How to prepare for your Pilgrimage
Thank you for your desire and readiness to visit these places of grace and prayer. May the Almighty God, through the intercession of our Heavenly Mother, reward you for all the efforts you undertake to come!
206 Tours would like your Spiritual Journey to be as pleasant and helpful as possible. It is important to note that 206 Tours pilgrimages are packed full of spiritual activities and sightseeing. We do not include much free time for recreation, such as shopping. This is because our desire is to offer you the most comprehensive pilgrimage possible. However, all tours/activities are optional, and if you feel you are unable to keep up with the pace of the tour, manage the terrain, or would like free time for your own interests, you are welcome to refrain from participating in any aspects of the program you desire (note, no refund can be issued for any aspects of the tour which you choose not to participate in). Simply advise the tour escort the night before of your alternate plans not to join the next day in the group activities. The amount of walking is significant, and the terrain varies greatly throughout our tours. You will encounter hills, mountains, unpaved streets, cobblestone streets, etc. Please prayerfully consider whether you are up to such physical activities prior to registering. For this reason, we would like to offer you some recommendations, and we ask you sincerely to read them carefully.
A couple of weeks before your pilgrimage, one should begin preparing physically as well as spiritually:
- If not accustomed to physical activity begin walking “briskly” 1-2 times a day; build up to 2-3 miles with no discomfort.
- If possible, attend daily Mass or attempt to spend quiet time in church during lunch or after work.
- Pray for Jesus and His Blessed Mother to open your heart and mind to be responsive to new perspectives, ideas, their words laid on your heart, etc.
- Begin praying the rosary daily (Learn How to Pray the Rosary ) or at least the Apostle’s Creed, 7 Our Father’s, 7 Hail Mary’s & 7 Glory Be’s as Our Lady has requested; this takes about 5-7 minutes.
General Info About Your Documents, Flights, Arrival & Travel
Please visit www.tsa.gov for the most up to date travel restrictions
New security procedures
All liquids, gels, and aerosols must be in three-ounce or smaller containers. Larger containers that are half-full or toothpaste tubes rolled up are not allowed. Each container must be three ounces or smaller. All liquids, gels, and aerosols must be placed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Gallon size bags or bags that are not zip-top such as fold-over sandwich bags are not allowed. Each traveler can use only one, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Each traveler must remove their quart-sized plastic, zip-top bag from their carry-on and place it in a bin or on the conveyor belt for X-ray screening. X-raying separately will allow TSA security officers to more easily examine the declared items. Visit the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) for complete details.
* Please note, check in luggage will not be included with your ticket. Any cost incurred for checked bags will be at cost to you
Electronic Airline Ticket
This pilgrimage does not include the airfare option, however you may request flights to be included at an additional cost
Your ticket is an electronic ticket (“e-ticket”).
When checking into the airport, you must present an acceptable ID, such as a valid passport, state-issued enhanced driver’s license or U.S. military ID and your e-ticket confirmation to provide to the check-in agent or Kiosk.
Many airlines are in special agreements, to share aircrafts in order to ensure the best routing for their passengers. While your ticket may indicate that you are flying with one carrier (i.e. United), you may find that you are seated in a plane belonging to another carrier (i.e. Lufthansa). Carefully review your airline itinerary to determine which airline is operating your departure flight to ensure check-in for your flight at the correct carrier. When your flight is operated by another carrier your itinerary will state “Flight Operated by (name Airline).
Please use the following recommendation for check-in prior to your scheduled departure time. Check-in at least:
- 2 hours prior to Domestic flight
You must personally check in your own luggage at the airline counter. Advise the check-in agent of your final destination to ensure that your luggage will be checked all the way through. This will eliminate you having to claim your luggage and rechecking you luggage in once again during a possible flight connection (s).
The Airlines determine the minimum connection time required to transfer from one gate to another. We are subject to the availability of the airlines carrier we work with and must ensure that all participants have reservations to arrive / departure similar times for the group transfers to/from the airport.
