FAQ – Europe Tours

Everything you wanted to know about Europe Tours!  Well, probably not everything, but these are some of our most frequently asked questions.  Contact me (at the bottom of the page) if a question you have is not answered here.

Q: What does the tour director do?
A: A tour director wears many hats. Craig Bresett, our head tour director, explains, using his best attempt at alliteration: “As a OneLife Tours tour director, I am intimately involved in all of the intricacies of your travel itinerary. I develop the travel schedule (with our coach partners in Europe), book rooms in hotels, arrange meals, and reserve admission times to attractions. My goal is to give my clients the best possible travel experience in Europe. When I am with a group of travelers in Europe, I am the go-to guy for pretty much everything except driving the bus. I am your tour guide for most of the attractions we visit (for some I hire a local guide and get to enjoy it with the rest of the group!). I am your advocate at hotels and restaurants. I am your consultant for the inevitable questions about what to do with the free time that is built into the itinerary. Above all I am a tireless promoter for the life-enhancing value of good travel. I love traveling in Europe – it is my passion. I want other people to love it too.”
Q: I only speak English. Is this going to be a problem anywhere in Europe?
A: Not with OneLife Tours. With your tour director and coach driver taking care of the details, you don’t have to worry about any language barriers. Besides, English is widely understood and used in the hospitality industry throughout Europe.
Q: Do I need to get any travel vaccinations to go to Europe?

A: No.

Q: Do I need a travel visa?

A: Canadians and Americans only need a passport. There are no special visa requirements to enter Europe. Please note that your passport’s expiration date should be at least 6 months after the date you are scheduled to fly to Europe.

Q: What kind of luggage do you recommend and what should I pack in it?
A: Bring what you can handle – you will need to move your own luggage, sometimes up stairs. I recommend a wheeled suitcase and a small day pack. Packing light is an art that people usually get better at the more they travel. I’ve never heard one of my travelers say “I wish I had packed more stuff with me!” In fact, it is the opposite, “Why did I bring so much stuff?” Traveling by private coach does make the transport of your luggage much easier – big luggage goes under the bus, day packs go in the seating area, and you get dropped off and picked up right in front of the hotel (most places!). When you’re travelling on your own, you are often “lugging” your luggage from train station to hotel and back (or shelling out big bucks for cabs everywhere).
Q: Though your price seems reasonable, I’ve seen other tours advertised for less money. Why shouldn’t I go with the cheapest option?

A: We offer a high quality, high value experience.  Travel is the epitome of a life well-lived, and selling yourself short is not an option.  That being said, the “budget” tour is not always as “budget” as it seems. When looking at different tours, the first thing you should do is read the fine print.  OneLife Tours believes in straightforward honest marketing, and as all our brochures proudly proclaim in the “fine print” section – we don’t have a lot of fine print.  Here are some questions to ask while you are comparing:

  • Are the listed attractions a simple drive by photo opportunity or are you actually going to go in and spend some time there?

For example, many tour companies will list the Eiffel Tower in Paris as one of the attractions you will be visiting.  But when you get there, all you do is stop at the base of the tower for a few minutes to take some pictures.  OneLife Tours will take you up the Eiffel Tower – to the top level of course (and we will bypass the famously long lines)!  Any attractions we list on our itinerary are the same – a real experience, not just a photo op.

  • Are all attractions listed included in the price?

OneLife tours – YES.  Most other tour companies – NO.  So-called “optional” excursions can add up very quickly.  For example, when you visit Paris, a tour through the Palace of Versailles should not be an “option”, it should be included.  Many tour companies sell this option for $75 or more – payable to the tour director (who makes a commission) while you are there.  That’s just not right. All attractions listed on a OneLife Tours itinerary are included in the price.

  • Are meals included?

OneLife Tours includes all breakfasts, at least one lunch, and many of your dinners – featuring high quality, local food. (see tour brochures for full details of each tour)

  • Is there a “mandatory” or “suggested” tip at the end of the tour? 

 Most tour companies will ask you to pay a substantial tip to the driver and to the tour director at the end of the trip.  At OneLife Tours this is neither requested nor required – we pay our drivers and tour directors a proper salary.

  • Is the tour focused on culture and history or shopping for souvenirs? 

While any good tour needs to allow for some free time where shopping is an option, many of the “budget” tours are very focused on taking you souvenir shopping.  Why?  Because their tour directors get kickbacks from the “special” stores they take you to.  OneLife Tours does not engage in this practice.   Incidentally, for those not interested in shopping, our tour director will always provide suggestions for other activities when there is free time.

Q: Can I use my credit card or bank card in Europe?

A: We recommend that you purchase some local currency before leaving home.  However, credit cards are widely accepted in Europe, and ATMs work with most North American bank cards.  This is a convenient way to top up your cash when you are in Europe – the ATM will dispense local currency and your bank will take care of currency conversion, usually charging a small fee for the transaction.  In general, you cannot use your bank card as a debit card in stores in Europe the way you do at home.  We highly recommend against bringing travelers’ cheques – they are almost universally not accepted at any businesses anymore, and you will waste a lot of time hunting down someplace to cash them, usually paying a very large fee to do so.

Got A Question?

Have you got another question about travelling in Europe?  Our head tour director Craig loves talking about Europe – send him a question!

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