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Guide Me

europe travel guide


You are about to embark on what will be one of the most exciting and educational experiences of your life: Europe! A few minutes' reading now will put you into the Club Europa picture and help pave the way to a great trip. Should you have any remaining questions, please feel free to write or call us. Our offices are open weekdays from 10 AM to 6 PM Eastern Time.

Please do the following:

  1. Check that the date assignment for you is acceptable and that your travel mates got the same departure date.

  2. Check your BILLING STATEMENT; ask us if you have any questions.

  3. Complete and send back to us any enclosed RETURN FORM.

  4. Verify that you have a valid passport; our catalog has "how to" instructions.

  5. Take steps to get any visas you'll need; US and Canadian citizens need visas for Russia; if this applies to you, see the enclosed visa materials, and please follow all instructions carefully.

  6. Verify that you have travel insurance coverage; this can be our Group Policy (see page 35 of our catalog for an overview) or your own policy. If you need additional coverage, we suggest that you contact Travelex Insurance. You may purchase online at:

Do the following before you leave on your Club Europa trip:

  1. Read this TRAVEL GUIDE.

  2. Meet the due dates for your balance of payment.

  3. Get the items you'll need on your trip; see our packing list on pages 6 & 7.

  4. Inform yourself about the countries and places you will visit.

Things To Do Now

Your travel dates are noted in the enclosed cover letter. If you have any problem with these dates, please contact us immediately. Don't forget to check that any roommates and travel companions received the same date assignment. We have done our best to group you according to your wishes, subject to date availability; we hope your assignment fits your personal plans.

Please look through everything carefully If there is anything enclosed that is not in keeping with your travel needs, please let us know quickly!

Read through your BILLING STATEMENT. This lists all items, each amount and your balance of payment. If you have any questions, please ask us.

Payments should be made payable to: Club Europa Trust. They should be in US. dollars only. Payments made within 60 days of departure must be by money order, certified check or credit card- no personal checks. Please list your name on any check. Whether paying by check or credit card, please complete and send us any enclosed RETURN FORM today!

Your canceled check or money order (or certified check) copy serves as your trip payment receipt. Credit card charges will appear on your monthly credit card statement.

Every Club Europa participant needs a valid passport to travel abroad. If you do not have one yet, act immediately! See our catalog's 'GET SET FOR ADVENTURE' section, under 'What Travel Documents do I need?' on page 10 for "how to" instructions.

United States and Canadian citizens:

US. and Canadian citizens currently do not need a visa for any country visited on our European trips.

If you are neither a United States, nor a Canadian citizen:

You will probably need visas for some of the countries your trip visits. You should get instructions from us on how to do this, but it is your duty to check which visas you will need and to get them.

You must get a "Multiple-Entry" Visa for any country you will enter more than once: in particular, if you are traveling on the Classic program, you will visit some countries several times:

On the 15-day Classic:

Germany and Austria

On the 29-day or 36-day Classic:

Germany, Austria, Italy and France


No inoculations are required to visit the countries on your trip. You might consult your personal physician for any special health concerns.

The Key To A Great Trip

How much you enjoy your trip depends not only on how well we do our job, but also on your own expectations.

European comfort standards (air conditioning, speedy service, etc.) are not yet up to North American standards. After all, Americans enjoy just about the highest living standard in the world - and use up more resources in doing so.

If you have spoken with our references, we hope their descriptions gave you the right outlook: we're a fairly inexpensive travel program, not a luxury extravaganza.

There aren't luxury Hiltons or TV sets in every room. If you're used to deluxe accommodations, please don't expect that now. Why? A single room at a London Holiday Inn~ costs nearly $210 every night! Since our trips run about $75 per day (that covers hotels and transportation, meals, Special Events, sightseeing and staff expenses), we are making all your travel dollars buy more.

Come with the most positive attitude you can muster. Know that you want your trip to succeed; there are bound to be annoyances, delays and problems, but don't let them affect your enjoyment; your frame-of-mind will largely determine how much you - and others - enjoy the trip.

We stress "hands-on" adventure. There's always something going on - you needn't participate, but you will have a more fun time if you do. We'll give you the framework, but you must play an active, positive role. Join up, join in, and you'll have a richer and more interesting experience.

Someone always wanting to be first, to get the best, to be the star, sooner or later learns how lonely it gets "at the top." Be tolerant, considerate and helpful, and your travel mates will look upon you as one reason their trip was great!

"I'm here with my own friends. We are so superior in sophistication, looks, intelligence, etc., that we certainly will never associate with anyone else." Please don't fall prey to such notions. Consider that most participants come without travel companions. Make the most of this opportunity to widen your horizons and meet new people.

We try to fashion our groups according to age; however, this isn't possible if there are limited departure dates or if travel companions differ in age. Please don't reject someone based solely upon his or her age -you just might be passing up a great friendship!

If you're a "natural leader," please do not contest your Group Leaders leadership rôle - that only leads to division, stress and unhappiness in your group. Instead, support your escort, and others will follow your lead.

Should you have a gripe concerning your Club Europa trip, above all concerning fellow travelers, please consult your Group Leader in private - if he or she is unable to solve it, seek out our senior staff and we'll do our best to help.

Weather Forecast

The European summer climate is as varied as the continent is large...

North of the Alps, summers are temperate: it's mild at the seashore, while inland regions are warmer The British Isles get frequent rain. Up in the Alps, days are cool with higher elevations noted for crisp nights. South of the Alps, Mediterranean summers are warm, at times even hot. Italy experiences some humidity, while Spain and Greece have only slight rainfall.

We've listed below some average low and high temperatures. Of course, what you encounter could easily be both hotter and colder than average (weather patterns are notoriously unpredictable, with one month cold and wet, the next hot and dry).

Come with a wardrobe flexible enough to handle marked weather changes: a warm change of clothes, rain wear and light sun wear If you're on the 'GREEK GETAWAY', you should focus on casual & beach wear.



Temperature Conversion Calculator

Type in the temperature you want to convert in the left box and click the button.

Time Zone Tool

Use Club Europa Travel's Time Zone Tool to see what time it is anywhere on earth.


How To Pack

Bring one hardcover suitcase (no larger than 29" x 20" x 9"- 75 cm x 50 cm x 23 cm) that you'll check in on your flights, and one soft-cover tote bag to carry with you, it should fit under your airplane seat.

