Frequently Asked Questions about JayWay Travel
What services do you provide?
We create personalized vacation packages that put you in control of your itinerary. Our service begins with a trip consultation on the basis of which we will create a customized itinerary based on your interests, dates and budget. We will provide you a complete package with accommodation, transfers, transport tickets, day trips, city tours and excursions. The true value in our is the peace of mind in knowing that your trip was planned by experts and that while traveling you will be supported by our staff in Europe who are available to you by email and local cellphone, which we provide you with on arrival. Read more on the What We Do page.
What are your fees?
Because we provide complete custom vacation packages tailored to your needs and will present a final price that's inclusive of all of our services, from pre-trip planning and arrangement to the support of our staff in Europe during your trip as well as accommodations, transfers, tours and excursions as presented in your final trip proposal. As is usual with all tour operators we do not provide an itemized price breakdown. For example, whether we speak once over the phone or ten times, this will not affect the price.
Are there any extra fees for your service on top of the price you quote?
There are no extra fees for our service on top of the package price we offer. All of our assistance through the process from start to finish is already built into the price we have provided, so there will be no fees on top of this. Should you wish to tip service providers or our local staff (this is optional) we will advise you of the appropriate amounts.
Your services must be expensive?
The most consistent feedback we get from clients regarding our services is that it is an excellent value for money. They also comment how reasonably priced our trips are for what you get. Our flexibility allows us to cater to every traveler, from budget to luxury. We regularly benchmark ourselves against our competition to ensure our prices are fair. We are always willing to work with you and make changes necessary to meet your budget.
Can we book hotels on our own and arrange only transfers and tours with JayWay?
We generally book only complete packages, with hotels included. Our expertise with the accommodations in the cities we offer is second-to-none. We have stayed in, visited and fully inspected all of the accommodations we provide, to ensure the highest quality for our guests. We are experts in each location, so if we do not offer a specific hotel there is probably a reason for this. We provide a variety of options in each location to meet every budget and taste. All of the options we provide are at a minimum centrally located, clean, comfortable and safe. They also usually include some unique feature. Most importantly, all are an excellent value so you can be sure you will get what you pay for. We can make an exception in some cases, for example if you plan to visit four cities and have some hotel points to use, it’s no problem if you want to use them in one location. Or if you have a place to stay with family or friends in a city, you could do that in one location. The bulk of our income is derived from commissions from hotels so your package will end up costing you more if you book hotels on your own.
Where are you based?
Our offices are located in New Rochelle, New York which is a suburb in Westchester County just outside New York City. We also have local representatives in the countries you will visit who are there to assist you along the way. The owner, Jay Ternavan, has lived in Germany, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Ukraine, allowing him to travel extensively throughout the Central and Eastern Europe region. This first-hand knowledge allows us to ensure the quality of our services and pass on our expertise of the region to our clients. Our local teams of JayWay staff are located in various cities that we cover throughout the Central and Eastern Europe region.
Are you insured?
We have $1m per-incident professional liability insurance from AON. Please note this does not mean you should not purchase your own travel insurance. If you need travel insurance, we suggest buying a policy through our travel insurance partners. This website lets you compare various quotes and policies from reputable insurers.
How long have you been in business?
We have been operating since 2006, assisting clients touring Central & Eastern Europe. The success of the company has allowed us to expand our offers and staff over the years.
How do we know you are a legitimate business?
As we are primarily internet-based we completely understand clients' concerns. We are a registered entity in the state of New York and you can call the New York Department of State corporate records division on +1 518 473 2492 or perform a search on the NY State Corporation and Business Entity Database to verify our details. We are more than happy to provide references from past clients and usually do this at the start of our communication. Our track record and outstanding customer satisfaction speaks for itself. We are members of ASTA — the American Society of Travel Agents — the world's largest association of travel professionals. We are also accredited by IATAN — the International Association of Travel Agents Network. You will also find us recommended in the Fodor's and Bradt travel guides and on Trip Advisor, so feel free to access these resources. Please also see the press section of our website, where you can find numerous write ups from reputable journalists. We have a testimonials section where you can find photos and feedback from our recent clients. Finally, feel free to Google us and you will find many references to us on various websites.
