FAQ

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 TAP Member operating the tour. Knowing as much as you can beforehand will enable you to enjoy your tour experience to the fullest.

When should I make my reservation?
As soon as you have decided on a tour and date. The sooner you sign up, the better your chance will be to get the lowest tour price and the best choice of dates.

Can I join the tour if I do not have a roommate?
The applicable single rate for each tour can be found in the Rates Section.

Can TAP help find a roommate?
It’s recommended that you book at the single rate to guarantee your space; while most of our tour operators do not have a roommate match service, if multiple people ask for a roommate, most will make an introduction. However, people booking at the single rate, should be prepared to room by themselves as roommates are not guaranteed.

Are airport transfers included?
Most tours include airport transfers if passengers arrive/depart at the scheduled times; this is indicated in the tour inclusions. If the tour does not specifically state the inclusion or exclusion of airport transfers, please check prior to booking. If passengers arrive/depart outside of the scheduled times or for a pre/post night, they are generally on their own for transportation to the tour starting point, though arrangements can sometimes be made on a case-by-case basis.

Where do I meet the Tour Manager?
The tour manager will be waiting at an assigned meeting point at the tour start location. This will be defined in your final documentation.

Will the Tour Manager accompany the entire tour?
With only a rare exception, the same tour manager who greets you initially will accompany the entire tour.

Is tipping to the Tour Manager & Driver included?
The tips for the tour manager and driver are not usually 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.

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. 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 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 usually) up to your room. 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 carry your own carry-on luggage throughout the tour.

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.

Why should I purchase travel insurance?
For coverage of cancellation penalties or missed days of the tour, due to unexpected, covered reasons for cancellation or travel delay, TAP highly recommends travel insurance. Individual TAP Operators may use different travel insurance companies; be sure to ask about travel insurance at the time of booking.

What about airport security restrictions? They seem to change all the time.
The latest security information can be found on the web at www.tsa.gov. TSA is now requiring that you provide your full name, as is appears on your identification, and your birth date, for all domestic and international travel.

Have passport rules changed?
Please inquire at the time of registration if you are traveling outside the U.S. (including Canada and Mexico). If you are of foreign citizenship, we highly recommend you check with your country’s embassy and follow its instructions to make certain your travel will be legal and seamless. U.S. citizens in need of a passport can pick up an application at any post office. Please allow 8-10 weeks for processing.

When do I pay for optional excursions?
Some tours may allow for certain optional excursions to be paid for in advance, but most can be paid for once you are on the tour. If not specifically called out in the tour description, you can plan to purchase them while traveling with our Operators.

How are seats assigned on the motorcoach?
Seating on the motorcoach is typically assigned by a rotation system. Out of fairness to all passengers, we do not accept special seating requests for the motorcoach for any reason and expect full participation in the rotation system.

Is there a bathroom on the motorcoach?
Although motorcoaches 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.

How are rooms assigned?
Room assignments for each tour are made by the individual hotels. The location, view, and size of the rooms may vary.

When will I know the hotels used for my tour?
Some tours have the hotels defined in the itinerary portion on this site. For tours that include a hotel brand “or similar”, a list of the hotels used for your tour will be included with your final documentation, which you will receive about one week prior to departure.

I have some trouble walking long distances. Will I be able to participate and enjoy the trip?
In order to get full value from a travel experience, it is important to be in good mental and physical health. Walking and some step-climbing are necessary to participate in the normal activities of our vacations. While we do almost everything for you on most TAP Tours, the Tour Director cannot provide sustained attention to individual clients. Please be advised that we visit many cultural sites on tour, and not all of them may meet A.D.A. requirements due to their historic status.

Having said that, let us assure you that people with mobility restrictions are welcome on our vacations. Many of our travelers are over 70 (or even 80 or 90), something we keep in mind when planning our itineraries. In our office, the Tour Planner for each departure knows the itinerary well and would be happy to consult with you personally should you have questions regarding the amount of walking, elevations, etc., on a particular trip.

I have (a) walker/wheelchair/oxygen needs; how can TAP accommodate me?
Passengers with disabilities are welcome to travel on most TAP Tours. A companion capable of providing for their needs must accompany persons requiring special assistance. Single travelers must be independent travelers who require no additional assistance. The tour director is unable to provide individual service for wheelchairs, baggage handling, etc. Passengers must be capable of getting on and off the coach without the assistance of the tour director or driver.

Wheelchairs, some models of motorized scooters, walkers, and oxygen can often be stored under the coach. Oxygen must be stowed in secure boxes underneath the coach for safety purposes. Allergies, medical needs, and dietary needs can be accommodated for to a certain extent. Hotels, restaurants, and attractions will be made aware of any special requirements of our passengers. In the past, fridges have been arranged for insulin, oxygen has been delivered to hotels, and allergy-friendly rooms have been arranged! Most operators will do our best to meet your requests and needs however we do have to work within the confines of the accommodations and restaurants that host us. If you have a specific need, it is recommended you check with TAP/the TAP Operator prior to booking your travel/tour.

Are meals included?
Included meals are indicated on the itinerary section of the tour page. All other meals are on your own.

May I request vegetarian, gluten-free, diabetic, or other special meals?
If notified in writing at least 50 days prior to departure, most TAP Operators will accept special dietary requests and will make every attempt to accommodate them, but accommodations are not guaranteed. 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. TAP expressly disclaims any responsibility or liability in connection with dietary requirements.

Is it possible to extend the stay before or after the tour?
Pre- or post- tour extension accommodations are often available at an additional expense, but should be requested at the time you make a reservation for your escorted tour and are subject to availability of the hotel space.

What if I need to interrupt my tour and return early?
If you must return early for any physical/medical reason, make sure you obtain a statement from the attending physician/hospital, as this may allow any airlines to waive change fees and this will assist you in making a claim if you have purchased insurance. Final payment is generally due 30-60 days prior to departure (spelled out in the cancellation policy on each tour page), therefore, TAP recommends purchasing travel insurance with trip interruption coverage.

Can we leave our vehicles at our departure location?
Some departure locations will allow clients to leave their vehicles at the departure location; it is advised you check into this prior to departure. It is not recommended that you leave your vehicle at any location, but it is up to your discretion. If you chose to leave your vehicle there please inform the departure location that you are doing so.

Can children to go on these tours?
Though this is subject to the discretion of each TAP Operator, most tours listed on this site are not recommended for children. If children are approved for a tour, the minimum age is typically 12. Children under the age of 18 should be accompanied by an adult. If children are not accompanied by their legal guardian, the legal guardian must provide a notarized consent form to the TAP Operator. There are no discounts for children, unless specifically otherwise stated. Several Operators do offer student tours, most of which are not listed on this site. Call to ask about student tours to a particular area.

What happens if I get lost?
The chance that you become lost is very small indeed. If this does happen, you will usually manage to find the motor coach before it leaves at the agreed time. However, in the event the bus has left, 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 a copy of your daily schedule and your tour manager’s phone number with you!

What happens if I lose an article?
Neither TAP, TAP Operators, no any company contracted through TAP or TAP Operators 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 the TAP Operator. Locating the owner of a 'lost and found' item will be more likely if the owner reports the loss to the TAP Operator immediately. Upon receipt of payment for the shipping and handling (on average $50 per item) most TAP Operators will ship 'lost and found' articles to their owner, provided the item is approved for shipping.

How can I get the address of a fellow tour participant?
TAP Operators respect 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 TAP Operators will not be able to provide you with this information except in rare cases.