• 27 April 2018

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.


TWO MONTHS BEFORE DEPARTURE

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.

Passport_Travel_prep_ExpatExplore

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.

Schengen_Application_ExpatExplore

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.

ONE MONTH BEFORE DEPARTURE

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).

Budget_Travel_ExpatExplore

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.

TWO WEEKS BEFORE DEPARTURE

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.

Packing_Prepare_ExpatExplore

As for what you should bring in terms of clothing, this will largely depend on the time of the year you’ll be travelling:

  • Summer: European summers can be hot, with high temperatures ranging from the upper-20s right up into the mid-40s in places like southern Italy. Europe is a vast continent though, so be prepared for weather of all kinds. Up in Jungfrau, Switzerland, you’ll always need warm clothes, but you’ll be back in shorts and t-shirts at lower altitudes.
  • Winter: Winters are harsh in Europe, with snow and ice dominating much of the continent, getting slowly more temperate as you head south (with the exception of the Alps of course). Here are some tips for cold-weather travel.
  • Year-round essentials: No matter which season you’ll be travelling, bring comfortable shoes, as you’ll be walking around quite a lot during sightseeing. Also bring an alarm clock and a beach towel if you plan to swim. Other must-have items include a hat, sunblock and sunglasses, small change for toilets, a journal and something to keep you busy on the bus when we travel for long periods of time.

RELATED: Open or download our handy packing checklist here.

Questions & Comments




  1. Can we organize accommodation at the departure point the night before tour and the night returning from tour? And also transfer to airport day after returning from tour?

  2. we are 3 person family. Can we carry 3 small about 8 to 10 kg suitcase ( that is ” hand carry ” in the plane too )
    PLUS one 15 to 20 kg regular size suitcase. Remember the weight and dimension wise for space issue all these 4 pcs will be less than 3 pcs of allowed 20 kg regular suitcase. Please let me know. Tks.

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hello Reaz! I’m sure that will not be a problem. Just to be safe, we’ve sent your details to our customers service team and they will contact you on email.

  3. We booked anEastern European tour on August 14 to 21 2017 and we are planning to go to Munich a day before so we would like to stay in the same hotel which is Azimut city OST city East, My question is do we need to book it directly to the hotel or the Expat will book it for us? and what is the rate? our booking number is 201621756 and if you kindly give us the exact address of the hotel. thank you

  4. I need to know the airport I fly into in London closest to meeting place and also what time does the tour end in London on the 24th of July.

  5. We are booked on the Europe explorer tour. Do we pay for excursions in local currency? ie if we want to do excursions in Switzerland, do we need to have appropriate amount of Swiss Francs?
    Also have managed to get onto the ‘meet your tour’ once, but cannot see how to get it now through Facebook – any help?

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hello Annette, thank you for contacting us! I’ve sent your details and questions to the relevant team members. They will be in contact shortly!

  6. I am booked for the Eastern Europe Explorer Tour June 21, 2018. What options do I have to pay the balance of the price? My bank in the USA is giving me a hard time paying with my card because of fraud concerns.

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hello Jennifer! I’ve sent on your details to our customer service team. One of our friendly team members will be in contact with you shortly.

  7. Thanks for the email its so helpful and i will need a visa for this tour so i will need every help you could to get this visa, such as letter the embassy in south africa and a copy of it to me by email as well.
    Yours faithfully

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Felix, We’re very excited to welcome you on one of our amazing tours! A member of our team will contact you shortly to answer any questions you may have and to guide you through the visa process. If you would like to contact us before then, you are more than welcome to >> https://expatexplore.com/contact-us/

  8. Elena Vicenta says:

    Full names and birthdays of travelers for the Italy Dec 22,2017-Jan 2,2018 tour.

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Elena,

      We’ve passed your information onto our team! We’re very excited to welcome you on one of our tours :)

  9. hi, we are family of three, have just booked for europe taster 7days.
    we were planning to bring our daughter to disneyland on the paris free day which is second day of tour.
    is it possible for guide from your team as we have no clue on how to go about and the cost.
    thank you

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Kasturi,

      Thanks for your message! I’ve asked a member from our team to contact you and help you with the arrangements. We look forward to welcoming you and your family on our tour.
      If you would like to make contact you can take a look here >>https://expatexplore.com/contact-us/

  10. this year in the begining of AUGUST me and my wife already travel with Expat on “Taste of England” but i don’t have a number. Can EXPLAT find the number? and let me know.

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Dmitri, I have asked our customer service to find out for you and they will be in contact shortly! Hope you have a wonderful day.

  11. Hi
    Can you pls share the cancellation policy? Given a clash i many need to cancel my booking
    Many thanks and kind regards
    Ibeth

  12. Do optional events have to be paid for in advance?

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Audrey,

      Thanks for your message. It depends on the optional excursion and tour. I have forwarded your query to someone from our Customer Service team and they will contact you shortly.

  13. When bookings open, I want to book for Croatia Sailing September 2019. (Are those the only two dates available?). What flights do you book South Africans on and from where? Johannesburg? If we want to spend a bit longer in Croatia after the sailing, how would the return flight be affected?

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Vivienne, Thank you for your message. Please note that our tours do not include flights. A member from our team will be in contact soon, to help you book and organise your tour.

  14. Maria Jasmina Zafra says:

    Where is the meeting point of the tour?

  15. Claudia Campos says:

    Hi there! I am with the October 29 group for 12 days Europe multi-country tour. My question is about money. Can I use Euro for all countries we’re visiting or not? In whichever case, how much money do you guys suggest that I have in hand to start the tour. I understand there’s ATM’s where I can withdraw money probably everywhere right? I don’t want to get stuck with money to exchange before leaving the country or the end of the tour.
    Another question is about international SIM card. I’d like to have connection throughout the tour. I need to be reachable. That being said, my local carrier is T-mobile and they said I’d mostlikely have 3G/unlimited text messages. Which international sim card would you suggest or recomend? Easier to get it there or order in advance?
    I’ll join the group in Paris. I’ll be in London for 3 days and will get to Paris Sun/28 with my husband. I’ll join the group on the 31st when the group departures from Paris. I’d have time to buy it there prior to the tour.
    Thanks!

    • Guest Explorers says:

      Hi Claudia

      Thank you for your message! How exciting that you are going on an adventure with us in a few days.

      Please take a look at this helpful pre departure information pack on our website. With regards to obtaining a sim card, it usually more affordable to obtain this upon arrival. I would advise you to ask for assistance as they might be able to provide you with a good deal. A note has been made on your booking accordingly, stating that you will be meeting the tour group in Paris.

      If you have more questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

  16. Please send me the iterenary
    Of Cambodia and vietnam tour for year 2020. Thanks

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Melody,

      Thank you for having a look at our tours.

      It is fantastic that you are interested in our Cambodia and Vietnam tour. More dates for 2020 will be released during our annual launch. Feel free to contact us should you require assistance with your travel arrangements.

  17. Judydixon says:

    When do the tours come out for 2020
    Thanks

    • Expat Explore says:

      Hi Judy,

      Thank you for having a look at our tours!

      Our new dates and prices for 2020 will only be released during our Annual Launch taking place in July 2019. Keep checking our website for more updates: https://expatexplore.com/

      We hope to see you aboard one of our amazing tours soon!

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