If we book our own flights can you assist with just the land portion?
Our speciality is the land portion of a trip, so we are unable to book flights to and from Europe. We are happy to take care of flights within Europe as part of your trip package, although we are generally unable to use your miles or points for these bookings. If you would like some help or tips, we can give advice for finding flights to and within Europe.
Do you offer scheduled group tours that we can join?
With the exception of our Small Group Gourmet and Culture Tours in Italy, we do not organize scheduled group tours where you spend your whole vacation with one group of people and every part of the tour is pre-scripted for you. Our guests tend to prefer having the freedom to set their own pace and pick and choose their activities and day trips. We can personalize a trip so that it has some aspects of a group tour. For example you could spend your time joining one-day group excursions of your choice but all the transport and accommodations would be on your own.
Do you offer escorted tours?
Each of our tours is custom-tailored, for solo travelers, couples, or larger groups. As such we can arrange escorted tours but unless you have a large group to share the cost, having someone travel with you the whole time can become very expensive. We find that a well-planned and detailed itinerary, coupled with the assistance of our highly praised local staff makes for a seamless experience regardless. The expert local guides we can arrange for you along the way will be much more informative than someone with a broad but shallow knowledge of all the destinations. If you are traveling as a large group, we can of course arrange for a tour leader to be with you throughout the trip.
There are 20 of us, do you provide tours for groups?
We often create trips specifically for small to larger groups, from a few couples traveling together to a coachful, based on their needs and interests. We can take care of all the arrangements for you, from airport transfers, to finding suitable accommodation, all in the same place or nearby, to booking day trips and tours.
Can you include meals in a package?
With our Gourmet & Culture Tours in Italy mealtimes are a part of the overall experience and all but two are three meals are included in the package price. For custom group travel we can make arrangements at selected restaurants for group meals but in our experience for the majority of our guests traveling unescorted there is no advantage to be had from including meals beyond breakfast. We believe every mealtime is an opportunity to try something local and different so for this reason we make dining recommendations in the customized Guest Page we prepare for your trip based on our own visits and suggestions from our local partners.
Do you work only with Americans?
Although American clients make up a majority of our clientele we have had a significant number of guests from other countries including Canada, the UK, Australia, South Africa, various European countries, South America and India, to name just a few. We would be more than happy to send references from those guests if you would like. No matter where you are from we can cater a trip to meet your needs.
Is it safe to travel to Central and Eastern Europe?
All of the countries we serve are very stable. Almost all are NATO and/or EU members. In light of the ongoing situation in Ukraine it is understandable that you might be concerned, but the part of Ukraine where there is unrest is a long way from any of the countries you would be visiting with us and even if you visit Ukraine, in places like Kiev, Odessa, and Lviv to the casual observer, it's not apparent anything is going on on the country's eastern border. If you still have concerns, you can check for yourself for any travel warnings with the US State Dept, Canadian Foreign Affairs Department, Australian Dept of Foreign Affairs or the UK Foreign Office.
What payment methods do you accept?
We accept payments by check, bank transfer and credit card payments with Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Card payments are made online through a secure payment gateway.
What type of traveler do you cater to?
Our past guests represent a wide range of backgrounds as we do not cater to one particular demographic. The ages range from children to seniors, including individuals, couples, friends and families. That is the advantage of what we offer, since we can be flexible enough to accommodate all types of travelers. The transport, excursion and accommodation options we offer range from public transport to yachts, from self-catering apartments to exclusive 5 star resorts and palaces. We offer personalized travel to meet the needs of each individual client. None of our trips are the same because everyone has different needs, so you can expect a unique experience. Regardless of your budget all our guests receive the same care and attention from the planning process all the way through to the departing airport transfer.
Can you send me a printed brochure?
