Listed below is important information to assist you in preparing for your upcoming trip. This information provided will help you have a more enjoyable experience while you are on your tour.
Jump to section:
- Arrival Day Suggestions
- Clothing & Packing Tips
- Helpful Hints
- Included Features
- Local Guides
- Name Badges
- Reading List
- Seat Belts
- Time Zone
- Tour Manager
All of our hotels are equipped with air conditioning and heat. In an effort to be more energy efficient, government regulations are in place throughout Italy to determine the specific time of year when air conditioning and heating systems will be switched on and off at hotels. Please note that air conditioners and heaters will not always be turned on during the fall and spring due to these regulations. Most hotels in Italy do not offer swimming pools, due to their location and lack of space. Those that do will typically operate their swimming pools in the summer months only, between June and August, depending on the weather.
On some programs, there are a limited number of single and triple rooms. Double rooms usually consist of 2 beds. Triple rooms are normally a standard double room with 2 beds. A cot or rollaway bed may be added to the double room at some hotels, based on room size and fire codes. When triples are not available, appropriate charges for single and twin accommodations will be assessed.
We make every effort to accommodate your specific requests and forward them to the hotels. These requests cannot be guaranteed as hotels may not always be able to honor them.
Check-in times are set by individual hotel properties and vary by hotel. Depending on your arrival time, there may be a delay in gaining access to your room as most hotels offer afternoon check-in. We ask guests to observe check-out times at all properties as designated by the hotel.
Some hotels require a credit card imprint or your passport information upon check-in in order to activate telephones in the rooms and for potential incidental charges. Most hotels charge an access fee for using phones in hotel rooms. Please check with the front desk personnel at each hotel for specific policies.
Hotel membership programs are not applicable.
In certain countries, hotel rooms tend to be smaller than standard U.S. accommodations. Please be assured that we use high quality properties throughout each country.
The Americans with Disabilities Act does not apply outside of the United States.
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, we will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the special needs of tour participants. Persons requiring individual assistance must be accompanied by a companion who is capable of, and totally responsible for, providing the necessary assistance. Neither our personnel nor its suppliers may physically lift or assist clients onto transportation vehicles.
We regret that we cannot provide individual assistance to a tour member who has special mobility, dietary or other like needs.
Due to varied flight schedules and different arrival times of our tour guests, your tour will not have any scheduled activities prior to dinner on Day 1. Should your flight schedule allow for an earlier arrival time that day, enjoy the great opportunity for some independent exploration.
If you are taking prescription medication, please be sure to take an adequate supply for your tour and a few additional days, in original prescription containers. Medication should be packed in your carry-on baggage. Do not place it in your checked luggage. You may want to carry an extra prescription in a separate bag in case medication is lost.
Your personal bank card may work at local ATM machines in the destination you are traveling to and would dispense local currency. This may be most convenient and offer the best available exchange rate especially since the availability of exchange houses and banks that will exchange money are decreasing. Please contact your bank to determine if this option is available, that your PIN number will be accepted, to inform them that you are traveling and to determine if any charges apply for each transaction.
You may exchange your money at airports, exchange bureaus, some banks and at some hotels (although the exchange rate and fee is usually higher at hotels). In most cases, a commission charge will be assessed to exchange your money. Locations in the city usually offer a better currency exchange rate than airports.
We recommend carrying only a few major credit cards. Credit card purchases often provide an extra guarantee on your purchase (check with your specific credit card company for details and fees). It is advisable to contact any credit card company you intend utilizing while on tour before you depart to notify them where you will be traveling, to avoid any rejection of services.
The currency is the Euro.
Please note that many places in Europe will not accept 50 and 100 US dollar bills as there has been a high rate of counterfeit notes circulating.
Local currency will be needed for lunches, gratuities and small items such as postcards and postage.
If optional tours are made available to purchase, please note that credit cards must have an expiration date of greater than 30 days from the start of the tour.
An adaptor (which changes the physical plug) and/or converter (which changes the electric current) are necessary if you plan to use an appliance with voltage different from the standard within the country you are visiting. Please note, if your appliance has dual voltage you may still need an adaptor for the plug.
When packing your electronic items for travel, please review the converter electric current level to make sure it is the same or greater than the items you are planning on using. If you plan on utilizing or transporting a sleep apnea machine, please remember to pack an extension cord and adapter plug to ensure proper function.
Elevation on this tour will not exceed 2400 feet.
Bring a camera, memory cards and batteries and be sure to bring enough photography supplies for your entire trip. If you have a video camera, bring an extra battery, plus proper recharging equipment. Due to security screening, we recommend storing your equipment in your carry-on luggage.
