Dynamic Catholic Catholic Pilgrimages with 206 Tours 206 tours

What To Know Before You Go To
El Camino – The Way of St. James

  • How to prepare for your Pilgrimage

    Thanks for visiting our Know Before You Go resources! Our Mission at 206 Tours is to take care of all arrangements so that you can focus on preparing spiritually for a holy Pilgrimage! The information below details everything you need to know before your pilgrimage!

    Do I need to know the local language?
    Your Guide/Tour Escort will conduct the pilgrimage in English but is multilingual and able to communicate locally should you need any assistance.

    How can I prepare for my pilgrimage?

    • Prepare Physically: If you are not accustomed to physical activity, begin walking 1-2 times a day. We recommend pilgrims can walk up to 2 – 3 miles with no discomfort.
    • Prepare Spiritually: If possible, attend daily Mass or spend some quiet time in Church. Begin, or continue, to pray the Rosary daily.

    How should I raise questions/concerns during my pilgrimage?
    If you need help during your pilgrimage, your guide is there to assist you at any time! Please communicate any problems, concerns, or complaints directly to your tour escort immediately so that we can best address your needs. Your guide is at your disposal for any issues, such as hotel accommodations, meals, transportation, etc. There is very little that can be done to rectify a concern once you return home – most concerns can be dealt with swiftly once brought to your guide’s attention. If you feel your tour guide does not adequately address your concern, please contact our office at sales@206tours.com

  • General Info About Your Documents, Flights, Arrival & Travel

    Please visit www.tsa.gov for the most up to date travel restrictions

    Passports and Visas

    206 Tours recommends that your PASSPORT is valid up to 6 months after your return flight.

    If you have not yet obtained your passport, or just noticed that it will not be valid 6 months after your return, URGENTLY contact your local passport office and apply for an expedited passport/-or passport renewal.

    IMPORTANT: In mid 2025 (latest update as per https://travel-europe.europa.eu/etias_en), Americans, Canadians, and Australians will need to apply online for travel authorization for Europe. This applies to all travelers, and all ages, and will cost a fee of approximately $9.00 per person. The program is called ETIAS. Some refer to it as a “visa for Europe.” It is not a traditional visa, and only needs basic details about the traveler and their trip. This process is done online, and an email address is required. Approval will usually be sent by email within one (1) hour, but it could be up to four (4) days. Once granted, it is valid for unlimited trips over three (3) years or until it expires. The length of stay in Europe for US tourists (90 days per every 180-day period) remains unchanged.

    For those who hold a passport from a foreign country, please be advised that it is the passenger’s responsibility to reconfirm if any visas are required. Below please find embassy information on the country you will be visiting.

    Airport Check-In

    Walk over to the designated airline check in counter. You must personally present your passport and your own luggage.

    The agent will locate your reservation, give you the boarding pass and luggage slip is being sent via same flights.

    (Unlike domestic flights you will not be able to print your boarding passes for international flights at home)

    Ensure that your luggage is checked through all the way through to your final destination.

    This will eliminate the need to claim your luggage between flights and re-check in before your connecting flight.

    Flight Changes/ Delays/ Cancellations: If your flight is experiencing a long delay, or a cancellation, do not panic, go to the airline customer service counter, or contact the airline, ask to be rebooked to another flight/airline, ask for meals or a hotel room.

    Be Persistent. Speak with the kindest tone, but keep trying, do not just take “no” for an answer. Airlines will rebook you on the next flight to your final destination. Be Nice! Never yell or be rude to staff, as they are going through a lot and it is not their fault. You can take it out on CEO’s by writing a letter to particular airline’ customer service.

    How early should I arrive at the airport?

    • Domestic Travel: Arrive at least two (2) hours prior to flight
    • International Travel: Arrive at least three (3) hours prior to flight
    Airline Connections

    Where are my flight itineraries?
    206 Tours provided your flight itinerary via email as well as printed in your final documents package. This itinerary shows airline, flight number, departure and arrival times, and seat/meal information. It is recommended to save a copy either printed or on your smartphone for quick reference.

    How are my flights arranged?
    206 Tours books airline reservations in accordance with TSA rules, regulations & routings. We do our utmost to provide the most convenient flight schedule available. All pilgrims will be traveling independently on all flights.

    Why does my plane reservation say one airline, but the plane reads another?
    Many airlines participate in special agreements to share aircrafts. For example, your ticket may show one United Airlines as your carrier even though you are actually seated on a Lufthansa plane. These are called “Code Share” flights and your itinerary will show this with the message: “Flight Operated by (Airline)”.

