Frequently Asked Questions
How many people do you take on a tour?
Typically we have 6 -8 people on a tour. We prefer to keep the group small and intimate.
What if you are single and don't have anyone to travel with? Do you have singles or couples tours?
Most of the time we do singles tours, our typical travelers are women that are taking the tour either alone or with a friend or relative. Generally couples tours are planned and advertised as such. We would be happy to match you up with a room mate or if you prefer, a single supplement can be arranged if you wish to have a room to yourself.
Will we know who we'll be traveling with prior to the tour?
When all the travelers are in place we will send out an email announcing the names of the people in the group (with their permission of course), this will include their departure airport, along with their email and a little bit about them. For those local to the Chicago area we will have a meet and greet a few weeks prior to the trip for those interested in getting to know their traveling companions prior to the beginning of the trip.
What do I have to do? Are there reservations I need to make for Hotels or Tours?
No, everything is planned for you. We take care of the Air fare (e-tickets), travel insurance, hotel reservations and tour activities. You just show up!
Do the rooms have private bathrooms or do we have to share, what about blow dryers etc.
All rooms are ensuite (private bath and shower), rooms include tea/coffee service and are equiped with blow dryers. So leave the bulky dryer at home!
I have a passport, but it expired last year. Is it still a major pain to get a passport? For awhile there I remember reading that it took over a year to get back your passport.
Passports were difficult to deal with in early 2007. The last group that went to Ireland had no problem getting their passports. One of our travelers had a renewal/name change and they received it in 10 days, the other was a first time passport and they received it in 14 days. A few of them expedited their passports because they were nervous about getting them in time, but in the end it was no problem. There is a link on the"Travel Tools" page that takes you to a "Passport" page.
I've heard that the airlines are charging extra for a second piece of luggage and some are even starting to charge for the first piece. What size suitcase do you recommend bringing on the tour. Is there a limit?
Transatllantic flights are more lenient when it comes to luggage and these carriers are not chargiing for additional bags, having said that, make certain you are an informed traveler and check with the airline in question before you decide to purchase your ticket.
Keep in mind that you will more than likely have to handle your own luggage in some of the more remote locations and smaller cities. Only pack essential items. As far as their being a limit, we recommended that you bring nothing larger than a 25" suitcase and one small carry-on (ladies, this includes something that your purse will fit into), like a small back pack.
Check with the TSA for restricted items and make sure you read the travel tips page.
Should we lock our luggage?
The TSA recommends using only approved locks that they can open. Here is an excerpt from their site:
TSA screens every passenger's baggage before it is placed on an airplane. While our technology allows us to electronically screen bags, there are times when we need to physically inspect a piece of luggage. TSA has worked with several companies to develop locks that can be opened by security officers using universal "master" keys so that the locks may not have to be cut. These locks are available at airports and travel stores nationwide. The packaging on the locks indicates whether they can be opened by TSA.
Travel TIP - You might want to consider bringing your suitcase locks and use them when the bags are in the hotel room. This way you can securely put anything that you feel is valuable under lock & key.