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FAQ - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS : Europe Tours for Foodies
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FAQ – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Most of the questions you have regarding your tour can be answered by reading through this material; however, the terms and conditions of your travel arrangements are controlled by the ‘Tour Contract’ which follows the FAQ section.  Knowing as much as you can beforehand will enable you to enjoy your tour experience to the fullest.  For these reasons, it is necessary that you read the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS and the TOUR CONTRACT sections prior to making reservations.

Are Visas or Inoculations required for U.S.  Citizens? 
No visas or inoculations (shots) are required for passengers carrying a U.S. passport.
Are Visas or Inoculations required for Non – U.S. Citizens?   
If you do not carry a U.S. passport, you will need to check with your embassy or consulate before making a deposit, to find out if a visa is required for any of the countries you will visit.  It is your responsibility to determine which visas or inoculations are required and to obtain them before your departure.
What Age do Children need to be to go on this tour?  
Children under thirteen (13) years of age are not accepted on this tour because it is difficult to keep them entertained on the motor coach, and this may impact the enjoyment of other tour members.  Children between the ages of 13 and 17 must be accompanied by an adult.  If children are not accompanied by their legal guardian, the legal guardian must sign their Reservation Application and provide a notarized consent form.
Are there any Discounts for Children? 
Unless you are informed otherwise at the time you make reservations, the following discount will apply:  Children who will be ages 13 through 17 at time of departure and will share a room with at least one legal guardian are entitled to a $150 discount off the ‘tour and air inclusive’ price.  The children’s discount does not apply to those booking ‘tour only’ through Image Tours, nor is there any discount on extensions, optional excursions, or any other additional costs.
Do the Hotel Rooms have Private Bathrooms? 
All rooms have a private bathroom with sink, toilet, and shower and/or bathtub.
What is the difference between a Double and a Twin Room?   
A ‘double’ room consists of one double bed.  Often the European ‘twin’ accommodations consist of two twin size beds made up separately, placed side by side sharing the same headboard.  In some hotels it may not be possible to separate these twin beds.  Image Tours can request ‘twin’ or ‘double’ accommodations, but at some hotels there will not be any choice or, due to limited allotments, passengers may not always receive their preferred choice.
Are Triple Rooms offered? 
Triple rooms are an option at the same per person price as double occupancy.  Most European hotel rooms are not designed to accommodate three persons, and ‘triples’ usually consist of a standard double bed or two twin beds, with a folding bed, cot, or roll-away for the third person.  Be aware that this may not be comfortable for three adults.  If a tour hotel is unable to provide a triple room, one double plus one single room will be substituted at no additional cost.  For some extensions, triple rooms may not be available and the single supplement will apply.
Can I join the tour if I do not have a Roommate?
A limited number of Single rooms (usually 4 per tour) are offered at a supplement.  The applicable single supplement for this tour is $995.  This amount includes the  Travel Protection Plan insurance premium because it is required for single travelers.  Single rooms are often much smaller and not as well located as double rooms.  If you have paid the full single supplement and end up sharing a room, you will receive a refund equivalent to the average nightly single supplement multiplied by the number of nights you share a room.  Passengers without a travel companion will be required to provide a signed statement of current medical status, acknowledging the passenger is fit to travel alone and including the signature of a family member as an emergency contact.  Please also read the ‘Physical Condition Guidelines’ information in the Tour Contract.
How are Rooms assigned? 
Room assignments are made by the individual hotels.  The location, view, and size of the rooms may vary.
Do Hotels have Heating & Air Conditioning? 
Due to a milder climate, air conditioning is not as widely used in Europe as it is in the U.S.A.  Therefore, a number of our hotels do not feature air conditioning.  All of our hotels are equipped with central heating.
When will I know which Hotels will be used for my tour?  
A list of the tour hotels, along with contact information and descriptions, will be included with your Trip Documents Packet, which you will receive at least one week prior to departure.  For hotel descriptions, see Included Features.
What do the hotels serve for Breakfast?
While some hotels may serve a continental breakfast, in most cases breakfasts will be buffet style with a selection of rolls, butter, jam, cheese, cold cuts, coffee, tea, milk and juice.  On occasion, the buffets may also include other items, such as cereal, pastries, fruit, yogurt, or eggs.
What is typical for the included Dinners? 
The included dinners are most commonly served at the tour hotel following a prearranged, fixed menu.  We work closely with the restaurants to provide a variety of dishes throughout the tour.  Unless otherwise advised by your tour manager, beverages are not included with dinners.
May I request Vegetarian, Gluten-free, or Diabetic Meals? 
