9 Day Great Smoky Mountains
Air & Land
|9 Day Great Smoky Mountains|
|Embassy Suites by Hilton Louisville Downtown||Louisville, KY|
|Hilton Lexington/Downtown||Lexington, KY|
|Hilton Garden Inn Asheville Downtown||Asheville, NC|
|Hampton Inn & Suites Chattanooga Downtown||Chattanooga, TN|
|Drury Plaza Hotel Nashville Downtown||Nashville, TN|
|Hyatt Place Nashville Opryland||Nashville, TN|
Optional tours, transfers and gratuities.
For arrival and departure on North America packages with US gateways, transfers are not included with Air & Land packages nor available on an optional basis. See Trip Preparation -> Arrival & Departure for more information regarding options to transfer to your hotel.
Your tour will begin with an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 7 PM. We recommend you select flights that arrive no later than 5 PM.
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?
Escorted Package Includes
- Flights New York-Louisville, Nashville-New York
Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
- Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
- 8 nights accommodations
- 1 night Louisville
- 2 nights Lexington
- 2 nights Asheville
- 1 night Chattanooga
- 2 nights Nashville
- Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
- Hotel porterage
- 12 meals: 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
- Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
- Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout
- Services of English-speaking local guides
- Entrance fees per itinerary
- Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring
- Tour the Kentucky Derby Museum and learn about its history and heritage
- Explore the International Museum of the Horse, a unique equestrian museum
- Discover the imposing and elegant Biltmore House, built by George Washington Vanderbilt II
- Marvel at the majestic Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Attend a performance at the renowned Grand Ole Opry, famous home of country music
- Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, with its collection of costumes, recordings, instruments and memorabilia
Is This Trip Right for You?
This moderately active program covers a fair amount of ground each day. Expect from two to three hours walking every touring day. The pace is moderate, however you will encounter some uneven surfaces, stairs, and steps. Biltmore Estate requires approx. 400 stairs to explore the entire building. Airport transfers are not included. Consider a taxi or shared ride service as the least expensive options. This is a Classic program. For more information, click here.
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.
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.
This tourist class hotel is located in downtown Louisville, next to Fourth Street Live!Hotel Details
This tourist class hotel is located in Lexington, steps way from the Rupp Arena.Hotel Details
This tourist class hotel is located near Pack Square Park in downtown Ashville.Hotel Details
This tourist class hotel is ideally located in the city center of Chattanooga, across the street from the Creative Discovery Museum.Hotel Details
This first class hotel is located in downtown Nashville.Hotel Details
This tourist class hotel is located in Nashville, adjacent to Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.Hotel Details
- 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|
|ID Requirements for U.S. Flights|
|In 2005, Congress passed the REAL ID Act establishing minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards. The law prohibits federal agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), from accepting licenses and identification cards for official purposes from states that do not meet these standards. |
It is each traveler's responsibility to have valid photo identification for airline and security check-in. While US Citizens may currently use a driver's license, ID card or other TSA-approved form of identification to board a domestic flight, on May 3, 2023 the list of approved documents will change. Beginning on this date, domestic air travelers will need a REAL ID-compliant license (or other TSA-approved form of ID) to board a domestic flight. To determine if your driver's license or ID card is REAL ID-compliant, you will need to see a gold or black star in either the upper-left or upper-right-hand corner of the document. Non-compliant IDs will not have a star and may show the words "Not for Federal ID" or "Federal Limits Apply". Please note that some states will not automatically issue you a REAL ID-compliant document at time of renewal. You might need to specifically request it and pay an additional fee.
Beginning May 7, 2025, if you do not have a REAL ID-compliant document you may still board a domestic flight by showing an alternate TSA-approved form of ID such as a U.S. Passport, foreign Passport, Permanent Resident Card, Global Entry Card or U.S. Military ID. Please visit https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification for more details. Please note the TSA does not require passengers under 18 to have identification.
