About Europe by Rail with Glacier Express

Admire the breathtaking Alpine sights aboard the Famous Glacier Express! Our Spectacular European Summer Tour begins in Paris, France and takes us through Switzerland, Germany and Austria, and lands us in Budapest, Hungary. Space is limited to 10 lucky members, so claim your spot now with STI as we take on Europe by Rail!

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Travel through 5 countries, in 12 days, like a local without missing the view! You’ll go from Paris to Switzerland, on the TGV, admiring picturesque scenery zooming by. Relax and take in awe inspiring views  of the Alps through the domed, glass top of the famous Glacier Express, as we travel from Zermatt to Chur. Savor Beer and bratwurst in Munich and take an optional excursion to visit famous Neuschwanstein Castle. When we stop off in Salzburg, the quintessential tour, optional Sound of Music, is the favorite with famous landmarks and sites from the movie. Vienna will capture your heart through your stomach with their delicious strudel and Budapest offers world class Thermal Baths. Space is limited to 10 lucky members, so claim your spot now with STI as we take on Europe by Rail!

Why choose Singles Travel International?

UNIQUE STI BENEFITS OF A LOCALLY GROWN VACATION:

  • Intimate Group of 10 allows us to get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, & get to know the locals.
  • Custom and Carefully Designed Vacation Elements so You Don’t Have to Plan, Just Show Up!
  • Services of a Professional, English Speaking Tour Leader throughout our Trip
  • Complimentary Roommate Matching Via our State-of-the-Art Member Profile Feature
  • View Member Profiles and Meet Fellow Travelers Online Before You Go.
  • Private and Secure Chat Reserved Exclusively for Members on Your Vacation – Topics Include Optional Tours, What to Pack, Who’s Coming Early etc., to Assist Members in Coordinating Activities in Advance. Create your own Topic and have fun!
  • Exclusively Singles Only Events and the Company of Other Like Minded Members with a Passion for Travel

INCLUSIVE FEATURES OF OUR TOUR:

  • 11 Nights Accommodations in 5 Countries: 2 Nights in Paris, France at Villa Allessandra, 1 Night in Lausanne, Switzerland at Ibis Lausanne Centre Hotel, 1 Night in Zermott, Switzerland at Hotel Alphubel, 1 Night in Chur, Switzerland at Hotel Drei Konige, 2 Nights in Munich, Germany at Hotel Helvetia, 2 Nights in Salzburg, Austria at Hotel Lasserhof, 1 Night in Vienna, Austria at Magdas Hotel and 1 Night in Budapest, Hungary at Novum Hotel Golden Park.*
  • 11 Breakfasts (B); This will provide opportunity to join new friends and plan out your days!
  • Scenic Train ride, on the famous Glacier Express, from Zermatt to Chur.
  • All of our Transportation is via Rail, through 5 Beautiful Countries (7 Scenic Routes!)
  • Optional Tours and Excursions in every City; including a Parisian Dinner Cruise, Tour of Neuschwanstein Castle, Beer Steins and Bratwurst at Hofbrauhaus, and Thermal Baths in Budapest!
  • Hotel Taxes & Service Charges

*Please note that accommodations are basic, centrally located and 3 star. “Locally Grown” focuses on active tours, local food and wine, and simpler accommodations so we can see and do all for less.

Inclusive features are subject to revision at the discretion of STI. Ages listed are not meant as a restriction, but are simply used as a guideline. Singles Travel International does not guarantee the number of guests, ages or ratios.

STI has partnered with local company and our program includes a Tour Manager, familiar with our itinerary, and will be with our members to help us get orientated in each city.  We’ve built in lots of free time for our members to create their own experiences. Rail Itineraries are limited so the group will be smaller and STI will not send a concierge.

