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 & Transfers

Land Only: This package does not include airfare to and from the destination. You are responsible for booking your own flights. (Please review the itinerary carefully, as some packages start and end in different cities, requiring "open jaw" flights.)

Arrival & departure transfers: Airport transfers are not included with this package. Private transfers at the destination may be available for an additional fee—please see the package page or contact us for details. Or you may instead arrange your own ground transportation to the package start and end points.

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.