Your hardcover suitcase will better survive the hard-knocks of travel (avoid fabrics) and is more easily loaded into your motorcoach's luggage hold. Ideal is a light suitcase, with small built-in wheels and a leather strap wrapped around the middle.

Your soft-cover tote bag should carry vital articles, personal documents, medicines, toiletries and a change of clothing - in case your suitcase takes a day or two longer to get to your flights destination.

Please do not acquire more tote bags along the way: there isn't enough room on your motorcoach! If you're a shopper, mail your purchases home. The limit is one tote bag.

Attach your LUGGAGE TAG to your suitcase, and put your name, address and phone number inside both your suitcase and tote bag.

Remove any old flight destination tags to avoid confusing baggage handlers.

Lock your suitcase to avoid accidental openings (pack a duplicate set of luggage keys inside), and keep the original set of luggage keys on your person.

To preclude questions at customs upon your return, register expensive items, such as a European camera, with a customs officer at the airport where you'll board your overseas flight. Clearly mark your prescription bottles (carry a copy of the prescription) for any medicines you'll need.

The airlines' weight limit for your one large suitcase is a strict 44 lbs. (20 kg.). Traveling light really helps on your trip: everyone carries his or her luggage from the bus to their hotel room (and back) - and not every hotel has an elevator!

Be discriminating in choosing what to bring if you have doubts, leave it behind. Most toiletries are readily available at pharmacies, so if you have overlooked something, you can buy it on your trip.

Do not bring valuables, jewelry, fragile items, significant cash or anything you could not bear to lose or break.

Pack tightly since loose items are more prone to damage and wrinkle far more easily, but leave some space for souvenirs. Put heavier items (like shoes -you might stuff them with underwear or socks, then put them in plastic bags) in the bottom; lighter, more easily wrinkled articles go on top; the corners and sides can be stuffed with rolled-up wrinkle-proof items (socks, sweaters, underwear, etc.). Fold everything as little as possible, placing any creases and seams where they won't be seen - pleated or ruffled clothes should therefore be avoided. Finally, put in what you'll need first: sleep wear, umbrella, etc. Place any fluids (cosmetics, etc.) in small leak proof plastic bottles inside resealable plastic bags. Small trial-size samples are ideal. You can even "under-pressurize" plastic bottles to compensate for the airplanes' lowered air pressure by:

1: Not filling plastic bottles right to the top and then

2: closing the plastic bottles while squeezing slightly so a small dent remains on the outer surface of the bottle.

What To Pack

While US. and Canadian electric outlets carry 110 Volts (rms) line voltage, European outlets double that voltage to 220 Volts (rms). Some devices, like hair dryers and electric razors, come with a built-in transformer and a switch to change voltages. Otherwise, you'll need an extra transformer ("converter') to step down the voltage from 220 Volts to 110 Volts. You'll also need plug adapters to fit over American plugs to "mate" them to the different types of European outlets (they have round holes, not flat slots). Plug adapters are sold at luggage, hardware and electric stores, say at Radio Shack, with lists showing where they can be used.

Bring as much photographic film as you think you'll need: you can barter away or use up later film you find you don't need. Film in Europe is more expensive: the price often includes processing.

Process your exposed film back home. Airport security X-ray machines shouldn't affect films with an ASA rating of 100 or lower (that is, slower), but, to be safe, carry your unexposed (exposed film is safe) film in your tote bag and have it hand-inspected.

Guard your camera equipment carefully - it's a favorite target for thieves!

Our annual PHOTO CONTEST (color slides are preferable) gives you a chance to see your work published; send us your duplicate slides or prints (do not entrust anything irreplaceable to the mail) before our deadline of September 1. Every picture we select for possible use wins a cool $50!

Shop first in your closet - don't use your trip as an excuse for a new wardrobe. After all, nobody in your group has seen your clothes before! Young Europeans' fashions are more daring and avant-garde than back home, but churches require that both men and women keep their shoulders and knees covered. In Russia, you can still sell 'Western" clothing like jeans (Levi's®, Lee®, and Wrangler®, cowboy hats, etc., but the profit margin isn't what it used to be.

Work around a basic color scheme, employing clothes that can be worn in different combinations, in several "layers" to account for various climates. Prints and darker colors stay fresher-looking longer than solids and pastels; spraying clothes with a water-repellent formula can enhance stain-resistance. Colors and fabrics are important at laundry time, so avoid dry-clean-only articles. Drip-dry permanent-press clothes are more travel-worthy, so favor synthetic blends (all-natural fibers are harder to maintain, all-synthetic ones less comfortable to wear).

Keep your travel documents (passport, flight tickets, traveler's checks, credit cards, etc.) always on your person or with you, never in your checked suitcase!

In your suitcase, pack back-up documentation; two extra passport photos for your passport and any visas you need; photocopies of your passport's personal data pages, flight tickets and student ID's; and a list of the numbers on your traveler's checks, credit cards and ID's. This can help in replacing lost or stolen items.

Suggested Packing List


  • 1 dressy outfit-a nice street length dress (no need for floor length) for fancy nights out
  • 2 sun dresses or skirts
  • 2 short-sleeve tops
  • 2 pairs of jeans or slacks
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 2 T-shirts
  • 1 warm sweater (2 in May or June)
  • 1 lightweight raincoat or windbreaker
  • 3 pairs of socks & 3 pairs of nylons
  • several sets of underwear (I insulated set if you'll be north of the Alps in May)
  • 1 pair of durable, very comfortable, well-ventilated walking shoes
  • l pair of tennis shoes
  • 1 pair of dress shoes
  • 1 pair of gloves - if you'll ski
  • 1 swimsuit- l,f you'll swim
  • sleep wear
  • accessories for different outfits


  • 1 lightweight sports jacket (optional) & dress shirt & pants
  • 1 neck tie & belt
  • 2 pairs of jeans or casual pants
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 3 sports shirts
  • 3 T-shirts
  • 1 warm sweater (2 in May or June)
  • l lightweight raincoat or windbreaker
  • socks
  • several sets of underwear (1 insulated set if you'll be north of the Alps in May)
  • 1 pair of durable, very comfortable well ventilated walking shoes
  • 1 pair of tennis shoes
  • 1 pair of dress shoes
  • 1 pair of gloves- if you'll ski
  • swimming trunks - if you'll swim
  • sleep wear


