FAQs

BEFORE YOU GO

  1. Who is responsible for getting traveler’s passports and visas?
  2. How do I get a passport?
  3. Will I need a visa?
  4. What vaccinations are necessary for international travel?
  5. Is there a luggage limit?
  6. How much luggage am I allowed to bring?
  7. Will our mobile phones work abroad?
  8. What if I do not have a roommate?
  9. Will my tour schedule ever change?
  10. Do we need adaptors for electric items?
  11. What meals are included?
  12. When are payments due?

ON THE WAY

  1. What airline will be used?
  2. May I choose the airline I travel on?
  3. When may I receive my complete flight information?
  4. May I purchase my own international tickets?
  5. Who is responsible for any airline schedule changes and/or expense?
  6. What if I miss my flight or it is canceled on the day of departure?
  7. May I request special seating and/or meals on the flights?
  8. Will my group travel together on the same airline?
  9. Will my group sit together on the plane?
  10. What happens if there are travel delays?
  11. What are the latest security regulations for what can and cannot be taken on a plane?
  12. Will we be fed on the plane?
  13. What happens if bags are lost?
  14. Do we have to fill out immigration and customs forms?

WHEN WE ARRIVE

  1. What about free time?
  2. What amenities are provided at our hotel?
  3. What if my luggage is lost or damaged?
  4. What to expect upon arrival at the airport!
  5. What is the time difference in our time zones?
  6. How long will it take to travel from the airport to the hotel?

AT THE HOTEL

  1. What about my luggage?
  2. What are the hotel rooms like?
  3. Are hair dryers available?
  4. What meals are included in my journey?

GENERAL INFORMATION

  1. What are the buses like?
  2. Are there rest rooms on the buses?
  3. How much money should I bring?
  4. Will ATMs be available?
  5. What about travelers checks and credit cards?
  6. Will I be able to shop during the program?
  7. What about the “VAT” or Value Added Tax?
  8. What about tips for our guides and drivers?
  9. What about other “tips”?
  10. What will the weather be like?
  11. What type of clothes should I bring?
  12. Should I bring my prescription medicines?
  13. What about travel protection coverage?
  14. What if I lose something while travelling?
  15. What about prepaid phone cards?
  16. Any last minute items I shouldn’t forget?
  17. Any other tips?

CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS

  1. What if I need to cancel?

BEFORE YOU GO

  1. Who is responsible for getting traveler’s passports and visas? Every PI participant must be in possession of the appropriate documentation prior to departure. If an PI participant is unable to obtain a passport or any applicable visas, PI’s standard cancellation policy will apply. Visa costs are not included in your programmed fees except if explicitly stated in your Tour Brochure. In most cases, your passport must be valid 6 MONTHS past the time of our return.
  2. How do I get a passport? Obtain an application at your nearest passport office, courthouse, or post office. You will need a certified birth certificate (with raised seal and file number), and 2 duplicate non-glossy photographs measuring 2” x 2”, taken within six months of application. For more info regarding passports, you can go online to: www.travel.state.gov.
  3. Will I need a visa? Your project manager will communicate to you whether or not U.S. citizens will require a VISA for entry into any country on your itinerary. Tour participants with non-U.S. passports will need to contact the embassy or consulate of all the countries visited to determine if they require a visa to enter.
  4. What vaccinations are necessary for international travel? Please contact your local doctor or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov for information on any recommended or required vaccinations for your destination countries well in advance of your trip.
  5. Is there a luggage limit? Each airline has specific weight limits for checked-in luggage. PI will alert you to the specifications and limitations. If you are flying on more than one airline, please be sure to adhere to whichever weight limit is lower to avoid having to pay extra. Please do remember that each individual is responsible for carrying his/her own luggage.
  6. How much luggage am I allowed to bring? Due to limited space available on buses for luggage, only ONE suitcase (limited to approximately 44 lbs) and one small carry-on bag such as a backpack or briefcase per person is allowed. Your final itinerary package will include two Perform International luggage tags to be placed on your checked luggage and carry-on. We strongly recommend you also add your own luggage tag on both your checked and carry-on luggage.    Note: Carry-on luggage must fit under seat or in overhead compartments of the plane and under the seat or in your lap while on the bus. Most airlines will accept 62 maximum linear inches (length + width + depth) for checked luggage. Suggestions for packing: If you are traveling as a couple, you may want to pack clothes for both in each suitcase. This way, if one suitcase is lost, each person will have clothing to wear.
  7. Will our mobile phones work abroad? This will depend on what type of handset you have and who your mobile contract is with. Most phone companies offer international voice and data plans. Please contact your mobile phone provider for further details. Please make people aware that it can be quite expensive for you to use your mobile abroad.
  8. What if I do not have a roommate? While PI will try to match you with a roommate, we cannot guarantee one will be available. Therefore, you should try to find a roommate and notify us of your selection no later than 120 days prior to departure. If no roommate can be found, you will receive an invoice for the single room supplement charge(s) as listed in the Terms and Conditions under Accommodations. This notification may come as late as 30 days prior to your departure.
  9. Will my tour schedule ever change? Every effort will be made to ensure you see the sites listed in your program; however, we reserve the right to alter the sightseeing itinerary to accommodate changes in local conditions and/or circumstances. If possible, you will be notified of any changes that are made to this itinerary prior to departing the U.S.
  10. Do we need adaptors for electric items? Yes, you will need to bring adaptors when traveling outside the US for most countries.  Your final tour documents will contain Travel Tips that provide specific information.
  11. What meals are included? Which meals are included depends on your destination. On most tours breakfasts and some evening meals are included – please see your specific tour itinerary for more details.
  12. When are payments due? Your tour price is split into multiple payments throughout the year; please check the Deposit Schedule in your Tour Brochure for more details.
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ON THE WAY

