I’m not sure which service I need. Can you help?
Absolutely! Ask yourself two questions: How much time do you have to plan? And, how detailed or in-depth do you want your Pittsburgh adventure to be?
If you want to keep the adventure in your hands, but want pointed in the right direction while saving yourself time, the DIY Consult service is for you.
If you want an expert to tackle the planning but enjoy a relaxed itinerary, the Standard service is calling your name.
If you have zero time for planning, have a multi-generational group, want a fuller itinerary, or require multiple itineraries, the Premium service is the way to go. (Please note that any group needing multiple itineraries are automatically considered Platinum customers.)
Please see the service descriptions, and Pricing page, for more information.
How much notice do you need to plan my trip?
The general rule of thumb is the sooner, the better - as I want to provide you with the best service and experience possible!
That being said, for the DIY Consult and Standard services, at least a 30-day advance is required. The Platinum service requires at least a 60-day advance. (Also be aware that the number of Platinum services taken on at any given time is limited, due to the attention they require.)
Again, it’s all about providing you with the best service and experience possible!
Do you plan for large or corporate groups?
The DIY Consult, Standard, and Platinum services fees are based on groups up to 6 people. For larger groups, please contact me directly.
What does “unlimited trip advice” under the Premium service mean?
Unlimited trip advice means that you have access to me during your trip. You can contact me with questions as situations arise, and I’ll do my best to respond within 30-60 minutes during day and evening hours.
A few examples of situations where this would apply are:
It looks like we can take the light rail or drive to our destination - which do you suggest?
We decided we want to take the bus to the Oakland neighborhood, but are confused as to which one to take. Please help.
My girlfriend suddenly became sick. Where can I buy groceries and medicine to make her feel better?
We planned on going kayaking on the river tomorrow, but it’s now calling for rain. Please suggest an alternative activity.
My daughter and I have decided to we need a relaxing spa day instead of visit the Andy Warhol Museum. (We’re kind of museum-ed out.) Please provide some recommendations.
We’re not having the best experience at our hotel. Can you please suggest another? Or remind me of one of the others we had talked about?
If you’re interested in adding the service to your Premium itinerary, we can discuss it in more detail. Just let me know!
What if I want to make changes to the itinerary?
I get it! Life happens. Maybe you’ve arrived to find that a place has unexpectedly closed due to unforeseen circumstances. Maybe the weather isn’t cooperating. Or perhaps you find yourself in the mood for something else that day - or desperately need a quiet day to recharge.
That’s why the Standard service includes recommendations for 5 additional attractions and activities, so you have some back-ups at the ready. And the Premium service includes the “unlimited advice and support” option to provide the assistance if something needs changed in the moment.
What about trips with kids?
Pittsburgh is a very kid-friendly city. There’s the Children’s Museum, National Aviary, Carnegie Science Center, and the Carnegie Natural History Museum. During the summer, SandCastle waterpark and the Kennywood amusement park are great places to spend the day. Kids enjoy the water steps and iconic fountain along the downtown river trails. Plus, if you prefer the great outdoors, Allegheny County also has nine gorgeous parks with activities such as fishing, skiing, and ranger activities.
All that to say, there’s plenty for kids to enjoy! And we can certainly create your itinerary based on their interests, ages, and how relaxed you want the pace to be.
Do you make bookings for flights, car rentals, hotels, etc?
Short answer: no.
I’m a Travel Strategist - which is completely different than a travel agent who will book your stay for you. (Or help you find discounts.)
My role is more like a travel consultant. I get to know you, your interests, personality, energy levels, and goals for the trip - and match that with my Pittsburgh knowledge and expertise.
In other words, I help you connect with the city in a way that speaks to you - while also helping to smooth out the logistics.
What exactly is included in an itinerary?
Great question! Your itinerary is your written guide for your trip, based on your interests, personality, and other important considerations. (Which we discuss in-depth.) It includes things such as where you’ll stay, along with the recommended activities, events, shops, and that resulted from our discussion. Along with any bonuses included with your package.
How detailed the itinerary is depends on the service. Under the Standard package, you receive one itinerary. It includes 1 attraction/activity/outing per day, plus 1 restaurant per day - leaving room for spontaneity and letting the city take you where it may.
The Premium service, on the other hand, goes into greater detail depending on your preferences. It might include multiple loose itineraries if your group will be splitting up during the day. (A common occurrence in multi-generational groups.) Or, it might be a tighter itinerary that lays everything out in hours and minutes.
Note: The the DIY Consult service doesn't include a written itinerary, as that service is consultation through email. Thus, creating your final trip plan is up to you - based on what we've discussed.