 If notified in writing at least 50 days prior to departure, Image Tours accepts the following diet requests only: 1) diabetic; 2) gluten-free;    3) vegan; 4) vegetarian with dairy and eggs; and 5) semi-vegetarian (no pork or red meat).  Although we will inform the tour manager and the hotels of these diet requests, any dietary requirements remain entirely your own responsibility.  Please do not give the tour manager a list of items you may or may not eat.  Instead, leave items you may not eat on your plate and order additional items ‘à la carte’, at your own expense.  Image Tours does not forward diet requests to the airlines, but passengers may be able to submit such preferences themselves through the airline website.  Image Tours expressly disclaims any responsibility or liability in connection with dietary requirements.
Is this a Non-Smoking Tour? 
In Europe, the non-smoking issue is not addressed as aggressively as in the United States.  Nevertheless, the tour managers will adopt a non-smoking policy on the motor coaches.  Although most restaurants still do not feature non-smoking sections, tour participants are also expected to refrain from smoking when your tour party is seated together for breakfasts and dinners.  Image Tours requests non-smoking rooms for all tour participants where possible, but some hotels do not offer non-smoking rooms.  Conversely, some hotels have converted to only non-smoking rooms and charge a substantial penalty to guests who smoke in a non-smoking room.  Image Tours expressly disclaims any responsibility or liability in connection with smoking or non-smoking requirements.
How often will I need to carry my own Luggage? 
At the airports, you will have the use of luggage carts to transport your luggage to the coach.  At each hotel a porter will take your luggage (one suitcase per person per the Baggage Allowance in the Tour Contract) up to your room and place them outside your door.  Each morning you depart from a hotel, you will place your luggage in the hallway outside your room and the hotel porter will take it down to the coach for your driver to load onto the coach.  Although highly unlikely, there may be a rare occasion on which individual baggage handling is required at a hotel.  You must handle your own carry-on luggage throughout the tour.
How are Seats assigned on the Motor Coach? 
Seating on the motor coach will be assigned by a rotation system.  Out of fairness to all passengers, we do not accept special motor coach seating requests for any reason and expect full participation in the rotation system.
Is there a Bathroom on the Motor Coach?  
Although motor coaches are usually equipped with an enclosed ‘porta-potty’, you are asked to limit its use to ‘emergencies only’, due to limited disposal sites.  Frequent sightseeing and rest stops will be made in order to allow for a comfortable traveling experience.
Do the Motor Coaches have Heating & Air Conditioning?  
All our motor coaches are equipped with heating and air conditioning.  Due to stringent pollution prevention laws, the motor coaches must turn off their engines (which also turns off the heating and air conditioning) when at a standstill (for example, while parked or waiting at a light).  On warmer days when air conditioning is in use, the temperature on the motor coach tends to be about 10º lower than the outside temperature.  For instance, on an 80º day the temperature on the motor coach will be about 70º.
What is the Pace of the tour and how much Walking is involved?  
The pace of the tour featured in this brochure is considered “ACTIVE”.  Due to limited access for motor coaches to old town centers, a fair amount of walking is required to take in the old world charm and sights.  Tour participants will commonly walk a ½ mile to a mile in each town visited.  If you are concerned about your physical condition, please consult your family physician as to whether the tour is suitable for you and consider the following guidelines:
Physical Condition Guidelines. 
1) This tour is a good fit for travelers who are able to comfortably walk a  ½ mile in 15 minutes.
2) If you are not keeping up with the rest of the group, the tour manager will ask you to stay near the motor coach and forfeit any sightseeing that requires walking as a group.  In case you are separated from the group during sightseeing time, it will be your own responsibility to position yourself at the pre-designated re-embarkation point, at the agreed time.  If you have to take a taxi to do so, it will be at your own expense.
3)  Staying on the motor coach during stops is not an option.  When parked, all passengers must disembark, allowing the driver to lock the motor coach and take a break.
4) Tour and hotel personnel will not be available to lift or otherwise physically assist tour participants at any time. If you require any type of assistance, you must bring a capable travel companion who can comfortably help you keep up with the pace of the tour.
5) With an average of 40 participants per tour, the tour manager’s principal responsibility is to ensure the overall enjoyment of the tour by the group.  The tour manager may ask you to leave the tour if you are unable to keep up with the pace of the other tour participants to the extent that it impedes your safety or the other tour members’ enjoyment of the tour; and all resulting costs will be your responsibility.
May I bring a Wheelchair or other Walking Assistance Device?  
Passengers who use a cane, walker, wheelchair or any other walking assistance device, or are considering the use of a walking assistance device while they travel, should not take this tour.  If this applies to you and you still decide to make a reservation request, please note the following:
1)  A cane, walker or similar walking assistance device, is simply not practical or safe on the tour due to motor coach entrances, uneven sidewalks, and cobblestone streets. You will need to leave it home and bring a wheelchair.