    Who decides the connection time at airports?
    The airlines determine the minimum connection time required to transfer from one gate to another for a connecting flight. 206 Tours does our best to provide ample connection time based on available flights and in accordance with our scheduled group transfers.

    Flight Delays & Arrival Transfers

    What if my flight is delayed or canceled?
    If your flight is delayed or canceled, you must work DIRECTLY with the airline agents at the airport to arrange for alternate flights or protection. Once you check-in for your flights, 206 Tours can no longer make any adjustments to your flight itinerary. After check-in changes can only be made by the airlines.

    In this scenario, please be persistent with the airline agent you are working with to rebook. Keep in mind that the situation is not the agent’s fault and try your best to remain calm and courteous to receive speedy assistance. The airlines are not required to offer reimbursement for personal expense of overnights when delays/cancellations occur due to weather. If you find that you’re unable to receive adequate assistance from airline personnel, please contact the 206 Tours emergency line and we will do all we can to assist remotely.

    TIP: Once the airlines have rebooked you, text/call your guide to advise them of your new arrival time so transfer arrangements can be adjusted. (Your guide’s phone number can be found in the digital confirmation emailed to you by your account manager.)

    What if I miss the group transfer upon arrival?
    If you miss your group transfer due to flight delay, missed connection, or another reason, you may:

    • Take a taxi to the hotel at your own expense
    • Contact your guide and ask for 206 Tours to arrange a private transfer at an additional cost
      *Be sure to obtain a receipt of your transportation – upon returning home, you may wish to file a claim to seek reimbursement for the cost if the reason for missing the transfer was due to airline problems.

    What if I want to make a last-minute change to my ticket?
    If you would like to make changes to your airline ticket once it has been issued, you MUST work DIRECTLY with the airlines. You will incur additional costs – a minimum of $400 per person, for such changes.

    Arrival Procedure

    What do I do when my flight lands?
    After deplaning, you will go through customs and proceed to baggage claim – the location will be displayed on a screen noting your flight number. Retrieve your luggage from the conveyor carousel and proceed to the Arrival Hall by following signs that say “Exit” or “Arrivals Hall”.

    Look for the “Dynamic Catholic” Sign!
    In the Arrival Hall, you will be greeted by a Dynamic Catholic representative holding a “Dynamic Catholic” sign. They will escort you to your hotel where you will check-in and have time to refresh before meeting the rest of the group later in the day.

    Nametag & Lanyard

    • It’s Important to Wear Your Nametag & Lanyard  during your pilgrimage
    • It will help your guide to recognize you, upon your arrival at the airport or in the crowds;
    • for being allowed into a restaurant, specifically reserved section for Dynamic Catholic;
    • or to be allowed entrance into a site such as church for Mass or museum.
    • It’s also a safety measure for our bus driver to recognize you when entering the bus.
    • Dynamic Catholic flight bag is also helpful, but not mandatory.

     

    TIP: Make sure to wear your Dynamic Catholic Lanyard, Nametag, and Bag so that the tour escort can identify you.

    Lost Luggage

    If your luggage is missing, proceed to the Baggage Office in the Airport Terminal to complete a “Missing Luggage Form”. Please make sure to save all paperwork and tracking information given to you by the Airlines. Upon locating your baggage, the airlines will bring your luggage to your Hotel. It is important that you provide them with the correct address and dates that you will be at your hotels (noted in your Digital Confirmation.) You may also provide the phone number of your Guide, also noted in the Digital Confirmation. If your baggage is delayed for over 24 hours, and you purchased insurance, you may submit a claim upon your return to the US (only applicable to passengers that purchased Travel insurance through 206 Tours).
    *206 Tours strongly suggests that Pilgrims carry one change of clothes and medications in carry-on luggage.

    Apple AirTags

    As you plan your travel, consider integrating Apple AirTags into your packing checklist. These compact, coin-sized devices act as personal tracking systems, offering a reliable solution to keep tabs on your luggage. Leveraging Apple’s vast Find My network, AirTags allow you to trace your belongings right from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. They’re straightforward to use: simply attach an AirTag to your bag, and voila, your luggage is now traceable on a global scale. The device’s precision finding feature also provides visual and haptic feedback to guide you right to your misplaced or lost item, a feature especially useful in busy airports or hotels.

