Frequently Asked Questions
Who travels with Go Ahead Tours
Thanks to our Right Size Advantage, all groups are capped at 38 travelers or less. We determine the optimal group size based on the type of experience travelers will have on that specific tour. For example, when your trip takes you to remote natural landscapes, you can expect a smaller group that allows you to travel to hard-to-access locales and stay in destination-specific lodging options. Other tours—like visits to bustling European capitals—can comfortably accommodate more travelers.
Group size impacts making connections with fellow travelers and your Tour Director, access to local culture and remote natural landscapes, and the overall ease and comfort of traveling together. We determine the ideal group size for each adventure, which—unlike the industry standard of 45 travelers—never exceeds 38 travelers. Learn more about the benefits of our smaller group sizes here.
Yes! The Right Size Advantage is a service we’ve offered to all travelers on all of our tours since 2015. This means that your group will never have more than 38 travelers.
No. This service does not impact our tour prices and we still stand by our Best Price Guarantee.
While our travel experiences are designed for adults of all ages, children are more than welcome to join! Travelers must be at least six years old at the departure date for most tours. Exceptions include Nature & Wildlife Tours, Safaris, Food & Wine Tours, and Walking Tours, all of which have a minimum age of eight years old. For Private or Customized Tours, the minimum age is three years old.
Yes! One of the best parts about a group tour is that when you travel by yourself, you’ll never be alone. No matter which of our tours you pick, when you go solo, you’ll have your Tour Director and fellow travelers to keep you company. Plus, our tours are designed with lots of flexibility, so you can seek out as much (or as little) alone time as you’d like.
Accommodations & meals
The Go Ahead experience is all about stepping outside of your daily life and exploring the world around you. Your tour will focus on cultural immersion and making connections along the way—either through chatting up locals or sharing experiences with tourmates. It’s easy to relax and enjoy your trip with the support of our knowledgeable Tour Directors. This team of local experts brings the already enlightening experience of world travel to the next level by drawing on their knowledge of local culture and customs.
Before we book a hotel for our travelers, our team visits it and inspects it from top to bottom. Whether it's a small-town country inn, a modern cosmopolitan hotel, or an eco lodge tucked into the rainforest, we handpick all the accommodations. A hotel makes the cut when it meets our standards for comfort, value, location, and that little bit of flavor that can turn a stay into something unique. Rest assured that all of the accommodations we pick feature a private bath or shower (we love European charm, but we can do without shared showers), and all hotel taxes are included in the price of your tour.
We want to make your stay as simple as possible, so picking your hotels is part of what we provide. Our team not only scouts out local hotels, but also handles all hotel arrangements for the group. To get an idea of the type of accommodations you’ll enjoy, you can see sample hotels on each tour’s itinerary page on the website. The final hotels you’ll be staying in will be available in your account about 30 days before you depart.
One of the best parts about traveling is the opportunity to taste local flavors. On tour, included dinners typically take place at local restaurants or hotel restaurants and include three courses served with beer or wine (unless otherwise noted due to country restrictions). Many tours also have opportunities for local wine tastings, beer tastings, and more, depending on the specific itinerary.
Food allergies, needs, or preferences shouldn’t keep you from seeing the world. Just notify us of any dietary restrictions when you book and we’ll make sure that your Tour Director is made aware and can provide options for you.
We want everyone to be able to explore the world with us, and we encourage the participation of physically challenged travelers. Still, the reality of world travel is that some sites are not accessible to everyone. Give us a call at 1-800-590-1161 to talk to a Tour Consultant about any physical disabilities or limitations and they can help you choose the best itinerary for you. If you require dedicated assistance, we ask that you plan to travel with a companion who can help out.
Reservations & payments
If you have your heart set on a certain tour at a certain time (and at its current price), we recommend you make your reservation as early as possible—six months to a year in advance is a good rule of thumb. To reserve a place on most European tours, a deposit of $300 per person is required. To reserve a place on a non-European tour, Special Event Tour, Land & Cruise Tour, or Customized Tour, a deposit of $450 per person is required.
If you decide to cancel your reservation, you’ll have 72 hours to request a full refund after you put down your deposit, provided it is 70 days prior to departure for most tours (90 days prior to departure for Land & Cruise Tours and Customized Tours). After that, you can change your mind at any time and simply switch your reservation to a new tour for just a $50 rebooking fee. You can find full Terms & Conditions here.
Just because a tour is sold out doesn’t mean you are out of options for taking the trip of your dreams. If we can make it happen, we will. Please call a Tour Consultant at 1-800-590-1161. They can try to accommodate your request or let you know about newly added departure dates that might work with your schedule.
Unfortunately, we are unable to transfer reservations between travelers due to airline security restrictions.
Interested in reserving multiple spots on a tour? We’re happy to set up multiple payment plans for your party! Give our team a call at 1-800-590-1161.
If you’re booking a group of six or more travelers, you’re a good fit for our Group Travel Program. Learn more here.