Airlines now require that we provide electronic tickets (a.k.a. “e-tickets”) in place of paper tickets. At check-in, you should be ready to provide your flight itinerary which was provided with your final documents and valid id to the agent. The airline agent will then check you in for your flight, check your luggage, and provide you with a boarding pass for your flights. In the very rare occurrence where an e-ticket cannot be issued, you will receive your tickets in a paper form. Please note that paper tickets must be present in order to check-in, and or board the plane.
Flight Delays & Arrival Transfers
If you missed your flight, forgot your id or if you are re-routed you most likely will miss your group transfer from the airport to your hotel. How to proceed in such circumstances?
- You may take a taxi at your own expense to your hotel.
- You may contact the emergency number in this booklet to advise of the flight delay and 206 Tours may arrange a private transfer at additional cost to you.
You may consult with your health care provider before traveling. For the latest overseas travel health information contact: The Center for Disease Control call 1-877-394-8747 or visit www.cdc.gov. For medical information contact: The U.S. Public Health service 1-301-443-2403.
If your luggage is missing proceed to your airline carrier’s baggage office in the airport terminal to complete a missing luggage form, which will include a description of your luggage. Please make sure to save all the 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. You may also provide the emergency number listed in your Final Confirmation booklet. If your baggage is delayed for over 24 hours you may submit a claim to the insurance company upon completion of your pilgrimage (only applicable for passengers that purchased Travel Insured International insurance through 206 Tours).
Bringing Liquids in your Carry-on Bags
For additional information or clarification please visit: www.faa.gov
3 – 1 – 1 Liquids Rule for your Carry-on Ba
Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes must be:
- 4 OZ bottle or less
- 1 Quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag
- 1 Bag per passenger screened on its own
Be prepared; each time the TSA must search a carry-on to locate liquids it slows down the line. Practicing 3 – 1 – 1 will ensure a sufficient checkpoint experience.
Remember, you can put liquids of any size in your checked baggage.
Important to note about the 3-1-1 Rule…
Larger containers that are partially-full are not allowed, Gallon size bags or bags that are not zip-top, such as fold-over sandwich bags are not allowed.
Larger fluids permitted, reasonable quantities exceeding 3 OZ are allowed of the following:
- Baby formula, breast milk, and juice for infants and toddlers
- All prescription and over-the-counter medications (liquids, gels, and aerosols) including eye drops and saline solution for medical purposes
- Liquids including water, juice, or liquid nutrition or gels for passengers with a disability or medical condition (a doctor’s note is required)
- Items used to augment the body for medical/cosmetic reasons such as mastectomy products, prosthetic breasts, bras containing gels, or other liquids
- Gels or frozen liquids needed to cool medically related items, such as medicines, used by persons with disabilities or medical conditions
Declare the above items for inspection at the checkpoint. TSA officers may need to open them for additional screening. Any liquid, gel or aerosol, such as coffee or soda, purchased in the secure area beyond the security checkpoint is allowed aboard your plane. If you have a layover and are re-screened at your connecting airport, the above rules will be applied
For additional information or clarification please visit: www.faa.gov
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 – 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 Camcorders & 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 Laptop Computers, Mobile Phones, Pagers, PDA 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 Medications, 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
Make sure to bring along a credit card for convenience and security. It is also practical to withdraw local currency using your ATM/Debit card during your trip.
Visa, MasterCard or American Express are the best options and accepted in many stores.
**It is recommended to contact your local bank/credit card companies prior to your departure to inform them of your travels to avoid your company blocking your account due unusual activity **
Will There Be ATMs Available?
We highly recommend using your credit card when you travel. Credit cards offer convenience and security (you can cancel them if they are lost).
Visa, MasterCard and American Express are the best options since they can be used in most stores.
ATMs are just about everywhere and are accessible 24 hours a day. Ask your Guide, any time, and they will be happy to point you in the direction of one. (Find out your daily withdrawal limit beforehand.)
How much money should I bring with me?
The amount differs per person. We recommend that the minimum spending money to bring with you/budget for, in addition to the suggested tips, is about $30.00 per person per day.
Keep in mind:
- No lunches are included, the type of lunch you prefer may make a big difference (restaurant vs. cafe).
- Souvenirs – Are you planning on purchasing mementos for yourself or loved ones?
