Barbara

Croatia and slovenia sightseeing, Croatia - Aug 26 - Sep 9, 2017

Traveler: Barbara B. - Local specialist: Mandy Schroeter

Overall, we're really glad that we had the personal touch of someone helping us plan our trip. We did start the planning process rather late for when we wanted to go, but that's why we enlisted help in the first place. A few points of feedback:

• The kimkim website FAQs indicate that we’ll be paying a 5% service fee to book our trip. I did also see that is says “in some cases, a more substantial planning fee” will be charged. We were absolutely fine paying the $250 for your services – you guys were very helpful. But I’m still not sure what the criteria were for the two different methods of payment. I’m guessing you didn’t get a share of the profit from the vendors when we payed cash upon arrival, so it probably helped cover those types of research and bookings. Again, we were very satisfied with what we got for the booking fee and consider it money well spent, but some more clarity around that process would have been nice.

• There were a few times when it felt like our specialists took longer to complete bookings or answer our questions than we expected. There was a time difference between us and Mandy and Alex, so I didn’t expect instant communications. However, there were a few times that I had to ask a second time before tasks were complete. I think some of this would have been alleviated if we (the travelers) had started the planning process earlier. Since we waited until a month before we left, I was definitely anxious to plan as quickly as possible.

• I like the format of a chat window for the planning discussions, but maybe in the future you might want to consider some kind of checklist feature where you turn the conversation into action items that you can assign to either kimkim or the traveler. Everyone would have quick visibility into the tasks/decisions that were remaining. You might even be able to turn completed tasks into items you need to add to the itinerary on your kimkim side. (This is my programming background coming out!)

• I mentioned this in my brief feedback right when we got home, but I wanted to repeat it here: We had a really great experience on the wine tour with Krug Travel. I would highly recommend that you send anyone who's going to the Istrian peninsula in Croatia to them. They offer other experiences besides wine tours, which I’m sure would be equally great.

• I mentioned this in my feedback too, but thought I would include it in the formal survey: Having never used booking.com before, we didn’t realize that there were hotels on the website that accept cash only. This was just a note to mention to future travelers before booking.

• Both transport companies that we used – GoOpti and Connecto – were excellent. Every driver was professional and arrived on time. We would definitely recommend these companies to future travelers.

• Laundry – this is more of a traveler note than anything. We did send out some laundry in Pula at the hotel, but it felt like we were somehow inconveniencing the hotel with this request (even though it is listed on their website as a service). We turned in our laundry early (probably by 10am) on the first day at the hotel, and we didn’t get it back until late on the second day. What was really strange was we stopped by the front desk on day 2 to reserve a taxi for a very early departure on day 3 (6am), and they almost seemed worried that our laundry wouldn’t be back in time. I always thought laundry service would be a less than 24 hour thing, and that we would definitely have it back the day before we were scheduled to check out. It was also much more expensive than I anticipated for basic shorts, t-shirts, and underwear. Obviously, you at kimkim had no idea that they were going to handle the situation so poorly. Personally, after that experience, I wish we had just found somewhere to do our own laundry or skipped that step altogether and packed enough clothes to last the whole trip. I don’t know where that fits in as far as feedback goes, but it’s just something I wish we had done differently.

We appreciated having someone to do all the planning legwork for this trip! We desperately needed a vacation but had no time to plan it. It was so nice having Mandy (and Alex) to do all the research and planning that we normally do when we go on trips. We would definitely recommend your services to friends and family who are looking to take a trip and just say “yes” or “no” to the suggestions from your team.

I included some suggestions about how our planning could have been better in the previous answer. I don’t think there’s anything particular that Mandy and Alex could have done better, but the big thing was that we were all talking about a lot of different things at any given time, and we lost track of some of the things that were still not complete. Both Mandy and Alex were super professional and helpful with answering all our questions and getting us ready to go.

Mandy Schroeter, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Barbara, thank you so much for such a detailed and helpful feedback! We have already taken some of your suggestions into account for other travellers and it came out pretty well. :)
However, the most important thing is that I can read you had an outstanding overall experience and I hope you will carry some of the memories you made for a long time because that's what really matters. All the best for you and your husband.