We offer several convenient, fee-free payment options for your tour. All that’s needed to book a tour is a deposit of $300 ($450 for non-European tours, Special Event Tours, Land & Cruise Tours, or Customized Tours). Then, you can enjoy the ease of making automatic monthly payments from your checking account by signing up for our Automatic Payment Plan. If you’d like to sign up for our Automatic Payment Plan, you can select it during the checkout process, or call a Customer Relations Representative at 1-800-597-0350 at any time to get set up.
Alternatively, choose our Manual Payment Plan and pay the rest of your balance at your own pace by logging in to your account and making payments at any time. When you’re enrolled in the Manual Payment Plan, your final payment will be due 70 days prior to departure for most tours (90 days prior to departure for Land & Cruise Tours and Customized Tours).
We accept MasterCard, Visa, direct debit, personal checks, cashier’s checks, and money orders. For travelers enrolled in our Automatic Payment Plan, payments can only be made through direct debit from a checking account.
How to customize your experience
Your tour is exactly that: yours. If your itinerary includes a guided tour, but you’d prefer to spend your time doing something different, that’s perfectly fine. Enjoy your time however you like! Just be sure that you meet up with your group in time for any transfers between cities or countries.
Our travelers enjoy the perks of guided travel with the freedom to pepper in their own adventures. During free time in the itinerary, you'll have the chance to add excursions to experience something totally new, like an olive oil tasting at a Tuscan farm or a sushi-making lesson in Tokyo. Our excursion options cover a range of interests from history to art to cuisine. Most tours also offer a tour extension, typically at the end of the itinerary, giving you a few more days to travel with your expert Tour Director.
Absolutely. In addition to customizing your tour with our pre- and post-stay extensions and excursion options, you can also combine multiple tours into one amazing adventure. You can even earn significant discounts when you travel on multiple tours back-to-back. If you are interested in combining multiple tours, contact one of our Tour Consultants and they will help you create your ideal itinerary.
Customizing your tour starts with choosing the dates that work for you. If you’d like to spend time on your own before or after your tour, we’re happy to help make those arrangements. Work with a Customer Relations Representative to finalize your itinerary before your final payment is due, as additional costs may apply.
All round-trip air travel for our tours is booked on regularly scheduled flights with major airlines. We’re dedicated to getting you to and from your destination with ease. If there is a certain airline you’d like to fly with, let us know—our team of travel experts will look into available options to find a flight itinerary tailored to fit your preferences.
We have the expertise to handle all the details of your trip, so let us take care of planning it from start to finish. While it is possible to make your own flight arrangements for most tour itineraries, we strongly recommend that you book your round-trip flights with us. Our global network and relationships with airlines allow us to offer highly competitive rates, as well as personalized flight options that work best for your travel plans.
When you book your flights with us, you'll also get:
- Included transfers to and from the airport at your destination on the standard arrival and departure dates for your tour.
- Flexible rebooking options should your tour itinerary change. (Remember that if you choose to book flights on your own, you will be responsible for altering your plans as well as any resulting rebooking or cancellation fees.)
- Rebooking support in the event of an airline strike.
- The ability to fly into and out of different cities at a great value. With us, you'll never be forced to backtrack to your arrival city to avoid increased round-trip airfare costs.
- Flexibility around your arrival and departure airports. You’ll have the option to fly into or out of most airports if you'd like to add a few days of independent travel to your tour to explore a new destination.
- 24-hour support in the event of travel delays. You can always call our On-Tour Support Team should you need advice about how to handle flight delays and cancellations.
- If you choose to book your own flights, please note that we handle all transportation during your tour. Any flights between cities mentioned on your itinerary are included in the price of your tour package. You can read more about the benefits of booking flights with us on our flights page.
You will receive an email notification once your flight itinerary is finalized. From that point forward, you will be able to find your personal flight itinerary in your account.
Traveling light is always a good idea. We recommend that you bring a maximum of one carry-on bag and one piece of checked luggage. This makes it much easier to get around and ensures that everyone in the group will have space for transporting luggage on the bus. Some airlines may charge for checked baggage, so contact the airline directly or refer to its website for detailed information regarding their baggage policies and weight limits.
Different flight options are available on many tours—give us a call at 1-800-597-0350 to speak with a member of our Customer Experience Team about the best flight itinerary for you.
Flight upgrades are available on some flights upon request. Please call 1-800-597-0350 to speak with a member of our Customer Experience Team for more information about your options.
We want to make sure that you are booked on the most convenient flights possible. While direct flights are not guaranteed or even available from all departure cities, if we can get you a direct flight, we will. Additional costs for direct flights may apply, so please contact our Customer Experience Team for details.
Picking that perfect seat is important, and we will make general seat requests (such as window or aisle) whenever possible. Seating arrangements vary by airline, so please call 1-800-597-0350 to speak with a member of our Customer Experience Team if you have any questions about how to proceed with seating for your flights.
In many cases, you must contact the airline directly to arrange your seating once you receive your finalized flight itinerary, about 30 days before departure. Some airlines (such as British Airways) will only allow you to make seat requests within 24 hours of departure, while others may charge a fee for advance seating assignments.