    Before you embark on your journey, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the functionality and limitations of the AirTags. While they offer an innovative way to track your belongings, they rely on being in range of devices in the Find My network to relay their location. This means their effectiveness could be limited in areas with low Apple device density or poor internet connectivity. Also, remember that AirTags are designed for tracking objects, not people or pets. A built-in anti-stalking feature notifies individuals if an unknown AirTag is moving with them, so using AirTags for unintended purposes could lead to unintended alerts. With responsible use, Apple AirTags can add a layer of security and peace of mind to your travel experience.

    *Subject to change

    How to Overcome Jet Lag

    Traveling through time zones affects people differently – some get quite tired. Here are some suggestions that may help you beat jet lag.

    • Pack at least two days ahead of time
    • Make sure to go to bed earlier than usual the night prior to travel
    • Hydrate! Drink more water than normal to avoid dehydration on the flight
    • Try to sleep a bit on the plane!
    • Think in “Local Time” – reset your watch to the local time of your destination
    • Stay busy: When you arrive at your destination, try to stay busy and go to bed at an appropriate time that night. Pacing is key!
    • Eat fresh, healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, and coffee to keep you alert. Heavy, greasy, or high-carb meals will make you tired.
    • Exercise – take twenty (20) minute walk in the morning, stretch before getting on the plane, and get up and walk during the flight. Moving gets your blood flowing and wakes up your body.
    • On the day of return, get out of bed earlier than normal, hydrate, and try to get sleep on the flight home.
    Baggage Regulations

    How much luggage can I bring?
    Your Pilgrimage Includes:

    One (1) piece of Checked Luggage
    One (1) Carry-On Luggage
    One (1) Personal Item
    Checked luggage
    Is the bag containing the bulk of your belongings – upon check-in at the airport, this is the bag you give the agent that gets stored underneath the plane.

    Size Allowance:

    Length + Width + Height cannot exceed 50lbs & 62 inches/158cm
    Economy Class: One (1) Checked Bag at 50 lbs/23kg
    Business Class: Two (2) Checked Bags at 75 lbs/32kg
    TIP: If you cannot pick it up, it is too heavy!

    Carry-on Luggage

    Is the bag you bring on the plane with you – this must fit in the overhead bin. Airlines are strict about the size of a carry-on bag – if it is too large or overhead, you will be subject to fees. Always ensure that you take personal possessions such as your passport, wallet, and medications with you at all times. Do not pack these or other items that you cannot be without, in your carry-on luggage. It is possible, (sold-out flights and small aircraft) that the airline may ask you to check in your carry-on.

    Size Allowance:

    One (1) Piece – Length + Width + Height cannot exceed 42 inches/106 cm & 17 lbs (8kg)

    Personal Item

    One (1) personal item is permitted in addition to your carry-on bag – this can be a laptop, iPad, book, small pocketbook, etc.
    TIP: Our 206 Tours Bag meets the measurements. It will also make it easy for the Guide/Driver to spot you in the Arrival Hall.

    TIP: Don’t lose your luggage. Airlines chaos has dominated the news this year. Take control of tracking your luggage via luggage trackers. Consider buying a smart travel device, prices start at $17. https://www.bestproducts.com/tech/gadgets/g40640083/best-luggage-trackers/

    Carry-on Bags: 3 – 1 – 1 Liquids Rule
    Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes must be:

    • 3.4 oz bottle or less (100ml)
    • All bottles must fit into one (1) quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag.
    • Gallon-size bags or fold-over sandwich bags are not allowed
    • 1 Bag per passenger screened on its own

    For additional information or clarification please visit: www.faa.gov

    Checked Bags:
    Containers of any size are allowed in Checked Bags. Any container larger than 3.4 oz (100ml) must be in checked baggage, regardless of the amount of product inside.

    Exceptions to the Rule:
    The following exceptions are permitted to exceed 3 oz

    • Baby formula, breast milk, juice for infants/toddlers
    • Prescriptions and over-the-counter medications including eye drops and saline
    • Water, juice, or liquid nutrition or gels for passengers with a doctor’s note
    • Products for medical/cosmetic reasons such as mastectomy products, prosthetic breasts, bras containing gels/liquids
    • Gels/frozen liquids are required to keep medical items cool

    Declare the above items for inspection at the security checkpoint – the TSA officers may need to open items for additional screenings.

    Any liquids purchased inside the airport after security are allowed on the airplane. If you have a layover and are re-screened, the liquid rule will apply.

