The only thing we want you to worry about is deciding where you want to go when, and then packing your bag on time for that. Then leave the rest to us.
We compiled this list of Frequently Asked Questions to help you with your planning, noting we have an even longer list of FAQs specific to COVID-19 HERE.
Let us know if we missed anything or if your questions are not answered below.
Just click on the + to the left of the question for the answer.
How do flight bookings work?
For the time being, international flights will be left out of all trip packages, allowing you to pay for flights with points, accrue points, choose the flight times that make the most sense for you, as well as add on days or otherwise. This also provides you with the security that if a cancellation is required, airlines will be the best positioned to provide refunds to you directly. We strongly recommend you book your flights through a travel agent or directly with the airline, rather than through a third party online booking platform. We would be happy to help you book your flights through one of our local partner travel agencies.
How many pieces of luggage can I bring?
You will want to keep your luggage down to a minimum if possible. It will just make your trip easier, and you will likely need to carry your own luggage at certain points. Baggage allowances and restrictions often vary across different airlines. Luggage allowances on trips to the Amazon and Galapagos is often quite restricted, for example.
Will I need a visa to enter the country?
You are responsible for ensuring you have the appropriate visas, travel permits and certificates for the countries you are travelling in, and that your passport is valid for six months (or possibly more), as required. EarthTreks is not responsible if a customer is refused entry to a country because of incorrect travel documentation. It sounds harsh. We don’t mean it to.
Who will my Tour Leader be?
EarthTreks’ Tour Leaders are experienced, knowledgeable, highly trained guides with wonderful personalities. Your Tour Leader will ensure the entire trip goes as smoothly as possible for you. They will help make sure everything in the itinerary works, and can further recommend and sometimes arrange other things to see and do along the way. Having said all that, we may not know who your Tour Leader will be until a month or two prior to departure. We would be happy to let you know then though.
How much spending money should I take?
It’s hard to advise on how much money you might need to take along on this trip. You know your spending habits best. The more you have, the more you can spend, and the more fun you may have… but you shouldn’t require a lot of extra money beyond the trip price. Again, this depends on you and what your typical spending looks like when traveling. It is a good idea to have access to more money, via an ATM or otherwise, in case you do need it. Credit cards are also a great way to go, noting they are not always accepted in smaller shops. If you want more information and tips on money specific to this trip, please GET IN TOUCH, and we will send you a detailed one-pager overviewing it all.
Should I have money for tipping?
Tipping for good service is always recommended. About 10 – 15% in restaurants is generous, and tipping your local guides, drivers, and Tour Leader is always very appreciated, although not mandatory. As a general guideline, $10 CAD is a great tip for someone joining you for the day, and as a rough suggestion, $30 CAD per week is great. More than that is generous, and shows that you think they did a really great job. We hope they did.
Do I need to purchase travel insurance for the trip?
Travel insurance is compulsory for all EarthTreks travelers and it’s your responsibility to ensure that adequate coverage is purchased. Travel insurance must cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses and emergency repatriation with a recommended minimum coverage of $200,000 CAD coverage for each of those categories. We strongly recommend that your insurance further cover trip cancellation, curtailment, personal liability, loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we will require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt showing your credit card number or your credit card statement will work), noting that the credit card must be in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number prior to joining the trip. If you do not have travel insurance, you may be prevented from joining the trip. And trust us – you do not want that.
Will I need shots to travel and will there by access to health services?
EarthTreks is not qualified to provide you with medical advice of any kind. The best is to consult with your travel physician to get the most accurate and up-to-date advice. We are able to tell you where health services can be accessed along the tour route if you need to know (just GET IN TOUCH), as some of our travels include fairly remote areas. It is important to note that our Tour Leaders are unable to provide any kind of medical assistance, administer any kind of medicine, or otherwise. There is a tremendous amount of local wisdom of natural remedies and knowledge of natural medicines to be found in the places many of our trips visit. Your Tour Leader may be able to connect you with someone with such knowledge.
How safe will the trip be?
When in any big city – pretty much anywhere in the world – it’s important to be smart. At least street smart. Don’t walk the streets alone late at night. Avoid dark alleys. Keep your stuff out of sight and out of reach. We have yet to experience an incident while traveling in our small groups, as there truly is power in numbers, but keep your eyes open. Use some common sense, like locking your luggage, don’t flash wads of money, and leave the expensive jewelry etc. at home. We also recommend following your government’s advice and reading their latest travel information before departure. The same goes for the activities included in our itineraries – use your common sense, trying to stay safe. All of our activities are vetted with extreme scrutiny, which is why some of the wilder options are not even suggested as options. Our lawyers made us leave them out. We blame them entirely.
How old do you have to be to join a trip?
You are required to be at least 18 years of age to participate in this trip or be accompanied by a parent or guardian (if 12 – 17). Our minimum age for this trip is 12. There is no upper age limit for this trip.
Will you pick me up at the airport?
When your arrival transfer is included in the trip price – or has been otherwise arranged in advance (always easy to do) – that means someone will be waiting for you with an EarthTreks sign with your name on it at the airport upon your arrival. You will need to let us know all of your flight details a minimum of two weeks prior to arrival. If for some reason you are unable to make your flight, please CONTACT US as soon as possible. If for some reason you were unable to find our sign upon arrival at the airport, please use the emergency contact number you were provided specific to your trip. Just don’t panic – that’s all we ask. We will find you.
What are the hotels EarthTreks uses like?
We use various different types of accommodations on this trip – always locally owned, as part of our SUSTAINABILITY POLICY. The accommodations we choose are as unique as the people and places we visit, and are divided into three different categories: On Budget / Upgraded / Luxury. Our main criteria for choosing accommodations are their location, the friendliness of the staff, and that they are working towards being as sustainable as possible in every way (that can be difficult in some places more than others). We can assure you that they are all wonderful places to stay. You will be informed of your joining hotel prior to departure, including contact information.
How many meals are included in the trip price?
Enjoying local dishes along the way is part of getting to know a culture, and a wonderful part of the experience. We have included meals in the itinerary where it makes sense when it makes sense, and left them out when having independence makes sense for one reason or another. Either way, you can count on your Tour Leader to suggest dishes to try or recommend restaurants or otherwise. Details on which meals are included in this itinerary can be found in the detailed Tour Plan.
Do I need to be vaccinated against COVID-19?
Everyone traveling on an EarthTreks trip is required to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and complete a self-declaration form as part of our health screening and safety measures. Masks must be worn by all travelers throughout the trip whenever required by local health authorities. Please see our PAGE ON COVID-19 for further details.
Are trips physically demanding?
Some of our trips can be very high energy and require a certain level of physical ability. Others are more relaxed. This is your vacation time, so be sure to let us know what you are looking for so that your trip is the right mix of adventure and relaxation. We have also tried to describe the activity level within the Tour Details of each trip.