Customizing your tour starts with choosing the dates that work for you. If you’d like to spend time on your own before or after your tour, we’re happy to help make those arrangements. Work with our Customer Experience Team to finalize your itinerary before your final payment is due, as additional costs may apply.
When you book your flights with Go Ahead Tours and travel on your tour’s standard arrival and departure dates, transfers between the airport and your hotels are included at no additional cost. This is one of the many reasons we recommend booking your flights with us.
If you decide to reserve flights on your own, we can arrange transfers between the airport and your hotels starting at $50 per person, round-trip. In order to be eligible for transfer arrangements, you must arrive and depart on the scheduled beginning and ending dates for your tour. Please call 1-800-597-0350 to speak with our team for more information about your transfer options.
On-tour transportation & tipping
Most motor coaches have seating capacity for between 48 and 52 people, however a smaller bus may be used for groups with fewer travelers. Transportation for our safaris will be in seven-person safari vehicles. We do not assign seats on the motor coaches. In fact, in order to ensure that all travelers have the opportunity to fully enjoy the scenery during bus rides, we ask that our customers mix it up and rotate their seats daily.
All motor coaches should have air conditioning, and most have restrooms. We also stop every two hours on longer transfers to give everyone time for a bathroom break and to stretch their legs.
At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping. The cost of porterage is included in your tour price, and it is not necessary to tip baggage handlers. However, any tips to staff aboard cruises are not included.
Travel documents & vaccinations
While most countries do not require U.S. citizens to purchase an entry visa, some do. Please select the tour you are traveling on and click on the "On-tour info" tab for more information about the entry requirements for the country you are planning to visit.
If you are a U.S. or Canadian citizen and would like more details on specific entry requirements, please visit our recommended visa service, VisaCentral, here. If you are already booked on a tour that requires a visa, you can download a visa application here. If you get to a page requiring a login, please use account number 73041 to access Go Ahead Tours’ visa kits.
Please note: If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you may need a visa to enter the countries on your tour. Please contact each country's consulate for your specific entry requirements.
Yes. As of January 2007, all U.S. citizens are required to have a valid passport for travel outside of the U.S. Check your passport’s expiration date before you reserve your tour; for most destinations it must be valid for 6 months beyond your return date.
For more details on obtaining or renewing a passport, please visit the U.S. Department of State here.
Ask your doctor about the current recommended vaccinations for travel to the destinations on your tour. The travel section of the Centers for Disease Control website is a good reference for the most up-to-date information. Proof of Yellow Fever vaccination may be required for entry into some countries.
Visit the U.S. Department of State’s website here for more information and complete entry requirements.
Go Ahead traveler benefits
The Go Ahead Tours community of travelers is bound by the love of travel—and our free loyalty program, Club Go, rewards that passion. You’ll be automatically enrolled once you book a tour, or you can join by creating an online account today. Membership entitles you to an array of special benefits (including free and discounted tours), which increase each time you travel.
Yes, we do! Once you’ve booked your first tour with us, you’re eligible to start referring. When your friends join us, they get $100 for their first tour and you earn rewards to use on travel, too. Each time a friend books their first tour, you’ll earn travel credit, which you can use on everything from excursions to all-new adventures. When eight friends book within two years, you'll score over $1,500 in credits, plus a free tour up to $4,000 in value. Learn more about our referral program here.
Please note, there are a few exceptions to our referral program: First-time travelers cannot refer any new traveler who is a member of the same household or who will be an on-tour roommate. Also, travelers who are traveling as part of the Group Travel Program are exempt.
Group Coordinators, however, do have a referral program that rewards them for sharing the love. As a Group Coordinator, when you refer another Group Coordinator who brings six or more travelers on tour, you’ll earn $500 or 500 loyalty points.
Go Ahead Tours Group Travel Program
Yes! As a Group Coordinator, you’ll earn a free spot on tour for every six travelers you recruit—in other words, every seventh traveler goes free! You can also earn cash bonuses and special Group Coordinator loyalty points to redeem for travel and gift rewards like digital cameras, iPads, and more. We make recruiting easy with customized marketing materials and the support of a dedicated Tour Consultant. For travelers looking to create their own itinerary, we also offer Private Tours for groups of 14 travelers or more. Give one of our Group Tour Consultants a call at 1-800-438-7672 for more information.
Learn more about the Go Ahead Tours Group Travel Program here.
Truly experiencing a destination should not mean harming the animals that call it home. As a world leader in international education, EF is relentlessly committed to respecting and promoting animal welfare as we help our customers experience the world. Our travel experiences celebrate wildlife. We do not offer activities that include imposing and unnatural interactions with wild animals of any kind—this includes riding, feeding, and swimming with animals, among other things.
Here at EF, we’re proud to work with the non-profit organization World Animal Protection to implement animal welfare guidelines throughout all our travel programs worldwide. World Animal Protection is a non-profit organization and we admire their dedication, research, and reach. We're excited to collaborate with them and learn from their expertise
Read more about how we work with World Animal Protection here.