Travel Logistics

Airline Travel

Airline Ticketing
Your Tour Fee includes regional, economy-class airfare from the first to the last city for the tour option you select. This fee does not include the overseas portion of your ticket. Our travel agent, Travel On, can also assist you in booking your overseas ticket if needed. If you need to deviate from the itinerary or would like to pay to upgrade your ticket to business class, please contact Travel On.

Altour
240 Newport Center Dr. Suite 116
Newport Beach, CA, 92660
Tel: 1.800.4 ALTOUR
949.261.8660
949.450.8550
Email: Sharon.Gallas@altour.com
website: http://altournewport.com/


Travel Attire
Please dress comfortably (yet neatly) on our travel days. Keep in mind that immigration officers have a tendency to question people that are sloppily dressed.

Check-In Procedures
Check in is individual. The tour leader will pay all departure taxes at the airport in each city. Additional airport procedures will be discussed at the orientation meeting.

Overweight Charges
In the event that we exceed the luggage weight limit allowed by the airline, you will be responsible for the overage charges. Packing light and mailing materials in advance will help with this.

Entry/Departure Cards
You will receive an entry/departure card on each flight to a new country. Since you are staying a short time and not earning any income, always indicate "Tourist" or "Pleasure" rather than "Business," unless instructed otherwise by the tour leader.

Airport Arrivals
After deplaning, passengers will proceed through immigration. Tour members should remain quiet and serious. The immigration officer will review your passport and return your departure card, which must be retained until you leave the country. Collect your luggage and proceed through customs as instructed. A tour bus representative will meet the group in the waiting area with a sign stating "Linden Tour." When the entire group arrives, proceed with your luggage to the bus, confirm that your bags are loaded, and board the bus to the hotel.

Buddies

Buddies are a Linden Tour tradition. Shortly after participants are finalized, the tour leader selects a buddy for you. Former tour members are paired with new tour members, and we always try to make a match that will be easy and fun for both of you.

Prior to the tour, your task is to make contact with your buddy by phone or e-mail. On the tour, you and your buddy are to look for each other at key transition times (leaving hotels, boarding the bus, at the airport) and other times when your tour leader calls for a "buddy check."

While some buddies become good friends, you are not responsible for your buddy's professional or social life. Buddies are just an easy way for us to make sure we do not leave anyone behind.

Hotel Accommodations

Your tour fee includes single room accommodations at four and five-star hotels. These hotels are well-equipped with business centers, room service, laundry, bell captains, and restaurants, and have English-speaking staff that are willing and able to answer a variety of questions and requests. In most instances, a full array of amenities (shampoo, lotion, etc.) is provided, and sundry shops are available for additional items. Most of the hotels have hair dryers available in the rooms or through housekeeping. All of the hotels exchange money from U.S. dollars to local currency 24 hours a day.

Check-In Procedures
Your tour leader will handle your hotel check-in, though you may be requested to complete a registration card. We always request non-smoking rooms, but some hotels are not as strict about the non-smoking policy as we prefer. Please notify the tour leader if you change rooms for any reason. Luggage will be delivered to your room - though the larger the group, the slower the delivery. Please tip the porter roughly $1 per bag (in U.S. dollars or the equivalent local currency).

Check-Out Procedures
Please refer to your itinerary for exact luggage procedures. If your itinerary indicates a time for "luggage outside door," you should place your checked luggage (not carry-on) outside your room for collection by the porter.

Each tour member must formally check-out of his/her room. Please make sure you check-out well in advance of departure time. Most hotels will allow you to check out the night before, especially if the group is departing early in the morning.

Health Issues

Immunizations are not required for most of the countries that Linden visits, particularly since the tour only goes to major cities. Many tour members choose to get a gamma globulin shot that increases resistance to hepatitis. It is best to check with your physician. Some countries in Latin America require a yellow fever shot. If you travel in that region, it is best to get that shot.