Important - This information is valid as of Dec 2022. Further updates from the DHS and TSA are possible prior to implementation on May 7, 2025.
|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. |
|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. |
|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. |
|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.
|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:
|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: |
|Climate & Clothing|
|United States - The weather in the United States varies according to geographical area. The hottest period is from June to August and the coolest from November to February. Bring comfortable walking shoes, clothes you can layer, and an all-weather jacket. Sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses are also recommended. You may encounter mosquitoes during warm and hot weather. Travelers are encouraged to bring insect repellent and consider wearing clothing that adequately covers arms and legs. For winter programs, come prepared for cold temperatures, icy trails, and short daylight hours. The National Park Service recommends bringing over-the-shoe-traction devices, extra snacks and layered clothing that can easily be added or removed to adapt to a variety of weather conditions |
USA Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/americas/default.aspx#usa-weather
|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. |
|Preparing for Your Trip|
| 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. |
|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. |
|North America Intra-flights - If your program includes intra-flights, Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for any checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline on those intra-flights. |
|Day of Departure|
|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.
|Arrival & Departure|
|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. |
|If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally. |
|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.
|USA Airport Transfers - USA programs do not offer airport transfers (except Alaska). There are various options you may book to suit any budget and service level. Here are a few options that may be available as well as more info about the cities you will visit. |
Hotel Shuttles - Some hotels offer complimentary or fee based shuttle service from the airport to the hotel. Many times these require long wait times and shared service with other clients of the hotel.
Taxi - Taxis are readily available at the exits of airports for reasonable rates. Little or no service with bags can be expected from the drivers
Ride Share Services - Using these apps makes for an easy and affordable option to transfer to the hotel. Little or no service with bags can be expected from the drivers
Shared Shuttles - Local companies may offer shared shuttle transfer services for affordable rates. This offers convenience of pre-booking transfer service however many times these require long wait times and mediocre service.
Private Car Transfers - while expensive, provides excellent door-to-door service and hassle free experience.
* Distance from Hotel to Airport: 8 miles
* Approx. Taxi Cost: $27
* Approx. Ride Share Cost: $18-22
* Approx. Airport Shuttles Cost: $36-45
* Approx. Private Car Cost: $170
|About Your Escorted Tour Participants|
| Please note that the number of participants may vary during your tour as we accommodate travelers arriving and departing at different points in the itinerary. Your tour guide will contact you upon arrival at your first hotel. |
|About Your Accommodations|
|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. |
|United States - Hotels in the United States are generally local or international chains of standard quality with a variety of amenities. Locally owned properties may have features that encompass the style of the region. Hotels in the National Park regions often provide limited amenities and due to limited outdoor lighting in the evenings, a flashlight is recommended. Many hotels require a credit card at check-in to cover incidentals. |
|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. |
|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: North America|
Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $12 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage) : US $5-7 per person per day, US $3 per half day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): US $3 per person per day of sightseeing, US $2 per half day
Hotel porters: Included
|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 |
|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!
|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:
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: |
|Local Emergency Phone Numbers|
|United States - English is the local language. |
|Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances. |
|United States - No converters or transformers will be necessary for US residents when traveling anywhere within the United States. |
|Code of Conduct|
|United States - Americans tend to be very friendly and informal, even with strangers. Greetings are usually casual and speaking on a first name basis is common. A handshake is the customary greeting, especially upon first meetings. Casual attire is generally expected unless in a formal situation. |
|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. |
|On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants. |
|Holidays - United States|
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 2: New Year's Day observed
Jan 16: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Feb 20: President's Day
Apr 9: Easter
May 29: Memorial Day
Jul 4: Independence Day
Sep 4: Labor Day
Nov 11: Veteran's Day
Nov 23: Thanksgiving
Dec 25: Christmas
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 15: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Feb 19: President's Day
Mar 31: Easter Sunday
May 27: Memorial Day
Jun 21: Juneteenth Holiday
Jul 4: Independence Day
Sep 2: Labor Day
Oct 14: Columbus Day / Native American Day
Nov 11: Veteran's Day
Nov 28: Thanksgiving Day
Dec 25: Christmas
This was our first experience with Gate1, we were very impressed. From the accommodations, the food, and sights we were extremely pleased. The most impressive was Skye our tour guide. She was very knowledgeable about the sights, and information specific to the sight. Especially where to hike, specific trails etc. This was extremely helpful since we're not hikers. Skye kept us informed the entire length of the trip, we couldn't ask for a better guide. We would travel with her on all of our future adventures with Gate1.Linda T.
Our trip was wonderful, start to finish! We loved our guide, Leslie, bus driver, Josh and all local guides. Each hotel was perfect as were all sites that we visited. Highly, highly recommend this trip!!!Michelle D.
