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Our offices will be closed for Thanksgiving on Nov. 23, 24 & 25. We'll reopen on Monday morning to help with your travel plans!

Preparing for your trip

Package: Beautiful Bhutan

Checklist

Item Due
Complete your tour registration and send color copies of each travelers' passport photo/signature page. 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.
75 days prior to travel
Obtain required 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

In addition, if you booked flights with your package:

Item Due
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
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

Important Notes

NOTE: This tour is not recommended for individuals with physical impairments anyone who tires easily. It involves rigorous physical activity at elevation.

Travel Documents

Passport & Visa Requirements for Thailand

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for at least six months after your arrival date.

U.S. passport holders do not need a visa to enter Thailand for tourist stays up to 30 days. Otherwise, a visa is required prior to arrival, which can be obtained from a Thai Embassy or consulate or a fee-based visa service, such as our preferred provider, VisaHQ. See the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

If you do not hold a U.S. passport, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas and meeting all entry requirements. If a visa is required, we recommend using a fee-based visa service, such as our preferred provider, VisaHQ.

Passport & Visa Requirements for Bhutan

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for at least six months after your arrival date.

U.S. passport holders must have a visa for entry into Bhutan, which must be obtained through a licensed tour operator such as Friendly Planet. Consult a Bhutan Embassy or the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

We will pre-arrange your travel visa, and the visa fee is included in your tour price. Please send the following to documents@friendlyplanet.com:

  1. A scanned color copy of the signature and picture pages of your passport
  2. A scanned color copy of a recent passport size photo in order to process your Bhutan visa

Passport Copies

For this package, we are required to obtain copies of your passport(s). Please scan the photo and signature pages of each travelers' valid passport and email them to documents@friendlyplanet.com. If you are unable to scan your passport(s), please make clear, legible color photocopies instead and mail to our office address. If you do not presently have a valid passport, send us a color copy of your most recent passport and let us know when your new one is expected. Then send us a copy of the new passport upon receipt.

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 & Arrival

Land Only Option: If you purchased this package without flights, you are responsible for booking your own flights to and from the destination. (Please review the itinerary carefully, as some packages start and end in different cities, requiring "open jaw" flights.)

Flight Schedule: If you selected flights with your package, please see your flight schedule below. 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 any connecting flights until you make your final payment and confirm the schedule for your included flights. 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!

Arrival & departure transfers: If you purchased this package with flights, scheduled group airport transfers at the destination are included. When you exit customs, please look for our representative holding a Friendly Planet sign, who will cheerfully escort you to your transfer vehicle and assist with your luggage. If you purchased this package without flights, transfers are generally not included, though private transfers may also be available for an additional fee—contact us for price and availability. Or you may instead arrange your own ground transportation to the package start and end points.

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.

Sample Flight Schedule for Sep 22 & Oct 13, 2017 Departures

DEPART
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 007  Los Angeles (LAX) Taipei (TPE)  12:35 AM 5:30 AM (1 day later) 13.55 hrs
CI 833 TPE Bangkok (BKK)  7:20 AM 10:00 AM 3.40 hrs
RETURN
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
 CI 836 Bangkok (BKK) Taipei (TPE)

 5:05 PM

9:55 PM  3.50 hrs
CI 008 TPE Los Angeles (LAX) 11:50 PM 8:50 PM 12.00 hrs
NOTE: Airlines, schedules, and flights are subject to change at anytime without notice. 

Sample Flight Schedule for Nov 25, 2017 & Feb 24, 2018 Departures

DEPART
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 007  Los Angeles (LAX) Taipei (TPE)  10:45 PM 5:10 AM (2 days later) 14.25 hrs
CI 833 TPE Bangkok (BKK)  7:15 AM 10:05 AM 3.50 hrs
RETURN
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
 CI 836 Bangkok (BKK) Taipei (TPE)

 5:50 PM

10:25 PM  3.35 hrs
CI 008 TPE Los Angeles (LAX) 11:50 PM 7:25 PM 11.35 hrs
NOTE: Airlines, schedules, and flights are subject to change at anytime without notice. 

Sample Flight Schedule for Mar 21, 2018 Departure

DEPART
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 007  Los Angeles (LAX) Taipei (TPE)  11:45 PM 5:10 AM (2 days later) 14.25 hrs
CI 833 TPE Bangkok (BKK)  7:15 AM 10:05 AM 3.50 hrs
RETURN
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
 CI 836 Bangkok (BKK) Taipei (TPE)

 5:05 PM

9:55 PM  3.50 hrs
CI 008 TPE Los Angeles (LAX) 11:50 PM 8:50 PM 12.00 hrs
NOTE: Airlines, schedules, and flights are subject to change at anytime without notice. 

Sample Flight Schedule for Apr 18, 2018 Departure

DEPART
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
CI 007  Los Angeles (LAX) Taipei (TPE)  12:35 AM 5:30 AM (1 day later) 13.55 hrs
CI 833 TPE Bangkok (BKK)  7:20 AM 10:00 AM 3.40 hrs
RETURN
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
 CI 836 Bangkok (BKK) Taipei (TPE)

 5:05 PM

9:55 PM  3.50 hrs
CI 008 TPE Los Angeles (LAX) 11:50 PM 8:50 PM 12.00 hrs
NOTE: Airlines, schedules, and flights are subject to change at anytime without notice. 

China Airlines (CI) Toll-free number is

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.

Arrival Complications

We make every effort to ensure our tours run smoothly and trouble-free. We don't expect any problems, and nor should you. But when things don't go as planned, here's what to do:

  • You miss your flights, or your flights are cancelled: Please call us immediately. If it's outside our normal business hours, leave a message in our emergency mailbox, with a phone number to reach you at, and we'll get right back to you.
  • Your flights are delayed and you're worried about missing your included transfers: Don't worry, our representatives will be tracking your arrival, and will plan accordingly.
  • Your package includes transfers, but you can't find our representative at your destination: Don't panic—they may have been unexpectedly delayed. Wait up to 30 minutes. Then, contact the first hotel on your itinerary and leave a message there for our representative. Otherwise, or if you can't reach them, call us. If it's outside our normal business hours, leave a message in our emergency mailbox. If all else fails, you may make your own way to the starting hotel (or cruise port), and we'll refund you the cost of your transfer.

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.

Travel Tips

Check out our country guides for information about currency conversion, tipping, weather, what to buy, voltage & plugs, immunizations you should get, and more.