Illnesses on the tours tend to relate to stomach/digestive problems or the common cold. To stay healthy, and to avoid sharing ailments with the group, follow this advice:

  • Start the tour in good health
  • Maintain your normal lifestyle with regard to food, sleep, exercise, and alcohol intake
  • Drink plenty of bottled water
  • Get plenty of sleep (burning the candle at both ends has its consequences)
  • Avoid salads and unpeeled fruits in cities where health conditions are less than ideal
  • Label bottles properly
  • Bring a small supply of aspirin, cold medicine, throat lozenges, a nasal decongestant, and medicine for an upset stomach
  • Stop and rest when you feel yourself getting sick

 

For further information, check out these web sites:

www.cdc.gov/travel

Local Transportation

Buses are provided for transport between the airport and hotel, and when the majority of the group is going to the same place. Taxis and subways are available for small group visits and personal travel, and tour members are expected to cover those costs.

Helpful Hints for Bus Transportation

  • Know the schedule for the day and be prepared with all of the materials, personal items, etc. you may need throughout the day.
  • Please be on time; we can't hold up the group's departure for you.
  • If you miss the bus, take a taxi to the address listed on the itinerary.

 

Helpful Hints for Dealing with Taxi Drivers

  • Allow yourself plenty of time to get where you are going
  • Always carry contact numbers (which are included in the itinerary) and a map
  • Hotel taxis are more comfortable and drivers are more knowledgeable, but they are more expensive than the regular taxis on the street
  • Passengers are often expected to navigate, so be sure to have instructions and the address in the local language
  • Ask the doorman to give the taxi driver instructions
  • If a metered taxi is not available, establish the price before you depart
  • When traveling in a group, one person should take responsibility for communicating with the driver
  • Take a hotel card with the name and address of the hotel (available in your room or from the concierge) to give to the driver on your return trip
  • Consider asking the taxi driver to wait for you if it appears that catching a taxi for the return trip will be difficult

 

Luggage Tags

Please use the Linden luggage tags you receive from us to clearly identify your bags and to expedite collection and delivery at the hotels.

Money Issues

On the tour, you are responsible for paying for:

  • All meals (unless otherwise indicated)
  • Incidental hotel charges (i.e. phone calls, e-mail access, faxes, laundry, food)
  • Porters who help you with your luggage
  • Taxi and subway fares

 

As a general rule, you can expect to use an average of $60 a day (in cash). If you are interested in a more accurate rate for each city, the State Department's per diem index is a good resource.

While ATM machines are often accessible, you may not always have the time or energy to find one. Major credit cards (American Express is the easiest to replace) are widely accepted throughout Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Charges for the use of telephone and fax vary widely from country to country and hotel to hotel. Local calling cards tend to be inexpensive, but Skype may be the best option for international calls. Hotels often charge guests for receiving faxes as well. Check with hotel staff to avoid surprise charges during check-out.

Helpful Hints for Working with Money on the Trip

  • Take 20 one-dollar bills to use for tips
  • Use a credit card, if possible, since exchange rates are generally better - check with your credit card company pre-departure to see if you will be charged international transaction fees
  • If you have local currency left at the end of a visit, apply it toward your hotel bill and charge the balance to a credit card
  • Expect receipts from restaurants and hotels; do not expect receipts for taxis, subways, and tips
  • For bookkeeping purposes, list everything you spend in the local currency and then translate it into U.S. dollars
  • Merchants often expect to be paid in cash and will add a surcharge (around 3%) if a credit card is used

 

Packing List

Please refer to the packing list for recommendations on what to take with you. Remember to pack light!

Passports and Visas

Passports must be valid for at least six months following the tour and have at least five blank pages for immigration stamps. Application forms for passports and/or additional pages are available at U.S. Post Offices, but often take up to sixty days to process, so it is best to apply immediately.

Visas are required for U.S. citizens for some of the cities Linden Tours visit. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you MUST check the embassy of the countries you will be visiting and/or visit embassy.org.