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"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness" - Mark Twain
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Explore different worlds

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"Once a year, go somewhere you've never been before." - The Dalai Lama
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Prepare for your tour

High-School & College Tours

Preparation and Information

The following content below is of importance for both student traveller and parents. Please take a moment and go through the text. Travelling as a group requires responsibility from student travellers, group leader and organizer, Lingo Tours. Safety on tour is imperative and requires thorough safety checks of our suppliers, but also a certain standard of command of the students and travellers. By being informed and follow regulations the risk of an incident during tour is minimized.

Insurance

Passport

Packing

Passport & Visa

You as a traveler are fully responsible to make sure that your travel documents are in order and fit for travelling. You need to double check tat your passport is valid for your destination. Normally a minimum of six months after your travel period is needed before expiry date in your passport. Should you need to renew your passport, do so in time and start the process at least 4-6 months prior to departure. If you passport expires short after (4-6 months) your travel dates, you should double check and verify with authorities, but we recommend you to renew in case of uncertainty.
For Visa you should inform yourself what visa requirements that your destination country requires. Normally US citizens do not require any visa for European destinations, but YOU are responsible for double checking the facts. Should you need any assistance or advice we will help you, but the person travelling (or caretaker for minors) are responsible for making sure you have the necessary paperwork.

Remember

Prior to tour

  • Make sure you understand the local currency of your destination, it will prevent you from making mistakes when handling the new currency while on tour. You may want to create a quick conversion chart to be better prepared when making small impulse purchases on tour.
  • We advise you to exchange some money into your destination currency before departure, just enough to keep you going the first day or two.
  • We also advise you to make a packing check list. Make sure you do not forget any important items. You can also use your packing check list when on tour, to ensure you do not leave anything behind at the hotels on tour.
  • It is always a good idea to learn some of the basic language for the destinations on tour. Polite phrases such as “excuse me”, "please" and "thank you" will make a big difference in the way the locals will react to you.
  • Minimize your luggage. Never bring more than you can carry yourself. Do not bring items unless you really need them on tour.
  • Avoid bringing electrical devices (hair dryer, toothbrush etc.) as the voltage is different in Europe (V220) compared to the USA. Modern electronics such as tablets, smart phones and similar are chargeable on all voltage levels, but you will need an adapter for your plug.
  • If you are not using your smartphone as alarm clock, make sure you bring an alarm clock.

While on tour

  • Try to stay awake until at least 10pm on arrival day so that you get rid of your jet-lag ASAP.
  • Respect the group by being on time for all appointments and departures. Being late is both disrespectful to others and can cause you to miss your departure.
  • Make sure you take care of your valuables. Keep your money in a safe place at all times, especially when in a crowded space such as public transport or elevators. Do not have mobile phones sticking out of your pockets and avoid having valuables visible when in public spaces with plenty of tourists.
  • Carry small amounts of cash that will be enough for one day only.
  • Make sure that you always keep an eye on your luggage. You are responsible for making sure it is being loaded onto the tour bus.
  • Do not leave the group at any time, unless agreed and approved by your Group Leader. When travelling with the group, make sure that the Tour Manager and Group Leader know where you are if you need to go to the restrooms or similar. Make sure you notify the leaders upon your return.
  • When travelling in a foreign country you are an ambassador for your school, city and country. Behave responsibly. If you are not certain on what the local manners would be, observe the locals.
  • Be silent in hotels at night. Your group is not the only guest at the hotel and some guests might be sleeping early. Do not slam doors or shout in corridors.
  • Keep your hotel room neat and clean and be respectful to hotel staff.
  • When on the tour bus, do not litter or put dirty feet on the seats. Be friendly and respectful to your driver, his/her cooperation is crucial for a good tour.
  • You may be held responsible for any damage to hotels and buses.