Remember, you can always spend less, or bring money home!
Tour Escort in the US – $10 per person per day
Bus Driver in the US– $5 per person per day
Spiritual Director/ Your Priest – Gift or donation to the Spiritual Director is at your own discretion.
Restaurants, hotel staff, luggage handler and bell boy tips are included in your package price. No additional tips need to be given.
Luggage & What to Pack
Your pilgrimage includes one (1) carry-on. Please limit the size of your hand luggage to 17x14x8 in. (43x36x20 cm) for easy storage on the motor coach. Porterage for one suitcase on tour is included in the tour price. The checked piece of luggage (at your own expense) should have dimensions not exceeding 62 inches in overall (62inches: length+width+height) and weight not exceeding 50 lbs (23 kg).
What Is Carry On Luggage?
The Carry-On bag lets you access your belongings in flight and must be able to fit in an overhead bin. Airlines are strict about size of carry-on luggage, and if overweight, can be subject to unpleasant fees.
Tip: We recommend you utilize your 206 Tours Bag, which meets the measurements. It will also make it easier for Guides/Drivers to spot you in the Arrival’s Hall
Carry all documents and money on your person but not all in the same place to limit the inconvenience in case of loss; do not keep money, important documents, medicines or jewelry in your suitcase; We recommend a money belt worn inside your clothes, while touring. On departure from your hotel, remember to double check that you have your money belt with you, and that you have collected any items left in the hotel safe. Please, be as vigilant as you would be in any major city, especially in crowded places. Never leave your hand luggage unattended or out of sight in public areas, including airports, hotel lobbies or dining rooms. Be sure to keep ALL medications in your carry-on bag during your trip. Keep a separate list of important numbers, traveler’s checks, and credit cards, in your luggage, together with photocopies. Keep a separate copy i.e. flight schedule, credit cards, in your luggage. The same rules of safety and security apply here as to anywhere else. Avoid excessive displays of jewelry or cash (only carry sufficient for daily needs). Room Safes may be used at your own discretion. Make certain that any valuables are insured against theft. Avoid exploration on your own of unfamiliar streets or areas Be cautious if people approach you begging.
The more secure your personal items are, the better! TSA suggests you lock your luggage before you embark, and when you are flying home. In order to ensure the safe transportation of travelers, TSA screens all checked, and carry-on, baggage before it is permitted to be brought onboard. You can purchase locks for your bags, however, if they are “screened”, you run the risk of them being cut open and no longer usable. However, there are TSA Recognized Locks – which allow TSA officials to use tools for opening and re-locking your baggage. Below are recommended brands:
Safe Skies: www.safeskieslocks.com
Travel Sentry: www.travelsentry.org
for Checked Bags
Length + Width + Height = 158cm./62in.
Economy Class: 1 piece at 23kg. / 50lbs.
Business Class: 2 pieces at 32kg. / 70lbs. each
for Carry-on Bags
Length + Width + Height: 106cm./42in.
Weight: 1 piece at 8 kg./17 lbs.
Additionally you are permitted one personal item to carry onto the plane such as a purse, laptop, briefcase, etc.
Please note that traveler’s insurance is STRONGLY recommended for all 206 Tours pilgrims. Be advised that traveler’s insurance cannot be purchased after you have paid in full for your trip. For those who have purchased Travelers Insurance through 206 Tours a pamphlet will be included in your final documents. Please refer to this brochure for specific stipulations or questions. For more information you can also visit www.206tours.com/insurance.
One (1) piece of luggage handling at the hotel is included in your trip cost. 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 short delay due to the size of the group arriving. To make it easier for porters to identify your luggage make sure your luggage tag is clearly visible. If you prefer to bring your own luggage into 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.
Important Items & Valuables
Carry your identification, Final Confirmation booklet and money on you. It is best not to have all items in the same place to limit the inconvenience in case of loss. DO NOT keep money, important documents, medicines or jewelry in your suitcase. Please leave valuable jewelry at home. We recommend a “neck safe” worn inside your clothes while touring. At all times please be as vigilant as you would in any major city, especially in crowded places. Never leave your bag unattended or out of sight in public areas, including airports, hotel lobbies, or dining rooms.