Bring a travel alarm clock, travel sewing kit and an alcohol based gel hand sanitizer when soap and water is not accessible. Pack items that may leak in plastic bags. Do not pack any articles of value in your checked luggage. In many cases, laundry services (not self-service) are available to you at the hotel, for an additional charge. As a precaution, we suggest that you divide the contents of your suitcase with your traveling companion. Avoid over packing and leave room for souvenirs that you plan to take back home. You may opt to pack wash cloths as they are not readily available in international hotels.
Bring a copy of your passport/identification and pack it separately from the original.
Leave a copy of your tour itinerary at home with your emergency contact and a copy of your passport.
Remember when flying you can only take one quart size bag with no more than 3 ounces of any one liquid. Liquids that do not fit in the one quart size bag and are larger than 3 ounces will be discarded by security.
Remember to hydrate and get up and stretch while flying.
If you are considering using your cell phone while traveling internationally, you should check with your cell provider concerning their access and charges for overseas calls, texting and emailing for the specific destination you are traveling to.
The following are included in your tour package: transportation via motorcoach, accommodations, hotel luggage handling, meals, sightseeing, admission charges (as outlined in your itinerary), and applicable gratuities for bellmen, doormen and dining room wait staff. Customary gratuities for hotel housekeeping staff, local sightseeing guides, drivers and tour managers have not been included.
In order to further enhance your experience of this destination, five local guides have been arranged throughout this tour. Customary gratuities for these guides are not included in the cost of the tour. Gratuities should be extended on a voluntary and individual basis at a suggested amount of 1-2 US dollars per day, per guide. Your Tour Manager will review customary tipping amounts and timing with you when you are on your tour.
Please consult with your scheduled airline as luggage fees and restrictions vary by carrier and destination. Due to the limited motorcoach capacity, one checked luggage (62 inches in length, height and width; weight not to exceed 23kg/50lbs) is allowed on tour.
We also encourage just one carry-on bag per individual (for carrying items that might be needed during the day’s sightseeing excursions or camera/video equipment). Dimensions for carry-on bags should not exceed 17′ x 12′ x 10′, allowing it to fit under the seat or in the overhead rack of most motor coaches.
If you exceed the limit of 2 bags, we cannot guarantee that your additional luggage will be able to fit in the touring vehicle. Storage or shipment of additional luggage will be at your own expense. If we are able to accommodate your additional luggage, we will assess a fee of 4 US dollars per bag per hotel. Please remember to label your luggage and important items with your name, home address and telephone number.
We recommend labeling your luggage on both outside and inside of the bag.
Please attach only the plastic luggage tag included in this mailing to your checked luggage before checking in for your flight.
Your paper luggage tag is to be attached at the first hotel.
We cannot assume liability or accept claims for loss or damage to luggage and personal effects due to breakage, theft or normal wear and tear that results from hotel, airline and group carrier handling. It is in your best interest to have adequate insurance (such as our comprehensive “No Worries Travel Protection”) to cover these eventualities.
Most meals are included as indicated in your document itinerary.
Guests with special dietary requirements must advise their travel counselor at the time of booking and also the tour manager upon joining the tour.
When information is provided, every effort will be made to accommodate these requests.
Please be advised that the average cost of meals (not inclusive of tax and gratuity) that are not included in your tour are as follows: lunch 15 to 25 US dollars and dinner 30 to 45 US dollars.
Breakfasts are generally continental buffet (no hot items).
In general, the water is safe in Italy; however, bottled water is the norm when dining and for sightseeing days. Dinner in Italy usually begins around 7:30pm at the earliest. European coffee tends to be stronger in Italy, so you may ask for water or milk to dilute it.
Any person entering or leaving the EU and carrying cash of a value of €10,000 or more must declare it. The term ‘cash’ includes currency notes, coins, bankers’ drafts, checks and travelers’ cheques.
Travelers who fail to declare any amount over €10,000 will face stiff sanctions and could face penalties of as much as €8,000.
WHISPER HEADSET SYSTEM
Included in your tour is the use of the Whisper Headset System, designed for better communication between you and your guides throughout your tour. A personal radio and earpiece will be distributed at the beginning of your tour, and you should bring these with you every day. They will be collected once again at the very end of the tour, typically on your last evening. You will be responsible for returning these devices and assessed a replacement fee should you fail to return them upon completion of the tour.
