FAQ

For more information about CountryBred, our exclusive brand of private travel experiences, and what you can expect from your Encounter, we invite you to review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

WHAT IS A COUNTRYBRED ENCOUNTER?

At CountryBred, we design, orchestrate and operate our own exclusive brand of private travel experiences, known as Encounters. Our seamless Encounters are enriching celebrations of culture that are rooted in the rare, artfully shaped by our insider knowledge and local access, and brought to life by our dedicated team. Elegant, engaging and exclusive to you, we offer a collection of four expertly crafted styles of private travel, from our tailor-made “Couture” Encounters, designed around your preferred dates, personal tastes and travel interests, to our inspiring ready to book “Crafted”, “CountryHouse” and “Chartered” Encounters. Whether you’re a couple, family or small organization, with every Encounter you can look forward to private chauffeured transportation, private touring with our professionally licensed and English speaking Regional Ambassadors, stays at sumptuous accommodations, engaging activities led by our family of cultural experts, as well as exceptional dining experiences.

WHY IS COUNTRYBRED A LEADER IN PRIVATE, EXPERIENTIAL TRAVEL?

As an innovator within the private travel space, for more than a decade we have been dedicated to providing discerning travelers with personalized experiences rooted in the authenticity of culture in its many forms. For us “experiential” is not an industry buzzword, but rather, the foundation on which we built our brand of travel – a true sense of place, discovered from the inside out, and made meaningful through local perspective. It is for this reason that we have chosen to not offer set tour departures, large group bus tours, or mass tourism products, and have instead chosen to celebrate the hands-on, and exclusive nature of a private travel experience.

ARE YOU A FULLY LICENSED TRAVEL COMPANY?

CountryBred is a fully registered, insured, and bonded seller of traveler, is accredited by IATAN, and a proud member of ASTA. Our Encounters are available for purchase by residents of the United States (excluding Hawaii), and Canada.

IS COUNTRYBRED A TRAVEL AGENCY?

As a company exclusively dedicated to private travel, CountryBred is the ideal confluence of expert trip design and tour operation, offered directly to you the travel consumer. Since our inception, we have been reinventing the notion of travel to Europe by crafting our own brand of private touring experiences rooted in the rare and the experiential. We believe that beyond planning and executing exceptional trips, we are leaders of an entirely new philosophy on what private travel is and what it should be. Firsthand knowledge, a commitment to authenticity, on the ground expertise, and direct access, enable us to deliver our own signature style of travel within the framework of a luxury tour. Proudly, we do not offer anything but the CountryBred experience through and through, and you can rest assured that when you work with us, you are in fact working with CountryBred and our global team of experts, with an intimate attention to detail and personalized standard of service that you can count on.

DOES COUNTRYBRED OFFER A LA CARTE TRAVEL SERVICES?

It is our core value to offer seamless touring experiences that are designed by us, executed by us, and serviced by us. It is for this reason that we do not book one-off hotel reservations, facilitate car rentals, arrange or book airfare, offer one day tours, or any other a la carte travel services.

DO YOU ARRANGE AND BOOK AIRFARE?

All CountryBred Encounters are touring experiences on land and sometimes at sea, and do not include airfare. As such, we do not arrange or book airfare. While we certainly consult on which airports make logistical sense with regard to your Encounter and provide insights on optimal flight paths, we believe that today’s travel landscape offers many resources available for booking airfare. As such, we encourage you to explore your options, such as booking your airfare through a trusted ticketing agent, an online airline resource, or using your frequent flier miles or credit card rewards points.

WHO ARE TYPICAL COUNTRYBRED TRAVELERS?

There is nothing typical about a CountryBred traveler! We design travel experiences as dynamic as you are. Whether a seasoned voyager or a first time traveler to Europe, what is most important to keep in mind is that the CountryBred traveler is someone who appreciates deeply regional discoveries and feels at home absorbing the local culture, cuisine, and traditions of the places they explore. As long as you share that same philosophy, we’re here to craft your trip of a lifetime. And because we only provide seamless private travel, our travelers are those who enjoy the benefits of a fully private experience that has been thoughtfully planned in detail and holistic in nature.

WHAT IS THE PUBLISHED “BEGINS AT” PRICE PER PERSON FOR A COUNTRYBRED ENCOUNTER?

The price of a CountryBred Encounter is based on current foreign exchange rates and tariffs. The published starting price for an Encounter is referred to as the “begins at” price. This starting price is calculated per person, and takes into consideration the type of Encounter, tailor-made versus ready to book, and a number of important factors.