    Personal Items Carry-on Checked
    All Make-up – You are allowed to carry any liquid/gel/cream makeup item provided that the container is up to 3 oz., as per the 3-1-1 rule. *mascara, chapstick, lip gloss, etc are all considered liquids. Yes Yes
    Safety Razors – includes disposable razors Yes Yes
    Saline Solution – You are allowed to carry up to 3 oz., as per the 3-1-1 rule. Volumes greater must be declared to the Security Officer. Yes Yes
    Tweezers, Scissors, Nail Clippers – plastic or metal with blunt tips or metal with pointed tips and blades shorter than four inches in length. Yes Yes
    Shampoos & Conditioners – must be in 3 oz. or smaller container inside your 1 qt Ziploc bag Yes Yes
    Toothpaste – 3 oz. or smaller container inside your 1 qt Ziploc bag Yes Yes
    Umbrellas– allowed in Carry-On baggage once they have been inspected to ensure that prohibited items are not concealed. Yes Yes
    Walking Canes – allowed in Carry-On baggage once they have been inspected to ensure that prohibited items are not concealed. Yes Yes
    Electronics Carry-on Checked
    Camera Equipment – the Checked Baggage Screening Equipment will damage undeveloped film in camera equipment. We recommend that you pack undeveloped film in your Carry-On baggage. Yes Yes
    Laptops, Smartphones & I-Pads Yes Yes
    Food & Drinks Carry-on Checked
    Beverages – from Home or purchased before reaching the Security Checkpoint in containers LARGER than 3 oz. No Yes
    Beverages – from Home or purchased before reaching the Security Checkpoint in a 3 oz. or smaller container and in your quart-size bag Yes Yes
    Beverages – purchased after Security Screening Yes Yes
    Medication, Baby Formula/Food, Breast Milk, & Juice – allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3 oz and are not required to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint Yes Yes
    Canned or Jarred Goods – such as soup, sauces, peanut butter, fruits, vegetables and jellies (3 oz. or smaller container) Yes Yes
    Cheese – in pressurized containers (3 oz. or smaller container) Yes Yes
    Duty-Free Alcohol and other items (some restrictions apply) Yes Yes
  • Currency & Money

    Currency

    The Euro (EUR) is the currency of Spain, though the US dollar is widely accepted. For most current exchange rates please visit www.xe.com.

    FreeCurrencyRates.com

    Bring small bills

    Bring $50 cash in $1 Dollar Bills

    Bring $50 cash in $5 Dollar Bills

    For bathroom stops, to buy a candle, or to leave donations at churches. If you bring high denominations its hard to get change.

    Where can I exchange money?

    • Airports (there will be a convenience fee)
    • Major Boulevards in destination (there will be a small exchange fee)
    • Your Bank – Visit your bank ahead of travel for the best rate
    • ATM Machine – while abroad, it is the more practical, and cost-effective, option. Utilizing your ATM card or Debit Card, you can also get cash advances on your credit card at an ATM, but there will be high fees.

    Can I use my credit card abroad?
    Yes! We highly recommend using your Credit Card as it offers convenience, security (you can cancel them if they are lost!), and reasonable exchange rates. Visa and Mastercard are the best options, as they are accepted in most stores or restaurants. American Express and Discover are not widely accepted in Europe. Your guide can also advise you where the ATM machines with the lowest fees are located.

    IMPORTANT: Before you leave, inform your bank and credit card companies that you will be traveling abroad so they do not flag, block, or suspend your account due to international transactions.

    How much money should I bring?
    This is totally subjective based on how much you’d like to spend on souvenirs and meals not included. Keep in mind what is included in your pilgrimage package. We recommend you bring at least 100 Shekels/USD per person (keep 50 Shekels/USD with you and 50 Shekels/USD in your checked bag).

    U.S. Customs

    U.S. citizens who have been in a foreign country for more than two days may return to the United States with up to $800 worth of merchandise duty-free. For those who wish to bring more home with them, a flat rate of 3% duty is levied on the next $1,000 worth of purchases. It’s a good idea to retain the receipts from your purchases should they be requested by a Customs Inspector upon your return to the United States. For details visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel.

    Value Added Tax (VAT) Refund (In Spain)

    All prices in Spain include 21% VAT. On each purchase exceeding $200 (including V.A.T.), the V.A.T. will be refunded upon presentation of the special invoice at the port of departure. In order to acquire the refund, the following procedure must be obtained:

    1. Look for the “tax refund” sticker on the business door or publications
    2. Ask for a VAT refund invoice – the invoice must be an official Change Place document, which Is the official VAT refund broker in Spain.
    3. At the airport VAT desk, show the original invoice, the green VAT tax form, and the goods you have purchased.
    4. At the end of the procedure, you will receive a check drawn in your favor which may be cached on the same day.

