• 7 May 2015

Where to go? What to do? What do I need for my trip?

When travelling the world, one tends to have some questions and queries.  We asked our Facebook audience what travel-related questions they are pondering about. And then the Expat Explore experts set out to answer the questions we got most. Here they are as promised…

 “I’ve been on the 12 Day Europe Escape tour (which was really awesome) but what’s next? I want to go on tour again and want to see different places. Is Eastern Europe just as exciting?”

 Thanks for the compliment! Europe Escape is our most popular tour and definitely the best tour if its your first time travelling to Europe.  Eastern Europe is absolutely fantastic. Imagine exploring Budapest, Prague and Croatia – where Game of Thrones was filmed! We can recommend the Croatian and Eastern Delights Adventure tour . You might also find some of our regional tours Italy, France, Great Britain and Ireland interesting.

“Can ee bring one suitcase and one carry-on bag? Just wondering what the luggage restrictions are?”

That is correct. There is only a certain amount of space in the hold, so we do have to restrict the amount of luggage you are permitted to bring to one piece of main luggage. Your suitcase can be up to a maximum weight of 20kg. If you arrive with more luggage than this you may be asked to leave it behind. In addition to your main bag, you will need a small day pack for your everyday things (e.g. camera, water bottle, sun cream, hat etc.). This is for everyday travelling, sightseeing and taking part in walking tours and day excursions.

“Tips for packing. I’m doing the 12 day Europe Escape and I’m not sure how much stuff to bring.”

Our pre-departure information includes heaps of useful tips on what to pack. It will depend on what time of the year you are travelling. The weather can be unpredictable, so it’s always useful to pack for all possibilities.  Summer (June – September) can be very hot. Outside of the summer months it can get cold, particularly in the evening/night, and can rain frequently.

expat explore bus

“I saw the list of optional excursions, what is your best advice? Do we pre-book ahead or can we ask for assistance in buying the admissions tickets during the tour?”

Most of our optional excursions are booked and paid for once you are on the tour, usually a day or two before they take place. This gives you the chance to research and discuss them with your tour leader. Your tour leader will organise everything for you, you just need to make sure you have enough of the local currency in cash to pay for the excursion.

 “In the 22 day Europe tour we are at Switzerland days 3 & 4. I’m wondering will there be time to do more than one of the optional extra experiences. I would like to go on the train ride up Jungfraujoch, but I am wondering if there would be time to do either the skydiving or paragliding as well as the train ride?”

The Jungfrau Top of Europe is a full day excursion. However depending on the time of year you are visiting you will be able to do other excursions afterwards. In the summer, you can do either the paragliding, canyon jumping or jet boating. In the winter there is a night sledding optional, so there is plenty of time to enjoy your time in the Alps! Your tour leader will explain all the options on tour and our recommendation is to not make a decision about this weeks in advance. You might feel up for something totally different once you’ve started your tour. The optional excursions are city-dependent and sometimes it is possible to do more than one excursion per day, like in Rome on the Europe Escape for instance.

 “My wife is a vegetarian, will she be able to find food easily through the tour?”

We can cater for vegetarians, so all of the meals included in your tour will have a vegetarian option. For your other meals you will always be able to find a vegetarian option. Ask your tour leader to recommend restaurants in the destination on your tour.

backpacking through expat explore

 “Dress – is it casual or is there going to be times that you need to dress up? I’m taking the Classic Europe Tour? And are there some type of GPS device given to travellers so they can find their way back to the bus in free times?”

The only time you will need to consider more formal clothing is if you want to visit a place of worship, like the Vatican City. In this case, you should bring clothes that cover your shoulders and legs (ie long sleeved top and full-length trousers/pants).

If you have a smartphone we would recommend using a mapping application that allows you to download maps for offline use. This will mean you can use the app without incurring data charges.

“In terms of spending, shall I exchange all the money into Euros before hand? Or can I exchange it when arriving there? Are towels provided?”

We don’t recommend carrying too much cash around with you. It’s best to obtain some Euros before you leave your home country, and then use your debit card to withdraw from ATMs throughout the tour. Alternatively, travellers cheques are still a safe and secure method of carrying money. Towels are provided in all hotels, however, you may wish to bring your own for use at the beach or swimming pool if applicable to your tour.