Couture Encounters

For our tailor-made Couture Encounters, the price per person, per day will ultimately depend upon the scope of your travel request, including but not limited to: desired length of trip, number of travelers in your party, areas requested, time of year, preferred style of accommodation, dining preferences, etc. Upon submitting your Couture Inquiry, we will contact you to schedule a dedicated consultation with a CountryBred Trip Designer. During your consultation, we’ll discuss your specific travel interests, preferred travel dates, the areas you are eager to explore, preferences on accommodation, pricing considerations, and much more. Based upon your consultation, we will provide you with a proposed outline of your tailor-made Encounter and a quoted price per person. 

Crafted, CountryHouse & Chartered Encounters

While our Crafted, CountryHouse and Chartered Encounters are pre-designed and ready to book travel experiences, there are important factors that may impact the quoted trip price, namely the availability of the hotel, property or boat, number of travelers in your party, and whether you are requesting to travel during high or low season in a specific region or during a national holiday/special event. Within 72 hours of receiving your Booking Request, we will let you know if your dates are available and provide you with a quoted price per person. Should your requested travel dates not be available, or impacted by a factor that would significantly increase your quoted trip price, we will certainly let you know and work with you to identify alternate travel dates.

CAN THE FINAL PRICE OF A COUNTRYBRED ENCOUNTER CHANGE?

The final, per person price of your Encounter may be subject to change, based upon specific circumstances and special requests made, subsequent to booking. For example, if you have booked a Crafted Encounter and have requested to add members to your travel party or require customized pick-up or drop-off locations, this would result in increased costs. If you have booked a CountryHouse Encounter and have requested additional private chauffeur services outside of what is already included or asked for music to be arranged during dinner, this would result in increased costs. Likewise, if you have booked a Couture Encounter and would like to add additional days or destinations to your itinerary, are requesting upgraded room categories for your stays, or ask to increase the size of your travel party, this would result in increased costs. Should the final price of your Encounter need to be adjusted due to special considerations or add-ons you have requested, we will certainly advise you of the increased costs for your authorization.

WHAT SERVICES ARE INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF A COUNTRYBRED ENCOUNTER?

Our private Encounters are meticulously crafted to include the finest ingredients, from exceptional deluxe accommodations with character, chauffeured transportation and regionally authentic dining, to knowledgeable local experts and engaging cultural activities. Thoughtfully designed and refreshingly comprehensive, when you travel with CountryBred you’ll be able to appreciate a robust and enriching experience rather than worrying about pulling your wallet out at every turn. To learn more about our specific private travel styles and their inclusions, please start by visiting our Private Travel section.

ARE TIPS AND GRATUITIES INCLUDED IN A COUNTRYBRED ENCOUNTER?

Base gratuities are included for all Regional Ambassadors, chauffeurs, and restaurant staff, as part of our Crafted and Couture Encounters. For our CountryHouse Encounters, base gratuities are included for private residence staff, and for our Chartered Encounters, base gratuities are included for the captain and boat crew. If you feel however that service has exceeded your expectations, we encourage you to provide additional gratuity at your discretion.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY A “SEAMLESS” TRAVEL EXPERIENCE?

CountryBred was founded upon the idea that travel should be as enriching as it is enjoyable, with quality and a personalized touch at the center of our trips. We craft your Encounter from start to finish, dotting every “i” and crossing every “t”, so that you can appreciate a cohesive experience without worry or stress. From the moment you land to the moment you depart, CountryBred will be working behind the scenes to ensure a seamless experience. And should you need any assistance while traveling, we’ve got you covered with our dedicated, 24/7 Traveler Emergency Hotline. Given the level of detail and time involved with every Encounter, we feel it is best to distill the entirety of what we create, into one convenient, complete trip price per person that you pay directly to CountryBred.

CAN I EXPERIENCE A COUNTRYBRED ENCOUNTER AS A SOLO TRAVELER?

We applaud travelers that have the chutzpah to traverse the globe solo, and we celebrate that spirit of individual wanderlust! It is important to note that the published starting price for a CountryBred Encounter is based on double occupancy. Encounters designed for solo travelers will vary in price depending upon a number of factors, such as preference on accommodation, preferred travel dates, and activities and specialty experiences that will need to be adjusted to suit the needs of a solo traveler. Whether you’re interested in a ready to book Crafted Encounter personalized for one, or a Couture Encounter tailor-made just for you, simply Connect with us to get started or email us at info@countrybred.com.

WHAT KIND OF ACCOMMODATIONS ARE INCLUDED IN A COUNTRYBRED ENCOUNTER?