I usually do not write reviews, and since I am from the Michigan, I was not expecting to experience anything really special during 10 day fall foliage trip to New England since Michigan does have a full foliage season. With that said----My trip was AWESOME! I don't know where to start. Our tour guide, Bobby was high energy, fun, engaging, creative, knowledgeable and very accommodating to everyone on our tour. There were 42 people on our tour and he did his best to make sure everyone and everything was taken care of but at the same time we did not feel like he was hovering or bossy. He has great historical knowledge and a lot of very silly jokes. The foliage in the different states along with visiting all the historical landmarks along the way was great. The time riding on the bus was fun, not boring. He made sure everyone was comfortable and had a plan even in our free time. Even after the tour was over, he came with us to lunch at a really nice Italian restaurant on the north end. Emil the bus driver was excellent professional and very courteous. He even dropped some of us off after hours at a restaurant so we would have to walk a long way in the dark in a strange city. The tour was pretty active, and I put in at least 15,000 steps on most days, but It did not ever feel like it. I enjoyed the freedom trail in Boston, the Trinity Church was beautiful, we went to the national monument of the Forefathers, and several other "surprise stops" all while staying on our time schedule and seeing the sites on the scheduled tour. My favorite spots were Mt Washington and everything in Maine. My next vacation was already planned before I went on this trip and now I regret that I did not book it through Gate One, but I do plan on going to Yellowstone with Gate one sometime next year, especially if I can catch Bobby's tour.Cynthia H.
It was wonderful! We had a large group (42) but everyone went with the flow & didn't complain about anything, even riding the road to Hana in a heavy downpour. We realized all the rain made the waterfalls that much more beautiful. Esther was a perfect guide, the embodiment of the aloha spirit. A little of aloha must have rubbed off on the group. She was always patient & never too tired to answer our many questions. She did a beautiful song & hula for us at the closing banquet which brought tears to our eyes. Esther is a remarkable woman & Gate 1 should be proud to employ her. Thanks for a wonderful trip to Hawaii. We'll be traveling with Gate 1 again soon!Jennifer M.
We enjoyed everything about our trip to Hawaii and it exceeded our expectations. It is definitely a once-in-a- life time experience! Tour manager Esther and bus drivers are excellent; they had incredible knowledge and in-depth insight on Hawaii Islands and its history. We were able to travel at a certain pace, stop and take pictures or just rest as needed. We learned about Hawaiian history, art, culture, food, agriculture, plants, flowers, religion and much more. Esther and bus drivers used Hawaiian words and explained their meaning. All of our transfers between airports, cities, hotels and tours were well planned and we felt very well taken care of. Hotel accommodations and food on each island were great. Esther and drivers were friendly, helpful, and considerate and took very good care of us. We were very happy with our enthusiastic tour guide and drives - they went above and beyond to make our trip special; they were great and spoke excellent English. Time and money well spent!Mary C.
Our tour was fabulous. Our tour Manager Timothy was great and had a lot of attention to details. He also stop in some bonus places that were not in the schedule, provided educational material like videos, music for us to learn about the culture of the indians, cowboys, etc. He really showed that he cared for us to be able to enjoy a great tour. be loves his job, we can tell. All the hotels were great, specially the Little America. They gave us a special rate for those of us that had to deal with the hurricane in Florida and stayed an extra night or two. The hotel provided extra breakfast tickets, and the personnel were outstanding. I would stay in that hotel anytime. The driver Mike was also excellent and we felt safe with his driving skills. Also a very nice person. As always Gate 1 scored a 10 out of 10 on this tour.Blanca S.
Greetings, It was a pleasure to see this part of the country. Our driver, John and Tour Leader, Andrew, were great, along with the frequent stops to photograph the natural wonders! I would only wish that we had had an extra day for the charming town of Jackson Hole.Jean D.
The trip to Hawaii was wonderful. The itinerary really gave us the opportunity to see and learn about Hawaii with its colorful flowers everywhere, waterfalls, mountains, and volcanoes. The hotels were nice and comfortable. The included meals were great (other than a cold boxed breakfast). Everything went smoothly including bus pickups, admissions to parks and sites, and flying to the two islands. Esther, our tour leader, was well organized and the bus drivers/tour guides were very knowledgeable about Hawaii and what we were seeing. We especially liked visiting Pearl Harbor and the USS Missouri and Volcanoes National Park. The Luau was nice too, and just a short walk from our hotel. Thank you for putting together this amazing trip.Sandra J.
