7 Day Germany Fly & Drive (New York)

From

$959*

Air & Land

7 Day Germany Fly & Drive (New York)

From

$959*

Air & Land



Book Now!
Friends & family

Featured Hotels

(Hotels may vary based on departure day of the week)

Click a Date to Book Online

Click a Date to Book Online

2022 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $400
Hotel Dates Embark Tour Starts Ship Land Only Air & Land
Dec 13  (Sold Out) $1269*
 
2023 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $400
Hotel Dates Embark Tour Starts Ship Land Only Air & Land
Jan 03  (Sold Out) $1539*
$1029*
$1099*
$1089*
$959*
$959*
$1099*
$1089*
$1089*
$1089*
$1099*
$1119*

Not Included:
Car Rental Fees, optional car rental insurance and parking.


Additional Information:
Drivers must be at least 21 years of age to rent a vehicle. Additionally, drivers must be 25 years old to rent a full size, premium or minivan category vehicle. A valid drivers license issued a minimum of 12 months prior to rental along with an international driving permit is required for all renters. Additional fees may apply for renters under 25 years of age.

The lead passenger will be listed as the driver of the vehicle. Additional drivers may be added for an extra cost at the time of vehicle pickup.


Entry Requirements:
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.



Is This Trip Right for You?

This independent program allows the flexibility to explore on your own. This program offers a selection of hotels to accommodate a variety of tastes and budgets. Driving duration can vary from two to four hours per day depending on route taken, hotel location, traffic, weather, road conditions, etc. Please note that this tour is not escorted and therefore you will not have the services of a tour manager to assist with hotel check-in formalities and luggage handling. Hotel locations, services and amenities differ according to the Plan. Read the descriptions in full and locate the hotels on our provided map to ensure the Hotel/Plan you select meets your desired criteria. A variety of airfare options are available for this program, including some low-cost fares which may exclude complimentary checked luggage and advance seat assignments. Please read each offering to ensure you choose the option that best fits your wishes. This is an Independent program. For more information, click here.

Accommodation Details





Room 1


  • Requests are not guaranteed and are subject to each hotel's discretion and availability

Additional Nights

Flight Details




Independent Package Includes

  • Round trip flights New York-Frankfurt, Frankfurt-New York
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 5 nights accommodations
  • 6 day car rental: Mini Manual. Upgrade to other categories available
  • Car rental includes: Unlimited Mileage, Third Party Liability Insurance, Collision Damage Waiver (C.D.W.), local taxes (VAT)
  • Breakfast daily

Vehicle Options

  • Mini Manual - Ford Ka or similar

    • 1-2 passengers
    • 1 Large & 2 Small Suitcases
    • Manual Transmission

  • Economy Manual - Ford Fiesta or similar

    • 1-2 passengers
    • 2 Small Suitcases
    • Manual Transmission

  • Compact Manual - Volkswagen Golf or similar

    • 1-3 passengers
    • 2 Small Suitcases
    • Manual Transmission
    • Air-Conditioning

  • Compact Automatic - VW Golf or similar

    • 1-4 Passengers
    • 2 Large & 2 Small Suitcases
    • Automatic Transmission

  • Full Size Manual - Audi A4 or similar

    • 1-6 passengers
    • 2 Large & 2 Small Suitcases
    • Manual Transmission

  • Premium Automatic - Audi A6 or similar

    • 1-4 Passengers
    • 2 Large & 2 Small Suitcases
    • Automatic Transmission
    • Air-Conditioning

  • Minivan Manual - Ford Galaxy or similar

    • 1-6 Passengers
    • 2 Large & 2 Small Suitcases
    • Manual Transmission

Is This Trip Right for You?

This independent program allows the flexibility to explore on your own. This program offers a selection of hotels to accommodate a variety of tastes and budgets. Driving duration can vary from two to four hours per day depending on route taken, hotel location, traffic, weather, road conditions, etc. Please note that this tour is not escorted and therefore you will not have the services of a tour manager to assist with hotel check-in formalities and luggage handling. Hotel locations, services and amenities differ according to the Plan. Read the descriptions in full and locate the hotels on our provided map to ensure the Hotel/Plan you select meets your desired criteria. A variety of airfare options are available for this program, including some low-cost fares which may exclude complimentary checked luggage and advance seat assignments. Please read each offering to ensure you choose the option that best fits your wishes. This is an Independent program. For more information, click here.

Book Now!
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The following is a suggested itinerary. While the sites listed below may be visited independently, the package does not cover any applicable entrance or tour fees.

DAY 1, Tuesday - Depart for Germany
Depart for Frankfurt, Germany

DAY 2, Wednesday - Arrive in Frankfurt, Drive to Hirschberg
Welcome to Germany! Arrive in Frankfurt am Main, home of the financial and business heart of Germany, sometimes nicknamed "Mainhattan". Pick up your reserved vehicle at the airport's car rental facility and drive to your hotel. Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure
Drive Time: 45 min*
Distance: 46 miles*
Overnight: Hirschberg

DAY 3, Thursday - Explore Romantic Rhine Valley
This morning head to the picturesque Rhine River Valley, a fairy-tale world of legends, rugged cliffs and castles. Drive along the Rhine River and pass exquisite landscapes of hilltop castles, steep terraced vineyards and tiny villages of timber-framed houses. Take a break in Bacharach, an adorable hamlet with its half-timbered houses or, stop off at Rudesheim on the right bank to see the famous "Drosselgasse" lined with taverns. Perhaps drive as far as St. Goar to admire the Lorelei Rock, named for the siren Lorelei who bewitched sailors passing by
Drive Time: 1.5 hours*
Distance: 85 miles*
Overnight: Hirschberg
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4, Friday - Discover Heidelberg, Historic Michelstadt im Odenwald
Drive to the nearby delightful city of Heidelberg, nestled along the picturesque River Neckar and home of the oldest university in Germany. Visit the imposing red sandstone ruins of 12th century Heidelberg Castle, a hilltop Gothic masterpiece. The city has seen conquering empires come and go and has no shortage of local stories and legends. Discover the enchanting alleys and lanes in the Old Town with its small gardens, museums and galleries. Heidelberg is one of the few major cities in Germany that got spared during World War II and is one of the most visited cities in all of Germany. Continue to historic Michelstadt, a charming small town in the heart of Odenwald. Stroll along the cobblestone streets and visit the Rauthaus (Town Hall) and Castle Furstenau
Drive Time: 1 hour*
Distance: 30 miles*
Overnight: Hirschberg
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5, Saturday - Visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber
This morning, travel to the medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the Romantic Road, Germany's most famous scenic route. Step back in time as this town, untouched by the ravages of war, charms you with its cobbled streets, ramparts, and centuries old houses. Visit the Town Hall square with its unusual clock that displays a mechanical drinking scene with moving figures, the Christmas shop and the 14th century Church of St. James. The church's western gallery houses the famous late Gothic Altar of the Holy Blood, a masterpiece by one of Germany's famous wood carvers Tilman Riemenscheider
Drive Time: 2 hours*
Distance: 110 miles*
Overnight: Hirschberg
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6, Sunday - Black Forest National Park, Spa Town of Baden-Baden
Today, drive to the delightful spa town of Baden-Baden, gateway to the Black Forest National Park. From here you can start the drive along the world-famous Black Forest scenic route, that boasts spectacular views across the romantic Rhine Valley to the Vosges mountain range. Choose to spend sometime exploring Baden-Baden, built atop an extensive network of hot springs at the edge of the Black Forest. Head to Romerplatz, where you can find the ruins of the Roman baths dating back to the time of Roman Emperor Caracalla
Drive Time: 2 hours*
Distance: 110 miles*
Overnight: Hirschberg
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7, Monday - Depart Germany
Drive to Frankfurt airport and return your vehicle at the car rental facility, prior to your departure flight
Drive Time: 45 min*
Distance: 46 miles*
Meals: Breakfast

*This is a suggested itinerary. Driving times and distances are based on Hirschberg. These are estimated and can vary due to many circumstances, such as, specific route taken, hotel location, traffic, weather, road conditions, etc. GPS devices are recommended and can be rented locally.

