Frequently Asked Questions

 

Who will my travel companions be?

Our clients tend to be very experienced world travelers who have gone to all the ‘usual places’ and yearn to see the parts of the world still living traditional lifestyles. Our clients are professionals or retired professionals from many walks of life and all over the United States, Canada and occasionally Europe. Many times friendships are formed that last well beyond the group encounter and future travel companionships are generated.

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How many people will be on my trip?

We intentionally keep our groups small – no more than 16 people - to allow for more local interaction and give us access to places that are far off the beaten track, as well as small, unique heritage hotels. In Eastern Europe our tours are capped at either 8 or 12 guests, depending on the country. Each tour is priced based on a minimum number of people indicated next to the price on the tour itinerary. If a group size is less than the minimum listed there is a small supplement fee. We guarantee a trip will depart with a minimum of two people booked. If you are a solo traveler and are the only person booked on a trip, we will gladly operate the trip if you wish, subject to an additional cost.

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Can my trip be cancelled if the group is too small?

We guarantee the departure of any group tour with a minimum of two people, though a small supplement fee will apply.

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Is my trip price guaranteed?

While all prices are subject to change due to extreme fluctuations in exchange rates, hotel prices or other trip expenses beyond our control, we are happy to say that in 12 years we have rarely had to change the base price of the trip once someone has put down a deposit. We do occasionally have to add a small surcharge when a group minimum has not been met, and we will be in close contact with you should that situation arise.

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If I'm a single traveler, will I be charged a single supplement?

If you are a solo traveler and request a private room, we will be happy to upgrade your tour for an additional fee. If you prefer to share but do not have a travel companion, we do our best to match you with a roommate of the same gender. If, by 60 days prior to trip departure, we are unable to match you with a roommate we will offer you a discounted single supplement and absorb the extra cost on your behalf. If you book the tour within 90 days of departure and we are unable to match you with a roommate, the full private room upgrade fee will apply.

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Do you guarantee the accommodations?

We list accommodations for each group tour and the final hotel list is usually confirmed 75 days prior to departure. However, unforeseen situations can occur which require a change of hotels, and any changes we must make will be to hotels of equal or higher quality. For custom private tours we can confirm all hotel reservations within a week or less of your reservation.

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Can I book extra hotel nights before or after my tour?

Absolutely! Many guests use this service to add a custom element to their trip.

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Can you pick me up at the airport a day or two prior to the start of the trip, or drop me off a day or two after the end of a trip?

Yes, we will be happy to do this. An extra fee will likely apply.

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Can I join a tour late or leave early?

We pride ourselves on our ability and willingness to be flexible whenever feasible. A small modification fee may apply.

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If I don't want to do all of the activities, can I get a discount?

You are welcome to opt out of any activities that are included in the tour, however we offer the tour as a package and are not able to adjust the price for individual components of the tour.

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I have a specific trip in mind, but I can't make the dates. What are my options?

We can operate this tour for you during the dates you desire as a private trip or create a custom tour from scratch.

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How old do children need to be to travel with Original World?

There is no age requirement for people traveling on a private tour; for our group tours our staff would have to evaluate each request on an individual basis depending on the age and experience of the child and the rigors or special interest of the tour.

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Can children have their own room?

Yes. Parents use own discretion as to the age appropriateness. We cannot always guarantee adjoining rooms.

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Do children get a discount?

If a child rooms with parents as triple occupancy, we can offer a discount for the child. Further discount will depend on the age of the child. If a child has a private room, we will need to add a single supplement, as we cannot assign a roommate to a child.

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Do you offer group discounts?

We offer special rates to private groups of 10 or more people.

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How do I reserve a spot on one of your trips?

A deposit of $600 per person, payable by check or credit card, will reserve your spot. You may call us to give us your credit card deposit, or you may email, fax or mail your reservation form along with your credit card deposit. You may also send us a check by mail. Please click here for all of our contact information.

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What is your cancellation policy?

Please click here to read our cancellation policy.

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What do I do if I am suddenly unable to take my trip?

Please send us your cancellation notice in writing. Next, contact your travel insurance provider to begin a claim. They will send us the necessary forms to complete. If any refund is due from Original World per our cancellation policy, we will issue it within 20 days of your written notice.

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What if I want to transfer to a different session of the same trip, or a different trip?

We like to be fair and if at all possible we are wiling to transfer a client to a different tour without penalty. Much depends on the advance notice given prior to the booked departure and if we have already sent payments on your behalf for your reservations. An administrative fee of $95 per person will apply if notification is given more than 120 days before departure. Within 91-120 days before departure the administration fee is $150 per person. If a trip is changed within 90 days of departure, normal cancellation fees apply.

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What do I do if I’m already traveling and I’m unhappy with some aspect of the trip?

You will be provided with the contact information of our destination partner to be used for all concerns or additional needs you may have while traveling. If on a group tour, the first course would be to discuss your concerns with your tour leader. For private tours, do call our in-country headquarters if your local guide is unable to assist you.

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If something comes up and I have to leave the trip early, can you refund some of my money?

Unfortunately we are not able to issue any refunds within 75 days of the departure date.

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Do your group tours include the international flights?

Since our clients reside all over the US, Canada and occasionally outside North America, we do not include the cost of international flights in the group tour flights.  Group tours that do include international flights are booking group tickets which are very restricted and then you are required to fly (for additional expense) to the departure city, usually New York or Los Angeles.  Often our clients like to arrive a day before the tour begins and add on additional days at the end. We allow for ultimate flexibility by not utilizing the group ticket system.  Prices also are not necessarily less than booking an individual ticket via a consolidator or on the web.

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Do You arrange international flights?

We work with a consolidator and can offer very good prices.  However you are free to book flights on your own. We only arrange flights for people who are traveling with us. We do not book flights as a stand-alone service.

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The tour starts in one city (or country) and ends in another?  How do I book my international flights?  Isn't this more expensive than arriving and departing same airport?

The best way to book this is as one ticket, open-jaw.  This is not any more expensive than round trip these days.  If you are booking on a website you select multi-destinations.

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Do I need a visa for the countries I am visiting?  How do I know what documents are required?

As soon as we receive your reservation form for a tour we will mail a confirmation packet with information about preparing for your trip.  This will include all the necessary requirements for entering the country.

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Don't I have to purchase trip insurance before or on the same day that I book the tour?

You can purchase the insurance at any time before your trip departure. However, all travel insurance companies have a period during which they waive pre-existing conditions.  We recommend Travelex Insurance.  Their waiver period is within three weeks from the date of your deposit.  They consider a pre-existing condition any medical condition that you sought medical treatment for within 30 days of the trip deposit.  We will include the Travelex brochure with your trip confirmation packet. This will contain a description of benefits and costs. For clarification of rules and regulations we suggest speaking directly with a Travelex representative by calling 800-228-9792.

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What is the general difficulty of your trips?

Our trips all have a normal amount of walking to visit the sites. None of the trips require intensive trekking or climbing.  Our focus is more on the cultural aspects rather than the adventure activity.

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