Every accommodation that you will experience on a CountryBred Encounter is an independent luxury stay that has been meticulously vetted to meet our rigorous criteria of impeccable service, premium comfort, and a distinct sense of place. Because we strongly believe that where you stay is as important as what you do during your Encounter, if one of the accommodations in our CountryBred portfolio is unexpectedly made unavailable, we will recommend an alternative stay that meets our rigorous criteria. We will never reserve an alternate accommodation without first showing you what we have in mind and receiving your approval.

WHO ARE COUNTRYBRED’S REGIONAL AMBASSADORS?

Our team of licensed, English speaking Regional Ambassadors have an average of 15 years professional guiding experience in their native region with demonstrated local knowledge, and most are experts in Art History, Archaeology, History, Gastronomy, Wine, Linguistics, and Music. Eager to invite you into their community, introduce you to their unique corner of the world, and bring to life the heart of a culture in ways only a local can, our Regional Ambassadors will never treat you like a tourist because you are part of our family. Our guides work hard to share all that is beautiful and real about their region in upholding the CountryBred philosophy that authentic is premium.

WHAT DOES “MONTHS OFFERED” MEAN FOR CRAFTED, COUNTRYHOUSE & CHARTERED ENCOUNTERS?

Our pre-designed Crafted, CountryHouse and Chartered Encounters are offered during specific months of the year, in accordance with the seasons that best support that particular itinerary, and the availability of our signature activities and experiences. The months offered are also determined in collaboration with our hotelier partners, private residence ownership, and boating partners, in accordance with the availability of their accommodations, taking into consideration their opening and closure dates. If you would prefer for CountryBred to create a tailor-made experience similar to one of our pre-designed Encounters, during a month not normally offered, please ask us about our Couture Encounters, and we can design a trip more suited to the time of year you are looking to travel.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO “REQUEST DATES” FOR A CRAFTED, COUNTRYHOUSE OR CHARTERED ENCOUNTER?

While our Crafted Encounters are pre-designed and ready to book, they are private travel experiences that are personalized to the number of travelers in your party. There are however important factors that may impact availability and the quoted trip price. Upon receiving your Booking Request, our team will get to work confirming whether your preferred travel dates are available, and within 72 hours we will provide you with a quoted trip price for your preferred dates and travel party size, along with booking instructions that will include steps on how to submit your required trip deposit.

HOW DO I INQUIRE ABOUT BOOKING A COUNTRYBRED ENCOUNTER?

You can submit a “Booking Request”, a tailor-made “Couture Inquiry”, a “Connect With Us” inquiry”, give us a call toll-free at 1-800-615-3543, or send us an email at info@countrybred.com.

HOW MUCH NOTICE IS REQUIRED FOR BOOKING A COUNTRYBRED ENCOUNTER?

We believe a quality travel experience requires ample time and refinement to be truly exceptional. As such, you can book a CountryBred Encounter anywhere from 12 months in advance to 4 weeks prior to departure. Given the amount of design, planning, and coordination involved with each handcrafted trip, ultimately the amount of notice required will be based upon which type of Encounter you are requesting, and whether your trip can be executed keeping in mind seasonal factors, such as time of year, availability, and the current number of clients we are servicing.
How Do I Book My CountryBred Encounter?

Crafted Encounters

Once you have decided on your ideal Crafted Encounter, simply submit a Booking Request Form, which will allow you to indicate your preferred travel dates and travel party size. Within 72 hours of receiving your Booking Request Form, we will let you know if your dates are available and will provide you with a quoted price per person. Should your requested travel dates not be available or impacted by a factor that would significantly increase your quoted trip price, we will certainly let you know and work with you to identify alternate travel dates. To proceed with booking your Crafted Encounter, we will ask you to submit a Traveler Booking Form and the required non-refundable Crafted Encounter Deposit of 20% of your trip price, which will be applied to the final trip price.

Couture Encounters

You’ve decided that CountryBred shares your travel philosophy and our style of tailor-made experience is just the right fit. To get your Couture Encounter underway, simply submit a Couture Inquiry Form, which will enable you to share with us your personal travel needs, tastes and interests. Once received, we will contact you to schedule a dedicated consultation with a CountryBred Trip Designer. During your consultation we’ll discuss the information provided on your Couture Inquiry Form, your preferences and interests, potential destinations, pricing considerations, and much more. Based upon your consultation, we will provide you with a proposed outline of your tailor-made Encounter and a quoted price per person. To proceed with booking your Couture Encounter, we will ask you to submit a Traveler Booking Form and the required non-refundable Couture Encounter Deposit of 20% of your trip price, which will be applied to the final trip price.

