We hope we've pre-empted many of your questions on the pages of this site. The following FAQ answers are intended to offer additional clarification.
There is an awful lot to see in Paris ... not to mention taste! No fast-food half-hour meals here! We will observe a leisurely pace that involves 1-1.5 total hours of walking per day, broken up into segments. For destinations more than a mile away from our location, we will travel by Metro or coach.
Travellers are expected to be able to keep up with the rigors of the tour as outlined in the itinerary. Those depending on oxygen, canes, or wheelchairs should obtain written authorization from their physician before registering for this trip. Be advised, many of the sites we will visit do not accommodate wheelchairs.
What sort of pace should I expect. Many of our activities take place back-to-back, though generally with a good number of rest opportunities while in transit. Expect to do a fair bit of walking at a pace of 1/2 mile in 10-15 minutes. If you are not able to walk up to one mile at a time and several miles over the course of a day, we recommend you see your physician &/or initiate a graduated walking routine 90 days prior to travel. If you have limited mobility, please contact travel agent Cindy Freeman to discuss your options. Each traveller is solely responsible for his/her perambulation and mobility.
Will there be stairs? Yes. There are steps on buses, in Metro stations, and at some of the attractions.
What sort of travel documents do I need? A passport book (as opposed to a card). Visas are not required. If you do not already have a passport, be sure to arrange for one months in advance. Don't forget to bring a copy (electronic or paper) of your travel insurance, should anything come up while travelling.
Do I require shots or inoculations? No, regardless of whether or not you are a US citizen.
Will the hotels, venues, transports, and attractions be air conditioned? While we cannot guarantee air conditioning every step of the way, be assured, all of the vendors with whom we work make their living keeping guests comfortable.
What about dietary restrictions? We regret we cannot guarantee food substitutions, as most of our meals come with a fixed menu. That said, if you apprise us of your vegetarian or gluten-free needs more than 30 days prior to travel, we will contact the eateries involved to try to make arrangements for you. If available, these options may come with a surcharge.
What meals are included? Please see the top of our Inclusions & DIY Extras page for the meal breakdown.
Is smoking allowed on the tour? This is a non-smoking tour. If you do smoke, we ask you do so in areas that will not impact your fellow travellers. Your possessions, clothing, and luggage are expected to be smoke-free as well.
Weather - In addition to bringing an umbrella, walking shoes, and a wrap of some kind, you will want to consult the weather predictions prior to our trip to ensure you are outfitted with the layers and articles of clothing in which you will be most comfortable. Our day trips can keep us on the road from 8am to 8pm and you will want to plan accordingly.
Dress Code - Comfortable shoes can not be stressed enough. Aside from theater, cathedral, or fine dining occasions, you will want to go casual, while ensuring you are tearoom ready (no jeans or tennies) as needed for the nicer hotels. When in doubt, throw a skirt or non-denim trousers in your day bag.
FLIGHTS & BAGGAGE
If you choose one of our flights-included options, you will be flying with our group. The flight from LAX to Paris may have one east coast layover, but definitely not more than one stop. Be advised, the guaranteed fares offered as part of our packages preclude advance seat selection. We will know more as the dates get closer. If you have specific needs and preferences as apply to air travel, you may want to book your flights on your own.
How will my luggage be handled? You will be responsible for transporting and carrying your own luggage unless you elect to hire someone on-site as available.
How much luggage can I bring? Travellers are responsible for their own flights and must also abide by bus, train, Metro, and tour guidelines that stipulate a maximum of 2 bags, each totaling 62 linear inches or less and weighing no more than 45-50 lbs depending on your chosen airline. You may also bring a carry-on item such as a purse, not to exceed 15 lbs and able to fit in a space that measures 17"x14"x8.
Will there be time for me to shop and explore on my own? Our itinerary offers a variety of optional excursion and free time options giving you plenty of time to lèche-vitrine (lick the windows, i.e. windowshop!)
Travel insurance has become a must when going abroad. You may either arrange yours through us or on your own. Click here for a link to show you viable options.
What about tips? Service charges and gratuities (along with taxes) are included in the cost of the meals we offer (usually afternoon teas) as outlined in the itinerary. When taxis are necessary, a gratuity will be paid the driver and split among the passengers. If you wish to leave a nominal 'thank-you' in your room for accommodation staff, they will greatly appreciate it, however this is not necessary.
How do I pay for taxis that are part of the tour? Your tour leader, Joy, will run a Cab Tab for those times when a taxi is necessary. After dividing the costs between the number of passengers, she will update this tally daily.
What about money? Please apprise your bank of your travel plans in advance and arrange to bring at least $100 worth of Euros. Thereafter, you may use your Debit/ATM card for purchases, provided it has a Visa or Mastercard designation. Not sure if your card will work in France? Does your card have a daily limit? Are there certain French banks or ATMs you must use? Ask your banking professional about funds access and any associated fees.
What is VAT (Value Added Tax)? A 20% VAT fee is added to the cost of all goods purchased. Each traveller is allowed to bring $800 worth of merchandise into the US every 30 days. You are eligible to have this tax refunded to you for goods to be used outside of Europe. Travellers are responsible for researching the particulars prior to the tour, thereafter acting on this issue in accordance with current Customs laws.
Will you have an in-person meeting to go over the details? Oui! We're planning a tea at Paris in a Cup in Orange, CA in March 2019. Those out of state may join via videoconference or phone.
Telephone access - Contact your cellular service provider to arrange for international calling capabilities prior to the trip. Make sure to inquire about roaming and data usage. You will also want to make sure you have a power adapter for your charger.
What if I have to leave the tour early or cancel part of my participation? See our Travel Agreement for policies. And by all means, consider acquiring travel insurance!
What if I miss part of the tour. Will I be refunded for missed activities? No. We reserve each spot in good faith and often pre-pay for tickets.
Emergencies - Prior to travel, you must provide at least one emergency contact back in the states, along with their phone number and email address. In the case of emergency during the tour, we will contact first responders and authorities. If you have specific requests, please advise us prior to travel.