F.A.Q’s

Frequently Asked Questions

Knowing as much as you can beforehand will enable you to enjoy your tour experience to the fullest. We have tried to answer all we can think of but please feel free to email private questions.

When should I make my Reservation for our Tour?

For the best price and choice of dates, we suggest making reservations as soon as you decide on a tour/date.

Are Visas or Inoculations required for U.S. Citizens?

No visas or inoculations (shots) are required for passengers carrying a U.S. passport.

Are Visas or Inoculations required for Non – U.S. Citizens?

Before making a deposit, non-U.S. citizens must ask their embassy or consulate which visas and inoculations they will need for each of the countries they will visit. It is your responsibility to determine which visas or inoculations are required and to obtain them before your departure. Cancellations due to the inability to obtain proper visas or inoculations will be subject to the Image Tours “Cancellations” policy.

Can I use Credit cards for shopping and ATM’s for Cash?

Always be sure to contact your local bank or credit card bank provider, notify them that you are traveling to Europe so they won’t put a security hold on your card.
 
Contact them to find out what fees are involved when using an International ATM or CC.   ATM’s (Cash Machines) are available all over Europe.  No one uses Travelers cheques and ATM is usually the way to go as it gives you the current time exchange rate for Euro/Pounds vs Dollars.  Exchange Rates vs Fees these are two different things so be sure the bank is clear on both, and what they will be charging you.
 
Be sure that your credit cards all have a CHIP as European cards all have this requirement and some machines will not accept a card without a CHIP.
 
Most stores/cafes/restaurants all take credit cards.  Most prefer Visa over MC or AX and some will not take AX.  Your card is secure in using at all restaurants/cafes/shops because in Europe they do not “take” your card to scan it and then bring it back to you as they do in the states.  They are not allowed to handle your card at all; they bring a mobile card scanner to your table.
 
As we are meeting you at the airport and the driver is already paid for, you won’t need cash the minute you arrive as you would when traveling alone.  Once you are at the apartment in town, there are ATM’s all over you can access for monies.  By getting cash from the ATM vs the bank, generally, fees and transaction fees are cheaper at point of cash distribution.  American banks, airport banks all charge extra so be aware.

Do the Hotel Rooms have Private Bathrooms?

All rooms have a private bathroom with shower and/or bathtub, toilet and sink. 

What is the difference between a Double and a Twin Room?

A ‘double’ room consists of one double bed. The European ‘twin’ room consists of two twin beds made up separately, placed side by side, and sharing the same headboard. In some hotels it may not be possible to separate these twin beds. Imagine Travel Tours can request ‘twin’ or ‘double’ accommodations, but some hotels do not offer the choice or guests may not always receive their preferred choice due to limited selections.  We always try to have a Double/Queen/King in all rooms when possible.  Most European lodgings do not have Kings.

Are Single Rooms offered?

Single rooms are on request and if a single room is confirmed, a single supplement will apply. The applicable single supplement for each tour may vary depending on locations. Single rooms are often much smaller.

How are Rooms Assigned?

Room assignments are up to the group and not Imagine Travel Tours. The location, view, and size of the rooms may vary and some rooms are bigger/smaller.  As we tend to reserve private homes not hotels, like most homes, there is a “Master” that is larger/nicer than supplement rooms.  We allow our guests to decide who gets which rooms.  Decisions may or may not happen prior to arrival, and may be decided when you arrive to your locations. Please have a group discussion on how this will be handled prior to arrival.

Do the Hotels have Heating & Air Conditioning?

All of our lodgings are equipped with heating. Due to a milder climate, air conditioning is not as widely used in Europe as it is in the U.S.A. Therefore, a number of our lodgings in northern and central Europe do not feature air conditioning. Some will have AC units just for the bedrooms but most will Not have them for common living areas.  Most will have fans provided as well.

What is served for Breakfast?

Breakfasts are commonly served buffet style with a selection of rolls, butter, jam, cheese, cold cuts, coffee, tea, milk and juice. Breakfast buffets usually also include one or more other items, such as cereal, pastries, fruit, yogurt or eggs. Some selections and preparation will reflect the local area.  When we are staying in private homes, Imagine Travel Tours will provide hot breakfast of eggs, vegetables, fruits, breads, yogurt, tea, milk, juice, coffee.  

May I request Special Diet Meals?

If notified in writing at least 60 days prior to departure, Imagine Travel Tours accepts the following diet requests: 1) diabetic; 2) gluten-free; 3) vegan; 4) vegetarian with dairy and eggs; 5) semi-vegetarian (no pork or red meat); 6) no shellfish/fish; or 7) lactose free. Although we will do everything we can for meals in house, any dietary requirements remain entirely your own responsibility. Please do not give the tour manager a list of items you may or may not eat Unless it is an item you are very allergic to.  Imagine Travel Tours expressly disclaims any responsibility or liability in connection with dietary requirements.  . IF YOU HAVE ALLERGIES- please include this in a medical description prior to arrival.

Is this a Non-Smoking Tour?

