Oh happy day! We’re extremely pleased that you’ve found an Expat Explore tour that ticks all of your travel-related boxes and that you’ll be joining us on tour soon. However, before we set off on our grand adventure, there are a few things that you’ll need to take care of on your end. Here’s a handy list of all your travel homework in the lead-up to your Expat Explore tour.
Now is the time to get the boring paperwork out of the way, so you can focus on the less taxing travel chores as your departure date comes closer.
Go through the pre-departure information for your tour
First things first – find the pre-departure information for your tour here. Simply select your tour from the drop-down menu at the bottom of the screen to find all of the important information regarding start- and end points, departure times, optional excursions and FAQs. You can also download the info as a PDF to keep on hand.
Make sure your passport is up to date
Your passport should be valid for at least six months after you return from your trip. Also ensure that there are plenty of blank pages for entry and exit stamps and visas. Be sure to also make photocopies of your passport before you leave home, and keep these separate from the passport itself. That way if your passport does go missing, you’ll at least have some documentation with you.
Get Travel Insurance
Having travel insurance in place is one of the prerequisites when applying for a visa. When you book a trip with us you’ll notice that travel insurance is compulsory. Aside from covering medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, flight accident and other losses incurred while traveling, travel insurance is also mandatory if you wish to cross the borders of most European countries. We have a great working relationship with World Nomads, but you are free to use the travel insurance provider of your choice. Here’s a bit more information on the travel insurance subject.
Apply for any visas you may need
What is a visa? If you want to find our more about what a visa is, if you need one and how to obtain yours, click here.
It is very important to make sure you find out if you will need a visa for your tour. Generally speaking Australian, Canadian, US, British, UK and EU passport holders will not require a visa to travel on any of our Europe tours but it is always advisable to double check this info, as the embassy rules change constantly. Please consult this helpful website to find out if you will need a visa (we cannot take responsibility for the accuracy of information on this website). Also see our visa page to see which visa you will need.
The good news is that we’ll help by sending you support documents, no matter what visa you apply for. Once you’ve paid for your tour in full please request your visa support documents and we’ll send you the necessary support documents to make your applications, including an E-ticket, accommodation list and a letter to the relevant embassy confirming your booking. In order for us to do this we need the full names of those travelling (as it appears on your travel documentation).
We understand that the visa process might be confusing and overwhelming, so if have any questions please contact our team and we will be able to answer any queries you have.
Book your pre & post tour accommodation
Your tour can start and end in one destination or two different destinations. If you plan to arrive a day or two early or stay a couple of days after your tour, we highly recommend that you book pre and post tour accommodation. To book through us, find your tour in the ‘Tour Start & End Points’ on our Help Section Page.
Get ready for some jam-packed days
Prepare yourself for a lot of walking as Europe is best discovered on foot. Our tours can be fast paced, so if there is any medical or mobility issues you want us to be aware of, you should contact our helpful customer services team as soon as possible. Also keep in mind that some of our hotels do not have lifts, and we do not offer porter services.
A mere four weeks and you’ll be up and away! This is the time to ensure that you’ve provided us with all of your important passenger information, organise your travel budget and secure airport transfers.
Provide us with your Important Passenger Information
If you haven’t done so already, please provide us with all of your passenger information (we’ll send you the link via email). The important passenger information includes your full name as it appears on your travel documentation , your dietary requirements and accommodation preferences. This information allows us to ensure that you have the most comfortable travel experience possible.
Organise your travel budget
How much spending money you’ll need on your trip depends largely on how long you’ll be on tour for, but we usually advise around 25-40 Euros per day (depending of course on how partial you are to buying souvenirs, drinks, snacks and going shopping). Our tour leaders will also give you some info on what things cost at each destination so that you can budget easily. Be prepared to find great little souvenirs, sample interesting foods and to have one or two extra drinks here and there. Read more on this topic here.
Top Tip: Check and understand the currencies for all of the destinations you’ll be travelling to, so you are prepared for the conversion rates in the countries you visit. Also think about how you will keep your money safe throughout your trip. Also contact your bank and notify them of your travel plans (if you plan to use your credit card while travelling).
Book your Airport Transfers
All Expat Explore guests can purchase and book airport transfers directly with Expat Explore. Our experts will make sure that you get from the airport to your pre-tour accommodation upon arrival. Arrive in style and avoid the stress of organising your transport in any of the major cities our tours depart from.
Your departure date is right around the corner! Over the next 14 days you should ensure your connectivity abroad, ascertain your tour’s departure point, get in touch with your fellow travellers and start packing!
Ensure your connectivity abroad
Think of ordering an international SIM card if you’d like to stay connected as you travel. If you’ve booked with Expat Explore, chances are good that all or most of the hotels you’ll overnight at will offer free WiFi.
Ascertain your tour’s departure point
You want to make sure you know exactly when and where to meet us. It would also be good for you to have a look at the optional excursions that your tour will offer, or even just to read through the Frequently Asked Questions section.
Start packing & check the weather forecast
Since we only allow one suitcase weighing not more than 20KG on our tours, it is very important that you plan your packing carefully. Have a good look at what we recommend you pack. Travellers with additional luggage (more than the allowed 20KG), we suggest you use Luggage Mule, a simple luggage storage solution in Europe.
As for what you should bring in terms of clothing, this will largely depend on the time of the year you’ll be travelling:
RELATED: Open or download our handy packing checklist here.