Frequently Asked Questions & Information
A valid Passport is required for all travelers to Europe, including infants. Travelers are encouraged to secure a United States Passport immediately to avoid any last minute delay. Passports can take up to six weeks to process. If you already have your Passport, be sure the expiration date is a minimum of six months after you return to the U.S. For example, if you return to the U.S. on Jan 1, 2008 you Passport must expire no sooner than June 1, 2008. Minors traveling without one or both parents/guardians are required to present notarized permission for travel from the absent parent(s)/guardian(s). Non-U.S. citizens should check with their consulate for documentation requirements. At this time, no vaccinations are required for travel in Europe, nor travel visas if a traveler is a U.S. citizen.
If a traveler does not have a valid Passport, or has a Passport issued more than 15 years ago or if the traveler was under 16 years old when the Passport was issued, the traveler MUST apply for a new Passport.
To renew your Passport:
- What is needed?
- Certified copy of your birth certificate with raised seal or naturalization papers.
- Valid personal identification such as a driver’s license, military I.D., etc.
- Social Security number
- A complete official Passport application form
- Minimum of two (2) identical color Passport photos, size 2”x 2”
- Application must be made in person with a completed, official Passport application form if you are applying for a U.S. Passport for the first time; or if your expired Passport is nor in your possession.
- DO NOT sign the application. It must be signed in the presence of an authorized Passport agent.
- To renew an expired Passport, you also need two recent Passport photos, size 2” x 2” and your expired Passport to obtain a renewed Passport.
- What does it cost for those ages 16 and older?
- $97 for a new Passport not including the cost of photos
- $67 for a renewal not including the cost of photos.
- For those age 16 and under the cost is $82 not including the cost of photos
- How long does it take to receive a Passport
Apply early! It may take up to six weeks or more.
- Can a passport be obtained sooner or in case of an emergency?
- Consult the Passport Agency or County Service Center to request a special rush delivery.
- Additional fees may be assessed for rush services
- How long is a Passport valid?
Passports are valid for ten years for persons over 16 years old.
If you do not have a passport, or the Passport has expired, you MUST apply in person at the nearest Passport office.
If you are neither a U.S. nor a Canadian citizen, you MUST check with your consulate for documentation requirements or if a tourist visa is required for entry into any of the countries visited on our alumni travel program.
Please be advised that failure to obtain the necessary documentation may result in denied entry by Immigration officials.
Passport & Visa Assistance Services
Express Visa Service: 1-800-794-TOUR (8687)
Perry International (Chicago, IL): (312) 372-2703
Due to limited space on motor coaches, travelers must limit luggage to ONE checked suitcase per person weighing no more than 50lbs. Carry-on luggage is limited to ONE piece, which must not exceed 9” x 14” x 22”. Garment bags and large carry-on pieces may be considered by the airline as checked luggage. Travelers may also carry-on a purse, briefcase, laptop computer, or small backpack. Dimensions of the additional carry-on must not exceed 15” x 11” x 6”. At least one carry-one item should go beneath the seat in front of you on the aircraft.
Don’t Over Pack
Limit your luggage to one checked suitcase and one carry-on per person. As a good rule of thumb, pack your suitcase with only the items that you need to / expect to wear. The key is to pack for comfort, and non-essential items should be kept to a minimum thereby lightening your load. This will make it very easy for you to transport your bag(s) throughout the trip when necessary. Remember to put any important items and your travel documents in your carry-on bag.
Comfort Travel Items
You may find it helpful to bring the following items to make your trip a bit easier*:
Extra film for cameras (film is more expensive outside the U.S)
Extra camera batteries or your camera charger
A washcloth. European hotels do not always supply them in bathrooms.
A small calculator for converting currency.
Travel-size appliances with dual voltage such as a shaver or hair dryer – you will still need an adapter plug.
A voltage converter and plug adapter for U.S. voltage appliances.
A calling card – much less expensive than calling direct. Make sure the card you purchase applies to international calls.
A travel-size alarm clock
* You may want to check with your mobile phone company if your phone will work overseas. Some companies offer temporary international coverage options.
