1. Tell your travel agent where you would like to go.
2. Ask for boutique hotels.
3. Request private drivers.
4. Be sure that she includes all the “must see” attractions.
5. Tell her all the extra things you would like to do: spa treatments, fishing, golf, etc.
6. Have her include restaurant recommendations.
7. Get back a tentative itinerary from her with a cost estimate.
8. Look over the itinerary and eliminate anything that doesn’t sound good to you.
9. Tweak the activities to meet your budgetary needs.
10. Get final estimate.
The most important rule: Do not ask what things cost individually!!! I say that because you will miss some of the most amazing opportunities if you know what they cost. As long as the overall itinerary fits within your budget, just let it go!!
Case in point---when we were in Italy a few years ago and had a private cooking lesson in Tuscany. It was an all day thing culminating in the guys joining us for dinner with the dishes we prepared. It was so fabulous. I'm pretty certain that was REALLY expensive. Had we known the cost, we would have felt that we could not justify spending that much money. By not knowing, we had a "once in a lifetime" experience.
Same with this trip. The hot air ballooning was probably over the top. Had we known, we might have "nixed" it and missed out on an unbelievable experience. I'm sure the hotels were "up there" too. Still the trip met within our budget, so it was well worth it. In fact, Stephanie said that she wanted to go to Costa Rica next year with their friends. Butch said, "Steph, you couldn't afford this trip." To which she responded, "Well dad, we can't afford YOUR trip. But I'm sure we could afford SOME trip!" And she can!!! I think she'll be surprised that she just might be able to travel in unabated luxury for a couple days of their trip!