Included in your tour is the use of personal audio headsets, designed for better communication between you and your guides throughout your tour. A personal radio and earpiece will be distributed at the beginning of your tour, and you should bring these with you every day. They will be collected once again at the very end of the tour, typically on your last evening. You will be responsible for returning these devices and assessed a replacement fee should you fail to return them upon completion of the tour.
Collette provides name badges to our travelers in order to facilitate conversation among fellow travelers. The name badge also ensures that a Collette representative can easily recognize you, especially at airports upon arrival.
Interested in reading about your destination before you depart? We have pre-selected travel guides, novels and books on history, nature and art to help enhance your total vacation experience. You can access the complete list by typing the following into your web browser. Select the region of the world to find your tour: http://www.longitudebooks.com/find/d/99/r/CV/mcms.html
The European Union (EU) has adopted a directive (2003/20EU) regarding the compulsory wearing of seatbelts while traveling on your vehicle when equipped. Failure to comply could result in a PERSONAL fine of up to Euro 750. Collette will NOT issue refunds to passengers who may be fined for non-compliance. Our tour managers will remind you again while on tour, but we feel that advising you in advance is beneficial.
In order to avoid tax evasion by shopkeepers in Italy, the Guardia di Finanza (fiscal police) may stop customers on the streets to check that a receipt was given for the proper merchandise. It is the law in Italy for the shop owner or company to give a receipt or invoice to the customer. If a receipt is not given, and if the customer does not ask for one, both the shopkeeper and the customer may be fined. Please do not be alarmed if stopped, as this is just a simple check.
Also keep in mind that new laws in Italy do not allow transactions in cash for more than 999 EURO. Anything over 1,000 EURO must be paid for by credit card.
Our tours are non-smoking throughout.
If you require a smoking room, please alert your agent upon tour booking.
Please be mindful of locations where smoking is prohibited: the motorcoach, at dining venues and other restricted areas on tour including most hotels. Customers are responsible for any fines incurred for failure to comply with smoking restrictions.
Italy is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
We pride ourselves on having the best-trained and most experienced Tour Managers in the industry.
Gratuities should be extended on a voluntary basis and should be in direct proportion to the level of professionalism and personal service extended to you throughout the tour. Past experience has shown that a guideline of 4-6 US dollars per person for each traveling day is a customary amount for the Tour Manager. A customary amount of 3-5 US dollars per person per day is suggested for the driver.
Flight Information, Departure Taxes & Fees
Land Only Vacations:
If you chose to purchase a land only vacation, pay particular attention to flight segments that occur during the tour which are not included in your land only rate.
You must purchase these internal flight segments and the schedule must match the flights that we utilize on the group tour.
Please provide us with your flight schedules for the entire tour six weeks prior to departure so we may secure services if you purchased transfers from us, as well as maintain emergency contact.
Air Inclusive Vacations
Air inclusive vacations cover air transport to and from your origin gateway as well as all internal air segments on tour.
In order to comply with Homeland Security’s “Secure Flight” mandate, all passengers must provide full name, date of birth and gender at time of reservation. Your airline ticket must match the name on your valid, non-expired, government issued photo ID to be shown at the airport (including middle name, first or middle initial).
If you are a member of a participating frequent flyer program, provide the number upon booking and retain the passenger copy of your ticket and boarding pass to ensure that you receive proper credit of your mileage.
Some air tickets are not eligible for mileage accrual.
Whenever possible, we will add charges for air departure taxes to your invoice. Some international arrival and departure fees are not included in your air ticket and must be paid by you on tour in local currency.
We are pleased to provide you with complimentary airport to hotel, and hotel to airport transfers at the beginning and end of an escorted tour when you purchase an air-inclusive vacation.
Land-only clients who have purchased round trip transfers will be accommodated at the same times as air inclusive clients.
Arrival meeting locations and transfer departure times are provided on your document booklets.
On some programs there may be a waiting period at the airport due to varying flight schedules of other arriving passengers.
If you have secured your own transfer, you may meet your Tour Manager at the hotel.
Motorcoach Information: We do not own or operate vehicles. We charter quality coaches that are temperature controlled vehicles. Coach size may vary based upon the number of tour patrons. In certain countries, lavatory equipped motorcoaches are not available or the lavatory is for emergency use only.
Frequent stops will be made en route for comfort and convenience.
Seat Rotation: Seats are rotated for the benefit of our tour guests. This fosters communication and enables our guests to enjoy a variety of vantage points on the motorcoach. Guests will rotate seats at least once a day, as directed by the tour manager. In fairness to all, there will be no exceptions to this policy.