopters and yachts. If more than two people are travelling, the price per person goes down in most cases because you are sharing the vehicles and guides.
What happens if something goes wrong while I am travelling?
We are behind the scenes watching you every step of the way, checking every flight and re-confirming every service. Nevertheless, sometimes force majeure such as bad weather brings problems such as cancelled flights or missed connections. When that occurs, we immediately take action to find a solution, and we stay in very close contact with you by phone, text or email until the issue is resolved.
What is your cancellation policy?
- Your trip is fully refundable, less a 15% of total trip price cancellation fee, if cancelled three months or more before departure.
- 50% of total trip price is refundable if cancelled 1-3 months before departure. Note that this may be further subject to the refund policies of each hotel, airline, operator and other vendor.
- No refund less than 30 days before departure.
- Changes made to the itinerary after departure must be paid to Remote Lands and are non-refundable.
- Please note that some vendors have onerous cancellation policies with substantial penalties for changes where funds paid are non- refundable.
- Remote Lands requires comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancellation, medical, evacuation, and lost belongings. If you choose not to purchase travel insurance you must sign a form stating that you have voluntarily done so and are fully aware of the implications and of Remote Lands cancellation policy.
- Any payment to Remote Lands constitutes your acceptance of the Remote Lands Client Agreement.
- Any adjustment to government imposed taxes will be borne by the client.
- Currency exchange is calculated on original invoice date and will not be adjusted due to any fluctuation.
Do I need travel insurance?
For your own protection, Remote Lands requires comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancellation, medical, evacuation, and lost belongings. We are happy to assist you with a quote through our preferred provider, Travel Insured.
If you choose not to purchase travel insurance you must sign a form stating that you have voluntarily done so and are fully aware of the implications, and are also fully aware of Remote Lands' cancellation policy.
What Others Say
Here is a small selection of the kind words our clients have said about us recently.
Aman Jet Expeditions
You are invited to Remote Lands’ signature Aman Jet Expeditions, in partnership with our friends at Aman. These are small group journeys designed for people who usually travel independently.