    For additional information on the VAT refund http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VAT

  • Luggage & What to Pack

    carry on luggage

    How much luggage can I bring?
    Your Pilgrimage Includes:

    • One (1) piece of Checked Luggage
    • One (1) Carry-On Luggage
    • One (1) Personal Item

    Checked luggage: is the bag containing the bulk of your belongings – upon check-in at the airport, this is the bag you give the agent that gets stored underneath the plane.

    • Size Allowance: Checked Luggage
    • Length + Width + Height cannot exceed 50lbs & 62 inches/158cm
    • Economy Class: One (1) Checked Bag at 50 lbs/23kg
    • Business Class: Two (2) Checked Bags at 75 lbs/32kg

    TIP: If you cannot pick it up, it is too heavy!

    Carry-on Luggage is the bag you bring on the plane with you – this must fit in the overhead bin. Airlines are strict about the size of a carry-on bag – if it is too large or overhead, you will be subject to fees. Always ensure that you take personal possessions such as your passport, wallet and medications with you at all times. Do not pack these or other items that you cannot be without, in your carry-on luggage.  It is possible, (sold-out flights and small aircrafts) that airline may ask you to check in your carry-on.

    • Size Allowance: Carry-on Bag
      • One (1) Piece – Length + Width + Height cannot exceed 42 inches/106 cm & 17 lbs (8kg)

    TIP: Our 206 Tours Bag meets the measurements. It will also make it easy for the Guide/Driver to spot you in the Arrival Hall.
    TIP: Don’t lose your luggage. Airlines chaos has dominated news this year. Take control of tracking your luggage via luggage trackers. Consider buying a smart travel device, price start at $17.
    https://www.bestproducts.com/tech/gadgets/g40640083/best-luggage-trackers/

    Personal Item is permitted in addition to your carry-on bag – this can be a laptop, iPad, book, small pocketbook, etc.

    luggage

    Medical Equipment

    Wheelchair Assistance (Within Airports)
    During registration, pilgrims are offered several selections for wheelchair requests, including gate-to-gate assistance, or all the way through to the seat. If you made a wheelchair request, 206 Tours will secure this service for you and it will be included on your airline record – an airport representative will meet you at the check-in desk to assist you.

    CPAP Machines
    Travelers bringing a CPAP machine should contact the airlines ahead of travel. (Your airline will be shown on flight itinerary provided digitally via email and within your Travel Documents).

    Oxygen Tanks
    If you are traveling with oxygen, you must visit your doctor ahead of travel to obtain the necessary paperwork. Only FAA-approved tanks can be checked, talk to your doctor about Department of Transportation Approved battery-powered oxygen concentrators which are permitted on flights.

    Car Seats & Strollers
    Most airlines allow car seats and strollers for families traveling with young children at no additional cost, however some have restrictions, so it is advisable to call the airlines ahead and ask.

    What to Pack

    We understand that packing can be challenging. Here are some helpful tips to help.

    IMPORTANT: Carry On You Anything that You Cannot Live Without – That includes your passport or your heart medication. There are times, then airline might demand that, even your small carryon, be checked in.

    What items can I leave at home?
    Formal Attire and very expensive jewelry.

    What type of clothing should I pack?
    Pack smartly by reviewing the itinerary activities and checking the expected weather. Days are packed with sightseeing and walking throughout, so comfortable clothing and sneakers are best.

    Suggested Clothing:

    • Bottoms: Comfortable pants or shorts/skirts no shorter than knee length
    • Tops: Long or short sleeve tees, blouses, button-downs, polos, or sweaters that are seasonally appropriate. Shoulders should be covered.
    • Layers: Undershirts, light sweaters or cardigans for layering are great for cooler mornings or evenings
    • Jacket: A weatherproof rain jacket is great to have (if traveling October through March)
    • Socks, undergarments, pajamas, belt, hat, scarf (large light fabric scarf if needed to cover shoulders/knees), sunglasses, swimsuits (for swimming in Dead Sea) etc.
    • Accessories: wallet, purse, etc.
      *If you forgot something at home, you can buy it on the Trip. Ask your Guide.

    TIP: Count the number of days you are traveling. You can always wear Pants/Shirts twice.

    Dynamic Catholic uses First-Class Four-Star Hotels which include the necessities and provide pillows blankets, shampoo, soap, towels, Wi-Fi, hair dryers and more.

