Information that is important to your agent /travel company when preparing your offer.
- Will this be your first visit, and will it likely be a once in a lifetime trip or will you most likely have a chance to return for future visits. This is crucial to give an idea, if you will have to see all the must-sees. Or will you prefer a more designed trip based on your current situation, i.e If it’s a trip with a group of friends and you would prefer more nightlife and can save visiting Santorini for a more romantic visit at another time. Or if you are traveling with young kids and prefer to save the historical stuff or more challenging routes for when they are more grown. If it’s a once in a lifetime trip, the itinerary would be tailored to cross-out all your bucket list items. This is usually the case for travelers from afar, example Asia or US (not always). Tourists from EU have more opportunities to return and can afford to visit some lesser known islands or even spend more time on the mainland. That being said, if it is a once in a lifetime trip and you will invest quite a big chunk of money on the airfare alone, be prepared to allocate adequate travel days! There is so much to see and do and it will be a waste to just skim the surface.
- Travel season. If you are a beach/sun lover then summer is best but if you are budget sensitive and not really a beach-bum then perhaps you would prefer the mid-season where you can enjoy better prices and less crowds. In fact, even winter time is gaining popularity. Not all islands are fully functioning in winter season but there are other interesting places to visit that are suitable for that season and you get to experience a different kind of perspective which is just as breathtaking.
- Rough travel dates/season and number of days.
- Departure city & Nationality – if any visa is required.
- Your interests. There are many historical sites and ancient ruins in Greece. Are you interested in history or would you rather just visit the very popular ones and use the rest of the trip for more leisurely pursuits, perhaps water sports, street photography, food and wine or shopping. It is possible to incorporate your interests into your trip, example if you are a diver or a budding chef or an architect. These details will make your trip much more meaningful and personal. There are some really impressive sites on the mainland example ancient site of Delphi and the monasteries in Meteora, however those will take up a few overnights, and if you only have 8 nights for your travels you will have to weigh your interests and your agent will need to know if perhaps visiting more islands would be more suitable for your trip versus more time on the road.
- Type of accommodation. Apartment, Boutique hotel or design hotel, historical hotels, family-friendly, all-inclusive 5-star hotels. Also type of budget.
- Size of group, ages of kids, room allocation (doubles/twin/family sharing rooms), group relationship – family, friends, in laws… This is optional, but the more info an agent knows the better able to choose the right hotel and room configuration. Example, if traveling with seniors vs. teens. The ages and make-up of group will also determine the hotel choices. For example, many hotels situated on the Santorini cliff side, do not permit young children and some areas are not so suitable for elderly as they are a little tough to walk about with many stairs.
- Tours and flexibility of itinerary. Private tours or organized tour, or self tour. Fully organized trip or more free and easy style, with just the basic tours incorporated. Will you drive and rent a car or prefer transfers.
- Meals included or without. This usually the case for those with special requirements, I.e vegan, Muslim travelers, or with health restrictions.
- Travel style – backpacker, mid-priced, affordable luxury… Mix and match – example, save a little on Athens hotels and splurge a little for a cave room with caldera view in Santorini.
- Your take-home impressions. Do you want the taste of the real Greece, past and present or prefer the more popular route of ‘sun, sea and sights’ only. There are many new trends in travel example, Ecotourism, Agrotourism and well-being travel, as well as social conscious type experiences, alternative tours… Etc.
It also helps to read up a little or watch some travel videos to get some idea of what catches your eye so you can communicate it to the agent. Mind you, not every island is easily connected, i.e if you want to visit Corfu and also Crete… They are on opposite sides of the country and you will need to fly to visit both. Some islands are more easily connected by ferry and en-route with each other, which may save time and money to work out a program that way. Some islands are not connected by air, so take it with a pinch of salt, what catches your eye may not necessarily be the best for your budget and time frame, but it may give your agent an idea of what you are more inclined to like.
All the above will save you from being just another cookie cutter traveler and may make your trip more memorable and special.