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 after the date of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at http://www.righttravel.info/page/visa-5.html for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not
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
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.
When calling the
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
Wireless Internet Access: Passengers traveling with WiFi enabled devices (such as a personal computer, smartphone, tablet, or digital audio player) may be able to connect to the internet via a wireless network access point (or hotspot). WiFi access in hotels and/or cruise lines often involves a fee which, in some cases, can be very expensive. Passengers requiring internet access can often locate free WiFi hotspots such as libraries or coffee shops. Hotspots can often be located and planned in advance via an online search. Planning ahead may help avoid unnecessary fees.
Staying Healthy While Traveling: All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal health-care provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations.
There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.
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:
Climate & Clothing: In the highlands – Spring: 75-90°F Summer: 75-90°F Autumn: 75-90°F Winter: 75-90°F. Along the coast - Spring: 75-90°F Summer: 75-90°F Autumn: 75-90°F Winter: 75-90°F
Bring comfortable shoes, lightweight clothes you can layer and an all-weather waterproof jacket. Sunscreen and a hat or sunglasses are also recommended.
Hotels: Right Travel has carefully ed each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, food, service, and cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (two single beds) rooms with private facilities, unless you have specifically requested and paid for an upgraded room category. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room ion in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotels management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size. Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon.
Hotel Check-in/ Check-out: Check-in time is usually 4pm or later. Check-out time is 12 noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later.
E-Tickets & Check-In Procedures: Please review the flight itinerary included in your documents. Print and carry a copy of the air itinerary which contains the record locator (airline reservation number) and e-ticket number(s). At check-in, be prepared to provide your government issued identification (valid passport) and your e-ticket itinerary/ ticket numbers to the agent in order to receive your boarding pass.
If your flight itinerary displays a flight as “Operated By” another carrier, you should check-in at the desk of the “Operated By” airline. When you arrive at the airport, check the airport monitors for updated check-in desk listings.
An e-ticket (electronic ticket) represents the purchase of an airline seat. This form of ticket has replaced almost all formerly provided paper tickets. The e-ticket exists only as a digital record in the airlines computers. In most cases your reservation will be confirmed solely on the basis of your government-issued identification. However it may still be necessary to present the e-ticket itinerary which contains your specific reservation code and ticket number(s). Once confirmed, your luggage will be checked-in and a boarding pass provided.
Advance online check-in is available on some airlines. If available, you may enter your airline confirmation number or Flight Ticket Number at the airlines website, and print the boarding pass on your home printer within twenty-four hours of departure. Airlines without advance online check-in require you to present your identification and e-ticket numbers at the airport self-service kiosk or check-in counter.
When e-tickets cannot be issued, you will receive paper tickets.
If your tour program includes foreign domestic flights, and those tickets are not included together with the e-ticket itinerary in these documents, a separate voucher(s) confirming those services will be included. You will receive those tickets at your destination from a Right Travel representative.
Airline Seat Assignments: As a courtesy service, airline seat assignments are requested on your behalf and, when available, are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2 and so on. Assignments reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only in which case the display shows “N/A”. Seats are subject to change by your airline(s) including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even cancelled. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on this display. At the time that Right Travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Even when seats are pre-assigned, we recommend that you contact your airline directly to reconfirm your seats approximately 72 hours prior to departure. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please email to info@Right-Travel.com.
Luggage: Although luggage sizes are now fairly standard, each airline does have specific requirements based upon the route and aircraft size. Please visit http://www.righttravel.info/page/luggage-9.html for general luggage guidelines, and contact your airline for specific requirements.
Right Travel land tour packages allow for one piece of luggage per person plus a carry-on bag. Right Travel is not responsible for loss or damage to luggage and personal belongings. Therefore you must report any loss or damage immediately at the time of the incident and obtain a written report from the local authority for submission to your insurance provider. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. If your luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, a baggage claim form must be filed with the carrier before leaving the airport. Any cost to retrieve luggage will be your responsibility and you should retain receipts to submit to your insurance provider. See http://www.righttravel.info/page/luggage-9.html for Important Baggage Information for U.S. Travelers.
Code-share Flights: If your flight itinerary displays a flight as “Operated By” another carrier, you should check-in at the desk of the “Operated By” airline. When you arrive at the airport, check the airport monitors for updated check-in desk listings.