2)  You must bring your own manual, folding wheelchair.  Motorized wheelchairs are not allowed on the motor coach.
3)  You must bring a capable travel companion who can push the wheelchair and assist you in any other way necessary to comfortably help you keep up with the pace of the tour.
4)  At time of reservation you must obtain and complete a form (provided by Image Tours), requesting to bring a wheelchair, as this request must be in writing and must be signed by both you and your traveling companion.  Such requests will be subject to Image Tours approval and availability of appropriate storage space on the motor coach.  If a passenger requests to bring a wheelchair after deposit has been processed and Image Tours does not approve this request, the applicable cancellation penalties will apply.
5)  The charge for storage of a wheelchair under the motor coach is USD $10.00 multiplied by the total number of days on the tour, to be paid with final payment for the tour.
6)  You must be able to manage the steps of the motor coach independent of any assistance.  In Europe, the laws do not require motor coaches to be equipped with ramps/lifts, or hotels to offer provisions for the physically challenged.  Please do not expect these facilities on this tour.
7)  Image Tours does not recommend this tour for passengers who require the use of a cane, walker, wheelchair or other walking assistance device.  No credits or refunds will apply for missed sightseeing and any additional costs incurred to keep up with the tour or to return home early will be the tour participant’s sole responsibility.  Please also refer to the ‘Physical Condition Guidelines’.
May I bring Oxygen or other Medical Devices?  
Oxygen tanks will not be permitted on the motor coach.  Due to higher elevations and the active pace of the tour, clients dependent on oxygen assistance devices should not take this tour.  Any other medical devices must fit within the ‘Baggage Allowances’ outlined in the Tour Contract.  Under no circumstance does Image Tours, the airlines, the motor coach company, the tour managers, the hotels, or any other service provider accept any responsibility or liability in connection with medical conditions, medical supportive devices, or any electronic devices.
May I request Airline Seat Assignments?
Some airlines or flights do not allow for seat assignments until check-in.  If the airline does allow pre-assigned seats, you may request seat assignments through the airline website, after final payment and after tickets have been issued.  Please note these seat assignments may be canceled by the airline due to schedule or equipment changes, and you should, therefore, reconfirm your seat assignments 25 days prior and again a few days prior to departure.  Any fees charged by the airlines for pre-assigned seating are not included in the tour price and must be paid directly to the airlines.
May I record Frequent Flyer information?  
If you are a member of a frequent flyer club and if the airline offers miles on tickets issued by Image Tours, it is your responsibility to make sure that you are credited your mileage.  The best way to do this is through the airline website after receiving your final Trip Documents.  If this is not possible, contact Image Tours Inc.  Also present your frequent flyer card/number upon check-in for both your departure and return.  Image Tours recommends you record your air ticket number and keep your boarding passes even after you have returned so you can provide proof of travel to the airline in the event of any problem.  Image Tours cannot provide copies of tickets or ticket numbers after travel is completed.
Is it possible to Extend the Stay before or after the Tour?   
If you are considering an earlier departure from the U.S.or a later return after the tour, you must submit a request at the time you make reservations for your escorted tour.  Ask your travel agent about availability and how such a revision may affect your price.  Pre- or post-tour extension accommodations must be requested at the time you make a reservation for your escorted tour and are subject to availability of the air and hotel space.  For additional information about extensions refer to Extensions.
Will any Credit be available for Unused Tour Nights? 
If you wish to deviate from the tour, you must notify Image Tours in writing at least 100 days prior to your departure in order to be eligible for a credit of $35 per person for each unused hotel night.  You may leave the tour at any place on the itinerary, but you can only rejoin the tour at one of the overnight hotels.
What if I need to Leave the tour and Return Home Early?  
Air tickets are subject to change fees and you may need to purchase a non-restrictive, one-way air ticket for returns within 7 days or for a different flight itinerary.  If you must return early for any physical/medical reason, make sure you obtain a statement from the attending physician/hospital.  If you have purchased insurance, this documentation will be required to make a claim and it may help reduce airline change fees.  Image Tours recommends purchasing travel insurance with trip interruption coverage.
Are Airport Transfers included?  