CountryHouse Encounters

Once you have selected your perfect CountryHouse Encounter, simply submit a Booking Request Form, which will allow you to indicate your preferred travel dates. Within 72 hours of receiving your Booking Request Form, we will let you know if your dates are available and will provide you with a quoted price per person. Should your requested travel dates not be available or impacted by a factor that would significantly increase your quoted trip price, we will certainly let you know and work with you to identify alternate travel dates. To proceed with booking your CountryHouse Encounter, we will ask you to submit a Traveler Booking Form and the required non-refundable CountryHouse Encounter Deposit of 35% of your trip price, which will be applied to the final trip price.

Chartered Encounters

Once you’ve decided to set sail with the right Chartered Encounter, simply submit a Booking Request Form, which will allow you to indicate your preferred travel dates. Within 72 hours of receiving your Booking Request Form, we will let you know if your dates are available and will provide you with a quoted price per person. Should your requested travel dates not be available or impacted by a factor that would significantly increase your quoted trip price, we will certainly let you know and work with you to identify alternate travel dates. To proceed with booking your Chartered Encounter, we will ask you to submit a Traveler Booking Form and the required non-refundable Chartered Encounter Deposit of 35% of your trip price, which will be applied to the final trip price.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I BOOK MY ENCOUNTER?

Once you have booked your Encounter by successfully submitting your Traveler Booking Form and Trip Deposit, our team will immediately get to work creating your experience from start to finish.

Couture Encounters

The design process begins with a thorough review of your Traveler Booking Form. We will then craft your tailor-made Detailed Itinerary, based upon the details you shared with us during your consultation, and using the proposed outline of your Encounter as the framework. You can look forward to receiving your custom Detailed Itinerary approximately 10 weeks after booking, which will provide you with a more granular portrait of your travel experience, including all pertinent details and daily touring schedules with times. If there is something you would like to add, change or adjust, just let us know and we will continue to refine your experience until we get it just right.

Crafted, CountryHouse & Chartered Encounters

Once your Crafted, CountryHouse or Chartered Encounter has been booked, you can look forward to receiving your Detailed Itinerary approximately 6 weeks after booking, which will provide you with a more granular portrait of your travel experience, including all pertinent details, including information about your accommodations and daily touring schedules with times.

WHAT IS THE TRAVELER WELCOME PACKAGE?

Following receipt of your trip closing payment, and approximately three weeks prior to departure, you will receive your Traveler Welcome Package. Your Traveler Welcome Package will include a printed copy of your Detailed Itinerary, reflecting any adjusted times or additional details related to activities and experiences, supplemental documentation pertaining to your Encounter, and some special surprises to get you dreaming about your upcoming trip. In addition to your Traveler Welcome Package, you will also receive your digital custom Culture Guide. Think of your Culture Guide as an on the go passport to everything related to your Encounter, rolled into one convenient app for your smartphone or tablet. Your Culture Guide will contain a digital copy of your Detailed Itinerary, along with additional information to help you before and during your Encounter, such as weather for the areas you’ll be staying, useful travel tips, local dining recommendations, and suggestions for things to see and do during your free time.

WHERE CAN I PURCHASE A COUNTRYBRED ENCOUNTER?

CountryBred Encounters are offered exclusively to the public, and can be booked directly with CountryBred by contacting us via our website, countrybred.com, by email at info@countrybred.com, or by calling us toll-free at 1-800-615-3543. At this time, we do not sell or distribute our CountryBred Encounters through Travel Advisors, third party booking engines, or aggregate travel websites.

WHAT PAYMENT METHODS DO YOU ACCEPT?

We accept all major forms of credit card payment, inclusive of American Express, Visa and MasterCard. Payments may also be made by Check or Money Order.

WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?

In the unfortunate event that you need to cancel your CountryBred Encounter, we require a written notice of your requested cancellation. At the time we receive written notice that you wish to cancel your Encounter, the following fees will apply (all dates are from the start date of your CountryBred Encounter). Please note that a no show passenger forfeits all deposits and payments made to CountryBred.*

DATE OF CANCELLATION FOR ENCOUNER
61-90 days prior to departure
31-60 days prior to departure
0-30 days prior to departure

CHARGE
25% of final Encounter Price
50% of final Encounter Price
100% of final Encounter Price

*All deposits will be applied to the final trip price unless the trip is canceled by the traveler in which case the deposit becomes non-refundable and non-transferable.

IF I CANCEL MY ENCOUNTER, WHY IS MY TRIP DEPOSIT NON-REFUNDABLE?

