Preparing to go on tour is an exciting time, the world awaits you!
Below is important information to help you prepare before you go on tour, and ensures you understand what is expected of you and your responsibility as either an adult traveler, a student traveler, or the parents of a student traveler.
Please take a moment and read through it all and get in touch with your Group Leader if you have questions.
Passport and Visa – ETIAS
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 that your passport is valid for your destination. Normally a minimum of six months after your travel period is needed before the expiration 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 your passport expires shortly after (4-6 months) your travel dates, you should double check and verify with authorities, but we recommend you to renew it.
For visas 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 traveling (or caretaker for minors) are responsible for making sure you have the necessary paperwork.
Starting in May 2023 (with a grace period of 180 days, i.e. November 2023), you need to apply for a ETIAS (including US citizens). The ETIAS is a newly introduced traveler screening to faster provide entry to the Schengen Area.
Please check your ETIAS requirement: https://etias.com/etias-application
The ETIAS fee charged on applications for travelers between the ages of 18 and 70 is $8. There is no ETIAS fee for travelers under the age of 18, or over the age of 70. Every traveler, regardless of their age, will require an approved ETIAS prior to their arrival to the Schengen area.
Most ETIAS applicants will be notified either instantly or within a few hours of their approved authorization. A valid ETIAS travel authorization is linked to the applicant’s passport and have its own unique application number. An ETIAS will be valid for three years or until the date of passport or travel document expiry, whichever date comes first.
1. 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 checklist when on tour, to ensure you do not leave anything behind at the hotels.
- 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 an alarm clock, make sure you bring an alarm clock.
2. While on Tour
- Try to stay awake until at least 10pm on arrival day so that you get rid of your jetlag 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 upon and approved by your Group Leader. When traveling 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 traveling in a foreign country you are an ambassador for your school, city, and country. Behave responsibly. If you are not certain of the local manners, 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.
Please make sure you have read the student rules, applicable for all student groups traveling with Group Leader. You as a student traveler and your guardian have agreed to these rules at the time of enrollment.
Please read here the student rules >>