Know Before You Go: Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.
Passports and Visas: It is each travelers responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure and a visa if required. Please check the information at http://www.right-travel.com/page/visa-5.html for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies.
It is strongly recommended that passengers apply for visas before traveling, even where it may be possible to apply locally. Applying for a visa locally can be a lengthy process.
Trip Preparation: A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas) are in order and that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. If you lose the originals while traveling, youll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage.
Cell Phones & Calling Cards: You may wish to carry a cell phone while traveling overseas. Check with your cell phone provider if your phone will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. U.S. service is dominated by the CDMA technology standard, while most of the world uses the incompatible GSM standard. Some U.S. providers do offer GSM, but you may incur high international roaming fees. With GSM, however, you can often choose to have your phone unlocked and then add a local SIM card for lower fees. If you can access the Internet as you travel, you can take advantage of email or a Skype Internet telephone (VOIP) account for the best value. Alternatively, you may investigate renting a cell phone before you leave or buying an inexpensive phone locally.
When calling the U.S. from a foreign country, you may also use a prepaid calling card normally, the only additional charge (besides the prepaid long distance charges) is a local fee of a few cents and possibly a connection fee if you are using your card at your hotel. It is best to check with the hotel’s reception desk prior to making phone calls to avoid unexpected charges.
Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another: When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your countrys Exit Code + destination Country Code + Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If the international number you wish to call starts with a 0 (zero), you must this starting digit when dialing the number.
Health Information: Check with your personal physician for the latest overseas travel health information, or contact the Center for Disease Control’s travelers’ hotline at 800-232-4636, web site www.cdc.gov.
Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at: http://ostpxweb.dot.gov/policy/safetyenergyenv/disinsection.htm.
Climate & Clothing: France - Spring and Fall: 45–60°F Summer: 60–80°F Winter: 30–45°F. Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather coat. France Average Temperatures: http://www.right-travel.com/weather/france-27.html
About Independent Travel: Independent tours allow you the freedom and flexibility to enjoy your vacation days at your own pace, to explore on your own, to be spontaneous and to focus on personal interests. Accordingly, independent tours are very different from Right Travel’s escorted tours, which are conducted by a Tour Manager who accompanies you throughout, manages your needs and provides expert guiding services from the beginning to the end of your tour.
When traveling independently, please bear in mind that you will be responsible for your needs throughout. Depending upon the package or services you have ed, you may encounter representatives along the way, such as a transfer driver, or a local sightseeing guide. Those may be included in your tour or options you have pre-ed. However, you will be on your own to handle your luggage, locate service providers, check into and out of your hotels, and to get to and from train stations or car rental counters.
Independent touring, as the name implies is for the independent traveler who is comfortable traveling on one’s own with less guidance. Of course, as with all Right Travel touring packages, you will find your services exactly as reserved when you arrive to your destination.
Book & Film Recommendations: Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests’ recommendations.
60 Million Frenchmen Can’t be Wrong by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow
The Discovery of France by Graham Robb
A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
A Good Year by Peter Mayle
French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork and Corkscrew by Peter Mayle
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
Chocolat by Joanna Harris
Narrow Dog to Carcassonne by Terry Darlington
The Sun King by Nancy Mitford