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ON YOUR TOUR

Insight Vacations crafts seamless travel experiences, taking care of everything so you can focus on creating those lasting memories. To help you prepare for your trip with us, we've gathered some of the Frequently Asked Questions about what to expect on tour.

YOUR TOUR EXPERIENCE

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What is the role of the Travel Director?

Your Travel Director is a true expert about each destination. They’ll provide you with a warm and personal service and will use their local insights to help tailor your tour to your own interests. You are encouraged to talk to your Travel Director straight away if something is not right, so any problems can be rectified there and then, and you can continue to enjoy your journey. Your Travel Director will give you a business card with their contact details, please keep this safe.
Your Driver
Your Travel Director will work in close cooperation with your Coach Driver. Your driver's responsibilities include loading and unloading luggage, the vehicle’s safety inspection, its cleanliness and most importantly, your safety.

How many people will be on tour with me?

Insight Vacations tour groups are smaller and more friendly.

With only 40 guests on our classic tours instead of the standard 53, you will enjoy a more personalized service. In a smaller group, you'll be closer to your local guide for a more in-depth experience. You'll also spend less time waiting to access sights and checking into your hotels.

If you prefer to travel in an even smaller group, the majority of our tours are available as Small Group tours. In a Small Group, you'll travel with a maximum of just 24 guests.

Find out more about our Classic Group and Small Group options.

What are my options as a solo traveller?

Travelling solo on a premium guided tour allows you the freedom to explore alone but with the security of a small group.

You have two accommodation options as a solo traveller. Either choose to be matched with a same sex partner for a room share - at no extra cost. Or choose a room of your own with a reduced or even free private room upgrade on select tours.

Find out more about our Solo Travel Savings.

What is the difference between "Visit", "View", and "See" in the itineraries?

Insight Vacations itineraries are carefully crafted to ensure our guests get the most out of each destination. We use particular terms when describing our sightseeing activities; knowing what we mean by these terms will give you a better sense of what to expect on any given day during your tour.
Visit - Your coach will stop and you'll get to visit a specific site.
View - A brief stop and an opportunity to take photos.
See - Your Insight coach will drive by the site so that you can see it.
Sightseeing tour - A local city guide will accompany you on a tour of a city or site.
Orientation tour - Places of interest are pointed out, allowing you to go and explore them on your own.
'Why not see' or 'perhaps enjoy' - These phrases refer to optional excursions not included in the tour package, but are available for an additional fee.
Time to explore and discover - Free time on your own.
A day to relax - No planned activities; time for Optional Experiences or other independent activities.
Optional Experiences are explained in further detail in 'What is an Optional Experience? And what is Insight Choice?'

What is an Optional Experience? And what is Insight Choice?

On an Insight Vacations tour, the itinerary is just the start of the adventure. With Optional Experiences and Insight Choice, you shape your vacation to suit you.
Optional Experiences
Tailor your Insight Vacations travels by making the most of the broad range of Optional Experiences available on your tour. Whether it's dining on Tuscan cuisine in the home of Machiavelli, or whale watching off the coast of Iceland, our Optional Experiences enhance and personalize your journey.
Optional Experiences are booked and paid for on tour, through your Travel Director. Explore the options available on your tour in advance in the Tour Highlights section of your tour webpage.
Please note that Optional Experiences may vary in price and availability due to seasonal conditions and minimum passenger participation. They are subject to change without notice.
Insight Choice
With Insight Choice, you take charge of the itinerary. Choose between two carefully selected experiences to ensure your tour reflects your passions and preferences.
Explore the Insight Choice options available on your tour in the itinerary section of your tour webpage.

How much walking is involved on an Insight Vacations itinerary?

With so much to see and do at the remarkable destinations on your Insight Vacations tour, there will inevitably be some walking involved. All of our tours are allocated an Activity Level, to give you an indication of how much walking will be involved on the tour, and how challenging the terrain will be.
Leisurely: These tours typically involve 1-2 miles of walking per day on primarily flat surfaces with some stairs.
Balanced: These tours will generally have up to 1-3 miles of walking per day and may involve some uneven surfaces, such as cobblestones and stairs.
Dynamic: These tours are perfect for those looking for a more active pace. They feature 4+ miles of walking on some days and may involve climbing some steep hills.

What do I need to know about tipping and gratuities during my tour?