Supplier Safety

Lingo Tours is conducting a safety audit with all our suppliers to ensure good standards. Our safety audit is including the following:
  • Hotel fire safety
  • Hotel & Restaurant food safety and hygiene
  • Hotel and facility swimming safety
  • Transportation traffic safety
All our suppliers are safety certified, European standards and follow European safety regulations. Fire safety checks are carried out at each hotel on tour.

Our Hotels

All our hotels have gone through a safety audit.

Safety Awareness

Travellers on tour should consider the following safety aspects:
Act responsibly and follow instructions from you Group Leader, Tour Manager and guides throughout the tour.

Traffic Safety.

Avoid jay-walking, wait for green light and pay attention to traffic from both directions as pedestrian. Be aware that there are vehicles on the road and bike lanes that you might not be used to. Look both ways carefully before crossing roads. Always use pedestrian crossings and traffic light crossings.

Swim and water safety.

If there are swimming opportunities or swimming pools at hotel, never go swimming without having informed your Group Leader. Never go alone and follow restrictions and regulations. Stay as a group and avoid diving.

Fire and Hotel safety.

Locate fire and emergency exits closest to your room. Discuss with your room mates which route you will take in case of fire. Read the fire safety instructions in your room. At night, always keep your door locked from the inside.

Medical related.

In case you are taking medicine (prescription or otherwise), please make sure your Group Leader and other adult on tour is aware of your procedures and what to do in an emergency situation. All medicines you bring on tour should be kept in their original packaging with prescription instructions labelled. For severe allergies, please make sure you have informed your Group Leader (and request form of Lingo Tours) properly to ensure you avoid any meals that can put you in danger.

Use of substances.

Unless agreed and signed for from parents and group leader, any form of substance such as alcohol or other intoxicating substances are completely forbidden on tour. If alcohol waiver is signed by parents for student with legal drinking age, it is allowed to have smaller amounts (glass of wine/beer) to accompany meals, but any excessive drinking is strictly forbidden.

Student Rules

Student Rules

A tour abroad entails a lot of responsibility and good judgement by all travellers in the group. You will encounter differences in culture and habits. The following rules have been set out precisely to help manage these differences and to ensure a safe, pleasant and relaxed tour for all members of the group.

§ Stay in sub-groups

It is very important that your teacher and group leader is aware of your whereabouts throughout the tour. During your free time away from the main group you should always stay in small groups of minimum four students together, provided that you have the permission to leave the main group by your Group Leader. Be very clear about where you are going, your timings, with whom you are and when you are expected to return. Make sure that you have the address and phone number of your hotel and your Tour Manager on you at all times. Use free Wi-Fi in public places to update your group leader in the event of any changes.

§ Use and possession of alcohol and narcotic substances

Under no circumstances shall any student under the age of 21 drink any alcohol while on tour. If you break this rule you will be sent back home at your own expense. Parents will be consulted prior to any actions to discuss the situation. Any student in possession of and/or using any type of narcotic substance will be sent home and the expense of this will be covered by parents.

§ Weapons

No weapons of any sort are allowed on tour. Weapons including, but not limited to souvenir knives of any kind are all forbidden to be carried on tour.

§ Student curfew

Students must be in their hotel rooms by midnight. Exceptions for curfew timings may occur when the Group Leader and/or a scheduled activity necessitates staying out later.

§ Vehicles on tour

It is strictly forbidden for students on tour to rent and/or use any type of motor driven vehicles.

§ Drones and flying objects

Travellers are not allowed to bring and/or use any type of drone or other remote controlled flying objects on tour.

§ Visiting family and friends

Should you wish to visit friends and/or family while on you must have have written permission from your parent and/or legal guardian prior to tour departure date. Your Group Leader must be informed, provide his/her consent to the visit and receive a copy of such written permission prior to the tour departure date.

§ Respect and courtesy

When on tour, be respectful and mindful of your fellow travellers. Always think about your own safety and wellbeing on tour. Please remember that what is OK for you, might not be OK for others, so please consider the group and your room mates and respect them by using good judgement and common sense. At all times, YOU are responsible for being on time and for your own belongings including luggage and valuables.

