Have you ever had difficulty making a comparison between two options? This can become particularly difficult with travel offerings, when you can’t hold the product or kick the tires before your purchase.

Recently, a family of 19 (three generations: grandparents, adult kids and grandchildren) from northern and southern California called to ask us to organize a private trip to the Canadian Rockies. The week-long holiday was designed to celebrate the grandmother’s 70th birthday.

Family on Canadian Rockies trip

In this family, there are four sisters, each married and with children. One of the sisters had already spent a fair amount of time speaking with a Canadian tour operator, constructing a program that included overnights in Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise, plus two nights on the Rocky Mountaineer train traveling between Jasper and Vancouver.

On first blush, the trip looked less expensive than what Classic Journeys could provide on our Canadian Rockies Family Journey. But then doubts began to seep in. They began to worry that the trip was not personalized enough for the family and the grandmother’s interests that ranged from fly-fishing to painting, photography to cooking. In addition, they were told a price and advised that it related to “gold” level accommodations (only to find out that the accommodations were really subpar). The final straw was hearing that they would have a different guide in each location, rather than someone who would get to know them and take care of the family throughout the week.

That’s when they called Classic Journeys. They gave us their criteria and asked us to turn around a suggested itinerary and pricing (complete with special inclusions unique to their interests) quickly as the departure day was fast approaching.

The first thing we did was construct a comparable program for them. This allowed everyone to make that real apples to apples comparison to see how much more they were paying for their vacation versus a similar Classic Journeys’ family program. Then we suggested how they could upgrade their hotels (Chateau Lake Louise, Jasper Park Lodge, Banff Springs Lodge) while still staying within their budget.

Jasper Park Lodge

We also included two full time guides (their names are Trevor and Craig, but the family’s nicknames for them became the inside joke of Cheddar and Provolone). Finally, we added in some really one-of-a-kind events like a private fishing expedition on Maligne Lake in our guides’ own boats (the only private boats on the lake) so that the grandmother could fish with her grandkids.

In the end, the cost was lower than the competing company’s quote and provided the family with a much more personal and complete immersion into the Canadian Rockies than what they would have enjoyed otherwise.

Are we always lower cost? No. Can we always provide Classic Journeys’ guests with a richer more personal experience? Usually. And we can certainly let you know quickly if we have the expertise in an area to make a trip memorable for your family, group of friends, company or organization.

If you’d like to make an apples to apples comparison on your next holiday, send me an email at blog@classicjourneys.com.