Jet lag is defined as a delay of bodily functions following a rapid change of time zones. The body maintains its habits according to the accustomed time at home. When sleep is disturbed, normal body processes do not function as usual. Effects of jet lag differ according to the direction of flight: west with the sun, or east against it. Traveling to the east, the recommendation is to sleep later in the morning to be awake later in the evenings. Traveling to the west is just the opposite. Strategies to help minimize the effects of jet lag include:
Before you leave home
- For a few days preceding the flight, try going to bed earlier at night and getting up earlier in the morning to help acclimate to the new time zone.
- Try not to eat large quantities and avoid fatty foods.
- Limit your intake of alcohol, coffee and tea, which can be dehydrating.
- Exercise to stimulate your circulation.
On the Airplane
- Wear loose, comfortable, layered clothing that is easy for napping.
- Obtain a pillow and blanket, and drink lots of water on board the aircraft.
- Avoid eating heavy cream sauces, alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
- Try to get as much sleep as possible on board after the meal service.
Safeguarding Valuables & Personal Belongings
Breakable items, medical prescriptions in their original containers with the prescription label affixed, and other valuables should always be packed in the traveler’s carry-on luggage. NEVER pack travel documents, valuables, credit cards, or medication in checked luggage on an airline, with airline agents, within the airport or with hotel porters. Safe deposit boxes are frequently available at hotel front desks and occasionally in hotel rooms. To avoid theft, it is not suggested to bring or pack and expensive or sentimental jewelry.
As a traveler, make a list of all the items you pack and make two copies of your Passport. Leave the list and one Passport copy at home with a relative or neighbor. Keep the second Passport copy in your carry-on luggage separate from other travel documents. In the event of a lost or stolen bag or Passport, this preparatory effort could save hours replacing your Passport or other items.
Travelers with Disabilities
To enjoy the group travel experience, you must be in good physical and mental health and be able to keep pace with your group. Staff members on location will not be available to give individual assistance to the extent that may be required. Any physical or mental condition requiring special medical attention/equipment must be disclosed in writing to Go Next at the time your reservation is made. Go Next may reject your reservation if, in the opinion of Go Next, you are unfit for travel or you might be a danger to yourself or others on the trip. If you plan to use a wheelchair or other assisting devices, you will need to provide your own equipment and be accompanied by a traveling companion able to provide required aid and assistance to you. Equipment should be non-motorized and collapsible. Motor coaches used on your tour have no provisions for wheelchairs on board and require you to ascend/descend a few steps. Push wheelchairs may be collapsed and stored under the motor coach in the luggage compartment. Some optional excursions require extensive walking and often the walking is over uneven terrain. You will need to board and re-board the motor coach throughout each excursion, as well.
Handicap accessible rooms are not always available in hotels throughout your trip. You will need to make a special request for availability at the time of your trip deposit or confirmation.
Duty Free Allowance and Customs
As a United States citizen returning to the U.S., you are individually allowed $800 worth of retail purchases duty-free, including one liter of liquor if over 21 years old if you have not used this exemption or any part of it within the preceding 30-day period. On all other foreign-made articles over your $800 exemption, you will pay duty according to the U.S. Customs classification of merchandise. Know Before You Go, a booklet from U.S. Customs, is available with helpful hints.
The reservation form in your specific travel destination brochure needs to be completed for each person traveling, including signatures. The form must accompany a check, credit card number or money order for the deposit in order for your space to be reserved. The balance is to be paid no later than 75 days prior to departure by check or cash only. Reservation forms completed within 75 days of departure must include full payment by check or cash only.
Refunds are provided in accordance with the following schedule. If a traveler cancels or changes plans more than 75 days in advance of initial flight departure the traveler will receive a full refund less $100 administrative fee. For cancellations received 75-36 days before departure there is a $500/person cancellation fee. No refund will be provided for cancellations made 35 days or less before the initial departure. All requests for cancellation must be made in writing to Go Next. Applicable refunds, if any, will be made within 14 days after cancellation.
Questions or Special Requests
If you have any questions, please contact Go Next by phone, 1-800-842-9023 or fax, 952-918-8975.