  • medicines (including Dramamine® for travel sickness, Keopectate®, Lomotil® or Doxycline® for diarrhea, Calamine® for insect bites, antihistamines, throat lozenges, cold remedy, Chapstick®, antacid, aspirin, vitamins -Europeans do not sell vitamins over-the-counter)
  • insect repellent, Band-Aids®, antiseptic, suntan lotion - also if you'll be skiing
  • travel manicure & sewing kits
  • extra eyeglasses, contacts & solution


  • travel alarm clock - it must work!
  • sunglasses, sun hat & shower cap
  • collapsible umbrella
  • plastic drinking glass
  • wash cloth & thin bath-sized towel
  • scrub brush for hand laundry
  • spot remover, laundry detergent (like Cheer® or Woolite®, sink stopper plug
  • travel clothes line & clothes pins, inflatable hangers, laundry pen
  • plastic Ziplock bag(s) &- rubber bands - to hold wet swimsuits, etc.
  • personal address book
  • pens & travel diary
  • duplicate set of luggage keys
  • separate list of your traveler's checks' numbers, your credit card numbers...
  • photocopies of your passport's personal data pages, your flight tickets, etc.
  • 2 passport photos for your passport and every visa you'll need on your trip

Of course, this is merely a suggested list. Naturally we don't know your personal tastes, so if you simply cannot live without your "all-white-dry-clean-only-must-be ironed" blouse, by all means bring it.

Break in new shoes before your trip, so they're already comfortable to wear.


  • pocket calculator- to recalculate local prices in terms of more familiar dollars
  • air mail stationery & envelopes
  • bottle/can opener & pocket knife
  • wet & dry tissues
  • pair of rubber thongs
  • adapter plug(s) & transformer (a.k.a. "converter") - for those appliances requiring an outlet
  • Walk- or Discman®, ear plugs and a few cassettes or CD's
  • portable short-wave radio
  • road map of Europe
  • travel games (cards) & guide books
  • foreign phrase book or language tapes


Guard the following carefully against loss or theft while traveling, keep them with you, on your person or in your tote bag:

  • passport
  • flight tickets
  • wallet or purse/pocket book
  • traveler's checks - with details on getting them replaced
  • major credit cards find out how to get cash advances, etc. with each.
  • university or college ID - if you are a full-time student
  • toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, razor &blades, soap, shampoo, conditioner~ deodorant, Desenex, aftershave, perfume, comb/hairbrush, cosmetics)
  • prescription medicines - bring a copy of the prescription: wear a medic alert tag for special allergies or problems
  • luggage keys
  • Club Europa HOTEL LIST
  • eyeglasses or contacts & solution
  • wristwatch
  • camera, equipment & film - these are a favorite target for thieves!



The convenient way to wash your laundry is using your hotel room's sink with cold water detergents like Cheer® or Wollite®: However, hotels hate water puddles on the floor (and you won't make friends in the room below), so mildly wring permanent press clothes before hanging them. To speed drying, ensure that the front and back of your clothes aren't touching (try inflatable hangers). Synthetics and synthetic blends are the fastest to dry. Do not hang your laundry outside, on balcony railings (that may violate city laws). And... any type of iron is way too cumbersome!

Public laundromats are rare: ask the hotel staff or check the Yellow Pages. You'll find that self-service Laundromats (in Northern Europe) are cheapest attended Laundromats (in Southern Europe) cost more; and full-service laundry services (which may also offer dry cleaning) charge by-the-piece, which really adds up. Identify your clothing with indelible markers!

For self-service Laundromats, take your wash, detergent and a supply of local coins (there may be no change machine). Check the washing machine for a "spin cycle" at times a separate machine (an "extractor") does that. Verify all heat settings, since most are set high by default.

For Laundromats run by attendants (these places may close for lunch): hand over your laundry make clear any water or drying temperature needs, and be there are at the finish to fold or hang your washed clothes - bring along hangers.

For full-service laundries, make sure you understand beforehand the service offered and the total cost - there may be express charges if you can't wait a couple of days. Clothes may be boiled be prepared to find everything ironed (including permanent press) and shirts starched.


If you're flying with us, you'll get your flight tickets and detailed instructions in your FINAL MAILING about two weeks before departure. If you've asked us to book your flights from a city other than New York, any additional flight tickets will be part of the flight ticket booklet we send.

Upon arriving in Europe, go through customs control, and look for a Club Europa staff member holding a large 'WELCOME' sign. You're in good hands!

We'll expect to see you at the hotel in the first city of your Club Europa trip, on your trip's starting date in Europe Your trip will begin one day later in Europe than the North American departure date in our catalog. The name and address of this hotel will be enclosed in your FINAL MAILING. Just check in at the hotel desk, announce yourself as a Club Europa (ISE) Member, and they'll put you in touch with your Group Leader; he or she will get you squared away in one of our hotel rooms.

Domestic and overseas flights can last over 16 hours; add in the change in time zones, and you'll see how strenuous jet lag can become. To keep from sleeping through the first few days, get plenty of rest in the days before your trip. On long flights, take off your shoes, and loosen tight-fitting clothes; get up regularly, and stretch yourself; drink nonalcoholic drinks, do not eat too much, and use the planes pillows, blankets and eye shades to catch a few winks (you might consider a sleeping pill if you tolerate them). When you've arrived in Europe, go to bed early and eat lightly the first few days.


When it's noon Eastern Time* in America, it's 5 PM in Britain, Ireland and Portugal, 6 PM in Central Europe, 7 PM in Greece and Eastern Europe, and 8 PM in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Europeans often use the 24-hour clock, where noon is given as 12:00 and midnight as 24:00 hours.

*That is, 1 PM Atlantic, 11 AM Central, 10 AM Mountain and 9 AM Pacific Time.

You can deepen your insights and enhance your appreciation by acquainting yourself beforehand with the places you'll visit. The Encyclopedia can get you started, or try travel books like Lets Go!, Insight Guide, Birnbaum, etc. For more details, check out the Baedecker, Michelin and Blues Guides. For up-to-date news, refer to overseas newspapers and magazines or listen to foreign short-wave broadcasts.