We do not have a printed brochure as we have found printed material becomes out-of-date all too quickly. We try to be as environmentally friendly as possible in our operations and printed brochures would create a lot of waste. You will find basic information on all our destinations on our website and plenty of sample itineraries to give you some ideas for the kind of trips we put together. As all our trips are customized to your requirements, we find the best way to present what we can do for you is to create an itinerary tailored just for you, which will contain suggestions for the hotels we will book for you as well as day trips to match your interests.
How far in advance can you plan a vacation?
We sometimes get enquiries for trips as far as 2 years out, and although we can put together a preliminary itinerary for you, because our offering of hotels and apartments changes, with places changing ownership or being renovated, trip plans and prices are subject to significant changes. When you add in the variability of airline ticket prices and even routes, the best we can come up with is a ballpark figure that you should add a minimum of 10% to. For these reasons we can only provide exact quotes for up to a year ahead. If you are planning further ahead than that, we will get in touch with you as soon as it is possible to make the bookings needed for your trip.
Do you offer services in Western Europe?
Although our primary focus is Central and Eastern Europe, there have been several clients in the past who have wanted to combine Eastern and Western European destinations in their vacation itinerary. For example, a popular request is combining Italy and Croatia. We cover most of Italy and Austria, and a good portion of Germany, in addition to lands to the east. If we do not have first-hand knowledge of a destination or direct contacts there we do not feel comfortable advising clients on that destination. However, we can advise clients on the best way to travel to and from the Western European destination as well as the most efficient way to incorporate this into an itinerary. We can even help book this transport, but once they are there the rest is up to them.
Can you provide services in destinations not listed on the website?
We feel the value our guests find in our services is based on our knowledge of the destinations we cover. If your trip plans necessitate a few detours in the countries we already cover thoroughly, such as to visit family or ancestral homes, we're happy to help with arrangements there. Similarly, if JayWay countries are a part of a much larger itinerary, we'd love to take care of you for the countries we do cover, and fit in with plans you've made in other destinations.
Do you offer river cruises?
We don't offer river cruises because we focus on custom, private tours. Cruises are a convenient way to get around, but only offer only brief glimpses without much if any opportunity to pursue your own tastes and interests. Spending a few hours being bused around, then being herded behind a guide with a flag before being pushed into a souvenir shop isn't the way to see a city, especially the capitals of Central Europe, with their varied neighborhoods. Leaving in the late afternoon and eating on a boat robs you of the chance to discover a place's cuisine, especially since group tours with meals have you eating from limited "group menus" at a specific time. If you have a special interest in a city, or a place nearby, such as an ancestral hometown or a renowned wine region, you can't pause a cruise to delve deeper. Cruises are not necessarily cheaper either, as they have to be priced for profit even at a low occupancy rate, and have greater costs, such as tour leaders, drivers, and ship crew, at an average of one crew member to each passenger. Cruises can also be canceled if they fail to reach minimum occupancy, and droughts or flooding sometimes cause cancellations too - every year we get last-minute bookings from people whose cruises are canceled less than a month beforehand. Our hand-crafted custom tours, with the support of our local teams on the ground, offer you all the advantages of organized group travel minus the strangers. By taking the train or a car with private driver, you can enjoy more flexibility than with a cruise, departing at the time that's best for you, and perhaps visiting a sight or two along the way. We take care of all the details of where you will stay and how to get from city to city so you can focus on enjoying your vacation at the pace that works for you.
Should I rent a car?
While we recommend car rental in some places, like Slovenia and most of Croatia, we recommend public transportation or private transfers in most of the countries we cover. Central and Eastern European car rental agencies charge steep fees to people driving through multiple countries, especially if they leave the car in a different country than they picked it up in. Having a car is more harmful than helpful in most cities, especially those with large pedestrian zones and limited parking, such as Prague and Krakow. We have also had clients suffer bad experiences with car rentals in Central Europe in the past. However, we can help you explore the countryside and points between destinations without a rental car, and give you flexibility in terms of where you go, and when. We have written this article about renting a car in Central & Eastern Europe. In addition your travel advisor can help you decide on whether a rental car is right for your trip, depending on your destinations and interests.