Regardless of the policies within the countries visited, we will adopt a non-smoking policy in all vehicles and during group activities. Although some restaurants in Europe do not designate non-smoking sections, tour participants are also expected to refrain from smoking during breakfasts and group dinners. We always request non-smoking rooms for all participants where possible. In fact, many hotels have converted to only non-smoking rooms and charge a substantial penalty to guests who smoke in a non-smoking room. Imagine Travel Tours expressly disclaims any responsibility or liability in connection with smoking or non-smoking requirements.  For smokers, outdoor only in lodging and restaurants is standard.  This includes E cigarettes.

Do I need to bring Formal Attire?

Comfort is the priority on our tours. There are no occasions that require formal attire, but some clients like to bring one casually elegant outfit to wear for special occasion dinners.

How often will I need to carry my own Luggage?

At the airports, you will have the use of luggage carts to transport your luggage to the van. You must handle your own luggage throughout the tour.  As these are custom small tours, unlike large 50+ group tours, we do not have porters accompanying our tour.  There might be occasions you will be required to board a train with your luggage so you will need to be able to lift the luggage onto the train and thru the aisles.  Please pack accordingly.  Washer will be available in Tuscany location.

Are Airport Transfers Included?

On arrival and again on the last day of the tour, one scheduled group transfer between the airport and the hotel is available at no additional cost. Transfer times in each direction are set based on the scheduled flight times of passengers.  If you are unable to join the group transfer due to schedules, flight delays or for any other reason, you will need to transfer between the airport and the hotel on your own, and the entire cost of this transfer will be your responsibility. As you consider travel protection plans, check if travel delay coverage is included. Pre- and post-tour extensions do not include transfers.

Where do I Meet the Tour Manager?

For the scheduled group airport transfer, we will be waiting at an assigned Meeting Point inside the arrival airport in Europe. “Arrival Instructions,” including the Meeting Point location and time, are provided with the Trip Documents, which you will receive at least one week prior to the tour. Please review this information and keep this page close at hand on the day of travel.

Will the Tour Manager accompany us throughout the entire tour?

Yes your hosts, Darla and Darren Dressler will accompany you thruout the entire tour excluding free time in day excursions where you may explore on your own while meeting back at a designated time and place with your guides

Are Tips for the Tour Manager & Driver included?

The tips for the tour manager and driver are included unlike other tours where you are expected to pay both.

Are Tips for Other Services included?

Tipping is included for all services that are pre-arranged by Imagine Travel Tours, such as hotel staff, restaurant staff and other services that are included in the tour or in the optional excursions. Generally, if anyone who provides a pre-arranged tour service is just doing their job, you need not tip. On the other hand, feel free to tip any personnel who is extra helpful or goes beyond expectations. When you purchase beverages or receive water service with dinner, it is polite to include a tip of at least 50 cents. During independent meals, the general rule at restaurants in Europe and the British Isles is 5% to 10% depending on level of service.

When do I pay for the Optional Excursions?

We will send a detailed “suggested” itinerary of places and things we feel you might not want to miss.  Because this is a totally custom tour, if you want special items added to your tour, please let us know as far in advance so we might accommodate you.  If special items are requested, these will be charged to you at the rate we have been told by the vendor they cost.  I.e. balloon rides, vespa rentals, special tours, etc.

What Time does the tour group usually Depart and Arrive at day trip locations?

This will be totally decided by you and your group.  As much as possible, we are flexible to the groups time frames unless there is scheduled pre booked events such a private cooking classes, trains etc. and check out times for lodging which is generally around 10am.

How much Free Time will I have?

When you make a sightseeing stop, your tour manager will typically indicate points of interest while driving and/or with a walking tour, followed by 45 minutes to 2 hours for independent sightseeing, depending on the location. You may forego a walking tour if you prefer more independent time.  This is Your Tour and we want you to have as much or little free time as you want!  Please tell us what you prefer.

How much Time will I spend on the road in the van?

Our tours are planned so that the average time on the road between stops is MAX 1½ to 2 hours. Destination days from city to city might be 3-4 hours with stops when needed.

How are seats assigned on the Van?

Seating on the van will be totally to the group needs/wants. Out of fairness to all passengers, we do not accept special seating requests for any reason and expect fairness to all in the group.

Is there a Bathroom on the Van?

No, this is a large Van/car and we will need to stop so please give as much notice as possible.  There are bathrooms on the motorway usually or we may need to stop at a local café/gas station.  Europe is quite different than America in there are not a lot of Public Toilets easily accessable.  Sometimes, a purchase is required or a fee even for the public toilets.

Do the Vans have Heating & Air Conditioning?

Yes

Is it possible to Extend My Stay?

Early departures, later returns, and pre- or post-tour extension accommodations must be requested at the time you make your tour reservation and before your final payment is posted. These requests will be subject to availability of guides and hotel space. We are happy to discuss and give a separate individual tour quote to you for any extra time or travel you might want to have.   Ask your guide.

Will any credit be available for Unused Tour Nights?

Tour prices are based on full group utilization of the lodging rooms and services. No credit or refund will apply for unused tour nights or services. You may leave the tour at any place on the itinerary after communicating your plans to the tour manager.

What if I need to Return Home Early?

