Frequently Asked Questions
How is Boutique Tours & Travel different from other Small Group Escorted touring companies
We are pleased to offer you:
- Smaller group sizes with a maximum of 12 – 14 guests on our tours
- Unique tour itineraries designed exclusively by BT&T
- Stay in charming hotels in superb locations – feature properties that larger groups simply cannot access
- International Airport arrival and departure transfers are included
- Domestic Airfares are generally included in our tours as economy airfares. Upgrades are available
- Professional and specialist guides
- Book with confidence with our Guaranteed Group Departure policy. (min 6)
- Most meals including a variety of many wonderful dining experiences, often in delightful local restaurants
- Bottled water included in our vehicles on tour
What does the tour cost include?
Boutique Tours & Travel offers comprehensive travel packages with just about everything on land included in one price. Accommodation, most meals, bottled water, transfers, baggage handling, all major sightseeing and numerous cultural events are also included.
When will I receive my documents?
Documents will be mailed to you when full payment for the tour has been received. This comprehensive pre tour package will include all the necessary information to start your tour
What size can my suitcase be?
Luggage space is naturally limited. (If you arrive with two suitcases and only wish to travel with one, your spare case may be left at the hotel until you return from the tour. If you wish to travel with more than one standard suitcase, please inform us at the time of booking) Porterage is only included in your tour programme for one suitcase per person. This suitcase is generally the size allowed on your international airline carrier.
What will our accommodation be like?
Your accommodation is one of the most important elements of your holiday. This is why we have carefully chosen the best hotels for their style, character and central location. Our hotels provide superior accommodation with the highest levels of comfort, service and cuisine available. Naturally all bedrooms in all hotels have private facilities. In the more remote locations, hotel standards may vary, but we always provide the best accommodation available wherever we go. Unfortunately tea and coffee making facilities are not always available (please let us know if you wish to have this we may be able to organise it)
Is a 4 star hotel the same standard as an Australian 4 star hotel?
No, each country varies due to that country’s system of grading hotel rooms (e.g. room size, facilities etc). Single rooms are sometimes smaller than twin rooms and quite often have one single bed. Some hotels sometimes offer ‘French Twins’ which are 2 separate beds and mattresses attached together and sharing a single headboard. These are used for twin share or double rooms.
Will the vehicle be modern and comfortable?
Generally, you'll be travelling in our comfortable 16-seat Mercedes Sprinter mini-coaches, (or similar) or 9-seater Mercedes Vitos, (or similar) depending on the numbers on a tour. All seats have seatbelts and all seats are forward facing. Luggage is stored in a rear compartment. All vehicles are air-conditioned or with forced air vents and PA systems.
Are your Tour Managers and guides English speaking?
Yes, all Tour Managers and our Tour guides are English speaking. Many of them do speak a number of other languages as well. All the local guides have vast experience and knowledge of the countries/areas you will travel through. We only offer English speaking guides therefore we generally do not have multi-lingual commentary on our tours.
What are your tour guides and drivers like?
Your tour guide and driver are both highly trained industry professionals committed to making your holiday a cherished memory. Their informative and occasional entertaining commentary will showcase their passion and an in-depth knowledge of the country’s history, wildlife, culture and legends. From the moment you join your tour, our tour guide and driver are there to look after you, to make sure you’re comfortable, to take care of all arrangements, to answer queries and to provide a friendly face.
How flexible are BT&T itineraries?
There are certain visits included in our itineraries which are fixed and included in the price. However outside these there is some flexibility to adapt the itinerary according to such things as the weather, special events and group wishes. Of course all group members must be in agreement if any change to the itinerary is to be made, but one of the beauties of small-group touring is that we are not on a strict timetable like the big bus tours and can be much more relaxed and flexible in our approach. If you have a specific request which is not on the itinerary, we will do our best to accommodate it, but this will depend on the agreement of your fellow-travellers and the judgement of the guide as to whether the request is feasible. We cannot guarantee to be able to accommodate all requests.
Who else will be travelling with me?
We believe that our tours appeal to individuals who enjoy culture, good food, meeting like-minded people, exploring local regions and want a more relaxing style of travel. Our guests are generally 45+, to 70 +. We have found ages to be as diverse and varied as the sites and attractions you will see on tour. We encourage seat rotation to allow you to mix with fellow travellers and see spectacular landscapes from all angles. We welcome first time travellers, however, we also find many of our guests have travelled with us before and continue to do so.
Is it necessary to have a good level of mobility?
