Frequently Asked Questions
Are these drivers your employees?
NO, these are independent contractors that we have carefully vetted and hand-picked for safety, security, personality traits and professionalism.
Are these professional drivers?
YES, all drivers that we recommend are seasoned professional driver-guides. We have checked them carefully to make sure that they are exceptional people and drivers — true “TravelDrivers”. They have a lot of experience working with travelers and know the best things to show you. Our “TravelDrivers” serve as chauffeurs, tour guides, companions, security guards, interpreters, teachers and coaches, so that you can have a care-free authentic vacation experience with the freedom to go anywhere and do anything safely… *in your own time* *in your own way*.
Do all of these drivers speak English very well?
YES, we only work with drivers who speak good English. This is the first thing that we determine when interviewing a potential TravelDriver — an extremely important detail that we take very seriously.
How much will it cost per day?
Each driver sets his or her own prices. Prices vary depending on the city, vehicle, skills of the driver, etc. A driver who speaks multiple languages may be more expensive, etc. For more information about our charges and fees, please see our Pricing page.
Do you help with other travel arrangements? Hotels for example?
No, we do not. We are a curated private driver-guide locating and matching service - a “concierge” for private drivers. Because there was previously no good way to find and choose an excellent driver for travel adventures, we decided to create one, for ourselves and, of course, others!
However, those who sign up to receive updates also gain access to our Exclusive Insider Tips about various parts of the world. These lists include hotels, restaurants, and other favorite and often lesser-known places that we recommend to our clients and subscribers. Our Bali Tips are available now, as of January 2019, and are delivered instantly when you sign up.
When will I have to pay?
Some drivers request a deposit before arrival, and then they will ask you to pay either daily or weekly, depending on the length of your trip. Others do not require a deposit. In this case we ask that you keep them very much informed (copying us, please) in case of changes so that they can become available for other passengers should you change or cancel your trip. We will explain all payment details prior to your booking and repeat them all with your booking confirmation. Please ask any questions regarding this in advance so that the details are very clear before your arrival. You will not be asked to pay for the entire cost of your trip up front unless it is booked with certain drivers with less than two weeks advanced notice. Also, some drivers require full payment with short notice cancellations. You will be informed of all such policies prior to confirming your booking. If you are having any problems or issues with this aspect of the experience, please do not hesitate to contact us so that we can help.
Why should I pay for this service?
Finding a quality driver-guide, a true “TravelDriver”, is not easy to do. There are many things that get in the way. Most of the best ones are not listed anywhere, or when they are, they are among a lot of unrelated services — bus tours, group tours, guides who do not have cars. It can be like finding a needle in a haystack. We do the work for you so that you can focus on the rest of your trip without worrying about this one very important aspect (which can be considered to be THE most important decision about your trip). The quality of a private driver-guide can make or break a travel experience. Please see our Benefits page for more information.
What’s so great about traveling with a private driver?
Travel with a private driver, or Travel Driver, allows you to have the freedom of solo travel (i.e. travel outside of a “group tour” experience) whether you’re on your own, a couple or your own small group, without the concerns and/or worries that might arise. It also allows for a stress-free and carefree experience, knowing that there is someone with you to ensure you avoid breaking any rules or laws, finding yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time, getting into dangerous situations, having to figure out the navigation, etc. And besides helping you to avoid the bad stuff, he/she is there to show you all the good stuff! These are informed locals who can show you things you won’t find in the guide books. Please see our Benefits page for more information.
TravelDrivers’ Founder, Janet Grey, has traveled on her own all over the world, often to places that were considered dangerous for women to travel to solo. She always felt completely at ease, however, when she had an excellent private driver-guide to guide and protect her. After having some bad experiences in certain countries with lazy, uninformed, rude, insensitive and even dangerous drivers, she decided it was time to make finding extraordinary ones easier for all concerned. She is an expert in this field, and has the most discriminating taste. If a driver is good enough for her, he or she is good enough for everyone.
