Central Europe meeting agenda 2/27/16
Thank you for attending our pre-tour meeting for Central Europe. As of tonight, we are officially 27 days away from our confirmed departure of Friday, March 25th!
Here are some topics we will cover at our meeting this evening:
Travel documents – One last check
- If you do already have a passport, please make sure it is good at least 6 mos. after our return date. TSA will deny boarding to anyone whose passport is not valid. (6 Blank pages)
- If you do not already have a passport, please start the process to obtain one ASAP here:
*This is the link to the Denver office where you can obtain a passport if you have less than 2 weeks before travel.
- Non-US citizens:
- non-US citizens need to contact their local consulates to see what specific documentation they need for each country we will visit or pass through on your tour
Forms for you to fill out:
- Tour Behavior Contract
- Traveler Health and Medical Profile (2 sided)
- Prescriptions and doctor’s notes
- Traveler Dietary Restrictions
- Roommate request
Available on the DSAO website*:
Emergency Contact/Telephone Chain Chart
Our flight & hotel information
Our detailed itinerary
- Pack light! We will be lugging bags from the airport to buses, hotels, etc.
- Each person is allowed one checked bag up to 50 pounds
- Carry on – 1 small bag overhead (violins & violas). 1 personal item under the seat (backpack) make sure to have name and contact information on ALL bags
Spending/ Tip Money
What to budget for:
- Spending money:
- We are responsible for our own spending money for lunches, snacks, drinks, and bathroom. Budget for 7 lunches, estimated cost of lunch is $10 (Cash may be needed for bathrooms).
- Cash-EF recommends having the local currency -Or- use an ATM upon arrival. US bank in downtown Denver will exchange Czech crown (Koruna), Prague currency. Michelle Williams has offered to collect student money and do a group exchange to save on the transaction fee.
(Only get enough cash to use in Prague for 3 days.)
- Credit- Please have ATM/debit card or credit card not just cash; there will be ATMs widely available (card must have a pin associated with it). You may want to set up checking account and have ATM associated it. Check foreign currency with your bank.
- EF recommends $10/participant/day of the tour to cover the Tour Director, Bus Driver(s), and Local Guides ($90 total estimate)
-Money raised to cover this.
Hotels/Rooming – what to expect
- Generally, hotel rooms are smaller than in the U.S.
- Many hotels will not have air conditioning or elevators
- Wi-Fi will not always be available in hotels, may be a weak signal, or be available for an additional cost
- Students are roomed 3-4 per room in a combination of twin and shared double beds
- You may share a double bed with another student
- I will ask you privately to let me know who your top 2-3 roommates would be
Meals – what to expect
- Breakfast is typically at the hotel and typically light, including cereal, bread, juice, coffee and tea, so if you think you’ll need to eat an extra morning snack, please budget for that
- Lunches are on our own so we have choices
- Dinners will be a mix of local cuisine and familiar dishes and will be a preset meal for our entire group, rather than ordering from a menu
- Food portions are smaller than they are in the U.S.
- Table water is included, other beverages are at an additional cost ($1-$2 for a soda, for example)
- Bottled water will be available for purchase on tour, but a re-usable bottle is recommended to save money
- Preparing for our flights, departure day, arrival day, etc.
- We will meet 3 hours before departure at our airline’s check-in desk at the airport on departure day. We recommend that each student have their parent drop them off.
- We will check in as a group and our seats will be assigned when we check in
- Class of service upgrades are not possible
- Please review the Safety Handbook that you received in the mail.
- Fill out the contact information card on the back and bring it with you.
- Motor coach to get from town to town
- Cruise – local Danube cruise – If your prone to motion sickness may want to bring Dramamine
How to reach your student/how to reach home
- Check with your wireless carrier about an international phone plan
- International phone cards purchased on tour; landline phone at hotel
- Helpful smartphone apps: Skype, Whats App (used with WiFi; make sure you set them up before departure)
- EF 24/7 on-call numbers:
- From the US: 1-800-637-8222 opt. 9
- From abroad: 001-617-619-2913
Travel websites to check out
- Info on our destination: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/
- General travel tips: http://www.travelzoo.com/from-the-deal-experts/20-tips-before-traveling-internationally
- General planning tips: https://archive.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/tips_menu.htm
- Money: http://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/money
I cannot wait to travel with you in Central Europe and our trip will be here before we know it!
Group leader ID number
*The Europe travel website is now password protected. To access the Europe information go to the DSAO website/Travel/Europe Password: vivaldi