  1. What airline will be used for group reservations (groups of 10 or more traveling on the same dates from the same location)? We use many airlines depending on the global destination, time of year and budget.  Generally, PI will determine which airline will be used between 6-9 months prior to departure.
  2. May I choose the airline I travel on? If you elect to purchase a land-only package you can book your air ticket directly with your preferred airline. Please note, transfers from and to the airport in your destination are based on the arrival and departure times of the group air booking. Coaches will not be able to wait for passengers who arrive later on flights booked directly with another carrier. For groups of 10 or more booking a group reservation, you cannot select the airline for your travel.
  3. When may I receive my complete flight information? If you are traveling with a group of 10 or more, international flight information will be available approximately 60 days prior to departure; domestic flight information will be available approximately 45 days prior to departure.
  4. May I purchase my own international tickets? Yes, but in order for Perform International to arrange your ground transportation to and from the overseas airport, you must book your air on the same schedule and airline as the group. If you choose to book your own air that does not coincide with the group air booking you are responsible for your own ground transportation from the overseas airport to the hotel. You are responsible for making your own travel arrangements to/from your domestic airport. NOTE: Due to increased security at the airports, we recommend arriving at least two to three hours prior to departure for domestic flights. Arrive at the departure airport at least three hours prior to departure for international flights (whenever possible).
  5. Who is responsible for any airline schedule changes and/or expense? All flight times are subject to change by the airlines without advance notice. PI is not responsible for changes and/or delays in airline schedules, nor the expense associated with such changes.
  6. What if I miss my flight or it is canceled on the day of departure? Contact our office immediately so we can inform all necessary parties.  The airline’s responsibility is to get you to your destination as quickly as possible. Be sure to call the emergency contact phone number listed in your travel documents as soon as possible.
  7. May I request special seating and/or meals on the flights? In general, group purchased seating arrangements cannot be organized before departure. Airlines will assign seating for group bookings based on their internal rules and regulations. If you have a special meal request it should be submitted in writing no later than 90 days prior to departure. We cannot, however, guarantee your request will be honored by the airline.
  8. Will my group travel together on the same airline? Every effort will be made to keep groups together if they are traveling from the same departure city; however, depending upon the size of the group and the availability of seats on the same flights, some groups may be on several different domestic and/or international flights. NOTE: If part of the group is participating in an extension, they may not be on the same international flights as passengers doing the basic program only.
  9. Will my group sit together on the plane? We do request that our groups are seated together. However, depending on your group’s size, you may or may not sit together. You will receive seating assignments when you check in.
  10. What happens if there are travel delays? In the event of travel delays during your tour, PI will assist in making such alternative travel arrangements as it considers appropriate to the circumstances. PI will not accept the additional costs incurred for delays beyond its control and for which it is not liable.
  11. What are the latest security regulations for what can and cannot be taken on a plane? These regulations and restrictions change frequently. Please see www.tsa.gov for the most up-to-date information.
  12. Will we be fed on the plane? This depends on the length of your flight and what airline you will be flying with. On trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific flights you will be given meals on the plane free of charge. For flights within the US and Europe food will generally be offered, but it is not always free of charge.
  13. What happens if bags are lost? It is the responsibility of the airlines to recover any lost luggage. Please be sure to file a report with the airline at the airport where you arrive. Although PI will do everything we can in helping with the process, we cannot help to recover lost luggage. It is an issue between the luggage owner and the airlines.
  14. Do we have to fill out immigration and customs forms? Yes, when en route to certain countries individuals will need to fill out landing cards and/or other immigration forms. The forms which need to be completed will vary depending on whether or not individuals needed visas to enter the country to which they are traveling. Generally, airline staff will distribute all necessary forms either prior to boarding or during the flight.
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WHEN WE ARRIVE