 “Are there washrooms/bathrooms on the coach?”

Yep, our coaches all have an on-board toilet and hand-basin. They are fully equipped with safety belts, air-con, reclining seats, reading lights, TV, stereo sound system etc. For the duration of the tour the coach is like your second home.

Packing_Questions_ExpatExplore

 “Booked on the 26-day tour with a friend. What is the accommodation like?”

We use mostly 2 & 3-star hotels. During this tour you will stay in twin share rooms -all with a private bathroom. You can find details of the various hotels we stay at on your tour here. A full list of accommodation names and addresses will be given to you on the first day of your tour.

“Booked the 14 day Europe Tour, will there be WiFi available in every hotel?”

All our Europe hotels offer Wi-Fi, which is available free of charge as part of your Expat Explore tour. In certain hotels, this will be available in the hotel lobby only while in others you will be able to get access in your room.

“What will happen if there isn’t an even number of female/male solo travellers? Will a male and a female have to room together or will the single person have a separate room alone?”

All solo travellers are guaranteed to only share with another traveller of the same gender. Where there is an odd number, one of the single travellers will be allocated a single room.

 “If you need a visa, which country’s embassy should you request it from with the 12 Day Europe Escape Tour?”

For the Europe Escape tour you would apply at the Italian Embassy, however if you hold a US passport you do not require a visa for the Europe Escape tour.

 “We’re arriving midnight and booked a room in a hotel with you, is there transport that will take us to the hotel from the airport? Is it free? If not, how much are we going to pay?”

If you are arriving in London you can book airport transfers from Heathrow and Gatwick airports to any hotel in central London. Please click here for more information. If you are arriving in Rome please contact our Customer Services team to arrange a transfer.

 “What should I budget for spending?”

This will vary depending on various factors, including your particular tour and how many of the optional excursions you wish to take part in. Please refer to the tour itinerary on the website for full details of what meals and activities are included.

We would recommend budgeting for about €25-€40 per day (excluding optional excursions). You will use this on meals (most lunches and some dinners not provided in your itinerary), drinks, snacks, entrance fees, souvenirs and local transport for free days. The amount you will actually spend obviously depends on personal taste and budget.

Many museums and tourist sites in Europe offer free or discounted entrance, if you have a International Student Card. Be sure to bring it along with you.

 “Going on the Eastern Delight tour in August. Would like to know if I can pay with Euro in all 9 countries?”

Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Slovakia use the Euro (€) currency. Croatia uses the Kuna (kn), Bosnia & Herzegovina the convertible mark (KM), Serbia the dinar (RSD), Hungary the Forint (Ft) and Czech Republic the Koruna (Kč). You will often find that you can use the Euro in these countries, but it will always be at an unfavourable exchange rate.  We recommend you rather use the local currency.

“What is the maximum amount of people who can book a tour with you?”

The maximum amount of people that can book a tour with us is 51.

 “During day two of Taste of Italy we tour the Vatican…does this include St Peters, Sistine and the Vatican Museums?”

Yes, the Vatican tour includes St Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museum. You will be accompanied by a professional expert local guide who will talk you through the history and stories etc.


Thank you to all the participants! Due to the great response from you guys we have already started planning our next Q&A blog. In the meanwhile feel free to hop over to our FAQ Page and if you wish to ask about something specific please do contact us.

Questions & Comments




  1. Hello. I am going on the Europe Explorer tour in just over 4 weeks. Which are the best optional excursions to go on as part of this tour? :)

  2. Im a filipino just wanna as is Schengen VISA enough if I will arrive in London Hithrow? or do I need to apply for a UK Visa also? Im a first time traveler, thanks for the help

  3. HIm planning to go to europe escape tour. I have one large luggage. LWill they allow large size luggages? And what if that luggage exceeds 20kg. Do i have to leave it behind?