Itinerary

Wed, Jun 26:  Main Tour Package Arrivals Welcome Meeting
Thu, Jun 27:  Paris, France
Fri, Jun 28:  Lausanne, Switzerland
Sat, Jun 29:  Zermatt, Switzerland
Sun, Jun 30:  Chur, Switzerland
Mon, Jul 1:  Munich, Germany
Tue, Jul 2:  Munich, Germany
Wed, Jul 3:  Salzburg, Austria
Thu, Jul 4:  Salzburg, Austria
Fri, Jul 5:  Vienna, Austria
Sat, Jul 6:  Budapest, Hungary
Sun, Jul 7:  Budapest, Hungary – Transfer to Airport
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Day 1- Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Welcome to the City of Lights and Romance! Arrive in Paris, at any time during the day.

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore your beautiful surroundings if you arrive early. Although you will not be able to check in to the hotel before check-in time, you can usually store your luggage for the day. Some may want to zip straight over to the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe, while others may want to stroll through the Luxembourg Garden or down the Champs d’Elysees. Take a scenic walk along the Seine River or, if you arrive early enough, head over to The Louvre and check out the Mona Lisa! There are plenty of museums to visit and cafes to indulge.

This evening, we will gather for our welcome meeting with our Tour Leader. After introductions, we will review the details of our tour.

Overnight at Villa Alessandra.

Day 2- Thursday, June 27, 2019 

After breakfast, at the hotel, spend the day visiting museums, patisserie shops, sidewalk cafés or grand boulevards. Stop by Notre Dame or Sacre Coeur or take an optional excursion to Versailles or Giverny to see Monet’s Gardens. Your tour leader has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

Night life in Paris is not to be missed, we recommend the optional Moulin Rouge Dinner and a Show or an optional Luxury Gourmet Dinner Cruise. While the Moulin Rouge is for the daring and lively, the scenic dinner cruise offers a more relaxing way to get acquainted with this beautiful city. The riverboat glides easily along the Seine River, offering panoramic views of Paris’ best sites, as you indulge in a delicious 3-course meal with wine.

Overnight at Villa Alessandra.

Day 3- Friday, June 28, 2019 

After breakfast and check out, take a morning TGV train to Lausanne, Switzerland.

Once we arrive, enjoy a brief walk with your tour leader so they can provide some tips on finding things like supermarkets, main squares, and ATMs. Once you gather the important information, spend the afternoon soaking up this charming town! Stroll through the Cantonal Botanical Museum and Gardens, which houses over 6000 plants, or visit the Cathedral of Notre Dame of Lausanne. The impressive, 13th Century, medieval architecture will stand out against the rest of this darling town.

For more specific or in-depth information, an official guided tour is recommended.

Overnight at Ibis Lausanne Centre Hotel.

Day 4- Saturday, June 29, 2019 

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before we board another train for the journey to Zermatt. The quaint village lies in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Embrace the car-free center or set out for some exhilarating hiking in the mountains. That clean air and the incredible Alpine views will put you at ease as you meander through the streets or the trails. Explore by foot or seek out one of the local horse-drawn carriages to take you around!

Overnight at Hotel Alphubel.

Day 5- Sunday, June 30, 2019

All aboard the Glacier Express, this morning, for a slow and stunning ride through the Alps. We will pass meadows, rushing streams, bridges, villages and massive mountains as the train heads towards Chur. This isn’t the ride you want to sleep through. Grab lunch on the train (at own expense) and  enjoy the breathtaking beauty through the domed glass roof!

Arrive in the evening after a full day of soaking in the scenery. Take advantage of your free time here and walk around the stunning town. Stop at a local restaurant, for dinner, before finding a great spot to take photos of the towering mountains all around you.

Overnight at Hotel Drei Konige.

Day 6- Monday, July 1, 2019

Breakfast is at the hotel before we embark on our next journey. It will take almost a full day to reach Munich, in the heart of Bavaria. We will arrive just in time for an optional evening out at a local brewery. Have a few steins of beer and enjoy some local Bavarian fare at the famous Hofbräuhaus. This is where local beer was brewed for the Duke of Bavaria in 1589 and, while the building has changed over the years, it remains a favorite around here.  Don’t expect an intimate feel, as the building can hold 1300 people, but the Bavarian music and lively atmosphere is sure to keep you entertained.

Overnight at Hotel Helvetia.