What's my return on investment?
Your return on investment comes in several areas:
You save time planning. Everyone is hard-pressed for time these days! By planning your trip through Relate Escape, you can allocate that precious time elsewhere - while also saving yourself the inevitable stress and frustration. (‘Cause who needs more of that? Answer: no one!)
You save time on the trip. Yes, there’s Yelp! for suggestions of places to visit. And the Port Authority website is there to help you figure out how to get around using public transit in a pinch. But, again, what is your time worth? Wouldn’t you rather spend your time on your trip actually being on your adventure? And being able to adventure with confidence?
You keep yourself from being overwhelmed. While there’s no shortage of information and reviews online, sometimes it can be too much. Planning a getaway, adventure, or vacation should not add to your stress! Hello - that’s why you’re trying to escape daily life! So instead of getting sucked into the endless hole that is the internet, hire someone to relieve you of that anguish. (Me!)
You get a more connected and authentic experience. It’s one thing to visit a place; it’s another entirely to feel as if you’ve truly connected with it. Wouldn’t be nice if, being into micro-breweries for example, your Adventure Strategist connected you with a few local places? How awesome would it be not just to visit them - but come away with relationships with the owners that lasted after you went back home?
Plus, a city has so many amazing “off the beaten path” places that can be hard to find unless you live there.
You get local advice. Let’s be honest - nobody knows a place like a local! There’s always that knowledge that only they know. Such as: Don’t go to this neighborhood after dark. (I've got your back, ladies!) Or, yes, this museum seems awesome on the website but you’ll definitely like this one better. Or, take the bus to this place rather than drive because parking is very scarce. And so on.
Why should I choose you?
Because it will be one of the best decisions you ever made - plain and simple.
Let me break it down for you (‘cause I’m nice like that!):
I'm ridiculously hard-working, detail-oriented, and strategically wired. (I do 3D puzzles for fun, yinz.) This means your adventure will always get done (barring a severe illness, injury, or death) - and done well.
I’m starting this business on the side of a day job. (Yes, I just went full transparency on you. Refreshing, isn’t it?) Anyone who does that loves what they do. And if they love what they do, chances are very high that you will be greatly satisfied with your experience!
Unlike a travel agent - or other consultants - I want you to not just enjoy Pittsburgh - but connect with it. To find your people and your places - whether you realized they were here or not! That’s why this company is called Relate Escape and not something like Jenn Murray, Pittsburgh Travel Consultant.
I love Pittsburgh. Plus, I naturally keep up with what's happening here. I grew up 30 minutes outside of the city, in a town called Irwin, and have lived downtown since 2013. I love it here for so many reasons! You will have to pry my cold, dead hands off of Pittsburgh!
Why should I visit Pittsburgh?
I get it! Maybe you’ve never thought of Pittsburgh as a travel destination. Or, maybe you came across one of the many recent media articles singing our praises - but you’ll still trying to figure out what Pittsburgh can do for you.
The truth is, Pittsburgh has so much to offer - no matter your age or interests. The city is in the middle of a full-fledged Renaissance - to the point where we’re getting national and global recognition in a number of areas. Including as a must-see place to visit!
Here are just a few reasons why you should seriously consider visiting Pittsburgh:
You get everything a big city has - without the hassle of a big city. Pittsburgh isn’t on the scale of New York City or Chicago in regards to geographical size - but we have what they do. For example, we have a downtown Cultural District with a world-renown symphony; a ballet company; various theaters; and a ton of cultural events.
Plus, the downtown area itself is rather small compared to other cities, so you won’t have to trek around as much.
There is literally something for everyone. We have everything from cultural arts; to the infamous Carnegie museums, Andy Warhol museum, and Heinz History Museum (which is part of the Smithsonian); to miles of gorgeous river trails; to things for the kids; to restaurants that have been launched by famous chefs (who specifically came here to do so); to a clipper fleet; to NHL, MLB, and NFL sports teams; to microbreweries and cat cafes… I mean, you name it - we probably have it!
It has personality. Pittsburgh has so many neighborhoods with their own charm and personality. Are you into historic? Artsy? Hipster? Just plain out-of-the-box? Pittsburgh is all of those things - and more.
It has unique neighborhoods. Downtown Pittsburgh is surrounded by a plethora of neighborhoods, each with its own personality and style. Chances are, Pittsburgh has a neighborhood that speaks your language and has members of your tribe - whomever that might be. (It also makes visiting Pittsburgh interesting and fun!)
I don't see my question here. Can we talk?
Absolutely! Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have. I always do my best to respond promptly!