I have been on 5 Gate One Trips. The tour manager for this southwest parks tour, Garrett, was the best I have ever had. He provided us with so much information, facts, and history of the areas we were visiting. He showed us relevant videos, maps, and pictures. When at the national parks, he didn't just point out the trail to take.....he led us on the entire trail and pointed out things for us to see. He was concerned about our comfort and health during 100 degree days, and altered schedules and stops to accommodate the heat. I hope I can travel with Garrett on another trip.Ellen B.
The trip was awesome! Beautiful scenery, great weather, clean air, and no humidity (or mosquitoes). What really made the trip special was our tour guide, Elias and the bus driver Steve. They kept us all well informed and entertained. Would love to go on another trip with those guys again.Dean B.
The Tour was great Tim our tour manager and Ken our driver, were fantastic showed us many wonderful places. A huge appreciation and a big THANK YOU to both.Wanda K.
I want to write a personalized recommendation about Dani, our tour guide for the recent Michigan-Detroit-Mackinac Island- Chicago trip. Dani was outstanding and very detail-oriented. We experienced the culture of each place we visited through the food, the extra videos she provided about Mackinac Island, and the recommendations she gave and helpful tips about time use while on our own at each location. I cannot praise her enough for her astute leadership. I'm signing up for two more GATE1 trips for next year!Cheryl G.
We recently returned from Alaska's Natural Beauty Discovery Tour. We just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our vacation. From the time they picked us up at the airport until we finished our tour everyone was professional and courteous. Our tour guide, Liz, was wonderful. Her knowledge of the area was superb. She was always concerned about the safety of the group and went out of her way to ensure everyone had a wonderful time. She even organized optional hikes on our free time and went with us to ensure our safety. When our plane ride was canceled due to inclement weather, she organized a glacier walk to fill the void. We really enjoyed that part of the trip the most. I hope you will let her know how much we appreciate all she did for us. We would also like to complement our driver, Steve. Not only did he keep us safe on some pretty difficult roads but he always helped us on and off the bus to ensure our safety. He also lives in Alaska and had a lot of incite to all the areas we visited. He and Liz work so well as a team that they really enhanced our trip. We have been on 10 Gate 1 trips but this combination of tour guide and driver were the best we have ever had. We would really appreciate it if you could let them know how much they were appreciated. They did an awesome Job!!!Mary L.
We had the most fabulous time! The places we went to were amazing! Aaron, the tour manager was incredible! He went above and beyond, to make it wonderful for all of us. Dave the bus driver was fantastic too! Definitely will consider another Gate 1 Travel trip!Susan M.
My wife and I just returned from our trip to see some of the best US national parks. Our guide was Kerry with Mike the driver. What an exceptional trip! Kerry provided so much valuable information, I started to think that he lived in the parks. He led us to so many beautiful sites that I did not know existed. Now when I see a national park, I will have such fond memories that will last a lifetime. Thanks for a wonderful trip!Anthony S.
We had a great time. Our tour guide Robert was the best. He kept things interesting and engaged everyone to feel included. Thanks Gate 1, another successful trip for us.Sylvia G.
It was great! Our group had so much fun with the beautiful sceneries in Banff Alberta. We loved our Tour manager, Gary M. He was so connected to the group, very pleasant, of course knowledgeable of the places we were in. He answered all questions with spontaneity. We loved that he gave us recommendations how and where to spend our "own time " hours. I find the pace of the tour, relaxed, no pressure at all. Hotel Accommodations were first class including the food. We enjoyed our first tour with Gate 1, that we booked our second tour already lol! We are looking forward to our Danube River Cruise in July 2023!Mitos S.
I just came back from the 5 day Canadian Rockies Express tour and had to express how much I appreciate our tour guide, Gary. He was the most amazing individual who was able to deal with all types of people with grace and kindness and always had a smile on his face. Everything was fun with him. This is my second Gate 1 tour but I have toured with other Vendors and he was by far the best I have met. Our first night in Calgary, he offered a voluntary tour of the city which he provided to us on his own time. He was very knowledgeable and extremely entertaining. A few days later, he provided a picnic spread at his expense which was extremely generous of him!!! I would like it if he would be my tour guide for my next trip with Gate 1!!!Lynn C.
Our trip was great and very exciting. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Everything was well planned and entertaining. Our Tour Manager Aaron did a wonderful job and certainly trip exceeded my expectations. The experience from the beginning with you helping with the bookings and valuable advises then help with the air bookings and rest Tour Manager Aaron made whole trip like a dream. We are very happy and would like to thank Gate1, To you Olga and tour manager Aaron for giving us such a wonderful time and memories.Dinesh J.