English publications widely available in Europe include daily British newspapers like The Times®, Guardian and Observer®, the weekday The European®, International Herald Tribune® and Wall Street Journal® (all with daily currency exchange rates), as well as the weeklies The Economist® , Newsweek® and Time® (but not McLeans®). At times, you'll also find USA Today®. Train stations and the like often have bookshops with English-language books.

The British Broadcasting Corporation® (BBC) and Voice of America® (VOA) both program around-the-clock on short-wave radio, and other countries intermittently beam English programs. Around England and any British and American military bases on the Continent, you can also receive AM and FM English broadcasts on the American Forces Network, The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Voice of America (VOA) both program around-the-clock on short-wave radio, and other countries intermittently beam English programs. Around En gland and any British and American military bases on the Continent, you can also receive AM and FM English broadcasts on the American Forces Network, The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Voice of America (VOA) both program around-the-clock on short-wave radio, and other countries intermittently beam English programs. Around En gland and any British and American military bases on the Continent, you can also receive AM and FM English broadcasts on the American Forces Network® (AFN).


Keep your eyes and ears open, and take care! Pedestrians rarely get an automatic "right of way" (if they do, it's ignored). Don't get too close or step off the curb in Athens, don't photograph in the middle of the Champs-Elysées and don't jaywalk in Budapest. In Britain, it's "eyes right" when crossing streets: traffic drives on the left side of the road so you'll first encounter traffic coming from your right side!

Do not engage in dangerous silliness or daring risk-taking. This holds true above all at "active" Special Events like water-sports, river rafting, bicycling and the like. Never forget that it:s better to be safe than sorry - having your leg in a cast can be such a drag on the rest of your trip.

Listen to the people "in the know": they are not trying to ruin your fun - they are trying to ensure your safety. Do not go mountain hiking if they say the conditions are right for avalanches (which are frequent); do not go windsurfing or sailing if the experts feel its too windy or choppy.

Crime is far less common than in the US, but here are a few words to the wise:

Don't be ostentatious; keep any valuable items hidden. Purses and cameras should be worn bandolier-style, carried under your arm, especially in crowded situations. Even better, keep your camera in your tote bag, and secure your money in a pouch hung from your neck (carried under your shirt or blouse). Keep all belongings within reach - and in view - at a restaurant or store, and double-check that you're not forgetting anything when you leave.


Our travel insurance benefits are summarized in the TRAVEL INSURANCE PAK issued by 'Travelex Insurance Company'. For additional information about travel insurance options see travel insurance or why buy travel insurance.

Once you send in your completed application form (with payment) or order online, you'll receive more information, including how to file a claim.

For your convenience, you may purchase your travel insurance online at:

Should you suffer a mishap that your travel insurance covers, here are some general guidelines you should follow:

  1. Collect proof for all expenses - at first ,you will have to pay for them. For any medical outlays, have the hospital, pharmacy or physician give you bills or receipts for all expenses, with the doctor's signed & stamped diagnosis and treatment recommendation.

    Report lost or stolen items to the local police where the event occurred - your police report copy will be your proof of loss or theft.

  2. Upon your return home (after your trip concludes), call your insurance carrier.

    They will give you exact instructions. They will send you an insurance claim form; complete and return it - within 30 days of your return home - with the original receipts, bills, police reports, etc. Keep photocopies of everything! Reimbursement checks will be sent directly to you.

If you have any questions on travel insurance, please contact Travelex at:

Monday - Friday
8AM - 8 PM (CST)
1-888-457-4602 (1-888-TRAVELEX)

Be sure to mention location # 13-6051 when you call.

Email customer service department at:
or call 888-457-4602 (8:00 am to 8:00 pm Central Time, Monday through Friday)

Your Trip Itinerary

Being on time is vital. If you aren't there, we must leave without you. Its not fair to keep everyone waiting around for one tardy person. After all, everyone's time in Europe is equally valuable, and we want to make the most of it! Avoid the hassle of having to catch up on your own, and don't (literally) miss the boat. If a departure time is set for 9 AM, be there! if someone is missing at breakfast, please tell your escort, or go wake up the person.

Local conditions, such as opening schedules at sights, mean that we cannot follow the exact sequence described for our trips itineraries. Your escort will tell you at each location when we'll be doing what (often he or she will paste a 'CALENDAR OF EVENTS' notice in your hotels lobby).

Occasionally we are unable in offer some sight or excursion (for example, when there is a full moon, the SOUND & LIGHT DRAMA' is canceled, since the night is too bright for the illumination program). In such cases, we will seek a replacement.

At times, we may offer optional excursions or events appealing to more limited interests. Whenever they're offered, you map choose to sign up for them; there's an extra charge, but the cost will be well below what it costs an individual traveler.

Our catalog describes what's included in your trip, from sightseeing to Special Events, but you'll also have some free time in each city. Our staff will have suggestions on how to spend it. Make use of your free time you know best what interests you, and this is your chance to pursue personal goals. Europe is too much of an opportunity to pass by so don't while away your time sitting in the hotel lobby!

We cannot allow any traveler to jeopardize the safety or impede the rest of the group at the frequent border luggage inspections. If the authorities catch you with anything illegal (like drugs), you'll end up visiting that country a lot longer than you had bargained for! Forget about what you've heard about Amsterdam or Copenhagen... not one word about drugs, or well put you on a one-way ticket home!

You're free to leave your group at any time, to deviate from our itinerary (at your expense) for any length of time you choose. This is fine with us, but please let your Group Leader know that you're leaving the group, so your escort doesn't worry about your where abouts - or needlessly alarm your relatives! Tell your Group Leader when and where you plan to rejoin your group, so we'll know to expect you. Since we rely on the group discounts derived from advance hotel and meal reservations, we cannot grant refunds for the days you're absent from the group.

Life In The Fast Lane

Europe is a large continent, and you'll travel along many miles in your motorcoach. We've designed your trip to optimally cover the distances, but it does take time to get around, so come prepared for some lengthy bus rides. In fact, there will be days when you spend most of the day traveling - that can mean over nine hours on the bus!

Bring along books, road maps, travel games, cards, CD's and cassettes. Well also organize group games and music, with time for journal-writing and sleeping. Of course, traveling by bus does let you see all the varied landscapes of Europe, while still enjoying door-to-door service. During "travel" days, stops are made regularly at conveniences.