When travelling with Insight Vacations, certain tips and gratuities are included in your tour package. Baggage handling at hotels, service charges and tips for hotel waiting staff (for included meals) will be taken care of by your Travel Director. There are however a few instances where individual tipping is welcome.
Hotel Services
It is customary to tip hotel staff for room service delivery if the charge has not already been added to the bill.
Local Hosts and Local Specialists
Tours outside of the Americas do not include gratuities for Local Hosts and Local Specialists. It is customary to show appreciation for the insights, stories and know-how shared with you.
Your Travel Director and Driver
Gratuities for your Travel Director and Driver are not included in your tour price.
Gratuities are given at your own discretion. At the end of your tour, should you wish to show your appreciation for your Driver's service, Insight Vacations recommends a gratuity of £3/€3.50 per day. If you wish to show your appreciation for the personalized service offered by your Travel Director during your tour, Insight Vacations recommends a gratuity of £5/€6
For your convenience and ease, there is an option to prepay gratuities for the Travel Director and Driver at the time of booking on the majority of our tours. Please check with your local sales representative or reservation agent where this option is available.
Eating and drinking
Tips and gratuities will be taken care of by your Travel Director for all meals included in your itinerary. When you are exploring on your own, it's helpful to know regional norms around tipping.
In North America, it is customary to tip for a variety of services. A restaurant is usually tipped 15-20% of the total bill before tax. In bars and pubs, the bartender and cocktail server usually earns between $1-$2 per drink depending on the price of the drink. Other services from taxi drivers to hairdressers normally receive 10%. Your Travel Director can also answer any questions you may have regarding when and how much to tip.
In Europe, there is no obligation to leave a tip, but between 5% and 10% is normal in most European restaurants. Make sure to check that a service charge hasn’t already been added on as this is becoming more common. Also bear in mind that tipping is only necessary at a table service restaurant. When eating out at a pub or fast food outlet where you order your food from a counter, tipping isn’t necessary or expected.

What if I arrive late and miss a feature of the tour?

We regret that no refunds can be made for absences from a tour, including experiences such as missed meals or sightseeing.

Is porterage included for the whole tour?

We're committed to providing a seamless travel experience for our guests. Porterage is provided for one suitcase per guest at every hotel, so you can rest assured your case will be where you need it, when you need it.

Find out more about your luggage allowance.

How will I get to and from the airport?

All Insight Vacations guests benefit from complimentary arrival and departure transfers by shuttle coach on the arrival and departure day of their guided holiday. Times are specified on the individual itinerary pages. If your flight times do not coincide with the shuttle coach transfer timings you may choose to book and purchase a transfer.

In addition, guests who arrive before or leave after the scheduled holiday may also book a transfer through Insight Vacations providing they also purchase the additional pre and/or post- holiday hotel night(s).

Insight Vacations provides complimentary airport transfers in the Eastern Mediterranean region at any time on the first and last day of the holiday or on other days in conjunction with pre and / or post-tour accommodation booked through Insight Vacations. Flight times must be provided to Insight Vacations at least twenty one days before flight departure.

You will find specific joining instructions as to where you will locate an Airport Host or Travel Director at the scheduled transfer times in your travel documents.

Note Exception: When traveling to London, transfers are chargeable from London Heathrow and London Gatwick Airport to your Insight hotel.

Airport Transfers for North America
Guests make their own arrangements for arrival transfers, and for departure transfers unless the last day is a travel day ending with an airport drop (see itinerary for airport arrival times). Insight Vacations offers the option to purchase private transfers for selected cities. Guests may check at time of booking if those are offered for the selected itinerary. Otherwise, guests will be provided local transfer options after booking so they can make their own arrangements. Guests arriving before or leaving after the scheduled itinerary day may choose to purchase a private transfer through Insight Vacations provided that they also purchase the additional pre- and post-trip hotel night(s) from Insight Vacations. When booking extra night(s) accommodations, guests will have the opportunity to book the relevant transfer service(s).

COACH TRAVEL

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What can I expect aboard an Insight Vacations coach?

Our modern, air-conditioned coaches have been carefully selected with your comfort, safety and scenic viewing in mind.
Your Insight Vacations Team will explain all the safety features of your motorcoach at the beginning of your vacation.
Specially Configured Coaches with Fewer Seats
Our luxury coaches have been specially reconfigured with fewer seats, so you'll relax in style whilst enjoying up to twice as much legroom then on a standard traveling coach.
Seat rotation
Your Travel Director will implement a seat rotation system, whereby all guests will rotate their seats on the coach daily. This allows for everyone to experience the spectacular views from different seats, and you’ll have a better opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers.
WIFI
Complimentary Wi-Fi Service is available on our coaches in the majority of countries we travel to.
Washrooms and rest stops
To ensure you travel in comfort, travel days will include plenty of rest stops. There's also an on-board wash room on all travelling coaches (except in Morocco).
Coach etiquette
Be mindful of others when using audio technology on board and talking on cell phones. Please also be aware of obstructing the view of those behind you when using tablets to take photos or video footage.
No Smoking Policy
We operate a no smoking policy motorcoach travelling policy. However, we do make plenty of convenience stops giving you the opportunity to smoke.

