How much walking is there?
Security and TSA
do everything in our ability to maintain our positive relationship with you as our customer. Remember still, as there are places one would not walk alone at night for example in Detroit or Los Angeles, maintain common sense of safety and security and do not travel with large amounts of cash, high value jewelry etc. If there is an area you should stay away from for any particular reason, your guide and escort will make it known to you. Remember the laws, protections and customs we enjoy in the US may not apply or be similar everywhere we go. Stay with the group, listen to your guide and escort, do not bring unnecessary attention to yourself and you will return from your pilgrimage telling your friends and family that every scare and exaggeration we see in our US media is so far from the truth regarding safety and security for tourists. This is especially true in places like Mexico and the Middle East!
Travel Protection Plans
We strongly suggest you purchase travel protection and have an established relationship with Travel Insured Intl. Although we recommend Travel Insured Intl. you may choose any reputable travel insurance company you like. When booking with John Paul Pilgrimages and Tours, you must note upon your registration form if you have elected to purchase or declined travel insurance. Insurance inclusions and options are many, such as Emergency Accident & Sickness Medical Expense, Pre-existing Medical Coverage (you are eligible for Pre-existing Medical Conditions coverage if you purchase the policy between 21 and 30 days after your initial trip deposit), Trip Cancellation/Interruption protection due to Sickness (includes family), Pre-existing Medical Conditions, Injury (includes family), Death (includes family), Bankruptcy/Default, Medical Evacuation, Medical or Legal Assistance, ID /Credit Recovery Assistance and more. Some groups will have special travel protection options offered with their registration, if so you may review those options as printed with your registration forms.
Gratuities are not always included in the tour cost. Depending on the particular tour, an amount of approximately $8-$12 per person per day will be collected Day 1 to cover certain entrance fees, local guide gratuity, driver gratuity, restaurant and hotel staff gratuity etc. What is collected on Day 1 is not kept as a gratuity by your Escort, Organizer or Spiritual Director. We ask that you tip your Escort at your discretion and recommend $5 per day. We have provided envelopes with your final documents for your convenience. Your Organizer and/or Spiritual Director spend a significant amount of time and energy planning your pilgrimage, keeping things in order, and creating a memorable experience for you. You are encouraged to let them know if they were successful in this endeavor, and if you like you may offer them a donation or gratuity.
Meals and Drinks
MEALS Meals are provided as indicated on your registration and itinerary, breakfast (B), lunch (L), and dinner (D). Most itineraries have all breakfasts and dinners included. Some include lunches as well. Local cuisine plays an important factor in experiencing the culture of the places we visit. Breakfast is almost always buffet style at the hotel. Dinners are either at the hotel, served or buffet, or at a local private restaurant. Sometimes meals and their locations must be substituted. Some people prefer to eat dinner at the hotel so they can come and go as they please, others prefer going out for a different flavor. We try to mix it up a bit to accommodate the group. Those with special diets, allergies and other medical dietary restrictions must advise JPPT upon registration, AND their Escort upon Day 1. While we will do everything we can to accommodate your specific needs, please understand it is not always possible, and although we may have special meals confirmed from restaurants and airlines, they may still manage to fail on their part when it comes to meal time. Neither JPPT nor its Escorts, Guides and employees can be held responsible for meal related problems.
DRINKS Drinks are not always included with meals. Water is available at meals, but alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and others are generally not included. This is customary in locales we visit. With breakfast you can usually expect coffee, tea, and juice. Some of your dinners or lunches will include beverages, further some with beer or wine. Your Escort will advise of these special occasions.
vise in finding the local accredited service, with meters and the best rates.
How to Pack
Pack light, as it is always easier to travel this way. Review the weather for our destinations and always bring an extra layer such as a jacket or sweater as weather can change unpredictably. Expect to walk most days and bring comfortable footwear as well as something appropriate to wear in church. Many churches do not allow open toe footwear, exposed shoulders, shorts, etc. Women should bring a shawl or other clothing to cover their shoulders which can be kept with them every day should we visit a place where bare shoulders are not allowed. Please pack keys, cell phones, chargers, money, passport, tickets, itineraries, medications (enough for the entire trip plus a few days, in their original packaging with prescription), glasses and any other essential items in your carry on should your checked bag get lost or be delayed, during both flights to and from home.
ELECTRONICS We recommend bringing a small camera, spare memory cards, batteries and a charger. Electricity voltages are standardized as 110v or 220v. In the US we use a two or three flat pronged plug with 110v. In Europe, the power is 220v, in Mexico it is 110v. Different countries have different prong styles. Many electronic devices such as phone/camera chargers, shavers, and others can accept both 110v and 220v but do not have user adjustable plugs. Please check your device information tag, manual or contact the manufacturer to determine if it can be used with different voltages. If so, you may purchase an adaptor to plug into the wall outlet which allows you to use the flat blade style plug. They are available in most US electronics stores for under $20. If the device does not accept 220v, you may purchase a convertor which will transform the electricity to 220v. These are more expensive, heavier, and harder to find. The hotels we use generally have irons and hair dryers available for your use. You may contact us or the hotels directly to confirm this when you receive your final documents should this be a concern.
CLOTHING We recommend packing enough clothing to last as many days of the trip plus one or two. Layering rather than bringing several sweaters, jackets and coats etc will help minimize the amount of clothing you bring. Remember a jacket, and to bring comfortable clothes which are appropriate to wear to mass. Don’t forget toiletries and medications. Try not to bring big bottles of shampoo, soap etc., rather small travel sized containers. For more specific packing lists, we suggest looking here. We strongly suggest bringing a bible, prayer book and journal.