Semi-independent with JayWay

By Marcia Brandes
This item appears on page 30 of the March 2019 issue.

Those hesitant to travel independently in Central Europe might enjoy the kind of semi-independent tour that my husband and I took in June 2015. Most of our travel arrangements were made through JayWay Travel (New Rochelle, NY; 800/344-5785,, mostly by email but sometimes by phone.

During the year I spent planning the trip, JayWay was very accommodating, making changes as I made adjustments to our itinerary. They also offered several price categories for hotels. Our arrangements ended up costing around $2,600 per person, not including airfare.

We flew into Prague, Czech Republic, for a stay, took the train to Budapest, Hungary, for a stay and continued to Zagreb, Croatia, where we rented a car. We then drove ourselves through Slovenia (with a stay at Lake Bled) and Croatia (with a stay at Plitvice Lakes National Park), making a day trip to Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Giving us a selection of places to stay in each location, JayWay helped us plan the itinerary and booked the train tickets and rental car for us. They also provided transfers from and to the airport, hotels and train stations, booked half-day tours with local guides in Prague and Budapest and delivered the rental car to our hotel in Zagreb. Basically, JayWay arranged all of our ground transportation.

There were several factors influencing our decision to use JayWay. At each new major destination, they had a local representative meet us and loan us a cell phone. That rep was on call for anything we might need.

Also, we were able to make our own arrangements for a place to stay in Dubrovnik, which we chose from a Rick Steves travel guide, and I made arrangements for a guide to take us to Montenegro for the day. JayWay was there to help when I needed them, but they didn't insist on taking over the whole trip.

We had the reassurance of having a local contact, if needed, yet we had the freedom to explore places we wanted to see on our own schedule.

We found the people and the places we visited to be very friendly and never felt unsafe.


Atlanta, GA