Immersive Experiences for the Independent Traveler
WHAT IS AN "IMMERSION"?
An Immersion is a curated set of 3 unique experiences with locals to add to your own, self-planned itinerary in Italy. Each experience is booked for you on the dates of your choice.
The most meaningful travel memories come from time spent with locals in Italy. Yet that's the part most travelers leave to chance.
Save time. Save money. Save unforgettable memories to relive time and time again.
Save time & money
Give yourself a break from the research and planning– get high end travel planning and done FOR you booking at a fraction of the price.
Get easY access to local culture
Save yourself the hassle and the guesswork– book an Immersion to quickly and easily add that local flavor and unforgettable experiences to your trip!
Keep control of your own itinerary
Skip the bells and whistles to focus on what you actually want: memory-making experiences in touch with the authentic local culture!
Support locals & sustainable travel
We steer away from the masses and put your $ where it makes a difference– in the pockets of locals.
Tell Me More!
If you want to plan your own trip to Italy, that’s great! But when you’ve checked off the popular sites and want to get into the more local side of things, it can be a challenge to access the authentic culture and connect with local people.
The search for authentic local experiences while traveling in Italy can be frustrating due to the overwhelming amount of information available and language barriers. Many travel guides and recommendations cater to tourists, making it challenging to find genuine experiences.
It can often feel like the local life you seek is juuuuuust out of reach, but you don’t know how to find it and hiring an Italy expert to custom-create your itinerary is an investment not everyone wants to make.
Make your travel planning easier with our new Immersions– add 3 authentic experiences to your own itinerary for unforgettable memories immersed in the Italian culture with our local friends, artisans, and partners.
give yourself a break
When you book an Immersion, you get to give yourself a break from the research and planning. We know you do your own trip planning because you want to have control over making sure the trip is special and authentic– not like the other tourists. We get it! But all that research is time-consuming, exhausting, and it’s guesswork at the end of all that effort. We LOVE that our customers can focus on booking the straightforward pieces themselves, like the famous sights and must-do activities, then simply book an Immersion to add the more unique and local flavor! You get 3 unforgettable experiences added to your itinerary in one fell swoop!
Done, Done, & Done!
save Money & maximize your memorable experiences
It used to be one or the other– you plan your own trip from A-Z (time consuming and complete guesswork pieced together from travel threads) OR you hire a travel planner to do it ALL for you (a major investment). But without access to a local expert, those planning their own itinerary miss out on those really special experiences immersed in the Italian culture with locals.
Our Immersion packages allow travelers to maintain control over their own itinerary and budget AND also get access to those little-known and super memorable, culturally-immersive experiences without hiring an expert to plan a custom itinerary.
skip the bells & whistles
Seasoned self-planners don’t wince at the thought of figuring out logistics on their own, choosing a hotel, or deciding where to eat. They don’t need the bells and whistles, they just want help finding those culturally-immersive experiences. They can take care of everything else on their own. We’re able to keep our Immersions affordable by limiting the additional services and skipping the bells and whistles to focus on what it is you actually want– memory-making experiences in touch with the authentic local culture!
What is an "immersion"?
An Immersion is a set of 3 unique experiences to add to your own, self-planned itinerary in Italy. Each experience is booked for you on the dates of your choice.
In summary, an Immersion is 3 puzzle pieces while a custom trip is the entire puzzle, custom-designed for you.
Take a look at our Local Venice Immersion, which includes each of these Private experiences just for you and your travel companions:
Starting from $840* per person (based on 2 travelers). More people in your party? Groups of 4 - 6 get a 15% discount and groups of 7 - 10 get a 20% discount!
*Approximate pricing based on 2 people. Our immersions are organized just for you! Book with a $200 deposit and we'll check current pricing and availability!
Save time & money
Get easy, insider access to the local culture
Skip the black hole of internet research
Feel confident you’ve booked something truly authentic and unique
Support locals and engage in sustainable travel
Plan your own trip but get access to high-quality, unique experiences without paying for a customized itinerary from a travel expert
what immersions are not
Immersions are NOT personalized. There are various Immersions to choose from, but each Immersion is a standard set of 3 unique and special experiences that have been carefully curated together for a reason. You are buying a set of 3 experiences, but you don't have to participate in all 3 if there's one you don't want to attend. However– we really think you’ll make some very special memories at each and every one of these experiences!