The rules listed above are considered minimum standard tour regulations for all student Lingo Tours. Your Group Leader will inform you of any specific rules and expectations required of your group.

Any serious misconduct and/or breaking of these basic rules may result in the student being sent home and parents will have to cover the costs of the return journey.

Packing

  • What to Bring

    • Most trips do not include porterage. As you pack, remember that you’ll be carrying your suitcase through airports and hotels. If you are purchasing luggage for the trip, consider luggage on wheels.
    • The general rule is to lay out everything you think you need, then put half of it back in your closet.
    • On your flights and on the bus, you are allowed one suitcase and one carry-on bag. European coaches have luggage compartments based on the assumption of one suitcase per person, and local safety laws prevent suitcases from being put in the bus aisle. Your carry-on bag needs to be small enough to fit under a bus seat.
  • Your Suitcase

    If you can't carry it yourself, you have packed too much. Bring a lightweight suitcase (use luggage on wheels for extra ease). The limit is 44lbs per person, which includes one suitcase and one small carry-on item. Airlines require ID tags on suitcases. Keep a list of the total contents of the suitcase. If your luggage is lost, the list will help you file any insurance claims.
  • Packing Restrictions

    Since September 11th, many airlines have adjusted their baggage limits and weight restrictions, as well as limiting the type of items passengers can have in their carry-ons. After you find out what airline you are flying on, you might want to check their website for the most up-to-date information. Also, check out the latest packing and security tips for air travellers by visiting the Transportation Security Administration website at www.tsa.dot.gov/public/theme_home1.jsp
  • Lost Luggage

    Unless in the care of the airline, your luggage is your responsibility and should never be left unattended. If you lose your luggage on the flight, you must file a claim at the airline's lost-luggage office before leaving the customs hall of the airport. If your luggage is stolen, you must file a police report to be covered by any insurance plan.
  • Electric Current

    In most of Europe and Argentina, electric current is 220 volts, not 110 as in the U.S. (it’s 110 in Costa Rica). Buy a hairdryer or razor adaptable to 220 volts (most travel appliances are). You can purchase voltage adapters, dual voltage hairdryers and other travel accessories at most airports.
  • Main Suitcase - Sample List

    In general: bring comfortable clothing—and about half the things you think you'll need! • A travel alarm clock or watch (battery-operated). • Two pairs of shoes, one for walking and one for dressier occasions—theatre, disco, dinner. Never bring new shoes! • Pair of jeans. You’re almost always guaranteed to need them, and you can wear them almost daily if you need to. • Pair of casual shorts, weather permitting. • Pair of nicer pants. These can rotate in to replace jeans or can be used to dress up. • Skirt or dress for the theatre or dinner. • Shirt that can be worn with trousers or khakis. • T-shirts or collared shirts. • Long-sleeve shirts. • Something warm that can be layered-sweater, flannel shirt, windbreaker or sweatshirt. The key to packing right is layering. Weather in Europe is unpredictable. • Toiletries and cosmetics. • Kleenex. • Travel umbrella. Medicines: aspirin, Alka-Seltzer, band-aids, disinfectant. Keep medication you’re currently using in your carry-on bag and let your group leader know what you are carrying. • Extra photocopy of your passport and visa, two extra passport photos, and an extra list of your travellers check numbers.
  • Carry On Bag - Sample List

    If you can't carry it yourself, you have packed too much! • Reading material for your flight. • Passport and visas. Never pack travel documents in your suitcase. • Your itinerary and hotel list. This is vital should you ever become separated from the rest of the group and have to give your hotel address to a taxi driver. • Essential toiletries and a change of clothing, in case you become separated from your suitcase for a few days. • Photocopy of your air ticket and passport. Your group leader normally holds the airline tickets for the whole group. • An inexpensive camera and plenty of film. Make sure to keep some extra batteries in your main suitcase. • Sunglasses. • Extra set of glasses or contact lenses. • Any necessary medication. • Address book, Travel Journal and pens. • List of travellers check numbers, PIN numbers, US and overseas telephone numbers for any credit cards, bankcards, etc. • International phone card. (pre-purchase from http://www.gphone.com )
  • Cathedral Etiquette

    Visitors wearing shorts or skirts above the knee, tank tops or sleeveless shirts may not be allowed into the cathedrals. If it is warm, women may want to pack a light skirt and scarf to slip on over shorts and around the shoulders.