The following is a suggested itinerary. While the sites listed below may be visited independently, the package does not cover any applicable entrance or tour fees.

DAY 1, Thursday - Depart for Germany
Depart for Frankfurt, Germany

DAY 2, Friday - Arrive in Frankfurt, Drive to Hirschberg
Welcome to Germany! Arrive in Frankfurt am Main, home of the financial and business heart of Germany, sometimes nicknamed "Mainhattan". Pick up your reserved vehicle at the airport's car rental facility and drive to your hotel. Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure
Drive Time: 45 min*
Distance: 46 miles*
Overnight: Hirschberg

DAY 3, Saturday - Explore Romantic Rhine Valley
This morning head to the picturesque Rhine River Valley, a fairy-tale world of legends, rugged cliffs and castles. Drive along the Rhine River and pass exquisite landscapes of hilltop castles, steep terraced vineyards and tiny villages of timber-framed houses. Take a break in Bacharach, an adorable hamlet with its half-timbered houses or, stop off at Rudesheim on the right bank to see the famous "Drosselgasse" lined with taverns. Perhaps drive as far as St. Goar to admire the Lorelei Rock, named for the siren Lorelei who bewitched sailors passing by
Drive Time: 1.5 hours*
Distance: 85 miles*
Overnight: Hirschberg
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4, Sunday - Discover Heidelberg, Historic Michelstadt im Odenwald
Drive to the nearby delightful city of Heidelberg, nestled along the picturesque River Neckar and home of the oldest university in Germany. Visit the imposing red sandstone ruins of 12th century Heidelberg Castle, a hilltop Gothic masterpiece. The city has seen conquering empires come and go and has no shortage of local stories and legends. Discover the enchanting alleys and lanes in the Old Town with its small gardens, museums and galleries. Heidelberg is one of the few major cities in Germany that got spared during World War II and is one of the most visited cities in all of Germany. Continue to historic Michelstadt, a charming small town in the heart of Odenwald. Stroll along the cobblestone streets and visit the Rauthaus (Town Hall) and Castle Furstenau
Drive Time: 1 hour*
Distance: 30 miles*
Overnight: Hirschberg
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5, Monday - Visit Rothenburg ob der Tauber
This morning, travel to the medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber on the Romantic Road, Germany's most famous scenic route. Step back in time as this town, untouched by the ravages of war, charms you with its cobbled streets, ramparts, and centuries old houses. Visit the Town Hall square with its unusual clock that displays a mechanical drinking scene with moving figures, the Christmas shop and the 14th century Church of St. James. The church's western gallery houses the famous late Gothic Altar of the Holy Blood, a masterpiece by one of Germany's famous wood carvers Tilman Riemenscheider
Drive Time: 2 hours*
Distance: 110 miles*
Overnight: Hirschberg
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6, Tuesday - Black Forest National Park, Spa Town of Baden-Baden
Today, drive to the delightful spa town of Baden-Baden, gateway to the Black Forest National Park. From here you can start the drive along the world-famous Black Forest scenic route, that boasts spectacular views across the romantic Rhine Valley to the Vosges mountain range. Choose to spend sometime exploring Baden-Baden, built atop an extensive network of hot springs at the edge of the Black Forest. Head to Romerplatz, where you can find the ruins of the Roman baths dating back to the time of Roman Emperor Caracalla
Drive Time: 2 hours*
Distance: 110 miles*
Overnight: Hirschberg
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7, Wednesday - Depart Germany
Drive to Frankfurt airport and return your vehicle at the car rental facility, prior to your departure flight
Drive Time: 45 min*
Distance: 46 miles*
Meals: Breakfast

*This is a suggested itinerary. Driving times and distances are based on Hirschberg. These are estimated and can vary due to many circumstances, such as, specific route taken, hotel location, traffic, weather, road conditions, etc. GPS devices are recommended and can be rented locally.

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Gate 1 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.
Book your Optional Tours before you travel. See more, save time, save money.
  • Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
  • Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
  • Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
  • Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
  • Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
  • The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week

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.
Getting Ready to Go
Passports and Visas
It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.

Traveling with Friends or Family?
If you are traveling with friends or family who are booked on another reservation, please make sure that we are aware. On occasion, we may operate more than one vehicle on your tour departure in which case we will ensure that guests will be assigned together. This is achieved by connecting your reservations before your departure. Once you arrive in your destination, it may not be possible to make assignment changes. To check that your reservations are linked, log into https://www.gate1travel.com/res with your email and password, select your reservation number, and check to see that your reservations are indicated as "Traveling With" at the top right side of the display.

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, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. 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 USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks.

Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html.

Travel Protection
Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.

Cell Phones & Calling Cards
You may wish to carry a cell phone while traveling. Check with your cell phone provider if your phone will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. If you can access the Internet as you travel, you can take advantage of email or a Skype Internet telephone (VOIP) account for the best value. Additionally, if your phone can connect to WiFi you may be able to make voice and video calls free of charge. Please contact your cell phone provider for further details. Alternatively, you may investigate renting a cell phone before you leave or buying an inexpensive phone locally. When calling the U.S. from a foreign country, you may also use a prepaid calling card; normally, the only additional charge (besides the prepaid long distance charges) is a local fee of a few cents and possibly a connection fee if you are using your card at your hotel. It is best to check with the hotel's reception desk prior to making phone calls to avoid unexpected charges. Please note that we are unable to provide compensation for phone calls regardless of reason.

Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another
When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally).

Example:
To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555


WiFi Access
WiFi access has improved. Free or inexpensive WiFi internet is accessible at coffee shops, airports, restaurants, libraries and on some trains and buses. WiFi access in hotels and cruise lines often involves a fee, determined by that property. Signal strength is subject to local conditions and not guaranteed. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries or, on moving conveyances such as buses and cruise ships.

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 healthcare 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.

  • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits, unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
  • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
  • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
  • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellent (for both active and warm destinations).
  • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.


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: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.

Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways:
  • Refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance in respect for other guests who may be allergic
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes or cigars in the vicinity of other tour members, including in outdoor areas where smoking may be permitted but may still affect other tour participants
  • Avoid attire with political or religious messages that may offend other travelers
  • Respect your fellow passengers. Guests come from all walks of life and varied lifestyles. Please refrain from topics of conversation which might cause offense, such as religion and politics
  • Refrain from conversation or talking on mobile phones while commentary is in progress
  • Respect the mandatory seat rotation policy on the coach
  • Make use of the available hand sanitizer on the coach to support a healthy environment
  • Seek approval before taking photographs of other tour participants
  • Respect tour departures times to avoid delay and loss of sightseeing opportunities

Climate & Clothing
Germany - Spring and Autumn: 40–60°F, Summer: 65–80°F, Winter: 25–40°F. Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops).

Germany Average Temperatures: www.gate1travel.com/weather/europe/default.aspx#austria-germany-europe-weather

About Drones
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drone” technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones.

About Independent Travel
Independent tours allow you the freedom and flexibility to enjoy your vacation days at your own pace, to explore on your own, to be spontaneous and to focus on personal interests. Accordingly, independent tours are very different from Gate 1's escorted tours, which are conducted by a Tour Manager who accompanies you throughout, manages your needs and provides expert guiding services from the beginning to the end of your tour.

When traveling independently, please bear in mind that you will be responsible for your needs throughout. Depending upon the package or services you have selected, you may encounter representatives along the way, such as a transfer driver, or a local sightseeing guide. Those may be included in your tour or options you have pre-selected. However, you will be on your own to handle your luggage, locate service providers, check into and out of your hotels, and to get to and from train stations or car rental counters.

Independent touring, as the name implies is for the independent traveler who is comfortable traveling on one's own with less guidance. Of course, as with all Gate 1 touring packages, you will find your services exactly as reserved when you arrive to your destination.