Airline Flights: Please check in at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure time to allow for security steps. Many airlines do not permit check-in less than one hour prior to the scheduled departure time. Passengers connecting from another point within the
In the event of an airline schedule change, Right Travel will make every effort to inform passengers of the schedule change and new flight schedule prior to departure. Right Travel is not responsible for schedule changes including, when applicable, changes in routing and/or the number of stops in the itinerary. Right Travel is unable to provide compensation for schedule changes or cancellations implemented by an airline. In the event of any change in flight itinerary made directly between passengers and their airline, it is the passengers responsibility to advise Right Travel of amended flight details in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Right Travel cannot be held responsible for land services, including arrival and/or departure transfers, if flights are changed without its knowledge.
Connecting Flights: When connecting between flights in major international airports, you may need to pass through two or more security checkpoints. Therefore, we recommend that you proceed immediately to the gate area for your connecting flight to avoid any unexpected delays which may cause you to be late.
Airline Luggage Restrictions: Most international airlines are consistent with regard to the number and weight of the pieces you may check and bring onboard. Domestic carriers, both inside and outside of the
Airline Seats: Airline seats are confirmed whenever possible. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only. Even when seats are pre-assigned however, you may wish to contact the carrier one to two weeks prior to departure to reconfirm your seats. In many cases there are equipment changes after your initial booking which can cause airplane seating reconfiguration.
Frequent Flier Programs: Passengers are responsible to contact their airline directly regarding mileage eligibility and accrual. Airline frequent flier programs determine whether to award miles in part or total based on their own rules which are updated frequently. Some discounted or promotional airfares are not eligible for mileage accrual. Right Travel will record frequent flier numbers when provided by the passenger prior to travel documents being issued. However, the addition of frequent flier numbers to airline records does not guarantee mileage eligibility which is at the sole discretion of each airline. We highly recommend passengers to provide their frequent flier account information whenever checking in online and/or at the airport check-in desk. After travel has commenced, it is often not possible to apply for frequent mileage credit. Passengers are also responsible to determine whether previously earned mileage may be applied to flights to secure upgrades.
Airline Tickets: Most airline tickets are issued using special fares which cannot be changed or canceled without incurring additional cost. Should you lose or misplace your tickets while traveling, you should immediately notify the airline. In most cases they will have you complete a Lost Ticket Indemnity Form, and for a fee, issue replacement tickets.
Code-share Flights: Many airlines participate in alliances and special agreements with other airlines which permit passengers to travel from one point to another using more than one carrier. While your ticket may indicate that you are flying with one carrier (eg: Delta), you may find that you are actually seated in a plane belonging to another carrier (eg: Alitalia). Please review your airline itinerary carefully to determine which airline you should go to for check-in if your flight is operated by a carrier other than the primary airline indicated on the itinerary, your itinerary will state Flight Operated by (Airline). If you have any concerns regarding which airline to check-in with, you may contact the airline directly or Right Travel for clarification.
Luggage: All Right Travel land tour packages allow one piece of luggage per person, plus carry-on bag. Please refer to “Airline Luggage Restrictions” for guidance regarding airline policies and charges for checked bags. As Right Travel will not be responsible for loss or damage to luggage and personal belongings, you MUST report any loss or damage immediately at the time of the incident and obtain a written report from the local authority for submission to your insurance provider. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. If your luggage is lost or damaged by the airlines, a baggage claim form MUST be filed with the carrier before leaving the airport. Any cost to retrieve luggage will be your responsibility and you should retain receipts to submit to your insurance provider. See http://www.righttravel.info/page/luggage-9.html for Important Baggage Information for U.S. Travelers.
U.S. Hazardous Materials Restrictions - Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard aircraft in your luggage or on your person. A violation can result in five years’ imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radio-pharmaceuticals. There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. For more information, visit www.tsa.gov.
Avoiding Jet Lag: In order to minimize fatigue and general restlessness caused by jet lag, there are a few steps you may take including switching to your destination time zone when you board the plane, by sleeping and eating according to the new schedule, avoiding heavy eating, caffeine or alcoholic beverages before or during your flight, and by drinking plenty of water and/or fruit juice while flying. Try to sleep on overnight flights and then, upon arrival, avoid the temptation to nap until nighttime.
Eco & Sustainable Tourism: We support global efforts to create a more eco-friendly world, intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse and intentional environmental destruction. To that end we ask that our clients maintain a watchful eye as they travel, and report any abuses they may encounter. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. We rely on your good feedback to enable this element of symbiosis. As you travel to and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs.
About Sightseeing: To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted tours, there is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our motor coaches which will be organized by your Tour Manager. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which may affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monuments view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Right Travel will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary.