Day 7- Tuesday, July 2, 2019

After breakfast, get out and explore the city or join an optional visit to the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. If a castle doesn’t impress you, there are plenty of other optional excursions you can join. Visit the Alte Pinakothek Art Gallery or the Bavarian National Museum. Take a stroll through the small village of Füssen. Watch old men, in lederhosen and feathered caps, walk through town as you pop in and out of pastry shops and taste unrivaled Bavarian baked goods.

Overnight at Hotel Helvetia.

Day 8- Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Enjoy breakfast before we travel to Salzburg, Austria; a city brimming with history and character. It is known for the nearby salt mines, Mozart, and the setting for The Sound of Music. Salzburg has plenty to offer. One option is to visit the concentration camp of Dachau, located right outside the city centre. Here, you can learn about the atrocities of war and the triumph of the human spirit. For something a little more upbeat; tour the Old Town of Salzburg, a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the most charming areas in all of Europe! The beautiful town is set on a river, with stunning bridges and impressive architecture. The pedestrian- only area is ideal for window shopping and wandering the streets. For lovely, panoramic views of the region, walk the mountain paths to the fortress. Don’t forget your camera!

Overnight at Hotel Lasserhof.

Day 9: Thursday, July 4, 2019

After breakfast, make the most of a free day in Salzburg. Get out and explore your surroundings with a morning stroll through town, or join the optional Sound of Music tour. Recognize the landscapes, from the movie, as you visit venues and historical landmarks of the city and Lake District, all while listening to the famous soundtrack. Visit the Salzburg Salt Mines, that gave the charming city its name. Suit up in overalls as you learn more about the salt production in the area.

Overnight at Hotel Lasserhof.

Day 10- Friday, July 5, 2019

Enjoy your last breakfast in Salzburg before we continue, by train, to Vienna. Here, you can visit the famous opera house, join a city tour or visit world-class museums. Vienna is a great city full of famous landmarks and local specialities. We strongly recommend you try a piece of strudel in a café.

Visit the Belvedere Gallery and learn some of the history of the beautiful palace and grounds, as you explore the impressive art collection. Other options include visits to Vienna State Opera House, with it’s exceptional architecture or Schönbrunn Palace, designed by Empress Maria Theresa. The palace gardens are free to all visitors. View Lipizzaner Horses at Spanish Riding School of Vienna and witness the birthplace of “airs above the ground”, known for it’s highly controlled movements and jumps. The Saint Stephen’s Cathedral is worth a visit, as it is one of Vienna’s main landmarks and offers spectacular views, over the city, at the top of a 343-stair spiral staircase. Sit back and relax as you listen to the sweet voices of the Vienna Boy’s Choir, at one of their concerts.

Overnight at Magdas Hotel.

Day 11- Saturday, July 6, 2019

Travel to Budapest, Hungary this morning, by train, after breakfast. The ‘Pearl of the Danube’, as Budapest is called, is the city split into Buda and Pest by the river. It retains its eastern charm with Buda Castle and Turkish-style thermal baths.

Upon arrival, enjoy a brief walk with your Tour Leader who will give you some tips on finding things like supermarkets, main squares, and ATMs. For more specific or in-depth information, an official guided tour is recommended.

Depending on arrival time, you can opt to visit Buda Castle, set on Castle Hill and overlooking the Danube River. The castle was once home to the Hungarian Kings of Budapest and is home to two museums; the National Gallery and the Budapest History Museum. It also boasts gorgeous architecture.

Embark on an optional Budapest Bike tour and buzz around the city on two wheels, or relax in an optional Thermal Bath. Prepare to be healed in the largest medicinal bath in Europe, built in 1913. Test the waters of 18 different pools (15 of which are spring fed) amidst stunning neo-Baroque architecture.

Take a cruise down the Danube River and admire the picturesque sites along the route but don’t leave Budapest without visiting it’s most iconic landmark; the Chain Bridge. Straddling the river Danube, it was the first suspension bridge built to connect Buda and Pest.

Overnight at Novum Hotel Golden Park.

Day 12- Sunday, July 7, 2019

Depart at any time and transfer to the airport for flights home.

*Note: Itinerary and activities are subject to change at the discretion of our local operators without compensation. Singles Travel International is not responsible for the consequences of any changes.