Book & Film Recommendations
Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests’ recommendations.

CENTRAL EUROPE: Books
The Eclipse of the Crescent Moon or Slave of the Huns by Géza Gárdonyi
A Modern Midas: A Romance by Mór Jókai
Fatelessness by Imre Kertész
How to be an Alien or How to be Poor by George Mikes
Csardas by Diane Pearson
Who Loves You Like This by Edith Bruck
Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
Kasztner's Train by Anna Porter
Imprimatur or Secretum or Veritas by Monaldi & Sorti
Europe 101: History and Art for the Traveler by Rick Steves and Gene Openshaw
The Bridge at Andau by James A. Michener
I Served the King of England or Bambini di Praga 1947 by Bohumil Hrabal
Franz Kafka and Prague by Harald Salfellner
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Old Czech Legends by Alois Jirásek
The Golem by Gustav Meyrink
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hašek

Preparing for Your Trip
Reconfirming Flights
It is not necessary to call your airline to reconfirm your flights. However, we do recommend that you check your airline’s website 24 hours prior to your flight to ensure that your flights remain on schedule and that flight times are unchanged.

Seat Assignments
As a courtesy service, complimentary 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. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus.

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 as well as some code-share flights are not eligible for mileage accrual. Some private airfares, such as a “Gate 1 Travel Airfare”, are not eligible for mileage or may qualify for reduced mileage, even if the same airline class of service is eligible for full mileage when sold as an “Instant Purchase” published airfare. Not all published airfares are eligible for mileage. Gate 1 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. Airline schedule changes may result in flights which were originally eligible for mileage accrual no longer being eligible. 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.

Known Traveler Number (KTN)
If you have a KTN number, you are normally able to join the TSA security line for expedited processing at the airport. Prior to check in, you should go online or call your airline and add your KTN number to your reservation record. In most cases, you will then see the letters "TSA PRE" printed on your boarding pass. If these letters are not printed, you will not be permitted on the TSA line. Please be aware that some airlines do not participate in the program and therefore even if there is a TSA line at the airport, you will not be given TSA PRE status. Sometimes you may not be selected by TSA (even if you entered a KTN number) and even a minor name discrepancy can result in TSA PRE being denied. It is your responsibility to register your KTN number with your airline and Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for denial of expedited security. Note: KTNs are issued by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after completing a background check through TSA's PreCheck® program. Global Entry members may also enjoy expedited customs processing.

Luggage & Packing
Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on 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. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost.

Carry on Luggage
Missed connections and lost luggage are more common than ever. We strongly suggest you use your carry on bag for those necessities you would miss if your checked bags went astray. Items to consider, but not limited to, are prescription medicines, eyeglasses, a change of clothes, mobile phone and charger, valuables (including jewelry and cash), passport, keys, insurance cards, local contact information. Refer to the TSA website for a complete list of items and their sizes which may be carried on board. We also recommend you bring a change of clothes in your carry on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost.

E-Tickets & Advance Check-In
Review the flight itinerary included in your documents. Print and carry a copy of the air itinerary which contains the 6-digit airline "Record Locator" and e-ticket numbers. Advance online check-in is available on some airlines. If available, you may enter your name and 6-digit Record Locator or Flight Ticket Number at the airline's website, and print the boarding pass on your home printer within twenty-four hours of departure. You may check-in online, even if you plan to check luggage at the airport. 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. Paper tickets will be provided in the rare instance when e-tickets cannot be issued.

Day of Departure
Arrive On Time
Due to increased security measures, you should plan to check in at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure time for international flights and two hours prior for domestic flights. Many airlines do not permit check-in less than one hour prior to the scheduled departure time. It is your responsibility to arrive on time for all scheduled flights. Enhanced security procedures, including passenger screening, canine inspection, and inspection of personal electronic devices, have been implemented for all flights into the United States, and therefore security procedures may take longer than normal.

Check-In
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. At check-in, be prepared to provide your government issued identification (valid passport required when traveling internationally) and your e-ticket itinerary/ticket numbers to the agent. Once you've checked in and received your boarding passes and luggage claim tickets, proceed directly to the security check. Security lines are often backed up and can take time to get through. Once you've completed security check, proceed directly to your gate and check the large electronic flight screens for your flight time and departure gate for schedule and gate changes. Airport desk clerks will assist with unexpected changes. Once you are in the gate area you can relax, shop or buy a snack before your flight.

Connecting Passengers
Passengers connecting from another point within the USA should check their luggage through to their final destination. Although problems with lost luggage have been minimal, it is a possibility. Certain carriers do not allow baggage “interlining,” and luggage must be checked separately for each flight. When you check your luggage, please verify where your luggage is being sent. When connecting between flights in major airports, you may need to pass through multiple 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. Passengers returning to the USA may need to collect their luggage at the first airport of entry and recheck their luggage for their connecting flight.

Flight Services
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.

Airline Food
Unless you are a first or business class passenger, you will likely be treated to a pretty mediocre culinary experience. Reasons for this range from airline budget constraints to the logistics of high altitudes, low humidity and air pressure which tend to desensitize taste buds. Small galleys, tiny ovens and precooked food, plus previously mentioned cost-cuts in order to keep airfares as low as possible, add to some often pretty poor fare. Our suggestion is to stick to simple options, carry a few granola bars, and don't expect this to be your best dining experience.

Premium Economy or Business Class
Service may not be available on all flights or aircraft types, and therefore some flights within an itinerary may not include Premium Economy or Business Class seating. This includes, for example, some US domestic connections and/or short haul flights abroad. When service is not available, you will be accommodated in the best alternative class of service and seating. Please check your operating airline to determine the extra services you may receive.

US Customs & Immigration for Return Flights
In most cases, passengers with return flights that include a connection in the US will need to complete customs and immigration formalities in their first port of entry, requiring them to collect their luggage and check-in for their onward flight. However, there are some exceptions: certain airports in Canada and Ireland (Dublin), allow US Immigration formalities to be completed in the overseas airport at the gate area.

Foreign Domestic Flights
If your tour program includes foreign domestic flights, and those tickets are not included together with the e-ticket itinerary in your travel documents, you will receive those tickets at your destination from our local representative.

What to do if You Need Assistance

Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.

Emergency Assistance
The Gate 1 emergency line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call: 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676. From overseas, call: 001 215 572-7676. Outside office hours, listen to the prompts, then press 3. You will speak immediately with a representative, or you may be asked to leave a detailed message including your name, your booking number, and most importantly the telephone number where you can be reached. Your message will be forwarded immediately to a representative who will contact you at the telephone number provided.

Last Minute Schedule Changes & Flight Delays
On the day of travel, check the flight schedule and advise Gate 1 by phone, 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676, of any significant changes that might affect your arrival transfer or hotel reservation. Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for affected land services, including arrival and/or departure transfers should flights be changed without our knowledge. Gate 1 will make every effort to inform passengers of schedule changes and cannot be held responsible for changes in routing and/or the number of stops in the itinerary. Nor will Gate 1 provide compensation for changes or cancellations implemented by an airline.

Missed Flights
In the event that you miss your flight which departs as scheduled, for any reason, your airline will consider you a "no-show” and may resell your seat(s) to other customers. This will also result in the cancellation of any later flights in your itinerary. Similarly, if you voluntarily decide not to use any of the flights on your itinerary, the airline will consider you a “no show” and cancel remaining flights on your itinerary. In this case, please contact your airline immediately for assistance in getting you to your destination. Missed flights are typically fully non-refundable and you may be required to purchase new flights from the airline at your own expense. Once your alternative arrangements have been confirmed, please contact Gate 1 with your new flight details.

Missed Connection
If you are connecting from a domestic flight which is delayed for any reason, causing you to miss your international flight, ask the airline for assistance in getting you to your destination. Since all airline tickets are issued on special fares which carry restrictions and penalties if changed, it's the airline's responsibility to make alternate arrangements on your behalf as Gate 1 has no authority or control over airline activities and policies. Do not leave the airline check-in desk until an alternative itinerary has been confirmed.

