Traveling with Go Ahead
WHAT IS THE GO AHEAD EXPERIENCE LIKE?
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.
WHAT KIND OF HOTELS DO YOU USE?
Before we book a hotel for our travelers, our team visits it and inspects it from top to bottom. 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’ll take care of tips for restaurant service during included meals and baggage handling, too.
CAN I CHOOSE FROM A LIST OF HOTELS TO STAY IN OR DO YOU SELECT THE HOTELS?
We want to make your stay as simple as possible, so picking your hotel is part of what we provide. Our team not only scouts out local hotels, but we also handle all hotel arrangements for the group. The final hotels you will be staying in will be available in My Account about 30 days before you depart.
I HAVE SPECIAL MEAL REQUIREMENTS; CAN YOU ACCOMMODATE ME WHEN I’M ON TOUR?
Food allergies, needs or preferences shouldn’t keep you from seeing the world. Just notify us of any dietary restrictions at the time of booking and we’ll make sure that your Tour Director is made aware and can provide options for you.
DOES GO AHEAD ACCOMMODATE PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED TRAVELERS?
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 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.
ARE CHILDREN ALLOWED ON YOUR TOURS?
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 Tailor-made Tours, the minimum age is three years old.
HOW MANY TRAVELERS ARE ON A GO AHEAD TOUR?
Thanks to our Right Size Advantage, all groups are capped at 35 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 authentic lodging options. While other tours—like visits to bustling European capitals—can comfortably accommodate more travelers.
WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT GROUP SIZE?
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 with a smaller group. We determine the ideal group size for each adventure, which—unlike the industry standard of 45 travelers—never exceeds 35 travelers.
IS THE RIGHT SIZE ADVANTAGE OFFERED ON ALL TOURS?
Yes! The Right Size Advantage is a service we offer to all travelers on all of our tours starting in 2015. This means that your group will never have more than 35 travelers.
DOES THE RIGHT SIZE ADVANTAGE MEAN INCREASED TOUR PRICES?
No. This service does not impact our tour prices and we still stand by our Best Price Guarantee.
DO I NEED TO JOIN THE GROUP FOR ALL OF THE INCLUDED GUIDED TOURS?
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.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO COMBINE TWO OR MORE OF YOUR TOURS?
Absolutely. In addition to customizing your tour with our pre- and post-stay extensions and optional excursions, 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.
WHAT AIRLINES DO YOU USE?
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.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF BOOKING MY FLIGHTS WITH GO AHEAD?
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.
- 24-hour emergency support if your flight is delayed or canceled.
- 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.
- 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.
HOW MANY PIECES OF LUGGAGE SHOULD I BRING WITH ME? WHAT ARE THE WEIGHT LIMITS?
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.
CAN I CHOOSE MY OWN FLIGHT ITINERARY?
Different flight options are available on many tours—give us a call to talk to a Tour Consultant about the best flight itinerary for you.
CAN I UPGRADE TO PREMIUM ECONOMY, BUSINESS OR FIRST CLASS ON MY FLIGHTS?
Flight upgrades are available on some flights upon request. Please call a Tour Consultant for more information about your options.
CAN I GET A DIRECT FLIGHT FROM MY DEPARTURE CITY?
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 your Tour Consultant for details.
CAN YOU GUARANTEE OR ASSIGN SEATING ON THE PLANE?
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 us to speak with a Customer Relations Representative 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 will only allow you to make seat requests within 24 hours of departure, while others may charge a fee for advance seating assignments.
ARE MY TRAVEL DATES FLEXIBLE? CAN I FLY AHEAD OF TIME OR STAY AFTER?
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 your Tour Consultant to finalize your itinerary before your final payment is due, as additional costs may apply.
CAN YOU HELP ME GET FROM THE AIRPORT TO MY HOTEL IF I BOOK MY OWN FLIGHTS?
When you book your flights with Go Ahead 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—you can read more on our flights page.
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 a Tour Consultant for more information about your transfer options.
HOW MANY SEATS ARE ON YOUR MOTOR COACHES? CAN I REQUEST SEAT ASSIGNMENTS?
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.
DO YOUR MOTOR COACHES HAVE AIR-CONDITIONING AND RESTROOMS?
