Find the answers here or contact us for more info!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Indie Horizons?
We are a team of experienced travellers, offering travel coaching services and designing amazing trips to every corner of the world! This mainly means that we help travellers get more out of their journeys, doing extensive research of each destination, offering helpful advice, creating personalised itineraries, and suggesting unique experiences, tailored to each travellers’ specifications and needs. We also work with travel agencies and other organisations using our expertise to design programmes for their own travellers as well.
Why the name ”Indie Horizons”?
“Indie” comes from “independent” (like indie music), which highlights our focus to independent travellers. “Horizons” because we want our trips to help you broaden your horizons, whether in geographical, cultural, or any other sense. No matter how close or how far you set these horizons, always aim to travel beyond them!
What do you mean by “Travel Coaching”?
For us, Travel Coaching means having your own personal advisor on travel-related matters. But beyond a tailored travel planning experience, Travel Coaching means a dedication to more meaningful travelling. Each trip should ideally broaden your horizons, challenge your limits, and help you explore new concepts and possibilities. You can think of it as “coaching through immersive travelling”.
Are you a travel agency, tour operator, or tourist guide?
No, we are not travel agents or tour operators, we are travel consultants. This means we can provide you with in-depth information and personalised travel planning, but not classic tourist services. Although our itineraries are designed to be self-guided, we may accompany you and your friends along your journey as travel facilitators, to ensure you get the most out of your trip, but we are not tour guides.
Can’t I just organise the trip by myself?
Of course you can, everyone is entitled to travel in any way they desire. Today, there is plenty of information to be found online, about almost any place in the world.. But at the end of the day, it all goes down to accumulated experience. If you have designed 10 trips, you know many things, but less so than someone who has designed 100 trips or even more. Also, a lot of online information is one-sided: a backpacker blogger has a different travel style than a laid-back flashpacker. And for today travellers, the problem is too much information, which often makes it extremely difficult to discover that particular review or piece of advice which you need to decide. Hiring a Travel Coach offers you expertise, professionalism, and personal service, while saving time and even money, by accessing all these little tricks of the trade which cut down unnecessary costs.
Think of it as an interactive travel guide: a compilation of travel information after thorough and professional first hand research. However, with Indie Horizons you have the privilege of contacting the author directly, to discuss your trip details.
You can always research and book several travel services directly from our self-booking page (thank you in advance for the cookie!).
Can’t I use a travel agency instead?
Of course you can, everyone is entitled to travel in any way they desire. Most trips are organised through the help of local operators anyway. If you prefer a full all-inclusive tourist package, it is best to use a classic travel agency. If you wish to create a personalised unique travel experience, you can use our services instead. Similar to a travel agency, we can design your itinerary, research accommodation and sightseeing, and help you connect with local tour operators. However, these are just a flexible list of suggestions, so you are free to follow them or not.
To be profitable, most travel agencies prefer to deal exclusively with larger groups, often more than 16 people. Travel coaching is an ideal solution for solo travellers and smaller parties of less than 8 people. For similar reasons, most agencies also prefer to deal only with expensive/luxurious and western-friendly accommodation and activity options. Travel coaching is ideal for middle-budget and low-budget travellers, and all those who prefer to enjoy authentic local experiences in their trips. We often work with travel agencies, which direct such traveller profiles to us.
Think of it as the difference between hiring a taxi driver (travel agency) and using a GPS (travel coach). On the first case, it is the driver who decides for you which route to follow and which sights to see. On the second case, it is you who drive the car, and you have a map full of useful information to help you decide, plus a friendly voice to guide you along!
What is the process for creating a trip?
First, select your destination, or browse through our trip pages for additional inspiration. The next step is to contact us to discuss your ideas, and we will design a unique tailored itinerary, according to your specifications, just for you and your travelling companions. Once we have finished researching and creating your trip, we will go again through the details together, to do any last-minute fine tuning. At the end, you will receive a detailed programme with personalised suggestions of things to see and experience, in-depth information about the destination, a map with all the important points of interest, and all the necessary payment links for flights, accommodation, transportation, and local activities. Of course, we are always here to provide any additional help you might need, before and during your trip.
When I should start planning my trip?
As we want to provide a highly personalised experience to all our travellers, we recommend planning a trip about 3-6 months before departure. This will enable us to find the best possible deals, according to your own budget, needs, and travel style, creating an even more amazing trip for you. Last-minute planning is also possible, but this would mean less attention from us, limited availability at the destination, and probably higher prices.
