Preparing for your trip

Already booked on one of our tours or packages? Select it below for more specific information. Can't find yours listed? Look for the "before you go" link on your package page or in your booking confirmation email.

Package:

Checklist

Item Due
Complete your tour registration. A link to this secure form will be included in your booking confirmation email. Within 24 hours of booking
Ensure you have a current passport, and that the name on your booking matches your passport exactly. Immediately
Make your final payment, if any balance is due.
See date on your invoice
Book connecting flights to your departure city, if necessary. (Please confirm your international flight schedule first!) After making final payment
Make advance seat reservations for your international flight, if you have a preference. After receiving your e-tickets
Obtain any necessary travel visas. See below
Print your itinerary and other final documents, which we will send you via email approximately 14 days prior to travel. Prior to travel
Enroll in The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) if you're a U.S. citizen so the State Dept. can locate and assist you in case of an emergency. Prior to travel
Call the airline to confirm your flight schedule and any special meal requests. 72 hours prior to travel
Arrive at the airport, ready for the trip of a lifetime! 3½ hours prior to departure

Travel Documents

General Requirements & Guidelines

  • It is the responsibility of each traveler to determine passport and visa requirements and comply with them and to secure the proper travel documents. To avoid disappointment and unnecessary expenses, please carefully review the requirements so that you can obtain all necessary documents well before your trip. Requirements are subject to change, often without notice, and we suggest you verify requirements with the relevant embassy or consulate. Airlines and cruises may deny boarding and your trip may be disrupted if your passport and visa are not in order. We will not be held responsible for any charges, trip interruptions, or cancellations due to incorrect or missing visas, nor will travel insurance cover your lost expenses.
  • Any changes in names or passport information should be reported to us immediately.
  • Minors (children under 18) traveling abroad without parents or with only one parent are required by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) to present additional documents such as (but not limited to) notarized permission letter and/or unabridged birth certificate. The U.S. Department of State has more information. Some other countries have similar requirements; check with the consulates of all countries you'll be visiting to learn more.

Final Documents

Your final travel documents will be sent to you via email approximately 14 days prior to your departure. This email will include a copy of your electronic air ticket receipt (e-tickets), your daily itinerary, hotel and emergency contact information, and any other information relevant to your package.

Flights

Flight Schedule: Your flight schedule will be included with your booking confirmation materials. Note that airlines may change flight schedules even after flights have been confirmed, and we are not responsible for such changes.

Need to arrange connecting flights? Please do not book these flights until you make your final payment and confirm the flight schedules above with us. Because schedules can change, we strongly suggest that you leave plenty of connecting time—at least 3½ hours—between flights. And if you are traveling during March or mid-October to mid-November, when airlines traditionally modify their schedules, we suggest that you allow 5–5½ hours between flights. It's not worth missing your flight!

Want to reserve specific seats?

When you book your package, we do not usually assign seats; the airline typically does this within 24 hours of departure. If you are not happy with your seat assignment, you may be able to change your seats, subject to availability, either when you check in at the counter or during online check-in (if available). In most cases, you may also request specific seat assignments more than 24 hours before departure, but this may incur a fee. Learn more about Advance Seat Reservations.

Need to request a special meal?

If you wish to request a special meal, contact the airline order it for all your flights, once you receive your electronic tickets via email.

Looking to earn frequent flyer miles?

You may be able to earn frequent flyer points on this package. Once you receive your tickets, contact the airline directly to enter your frequent flyer numbers in your flight record. As you travel, check with the agent prior to boarding each flight on your package to be sure the frequent flyer information has been entered properly. Keep your boarding passes and passenger receipt, as these documents are proof that you have actually flown the miles you are asking to be credited to your frequent flyer account.

Interested in upgrading to business class?

We may be able to provide you with discounted rates for business class upgrades. If you are interested in upgrading to business class, please contact us. This package includes very special contracted airfares which do not permit upgrading with frequent flyer miles.

Questions about your flights? Call our air department at 800-555-5765 ext. 208.

Federal law forbids you to carry hazardous materials aboard aircraft in your checked or carry-on baggage or on your person, including explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids & solids, loaded firearms, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Common examples include paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, mace/tear gas and oxygen bottles. Restricted materials may vary by airline and destination. Some items, in quantities of no more than 70 ounces total, may be carried within baggage, including medicinal or toilet articles such as hairspray, perfume and certain medicines that are necessary during your journey. Please check with the airline and/or visit the FAA website prior to travel if you have any questions.

Packing & Luggage

What to pack: Check out our blog post on our Top 10 Must-Haves for International Travel.

Baggage allowance: See our general baggage policies.

If you exceed the baggage limits, you may be subject to excess baggage charges. For more information about baggage restrictions on your international flights, see our Airline Baggage Allowances page. Note that the airline baggage allowances may be greater than ours, as our packages have other limitations such as space aboard our motorcoaches. Porterage is covered in your package price, but only for one checked bag per person, and it is much easier and faster to move in and out of hotels with a single bag.

We will mail you Friendly Planet luggage tags with your invoice. Fill in the luggage tags with your name and contact information and attach to each bag, including carry-ons and camera cases, so that your luggage can be identified should it get misplaced during your trip. However, we are not responsible for lost or damaged luggage.

Meals

The meals included with your package are listed in the itinerary. For all other meals, you're at liberty to dine where you like. Your hotels will have several dining choices, from coffee shops to specialty restaurants.

Special requests

If you have a special meal request or require wheelchair or electric cart assistance, please send us your requests in writing, and we will do our best to accommodate them! For requests involving your flights, please call the airline directly to reconfirm your requests, once you have received your final travel documents.