Our comprehensive approach to private travel and our dedication to hands-on customer service means that our teams’ work begins from the moment you submit a booking request or tailor-made inquiry. Whether conducting a dedicated consultation to then create a tailor-made outline of what we envision for your Couture Encounter, or extensively verifying accommodation availability and personalizing a ready to book Encounter to suit your travel party, our global team works diligently to service your travel needs before you even decide to book with us.

This initial work from our global team is followed by the booking phase, and continues immediately post-booking, when we enter into the design, coordination and implementation phase. Every step of the way we are providing support to our travelers, before ultimately servicing and operating your Encounter, which continues until the very last day of your trip, when you depart to travel home. It is for this reason that should you cancel your Encounter, all Trip Deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable, as per our standard Cancellation Policy.

We do however understand that unexpected situations can occur, and in the event that you unfortunately need to cancel your Encounter, we are happy to apply your non-refundable Trip Deposit as a 12 month credit, which can be utilized for the rebooking of your cancelled Encounter.

CAN I PURCHASE TRAVEL INSURANCE THROUGH COUNTRYBRED?

Optional travel insurance is available to provide peace of mind during your travels in the event of accident, sickness or unexpected cancellation. In evaluating travel insurance options you may want to review all forms of insurance coverage for your upcoming trip, such as your credit card or medical and homeowner’s insurance company benefits, in addition to other third party insurance providers. Trip insurance can also be purchased through CountryBred’s preferred provider AIG Travel Guard®, the nation’s leading travel insurance carrier. If you are interested in obtaining a quote or purchasing a Travel Guard policy, you can call us at 1-800-615-3543 or email us at info@countrybred.com.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE IN MY COUNTRYBRED ENCOUNTER?

Because of our personalized approach to crafting your travel experience, knowing who our travelers are and who you will be traveling with is an essential part of our entire design process. Likewise, your safety and security while traveling with us is of paramount importance. For this reason, only travelers who have submitted or have been expressly included in a Traveler Booking Form can participate in a CountryBred Encounter. This means that all members of your party must be identified and accounted for prior to the start of your CountryBred Encounter. We unfortunately cannot accommodate on the fly participant requests for individuals not booked on your Encounter, or modifications to your travel party size once your Encounter has commenced. We also ask that should you wish to add members to your party, you request to do so at a minimum of 4 weeks prior to the start of your Encounter.

I AM TRAVELING ON MY COUNTRYBRED ENCOUNTER & WOULD LIKE TO REQUEST CHANGES. HOW ARE REQUESTS FOR CHANGES MANAGED?

We strive to design travel experiences that not only exceed your expectations, but make for once in a lifetime memories. We guarantee a hands-on customer service experience, ensuring that we are communicating with you throughout the design process, attending to every detail prior to the start of your Encounter, and there with you every step of the way while traveling with us. However, we do understand that certain things may come up once you’ve actually started your trip. As such, we are happy to accommodate reasonable on the fly requests during your Encounter, such as room upgrade requests and small modifications to daily touring schedules, at an additional fee. We unfortunately cannot accommodate major modifications to your touring schedule or your itinerary once your Encounter has begun.

DOES COUNTRYBRED OFFER ENCOUNTERS IN REGIONS NOT FEATURED ON THE WEBSITE?

We take research and development very seriously here at CountryBred. Being experts rather than generalists is at the heart of what we do, and the type of travel experiences we deliver. With this core philosophy in mind, not until our team has been able to delve deep into a place to uncover all of the hidden treasures and nuances that make a particular locale fascinating, do we launch a new region or area. For our travelers, we want to be the litmus test by taking the guesswork out of the equation, finding the best there is, vetting everything first hand for quality, and smoothing out all of the details, so that you don’t have to. Just as a chef copiously experiments with ingredients and tastes every concoction before placing their signature dish on the menu, we too refine our offerings until they are just right.
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Booking Request
Our collection of private and expertly pre-designed Encounters are meant to awaken your inner traveler, immerse you in rich regional culture, and capture the nuances that make for exceptional travel experiences. Now that you’ve fallen in love with your ideal trip, it’s time to request your dates and tell us a little more about your travel party. Within 72 hours of receiving your booking request, we will let you know if your dates are available, and provide you with booking and deposit payment instructions. So now it’s time to sit back, relax, and let us do the rest!
Connect with Us!

Our Encounters are private trips meticulously designed to be seamless experiences, from deluxe accommodations with character and chauffeured transport to knowledgeable local experts and engaging activities. Can’t decide between a pre-designed Crafted itinerary or a fully tailor-made Couture experience? Your next great adventure is just moments away!

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