Well stop every two to three hours during cross-country trips for a quick smoke break, but smoking is not permitted aboard the bus (it would be intolerable, since with air conditioning the windows are kept shut). There is one exception; your chauffeur and city guides (Europeans smoke a lot more than Americans.). With your safety in his hands, your chauffeur is king with his window open next to him, the smoke shouldn't bother those sitting farther back.

Certain bus seats tend to be more popular than others. Should this become a problem; your Group Leader will institute a "seat rotation" plan to give each person a chance at preferred seats. Fear not, with large panoramic windows, every seat offers a superb view of the countryside.

Please help keep your motorcoach clean (no feet on the seats, no garbage except in the wastepaper basket), follow safety rules (no dangling arms out of the windows, no acrobatics in the aisles), and adhere to luggage rules (no heavy items in the overhead racks).

If you play a musical instrument, bring it! Musical instruments (guitar -yes, grand piano - no) are exempt from your baggage allowance. It s great to have live music on the bus, for sing-alongs, etc.

Most coaches come with stereo cassette systems, so you might bring one or two cassette tapes. Also pack your Walk- or Discman, so you can have your music without imposing on others... and since you won't like everyone else's taste in music, bring your own ear plugs.

Mechanical difficulties do occur, even on spanking-new busses. Even if your chauffeur does his daily service check, this switch or that wire could give out, especially if subjected to unusual stress: the hotter the weather, the harder the air conditioning has to work. and the more likely that it will fizzle. While this is more the exception than the rule, this can happen. If so, well try to get you up and running as quickly as possible.

Many groups also trade in their wheels to sail over to Greece or ride the rails to Italy. On over night journeys, sleeping accommodations are not double-occupancy. It is typically European to have from four to six people quartered in a compartment.


We will send you a HOTEL LIST with all hotel addresses and phone numbers, in your FINAL MAILING. Pass out copies to your family and friends: any last-minute changes will be announced in Europe.

Always carry your HOTEL LIST with you, so when you're exploring by yourself you can refer to your hotel's location and phone number.

Your hotels will be clean and comfortable, with a helpful, friendly knowledgeable staff. Although there aren't TVs and water beds, there are cozy sitting rooms and goose down comforters.

Our accommodations are based on double occupancy rooms (except on the Greek Isles and aboard ships and trains) - two persons noting on their RESERVATION FORM that they plan to travel together will receive a twin-share room. Depending on availability, single travelers will get a twin- or triple-share room. While we do not impose a single supplement charge, triples do not get a refund.

In seeking twin rooms with private bath. We compete for hotel space with countless well-heeled "adult" travel groups with very generous budgets. In highly popular destinations like London, Paris and Rome, this lets hotels raise their room rates so much that we may be forced to select more reasonable hotels beyond the downtown district (occasionally in the suburbs).

We try to see that city sights remain accessible via public transportation, such as subway and bus routes.

Most hotels have only one key per room. If you're the last one to leave the room, please lock it, and leave the key at the hotel's front desk: otherwise, your roommate(s) won't be able to get in before you return. When your group leaves a hotel, please leave your room key at the hotel's front desk!

Party hearty but please - not in your room. Other guests are trying to sleep!

If you leave your room fairly tidy, the maids will gladly clean it up. But if it looks as if a hurricane just hit, they won't!

Search your room thoroughly before checking out - anything left behind will probably never catch up with you!

To get the best value for you, we've negotiated down to the last penny in setting hotel prices. This means, though, that hotels absolutely will not tolerate nor absorb the cost of any sort of damage to hotel property deliberately or accidentally caused by anyone in your group. Yes, this also applies to the "innocent" souvenir-shopping of hotel towels and ashtrays.

Any hotel will insist on immediately getting full monetary restitution. In case the party responsible cannot be determined, everyone in your group will be assessed a proportional charge. So please... help us keep on good terms with our hotels.


Please consult your itinerary for the daily breakfasts (B), lunches (L) and dinners (D) included on your trip. Occasionally we may need to switch which meals we'll provide: your Group Leader will notify you in advance. Of course, we'll introduce you to many native foods at our 'Special Dinners: such as our 'Plaka Feast' in Athens and 'French Bistro Dinner' in Paris.

As always, punctuality matters: needless to say if you're not there for the departure to a restaurant, you may miss out on some of the courses - or on the whole meal.

To Americans, the traditional European breakfast is not a meal, but a diet. Continental breakfasts mean rolls & toast, butter & jam, coffee & tea. This admittedly isn't Aunt Jemima pancakes, bacon & eggs and juice - if you're looking for such American breakfasts, they can be had, but count on spending about $10 extra every day. Take heart -you'll be surprised how accustomed you'll get to European breakfasts. Besides, we do have some breakfast surprises for you!

If you are a vegetarian, please inform your Group Leader at the start of your trip. Your escort will try to arrange a substitute course for you when the meal includes a meat dish. Please understand that every restaurants kitchen has prepared one special meal for our group, so the restaurant may not have any other dishes available any substitutions are up to the goodwill of the restaurant and the food on hand in the kitchen.

The standard of hygiene is high in Northern Europe (tap water is safe), but when dining out in Mediterranean and Eastern European countries, exercise some caution; be careful with tap water (or ice or popsicle), milk (or ice cream, yogurt or cheese), unbottled beverages (except hot tea or coffee), uncooked food, fresh vegetables and fruit you can't peel yourself.

Every region has its culinary specialties, served in the corner pub, bistro, taverna, trattoria... and it's just the place to rub shoulders with the locals. Keep in mind:

European food is expensive: at a modest restaurant, you can easily spend over $15 for lunch, $20 for dinner - that's per person! As a result, food consumption is carefully monitored; all-you-can-eat "salad bars" are rare, and you might be asked to pay for any consumed rolls, crackers or pastries put -you thought as a courtesy - on your table. You may be billed for tap water, and there may even be a minimum charge just for taking a seat!

While beer and wine are customary, tap water (as opposed to mineral water) and milk are not. If you insist on milk, it might be served warm or hot. Soft drinks like Coke®, Pepsi®, Fanta®, and Sprite® are readily available (most likely served without ice cubes) - at prices of over two dollars.

10% to 15% tipping is expected. Unless its included in the price (in the menus price list, look for "Service Compris," "Servicio Incluido," "TTC," "Bedienungsinklusiv") or is added automatically to your bill, usually at a 15% rate. In such "tip included" cases, spare change (up to 5%) is welcome.