Cash & Plastic

The Euro is used in most tour destinations in Europe. It is recommended to change from USD to Euros to have enough the first day and then use the ATM from that point on. If possible avoid changing USD to Euros at exchange service points as they charge an extra fee (less favorable conversion rate)

Money Matters

An important part of your trip preparations is planning your budget. Take care of these before you leave:

Optional Excursions

Many trips offer a limited number of optional excursions or field trips. You pay for them before you leave, so they don’t need to be a part of your out-of-pocket budget on the trip. The group leader normally decides for the group whether to participate in optional excursions, and the item is listed on your invoice accordingly. In addition, your Tour Manager may have ideas for extra excursions during your trip. You should budget accordingly.

Money Details

Spending money depends on personal habits and how long you’ll be abroad, but a good rule of thumb is $450 per week. This covers lunches, snacks, soft drinks, postage, souvenirs, free-time activities, optional excursions and local transportation during free time.

Tour Manager and Driver Tips

It is customary to tip your full-time Tour Manager and long-distance bus driver. If their performance is outstanding a minimum of $ 6 per person per day for the tour manager and $ 3 per person per day for the driver who accompanies the group is recommended. Since spending money tends to run low at the end of the trip, your group leader may collect the tips before you depart to keep them safe and available.

Credit & Debit Cards

You may obtain cash with your credit card or local bankcard at ATM machines. ATMs generally give a wholesale exchange rate, as much as 5 percent better than banks. Most big department stores and restaurants in major cities will take U.S. credit cards, and these cards give you the best exchange rate.
Be sure to memorize your 4-digit personal identification number (PIN) to use your bankcard. Plus, check with your bank or credit card issuer to make sure your card is compatible with international ATMs.
If you don’t already have a PIN number for your credit card, you’ll have to call to get one. If a logo for PLUS or CIRRUS is on the back of your credit card or bankcard, you can probably use the card for cash at ATMs. These are the major money networks overseas. Call either PLUS (1-800-843-7587) or CIRRUS (1-800-424-7787) for ATM locations around the world.

Travellers Checks

Buy fairly large-denomination travellers checks (at least $20, preferably $50), since overseas banks charge a high commission for each traveller check you cash, no matter the dollar amount. Keep a list of your traveller’s check numbers, separate from the checks themselves. While abroad, cash travellers checks at banks or change windows (do some comparison shopping at one or two of them). Typically, hotels and airports offer very expensive exchange rates. Take about $50 of your spending money in U.S. currency ($5 and $10 bills), so you won’t have to cash a big-denomination travellers check if you need a small amount of local currency.

Foreign Currency

The Euro, the single currency of the European Monetary Union, began circulation on January 1, 2002. The Euro has replaced the national currencies of Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. The old national currencies have been withdrawn. Within the United Kingdom British pounds are used. Local currencies also applies in Scandinavia (except Finland) and in Czech Republic (Prague).

Coins Don't Exchange

Foreign countries generally don’t exchange coins (either U.S. or foreign); only banknotes are convertible. Leftover foreign coins in your pocket are good souvenirs for family and friends.

Changing Back into Dollars

The rate going back to dollars will not be as favourable as going into foreign currency, so try to avoid having large amounts of foreign cash left over.