  1. What about free time? There will be some free time on every tour – for shopping, sightseeing on your own, extra activities, etc. PI Tour Directors are happy to provide ideas for free time and evening activities. The cost of these activities is not included in the package price so you will need to budget for this before you depart.
  2. What amenities are provided at our hotel? This will depend on which hotel you are staying in. Each hotel room will be ensuite and linens will be provided. Each hotel will vary in terms of supplying hairdryers, safes, etc. For some student groups PI may book multi-bedded university dorm accommodation but only if specifically requested.
  3. What if my luggage is lost or damaged? File a claim at the airport before you leave the baggage claim area. It will be the airline’s responsibility to get lost luggage to you or to compensate you for damaged luggage. We will do our best to follow-up with the airlines but the responsibility ultimately rests with the airline. We strongly suggest that you pack at least one change of clothes in your carry-on bag. If you purchased Travel Insurance you will also need to file a claim with the respective insurance company.
  4. What to expect upon arrival at the airport! After going through passport control, you will need to collect your luggage (luggage carts may be free or available for an extra charge) and pass through customs. You will be met by an airport representative outside the baggage claim area. Please follow instructions from our representative.
  5. What is the time difference in our time zones? Time zones vary by location in the world.  A great resource for determining the time difference for a particular place is: http://www.timeanddate.com.
  6. How long will it take to travel from the airport to the hotel? The transfer time can vary greatly from city to city.
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AT THE HOTEL

  1. What about my luggage? Your luggage will be loaded on and off the motor coach by the driver. You are responsible to transfer your luggage from the curb to your room and back to the motor coach upon departure. On some trips, porters may be available to assist you with your luggage.
  2. What are the hotel rooms like? Each room will have a private bath, TV and phone. Most hotels do not provide small washcloths, so you may want to bring your own but do not leave them in the bathroom as the staff will whisk them away into the laundry and you will probably never see them again.
  3. Are hair dryers available? Most hotels provide hair dryers in the rooms. If you bring your own, be sure it is one that has dual voltage so you can switch between 125v and 250v.  You will need an adapter for your hair dryer. We do not suggest bringing curling irons or flat irons as the voltage is usually too high. If you choose to bring a curling/flat iron, be sure that it has dual voltage capabilities.
  4. What meals are included in my journey? Generally, breakfast and some dinners are included. Lunches are only included when specified in the itinerary. Please consult your Tour Brochure for a detailed list of inclusions. Coffee and tea are served at breakfast but beverages at dinner, except for tap water, will be at a supplemental charge. All other meals are at your expense. Bottled water is recommended at all times outside the US.
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GENERAL INFORMATION