Club Europa Crew

Everyone's "fantasy" Group Leader looks like a model, speaks ten languages and is more knowledgeable than an almanac on the history culture, economics and local gossip of every city. This imaginary escort can find any hotel blindfolded, can create a party mood in a flash, is full of jokes, can solve all problems, is always understanding, works without pay and never needs any praise. Please... be reasonable in your expectations of your real Group Leader After all, he or she is only human, with both strengths and weaknesses.

All our escorts are multi-lingual graduates or students from European universities. On "formal" adult-type trips, escorts wear a suit & tie and seldom interact with the group. With us, escorts are young, eager adventurous - and at times they make mistakes in their English! They've all been trained to lead and take care of your group: your escort will get you from place to place and help see that everything runs smoothly. He or she will keep you informed of daily activities, such as meeting times and places, suggested attire, etc. But your leader will also be your first friend abroad, there by your side in times of need, just as in times of fun!

In the end, every escort is a mirror-image of the group - if your group supports your Group Leader your escort will be a strong, positive force to make your trip a great success.

Your driver will navigate your motorcoach. Keep your bus clean and tidy keep you comfortable and safe on every journey. He's able to maneuver his bus in ways you wouldn't manage a tiny Geo Metro: He's schooled in the rules of the road, safe driving techniques and basic vehicle maintenance. Since your safety is in his hands, do not distract him while he is driving.

Beyond that, he'll likely join in on much of pour fun. With older adult travel groups, a driver is a driver is a driver... our drivers get involved. Many begin by speaking little or no English, and, soon enough, they're jabbering away with a Southern twang!

Most travel groups rely on the giving of gratuities. Why? It's easier For anyone to motivate themselves to do their best when there:s something tangible "in it" for them. To put it frankly that means money.

Your escort and chauffeur will work hard day in, day out to make your trip better. Sure, they're enthusiastic and inspired... but they're also counting on you to make their effort worthwhile in financial terms.

Our catalog suggests a tip of $2.50 a day for your Group Leader and $1.50 a day for your driver (that works out to just over 10 cents and 6 cents an hour respectively). That's for a job well done. If you feel they did a truly excellent job, you might give more, if mediocre, somewhat less.

Please be fair in pour standards - a few people justify their parsimony by excessive expectations. "It could have been better..."

We ask you to "budget" such gratuities into your expenses: you might be embarrassed if you blew your budget and couldn't afford a tip at the end of your trip.

And Staff

While your escort may share historical facts and figures with you, our city guides are the final authority; they're well-versed and informed. Though every city has more poor guides than good ones (and by law we may only hire native guides), over the years, we've gotten some outstanding ones. How? By making it emotionally rewarding: please show every guide honest appreciation. Do not talk while they are speaking, ask meaningful questions and praise a job well done. Our guides give us their best, because we're known for being informed, inquisitive and enthusiastic!

Our guides are also your "insider's" source for free time ideas on what's "happening," from new exhibits to cultural events - and for advice on what's not happening, from theater productions that have closed to sights undergoing renovation.

Should you have a complaint "of the moment," please tell it to your escort. Well do our best to resolve it if possible. However, we'd also like to know how you feel about your Club Europa trip: what you especially enjoyed, what you'd like to see included in the future, what should be dropped... At the end of your trip, well ask you to complete our QUESTIONNAIRE covering many aspects of your trip -you can also add personal comments. Your comments are important to us, since they help us improve our trips.


Sooner or later (more likely sooner), you'll learn that European toilets are denoted by 'W.C.' (for Water Closet), at times with a silhouette of a man or woman. Ask for the "public toilet" (in Britain, try the word "lavatory"); don't ask for the "rest room" or "bathroom" (that just has a bathtub).

Public toilets are uncommon, so waiting lines are common, especially for women. You'll probably find toilets at the train and bus stations, museums and other tourist attractions, department stores (try the top floor, near the elevator or escalator), large office buildings, bars, restaurants and cafes. Of course, hotels also have toilets around their lobby but they may resist your using them if you're not a guest -act self-confident and look assured.

At times, toilets cost money: there may be an attendant, or the stalls may have coin-operated doors (accepting only local currency). Infrequently supplies are lacking, so a small supply of toilet paper helps. Feminine hygiene products are not sold here, but in pharmacies.

Less advisable are freestanding (sometimes underground) 'PUBLIC TOILET' buildings by the street or in parks; they can have unpredictable sanitary (and unpleasant safety) conditions.

The stress of intensive travel days may make you queasy, so we strongly suggest bringing an anti-diarrhetic like Keopectate®, Lomotil® or Doxycline®. Though your coach will make regular stops, an upset stomach can make any journey uncomfortable! Naturally, if you're susceptible to travel sickness, Dramamine® is essential.

Mail Call

You can get mail from home at various hotels during your trip. In your FINAL MAILING, you'll receive a HOTEL LIST. Give a copy to your family and friends, so they can write to you. Tell them that all letters sent to you in Europe must:

  1. be sent by air mail no later than two weeks before the date you'll arrive at the letters destination;
  2. have, on the address, after your name, with your last name in underlined CAPITAL LETTERS, the words:
    CLUB EUROPA + your Club Europa Group Number

For example, if your group is to arrive in Rome on July 15, mail sent to you in Rome must be sent off by airmail by July 1. Mail will be held for you at the hotel until your group's arrival. We cannot be responsible for mail that arrives at a hotel after you've left again.

Each country has its own set of postage stamps and rates, and, of course, each country accepts only its own stamps when you mail off something, so be sure to use up any stamps before you leave the issuing country.

Send any postcards and letters bound for America by air mail (ask for free 'AIR MAIL' stickers at the post office), or you will beat your mail home. Air mail isn't cheap: a postcard can run 75 cents, a letter well over one dollar in postage: however ultra-light aerogramme letters, where you write on the inner surface of the "envelope," can cost as little as a postcard.

Buy your stamps at the local post office - they'll know the right postage rate. Make sure you're waiting in a line for buying stamps, not a line for paying license fees, etc. In some countries like Austria, France and Spain, you can also buy stamps at tobacconist shops. Stamps bought at hotel desks may carry a surcharge.

Many post offices are identified by a "French horn" mail symbol, as are mail boxes (they're often bright red or yellow).

