How can I learn a little of the language of the country we are visiting before I go?
I suggest going to your library and getting the beginning course of the language from Pimsleur. These are CDs you can listen to while you are driving and they are fantastic for learning basic conversation skills and a good vocabulary for using when you visit the country. I think this language learning method is the best on the market. The CDs are very expensive, though, which is why I suggest borrowing them from your library.

Why do you suggest we not take our phones?
Because you are on vacation! Just once in our lives, we ought to not be electronically connected all the time. I do set aside a time each day to drop by the Internet Café (which most countries have them all over major cities and even in small towns). This way we can be sure we aren’t missing something important but the rest of the day we can relax and focus on the place we are visiting. I am not saying you can't bring your phone if you feel you need it for emergencies, you feel you must be immediately available for family or work, or you use your phone for taking photos (I recommend the latest Canon Powershot for great photos at a good price), but be aware that phones are a target for theft, so you might want to be sure it is insured.

What happens if I get sick or injured while traveling?
Before you leave, do check and see what your insurance would cover in another country or get traveler’s insurance if you are concerned. However, it is actually quite easy and cheap in many countries to drop in to see a doctor or stop by a hospital to take care of something. Most of the doctors are just as good as they are at home, so one needn’t worry too much about medical care. Also, a good many prescriptions drugs are available over the counter, so one often can get an antibiotic or whatever one needs without visiting a doctor. Should a really bad situation arise, of course, you will need to go to the hospital and then work with the staff and your family back home to take care of your needs.

If your medical issue can be dealt with quickly, we will make sure to deal with this and have you continue on with the group. If there is a more serious problem – like a sprained ankle that prevents walking – we will do our best to find a solution for you to enjoy the remainder of your time in the country. If we can, we will provide suitable transportation for you so you can stay with the group, but if this is not possible, we will work to make sure you have an alternative situation until you return home.

What if I get Delhi Belly or Montezuma’s Revenge?
Yeah, that IS a problem, but speak up and we will do what we can to make sure you have as much access to restrooms as possible and get medicine to alleviate the problem as soon as possible.

What if I don’t like the food or want to order something else or want liquor? Do I have to pay separately for these things?
Yes. What is included in the tour are three average meals a day in modest eateries and group snacks (like coffee and cake or afternoon ice cream, etc). If you want a much more expensive meal or you want to eat twice as much or you want to order beer or wine to go with your meal, this is extra.

Who will I room with?
If you come with someone, you can room with them. Otherwise, we will simply pair off, changing roommates as we go so we can get to know each other.

What if I don’t feel like doing something?
If you are not willing to participate in the group for any reason, you can stay back at the hotel or go off on your own if we are not leaving the city that day. If we are, you must stay with the group although you can always refuse to enter a location and remain outside (for example, if we are touring a religious venue and it is against your religion to enter). You will not receive reimbursement for fees of the places you choose not to go to. If a number of women have a particular interest in something in the location we are visiting or wish to stop along the way, the suggestion can be brought to the tour leader but the final decision to include that venue will be made by the group leader.