Travel Encounters

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Travel Tips

Cruising Facts

* A US passport, valid 6 months beyond the date of travel, is required for most international travel, including Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean.

* Your luggage is handled all the way to your room. What a great way to begin a relaxing stay!

* Kids love cruising! Take advantage of all the wonderful children's programs, from toddlers to teens.

* All your meals are included in the purchase price of a cruise. Gratuities, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and shore excursions are an additional cost.

* You can celebrate special occasions on board. Just let us know ahead of time, and we'll take care of every detail.

* On-board medical services are available to handle emergencies.

* Want to stay longer? Extend your trip with a post-cruise land package.

* A cruise is a fabulous way to reunite your extended family. Plan your cruise vacation as a group. Each family member can do as much or as little activity as they choose. There are many entertainment options - something for everyone, all day long.

Staying Safe

+ Don't carry a lot of cash.

+ Don't wander off alone. Ask about areas to avoid ashore.

+ Be aware of what is going on around you.

+ Make photocopies of valuable documents.

+ Use safe deposit boxes, keep valuables out of sight in hotel rooms and cruise cabins.


* European electrical current is different than the electrical service in the United States. Be sure to carry a converter to avoid damage to your appliances.

* Most singles traveling alone can share a room to avoid a single supplement. Ask about this feature when booking a tour. Your next roommate could turn into a life-long friend!

* Always pack umbrellas for any tour. Mother Nature is unpredictable.

* Leave valuable jewelry at home. If you can't bear to lose a special item, it's better left at home.

* Pack a small alarm clock, or brush up on instructions for your cell phone alarm, to avoid being late for your tour departure time.

* When traveling with a partner, split your belongings between two suitcases. If one suitcase goes astray, you'll at least have some backup necessities.

* Make sure all medicines are packed in your carry-on. If your luggage is delayed, you will not be left without crucial medication.

*Make copies of your passport and vital documents. Leave one set at home with a family member and carry one copy separate from your originals. It is easier to expedite replacements when you have the original information.


      Taxi: 10-15%

      Tour Director: Follow guidelines from tour company and/or your discretion.

      Local Guide: Based on satisfaction.

      Restaurants: Tipping is not customary in Europe. Service charges are usually already added to the bill. Round up to the next increment of local currency.

      Check with your cell provider to determine the best international calling plan.

      Cash can be exchanged at banks, airports, hotels and exchange booths throughout major cities. The best and most often, the least expensive method, is the ATM. Be sure to check with your local bank before departure to ensure what transaction fees will be imposed and if your card is valid for international transactions. Often, your bank needs to know when you travel to another state, as well. Credit cards are widely accepted. Always confirm departure dates with your credit card company so that the card can be used in the country you are traveling in.

      Consult with to view the most recent airline and government restrictions and safety information. Travel Encounters highly recommends the purchase of travel insurance for any trip.

      Read up on customs and culture of the country you are visiting to avoid travel faux pas.