Sending postcards and letters is straightforward, but sending packages requires a green customs declaration form (often in French), giving the contents and name & address of both the sender (use your current hotel's address) and recipient. One section is glued to the package itself. Usually packages over 11 lbs. (5 kg.) cannot be sent by air mail, only by sea/ground (parcel post) or air express. Parcel post is inexpensive (if slow - it can take from six to ten weeks to reach America).

Packages sent to someone other than yourself can clear your country's customs duty-free if marked on the outside with:

For sending to the US:
Unsolicited Gift - Value Under $50

For sending to Canada:
Unsolicited Gift - Value Less Than $40 Canadian

Alcoholic or tobacco items, including perfume containing over five dollars' worth of alcohol, are always subject to import duties. The recipient may not receive more than one package duty-free per day.

If you must ship a large or bulky item, you may need to have a shipping company do it for you by crate or container.

Phone Call

West European phone systems are modern and reliable. Most were established as part of the postal service, so many post offices also offer telephone services.

All phone calls are timed, counting multiples of "pulses"; the duration of a pulse depends on the distance of the call (longer distances get a shorter time per pulse) and the time of day (evening discounts grant a longer time per pulse). Phone calls are more expensive than in North America -it's far cheaper to call Europe from America than to call America from Europe!

Dial tones and the number of digits used in area codes and phone numbers vary even within one and the same country The prefix for dialing an operator also varies -usually its two digits long (never just "0'). Only some operators speak English, but all international operators do. If you dial an overseas call directly (without operator assistance), you must first dial the "international access code" to get into the international network; in some countries, you must then wait for a second dial tone before continuing to dial your number.

Transatlantic calls are costly. You can keep costs down by calling home from a telephone office (equally cheap, but less convenient, is using a phone debit card in a phone booth). Or call when its cheapest to call you back: that means calling during nighttime discount periods back home (usually from 5 PM to 7 AM at home). Call and give your party your phone number to call you back; if you're calling from your hotel room, you should include your room number, so your party can ask the hotel's front desk to connect them to your room; at night, make sure the front desk is still staffed.

Telephone offices are the cheapest places from which to call - they're usually in the post office, though Great Britain, Greece, Italy and Spain have separate telephone offices. Check if you can receive an incoming international call - and at which phone number. To place your call, tell a clerk where you want to call, whereupon he or she assigns you to a phone booth; either the clerk will place your call (there may a three-minute minimum operator assistance charge), or you can dial directly yourself. During your call, a meter runs, and, afterwards, you pay the clerk.

Not all public pay phones accept local coins (where inflation is a problem); some phones use tokens (in Israel and Italy) or magnetically-encoded phone debit cards. Often, phone booths list nearby shops that sell such tokens and debit cards. Tokens and cards are only valid in the issuing country and there are no refunds on partially used up cards. Seldomly you can use a credit card to place a call.

Calling from your hotel room is your most expensive option; hotels levy extra "phone service charges" that can triple the cost of a phone call, even if it's a collect call or placed with a telephone calling card. They do not charge for incoming calls to you.

You may be able to use a telephone calling card issued by AT&T®, MCI®, or Sprint® to charge a call to the country where the card is from (say to call to the US). However, it counts as a (more expensive) operator-assisted phone call - with a three-minute minimum. You may need to reach an international operator to charge your call.

Budgeting Your Trip

You don't need lots of money to have a good time. We recommend that you:

budget about $35- $50 per day

to cover personal expenses. Past participants have felt this was sufficient for: meals not provided by us, laundry postage, some modest free time expenses... As for shopping, the sky's the limit, clouded only by the customs officials back home.

Bring most of your money in the form of traveler's checks, since they're refundable if lost or stolen. A few US dollars cash are handy since they're more-or-less "international legal tender" Credit cards are useful for shopping or handling emergencies.

Credit cards are now widely accepted in Europe, including MasterCard® and Visa® (American Express® and Diners Club® are less common, Discover® is unknown).. It:s advisable to bring at least one credit card, since many cards can be used to get cash advances or cash a personal check. Your credit card company can tell you about their rôle in the countries you'll visit.

Some credit Cards go by several names: MasterCard® is also accepted where it says EuroCard® and (in Britain) Access®, while Visa® is also known as CarteBleue® in France and as BarclayCard® in Britain.

Be sure the charge amount is filled in before you sign the credit card charge receipt. Keep pour copy of the receipt to help identify the charge on your credit card statement back home (it may be only vaguely identified.) The charge amount shown will be based on the currency exchange rate in effect the day your charge was processed, not on the day you used your credit card - it can take up to three months to have charges posted!

Your bank can sell you traveler's checks or refer you to a bank that can. The various brands available include: American Express®, BankAmerica®, Citicorp®, MasterCard®, Thomas Cook® and Visa®.

American Express® and Thomas Cook® are among the best, since they're easiest to get replaced. Buy checks in multiples of $10 and $20: US. dollars are more widely accepted, and larger denominations might mean you'll end up with more local money than you can spend meaningfully (change is always given in the local currency).

There's usually a 1% purchase fee (AAA gives members American Express® checks free-of-charge), but, on the other hand, traveler's checks often get a better exchange rate than cash. When cashing your traveler's checks abroad, you must show pour passport, so keep it handy.

Keep your instructions on getting a refund for lost or stolen checks, together with a list of your traveler's checks' numbers, in a safe place in your luggage, separate from your traveler's checks themselves. You'll need this information to quickly replace your checks if they're lost or stolen.

$50 in one dollar (US) bills can come in handy since they will likely be accepted when you can't or don't want to first buy some local currency (on weekends and holidays, banks are closed, except at airports and train stations). You might also ask your bank about convenient 'Travel Packs" consisting of small amounts of local currency for the countries you'll visit (you will probably not get a good currency exchange rate from your bank). Cash should be kept well-hidden on your trip!

Foreign Currencies

You'll get the most for your money if you pay with the national currency, not with dollars. In fact, some smaller stores may not take traveler's checks or credit cards. Minimize the number of times you change currencies by estimating your expenses carefully - each time you change currencies, it costs you money! Spend or reexchange any currency before you leave its issuing country (it's worth more there), and note that you can only reexchange bills, not coins, into a second currency.

After learning the current exchange rate, a simple calculator (multiply/divide) can let you recalculate any price in terms of dollars. Until you're familiar with the local denominations of bills and coins, carefully double-check the money you tender and any change you may receive.