Optional tours and excursions are not included in the package and would be at an additional cost.

FAQs

STI has found the sweet spot between solo travel and large organized group tours. We really want to dive in with locals to be able to have a more intimate experience. Traveling with a smaller group allows for the best opportunity to get the most out of your visit.

Casual tours really provide the best and more intimate way to see a destination. Immersing yourself into a local culture, unlike any place you’ve ever been, is the secret to a truly rewarding vacation. Singles Travel International is here to show you the best destinations and provide the most unique local experiences.

*Please note that accommodations are basic, centrally located and 3 star. Locally Grown tours focus on active tours, local food and wine, and simpler accommodations. Leave the ball gowns and high heels at home and set out on a local adventure where you can see it all without busting your Bucket List budget. We can see and do all for less!

Once you make your online reservation, an STI reservation specialist will contact you to review and recommend additional services. Depend on them for assistance with airfare, proper protection, pre and post tour services. Once that step is complete, you will receive a final invoice from us confirming your reservation details.

Congratulations on making a reservation with Singles Travel International for your next vacation!

WHAT NEXT?
Complete your profile and post a message on the chat to say hello to your fellow travelers.

REVIEW the important information on the FAQ tab for this trip .

What’s Next?
Your “Final Vacation Details & Meetup Information” including transportation and how to meet up with the group will be available on the YOUR TRAVEL DOCUMENTS button on the left navigation bar on the trip site, 14 days prior to trip start date.

SOCIALIZE
Say hello to your fellow travelers on the chat!

DON’T MISS OUT 
Get the best deals on optional “Add-ons”. Review the Trip Options and make all reservations so you don’t miss out on any limited or time-sensitive offers.

PASSPORT MANDATORY
A passport is required for US citizens and be sure to confirm that your passport is current and will be valid at least six months after your departure. If you do not have one or need a new one, contact the State Department Passport Office in your area immediately or visit their website.

Non US Citizens are responsible for verifying their own required documentation for this tour.

UPLOAD a COLOR copy of your passport to us within 7 days of your reservation (within 24 hours if reserved after February 26, 2019). Note that a passport is mandatory and must be valid for 6 months form your return date.

Click here to upload to our secure folder.

INSURANCE:

Travel Insurance is MANDATORY for this trip and you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted. In addition to direct access immediately upon completing your purchase, you will receive a quote from Travel Guard regarding travel insurance after reserving your vacation.

When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD 200,000 is required. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

If you have any questions, Travel Guard professional, expert agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us, if you have not received your quote within 3 days, or CLICK HERE to go directly to Travel Guard and request a policy quote. It only takes a few minutes.

Questions and comments after you have reserved your vacation are addressed promptly when you send a message to us at service@singlestravelintl.com.

Of course not. You will be pleased to find out that nearly 90% of our guests on every trip sign up and have never met anyone before joining the group. In 24 years, we have perfected the singles vacation experience. It is paramount that our guests meet each other right away and have opportunities to mingle every day. From the moment you join our tour, our STI Concierge is waiting to meet you. Our first day begins with an orientation and the camaraderie builds as we go along. The nature of the trip is trying something new, challenging yourself and motivating those around you. The bonds that develop on our tours are by far the strongest and longest lasting.

Absolutely. Our site is so popular that we guarantee to find a roommate for you or the single room is on us! In order to take advantage of our offer, you must be paid in full by February 26, 2019. Book today as we are limited to only a few single reservations, based on a first come, first serve basis.

Roommate matches are based on the same sex, general age range and smoking preference whenever possible, but not guaranteed. STI reserves the right to make any match up until day of departure, including roommate changes once on tour for members who select the Share & Save option.

We highly recommend that our guests contact their roommates in advance. Booked members have access to our private online chat. Meet your roommate as well as the other members on your vacation. Singles Travel International makes every effort to accommodate requests, but does not guarantee the satisfaction or success of a roommate match. It’s the responsibility of the guest to contact his/her roommate and ask the appropriate questions.