Air tickets are subject to change fees and you may need to purchase a one-way air ticket if you need to change your return date or location. If you must return early for a medical reason, obtain a statement from the attending physician. If you have purchased a travel protection plan, this documentation will be required to make a claim and may help reduce airline change fees.  No refund will be able to be made to you from Imagine Travel Tours so please refer to your Travel Insurance purchased rules and refunds.

How can I use my Cell Phone during the tour?

Contact your cell phone provider about short term international data and calling plans. If you have a smartphone, WhatsApp is a cost-free way to communicate with other smartphones. If you will use your phone for photos, consider increasing your memory and taking a USB battery pack.  Facetime and messenger are free on your phone and when you are in the lodgings, we will have wifi that will allow you to call for free, email, facetime, all for free.  When you are in the car and in daytrips, be sure to NOT use your phone for facebook, sending photos to instagram, UNLESS you are at a restaurant that has free wifi and you have logged on to their password.  There are several in each town so usually this is possible.  Your guides will have two phones with local and international access for emergencies.

BE SURE to purchase or be prepared to purchase when you arrive, Italian adaptors for all your electronic devices: phone, computer, hair items, etc.  Usually they are around 3-5 euros a piece in Italy.  You can usually purchase a Universal adaptor in US and are around $20.

If you are going to other countries after Italy this would be a good purchase. 

What happens if I Lose an Article?

Neither Imagine Travel Tours nor any company contracted through Imagine Travel Tours shall be responsible for articles lost, stolen, left behind, confiscated or damaged. Such articles are rarely retrieved. We recommend you check to ensure you have all your possessions each time you leave a motor coach, hotel, restaurant, shop, and on all other occasions throughout your tour.  If you leave an item on the van, in the lodgings and after you leave we find your item (on average $75 per item) Imagine Travel Tours will attempt to ship the item, with all retrieval and shipping costs being the responsibility of the owner.

What is the Weather like in Europe?

The weather in Europe, like that in most places, is unpredictable. While planning your wardrobe, imagine that you are planning a trip through the U.S.A. Season for season, the climate of Italy is a lot like California of cool mornings and nights with warm afternoons, so layers are always best.   Even in the summer, bring that warm sweater or light jacket. Conversely, during fall and winter, you may experience some warmer temperatures. Enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of Europe is in no way bound by seasons or the weather.

Physical Condition Guidelines

Tour Pace and Walking Requirements:

The pace of the tours featured in this brochure is considered ‘ACTIVE’. Due to limited access for motor coaches to enter town centers, a fair amount of walking, commonly three to four miles per day, is required to take in the old world charm and sights. Consequently, these tours are a good fit for persons who can comfortably walk a mile in less than 30 minutes without shortness of breath or other physical discomfort.  We will go as slow as needed and stop for wine and gelato as much you require to retain your stamina.

What if I am unable to keep up during the Tour?

If you are unable to keep up with the group, we will do all we can to accommodate you.  Helping you to a cute café, bringing the car as close as possible.  Word of caution is most streets in the small cities of Tuscany are still the old world cobblestones and can be very hard on ankles.  Comfort low heeled shoes are a must!  Rubber soles are better than leather.

Oxygen/ Medical/ Electronic Devices:

CPAP and other medical devices must fit within the “Baggage Allowances” for the tour. Under no circumstance does Imagine Travel Tours, the motor coach company, the tour manager, the hotels or any other service provider accept any responsibility or liability in connection with medical conditions, medical devices or any electronic devices.  Please ensure you have whatever medical items you need to ensure your safety and health and well being when traveling.

If you are allergic to anything such as bees, and require medical assistance please be sure to bring these “in case of” as Italy may or may not have the medical items you require.

Prescription drugs: please be sure to have a FULL monthly supply of any medical needs you have, as European pharmacy tend to have very different medicines, Milligram amounts and in some cases, do not have them at all.  Anything you make take daily, weekly or “in case of” such as gout, we recommend you fill and bring with you.

Italian pharmacies are great for homeopathic medicines, oils, etc but may or may not have a prescription or even Tylenol type drug, and you will have to make substitutions.

Car Sickness: 

If you know you are subject to car sickness, please ensure you have purchased and take Dramomine or whatever source of cure you might know works for you. Again, Italy may or may not have items that help the way you are familiar with.  We will be in a large Van with large windows driving on some country roads that can be curvy, if you are subject to car sickness we want to ensure you are not ill.  Ginger is widely available for ginger tea and ginger treats are always good for this as well.  Essential oils are readily available here, and no need to bring with you.  Darla specializes in essential oil remedies! And homeopathic/food cures.  Good news, if you do not have what you require medical drugs are much much cheaper in Italy if you go with local brands.  American brands are expensive for all items including personal care.

Personal Care:

Personal care is easily taken care of once you arrive at local grocers or pharmacies if you prefer to not pack liquids.  However, American brands might not be available and substitutions will be necessary but the Italians have no shortage of all items you need for personal grooming.  If you have a Favorite, please be sure to bring it.  Anything you might have forgotten or just don’t want to bring, and are flexible on brands, you can simply buy on arrival.

 

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