Immersions are designed to be inserted into your own, self-planned itinerary, so they do not include any additional advice, personalization, concierge services, or arrangements. If you’re looking for full service trip planning, a private, custom trip may be a better fit for you.
Who are these trips for?From solo travelers to groups of friends, our small groups of 7 travelers are made of all ages (above 18) and enjoy becoming a little community as we slurp through plates of pasta and laugh trying to pronounce Italian words. Our guests understand that travel in Italy can hold unexpected surprises and they’re up for going with the flow, trusting that we know the best place to be at any moment. They’re open-minded, love trying new things, and are accustomed to toeing the boundaries of their comfort zone for the rewarding experiences that lay just outside it. Our trips attract those who appreciate creativity and the arts, nature, meeting locals, and seeing things outside the guidebook that might not be luxurious but are authentic and genuine. All ages above 18 are welcome and we encourage the cross-generational exchange that occurs. A strong effort is made to make everyone feel part of the group no matter what age, sex, gender, sexual preference, or hair-do! Our off-the-beaten-path, immersive and laid-back travel style isn’t for everyone. If you're not sure let's chat about it!
How are Creative Edge Travel trips different from other tours?In comparing countless other trips, the #1 thing we have that others don't is our people-focused approach to bring you into the lives of locals. Imagine lingering over a homecooked meal in a local family's home with sweeping views and meaningful conversation about both the beauty and the challenges within their daily lives. We go beyond the typical tourist sites to create experiences around the passions of our local friends and add our own creative edge to assure it’s something meaningful and special. We don’t just plan trips, we design special moments around people. In addition, we lead a maximum of 6 trips per year. That means, for example, that a local who hosts a dinner during the trip does it only twice a year instead of twice a week like other tour companies. In this way, the experience remains coming from a place of passion and cultural exchange rather than simply a job. We also invite our local friends to join us here and there along the way so that travelers have an opportunity to interact with locals in a casual setting instead of always having them up on a pedestal.
What's included?Inclusions depend on your specific trip and you should check the trip details for an accurate listing. However, the following items are generally included with the cost of the trip: -All accommodations incl all taxes & fees -Meals as listed in your trip documents, there will always be some meals not included (we believe scoping out your own hole-in-the-wall is part of the experience!) -Wine at included lunches and dinners -Arrival/Departure transportation & private driver for the duration of the trip -All activities, workshops, and visits -Tips for Guides and Drivers -24/7 Trip Leader -Professional Flight Booking Assistance -Carbon Footprint Offset -Pre-Trip Prep: Culture and language lessons (optional), arrival/departure advice, packing tips, and additional resources to fully connect with what you'll experience on the trip!
What's not included?Exclusions depend on your specific trip and you should check the trip details for an accurate listing. However, the following are generally not included with the cost of the trip. Flights (We can help you find the best flights for your trip dates, free of charge!) Some meals (We believe scoping out your own hole-in-the-wall is part of the experience.) Incidental expenses (Air conditioning may cost extra but it is unlikely that it will be needed.) Mandatory travel insurance Optional guide, driver, and hotel gratuity
What are the accommodations like?The B&B's we partner with are comfortable but you shouldn’t expect the same standards you’re used to back home. For example, air conditioning is not standard in Italy and may be an extra charge. We look for accommodations that offer something special- an artistic flair, really unique history, family-feel, or a breathtaking setting, for example. If you're traveling on your own, you'll have a single room to yourself (no sharing). If you're traveling with someone, you'll have a double bed to share. We’ve worked hard to pick unique accommodations that have a creative vibe and something special about them. We know you'll love them!
Where is the meeting point and how do I get there?Please check you trip specifics. Generally, we'll provide 2 - 3 transfers throughout the day from the airport to our first B&B and return you to the airport in the morning on the day of departure.
What is the cost of the trip?Please check your particular trip for pricing. Prices are per person and in USD, unless expressed otherwise.
