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ON YOUR TRIP

1. MINIMIZE JETLAG?

In order to minimize fatigue and general restlessness caused by jet lag, there are a few steps you may take including switching to your destination time zone when you board the plane, sleeping and eating according to the new schedule, avoiding heavy eating, caffeine, or alcoholic beverages before or during your flight, and by drinking plenty of water and/or fruit juice while flying. Try to sleep on overnight flights and then, upon arrival, avoid the temptation to nap until nighttime.

2. FIRST AID

Every day over the counter medications is not carried on the coach. Your Travel Director/Local Representative will be able to advise you on where to purchase these items if needed.

3. HOTEL CHECK-IN & CHECK-OUT

Arrangements are made to ensure that check-in and check-out procedures at hotels run smoothly. All room allocations are done by the hotel prior to arrival. On departing the hotel, always remember to return your room key to the front desk.

Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later.

4. PERSONAL HOTEL EXPENSES

Any additional costs incurred during your stay at the hotels are your responsibility. Please make certain that your account is settled on the evening before departure to ensure a smooth and speedy check-out.

5. DRINKS

Unless specified, these are at your own expense. Always remember to drink enough water to avoid dehydration, especially in hot climates. Bottled water is available for sale on coaches. In some European cafés/bars, you pay one price to drink at the bar, and a higher price to sit at a table. Alcoholic drinks can be much more expensive if purchased in hotel bars.

Minibars: Some hotel rooms have small refrigerators stocked with drinks and ice, but check the price list before consuming as they can be expensive.

6. MEALS

North America

Breakfasts: Consist of a full American breakfast served at the hotel (unless otherwise noted on your itinerary).
Lunches: People have varying requirements at lunchtime, so lunch is usually not included but we will ensure that you have inexpensive and healthy options across the continent.
Included dinners: Feature a variety of menus to reflect local cuisine, to give you a real taste of Note: When dinner is not included your Travel Director/Local Host will have a number of suggestions, just right to fit your taste and budget.

Europe

Daily breakfasts following local traditions are included. On a trip to Britain and Ireland, you will enjoy a full cooked breakfast. In Scandinavia and mainland Europe, you’ll enjoy a buffet-style breakfast. (On very early departures a breakfast box may be provided). Please do not take food away from the dining rooms – this is not permitted and you may be charged if you do.
Lunch: People have varying requirements at lunchtime, so lunch is usually not included.
On traveling days, snack/meal stops are made where there are sufficient facilities to cater for groups. Your Travel Director’s choice of meal stops will be made by taking all factors of the day’s planning into account.
Dinner: The Infinity meal plan includes an evening meal on most traveling days with hotels offering a range of international food. There are also lots of opportunities to enjoy local specialties, fine dining, and regional wines when dining independently.

Special Dietary Requirements.
It is important to discuss any special dietary requirements with your Travel Director/Local Host at the beginning of the trip, as hotels and restaurants need to be advised in advance. Most places will do their best to provide an alternative to the menu. However, such requests cannot be guaranteed on every occasion.

7. OPTIONAL EXPERIENCES

Since every passenger has different interests and priorities, it is neither possible nor desirable to include every activity in the itinerary. To enhance your experience, we offer a range of optional visits, activities, and local meals. These can be booked and purchased through your Travel Director.

Please note: Optional Experiences and their prices may vary due to seasonal conditions and minimum passenger participation, and are subject to change without notice.

8. SHOPPING

Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities.

We have built into our guided itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally-crafted merchandise that you may not be able to find on your own. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding, they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item’s receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.

While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!

About Tax-Free Shopping
Tax-Free Shopping allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager, or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for a VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.

U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items that are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoiseshell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.

9. HOLIDAYS & CHANGES

During local or national holidays, certain facilities such as scheduled meals, sightseeing, other included activities, and shopping may be limited, so we sometimes have to make slight itinerary adjustments.

10. TIPPING

North America

In North America, it is customary to tip for a variety of services. Whether you agree or disagree with the practice, tipping is a way of life in America. As a guide, if the service was of good quality, a restaurant is usually tipped 15-20% of the total bill before tax. In bars and pubs, the bartender and cocktail server usually earns between $1-$2 per drink depending on the price of the drink. Other services from taxi drivers to hairdressers normally receive 10%. Your Travel Director can also answer any questions you may have regarding when and how much to tip.
Many passengers also ask for guidance on the amount to tip your Travel Director and Driver to express your satisfaction with the service received. The recommended amounts are Travel Director per person per day $6-7, Driver per person per day $4-5.

Europe

In Europe, it is customary to tip for a variety of services. As a guide, in a restaurant, you would usually tip 15% if the service is good. Your Travel Director can answer any questions you may have regarding when and how much to tip. Many passengers also ask for guidance on the amount to tip your Travel Director and Driver to express your satisfaction with the service received. The recommended amounts are Travel Director per person per day €5.00 (£ Sterling 4.00 Driver per person per day €3.00 (£ Sterling 2.50).

11. SECURITY ON YOUR TRIP

While your Travel Director is always there to guide you, it also helps if you take your own precautions.

  • If you are exploring on your own, tell someone where you are going, and don’t go down poorly lit or narrow alleys.
  • During your free time, make sure you don’t leave the hotel without writing down the address and phone number of your accommodations.
  • Do not leave money & valuables in your hotel room while you are out. Where possible use the hotel safe.
  • Do not leave valuables on the coach (even during short stops).
  • Avoid scam artists by being wary of strangers who approach you and offer to sell you something at bargain prices.
  • Beware of pickpockets. They often have an accomplice who will: Jostle you; Ask you for directions or the time; Point to something spilled on your clothing; Distract you by creating a disturbance.
  • Wear your bag across your chest and walk with the bag away from the road to avoid drive-by bag snatchers.
  • Try to be as inconspicuous as possible – wear appropriate clothing that does not make you stand out and look purposeful when you move about. Even if you are lost, act as though you know where you are and try to only ask for directions from individuals in authority.
  • Don’t attract unwanted attention by flashing large amounts of money when paying for bills or shopping.
  • When traveling, do not leave your bags or belongings unattended at any time.
  • A money belt worn under your clothing is the safest place to carry valuables. Your money belt should be undetectable under your clothing and should not be regularly accessed throughout the day. What to put in your money belt: Passport: You’re legally supposed to have it with you at all times; Spare Credit or Debit card; Cash and Travellers Cheques – Larger bills; Emergency contact lists.
  • Most importantly stay alert, be aware of your surroundings and listen to your Travel Director who is always looking after your best interests.