Vakast, a Newport Beach-based online travel agency, is aiming to fill the gap between anonymous Internet travel booking and bespoke vacation planning with Vakast Concierge, a personalized service program that launches Wednesday (today).
Vakast Concierge agents will be available by email or telephone around the clock to book the expected -- vacation homes, hotels and car rentals -- but also the unexpected: private jet charters, personal chefs, grocery delivery, concert and museum tickets, party entertainers and a diversity of activities such as shopping, golfing, surfing, shark diving or even zip-lining.
The service also offers referrals to fitness trainers and babysitters; spas and salons; housekeepers, butlers and drivers; yoga, dance, tennis and cooking classes; and even mail services such as couriers, messengers and writing thank-you cards.
Monique Berry, Vakast chief operating officer, says the service will help eliminate the use of multiple sites and agencies and provide travelers with trusted resources worldwide.
Before Wednesday, a more limited concierge service was available free only for one week before and during a trip booked through Vakast.com. Now, however, expanded services are available for longer time frames in three types of plans.
--The 30/30 Concierge plan requires a one-time $30 fee for 30 days of all services except airline bookings.
--The 7-Carat Concierge is a $150, one-year, full-service membership plan that can be canceled before the six-month renewal.
--The Vakast Premier Concierge plan costs $25 every month, can be canceled at the six-month mark and allows five pre-appointed members to share the plan.