Lost 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. You may be required to return to an airport to retrieve your luggage personally.

Arrival & Departure
Arrival Procedures
Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary 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 collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 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 company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative.

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, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services.

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 hotel's 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.

The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 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 Accommodations
Hotels
Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected 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. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's 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; where available, 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. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center.

Hotel Check-in/ Check-out
Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to 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.

At Your Destination
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 and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs.

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 local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. 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: Independent Tours

Hotel Porter: US $3 per bag
Hotel Wait staff: 5-10% of the bill (lunch or dinner)

Local Sightseeing Tours: Guide: US $3 per person per half day, US $6 per person per full day Driver: US $2 per person per half day, US $4 per person per full day

Germany - Gratuities are appreciated and expected for good service in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists. Restaurant bills often include a service charge.

About Your 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. Some buses are equipped with toilet facility, however they are strictly intended for emergency use only and often require the vehicle to stop for safety reasons before use. 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 monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Gate 1 will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary. To respect the privacy of all tour participants, your tour manager will not organize a group photo or collect passenger email addresses for a group list.

Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)
Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents.

Purchasing Tours Locally
On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. Please see Gate 1 Terms & Conditions for more information. https://www.gate1travel.com/terms.aspx#optional

Independent Activities - Gate 1 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. Gate 1 is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting 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

Driving - Germany
Rental Duration:
Vehicle rental is based upon consecutive 24 hour periods. Your vehicle will be held for up to 2 hours beyond the scheduled pick-up time. Please call the local number on your voucher if your flight is delayed. Additional time will be billed and payable locally. The full daily rate will be charged after 29 minutes. There will be no refunds for late pick-up or early return. Rates do not include fuel. After the duration of the rental, the vehicle must be returned in the same condition in which it was received or additional fees may apply. Vehicle may only be returned during hours of operation.

Driver Registration:
Drivers must be at least 21 years old and hold a major credit card. Renters 21 through 24 years of age may only rent Mini through Standard size vehicles. If driver is between 21-24 years of age, a surcharge of 13 Euros per day will be charged, to be paid locally. A valid drivers license issued a minimum of 12 months prior to rental is required. An International driving license is required for renters who do not present a driver's license written in Roman script. Temporary driver's licenses may be refused if the renting location is unable to otherwise verify the customer's identity or verify the authenticity of the temporary license. Additional drivers may be added at the cost of 10 Euros per driver per day, payable locally. Only drivers registered on the rental contract will be eligible for insurance coverage.

Vehicle Security Deposit / Deductible:
At the time of rental, an authorization will be obtained on a major credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex) for estimated additional fees and a deposit / deductible guarantee equal to the deductible's amounts, first tank of fuel, optional equipment and whatever additional fees not included in the rate. A security deposit will be charged on the renter's card upon collection of the vehicle. The credit card must have sufficient credit to cover these fees. Debit cards are not accepted. Upon acceptable return of the vehicle the security deposit will be credited.

One Way Rentals:
All rentals where the vehicle is not returned to the same location as it is collected will be subjected to a one way fee of 45 Euros. This fee can only be paid locally. One way rentals are only allowed within mainland Germany.

Inspect Your Vehicle
It is important to thoroughly inspect your vehicle before leaving the lot to avoid being held responsible for any damage to the rental car, other than normal wear-and-tear. Walk around the vehicle with the sales agent before driving off. Inspect the vehicle for existing dents, scratches, or other potential damage, and make sure that anything you find is noted on the contract. If the vehicle is unsatisfactory for any reason, request an exchange before leaving the lot.

Vehicle Insurance:
Car rental fees include Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) & Theft Protection (TP). Additional Excess Protection coverage will be available at the time of car pick up and payable locally. Selections from these contracts may be found below.

Coverage includes:
  • Unlimited mileage
  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
  • Third Party Liability
  • Local Tax (VAT)
  • Theft Protection (TP)
  • Premium Location fee
  • Vehicle License fees & tax
  • This coverage has a deductible of approximately 850-1100 Euros
  • These benefits are voided in any case where negligence is found, including use of alcohol or drugs while driving; driving in rivers, sea, lakes, flood submersion, or cross-country where roads do not exist; driving outside Germany to neighboring countries is allowed (driving to the Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, the Vatican, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungry or Poland will require a fee of 6 euro per day to be paid locally); if the vehicle driver is not registered on the rental contract; if an official report of the accident is not provided (Traffic Report or Insurance Company Report); if the accident is not immediately reported to the rental car company at the time of the incident.

Optional Excess Protection includes:
  • Excess Protection (EP): All of the benefits in the Mandatory Coverage, but will reduce financial responsibility in the event of theft or damage. Excess Protection must be paid locally. Tires, wheels, keys & fuel are not covered by Excess Protection. Please refer to specific terms and conditions for this optional coverage when collecting vehicle.


Customer Care and Roadside Assistance:
In the event of vehicle malfunction or an accident, the rental company must be contacted immediately. Failure to do so will compromise any claims for compensation or a replacement vehicle. Emergency contact details for the 24/7 roadside assistance will be provided on the rental agreement when vehicle is picked up. Please check with the local rental representative for more details concerning Emergency Assistance.

Driving in Germany:
On Germany's Autobahn road some portions of the road still do not restrict speed limits, be aware of other vehicles. Even in unrestricted speed zones it is recommended to maintain a speed no greater than 75-80 mph (approximately 125 kph) for safety purposes. Germany does not charge a toll for cars on any of its roads. Any traffic violations can result in a legal ticket as well as fees from the rental company.

Taking the vehicle into Austria:
Driving in Austria requires a vignette for the motorways. The motorway tax sticker costs approximately 9 Euros and can be purchased at gas and rest stops on the main roads leading to Austria (close to customs), in post offices or directly at the custom entry point. It is important to affix the motorway vignette to the inside of your windshield or you risk a fine.

Cross Border Policy:
There is a required fee administered locally for driving outside of Germany at 7 Euros per day. You may drive the rental car to certain countries outside of Germany. There are certain restrictions on car classes and makes/models. All vehicles must be returned to the territory where it was rented.

The following countries; Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland, require a vignette sticker at an additional cost for driving on motorways. The driver must purchase a different sticker for each country that requires it. The cost and duration of a vignette's period of validity, varies by country. Vignettes can be purchased in advance online, at border crossings and nearby gas stations. All requirements in European countries are subject to change.

GPS systems and Cellular Phones:
A portable navigation system for your vehicle is recommended and a GPS device can be rented locally for an additional cost of 9 Euros per day. GPS units are not available for one way rentals. Alternatively, you may wish to take advantage of one of the free and easy to use navigation systems available on your personal mobile device, such as Waze. Our experience is that the mobile apps are often more user friendly than those units available for rent by the car rental agencies. A cellular phone is also recommended as there can be long distances between populated areas. Contact your cell phone's service provider to see if international coverage is available.

Car rental insurance options and their coverage DO NOT cover loss, damage or theft of the GPS. There is a replacement fee of 280 Euros for GPS units.

Safety:
Do not leave luggage, passports, or any valuable objects inside an unattended vehicle. In case of a flat tire, do not stop. Continue slowly to the nearest gas station or call for special assistance. Do not accept help from strangers, as this is sometimes a ploy to try to steal valuables from the vehicle.

Post Travel:
After the termination of your car rental, you may potentially incur additional fees related to services or charges that are not included with your Gate 1 package. Examples of these may include, but are not limited to, supplement for additional drivers, elected additional insurance, traffic violations, damage to the vehicle, or returning the vehicle with low fuel. These fees are payable directly to the car rental company and it is the your responsibility to contact the car rental company regarding such charges. These fees are not dictated or processed by Gate 1 Travel. Additionally, For your protection, we recommend you retain any and all documentation received at the counter from the car rental agency until you return home and are certain there are no more charges from the agency. Without it, we may not be able to assist should a dispute arise.