Rates are posted every business day in those banks carrying a sign stating:


The rates are usually 2% to 3% worse than those published in the newspaper. Banks generally offer the best exchange rates, but hurry: they can alter their exchange rates twice a day! Naturally you may find the best rates where several nearby banks compete with each other. While hotels, shops and restaurants can also change money for you, their exchange rates are worse and wildly divergent. Inquire beforehand what exchange rate is being offered, and do some comparison-shopping - don't overlook the "commissions" (service fees) that may be added.

Banks usually open an hour later than other establishments and close an hour earlier; they may also close for lunch.

Getting money abroad is an expensive and complicated process, one worth making an effort to avoid. Take along a credit card (especially if it offers cash advances) or a stash of emergency money. But plan on how someone could send you money:

  1. If you have an American Express® credit card, you can pick up to $1,000 (US) every three weeks at an AMEX office, by authorizing them to withdraw up to that amount your checking account back home (you'd need to have the money in your account).
  2. Someone at home can have a bank cable an "international money order" to a bank where you'll be - for a fee. Before your trip, ask the bank for a list of the "correspondent banks" it deals with in the cities you'll visit, so you'll know where money could be sent.

Coordination is extremely important! Both you and the sender should know the exact name and location of the place to which money is being sent - often a bank will have several branch offices, so be precise. The money must arrive at a time when you are also in the same city and not on a weekend or local holiday when banks and offices are closed. Mix-ups cost needless time and money so be sure you know:

  1. How is the money being sent; which institution is sending it?
  2. How much money is being sent; must you pay any fees?
  3. What is the exact name & address of the place where the money is going?
  4. When should the money arrive; how long will it be held? Unclaimed money is normally returned after a time.


On occasion, we'll visit the actual workshops where all-but-lost arts, from glassblowing to diamond-cutting, leather-tanning to perfume-distilling, are still practiced. Every article is unique, crafted by hand, time permitting, you'll witness crystal-carving, cameo-polishing, rug-weaving and more. One reason that visitors are invited to observe craftsmen at work is that on-site shops offer the items for sale - at factory prices. They're of top quality backed by the manufacturer's guarantee. We've come to trust them for their quality workmanship and commitment to satisfied customers. There are the inevitable cheap imitations (with differences not apparent to the untrained eye) solicited by street corner hawkers and souvenir shops, but don't just compare prices; also consider the authenticity, quality and workmanship.

WHEEL AND DEAL Except in supermarkets and department stores, most shopkeepers expect you to say "Hello" and "Good-bye," even if you're just browsing - after all, you'll usually be personally assisted.

In Mediterranean countries, bargaining is an established custom, where good negotiating skills can save you up to 75%! Everything's fair in haggling, except: don't backtrack again by lowering a price you've already agreed to pay (just as a vendor can't raise again a price he or she's already agreed to accept), and don't lose your friendly agreeable manner. Discounts may be granted to students - or for buying in bulk or paying with traveler's checks.

Stores tend to have shorter opening how's than at home. You'll find that many shops take a one- or two-hour lunch break. In warmer Mediterranean countries, this afternoon "siesta" can last up to four hours (but once those stores reopen, they'll stay open into the early evening). You?l also discover that stores are closed on Sundays and national holidays (including most Christian holy days). That if they're open on Saturdays (often just in the morning), they'll take off a weekday such as Monday instead.

The opening hours are all mandated by law, so they're uniform in any one city - nearly every place opens and closes simultaneously! Generally speaking, stores open during the week by 9 AM and close by 5:30 or 6 PM. In some cities, stores may remain open until 8 or 9 PM on one day of the week (often Wednesday or Thursday). Those establishments with extended opening hours include bakeries and food stores (opening by 6 or 7 AM), restaurants, cafes, theaters, flea markets and some tourist-oriented places. Sometimes, large department stores will open an hour earlier or close an hour later - and they almost never close for lunch. In some places, this will restrict your shopping opportunities, where no amount of growling will open even a single storefront. Sorry!

If possible, do your shopping before 5 PM, since then everyone who works at a 9-to-5 job crowds into the stores to beat the 5:30 or 6 PM closing time.

Wrapping Up

When you return home, you'll be responsible for customs duties levied on items you bought abroad and are bringing with you, even if you are just a resident and not a citizen. To prove what your new purchases cost, keep all sales receipts handy. As a rule, alcoholic and tobacco products are stringently restricted.

If returning to the United States:

There is a duty-free allowance for the first $400 worth of goods bought abroad; on the next $1000 of souvenirs, you'll pay a flat 10% tax for purchases exceeding $1400, import taxes specific to the particular kind of item(s) in question are imposed. Any import duties must be paid in US dollars. For more information, write for the free booklet, 'KNOW BEFORE YOU GO':

US. Customs Service
PO Box 7407
Washington, DC 20044

If returning to Canada:

The duty-free allowance is C$ 300; you'll pay a flat 20% tax on the next C $300 worth of goods bought overseas. Anything over C$ 600 is subject to the specific import duties levied on the item(s) in question (an average of 10% duties plus 12% sales tax). Any import duties must be paid in Canadian dollars. For more information, write for the free booklet, 'I DECLARE/ JE DÉCLARE':

Revenue Canada
Customs and Excise Department
Communications Branch
MacKenzie Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario KIA 0L5

When you return home, please drop us a line with your new fall address at school or back home. We'll send everyone in your group an up-to-date address list, so you can stay in touch with each other. You'll also receive our Club Newsletters on our latest adventures and Club discounts.

If there is any change in your address, please let us know, so your FINAL MAILING will reach you on time. We will send it to you about two weeks before your departure; it will contain:

  1. Your FLIGHT TICKETS and FLIGHT CHECK-IN INSTRUCTIONS (if you're flying on Club Europa flights)
  2. Your HOTEL LIST (with your European hotels' addresses and phone numbers)
  3. Your Club Europa LUGGAGE TAG

You will receive:

  1. Your Club Europa T-SHIRT
  2. Your ISIC STUDENT ID (only if you are a student and you asked us for one)


Club Europa
802 West Oregon Street
Urbana, IL 61801

Tel: (217) 344-5863
Toll-free: (800) 331-1882
Fax: (217) 344-4072

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