Independent Activities - Right Travel itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration. Right Travel is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when ing certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion. Particular care should be taken when considering animal rides, such as on camels, mules or horses.
Currency: We suggest getting a small amount of currency for the first country youre visiting before you leave the U.S. It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert U.S. dollars to the local currency. Its also a good idea not to carry too much money. Many countries have ATM machines that accept most U.S. ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs dont always have letters. ATM machines will only dispense cash in local currency. Check with respective consulates to learn current currency allowances and requirements. Use your credit card whenever possible. Should you decide to carry cash or travelers checks exchange them at banks where the rate is more favorable than at hotels or exchange bureaus. Both the U.S. Dollar and the Panamanian Balboa are the currencies of
Credit Cards: While credit cards are accepted in most destinations, it is advisable to carry local currency. Inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card being blocked for security reasons.
Most US-issued credit cards rely on magnetic-strip technology rather than embedded microprocessor chips which are increasingly common overseas. These “chip-and-PIN” cards require users to punch in a personal identification number (PIN) instead of signing for a purchase. For example, many automated ticket kiosks, such as those commonly found at train stations, gas pumps and parking garages, don’t accept cards without a chip and PIN. Most cash registers are equipped to handle American cards but if you encounter difficulties, offer an alternative credit card or politely insist that the cashier keep trying to swipe the credit card. ATMs typically recognize and accept
Shopping: Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities.
We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally-crafted merchandise which you may not be able to find alone. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs.
While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
About Tax-Free Shopping: Tax-Free Shopping (TFS) allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their shopping in some foreign countries. Currently, about 50 countries allow foreign visitors to have their taxes reimbursed. TFS is subject to national regulations such as minimum spend and restrictions on the types of products on which it can be claimed. TSF is currently available in
Local goods such as molas, traditional clothing of the native Kuna people, wood carvings and woven palm baskets can be found in markets. In
Your Safety is Very Important: Every effort has been taken by Right Travel to ensure your safety. However, it is important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:
If youve purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Right Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Right Travel vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.
Tourist Street Scams: Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed:
Local Emergency Phone Numbers:
General Emergency: 911
Languages: Spanish in the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas
Code of Conduct: Visitors should observe normal courtesies. The atmosphere is generally informal and casual dress is appropriate. Smoking is prohibited in most places.
Gratuities: Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in U.S. Dollars or local currency equivalent. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional compensation. There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience.
Suggested Tipping: Escorted
Tour Manager (Coordinator may or may not act as a guide): $7 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage) : $3 per person per day, $2 per half day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): $3 per person per day of sightseeing, $2 per half day
Housekeeping: $3 per room per day
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included
Gratuities are appreciated and expected for good service in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists. Restaurant bills often include a service charge. Taxi drivers do not expect gratuities and rounding up the fare is usually sufficient.
Food and Meals: As specified in each itinerary. Meals are based on the hotels or restaurants buffet or set menu. In general, beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although Right Travel cannot make guarantees, every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests submitted in writing at least 72 hours prior to departure to email@example.com.
Jan 1 New Years Day
Jan 2 New Years Festival
Jan 9 Martyrs Day
Mar 1-5 Carnival
Apr 17 Holy Thursday
Apr 18 Good Friday
May 1 Labor Day
Nov 3 Separation Day
Nov 4 Flag Day
Nov 10 Anniversary of the Uprising in the Villa de los Santos
Nov 28 Independence Day
Dec 8 Mothers Day
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Arrival Procedures: Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, you will be met after passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Right Travel sign and/or a sign with your name on it. In some instances you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation counter. The companys name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Right Travel transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Right Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher.
What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed: Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while you are traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you are able to contact one of our offices, overseas or in the
Departure Procedures: If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally.
Transfers: Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. This includes hotel, airport and cruise transfers. Such possible delays are taken into consideration in scheduling transfers and you should therefore have no concerns about arriving late for your tour, flight or cruise. For transfers from a hotel, let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will be considered provided you obtain a written statement from the hotels front desk verifying the length of time you waited, and the time you left the hotel, and a receipt for your transportation with time and date.
Escorted tour programs include transfers, providing you have purchased airfare from Right Travel to arrive and depart on the scheduled tour dates. If you are traveling independently, you may purchase the transfers from Right Travel or contract your own method of transportation to the hotel or cruise ship.
The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Right Travel transfer necessarily includes round trip service, or dead-leg. Often the places of call (airports, seaports, hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.
About Your Escorted Tour Participants in