Optional pre and post cruise/tour stays are not eligible for the guarantee. Chances are excellent that we’ll find you a match, but if no match found by 30 days prior to departure, member pays the single supplement.

Read more about Roommate Matching on our Frequently Asked Questions found at the Help Center.

The tour begins in Paris, France (CDG) on June 26, 2019, and ends on the morning of July 7, 2019, in Budapest, Hungary (BUD) . Therefore the tour is 11 nights/12 days. Note: Flights from North America must depart on June 25, 2019 in order to arrive in Paris on June 26. Your return flight from Budapest Airport arrives in North America on the same day, so the actual length of the trip is 12 nights/13 days (first night on airplane).

We have reserved centrally located, basic, tourist class hotels in every location. Please view the sites for each by clicking the links on the itinerary section before you book.

The weather changes from year to year but nevertheless, prepare for all conditions. The temps this time of the year will be pleasant for touring, reaching high 70s to mid 80s and sunny. Evenings can be a bit cooler, around high 50s to mid 60s. Rain is possible, although not likely, but pack accordingly.

Check out www.wunderground.com for up to date predictions as well as historical data for you destination,

 

A deposit is due at time of reservation. Refer to the Price and Options tab for the amount. Final payment is due in our office by February 26, 2019. A reminder will be emailed to you 14 days prior to due date and you will need to contact us with your credit card details. If you make a reservation after February 26, full payment will be automatically charged at time of reservation and penalties will apply.

 

Yes. All cancellations must be made in writing to Singles Travel International and are subject to per person penalties as follows:

After deposit and at anytime of cancellation, a minimum charge of $200.00 plus credit card charges will apply in addition to other penalties listed below.

February 26 and March 25, 2019 – $500 penalty applies.

March 26 and April 20, 2019 – 50% Penalty applies

After April 21, 2019 – 100% penalty applies.

Note that if you elect to take a roommate and he/she cancels after our cut off date, we will do everything to find a new match. However, if no match is found, the difference in cost for a single cabin/room is the responsibility of the guest who cancels. No refund will be given to the guest who cancels, regardless of cruise or tour company policy as stated above. Singles Travel International is not responsible for costs related to cancellations after our cut off date.

For all air-inclusive packages cancelled after airline tickets have been issued, tickets are non-refundable and often times unusable.

Make sure you are at the Hotel in Paris, France by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26, 2019. The trip leader will be on site to meet and greet all of our members, for our Welcome Meeting.

Singles Travel International is a vacation event company that plans singles events and markets our events at our expense to create a “singles only” experience. We do not allow guests to join the group unless the reservation has been made by STI. Our policy is firm for tours and cruises, as well as pre and post trip hotel stays. Members and friends that “show up” will not be allowed to participate without paying an equivalent fee to the rest of the group that made the reservation with STI. Your credit card on file will automatically be charged.

A passport is required for cruise travel to Europe. Be sure to confirm that your passport is current and will be valid at least six months after your departure. If you do not have one or need a new one, contact the State Department Passport Office in your area immediately or visit their website.

Non US citizens are responsible for contacting all countries on our itinerary to secure appropriate documentation in advance.

In order to accommodate singles from all over the world, our tours and cruises are priced as land/cruise only. Therefore, airfare is additional. Singles Travel International is a licensed ticketing agency and oftentimes has low negotiated fares.

In order to be ready to begin the tour in Paris (CDG) on Wednesday, June 26, we recommend that you arrive before 5 p.m. If traveling from the US, you will need to depart on June 25. Transportation is not included on arrival.

Schedule your return flight from Budapest (BUD) to depart after 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 7. Transfer to the airport is on your own.

Please contact your preferred carrier directly to make your reservation. If Singles Travel International issues a promotional economy fare, granting of frequent flyer credit is entirely at the airline’s discretion. If the flights are eligible, to ensure you earn frequent flyer credit from the airline, give your frequent flyer account number when you check in for your flights. In addition, save your boarding passes and the passenger receipt from your airline ticket. You may need to submit these to the airline (not to Singles Travel International) to claim any credit allowed.