Can I travel on a different itinerary/season?
Of course you can, all trips are tailored to the specifications and needs of the participant travellers. However, the itineraries we propose are usually set during the optimal season for each destination, to ensure you will enjoy all the important sights and experiences each place has to offer, in the most convenient way possible.
Can I travel to a different destination not listed on your trips?
Not all our destinations/itineraries are listed in our website, to save space and not overburden visitors with information. Contact us to see if we can cover your needs by our existing research. If we need to perform new research, it is still possible, but understandably we may require additional time and charge extra fees for our effort.
For how many people do you usually design your itineraries?
Usually, we design our itineraries with 2-4 people in mind, which means couples and small groups of friends which can fit into a single car. We do not recommend having more than 8 travellers in your group, as the less people in your party, the more ground you will be able to cover. This also allows maximum flexibility and the creation of more specialised trips, better tailored to the specific interests of each traveller.
As a comparison, most travel agency group departures have a minimum of 16+ people (if less they cancel the trip because it is not profitable), and even that is considered a “small group” by the tourist industry. So you travel with a large number of strangers, see less things, follow a strict programme, and still have to pay about twice the cost of travelling on your own!
What is the indicative cost listed in your trips?
The indicative cost listed in our itineraries is not corresponding to some bundled tour package, but is the rough answer to the question “how much it costs to travel to X destination”. It is the average rounded sum of all the suggested components of the trip (such as accommodation, transportation, and activities), based on past experience. You will notice that this indicative cost is around 50-70% less than a travel agency. That happens for a variety of reasons, but mainly because our itineraries are self-guided, we cut down the middlemen accessing the local operators directly, we have the flexibility to use more budget-conscious alternatives, and we are not burdened with traditional office costs. The exact cost of any particular trip can only be calculated after all the bookings are completed, and it is often even lower than the indicative amount.
What about payment?
All methods of payment are online, to ensure traceability and easiness of use. We support direct bank transfer, all major credit cards, and of course PayPal. Minor banking fees may apply depending on the case.
Our travel coaching fees are always prepaid and non-refundable. Once we finish our research and hand you over your personalised itinerary, you may do the trip at some later point if you need to postpone for any reason.
All associated trip costs (such as flights, accommodation, or local activities) are paid directly by the travellers, and therefore considered to be third party payments. Although we do provide all the necessary information and suggestions, these services are not part of Indie Horizons, and follow their own respective cancellation policy. We strongly suggest to our travellers to book a travel insurance for their entire trip, to cover against contingencies.
For travellers preferring to pay a single combo price for all trip costs, they can use the help of our partner travel agencies, or one of their own preference.
How come your prices are so low?
We are above all travellers ourselves, so we are pretty sensitive about things such as quality and value for money. By operating a virtual office we are not burdened with overhead costs. All our material is in electronic form and all of us are working remotely from the comfort of our own homes (or some relaxed tropical beach!). We try to keep our own fees as low as possible, so you can save money for more travelling, and use our services again!
What kind of local activities do you organise?
In addition to our travel coaching services, we have our own Travel Club, our international traveller and expat community based in Athens, Greece. If you choose to become a member, you can participate in local events, meet fellow travellers, join us on trips abroad, and enter our travel wishlist for future destinations. All the events we host are travel-inspired, aiming to keep the travelling magic alive between our trips, while also providing insightful food for thought, in line with our “coaching through travelling” ideal. We keep our annual membership to the lowest possible amount which covers our administrative fees.
As a member of the Travel Club, can I host my own activities?
Absolutely yes! All members of our Travel Club can host/promote their own events, such as hiking, sailing, yoga, and similar travel-related experiences. Hosts are responsible for their own events. However, we kindly request not to post too often, to keep things tidy. The Travel Club organisers may remove posts and activities, at their discretion.
I am a travel agency, how can we work together?
There are many ways to do so! You can offer your travellers our signature hand-crafted itineraries, in addition to your own travel services. If you are a smaller agency, this will enable you to create personalised trips to any part of the world, increasing your brand name and customer satisfaction at no additional cost.
If you are a bigger agency, we can help with those categories you often have to disregard (budget-conscious travellers or groups of less than 8 people), therefore allowing you to allocate precious human resources to more profitable operations while still retaining your customers. In addition to the above, our team can also work with you as private travel consultants, showcasing travel opportunities to your high profile clients on one-on-one sessions at their own convenience.