Currency
We suggest getting a small amount of currency for the first country you're visiting before you depart (except India). It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert dollars to the local currency. It's also a good idea not to carry too much money. Many countries have ATM machines that accept most ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs don't 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, please note that exchange at banks is typically more favorable than at hotels or exchange bureaus. However, bank hours are limited to Mondays through Fridays and sometimes only morning hours on those days. Please note that many banks and most vendors will not accept or exchange $100 bills. We suggest to carry $20 bills or smaller. In many destinations (except Western Europe), we suggest to bring between $50 to $100 in $1 bills which may be used to pay gratuities.

Germany - The Euro is the currency of Germany.

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.
While most US-issued credit cards have the embedded microprocessor chip, there are still some that have the magnetic-strip technology. The “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 US issued debit cards. For travel to Europe, should you anticipate using ticket kiosks or purchasing train tickets locally, you may consider buying tickets and other basic purchases prior to departure.

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 on your own. 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. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item's receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.

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 allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country, but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.

U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items which are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoise shell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.

Germany - In addition to large department stores featuring a wide range of goods, Germany has many specialized shops that feature high quality items such as optical instruments, knives, glassware, china, handcrafted toys, and antique books and maps, among many others.

Your Safety is Very Important
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit.

It is also 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:

  • Always use seat belts (if provided)
  • Be aware of potentially dangerous places and situations as you would be at home. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carry your valuables concealed in inside pockets or hidden pouches. Your objective is to avoid drawing attention and to blend in with the crowd
  • Don't put all your valuables (money, credit cards, passports, etc.) in the same place (in case one wallet is stolen, you should have other valuables and identification in another safe place)
  • Do not leave valuables laying loose in your room or on the bus as Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for any loss. Use the hotel safe. Keep copies of your passports, credit card numbers and travelers checks numbers in the hotel safe
  • When possible we suggest traveling in pairs or groups when moving about independently
  • Do not pack valuables (cameras, computers, jewelry, etc.) in your checked luggage. Keep hard to replace valuables with you in your carry-on bag
  • Keep wallets safely tucked into front trouser pockets and/or wear a money pouch inside your clothing
  • Carry handbags close to your body, shoulder bags the cross-body method with the bag in front of your body
  • Credit cards are generally accepted everywhere and are safer than traveling with large amounts of cash

If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 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:

  • Remain alert and cautious. Be wary of any unusual contact or commotion in crowded public places, including train stations, markets, subways and tourist sites;
  • Be especially careful when traveling independently, or leaving your tour group to explore on your own. Try not to travel alone, especially at night. Avoid narrow alleys and poorly lit streets;
  • Use only official taxis and check the change you receive from all taxi drivers and vendors;
  • Beware of pickpockets often working with an accomplice who will distract you by spilling something on you, dropping a wallet or other seemingly valuable object, or tripping and falling down in front of you;
  • Beware of aggressive street vendors who may approach you offering a demonstration which may end with you being pressured to purchase an item or act as a distraction for another pickpocket;
  • Don’t tip beggars;
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest;
  • Carry modest amounts of cash (US dollars) in small denominations so that you can avoid flashing large bills when paying for small items;
  • ATM machines can be a convenient way to carry less currency. However those machines too can be used for robbery. Be wary of anyone who can look over your shoulder when inputting PINs. Another scam involves rigging the machine with a plastic insert which makes your card retrieval difficult; the thief then removes your card after you walk away;
  • If you are confronted, do not fight back - give up your valuables. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police and keep a copy of the official report for insurance claims.


Local Emergency Phone Numbers
Germany
  • Ambulance/Fire: 112
  • Police: 110

Languages
Germany - German is the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Electricity
Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances.

Germany - The voltage used is 230 volts.

Code of Conduct
Germany - Shaking hands is a customary greeting and normal courtesies should be observed. First names are not used when being introduced, but after a relationship exists, using first names is appropriate. Politeness is highly valued, and saying hello and goodbye is important even in shops and restaurants.

Food and Meals
As specified in each itinerary. Meals are based on the hotel's or restaurant's buffet or set menu. In general, beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although Gate 1 cannot make guarantees, every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests submitted in writing at least 72 hours prior to departure at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. Terminology for dietary requests can vary from country to country and options may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you make your wishes known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant.

Holidays
On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants.

Holidays - Germany

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Feast of the Epiphany
Apr 15: Good Friday
Apr 17: Easter
Apr 18: Easter Monday
May 1: May Day
May 26: Ascension Day
Jun 5: Whit Sunday
Jun 6: Whit Monday
Jun 16: Corpus Christi
Aug 15: Assumption Day
Oct 3: Day of German Unity
Oct 31: Reformation Day
Nov 1: All Saints' Day
Nov 16: Repentence Day
Dec 24: Christmas Eve
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: St. Stephen's Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Feast of the Epiphany
Apr 7: Good Friday
Apr 9: Easter
Apr 10: Easter Monday
May 1: May Day
May 18: Ascension Day
May 28: Whit Sunday
May 29: Whit Monday
Jun 8: Corpus Christi
Aug 15: Assumption Day
Oct 3: Day of German Unity
Oct 31: Reformation Day
Nov 1: All Saints' Day
Nov 22: Repentence Day
Dec 24: Christmas Eve
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: St. Stephen's Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

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.
Getting Ready to Go
Passports and Visas
It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.

Traveling with Friends or Family?
If you are traveling with friends or family who are booked on another reservation, please make sure that we are aware. On occasion, we may operate more than one vehicle on your tour departure in which case we will ensure that guests will be assigned together. This is achieved by connecting your reservations before your departure. Once you arrive in your destination, it may not be possible to make assignment changes. To check that your reservations are linked, log into https://www.gate1travel.com/res with your email and password, select your reservation number, and check to see that your reservations are indicated as "Traveling With" at the top right side of the display.

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, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. 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 USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks.

Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html.

Travel Protection
Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.

This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.

Cell Phones & Calling Cards
You may wish to carry a cell phone while traveling. Check with your cell phone provider if your phone will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. If you can access the Internet as you travel, you can take advantage of email or a Skype Internet telephone (VOIP) account for the best value. Additionally, if your phone can connect to WiFi you may be able to make voice and video calls free of charge. Please contact your cell phone provider for further details. Alternatively, you may investigate renting a cell phone before you leave or buying an inexpensive phone locally. When calling the U.S. from a foreign country, you may also use a prepaid calling card; normally, the only additional charge (besides the prepaid long distance charges) is a local fee of a few cents and possibly a connection fee if you are using your card at your hotel. It is best to check with the hotel's reception desk prior to making phone calls to avoid unexpected charges. Please note that we are unable to provide compensation for phone calls regardless of reason.

Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another
When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally).

Example:
To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555


WiFi Access
WiFi access has improved. Free or inexpensive WiFi internet is accessible at coffee shops, airports, restaurants, libraries and on some trains and buses. WiFi access in hotels and cruise lines often involves a fee, determined by that property. Signal strength is subject to local conditions and not guaranteed. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries or, on moving conveyances such as buses and cruise ships.

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 healthcare 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.

  • Watch what you eat. Try new foods in modest quantities, and depending upon your destination, you may want to avoid street foods, salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits, unless they have thick peels like bananas or grapefruit.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
  • If you have allergies to foods, medications or insect bites, or have any other unique medical issues, consider a medical alert bracelet and/or a physician’s note detailing required treatment should you become ill.
  • Wash your hands regularly and carry hand sanitizer.
  • Where appropriate, pack sunscreen and insect repellent (for both active and warm destinations).
  • You may also want to bring a small first-aid kit with bandaids, antibiotic cream, pain killers, bug bite cream, digestive aids like antidiarrheal or anti-bloat medications, antacids, and cold medicine. This is in addition to any prescription medications which should be adequate for the entire trip.


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: http://www.dot.gov/office-policy/aviation-policy/aircraft-disinsection-requirements.

Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways:
  • Refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance in respect for other guests who may be allergic
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes or cigars in the vicinity of other tour members, including in outdoor areas where smoking may be permitted but may still affect other tour participants
  • Avoid attire with political or religious messages that may offend other travelers
  • Respect your fellow passengers. Guests come from all walks of life and varied lifestyles. Please refrain from topics of conversation which might cause offense, such as religion and politics
  • Refrain from conversation or talking on mobile phones while commentary is in progress
  • Respect the mandatory seat rotation policy on the coach
  • Make use of the available hand sanitizer on the coach to support a healthy environment
  • Seek approval before taking photographs of other tour participants
  • Respect tour departures times to avoid delay and loss of sightseeing opportunities

Climate & Clothing
Germany - Spring and Autumn: 40–60°F, Summer: 65–80°F, Winter: 25–40°F. Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. Some religious sites may require modest dress to enter (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops).

Germany Average Temperatures: www.gate1travel.com/weather/europe/default.aspx#austria-germany-europe-weather

About Drones
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drone” technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones.

About Independent Travel
Independent tours allow you the freedom and flexibility to enjoy your vacation days at your own pace, to explore on your own, to be spontaneous and to focus on personal interests. Accordingly, independent tours are very different from Gate 1's escorted tours, which are conducted by a Tour Manager who accompanies you throughout, manages your needs and provides expert guiding services from the beginning to the end of your tour.

When traveling independently, please bear in mind that you will be responsible for your needs throughout. Depending upon the package or services you have selected, you may encounter representatives along the way, such as a transfer driver, or a local sightseeing guide. Those may be included in your tour or options you have pre-selected. However, you will be on your own to handle your luggage, locate service providers, check into and out of your hotels, and to get to and from train stations or car rental counters.

Independent touring, as the name implies is for the independent traveler who is comfortable traveling on one's own with less guidance. Of course, as with all Gate 1 touring packages, you will find your services exactly as reserved when you arrive to your destination.

Book & Film Recommendations
Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests’ recommendations.

CENTRAL EUROPE: Books
The Eclipse of the Crescent Moon or Slave of the Huns by Géza Gárdonyi
A Modern Midas: A Romance by Mór Jókai
Fatelessness by Imre Kertész
How to be an Alien or How to be Poor by George Mikes
Csardas by Diane Pearson
Who Loves You Like This by Edith Bruck
Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
Kasztner's Train by Anna Porter
Imprimatur or Secretum or Veritas by Monaldi & Sorti
Europe 101: History and Art for the Traveler by Rick Steves and Gene Openshaw
The Bridge at Andau by James A. Michener
I Served the King of England or Bambini di Praga 1947 by Bohumil Hrabal
Franz Kafka and Prague by Harald Salfellner
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
Old Czech Legends by Alois Jirásek
The Golem by Gustav Meyrink
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hašek

Preparing for Your Trip
Reconfirming Flights
It is not necessary to call your airline to reconfirm your flights. However, we do recommend that you check your airline’s website 24 hours prior to your flight to ensure that your flights remain on schedule and that flight times are unchanged.

Seat Assignments
As a courtesy service, complimentary 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. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus.

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 as well as some code-share flights are not eligible for mileage accrual. Some private airfares, such as a “Gate 1 Travel Airfare”, are not eligible for mileage or may qualify for reduced mileage, even if the same airline class of service is eligible for full mileage when sold as an “Instant Purchase” published airfare. Not all published airfares are eligible for mileage. Gate 1 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. Airline schedule changes may result in flights which were originally eligible for mileage accrual no longer being eligible. 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.

Known Traveler Number (KTN)
If you have a KTN number, you are normally able to join the TSA security line for expedited processing at the airport. Prior to check in, you should go online or call your airline and add your KTN number to your reservation record. In most cases, you will then see the letters "TSA PRE" printed on your boarding pass. If these letters are not printed, you will not be permitted on the TSA line. Please be aware that some airlines do not participate in the program and therefore even if there is a TSA line at the airport, you will not be given TSA PRE status. Sometimes you may not be selected by TSA (even if you entered a KTN number) and even a minor name discrepancy can result in TSA PRE being denied. It is your responsibility to register your KTN number with your airline and Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for denial of expedited security. Note: KTNs are issued by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) after completing a background check through TSA's PreCheck® program. Global Entry members may also enjoy expedited customs processing.

Luggage & Packing
Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on 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. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost.

Carry on Luggage
Missed connections and lost luggage are more common than ever. We strongly suggest you use your carry on bag for those necessities you would miss if your checked bags went astray. Items to consider, but not limited to, are prescription medicines, eyeglasses, a change of clothes, mobile phone and charger, valuables (including jewelry and cash), passport, keys, insurance cards, local contact information. Refer to the TSA website for a complete list of items and their sizes which may be carried on board. We also recommend you bring a change of clothes in your carry on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost.

E-Tickets & Advance Check-In
Review the flight itinerary included in your documents. Print and carry a copy of the air itinerary which contains the 6-digit airline "Record Locator" and e-ticket numbers. Advance online check-in is available on some airlines. If available, you may enter your name and 6-digit Record Locator or Flight Ticket Number at the airline's website, and print the boarding pass on your home printer within twenty-four hours of departure. You may check-in online, even if you plan to check luggage at the airport. 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. Paper tickets will be provided in the rare instance when e-tickets cannot be issued.

Day of Departure
Arrive On Time
Due to increased security measures, you should plan to check in at least three hours prior to the scheduled departure time for international flights and two hours prior for domestic flights. Many airlines do not permit check-in less than one hour prior to the scheduled departure time. It is your responsibility to arrive on time for all scheduled flights. Enhanced security procedures, including passenger screening, canine inspection, and inspection of personal electronic devices, have been implemented for all flights into the United States, and therefore security procedures may take longer than normal.

Check-In
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. At check-in, be prepared to provide your government issued identification (valid passport required when traveling internationally) and your e-ticket itinerary/ticket numbers to the agent. Once you've checked in and received your boarding passes and luggage claim tickets, proceed directly to the security check. Security lines are often backed up and can take time to get through. Once you've completed security check, proceed directly to your gate and check the large electronic flight screens for your flight time and departure gate for schedule and gate changes. Airport desk clerks will assist with unexpected changes. Once you are in the gate area you can relax, shop or buy a snack before your flight.

Connecting Passengers
Passengers connecting from another point within the USA should check their luggage through to their final destination. Although problems with lost luggage have been minimal, it is a possibility. Certain carriers do not allow baggage “interlining,” and luggage must be checked separately for each flight. When you check your luggage, please verify where your luggage is being sent. When connecting between flights in major airports, you may need to pass through multiple 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. Passengers returning to the USA may need to collect their luggage at the first airport of entry and recheck their luggage for their connecting flight.

Flight Services
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.

Airline Food
Unless you are a first or business class passenger, you will likely be treated to a pretty mediocre culinary experience. Reasons for this range from airline budget constraints to the logistics of high altitudes, low humidity and air pressure which tend to desensitize taste buds. Small galleys, tiny ovens and precooked food, plus previously mentioned cost-cuts in order to keep airfares as low as possible, add to some often pretty poor fare. Our suggestion is to stick to simple options, carry a few granola bars, and don't expect this to be your best dining experience.

Premium Economy or Business Class
Service may not be available on all flights or aircraft types, and therefore some flights within an itinerary may not include Premium Economy or Business Class seating. This includes, for example, some US domestic connections and/or short haul flights abroad. When service is not available, you will be accommodated in the best alternative class of service and seating. Please check your operating airline to determine the extra services you may receive.

US Customs & Immigration for Return Flights
In most cases, passengers with return flights that include a connection in the US will need to complete customs and immigration formalities in their first port of entry, requiring them to collect their luggage and check-in for their onward flight. However, there are some exceptions: certain airports in Canada and Ireland (Dublin), allow US Immigration formalities to be completed in the overseas airport at the gate area.