    Suggested Toiletries:

    • Travel size deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo & conditioner, body wash/soap, lotion, gel, hair spray, shaving cream, mouth wash, sunscreen, etc.
    • Toothbrush, comb, nail clippers, razors etc.
    • Travel Size Kleenex
    • Pen – (to complete Custom Forms on Plane)
    • Band-Aids
    • Chapstick
    • Washcloths
    • Over-the-counter medications / Pharmacy Items (if applicable to you), Dramamine, Aspirin/Advil etc.., Antibiotic Cream, Laxative and Imodium, Tums/ Pepto Bismol tablets, Sominex or sleep aid and Allergy/Cold Medicine

    Should I pack clothes in my carry-on bag?
    Absolutely! Pack at least one change of clothes, socks, and undergarments in your carry-on bag in case your baggage is delayed or lost. You may wish to bring toothpaste, a toothbrush, and deodorant to refresh during your travels as well.

    What should I wear on the plane?
    Wear comfortable loose-fitting clothes for your flights. Your feet may swell due to altitude, so wear flexible shoes and bring a pair of slippers or socks.

    What electronics should I bring?

    • Cellphone and charger (consider a portable Power Bank too.)
    • Camera and charger (unless using Camera on Phone)
    • Small Flashlight

    The attire during the course of your journey is conservative and comfortable.  Ensure to cover your shoulderschest, and your legs at least two inches below your knees for entrance to holysites (which will be visited daily.) and to respect local customs. It is not necessary for women to cover their heads or faces. There is no need for formal attire for men or women at any time during the course of the tour. Comfort and adaptability are the most important factors in determining what to pack. During your flight, you will want to wear loose-fitting clothes and pack a pair of slippers or socks to wear for the flight. Make sure your shoes are lace-up or flexible, as your feet may swell due to the flight.

    For Winter, Early Spring, and Late Fall: Be sure to back a warm jacket, a hat, scarf, and gloves.

    For Summer, Late Spring, and Late Summer: Bring a sunhat and loose-fitting clothing. Don’t forget a lightweight sweater for the evenings as some places may be a little cooler than others. A note about summer attire; shorts (or mini skirts) and bare shoulders are considered inappropriate at some religious sites. For men, shorts that can be transformed by zippers into trousers may be convenient.We strongly recommend that women bring a shall or sarong which can be placed conveniently in their day bag, so that they may drape their shoulders, or tie it around their waists in the more religious sites.

    Other Suggested Items to Bring

    Will there be time to shop?
    Very limited time, towards the end of your pilgrimage has been set aside during your pilgrimage for shopping! The reason it has been pre-planned is that, with so much sightseeing, a pace must be kept in order to see all sites. Ask your Tour Escort local specialty items. Small, light items that you can easily carry home make splendid souvenirs & gifts. Don’t forget to buy something nice for yourself too.

    Remember, when shopping – use your credit card, that will guarantee your product, and if anything goes wrong you can claim accordingly.

    Shops at a Shrine/Church/Basilica: Cash Only
    Some Holy sites have small gift shops run by clergy – at these shops, all proceeds are donated to the upkeep of the site – but often credit cards are not accepted. For these reasons, be sure to have cash handy.

    What if I purchase something that is big/heavy/fragile?
    Arrangements can be made at the shop or hotel to have items shipped to your home.

    What should I avoid when shopping abroad?
    Always be aware of your personal belongings when shopping in crowded areas. Try not to take out your money/credit cards in public areas, unless at the time of making a purchase.

    Transportation

    Transportation is by private motor coach:
    You will be on the same bus from the time you arrive at the airport, until your transfer back to the airport for your return flights home. The duration of driving time between cities/countries can range extensively depending on your itinerary. Some days may include only short transfers on the bus from your hotel to the Shrines, Churches, Museums, Restaurants, or similar. Other days, you may drive a couple of hours to travel from one city to another. Depending on the itinerary and location of sites, your day may require up to 8 hours of driving – broken up by visits, Mass, etc. Regardless of the itinerary for the day, rest assured that the coach will stop for bathroom/stretch breaks (approximately every 2-3 hours), as well as a lunch stop.

    Is the motorcoach “Modern”?
    Yes! All of our motorcoach buses are either brand new or a few years old. They have new upholstery, emergency and safety settings, seatbelts, USB chargers, and a cooler up front for water bottles.

    Does the motorcoach have a restroom?
    No, due to local laws and concerns with chemicals, etc. Multiple stops have been planned out during each day for restroom use. If it is an emergency, just let your guide know, and they will be happy to advise you of the nearest restroom/or plan for a stop. Keep in mind that many of the Churches, Museums, and Restaurants along the way also have restrooms.

