How far in advance do I need to make airline reservations?
The lowest airfares usually will have at least a 21-day advance booking stipulation. International discounted business class airfare can have up to 120-day advance booking requirements so if you are looking for a bargain, you may need to book 4 months in advance or more.
Do I need to purchase my tickets now?
Domestic published airfares require purchase within 24 hours. International airfares can allow up to 72 hours to purchase but neither is guaranteed to stay as quoted past the end of the business day.
Once I purchase my ticket, can the fare go down?
Yes, airfares do drop, and you can get a refund if that happens, but you will be required to pay the applicable change fee for your ticket. That can be anywhere from $200 to $500 per ticket and is subject to change.
Do I need to take a converter and plug adapters?
Yes, you will need both and nowadays you can buy a converter and multiple adapters in one kit from Amazon or even at the airports. You should only need a plug adaptor, as almost all mobile phone/tablet chargers, laptop plugs, hair dryers and camera chargers have a converter. The converter is usually a black box on the plug, or in the middle of the cord.
What do I do about medications I take?
You must take them in the prescribed bottles and it’s recommended that you pack them in your hand luggage.
What credit/debit cards are accepted?
Visa and MasterCard (Euro Card) are widely accepted. American Express is accepted at many hotels, high end restaurants and tourist sites. Discover Card is not accepted in Europe.
Is gratuity included and if not, how much should I budget?
Gratuity is not included in the tour price and tipping is entirely at your discretion. Our Trip Details documentation includes suggested tipping amounts.
Should I purchase travel insurance?
We do highly recommend buying travel insurance, however this is completely optional. We will provide a quote for travel insurance at time of deposit.
Can I book the hotels directly?
As with other custom travel planning services, we sell an entire trip as a package.
Please keep in mind also that when you book through our agency, you are provided with top customer service that you would not get via online agencies.
- Expert advice pre-trip planning
- 24X7 phone support should any problems arise during your travel from us and our local partners overseas.
- Due to our long-term volume relationships with hotels, if last-minute upgrades are available, you will have a better chance of free upgrades. And due to our affiliation with Virtuoso, if you have reserved one of the hotels in our portfolio you will be provided with VIP service and upgrades highly likely.
What Travel Documents are required?
Everyone who travels internationally is required to bring a valid passport. Your passport expiration date must be valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date. You're responsible for obtaining all required travel documents prior to your tour. If you're not a US citizen, you'll need to contact your government to determine specific passport and visa requirements for traveling in Europe.
What Documents will I need to bring for my children?
In addition to a passport/visa, any child under 18 who isn't accompanied by BOTH parents must bring a notarized letter, signed by both parents, allowing the child to be taken out of the US and allowing the adult traveling with the child to seek any necessary medical care. The letter should include the child's legal name, date of birth as shown on his or her passport, plus dates and countries of travel. For details, call the US State Department at 888-407-4747.
What is the first thing I should do if my flight is canceled?
Immediately go to the ticket counter to determine your options. While you’re in line call whoever you booked your flight with; if it was your travel agent, call them or if you booked directly on your own call the airline.
How much luggage can I take?
This depends on the airline you are flying with and seat you are in. Each airline has different allowances, so we suggest checking your airlines allowances online before flying. If you have purchased airfare through us we will provide you with luggage allowances with the final itinerary and documents.
Should I purchase a long-distance package with my phone carrier or is it best to buy a SIM card when I get there and change my phone?
No, because you will not know your phone number until you arrive. We notify all your guides and transfer companies’ weeks before your trip commences so the seamless arrangements would be disrupted plus it is more trouble than it’s worth as carriers have inexpensive programs now such as $10 per day unlimited texting and calls for 99 cents a minute. You can also use a calling APP that is free in Europe called ‘WHATSAPP’ if the person you are calling has the APP and you are connected to WIFI. Otherwise you can call for free through Facebook and other similar programs. AT&T, Verizon and TMOBIL all have unlimited calling plans that are approx. $10.00 per day.
How much money should I make available to me while I travel?
This is completely dependent on how much you would like to spend. How much do you normally spend on an average day at home? We suggest you take that amount and double it for each day of your trip.
How much cash should I have?
We recommend pulling out about 200 in local currency (US Currency not accepted) on arrival, you can use any ATM at the airport to dispense this. If you exchange money before leaving home the rates are awful, there’s no arguing with that and there’s no need for it. Instead, get currency out from the ATM when you’ve arrived into a new country. They offer the best rates possible, just be aware of any extra fees charged by your bank. ATMs are your best friend. Always make sure you advise your bank and credit card companies that you are travelling out of the country and what countries you are visiting so they do not flag your usage as a possible fraudulent use.
Our policy is to provide you a price for the package as a total -- we do not itemize. This is a standard practice in the tour packages industry, whether it’s a pre-packaged group tour or a custom package as in your case. For many of the services, our wholesale contracts with suppliers do not allow us to itemize and require us to sell them as part of a package. We do regularly check that the overall price is competitive to what clients can book online or via the hotel or certain suppliers directly. When comparing prices, please keep in mind that our prices already include taxes and fees while many online prices do not.
We do want to be transparent on this process regarding how we are compensated. We do not charge you for our services -- we make money by getting a commission from the hotels and other suppliers.
Do I need an international driver’s license?
For most European countries an International driver’s license is not required. However, it’s a good idea to get one if you'll be driving in Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, or Spain — countries where you're technically required to carry a permit. To obtain an International Driver’s License, visit your local AAA office.
Should I apply for a known traveler number or TSA pre-check?
YES! A Known Traveler Number (KTN), also called a Trusted Traveler Number, is a number issued by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or Department of Defense (DoD). This number indicates that you have undergone some type of pre-flight background check or other screening before checking in for a flight. Adding your Known Traveler Number to an airline reservation greatly increases your chances of being able to use the TSA's PreCheck® security screening lanes at participating US airports.