Foreign Domestic Flights
If your tour program includes foreign domestic flights, and those tickets are not included together with the e-ticket itinerary in your travel documents, you will receive those tickets at your destination from our local representative.

What to do if You Need Assistance

Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.

Emergency Assistance
The Gate 1 emergency line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call: 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676. From overseas, call: 001 215 572-7676. Outside office hours, listen to the prompts, then press 3. You will speak immediately with a representative, or you may be asked to leave a detailed message including your name, your booking number, and most importantly the telephone number where you can be reached. Your message will be forwarded immediately to a representative who will contact you at the telephone number provided.

Last Minute Schedule Changes & Flight Delays
On the day of travel, check the flight schedule and advise Gate 1 by phone, 800 682-3333 or 215 572-7676, of any significant changes that might affect your arrival transfer or hotel reservation. Gate 1 cannot be held responsible for affected land services, including arrival and/or departure transfers should flights be changed without our knowledge. Gate 1 will make every effort to inform passengers of schedule changes and cannot be held responsible for changes in routing and/or the number of stops in the itinerary. Nor will Gate 1 provide compensation for changes or cancellations implemented by an airline.

Missed Flights
In the event that you miss your flight which departs as scheduled, for any reason, your airline will consider you a "no-show” and may resell your seat(s) to other customers. This will also result in the cancellation of any later flights in your itinerary. Similarly, if you voluntarily decide not to use any of the flights on your itinerary, the airline will consider you a “no show” and cancel remaining flights on your itinerary. In this case, please contact your airline immediately for assistance in getting you to your destination. Missed flights are typically fully non-refundable and you may be required to purchase new flights from the airline at your own expense. Once your alternative arrangements have been confirmed, please contact Gate 1 with your new flight details.

Missed Connection
If you are connecting from a domestic flight which is delayed for any reason, causing you to miss your international flight, ask the airline for assistance in getting you to your destination. Since all airline tickets are issued on special fares which carry restrictions and penalties if changed, it's the airline's responsibility to make alternate arrangements on your behalf as Gate 1 has no authority or control over airline activities and policies. Do not leave the airline check-in desk until an alternative itinerary has been confirmed.

Lost 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. You may be required to return to an airport to retrieve your luggage personally.

Arrival & Departure
Arrival Procedures
Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary 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 collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 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 company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative.

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, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services.

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 hotel's 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.

The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 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 Accommodations
Hotels
Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected 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. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's 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; where available, 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. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center.

Hotel Check-in/ Check-out
Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to 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.

At Your Destination
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 and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs.

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 local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. 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: Independent Tours

Hotel Porter: US $3 per bag
Hotel Wait staff: 5-10% of the bill (lunch or dinner)

Local Sightseeing Tours: Guide: US $3 per person per half day, US $6 per person per full day Driver: US $2 per person per half day, US $4 per person per full day

Germany - Gratuities are appreciated and expected for good service in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists. Restaurant bills often include a service charge.

About Your 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. Some buses are equipped with toilet facility, however they are strictly intended for emergency use only and often require the vehicle to stop for safety reasons before use. 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 monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Gate 1 will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary. To respect the privacy of all tour participants, your tour manager will not organize a group photo or collect passenger email addresses for a group list.

Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)
Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents.

Purchasing Tours Locally
On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. Please see Gate 1 Terms & Conditions for more information. https://www.gate1travel.com/terms.aspx#optional

Independent Activities - Gate 1 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. Gate 1 is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting 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

Driving - Germany
Rental Duration:
Vehicle rental is based upon consecutive 24 hour periods. Your vehicle will be held for up to 2 hours beyond the scheduled pick-up time. Please call the local number on your voucher if your flight is delayed. Additional time will be billed and payable locally. The full daily rate will be charged after 29 minutes. There will be no refunds for late pick-up or early return. Rates do not include fuel. After the duration of the rental, the vehicle must be returned in the same condition in which it was received or additional fees may apply. Vehicle may only be returned during hours of operation.

Driver Registration:
Drivers must be at least 21 years old and hold a major credit card. Renters 21 through 24 years of age may only rent Mini through Standard size vehicles. If driver is between 21-24 years of age, a surcharge of 13 Euros per day will be charged, to be paid locally. A valid drivers license issued a minimum of 12 months prior to rental is required. An International driving license is required for renters who do not present a driver's license written in Roman script. Temporary driver's licenses may be refused if the renting location is unable to otherwise verify the customer's identity or verify the authenticity of the temporary license. Additional drivers may be added at the cost of 10 Euros per driver per day, payable locally. Only drivers registered on the rental contract will be eligible for insurance coverage.

Vehicle Security Deposit / Deductible:
At the time of rental, an authorization will be obtained on a major credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex) for estimated additional fees and a deposit / deductible guarantee equal to the deductible's amounts, first tank of fuel, optional equipment and whatever additional fees not included in the rate. A security deposit will be charged on the renter's card upon collection of the vehicle. The credit card must have sufficient credit to cover these fees. Debit cards are not accepted. Upon acceptable return of the vehicle the security deposit will be credited.

One Way Rentals:
All rentals where the vehicle is not returned to the same location as it is collected will be subjected to a one way fee of 45 Euros. This fee can only be paid locally. One way rentals are only allowed within mainland Germany.

Inspect Your Vehicle
It is important to thoroughly inspect your vehicle before leaving the lot to avoid being held responsible for any damage to the rental car, other than normal wear-and-tear. Walk around the vehicle with the sales agent before driving off. Inspect the vehicle for existing dents, scratches, or other potential damage, and make sure that anything you find is noted on the contract. If the vehicle is unsatisfactory for any reason, request an exchange before leaving the lot.

Vehicle Insurance:
Car rental fees include Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) & Theft Protection (TP). Additional Excess Protection coverage will be available at the time of car pick up and payable locally. Selections from these contracts may be found below.

Coverage includes:
  • Unlimited mileage
  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
  • Third Party Liability
  • Local Tax (VAT)
  • Theft Protection (TP)
  • Premium Location fee
  • Vehicle License fees & tax
  • This coverage has a deductible of approximately 850-1100 Euros
  • These benefits are voided in any case where negligence is found, including use of alcohol or drugs while driving; driving in rivers, sea, lakes, flood submersion, or cross-country where roads do not exist; driving outside Germany to neighboring countries is allowed (driving to the Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, the Vatican, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungry or Poland will require a fee of 6 euro per day to be paid locally); if the vehicle driver is not registered on the rental contract; if an official report of the accident is not provided (Traffic Report or Insurance Company Report); if the accident is not immediately reported to the rental car company at the time of the incident.

Optional Excess Protection includes:
  • Excess Protection (EP): All of the benefits in the Mandatory Coverage, but will reduce financial responsibility in the event of theft or damage. Excess Protection must be paid locally. Tires, wheels, keys & fuel are not covered by Excess Protection. Please refer to specific terms and conditions for this optional coverage when collecting vehicle.


Customer Care and Roadside Assistance:
In the event of vehicle malfunction or an accident, the rental company must be contacted immediately. Failure to do so will compromise any claims for compensation or a replacement vehicle. Emergency contact details for the 24/7 roadside assistance will be provided on the rental agreement when vehicle is picked up. Please check with the local rental representative for more details concerning Emergency Assistance.

Driving in Germany:
On Germany's Autobahn road some portions of the road still do not restrict speed limits, be aware of other vehicles. Even in unrestricted speed zones it is recommended to maintain a speed no greater than 75-80 mph (approximately 125 kph) for safety purposes. Germany does not charge a toll for cars on any of its roads. Any traffic violations can result in a legal ticket as well as fees from the rental company.

Taking the vehicle into Austria:
Driving in Austria requires a vignette for the motorways. The motorway tax sticker costs approximately 9 Euros and can be purchased at gas and rest stops on the main roads leading to Austria (close to customs), in post offices or directly at the custom entry point. It is important to affix the motorway vignette to the inside of your windshield or you risk a fine.