  • Average Temperatures

    City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    Avila Low 29 31 33 36 42 49 54 54 49 42 35 32
    High 45 48 53 55 62 73 81 80 73 61 51 46
    Barcelona Low 40 42 44 47 54 60 66 67 62 55 47 42
    High 56 58 60 64 69 76 82 82 78 71 63 58
    Garabandal Low 45 48 50 55 60 65 68 70 68 60 55 45
    High 55 58 60 65 70 76 78 80 78 70 65 55
    Madrid Low 37 39 42 45 51 59 65 65 59 50 43 39
    High 50 54 60 64 71 80 88 87 79 66 56 50
  • About Europe & Travel Abroad

    Language

    The official language of Spain is Spanish.

    Useful Spanish Phrases

    Must Know Travel Terms Common Spanish Phrases Phrase Pronunciation
    Hello Hola/Buenos días “oh-lah/bweh-nos dee-as”
    Goodbye Adiós “ah-dyos”
    Yes “see”
    No No “noh”
    Please por favor “por fah-bor”
    Thank You Gracias “grah-thyas”
    Excuse Me Disculpe “dees-kool-peh”
    Do you speak English? Habla usted inglés? “ah-blah oo-steth een-gles”
    Can you help me? Me puede ayudar? “meh poo-eh-deh ah-yoo-dar”
    I don’t understand No entiendo “noh en-tyehn-doh”
    How much? Cuánto cuesta? “kwan-toh kwes-tah”
    Where is…? Dónde está…? “don-deh es-tah”
    bathroom / restaurant / hotel baño / restaurante / hotel “ban-yo / res-tau-ran-te / hotel”
    Taxi, please. Taxi, por favor “taxi por fah-bor”
    Where is the hospital? Dónde está el hospital? “don-deh es-tah el os-pee-tal”

     

    Hotels Accommodations

    Hotels Accommodations (In Spain)
    Hotel rooms may be smaller than you are used to based on American standards. All rooms are comfortably appointed with a private bathroom. Mini-bar items and access to paid TV channels are at your own expense. King size beds are rare in Europe, therefore couples should anticipate queen size beds in most hotels. Travelers sharing a room will have two twin beds in their hotel rooms. Many hotels use key cards to operate the room’s lighting system and/or the elevator. All hotels offer a hair dryer in the bathroom. Most hotels provide toiletries (shampoo, soap, lotion), if needed bring a supply of conditioner with you. It is not customary for hotels to provide wash cloths.

    Adapters, Converters, & Electricity

    Will I need an adapter?
    When traveling abroad, you will need to bring an adapter to use electric outlets. The voltage used is 220 volts AC, single phase 50 cycles (the U.S. uses 110/120 volts). The best option is to bring a Universal Travel Adapter with Dual USB Ports – this will allow you to utilize a number of outlets at one time.

    Adapters are sold as Combos – 3-in-1

    Will I need a Converters?
    Converters are rarely needed as most electronics are built to convert the voltage. All hotels have hair dryers, so you would only need to bring a converter if you were bringing your own hair dryer or a curling iron/hair straightener (which are not necessary on a pilgrimage). If you have a laptop – check with the manufacturer. Newer models of most laptops and iPads have a converter built-in. Converter kits that include the entire range of plugs can be purchased online or in stores.

    Hotels

    What type of hotels are we staying in?
    Dynamic Catholic uses first-class four-star hotels throughout. These hotels have all the local amenities you come to expect at home. Hotel rooms may be smaller than typical American standards. All rooms are comfortably appointed with a private bathroom. Mini-bar items and access to paid TV channels are at your own expense. King-size beds are rare abroad, therefore, couples should anticipate queen-size beds in most hotels.

    Travelers sharing a room will have two (2) twin beds in their hotel room. Many hotels use key cards to operate the room’s lighting, electricity, and/or the elevator. Rooms will have large towels and hand towels. It is not customary for hotels to provide washcloths.

    TIP: Feel free to look at the websites of the hotels listed on the pilgrimage website, flyer, or in your digital confirmation. There you can view pictures, videos, and specific notes about the properties.

    How will porterage work at the hotels?
    Do not worry about having to carry your luggage between the bus and your hotel room. Porterage of one (1) piece of luggage per person is included in the cost of your pilgrimage. The Porters will do their best to bring your luggage to you in a timely fashion upon checking into the hotel. At times there may be a short delay due to the size of the group arriving. To make it easier for porters to identify your luggage make sure your Dynamic Catholic luggage tag is clearly visible. If you prefer to bring your own luggage to the Hotel, please wait near the bus as the driver and porters unload the luggage for you to identify your baggage and bring it with you to your room.

