There's an abundance of ways that you can make planning a vacation easier. One of these would be to see a travel agent and allow them to organize your trip for you. Another option is to use travel planner apps which provide you with unique information to make informed decisions yourself.
Either of these options makes traveling considerably easier for you, with the first requiring no planning at all compared to the latter.
With popular options in mind for travelers, it's no surprise that Kimkim has come under our radar. Kimkim is a travel holiday website where you can plan custom trips with travel specialists.
Besides Kimkim, there are also plenty of other travel planning apps out there that provide similar services, like Viator, Roadtrippers, Expedia, and more. If you're thinking about purchasing any of these services, you can read our impartial reviews first.
What Is kimkim?
kimkim is essentially a travel planning app and website where you can plan personalized trips with experienced travelers.
It does this by connecting customers with local experts from popular tourist destinations, all while allowing them to choose the activities they enjoy the most. Kimkim combines the local experience of the expert with the traveler's personal preferences to meet the traveler's needs.
Kimkim, previously called Hive Travel, got its name in a funny way. Apparently, the first customer on their site named Kim was paired with a travel specialist, whose name is also named Kim. Kim – the customer – ended up planning the 25th-anniversary trip with her husband on the site. Thus, the name was born!
Kimkim was founded in 2015 by a team of travel entrepreneurs in Palo Alto, California. The founders also helped build companies such as EveryTrail and TripAdvisor. A key part of the company's vision is the involvement of real people and human interaction in the planning process.
Its team of travel experts are from lots of different countries all over the world. Kimkim claims that all its travel experts have been carefully vetted through their interview and training process.
The idea is that you can speak to someone who knows the country and area you're visiting so that the trip will go smoothly for everyone involved.
How To Book With kimkim
Although you mostly can't book day trips with Kimkim, it's possible to book a trip if your itinerary is 5 days in total or more. Booking on the website follows 3 simple steps:
- Select your destination
- Connect with a travel specialist through an online chat
- Booking and payment
Out of all these three steps, the first one seems to take the longest amount of time. You'll need to choose the country you want to travel to from the list of countries that kimkim provides.
After doing this, you'll be taken through a list of activity options that you can do while in the country. Once you've selected the ones you like, it's time to connect with the travel agent and book your desired trip.
Where Does kimkim Operate?
The kimkim global office is located in California, with satellite offices in Lima and Amsterdam. Although this is the case, their team of travel specialists work remotely around the globe.
Kimkim is active across many continents:
- Middle East and Africa
- Asia and Oceania
- North and Central America
- South America
For a full list of the different countries kimkim operates in, be sure to go through their website for the latest destination info.
Why kimkim is Useful for Travel Planning
There's something to be said for a service when you have your travel needs adequately met. Here's the part of Kimkim I like.
The need for cancellation is a common occurrence for travelers. I know from first-hand experience that there are a lot of things that might cause one to cancel at the drop of a hat.
Kimkim seems to know this quite well, and their deposit structure means you only lose some of your money as long as you cancel at the right time.
This is a huge benefit for those who are living on busy schedules.
If kimkim didn't include real people in the planning process, I think it would be much less successful as a travel planning app.
The fact that you can contact local travel specialists around the world makes the company more trustworthy. This adds to the value of the travel planning experience as you feel secure knowing you're speaking to a real person who knows the area that you're traveling to exceptionally well.
Another part of kimkim's website that needs mentioning is the abundance of articles on its blog. The blog helps to spark some inspiration for your next trip, and you can find multiple itineraries of various lengths.
One of the interesting aspects about all of this information is that it's written by travel specialists. This makes it reliable and easily digestible for the everyday traveler.
Selecting the "Pick Your Destination" option also provides a list of images from trending destinations that you can choose from, adding an exciting and informative element to the planning process.
Drawbacks of Using kimkim
Every service has its ups and downs, and kimkim is no exception. Here's some of the negative reviews with the platform.
Communication and Organization
A common complaint online is their lack of communication and organization. Some people mention having to constantly remind the guides of what they want to do so that they remember.
Other people say they organized activities with kimkim only for them to be completely different after arriving in the country.
Far From Budget-Friendly
Another not-so-great aspect of kimkim is its prices. Although it isn't massively high compared to other travel planning services, kimkim isn't the most budget-friendly option.
There are plenty of reviews from travelers stating that they spent thousands of dollars for itineraries consisting of less than a week, and this seems to be their average number.
High Deposit Amount
Although the flexibility that Kimkim offers is helpful, it's still necessary to mention that the deposit amount is considerably high.
The benefits of organizing your trip as a beginner, booking flight tickets and hotels means you have much more control over possible cancellations. This saves you a considerable amount of money, especially if you're on a budget.
Unlike Kimkim, many popular hotel websites and even airlines allow you to cancel easily without the fees that Kimkim charge.
Kimkim charges a 30% non-refundable and non-negotiable deposit for your trip at the time of booking. This deposit percentage fee over the total trip could mean a whole lot of money, depending on if you need to cancel or not.
Cancellation/Refund Policy of kimkim
If this is the case, they'll revise the order or refund the charged amount fully. In addition to this, it's also important to mention that Kimkim requires a 30% non-refundable deposit when you book a trip with them. After paying this, you'll need to pay the remaining balance before your trip.
If you do need to cancel, you need to do this more than 2 months before your trip. This way, you'll only lose your deposit, service fee, and possible planning fees.
If some unforeseen circumstances come up and you're unable to travel, you can postpone your trip at no additional cost, if you give your specialist at least two weeks' notice before the start of your trip.
If you have more inquiries, you can visit their FAQs page or send them an email.
Is kimkim Worth It?
If you don't like the hassle of planning your trip, or would like to explore a city with a local operator, then, kimkim seems to do the trick. You could say it's like a travel agency, except it's online, and there are more options available.
With all of the planning apps out there, kimkim does stand a chance to be among other top-ranked booking sites like TripAdvisor. There's a reason Kimkim has an overwhelming number of positive reviews.
Their combination of using experienced specialists tailored to people's travel needs seems to work well. Most people find it more efficient to use travelers as booking agents because they've been to the country rather than a tour agent who bases their knowledge purely off what they read.
Of course, not every person's experience will be the same, so it's essential to try it out for yourself. This way, you can be assured whether it's the right planning app for you or if you should change to a different one. The ultimate way of knowing what is best for you is by experiencing it!
Our Rating: 3.9/5
- Booking flexibility
- Human interaction
- Communication issues
- Not budget-friendly
- High deposit fee
Book Your Trip in the Best Way - With Pilot!
Planning your trip doesn't have to be expensive you know. All you need is the right travel planning app like Pilot to get you started.