Faq

What's Cooking good looking?
So, what do you guys do exactly?

We propose, set up, organize, and manage your group trips from A-Z. We step in as your co-organisers, and work with you to understand why you want to travel and what your expectations are. We then take your preferences and turn to our network of global mavens and opinions leaders to curate the best possible experience we can for you and your friends. We break things down for you and let you build your trip completely freely.

What do you mean by "local networks"?

Our "local networks" are composed of artists, foodies, fashion designers, entrepreneurs, local movers & shakers, party animals, photographers, wizards, magicians, and basically anyone in-the-know. They are like you and me, and they enjoy doing ‘real’ things when they travel. They are the best ambassadors imaginable for their cities and countries.

Am I dealing with a machine or with a human?

We can't believe we are saying this, but we are 100% human! In a time when your music is filtered for you, your shows and movies are selected for you, your trips are algorithemed for you, we at Playground don’t use any algorithms or fancy calculations that stifle discovery and spontaneity. We just give you pure, dure reality to the face.

If a machine can book it better (aka flights and commodity hotels), then we won’t do it. But when it comes to humanity, it can’t be found on a screen or in a math problem.

Can’t i just do it on my own? What is the Playground Plus exactly?

Of course you can do it on your own. Playground brings you access to hard-to-access people and , saves you time, filters through the overwhelming noise online, curates yoru experience, manages the sometimes uncontrollable stream of emails with your different suppliers, negotiates prices on your behalf (see our pricing policy), steps in to do the ‘dirty work’ for you, advises you as a local, and tailors your trip for you. That’s our value added. We are not some travel agency trying to stuff commisioned events down your throat. We are a young team who gets it, and will do whatever it takes to put together moments you will cherish for life.

Do you take care of everything when I get there?

Yes, we manage pretty much everything. On-site transport, accomodation, experiences, and meals. Obviously, for some restaurants, it is much better for you to manage on-site, and for some things, like booze and shopping, it really depends how thirsty you are or how shopaholic you are. Your flexibility is very important to us, so we will manage everything that we can pre-empt without pigeonholing you into any commitments.

Are you affordable?

At $200 USD for a weekend (2-4 days), and $400 USD for longer per person, our service fee is meant to be accesible to all. While some may argue it is not ‘cheap’, our service is by no means cheap. It takes someone an average of 42 hours to organize a five day trip, so think about it that way, and you are around $10 usd/hr. Look at it another way, because we don’t practive markup pricing, you will save money on accomodation, experiences, etc. So, the value you get here is time saving, price discounts, access, curation, tailoring, and hassle-free travel. Taken in context, that price seems very affordable for us.

How does your pricing work?

It was essential for us to have 100% transparency in pricing, because that was one of the major things that turned us off from travel agencies. So our pricing is simple: a service fee ($200 or $400 USD) and then we split any price discount we receive on public pricing 50/50 with you. That means, if a hotel is $150 USD/night, and we are able to negotiate $120, you pay $135. This means two things:

 

  1. We are on the same team! It is in our interest to negotiate for you because our interests are aligned.

  2. You are in a win-win situation: either you pay the price you would have paid normally with no markup from us, or you get a discount!

I don’t trust the ‘travel agency’ type. Why should I trust you?

Good question. You should trust us because we are out to build a community, not a business. You should trust us because we are millenials and we get it. You should trust us because we are willing to put together anything for you, whether you want to couchsurf or whether you want to stay at a 6*, and in both cases, we will get you the most badass couch or the most badass 6* hotel. Finally, you should trust us because we have built our business model to be on the same team as you. We have no interest with any pre-packaged fast food equivalent for travel. We start with organic ingredients and cook you a soul-stirring dish of a trip.

How flexible are your trips? ie. If I don’t want to wake up and go to my street art master class one morning, what happens? What if I want to do nothing one day?

Our trips are as flexible as you want them to be. If you want us to reserve only accomodation, we will gladly oblige. If you want us to go to the other extreme and have 4-5 activities (highly ambitious) a day, then we will oblige too. That was a major part of us developing Playground, as we didn’t want our guests, just like we wouldn’t want ourselves, to be committed and stuck to an itinerary. If you wake up and want to cancel on your activity of the day or want to do nothing on one day, we will call our suppliers and straight up tell them that you would rather do something else. Depending on their cancellation policy, we will act accordingly, just like with any other circumstance or if you had reserved individually.

Do you make money behind-the-scenes like all other travel agents?

Nope, absolutely not. Please see Question 7. As a simple proof, we are willing to provide a line-by-line invoice if you would like to see a detailed expense form for your trip. Something that travel agents and conventional travel companies will NEVER do. (if you don’t believe us, ask them to!)

How do payments work?

There are three steps in the payment process. Once you receive your first itinerary proposal (48 hours after filling in the Trip Builder form), we will ask you to pay 50% of your service fee, so $100 USD per person if you are doing Marrakech for a weekend for example. Once the final itinerary is confirmed, we will ask for the next 50% of your service fee as well as 50% of your whole trip fee. Three weeks before your trip, we ask for the remaining 50% of your whole trip. Every time, we will set up accounts on a group payment platform to make it easy for you and your friends, and you don’t have to go chasing after wires and currency changes.

Are flights included?

We don’t do flights because machines can do flights much better than us. We have no added value getting you flights, and it would undermine our value proposition to you. However, we gladly advise on flights, airports, and best times to fly in/out!

What if I want to Airbnb?

Sounds good to us. You want to Airbnb, we will find you that amazing cabana or treehouse or apartment with a view. We have no interest in pushing on you ANYTHING except what you want to do. Our service fee covers access to our network, local knowledege, and get you the best experience we can depending on your preferences.

What kind of protection do you offer?

Excuse the formality, but we are compliant with the 1992 UK Travel Regulations, which protects customers against misinformation & financial spoilage. We have a bond with an ABTA-compliant bank that protects any deposit you pay us. And finally, we have full liability insurance. If you would like to know more, please reach out to us, we would be glad to answer your questions.

Do you only go to the Destinations that are listed?

Absolutely not, we have a global network, and we will activate it as and when necessary. The destinations we have listed are those that have passed our stringent and 24-part litmus test. However, we will set up anything, anywhere for you, and if we can’t ensure our standards of experiental quality, we will tell you that.

What’s the deal with insurance?

We require that all guests have proof of their own insurance before they travel. This is absolutely mandatory and important. Travel insurance must cover personal injury, mendical expenses, loss of or damage to luggage, repatriation expenses, and evecuation expenses. If you would like us to help with this insurance business, we can gladly (well, kind of) do that!

 

What is the value add for that price? Where is the value for money spent? Be clear because I’m still confused.

For the price you will be paying, you will be saving time (it takes an average of 42 hours to organize a 5 day trip), saving money (we will negotiate aggresively on your behalf), cutting through the noise (we will curate to the essence of a destination), access to local know-how, hassle-free travel (goodbye hundreds of emails back and forth with different hotels and providers), flexibility (do what you want when you want), tailoring to your tastes and desires, and more importantly of all, an advisor that understand the lifestyle and travel habits of our generation.