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 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 personalised 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
What are my options as a solo traveller?
Travelling solo with Insight Vacations gives you the freedom that comes with travelling alone, plus the security and camaraderie 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 Options.
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.
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 personalise 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.
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.
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 personalised 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 and Latin America region at any time on the first and last day of the vacation or on other days in conjunction with pre-and / or post-trip accommodation booked through Insight Vacations. Flight times must be provided to Insight Vacations at least twenty-one days before flight departure in the case of Eastern Mediterranean trips and fifty days for Latin America.
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 travelling 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).