What makes Insight Vacations coaches different?

We are the only operator to have developed a fleet of hundreds of specially reconfigured 40 seat travelling coaches with business class legroom. This singles us out from others, even those who carry smaller groups, who still operate traditional 49 or 53-seat coaches.

The extra legroom created by our bespoke configuration also translates into extra window space for you to admire your remarkable destinations. For additional comfort, you can also recline safe in the knowledge that you won't be inconveniencing the person behind you.

Fewer guests also means we can embark and disembark far quicker than larger groups, giving you the maximum amount of time at each stop.

Our Small Group tours utilize the same coaches as our Classic Groups. So if you opt to travel in a Small Group then you will enjoy even more space.

How long will I spend on the coach?

We seldom travel longer than a couple of hours or so without a photo stop or visit. Some journeys are much shorter. Many times you won't need the coach at all as we often build-in multiple days at leisure.

Insight Vacations also uses many other forms of transportation to give you an exciting and varied vacation. From high-speed trains, cable cars and hydrofoils to open-top taxis, river cruisers and carriages - you'll enjoy them all, and more.

YOUR WELL-BEING & SAFETY

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How can I stay safe when travelling?

Immersing yourself in new destinations is an exhilarating part of your travel experience. Your Travel Director will be on hand to ensure your tour goes smoothly so you can focus on making those lasting memories. However it is important to remain vigilant and to take precautions when travelling to reduce the chances of situations arising that would affect your enjoyment.
Personal Belongings
Many of us carry expensive equipment such as mobile phones and cameras to capture our travel memories and keep in touch with loved ones. Be wary of showing them off in crowded places and never leave them on the table in restaurants, bars, hotel lobbies and public places (breakfast rooms).
Bags
Keep your bag with you at all times. Wear it across your chest and ensure the bag is on the front of the body when you walk through crowded places.
Passport
Make sure your passport is always safe. Keep it on your person on travel days. Many hotels provide safety deposit boxes for your use on longer stays, but be sure to reclaim them before checking out. Make a photocopy of your passport and important documents and keep them separately from the originals and make a note of emergency numbers for any credit/ bank cards that you use.
Cash
Only carry as much cash as you need at any time and avoid displaying large numbers of notes when paying for anything.
Passport and Documents
You are required to carry your passport with you at all times. A money belt worn under your clothing is the safest place to carry your passport, as well as other important documents, a spare credit or debit card, larger cash amounts and any emergency contact lists.
Hotels
When leaving your room, securely shut all windows and close the door to your room as you exit, with enough force to ensure it properly locks. Remember to keep your room key safely on you. On arrival at a new hotel, familiarize yourself with escape routes and locate the nearest fire exit to your room. Always know how to raise the alarm.
Situational Awareness
Avoid confrontational situations and large gatherings and if at any time a situation doesn’t feel right, walk away.
Hostile Situations
In the very unlikely situation you find yourself in the vicinity of a hostile incident, leave immediately and contact the police. If you are unable to leave, find somewhere to hide, lock the door and keep as quiet as possible. Remember to turn your phone to silent and contact the police.

What if I become ill on my tour and am unable to continue?

Your Travel Director will assist you with a doctor's visit or hospitalization should you require. Insight Vacations has a dedicated Customer Care Department in Europe or our Operations Department in the relevant country will contact you to offer assistance and advice. The cost to return home from your tour due to illness would be at your own expense, so we strongly encourage you to purchase a Travel Protection Plan, and coordinate with your travel insurance company to have your medical expenses reimbursed.

How can I minimize jetlag when traveling abroad?

Travelling abroad is an opportunity to discover new cultures and make lasting memories. When travelling to your destination by air, following some simple advice can help you make the best of your vacation experience from day one.
Before your flight
Try to ensure you are well-rested prior to your flight. Pack your carry-on bag carefully so that you have everything you need aboard the plane.
On board
Remember to stay hydrated during your flight and try to stretch regularly, either in your seat or by walking around the plane. Reset your watch to the local time at your destination so you can begin adjusting your body clock.
Arriving at your destination
When you arrive at your destination, try to stay awake until the early evening. If you are very tired from your journey, opt for an hour-long nap rather than a longer sleep that might leave you struggling to sleep later.

MEALS & BEVERAGES

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What do I need to know about meals and beverages during my Insight Vacations tour?