Can you help me no matter where I am going?
Unfortunately, no, not at this point. There have been times when we have received requests and not been able to fulfill them. TravelDrivers is curated and it is a very big world. We are a new/young company, and at this point, we have not found drivers that suit our standards in every part of it. We would prefer to say “No” than to connect a client with a driver who is not of the quality that we require. We are rapidly expanding, however, and hope you will keep checking with us in the future in the event we can’t handle your request immediately. We do take all requests, and those we are not able to fulfill are refunded our initial $25 enquiry fee in full.
May I have the contact info for all drivers you find for me?
No, our fee is for a choice from up to 3 quality drivers, if applicable (in some instances, we may only have one extraordinary driver to offer in a particular destination at this point), and we provide contact info on the one you choose. In some cases, however, such as Bali, we have an entire team of 16 drivers for you to choose from. We will then give you contact information for your first choice, once availability is confirmed. If your first choice is not available, we move to your second choice. That is why it’s important to choose 3. These are such great driver-guides that they are busy. Availability depends on how early you start the search process. Please note: Once we have confirmed availability and provided contact information, if you happen to cancel your trip, our fees are not refundable, and a cancellation fee will go directly to the driver-guide for his/fees her trouble. See Pricing for more details.
How soon should I book?
We strongly recommend that you book at least 2 weeks before you plan to leave the country, whether or not your first destination is where you will be meeting your TravelDriver. What we are doing takes time. Busy drivers are not constantly looking at future bookings and may take a while to respond to our queries. Our pricing allows for less advanced timing but it will cost more and chances are that you won’t get your first choice of driver. In destinations where we only have one or two so far, they may all be booked. Best case scenario: Book with us 2-3 months in advance. That way you won’t risk being without a driver and we will have plenty of time to help you get the best possible person for you and your own personal requests and requirements.
How do you vet these drivers?
All of our drivers are screened carefully using a variety of processes. We first seek out discerning recommendations from respected professionals. These may range from a travel writer to a personal friend of the Dalai Lama to a high level international executive.
We then contact these highly recommended drivers and send them our extensive list of questions through which they submit their important paperwork, photos and driving history. When we feel their answers merit further investigation, we speak with them on the phone to ensure their English is extremely good. We spend a lot of time talking to them about our requirements and expectations. Everything is taken into account such as their responsiveness, their attitude, their personality, their ability to listen as well as speak in a clear manner, their openness to our requests and ideas and even their sense of humor! With most of the drivers the final process is that we actually drive with them.
Our site will make it clear whether or not we have traveled with the driver. If we have, the photos will always include one of the driver with our Founder, Janet Grey, or with another TravelDrivers Representative. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.
What payments do you take?
Will I always get the specific driver-guide that I have reserved?
We pride ourselves in not only carefully choosing all of our TravelDrivers carefully, but also in providing detailed information about them, including their experience, family situation, interests and photos, in order to help you to make the best possible choice for you, ensuring a carefree and fun experience. Our intention is that the particular driver-guide that you have chosen to book will be the one that you end up with. However, there are instances where something occurs, making this impossible. Whether it is an illness, injury, family tragedy or a scheduling situation on the part of the driver or the service that he or she works for, unfortunately, stuff happens. Life happens. These things cannot be controlled by us. When such an event does occur, requiring a change, you will be notified immediately, provided with complete information on the replacement TravelDriver, and given the opportunity to cancel. In this instance, a cancellation is fully refundable.
Should we tip our TravelDriver? If so, how much?
Are these drivers all licensed tour guides?
NO, they are knowledgeable drivers who guide you, too, while doing so much more to enhance your vacation experience. Some of them are also trained and licensed tour guides, but most are not (yet they still provide an extraordinary experience!). They know a lot, often things that are more "local" and interesting than the kind of things you'd read in history or guide books, but they do not all necessarily know specific historic details, such as exact dates and historical facts.