A great and surprising experience. I had never used a travel agent before. Thru the Zicasso experience we selected an agent, and then got the full value of her expertise. We had a loose pre-conceived itinerary that she essentially "talked us out of," at great benefit to us. She took the things we wanted to do in New Zealand, and kicked the trip up a notch by highlighting things we should skip (that weren't spectacular enough for the amount of time we had for travel,) and by suggesting numerous activities, hotels and restaurants we had never heard of.
Hiring the travel agent gave me more than a booking service. It gave me knowledge and recommendations for things I never would have discovered on my own, no matter how much research I did.
We are very active people, and our agent responded to our requests for fun with a great itinerary of pre-scheduled events (kayaking, biking, heli hiking, etc in all of the most beautiful places.) However, she paired it with great gourmet food and wine excursions, and over the top hotel suggestions. For example, TreeTops super lodge to end our vacation was stunning.
The variety of natural beauty in such a small amount of space is unmatched in New Zealand. Spending time outdoors, biking, hiking, kayaking, etc. thru areas that looked like hawaii, switzerland, alaska, california, the carribean, etc. was amazing. However, the overnight boat on milford sound, completed with a heli flight out thru the fiords (including a glacier landing and walk) was the most unique and stunning thing we did.
I just wish we had more time. 17 nights isn't enough for New Zealand. The locals and other travelers we met were so friendly. Wish we had some more days to plan impromptu activites (respond to great invites we received) with them. We definitely hit the top 10 things to do, but learned of many more things we missed.
Your overall comments on Zicasso
I randomly found Zicasso on line while searching for NZ tour operators. The service was perfect for me. I have traveled extensively, but have never used a travel agent before. Zicasso was like the perfect dating service. Before selecting our travel agent, we got to "interview" each other to find out about our common interests, experiences, and sensibilities. The agent we selected was "the perfect match." Our trip was like the ultimate date.
Each review is written by a verified traveler who was matched by Zicasso to the reviewed agency. Traveler must have purchased and traveled.
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