Patricia, our KimKim Travel Specialist, was perfection personified - Dec 16 - Dec 24, 2021

Traveler: Jacqueline L. - Local specialist: Patricia Marques

I cannot provide enough superlatives that capture how beautifully my family's trip to Spain, (and side trip to France) unfolded. While very well traveled, and having used Trip Advisor incessantly for many years, I had been unaware of, until I saw it mentioned in a travel magazine. Learning of its origins and creators, and then reading excellent reviews about it, I thought I would give it a try. I generally arrange all of my family's travel, but have been feeling overwhelmed in the past year like many, and decided it would be nice to have a little bit of help "in country", in connecting some of the dots and details. That said, I didn't have very high hopes because cause in the past I have tried a couple of travel agents and been sorely disappointed. Because of my experience in traveling and preference for exacting detail in hotels and itinerary overall, I have found I have to explain too much to an agent. They also tend to want to designate something "typical" or popular for the average tourist.
Well… from the very first encounter with Patricia to our last communication upon arriving back in the States, I could not have been more blown away by the excellence and professionalism offered by Patricia and her associates.

We first exchange some letters and I explained the basics of what I was after. She suggested a phone call to better communicate; I found kimkim's set up of arranging a phone call via the website worked beautifully. Phone calls seem to route through Palo Alto headquarters and the connections were always excellent. At any rate, Patricia was so intuitive fom the get-go. I never felt guilty or pressured when I expressed atypical things like my family doesn't generally like to have a tour guide at attractions. We prefer to just be together and educate ourselves via audio guides or internet searches. She started to get a real sense of our travel preferences and really ran with it. She suggested hotels but knew that I had done a lot of research and respected my considerations. We had such a wonderful back-and-forth regarding selections and I was so impressed at her savvy, warmth, and kindness. I always felt throughout the 7 or 8 weeks of planning that Patricia had my back with every detail. Kimkim has a wonderful platform for sharing every detail of the itinerary, including what is and is not included in the final cost proposal.

Our trip was only 9 days and fairly full. I always felt confident, though, because Patricia had placed the entire detailed itinerary right on the cell phone she provided upon our first hotel check in. An in-country local phone might seem like the smallest detail, but It was seriously the smartest travel luxury I think I've ever been given. I could text Patricia on it at any time and it was unreal how quickly I would hear back from her. What travel agent is that responsive any time of the day or evening?!

We centered in Barcelona, with side trips to Montserrat, the Pyrenees for skiing, the coast, Girona, Perpignan, France, and Port Aventura. So much of it was simply stunning, and always culturally-enriching. There were quite a few times that questions would arise, due to language barrier or a typical international travel snafu, and my husband and I were absolutely blown away at the convenience of having that phone. Patricia would think of a suggestion for a dinner reservation and make it intuitively, just knowing that places would be filling up around the holidays. Then she would check in with me as to whether we were interested. We always were. I just felt like she read my mind and was saving me the trouble; so refreshing not to have to be "Mom the Travel Director" every minute! Her business partner and the driver, Omar, they assigned to us for all of our transiting, pick-ups and drop offs (except for when we rented our own car) were also fabulously professional, sharp, and proactive.

Some real challenges were presented because of changing Covid protocols and requirements, and I thought it spoke volumes that Patricia's team were so adaptable and helpful in overcoming these obstacles (twice very late in the evening!), making it as easy as possible for us. Whether just to check in that all was going well, or calls and texts related to troubleshooting, the level of enthusiasm and responsiveness from Patricia and her team was almost shocking. Such an incredibly high bar was set that I'm almost afraid to arrange a trip to a different part of the world because I will miss her level of service! That stated, I will definitely look to kimkim in the future, since this trip was so seamless.

Do not hesitate- in fact, RUN to arrange a trip to Spain or Portugal and request Patricia and her company Your Trip to Spain and Portugal via kimkim!!

Patricia Marques profile photo
Patricia Marques, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Jackie,

Thank you for your amazing review and your kind words!!! It was a pleasure helping you organize an unforgettable trip to my beautiful country!!

And I will be here when you are ready to plan the Canary Island or a trip to Portugal!!