    Cell Phones

    Can I use my smartphone on the pilgrimage?
    Yes, you can use your smartphone on the pilgrimage. Be sure to contact your service provider and inform them that you will be traveling overseas. Most providers offer an “International Plan” that you may sign up for. This will allow you to make calls to the United States while you are out of the country. Some providers offer a plan known as a “Passport Plan” where you pay a flat fee per day and allow you to then use your phone normally without roaming or data fees. With this plan, you will be able to utilize calling and texting features as well as apps that allow you to call home for Free while utilizing WiFi.
    *Refrain from using Hotel Phones. They are available for convenience but cost substantially more than using a cellphone.

    How do I call/text home from a European Telephone?
    If you use a hotel or local phone in Europe to call a US telephone number, you will first need to dial “00” – then dial the Country Code (1 for the US and Canada) – then the local area code and telephone number.

    How does someone in the US call/text me while I’m in Europe?
    If someone in the US tries to reach you at your cell phone number while you are traveling, they will dial you as usual. (See notes about cell phone plans above)

    If someone in the US tries to reach you at a European telephone number, they must first dial “011”- then the European country code of where you are located – then the area code and phone number.

    Country Codes: Italy +39, Germany +49, France +33, Switzerland +41, Poland +48, Greece +30, Croatia +385, Hungary +36, Austria +43, Ireland +353, Vatican City +379, Lichtenstein +423, Portugal +351, Spain +34, Israel +972, Mexico +52

    Can we bring laptops / iPads?
    Feel free to bring them with you as all of the Hotels have complimentary WiFi available.

    Calling from Spain to the USA

    To make a direct international call, first dial “00” and then dial the country code (1 for the US and Canada, just like at home), then the local area code and telephone number.

    Calling from the USA to Spain

    If your family wishes to call you during the pilgrimage from within the US, you must first dial 011, then the country code (34) in Spain which is then followed by the local area code and telephone number.

    Terrain

    Europe is based on a myriad of old buildings, and there are split-levels and uneven surfaces everywhere; please watch your step! Due to the structure of old buildings, access to some establishments may not be convenient for wheelchair use, and facilities for the disabled in general may be limited. Many areas are pedestrian only and have cobblestones. High-heeled shoes are not suitable for cobblestone streets; rubber-soled walking shoes are recommended.  Many streets in Europe are narrow, and due to strict traffic regulations, the buses are not always permitted to drop groups off directly in front for their destination.  Please be prepared to walk.

    Taxis

    All transportation is included, but should you wish to venture on your own, be wary of any person approaching you offering unofficial taxi services. Choose only those vehicles with a meter and a taxi sign.

    Local Customs/Social Conventions
    A different way of life in some countries may take you by surprise, but if you travel with an open mind and respect local customs, you should find it easy to adapt to and enjoy your new surroundings. Due to cultural differences, you may not be greeted quite as cheerfully as back home; smiling is generally reserved for intimate friends. Be especially wary of people presenting themselves as “instant friends” and never accept food or drink from strangers.

    Meals

    Breakfast, lunch and dinners are included throughout your stay. Breakfast and dinner will be served in our hotel’s main dining room and will be buffet-style. Please plan to enjoy your dinners approximately around 7:00 pm each day. Unlike in the US, it is frowned upon to take food out of the room. Your meals include mineral water and wine. While some restaurants may be able to provide for a special diet, such as vegetarian or sodium-free, there is no way for us to guarantee this.

    Can I drink the local tap water?
    Generally, most local tap water will not hurt you, however, due to differences in mineral and micro-biotic levels. We recommend that you avoid consuming local tap water, as it may upset your stomach.
    TIP: Bottled Water is available on your Tour Bus throughout. Also, Mineral Water is included with most meals (as noted under “Your Trip Includes” on the website). You may wish to bring an empty portable water bottle with a filter for use on your trip.

  • Useful Links

    Useful travel links:

    Airline Tracker: www.flightarrivals.com
    Currency Converter: www.xe.com
    Department of Homeland Security: www.dhs.gov
    Embassies: www.usembassy.gov
    International Health Information: www.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list
    Language Translation: translate.google.com
    Physical Disabilities Information: www.travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/travelers-with-special-considerations/traveling-with-disabilties.html
    Smart Traveler Enrollment Program: step.state.gov/step
    Time Around the World: www.time.gov
    Transportation Security Administration: www.tsa.gov
    Trusted Traveler www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs
    US Customs: cbp.gov
    US State Department Travel Warnings: www.travel.state.gov