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Frequently Asked Questions
About our business
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Do you offer bus tours ?
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Will we be traveling with other people we've never met?
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Where can we go using your service?
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Will you get us great deals?
   
About your trip
Planning your Itinerary
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At what airports are you available to pick us up?
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How many people can we have in our traveling party?
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Who will we pay for our lodging and other local arrangements?
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Do we have to prebook our accommodations? Or, can we "just wing it"?
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Can you book our inbound and outbound airfare?
   
 
During your trip
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In what kind of accommodations will we be staying?
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In what kind of vehicle will we be traveling?
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Will you join us for meals?
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Will you be available to us at all times during our tour?
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Will you be guiding every aspect of our trip?
   

About our business
Do you offer bus tours?
No. We cater to individuals, couples, families and small groups looking for independence from the needs of larger groups. We conduct our private tours using a selection of vehicles ranging from sedans to 14 passenger vans. If you're looking for a bus company that does package tours of California, we recommend California Parlor Car Tours.  
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Will we be traveling with other people we've never met?
No. Our clients are independent travelers who want to be able to pursue their own activities on their own schedule. You will, of course, have the option to join groups for local tours and activities at various destinations, but the overall experience is one to be shared with just you, and your friends and family.  
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Where can we go using your service?
Our service is primarily focused on California and the Western United States. Specifically, we offer our tours in the following 11 states:

  • California
  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • Montana
  • Colorado

Occassionally, a client is interested in venturing further afield. We'll consider any special request, and have had clients use our service for trips all over the United States. In fact, as of 2009, we've taken clients to 28 different states, and the District of Columbia.
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Will you get us great deals on rooms?
By and large, when we're booking rooms for our clients, we get the same rates that are available to the public at large. This is because we do not push our clients into staying at one location in order to avail of special rates at that location. Rather, each of our clients gets a set of recommended properties that suit their specific needs.

Having said that, we do have the advantage of seven years of experience in booking properties. This experience often enables us to find public rates that inexperienced consumers might overlook.
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About your trip

Planning

At what airports are you available to pick us up?
We will pick you up and drop you off at any airport in California (also Las Vegas, Nevada) at no extra fee. If you need us to meet you, or drop you off out of state, we may bill you for commuting expenses, depending on the specific location.
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How many people can we have in our traveling party?
Our service is for individuals, couples, families and family-sized groups. We limit the size to maintain the intimacy of the experience, as well as to insure that the group does not suffer from too many conflicting interests and agendas. The maximum sized group we will currently take is 14 passengers.
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Do we have to prebook our accommodations? Or, can we "just wing it"?
Obviously, "winging it" is more risky at some times and destinations than others, but if you prefer to have a bit of flexibility with your trip, let us know. We'll advise you where and when it may be possible to take a more unscripted approach to your itinerary.
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Can you book our inbound and outbound airfare?
Quintessential Tours does not book airfare. We do work with a local agency here in California, and will be happy to put you in touch with them, should you need help booking your flights.
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Who will we pay for our lodging and other local arrangements?  
In most cases, you will pay the individual providers directly for these arrangements. We will have you complete a credit card authorization before we book your local arrangements, and use your card to confirm all of your reservations. Where a deposit is required, the deposit will be billed to the same card.
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During your trip

In what kind of accommodations will we be staying?
You will stay in whichever types of accommodations you like. We drive and guide your trip; we don't dictate your sleeping or eating arrangements. We will present options during the planning stage, based on the preferences you've indicated, and you will make the ultimate decision, based on price, style and amenities.  
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In what kind of vehicle will we be traveling?
There is no limit on what type of vehicle we'll be driving in. We've provided pricing for some standard vehicles on our pricing page. If you have a specialty vehicle you'd like us to drive you in, we'll be happy to price that out for you.
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Will you join us for meals?
We play this by ear, but it's up to you to invite, or not to invite. Our tours tend to be fairly casual and intimate experiences. We'll be spending a lot of time together, and share quite a few memorable experiences. Often, our clients like to carry this over into meals and other off-hours pursuits. On the other hand, we fully respect that you're here to enjoy yourselves with your friends and family, and that you'll want to have time apart from your friendly guide. We often need a little private time as well.

So, the way we handle it is that it's up to you to invite, and for us to accept of decline. If you'd like us to join you for a meal or a drink, give us the invite. If we've got the energy, we'll accept; if not, maybe next meal. In any case, we've built the cost for own meals into our pricing, so we'll make sure to take care of our own tabs. 
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Will you be available to us at all times during our tour? 
We're always available breakfast through supper, and are also happy to drive you out for the evening, should you decide to go out for some entertainment. We do require that we are able to get a full night's sleep each night, as a safety consideration, so may not be available for real late nights.
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Will you be guiding every aspect of our trip?
We are happy to guide any driving aspect of your trip, and may also lead you on some non-driving experiences as well. There are quite aq few experiences, however, where we may set you up with other local guides. Examples include water-based experiences like kayaking tours, whale watching or fishing, or other specialty tours like horseback riding, hot air ballooning or scuba diving. You'll pay the guides for any of these tours that are incorporated into your itinerary separately.
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