At Insight Vacations, we know dining is at the heart of every great journey.
Your itinerary will include a range of evening dining experiences; from farm-to-table meals, to dinner with a family, and Celebration Dinners at hand-picked restaurants. Find out more about the dining options on your tour in the Itinerary section of the tour webpage.
Breakfast and Lunch
Unless otherwise stated in your itinerary, breakfasts will be served at your hotel. A full American breakfast will be served in North America, while in the UK and Ireland a full cooked breakfast will be available. In Scandinavia and mainland Europe, a buffet style breakfast is more common.
To allow for greater flexibility during the day, lunch is not usually included in the tour. However, your Travel Director will have plenty of recommendations.
On travelling days, your Travel Director will arrange for stops for meals or snacks.
Water
At Insight Vacations, we care about our planet, and with that in mind we always recommend that you pack a reusable water bottle for your trip. Bringing your own reusable water bottle or asking for tap water at restaurants means you can make a difference by reducing your holiday plastic waste. In North America, Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia and Western Europe, all water is safe to drink. In some areas of Eastern Europe and in other parts of the world, your Travel Director may advise that bottled water is a better alternative.

What should I do if I have specific dietary requirements?

We encourage all guests to advise us about any specific dietary needs that they may have (vegetarian, diabetic, gluten free, etc.) and we will strive to accommodate them. We kindly request that you advise us of any dietary requirements when completing registration on My Insight. Please also discuss your needs with the Travel Director at the start of your tour. Where possible, we will endeavour to make arrangements with our suppliers however requests cannot be guaranteed on every occasion.

ACCOMMODATION

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What do I need to know about my accommodation on tour with Insight Vacations?

At Insight Vacations, we handpick highly rated hotels in fantastic locations to enhance our guests' experience. Whether it's traditional or contemporary in style, your hotel is chosen for the quality of service, amenities and accommodation it offers.
Checking in to your arrival hotel
When arriving at your first hotel, check in at the main reception desk where the reception staff will need to know your name and that you are traveling with Insight Vacations.
When your trip begins, check in will be managed by the Travel Director, who will advise you regarding procedures and hotel features prior to arrival. They will secure keys and oversee delivery of your luggage to your room.
Photocopies of documents
Some hotels are required to keep your passport at reception throughout your stay owing to government, country or local laws. You are therefore recommended to bring a photocopy of your passport and any visas with you when you travel. A useful tip is to photocopy your airline tickets, credit cards and your driver’s license etc. as this can speed up replacements on those rare occasions when the originals are lost. Even easier is to scan your documents and send them to yourself as attachments to your email so that you have access to them if needed.
Keys
Many hotels use magnetic key cards. These may be required to use the elevator. In many hotels, key cards also operate the lighting and air-conditioning. The card is usually inserted into a slot or box located just inside the room in order for the electricity to function and it is a great way to save energy!
Checking out of your hotel
Always make a last-minute check of safe deposit boxes, drawers, wardrobe and bathroom before departing each hotel and returning your key. If you have consumed any items from the mini bar or accessed pay-TV etc. you are responsible for ensuring that incidental expenses are paid prior to departure. We recommend settling any bills in the evening to ensure a smooth departure the following morning.

What is a triple room?

A triple room is the same size as a twin bedded room. Triple rooms are not recommended for groups of three adults as the third bed is often a rollaway, which may not be comfortable for an adult.

If you are travelling as a group of three, we strongly advise booking the single occupancy or twin share room option for the third guest.

Find out more about solo travel options

Can I have my laundry done?

Most hotels do offer a laundry service and in some cities Laundromats are also available. However, it is a good idea to try and pack enough clothing to avoid having to do laundry, as it can sometimes be costly or inconvenient.

Can I use my electrical appliances?

Electrical plugs and outlets differ throughout the world so you'll need a universal travel adaptor suitable for the countries you are travelling to in order to use any mobile devices. Electrical currents also vary throughout the world and we suggest you carry a converter for any electronics that are not dual voltage in order to prevent them being damaged.

INTERNET & KEEPING IN TOUCH

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Will I have access to the internet during my tour?

On Your Coach
Complimentary Wi-Fi is generally available on coaches. Using 3G mobile network means that connection is slower than standard broadband and at times may not be available. It is good for checking emails, web browsing and updating social media accounts, but less so for streaming video or large photo uploads.
At Your Accommodation
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in many guestrooms and/or public areas of most hotels. On some occasions, it may require an access code from hotel staff. Your Travel Director will provide you with details when checking in to each hotel.

How else can I keep in contact with friends or family?

Keeping in touch with loved ones and sharing your latest discoveries enhances your tour experience.

If you choose to bring a smart phone with you, ensure you contact your service provider to find out how much it will cost to use your phone internationally. You might consider disabling data roaming or purchasing a prepaid service or SIM to keep control of costs. Be mindful of other guests if you take a cell phone call on the motorcoach.

Making telephone calls from your hotel room can be very expensive. A pre-paid calling card is an easy way to save money when making telephone calls. Calling cards are readily available for purchase in most stores - please ask your Travel Director for further information.

ALL THE SIGHTS AND THE INSIGHTS, UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL, IN COMFORT AND IN STYLE