Choosing a Tour

There are so many photo tour companies out there. Why should I come with you?

What makes Travel Vision Journeys different?
Our guides are native or expert to the routes they lead. This means that they can immerse you in your journey – introducing you to people, places, and flavors that many of the locals have never even experienced! Our guides consistently receive “10 of 10” on guest evaluations. Without a doubt, they are the #1 reason our guests come back with us year after year.

You have a lot of tours. Where do I start in terms of choosing?
It’s important to make sure that your dream vacation is a match for one of our tours. The most effective way to do this is for us to connect over the phone. So please let us know a good time to reach you and the number, or call us any time Monday–Friday 8:30am-5:30pm EST. Here are a few questions to think about:

  • What do you like to photograph?
  • Do you want a tour with a lot of walking?
  • What time of year do you wish to travel?

Can I speak to someone who’s done this tour?
Absolutely! We can put you in touch with a reference who has done that tour.

What are the meals like?
Each tour includes most dinners and some lunches. Dinners are as much about conviviality as they are about fine cuisine. Menus are crafted to deliver that culinary experience that makes a Travel Vision Journeys tour memorable on and off the bike. We strive to serve what’s local and in season, and we are flexible when it comes to accommodating specific dietary needs.

My partner doesn’t photograph. Do you accommodate non-photographers?
We absolutely accommodate non-photographers and, actually, we get this request quite a lot. Our tours are ideal tours for non-photographers because there is so much to see and do. BTW Many guest who joined as non-photographers ended up enjoying the lectures and the hands on instruction which enriched their overall experience. Remember IPHONE are OK too!

Great! What is the price for a non-photographer?
Non-riders are equal members of the group, entitled to the same hotel, dining, and guide services as riders. Thus, the price for a non-rider is the same.

Travel & Planning

My vacation schedule is tight. Can I join the trip late – or leave early?
In exceptional cases, we may permit a late arrival or early departure. However, we do not recommend these steps as alternatives to participating in the full tour. Several of our tours do have “mini” versions – use the Trip Finder or give us a call to find out more.

What are the hotels like? What star rating are they?
On all of our tours, we use charming, comfortable and unique three- and four-star inns and small hotels. Our accommodations consist primarily of 4-star luxury inns and small hotels.

What’s the weather like in the region when I’m going to be there?
For weather information for every region of the world, visit Weather Underground. Here is the link to the page for Italy.

Money matters

Am I expected to tip my guides? How much?
Tips are greatly appreciated. We recommend 8-10% of the trip price per person, per guide team, which is then split evenly. Typically tips are given at the end of the trip to thank guides for their exceptional service and expertise.

Is wine included in my trip cost?
Local enology is part of the cultural experience Travel Vision Journeys wants to deliver. This fermented nectar has been part of human civilization for thousands of years and is still very much linked to the land and to local cultures. We strive to offer the best wines that each production area can offer. On top of that, many of our guides are wine connoisseurs and some are trained sommeliers. The best way to guarantee that the wine experience on tour is unparalleled is to keep the cost of the wine separate. Also, not everybody likes to drink wine. For those reasons wine and other alcoholic beverages are not included in the cost of the tour. We suggest two options to deal with the wine and other alcoholic beverages we consume at dinner as a group:

  • Join the Wine Kitty: On the first night of the tour your guides will collect a designated amount of money (depending on the length of tour and average wine price) to go into the “Wine Kitty.” During each group dinner guides will select wines that showcase the best production of the region, and in some cases the best local beers.

How much out-of-pocket money should I bring?
Make sure you have enough spending money for coffee, snacks and lunch (Lunches on your own average $10-$20) Depending on your style of travel, expect to spend from $20-$50 additional per day.

Are there ATMs on the tours?
Yes, the best way to get cash is at ATMs, which are widely available. You might have difficulty finding them in the countryside, but you can always ask your guides for help. Most ATMs limit withdrawals to €250 per day. The best place to get cash when you arrive is at the airport ATM. Don’t worry about shopping around for the best exchange rate. Exchange rates with credit card withdraws are very competitive. Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted cards and be sure to contact your bank before traveling abroad so they do not place a hold on your account for suspicious activity.

Are credit cards accepted?
Credit cards are widely accepted, but still many establishments insist on CASH ONLY. The safest bet is to ask or look for the credit card sticker.

Are Travelers checks accepted?
Some places will accept Travelers checks, most banks, but we recommend cash/credit cards because most hotels, restaurants, and shops will not accept Travelers checks. Travelers checks may be exchanged for cash (for a fee) at most banks. You’ll need your passport when you want to use a Travelers checks.

Communications

Will my cell phone work over there?
Many cell phones do work in South America and Europe. In remote, rural areas, coverage can be spotty. Before traveling, be sure to check with your provider to make sure that your phone will work, and that your rate will be reasonable. Another option is to buy a cheap cell phone and pre-paid sim card at the airport upon arrival. It’s a good way to have a cell phone for emergency at a cost of €30-50.

Is there internet service at our hotels?
Many hotels have wifi service, though speeds are not what we’re used to in North America. Most hotels will also have a “business center” or at least a PC with internet access for checking email.