As business consultants specialising in the travel industry and change management, we can also help you organise and further develop your business, coping with the ever-changing modern environment. It is always a win-win deal!
I have additional questions I need to ask you!
Please feel free to contact us through email, Skype, or the social media. We’re here to talk!
Regarding our services, events and activities
- By choosing to travel with our help, or participate in the events and activities of our Travel Club, you automatically accept our terms and conditions.
- Indie Horizons is an independent consultancy, providing travel coaching and trip design services to independent travellers, organisations, and travel professionals. All itineraries are flexible and tailored to the preferences of the participant travellers. Trips, events, and activities are organised with the assistance of local agencies and operators whenever needed. Indie Horizons is not a travel agency or tour operator, and does not offer tourist services.
- Indie Horizons services are limited to travel consulting, providing information and suggestions regarding accommodation, transportation, sightseeing and local activities at the destination, including indicative costs. However, the booking and payment of such services is the sole responsibility of the participant travellers.
- Travellers participate in trips and events at their own risk, and should be prepared accordingly for the selected activities. The itinerary may get altered or even cancelled by the organisers or travel facilitators, depending on the local conditions.
- Travellers are by no means obliged to follow our suggestions, and if they do so they act on their own accord. Indie Horizons does not bear any liability for incidents happening in the destination, or during our events and activities, regardless of these taking place while following our suggestions or using the services of our recommended local partners.
- Although we have strictly selected our local partners among the best available, Indie Horizons does not have or accept any liability regarding their conducted services.
- All information provided by Indie Horizons we try to be as accurate as possible at the time it is given, although unwittingly mistakes might occur. The use of common sense, official or local advice, and the reality of the destination should always take precedence over our research and suggestions.
- Indie Horizons will always try to inform the traveller as best as possible about the conditions and requirements needed for each trip. However, the traveller is the sole responsible for the suitable and timely preparation for the trip, including passport, visa, medical or other special requirements.
- Travellers are kindly requested to comply with the directives of the local guides, respect the local culture and norms, and take steps to minimise their impact to the environment.
- If travelling with a travel facilitator, these people are there to provide you with assistance and information regarding the destination, to the best of their ability. However, they are not meant to be tour guides or liable for your own personal belongings and well being.
- For any cancellation or mishap, whether from the traveller’s part, the local operator’s part, or due to extraordinary events such as strikes, natural hazards, or local unrest, refund can only be made according to the policy of the local operator or your travel insurance. Rest assured that Indie Horizons will also offer assistance to our travellers to the best of our ability.
- To cover against all odds, we strongly suggest our travellers to complement their booking with travel insurance from a reputable international company, for their entire trip.
- Indie Horizons reserves the right to refuse its services in certain cases, such as to minors, to people disregarding its travel policies or the policies of its local partners, or on legal, ethical, and medical grounds.
- Indie Horizons reserves the right to update its terms and conditions without prior notice.
Regarding our website and social media
- By using our website, you are agreeing to our terms and conditions.
- Any trip information mentioned in our website and social media is for travel inspiration and reference purpose only. Prices are indicative, based on past experience, to provide a rough estimate about the cost of a trip to any particular destination.
- All uploaded media (visual, audio, text or information) on display here are property of Indie Horizons or their corresponding creator, and are protected by international copyright laws.
- We are a simple community of travellers, and we prefer things to be simple, not legal mumbo jumbo. We are doing our best to comply with any legal requirements, and to protect our travellers’ information.
- As far as we know, our website uses only the necessary cookies for the website to run. We are also using Google Analytics to track visitors to our website, which helps us understand what our visitors are interested at. Cookies are pretty harmless tiny files, but if you wish you can easily clear them directly from your browser.
- Should you choose to share with us (for example via contact forms, email, or social media) any personal information (such as your name or email), rest assure that this will be stored safely in our database, and will never be shared with any third party. We are using this information to contact you, and design an even better travelling experience for you. No sensitive/financial data is ever being stored or processed by us. Contact us if you ever want your information to be deleted or need to know exactly what we have collected about you.
- If you have subscribed to our newsletter, we are using Mailchimp as our marketing platform, and your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here. You can easily unsubscribe any time you want, by clicking the link at the footer of our emails.