Transportation to and from the airports is not included in our package. A taxi in Paris, to the hotel, will cost between 40-50 Euro. A taxi, in Budapest, to the hotel, will cost around 7,000 forints.

For lots of great information about the cities we’ll be visiting in the beginning and end of our tour, visit the links below.

Paris, France

Budapest, Hungary

 

Our tour does not include airfare, 11 dinners, 11 lunches, transfers, optional excursions and extra hotel nights before or after the tour. You are responsible for alcoholic beverages (except when included in STI events), incidentals such as laundry and phone calls, plus gratuities to guides.

It has been our experience over 24 years that the best possible quality of service is achieved when our Concierge Team is compensated by tips from our delighted members. This is their best incentive to make your vacation an exceptional experience. You will have an opportunity to reward your Concierge at the end of your tour. It is customary to tip, but of course, gratuities are at your discretion and are greatly appreciated for a job well done!

Our “Baby Boomer” vacations cater to singles in their 50s and 60s but you will often meet singles ranging anywhere from 45-75. We generally have a ratio of 60/40, women to men. As a travel club, matchmaking is not our focus. Ages listed on our page are not restricted. They are simply used as a guideline. We offer an opportunity for single travelers to see the world in the company of other singles and do not guarantee ratios or ages.

We recommend that you meet the members of the STI Community online where you may view and interact with members via “Who’s Going” on every trip page. This is the best way to find out exactly who will be on your vacation.

Currently, most airlines will allow you to check two bags, weighing 50 pounds each, for a fee. In addition you may carry-on one bag plus a personal item such as a purse or briefcase. Please check with your air carrier for up-to-the minute regulations and fees for checked baggage.

Europe is still an elegant place when it comes to attire. Mixing in with the locals is much easier to do when dressed smartly and respectfully. For touring during the day, dress casual and wear comfortable shoes. Scarves are always fashionable and are a lightweight way to completely change your look!

 

The tours may last anywhere in length from 1 to 3 hours of intermittent walking and standing. Although these tours aren’t strenuous, a certain amount of stamina and health are required in order to be able to walk slowly and stand for extended periods of time. At any time, you can opt out of an excursion! After all, this is your vacation. Keep in mind that part of the charm of Europe, in general, is the terrain—towns are literally perched upon the sides of hills—therefore, in most locations, there will be uneven surfaces and hills to ascend and descend.

Packing Tips: Take only what you need; don’t over pack. Save room for souvenirs and purchases. Pack flat and full to avoid wrinkling. Bring wardrobe basics; mix and match 1-3 colors. Don’t pack anything valuable, fragile or perishable. Label your luggage with an outside tag, and place an identification card inside each suitcase. Comfortable walking shoes are a must. Our tour is moderately active with a lot of walking.

Essential Items: We highly recommend that you bring the following items.

– A smile and an open minded attitude
– Notepad, reading material and a travel journal to write all about your experience.
– Bathing suit, we have our own indoor pool!
– Sunglasses, sun block, sun hat or visor
– A good, comfortable pair of broken-in walking shoes
– A pair of shoes for restaurants (loafers, sandals, etc.)
– Ladies will want to bring a nicer warm wrap and gentlemen a nicer jacket, for evening wear.
– Water Resistant Jacket with light lining and/or collapsible umbrella, just in case
– Toiletries: all your daily essentials
– Prescription medications: sufficient supply for the entire trip plus legible written prescription in case of loss. Keep medications in their original, labeled container. Always pack your medications in your carry-on bag!
– Eyeglasses, contacts, contact lens solution. You may want to bring along a written prescription for your eyewear in case of loss.
– Over the counter medications: cold remedy, aspirin/pain reliever, antacid/stomach upset remedy, Band-Aids, money or other anti-bacterial medication.
– Travel alarm clock with illuminated face
– Small, Swiss Army type utility knife. Remember to pack this in your checked luggage!
– Home address book (smart phone with contacts) for sending postcards to all your friends who said they’d go but didn’t! A useful tip is to pre-write or print names and addresses of people to whom you want to send postcards on sheets of self-adhesive labels. It saves time and space in your luggage.
– Photography Equipment: Bring a sufficient supply of film, cards, extra batteries and/or chargers.
– A European adapter and converter for your electrical gadgets.