Valuables

Your common sense will take you a long way. Never leave money in your hotel room. Check your money, passport and other valuables in a hotel safe when available. Use a money belt or neck pouch for carrying money. Strap purses and cameras diagonally across, not over your shoulder, and preferably under your clothing. It is a good idea to leave expensive cameras, fancy sound equipment and jewellery at home. The maximum benefit payable for lost electronic/photo equipment according to your insurance coverage may not be more than $200-300. In the event that valuables are lost, you must have a police report to be covered by your insurance. "The best advice is: If you can't bear to lose it, don't bring it"

Coverage

Insurance Options

  • www.axa-assistance-usa.com Bethesda, MD 301-214-8200
  • www.asaincor.com International Health Insurance Phoenix, AZ 888-ASA-8288
  • AIG Assist American International Group, Inc. New York, NY 800-382-6986
  • www.accessamerica.com Richmond, VA 866-807-3982
  • www.worldwideassistance.com Washington, DC 800-777-8710 ext. 417
  • www.travelex-insurance.com Omaha, NE 800-228-9792
  • www.travelinsure.com InterMedical Division Walnut Creek, CA 800-937-1387/925-932-1387
  • www.WorldNomads.com

Health Insurance

Obtaining medical treatment and hospital care can be costly for travellers who are injured or who become seriously ill overseas. The Social Security Medicare/Medicaid program does not provide coverage for hospital or medical services outside the United States. Before you leave the United States, you should be informed about which medical services your health insurance will cover abroad.
If your health insurance policy does not provide coverage for hospital or medical costs abroad, you are urged to purchase a temporary health policy that does provide this type of coverage. There are short-term health and emergency assistance policies designed for travellers. You can find the names of companies that provide such policies from your travel agent, your health insurance company, or from advertisements in travel publications. In addition to health insurance, many policies include trip cancellation, baggage loss, and travel accident insurance in the same package. Some traveller's check companies have protection policies available with the purchase of traveller's checks.

Medical Evacuation

Although some health insurance companies may pay "customary and reasonable" hospital costs abroad, very few will pay for medical evacuation back to the United States. Medical evacuation can easily cost $10,000 or more, depending on your location and medical condition. One of the main advantages of health and emergency assistance policies is that they often include coverage for medical evacuation to the United States. Even if your regular health insurance covers you for emergencies abroad, you should consider purchasing supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Whichever health insurance coverage you choose for travel overseas, remember to carry with you both your health insurance policy identity card and claim forms.

Do You Need Travel Insurance?

You may not need travel insurance, if you are already adequately covered by other insurance policies.
Depending on the travel insurance plan, travel insurance usually promises to cover you for cancellation or interruption of your trip, some form of emergency medical care while you are travelling, lost or stolen luggage, and various other troublesome occurrences.
Before you decide on a travel insurance plan, it is wise to investigate the plan carefully and read the fine print. You should closely check any agreements with your travel agent, tour operator, airline, or other companies involved with your travel plans. The agreements may include written guarantees. If you have a fully refundable airline ticket, you may decide that you would not need trip cancellation/interruption insurance.
On the other hand, it may be worthwhile noting that certain insurance plans can protect you by covering the financial costs in case of the following situations:
  • A sudden, serious injury or illness to you, a family member, or a travelling companion.
  • Financial default of the airline, cruise line or tour operator.
  • Natural disasters or strikes that impede travel services.
  • A terrorist incident in a foreign city within 10 days of your scheduled arrival in that particular city.
The fact that you, a travelling member of your family, or a travelling companion were quarantined, served with a court order or required to serve on a jury. A circumstance in which you were directly involved in an accident en route to departure for your trip.
It is a good idea to check your other insurance policies. For instance, your homeowners or tenants insurance may cover the loss or theft of your luggage.
Certain credit cards may also provide additional travel insurance, if you have used them to purchase the ticket for your trip.
Your health insurance may provide certain coverage, regardless of where you travel. But it is very important to note that some policies only partially cover medical expenses abroad. Moreover, as previously explained in the section on Health Insurance, Medicare/Medicaid will not cover hospital and medical services outside the United States.

More Information?

Should you be missing information of any kind, please contact your Group Leader directly or email us.