Yes, you need to be reasonably fit enough to participate fully. Please bear in mind that you will have to negotiate getting on and off the vehicle on a regular basis, walking to attractions, manage cobbled or uneven walking terrain and some days on tour can be quite demanding. If you are in doubt as to whether our tours are suitable for you, please check with us.
I have some health problems, and want to know if this will be a problem?
If your health problem is minor and you can self-manage it without additional care or special facilities, we are very happy for you to join a tour. If you are worried about how you might cope with a health issue whilst on tour, please contact us at the time of booking. Do remember that our tour guides are just that, and they cannot be expected to act in a caring capacity at the expense of the other group members.
Do all tours have guaranteed departures?
We have Guaranteed Group departures. The term ‘group tour’ is defined as having a minimum of 6 passengers travelling. Once the tour confirms 6 deposited passengers travelling, it guarantees that the group tour will depart. Please ask us if you would like to confirm the current status of a tour departure.
Do your tours include arrival and departure transfers?
Yes, we guarantee that your transfer on arrival to begin your tour is included. We also include your departure transfer.
I am travelling alone. Is this OK?
Many passengers that travel with Boutique Tours & Travel are on their own. With payment of the Single Supplement you will be accommodated in a single room. Individual passengers can request us to match them up in a twin share room with another individual of the same sex. Should we not be able to match you in a twin share room by the final tour balance payment date the single room supplement rate will apply. Please Note: should you be ‘matched’ with another person we cannot be held responsible if the choice is not to your satisfaction. You must consider there will always be a certain risk of incompatibility.
Am I expected to tip?
Tipping is an integral part of the service industry in all the countries we travel. A service worker – waiter, taxi driver, barman etc will be paid a base salary to perform a task and their employers expect them to supplement their wages by earning tips. At the end of the tour, you are able to tip to both your tour guide and driver. You will be advised of the amounts in you Tour Information Booklet.
Are meals included and where do we eat our meals?
We include most meals in all our tours. All breakfasts are at our hotels. Our lunches are at local restaurants to add variety to your tour experience. Most of the dinners are also at local restaurants with occasional meals at our hotels. Wines and other alcoholic drinks are not included but tea, coffee and water is included.
What about special dietary requests?
BT&T will endeavour to cater for all special diets and preferences. Please advise us of your dietary requirements at the time of booking and we will include the information within your booking to ensure you are catered for appropriately. Please note that in more remote locations options may be more limited.
How much spending money do I require each day?
On a day to day basis you may wish to allow for a morning and afternoon beverage, and sundry items, perhaps budget for an average of $30pp per day. Occasionally when you are buying lunch or dinner out a meal may be $20-$50pp. Then there’s the souvenirs and other items (personal choice).
Do prices shown on your website and in the brochure include airfares, Visas & Travel Insurance?
No, all prices shown are Land Only prices for the tours. You need to add the cost of international flights, air taxes and fuel surcharges, visas and travel insurance. Booking your own flight allows you to choose your own airline, option stopovers and/or onward travel and flexibility in your arrival and departure date. This allows you to recover from jet lag or a delayed flight and free time to get your bearings and explore. We are able to organise Visas for you and Travel insurance is available on the front page of our website.
Contact us if you would like us to organise any of these items for you. Before booking your flights please confirm with us that your tour departure date is guaranteed to depart.
What type of clothing do you recommend?
The weather can vary considerably depending on your destination and the time of year you will be travelling. If you are travelling earlier or later in the year remember that it can get cooler in the evenings. Dressing for dinner is smart but casual is probably the easiest formula. We do not expect anyone to ‘dress for dinner’ however you might like to bring along a dinner outfit for a special dinner or event.
Bathing Costume – depending on your tour, some hotels you will be staying in may have leisure facilities including swimming pools, whirlpool/spas and saunas.
Many churches and religious sights require conservative clothing to be worn. Ladies are often required to wear longer skirts or pants and to cover bare shoulders.
Comfy sturdy shoes are a must when sightseeing as you may be spending some time on your feet.
Layering is a great option for travellers no matter what the weather.
Sunglasses and block-out sunscreen are essential.
A packing list is included in your Tour Information Booklet.
How do I make a booking?
Contact us and we will send the ‘Booking Form’ and 'Payment Form'. Return the form and we will contact you with further information and confirmation regarding your place on the tour. (Please read Terms & Conditions)
Your place on the tour will be only guaranteed when the deposit of $1000 is received by us. We will then send you a receipt.