Trip to Mt. Rushmore to Salt Lake City was FANTASTIC! Tim is one of the best guides I have ever had; I have been traveling with Gate 1 over 25 times and Tim ranks way up high mainly because he is very organized and he provides us with a lot of great information and keeps us entertained with DVDs that is relevant to our trip during the long drive from one state to another. Excellent job Tim!Corazon S.
Our trip to Hawaii was fantastic. It exceeded our expectations. Our tour guide, Keala, was wonderful. She was very knowledgeable of the islands, its history, culture and beautiful plants and flowers. She always made herself available for any questions or assistance. We came home with special memories of the islands and making new friends. Thank you, Gate 1, for offering this trip.Carol H.
We had a wonderful time on our Calgary to Vancouver trip! Everyone in our group was SO nice, and we met many lovely Canadians along our route. We can't say enough about our Tour Manager, Greg. He was extraordinarily welcoming, efficient, knowledgeable, and just a joy to be around during our ten days on the road. THANK YOU Gate 1 Travel. We shall be back!John B.
Simply wanting to take the initiative to express our appreciation for our tour guide Deanna! She was a blessing, excellent in every way, highly professional, knowledgeable, fun, had a great personality, caring and a wonderful sense of humor. With all her responsibilities, logistics, etc. she maintained a joyful spirit & therefore, created a joyful atmosphere throughout the trip for us all. Bottom line is that Deanna is a tremendous asset to Gate 1 & we've traveled with you on multiple occasions & plan to continue! Also, our driver Bob was great & he & Deanna had a very effective partnership & worked well together! Thanks for allowing me to share this with you! Keep on keeping on!!Charles R.
Our Hawaii trip was amazing and our fellow travelers were among the nicest people which whom we have ever traveled (this was our 8th Gate 1 trip). Our tour leader, Esther (AKA Keala, her Hawaiian name) did a great job keeping this large group on track. While Gate 1 had noted there were no official transfers at the origination and departure airports, Esther went above and beyond to help people arrange travel to the airport (OGG) from our departure hotel in Lahaina. She also was helpful in coordinating our luggage and check-in processes for our two flights during the tour (Oahu to Big Island and Big Island to Maui). This was greatly appreciated and made those two flights so easy for us travelers. As with our previous 7 Gate 1 trips, we felt safe and in good hands throughout. Thank you, as always, for a memorable experience.Deborah B.
I'd just like to say that our tour guide, Keala, was fantastic. She was terrific in letting us know "local" flowers/trees/reptiles/mammals/places/museums/stores/historical sites/restaurants/etc. She was very immersed in the Hawaiian culture. Keala used Hawaiian words and explained their meaning. Keala also had a wonderful sense of humor! Keala celebrated people's birthdays and an anniversary. She helped "herd" all 39 people into a cohesive group. The bus and van drivers she chose were also an asset. They were safe drivers and well versed in the sights along our route. Also, Keala, had a gentleman shadow her as a future guide. She gave him a few opportunities to speak/sing that enhanced our experience. He was a success. Overall I'd give Keala an A+!James G.
This was my 1st tour with Gate 1 and I was not disappointed! Garrett, the tour guide, was knowledgeable, articulate, approachable, fun to be with! It was such a pleasure to be a passenger in a comfortable "coach" driven by Mark. He did a suburb job of keeping us on schedule and proving a great ride. The natural beauty of the areas traveled was so vast and staggering. I enjoyed every day of the tour as it unfolded. I look forwarded to scheduling another trip with Gate One Travel.Patricia P.
It was great. Garrett and Mark were awesome. The scenery was amazing also. This is our second Gate 1 trip and enjoyed both of them so much.Judith C.
Our trip was great! We loved the Denali train ride, the boat rides in Kenai and Seldovia, and the hike to see Exit Glacier. Also enjoyed the places we stayed and the food we ate (although perhaps Anchorage Sheraton was a bit farther to walk to town, but still manageable). Our tour guide, Betsy, and driver, Debi, were awesome. Great scenery in Alaska makes wonderful pictures. We loved the fresh air of Alaska. The little bit of rain did not damp our trip, we did mostly everything. It was a wonderful trip! We're glad we went!Susan L.