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hello Emy! One large bag/suitcase is perfect. But yes, if the weight exceeds 21Kg, we might ask you to store it before we leave. Space in luggage compartment of our coaches is limited and we need all passengers to comply. If you still have some questions, please contact our team >> https://expatexplore.com/contact-us/

  4. What is the cost of a single room on your tours? Is the cost the same no matter which tour? Andrea

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Andrea! Good question. :) If you are travelling with Expat Explore on your own, you will be sharing a twin room with another traveller of the same gender as standard. If, however, you choose to upgrade to a private single room with private bathroom for the duration of your tour, you can do so by paying extra. The single supplement upgrade differs on every tour. You can see the cost by clicking on the book now button and navigating to the first step of the check-out section (look out for Single Supplement Upgrade). Hope this answers your question. Please reach out to our team if there’s anything you’re not sure about >> https://expatexplore.com/contact-us/

  5. I am going on the Scenic Europe 9 day tour. During my free day in the Swiss alps, I was wondering if the train ride to Junfraujoch gets back in time for the Swiss dinner? Or can I only do one?

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hello Samanta! Are you referring to the included Swiss dinner at the hotel? You will arrive in Wilderswil late afternoon which gives you enough time to explore a bit more before dinner is served. If this does not answer your questions, please give our team a ring >> https://expatexplore.com/contact-us/

  6. Do you have wifi on the coaches

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hello Valerie, unfortunately not. But all the hotels we stay at offers free WiFi. You can also depend on the tour leader to show you best hotspots around when exploring.

  7. Hi! My family is joining the Europe Escape tour this May. As we need to catch a cruise in Venice, we will end our land tour in Bruges to catch a flight to Venice via Brussels. My biggest concern is, how long is the walk to Bruges Market? Won’t it be difficult to pull heavy luggages on its cobblestone streets?

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Lulu,
      Thanks for your message and we’re very excited to welcome you on the Europe Escape tour in May! I’ve forwarded your questions to our helpful team and they will be in touch with you shortly. Feel free to ask them anything.

  8. My husband and I planning to do the European Highlights tour, but we have question about our accommodations. Will we have our own private room together or is this a hostel type situation where we will be sleeping in groups? Also do our accommodations have facilities to wash and dry our clothes?

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Juni, we’d love to welcome you and your husband on the Europe Highlights tour! If you are two people traveling together you will have your own room, it’s only single travellers that will be given the opportunity to share a room with someone. There are laundromats in most of the cities we visit, you are welcome to make use of them. If you have any further questions please contact us at info@expatexplore.com – we’d be happy to help.

  9. I am doing the Taste of Eastern Europe tour. I arrive in Munich at 8:30 and would like to do a bit of sightseeing before the tour begins. Will I be able to store my luggage at the hotel when I arrive? What is the earliest I can check in at the hotel?

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Ricardo,

      Thank you for your comment, how fantastic that you will be going on an adventure of a life time with us.

      Should your room not be available, you will be able to store your luggage at the hotel whilst you go and explore the city. Usually, check-in times are from 2PM in the afternoon. However, you will need to contact the hotel directly to ask what the earliest available check in will be.

      We hope you enjoy this tour, happy travels ahead!

  10. What are options for laundry during the Europe Escape Tour?

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Derek

      Thank you for your message.

      Although there are laundry facilities all over Europe it is not always possible to do your laundry due to the busy itinerary. For the Europe Escape tour, you will mostly be able to do your laundry in the locations where you sleep in the same hotel for 2 nights or more. Your tour leader will be the best person to advise you of these options whilst you are on tour.

      We look forward to having you on an adventure of a lifetime in a few months!

      Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

  11. Anizio Dos Santos says:

    Do we have wifi capabiitiy in the buses?

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Anzio,

      Thank you for your message.

      Our coaches do not have Wifi on board but all the contracted hotels have.

      Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

  12. Just booked a tour for 13 days London/Irealand tour in 2020.
    When do we pay for the optional excursions and how are they paid?
    Cash or Credit?
    Thank you
    Jessie

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Jessie,

      Thank you for your message. How exciting that you will travelling with Expat Explore!
      All optional excursions are bookable and payable (in cash) whilst on tour, the payments are to be made to your Tour Leader. For more information about this, click here .
      See you soon for an adventure of a lifetime!