  1. What are the buses like? The deluxe touring motor coaches are modern and air-conditioned.
  2. Are there restrooms on the buses? In most countries coaches have an emergency restroom. On-board restrooms are only for emergency situations as the disposal sites are not readily available in many cities. Your Tour Manager and driver will plan sufficient stops along the way for the comfort of our passengers.
  3. How much money should I bring? Most everything has been included in your tour cost with the exception of meals not listed on your itinerary, shopping and optional tours (where applicable). Suggested amount of tips is $5 per day for guides, $3 per day for drivers.
  4. Will ATMs be available? ATMs are available at local banks and airports. The money you receive will be in the local currency.
  5. What about travelers checks and credit cards? We do not recommend the use of travelers checks as you may experience difficulty using and/or cashing them. In addition, banks usually charge a significant handling fee when cashing travelers checks. Credit cards are recommended for larger purchases. VISA and MasterCard are much more prevalent than Discover and American Express.
  6. Will I be able to shop during the program? Time will be allotted for shopping. While some will feel that too much time is spent for shopping, others will think it is not enough. Remember that ours is not a shopping tour. Also, any purchases made are at your own risk. We are not responsible for your dissatisfaction with any items purchased. Guides are not authorized by PI to recommend any store or shop.
  7. What about the “VAT” or Value Added Tax? VAT (Value Added Tax) is a sales tax that is charged for most goods.  This amount is part of the price – not added on at the cash register. It is possible for you to claim back most of this tax. The best way to do this is to see if the retailer you are buying from is affiliated with “Tax Free” shopping. If so, they will give you the instructions for your refund. Generally, all you have to do is collect a completed form from the store which lists your purchases. You MUST have the form stamped by customs when you leave the country. Look for the TAX FREE SHOPPING symbol. Note: Specific procedures may vary by country, so look for forms and instructions at stores or the airport. PI is not responsible for refunding you any VAT. In addition, VAT cannot be recovered once you have returned home.
  8. What about tips for our guides and drivers? Our suggested amount for tip is $5 per person/per day for your guide and $3 per person/per day for your driver. Perform International will coordinate with your group leader if tips should be pre-collected prior to departure as part of your tour package price.
  9. What about other “tips”? Prepaid gratuities have been collected for the following staff persons: hotel and local restaurant dining room staff and hotel housekeeping. For restaurant meals not included in your tour package, taxi rides, etc. you will be responsible to tip the local service provider.
  10. What will the weather be like? Weather can vary greatly from country to country. PI’s Travel Tips, which will be distributed with your tour documents, contain average temperature information for the destination that you are going to visit.  For more up-to-date information, visit www.weather.com.
  11. What type of clothes should I bring? Some of the days involve long bus rides and/or considerable walking, so comfort is essential. Comfortable shoes are a must! Also, bring a rain coat and/or umbrella as the weather can be unpredictable. For performance groups, you will be informed as to performance wear in the final packet of information.
  12. Should I bring my prescription medicines? Bring your medicine in the original bottle. Also, bring a copy of the generic names for each. If you have medications which need to be refrigerated, you will need to make the appropriate arrangements with the airlines, hotels and cruise line. An ID bracelet or a note from your doctor regarding any special treatments you are receiving will prove invaluable in the event of an emergency. Always carry medication that is needed on a daily basis in your carry-on and on the motor coach where it is easily accessible.
  13. What about travel protection coverage? We offer the option to purchase trip cancellation insurance through Berkshire Hathaway Travel Insurance, one of the world’s leading travel insurance providers. This insurance is optional. Upon registration, you will be able to sign-up for travel insurance coverage directly on the Berkshire Hathaway website.
  14. What if I lose while travelling? Leave valuables, including items of sentimental value, at home! Put your name, address and departure date on all belongings so that any recovered items will be returned as quickly as possible. Shipping costs will be your responsibility. We suggest you make a list of all items you take along with their perceived value. Double check before you leave the hotel, bus, airplane, etc. PI will not assume responsibility for lost items.
  15. What about prepaid phone cards? If you decide to purchase cards here or overseas, you will need a card or access for each country. (Make sure your prepaid card is for international use.) If you have a cell phone you can check with your local provider for International Service.
  16. Any last minute items I shouldn’t forget? Sunglasses, a sun hat, sunscreen, wipes and wash cloths, camera (incl. a battery charger) and sundry toiletry items are musts. You may wish to bring a calculator for exchange rates while shopping. Passengers bringing video cameras are advised that museums and archeological sites frequently charge a fee for their use. In the event of inclement weather, bring a light waterproof jacket or an umbrella.
  17. Any other tips? Yes… Be on time for the bus each day. Settle personal charges the night before checking out of the hotel. Notify your Tour Leader or Guide if you will not be on the bus for sightseeing. Remember you are a guest in another country… Be gracious… expect that customs and food will be different than at home.
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CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS

  1. What if I need to cancel? Call our office immediately, and then submit your cancellation in writing. Cancellation and refund schedule can be found in the terms & conditions which are included in your Tour Brochure. NO REFUND for cancellations within forty-five (45) days of departure — trip cancellation and interruption insurance is available and is highly recommended. All cancellation requests must be addressed to Perform International in writing.
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