Cross Border Policy:
There is a required fee administered locally for driving outside of Germany at 7 Euros per day. You may drive the rental car to certain countries outside of Germany. There are certain restrictions on car classes and makes/models. All vehicles must be returned to the territory where it was rented.

The following countries; Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland, require a vignette sticker at an additional cost for driving on motorways. The driver must purchase a different sticker for each country that requires it. The cost and duration of a vignette's period of validity, varies by country. Vignettes can be purchased in advance online, at border crossings and nearby gas stations. All requirements in European countries are subject to change.

GPS systems and Cellular Phones:
A portable navigation system for your vehicle is recommended and a GPS device can be rented locally for an additional cost of 9 Euros per day. GPS units are not available for one way rentals. Alternatively, you may wish to take advantage of one of the free and easy to use navigation systems available on your personal mobile device, such as Waze. Our experience is that the mobile apps are often more user friendly than those units available for rent by the car rental agencies. A cellular phone is also recommended as there can be long distances between populated areas. Contact your cell phone's service provider to see if international coverage is available.

Car rental insurance options and their coverage DO NOT cover loss, damage or theft of the GPS. There is a replacement fee of 280 Euros for GPS units.

Safety:
Do not leave luggage, passports, or any valuable objects inside an unattended vehicle. In case of a flat tire, do not stop. Continue slowly to the nearest gas station or call for special assistance. Do not accept help from strangers, as this is sometimes a ploy to try to steal valuables from the vehicle.

Post Travel:
After the termination of your car rental, you may potentially incur additional fees related to services or charges that are not included with your Gate 1 package. Examples of these may include, but are not limited to, supplement for additional drivers, elected additional insurance, traffic violations, damage to the vehicle, or returning the vehicle with low fuel. These fees are payable directly to the car rental company and it is the your responsibility to contact the car rental company regarding such charges. These fees are not dictated or processed by Gate 1 Travel. Additionally, For your protection, we recommend you retain any and all documentation received at the counter from the car rental agency until you return home and are certain there are no more charges from the agency. Without it, we may not be able to assist should a dispute arise.

Currency
We suggest getting a small amount of currency for the first country you're visiting before you depart (except India). It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert dollars to the local currency. It's also a good idea not to carry too much money. Many countries have ATM machines that accept most ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs don't 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, please note that exchange at banks is typically more favorable than at hotels or exchange bureaus. However, bank hours are limited to Mondays through Fridays and sometimes only morning hours on those days. Please note that many banks and most vendors will not accept or exchange $100 bills. We suggest to carry $20 bills or smaller. In many destinations (except Western Europe), we suggest to bring between $50 to $100 in $1 bills which may be used to pay gratuities.

Germany - The Euro is the currency of Germany.

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.
While most US-issued credit cards have the embedded microprocessor chip, there are still some that have the magnetic-strip technology. The “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 US issued debit cards. For travel to Europe, should you anticipate using ticket kiosks or purchasing train tickets locally, you may consider buying tickets and other basic purchases prior to departure.

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 on your own. 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. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item's receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.

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 allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country, but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.

U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items which are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoise shell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.

Germany - In addition to large department stores featuring a wide range of goods, Germany has many specialized shops that feature high quality items such as optical instruments, knives, glassware, china, handcrafted toys, and antique books and maps, among many others.

Your Safety is Very Important
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit.

It is also 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:

  • Always use seat belts (if provided)
  • Be aware of potentially dangerous places and situations as you would be at home. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carry your valuables concealed in inside pockets or hidden pouches. Your objective is to avoid drawing attention and to blend in with the crowd
  • Don't put all your valuables (money, credit cards, passports, etc.) in the same place (in case one wallet is stolen, you should have other valuables and identification in another safe place)
  • Do not leave valuables laying loose in your room or on the bus as Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for any loss. Use the hotel safe. Keep copies of your passports, credit card numbers and travelers checks numbers in the hotel safe
  • When possible we suggest traveling in pairs or groups when moving about independently
  • Do not pack valuables (cameras, computers, jewelry, etc.) in your checked luggage. Keep hard to replace valuables with you in your carry-on bag
  • Keep wallets safely tucked into front trouser pockets and/or wear a money pouch inside your clothing
  • Carry handbags close to your body, shoulder bags the cross-body method with the bag in front of your body
  • Credit cards are generally accepted everywhere and are safer than traveling with large amounts of cash

If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 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:

  • Remain alert and cautious. Be wary of any unusual contact or commotion in crowded public places, including train stations, markets, subways and tourist sites;
  • Be especially careful when traveling independently, or leaving your tour group to explore on your own. Try not to travel alone, especially at night. Avoid narrow alleys and poorly lit streets;
  • Use only official taxis and check the change you receive from all taxi drivers and vendors;
  • Beware of pickpockets often working with an accomplice who will distract you by spilling something on you, dropping a wallet or other seemingly valuable object, or tripping and falling down in front of you;
  • Beware of aggressive street vendors who may approach you offering a demonstration which may end with you being pressured to purchase an item or act as a distraction for another pickpocket;
  • Don’t tip beggars;
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest;
  • Carry modest amounts of cash (US dollars) in small denominations so that you can avoid flashing large bills when paying for small items;
  • ATM machines can be a convenient way to carry less currency. However those machines too can be used for robbery. Be wary of anyone who can look over your shoulder when inputting PINs. Another scam involves rigging the machine with a plastic insert which makes your card retrieval difficult; the thief then removes your card after you walk away;
  • If you are confronted, do not fight back - give up your valuables. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police and keep a copy of the official report for insurance claims.


Local Emergency Phone Numbers
Germany
  • Ambulance/Fire: 112
  • Police: 110

Languages
Germany - German is the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Electricity
Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances.

Germany - The voltage used is 230 volts.

Code of Conduct
Germany - Shaking hands is a customary greeting and normal courtesies should be observed. First names are not used when being introduced, but after a relationship exists, using first names is appropriate. Politeness is highly valued, and saying hello and goodbye is important even in shops and restaurants.

Food and Meals
As specified in each itinerary. Meals are based on the hotel's or restaurant's buffet or set menu. In general, beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although Gate 1 cannot make guarantees, every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests submitted in writing at least 72 hours prior to departure at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. Terminology for dietary requests can vary from country to country and options may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you make your wishes known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant.

Holidays
On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants.

Holidays - Germany

Holidays 2022

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Feast of the Epiphany
Apr 15: Good Friday
Apr 17: Easter
Apr 18: Easter Monday
May 1: May Day
May 26: Ascension Day
Jun 5: Whit Sunday
Jun 6: Whit Monday
Jun 16: Corpus Christi
Aug 15: Assumption Day
Oct 3: Day of German Unity
Oct 31: Reformation Day
Nov 1: All Saints' Day
Nov 16: Repentence Day
Dec 24: Christmas Eve
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: St. Stephen's Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

Holidays 2023

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Feast of the Epiphany
Apr 7: Good Friday
Apr 9: Easter
Apr 10: Easter Monday
May 1: May Day
May 18: Ascension Day
May 28: Whit Sunday
May 29: Whit Monday
Jun 8: Corpus Christi
Aug 15: Assumption Day
Oct 3: Day of German Unity
Oct 31: Reformation Day
Nov 1: All Saints' Day
Nov 22: Repentence Day
Dec 24: Christmas Eve
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: St. Stephen's Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

7 Day Germany Fly & Drive, April 2019
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We had such an amazing trip! Everything was wonderful. The car rental experience was the most pleasant one I've ever had. The hotel was clean and located in a great location. ... We loved the bartender Mario and visited him every night! Whether we visited Heidelberg, cruised the Rhine, or hiked the Black Forest, we were never too far away and it was always a gorgeous, scenic drive. We are all completely bummed about returning to work and school tomorrow, but we all agreed it was one of the best vacations of our lives!

Lisa K. Lyndhurst, NJ