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.
SHOULD I TIP THE TOUR DIRECTOR, BUS DRIVER AND LOCAL GUIDES?
At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your Go Ahead Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD 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 service people on cruises are not included.
Reservations & Payments
WHEN SHOULD I MAKE MY RESERVATION? CAN GO AHEAD HOLD A SPOT ON A TOUR FOR ME?
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 a European land tour, a deposit of $300 per person is required. To reserve a place on a non-European land tour, Special Event Tour, Land & Cruise Tour or Customized Tour, a deposit of $450 per person is required. Once you put down your deposit, you’ll have 72 hours to request a full refund if you change your mind, provided it is 70 days prior to departure for most tours (90 days prior to departure for Land & Cruise Tours and Customized Tours).
WHAT IF THE TRIP I HAVE MY HEART SET ON IS SOLD OUT?
Just because a tour is sold out doesn’t mean there aren’t a few options for getting you onto the tour of your dreams. If we can make it happen, we will. Please call a Tour Consultant at 1.800.590.1170. They can try to accommodate your request or let you know about newly added departure dates that might work with your schedule.
CAN I TRANSFER MY RESERVATION TO SOMEONE ELSE?
Unfortunately, we are unable to transfer reservations between travelers due to airline security restrictions.
WHAT IS GO AHEAD'S PAYMENT SCHEDULE?
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 land 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. Alternatively, choose our Manual Payment Plan and pay the rest of your balance at your own pace by logging in to My 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).
WHAT TYPES OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT?
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.
Travel Documentation & Vaccinations
DO I NEED A VISA TO TRAVEL?
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 "Destination Details" tab for more information about the entry requirements for the country you are planning to visit.
If you are a United States or Canadian citizen and would like more details on specific entry requirements, please visit our recommended visa service, VisaCentral at www.visacentral.com/goaheadtours. 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 log in, please use account number 73041 to access Go Ahead's visa kits.
Please note: Non-U.S. citizens will need a visa for entry into almost all countries. Non-U.S. citizens should visit the embassy of the country they are traveling to for more information on what is needed for entry requirements, as they may vary. Non-U.S. citizens are responsible for obtaining a visa on their own directly through the embassy as our recommended visa service, VisaCentral, can only arrange for visas for U.S. and Canadian citizens.
DO I NEED A PASSPORT TO GO TO MEXICO AND/OR CANADA?
Yes. As of January 2007, all United States citizens are required to have a valid passport for travel outside of the United States. 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 at www.travel.state.gov.
WHAT VACCINATIONS ARE REQUIRED TO TRAVEL ABROAD?
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 www.travel.state.gov for more information and complete entry requirements.
Go Ahead Traveler Benefits
IS THERE AN ADVANTAGE TO TRAVELING MORE THAN ONCE WITH GO AHEAD?
The Go Ahead community of travelers is bound by the love of travel. Chances are that you’ll make friends on tour that you will stay in touch with long after the tour is over. And the benefits go beyond the friendships you’ll make. All of our travelers are automatically enrolled in the Go Ahead Tours World Traveler Club after their first tour with us. Membership in the club entitles you to an array of special benefits (including free and discounted tours), which increase each time you travel.
CAN I TRAVEL AT A DISCOUNT IF I ORGANIZE A GROUP TO TRAVEL TOGETHER?
Yes! As a Group Coordinator, you’ll earn a free spot on any land tour by recruiting a group of 6 travelers. You can also earn cash bonuses and Global Rewards 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. Give one of our Group Tour Consultants a call at 1.800.438.7672 for more information.
DO YOU HAVE A REFERRAL PROGRAM?
Yes, we do! Once you’ve booked your first tour with us, you’re eligible to start referring. Each new customer who you refer to Go Ahead will receive $100 off his or her first Go Ahead tour. When your referrals have booked their first tours, you’ll receive $100 per referral to use toward your next tour or a tour that you are currently booked on if it is before the final payment date. There’s no limit to how many people you can refer, and any referral credit you earn is combinable with current promotions and World Traveler Club benefits.
Please note: First-time travelers cannot refer any new traveler who is a member of the same household or who will be an on-tour roommate.