The currency used in Paris, Germany and Austria is the Euro.

The currency used in Switzerland is the Swiss franc and the currency used in Hungary is the Hungarian Forint.

We recommend waiting to exchange your money in Hungary, as the Hungarian banks offer better exchange rates.

Exchange Rates: The exchange rate fluctuates often. You may find the current exchange rates in the financial sections of newspapers and on the Internet. You may also find a number of websites by typing “foreign exchange rates” in your search engine. Two specific websites are: xe.com and money.cnn.com/markets/currencies.

Currency Exchange: Many locations will accept major credit cards, but for incidentals and small vendors you will need some local currency. ATM machines will dispense local currency for internationally accepted ATM cards and/or credit cards. They are usually conveniently located in large cities, but are limited in smaller towns and rural areas.

You may exchange cash and traveler’s checks for local currencies at hotels, banks and exchange bureaus. Banks offer the best rates, but beware, hours are limited in Europe. They are generally open from 9 a.m.-12 noon and 2-5 p.m.

You may purchase Euros from your local bank in advance or get a small amount on arrival at the airport. There is always an exchange at airports.

We recommend that you bring a combination of $3-500 USD depending on your spending habits for meals and shopping, as well as a debit card for withdrawals and a major credit card, preferably VI or MC.

Credit Cards: Your credit card will be accepted to settle your incidentals bill at all hotels and in major shops and restaurants.

No inoculations are required for travel to Europe. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends updating all routine booster shots for travel almost anywhere. In addition, we suggest that you have a physical check-up before your trip, and discuss the type of trip in which you are participating with your physician.

You and your physician may access much more, very detailed health information for travelers (including tips on staying healthy while traveling) on the CDC website, cdc.gov. Click their “Traveler’s Health” link or call toll-free 24-hours at 1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).

Travel Insurance is MANDATORY for this trip and you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted. In addition to direct access immediately upon completing your purchase, you will receive a quote from Travel Guard regarding travel insurance after reserving your vacation.

When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD 200,000 is required. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

If you have any questions, Travel Guard professional, expert agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us, if you have not received your quote within 3 days.

 

Your “Final Vacation Details & Meetup Information” including transportation and how to meet up with the group will be available on the YOUR TRAVEL DOCUMENTS button on the left navigation bar on the trip site, 14 days prior to trip start date.  We suggest you leave a copy of this with your family.

For easy, less expensive communication in Europe, you may be able to use your own phone plan, generally .99-1.99 per minute (check before departure).

Internet access is available almost everywhere, including our hotels, but access is not always free. We recommend that you contact your provider before you depart to add an international roaming, text and data package. Most may be disabled once you return home.

Our office is open Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. In an emergency after hours, please contact Tammy Weiler at 815-715-6998.

All countries you will visit have laws against the purchase and export of certain items, including antiquities, national cultural property and certain animal products, especially endangered species (ivory, rhino horn, tortoise shell, coral, feathers, etc.). Additionally, the United States has laws prohibiting the import of certain items, which include many of the same things. You face having your purchase confiscated and/or heavy fines for exporting or importing prohibited items.

On return to the U.S., your baggage is subject to search by U.S. Customs. Currently, you are permitted to bring back $800 of goods duty free. Persons aged 21 or over may also bring in one liter of liquor and one carton of cigarettes. If you plan to purchase a lot of souvenirs or expensive items, it is important to retain all purchase receipts. However, please note that U.S. Customs may not accept a receipt as true cost if it seems unusually low for the estimated value of the item. You may access the regulations and restrictions governing US Customs on their official website, click here to learn more.

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Fotolia_58389435_Subscription_Monthly_M_04    Jay S.
    Milford, NH

The Epic Med cruise was fantastic. It was my first trip to Europe and was a nice taste of Spain, Italy and France. The day I saw there was a cruise without a single supplement was when I signed up. Nice group and made lots of new friends. Thanks STI!

Fotolia_58389435_Subscription_Monthly_M_04    Sharon H.
    North Tonawanda, NY