One scheduled group airport transfer hosted by the tour manager at no additional cost is available on Day 2 to the first tour hotel.  One scheduled group airport transfer hosted by the tour manager at no additional cost is also available on the last day of the tour from the last tour hotel.  Transfer times in each direction are set based on the scheduled flight times of passengers who have purchased the complete ‘Tour & Air’ inclusive package from Image Tours.  For this reason, passengers who purchase ‘Tour Only’ from Image Tours should expect to make their own way between the airports and the hotels at their own expense, but are welcome to join the complimentary transfer if the passenger’s actual flight times coincide with the actual transfer times.  If you are unable to make the scheduled transfer time due to flight delays or for any other reason, you will need to make the transfer on your own, and the entire cost of this transfer will be your responsibility.  The Trip Documents will also include instructions and approximate costs for the most economical way to transfer independently.  Under no circumstances will Image Tours be held responsible for any portion of the cost of these transfers.
Where do I Meet the Tour Manager? 
The tour manager will be waiting at an assigned Meeting Point inside the arrival airport in Europe.  The Meeting Point location and time will be indicated in your Trip Documents which you will receive at least a week prior to departure.  This packet contains information to walk you through travel preparation, check-in at the U.S. airport, and arrival in Europe.
Will the Tour Manager accompany us throughout the entire tour?  
Generally, the tour manager who meets you at your arrival airport in Europe for the group transfer to the first tour hotel will be the same tour manager who will accompany you during the entire tour all the way through your group airport transfer from your last tour hotel.
Is Tipping to Tour Manager & Driver included? 
The tips for the tour manager and driver are not included in the tour price.  This allows you to express your level of appreciation for their performance and for their contribution to your overall enjoyment of the tour.  Depending on level of service you feel they provided, an average tip is between $2.00 and $4.00 per person, per day, to each the tour manager and driver, paid in the local currency.  Due to numerous requests, we are now providing tipping envelopes with the Trip Documents.
Is Tipping for Other Services included? 
Tipping is included for all services that are pre-arranged by Image Tours, such as hotel staff, restaurant staff and other services that are included in the tour or in the optional excursions.  During independent meals, the general rule at restaurants in Europe and the British Isles is 5% to 10% depending on level of service.  When you purchase beverages or receive water service with dinner, it is polite to include a 25 cent tip or round up.  Generally, if anyone who provides you a pre-arranged tour service is just doing their job, you need not tip them.  Feel free however, to tip any service personnel who are extra helpful or friendly, or who provide a special or unexpected service.
How much Free Time will I have? 
When you make a sightseeing stop, your tour manager will typically indicate points of interest while on the coach and/or with a walking tour and will also allow time for independent sightseeing.  You may forego a walking tour if you prefer more independent time.
Do I need to bring Formal Attire? 
Comfort is the priority on our tours.  There are no occasions that require formal attire.  Some clients like to bring one ‘casually elegant’ outfit to wear for special occasion dinners, but formal attire is not necessary.
What happens if I Arrive Late at a Departure Point?  
At each stop, write down the meeting time and the name of the cross streets or landmark near your meeting point so that you do not forget and can ask for assistance if you get lost.  In the unlikely event that you do not arrive at a meeting point on time, you should proceed to your hotel using a taxi, train, or bus.  This will be at your own expense.  If you need to do this, you can ask for assistance from police, bus drivers, train station or tourist office personnel.  Always carry your passport and a copy of your ‘Overnight Schedule’ with you!
What happens if I Lose an Article? 
Neither Image Tours nor any company contracted through Image Tours shall be responsible for articles lost, stolen, left behind, confiscated, or damaged.  Such articles are rarely retrieved; therefore, we recommend you check that you have all your possessions each time you leave a motor coach, hotel, restaurant, and on all other occasions throughout your tour.  Out of consideration for your fellow travelers, do not ask the driver/tour manager to turn the motor coach around to retrieve a lost article.  Any items found by tour managers, drivers, or hotel personnel will be brought to the attention of Image Tours.  Locating the owner of a ‘lost and found’ item will be more likely if the owner reports the loss to Image Tours immediately.  Upon receipt of payment for the shipping and handling (on average $50 per item) Image Tours will ship ‘lost and found’ articles to their owner, provided the item is approved for shipping and customs.
How can I get Addresses for fellow Tour Participants?   
Image Tours respects the privacy of their tour participants.  If you wish to contact fellow tour participants after the tour, be sure to ask them for their names and addresses during the tour because Image Tours will not be able to provide you with this information.
What is the Weather like in Europe? 
The weather in Europe, like that in most places, is unpredictable.  While planning your wardrobe, imagine that you are planning a trip through the USA.  Season for season, the climate of the midwest is comparable to western and central Europe, and the climate in our southern states is comparable to southern Europe.  Even in the summer, bring that warm sweater and a raincoat.  Conversely, during fall and winter, you may experience some higher temperatures.  Enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of Europe is in no way bound by seasons or the weather.