How much is needed to secure my spot?You don't need to pay the total cost of the trip up front. However, when you sign up for the trip, you have to pay a deposit to secure your spot. The remainder is due 60 days before trip start date and can be scheduled in 2 payments.
How do I register?To register for a trip, all you need to do is apply by filling out a simple form. We'll then have a chat so we can be sure the trip is a good fit for you and to answer any questions you may have. Once approved, we will send you the link where you can register and pay your deposit to secure your spot!
I have to cancel the trip. Will I get a refund?Our trips are carefully budgeted for 7 participants. This means we have to adhere to a strict Cancellation Policy in order to maintain cost effectiveness for everyone. However, we require you to purchase travel insurance in an effort to provide some protection from potential losses should you need to cancel*. COVID-19 Amendment If you or Creative Edge Travel cancel your trip due to COVID-19 travel restrictions in Italy or in your home country: *If you booked a custom trip, you can change trip dates within one year, permitted that the itinerary we've planned doesn't change. Otherwise additional planning fees will apply. **If you booked a custom trip, the planning fee is non-refundable. If you cancel for any reason other than what is listed above, your cancellation will be subject to the full Terms & Conditions. Here's a synopsis: *If you booked a custom trip, you can change trip dates within one year, permitted that the itinerary we've planned doesn't change. Otherwise additional planning fees will apply. **There is a cancellation fee up to $300. If any non-refundable elements were booked for your trip, those amounts will be deducted from your refund. If you booked a custom trip or added an extension to a group trip, the Custom Trip Planning Fee is non-refundable. *It is up to you to make sure your travel insurance policy includes trip cancellation coverage. Click here for Travel Insurance info.
How much money do you suggest we bring for the things that aren't included?The amount of money you bring to cover expenses that aren't included in the cost of the trip is totally up to you. To give you an idea, a sandwich is about 3 - 6 euros while a plate of pasta is about 7 - 15 euros. If you add an appetizer, wine, and dessert, you're looking at 35 - 45 euros per person. Tipping is not mandatory nor expected in Italy.
Do you book flights?We have a flight expert who can search the best fare for you and book them, free of charge.
Do you sell travel insurance?We do not sell travel insurance. We recommend you contact our partners at VisitorsCoverage who will be happy to help you compare plans and find what you need. Please click here for our guidance on travel insurance!
Do I need a visa to visit Italy?The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport but it's very important that you check before you travel. U.S. citizens may enter Italy for up to 90 days for tourist purposes without a visa. Participants must have a passport valid for at least six months beyond date of departure from the Schengen area and at least two blank pages. You'll need to send us a scan of your passport 60 days before departure. Participants should check the Department of State website for up-to-date travel information and advisories.
I don't speak Italian, how can I connect with locals?"We do not require participants to be able to speak Italian as exchanges with locals often happen in more subtle ways than just verbally. However, before the trip, we will be sending you resources related to Italian language and culture to help you get the basics under your belt. You are not required to study Italian before your trip, but it will help you have a more meaningful experience. Our trip leader will be there 24/7 to communicate with locals, should you need it. In addition, most of our partners speak English!
Do you have suggested list of items for us to bring?What you should pack depends on the season and region you'll be visiting. Your trip leader will send you suggestions before your trip. You can check out our blog posts about packing: How to Pack for a Spring Trip to Tuscany How to Organize Your Suitcase for Stress-Free Travel
Can the itinerary change from what I've booked?Your itinerary is a base itinerary, which is subject to minor changes due to closure, festivals, weather, or unexpected events. Additionally, the itinerary is prepared well in advance, and at times there are unexpected closures for various reasons that require us to alter the plans. In the end, our goal is always to bring our guests unique experiences, and when substitutions happen, they are always wonderful!
How do your trips support positive change in the world?At Creative Edge Travel, we believe in the power of cultural experiences to transform lives. That's why we donate a portion of our proceeds to Global Glimpse. Global Glimpse is a non-profit organization that helps diverse high school students complete community projects in the developing world. Read about them here. We also believe our impact on this earth should be light. At checkout, we offer the option to offset your carbon footprint through the Nature Conservancy's carbon offset program, helping fund forest conservation, improved forest management or reforestation projects that produce measurable climate benefits.