The attire, during your journey, is conservative and comfortable. Ensure to cover your shoulders, chest, and your legs at least two inches below your knee’s for entrance at religious sites (which will be visited daily). There is no need for formal attire for men or woman at any time during the tour. Comfort and adaptability are the most important factors in determining what to pack. Be sure to pack at least one change of clothes, socks and undergarments in your carry-on luggage in case your baggage is delayed or lost!
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.
Be sure to have at least one or two good pairs of walking shoes, such as sneakers or hiking boots. If new, make sure you walk in them for a couple of weeks to break them in. It is not practical to wear any footwear with high or narrow heels, as the roads may not be paved or are uneven due to cobblestone.
It is recommended that you bring a light- weight jacket for the mornings and evenings in case the temperatures are unseasonably cold.
Recommended Clothing to pack
For Winter, Early Spring, and late Fall, be sure to back a warm jacket, a hat, scarf, and gloves. Just in case.
For Summer, late Spring, and late Summer: Bring a sunhat and plenty loose-fitting clothing. Do not 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.
Bring an all-weather coat, just in case. We strongly recommend that women bring a shawl or sarong which can be placed conveniently in their day bag, so that they may drape their shoulders, or tie around their waists in the more religious sites.
Mid-summer advice: Wear a sunhat and loose-fitting clothing, drink at least one liter (one quart) of mineral water a day if you can (carry a small bottle in your hand luggage); avoid eating too much ice-cream and reduce the amount of ice in drinks. A small battery-operated fan may be useful in warm weather.
General Clothing for Men:
Casual slacks, short and long sleeve shirts, a sweater for layering, socks, under garments and a jacket.
General Clothing for Women:
Casual slacks, long skirt (if preferred), short and long sleeve shirts, a sweaters or cardigan for layering, socks, undergarments and a jacket.
Other Suggested Items to Bring
- Travel Bible and Journal
- Portable alarm clock
- Dramamine (for motion sickness)
- Aspirin/Advil, etc.
- Laxative and Imodium
- Pepto Bismol (tablets)
- Allergy/cold medicine; tablets
- Deodorant (travel size)
- Soap bar (travel size) and washcloth
- Shampoo and Conditioner (travel size)
- Toothbrush & Toothpaste (travel size)
- Lotion/Moisturizing cream (travel size)
- Feminine Items
- Handi-wipes: for freshening up during the day
- Travel pack size Kleenex
- Digital Camera, Charger, Extra Battery & carrying case
- Adapter and converter if you are bringing any electronic devices
- Grocery size plastic bags: 1-2 for dirty clothes
- Travel size poncho (in the camping section of Walmart)
- Inflatable head & neck rest, eye mask, foam earplugs (for flight)
- Nail file and/or nail clippers
- Pen (bring with you on the plane to complete customs forms)
Ginger can be helpful in motion sickness. Melatonin helps to allow you to sleep on the plane. These items can be found at most health food stores.
Transportation is by private motor coach:
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 a restaurant, or similar. Other days you may drive a couple of hours to travel from one city to another. There are some days/itineraries which may include up to 8 hours of driving in one day. During travel days with extensive driving, the coach will stop for bathroom/stretch (approximately every 2 to 3 hours) breaks as well as a lunch stop.
City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Kentucky Low 25 28 39 47 56 66 70 68 62 49 40 32 High 43 46 59 70 78 86 89 88 82 70 57 47
Hotel telephones are available and offer convenience, however they tend to cost substantially more for out of state calls than using your cell phone.
Smart Phones and Electronics
If your cell phone has a data plan, be sure to turn data roaming “OFF” while on the plane to avoid potentially high fees. The rates for data are far more expensive than for roaming voice calls and text messages.
Can We Bring Laptops/Macbook / I-Pads?
Feel free to bring them with you –all the Hotels have Wi-Fi available though some may charge a fee.
Known as WC are available at most tourist locations. Be prepared, with tissues in your pocket, at all times.
If using a digital camera, we recommend you bring an extra memory card (just in case). Be sure to also bring extra batteries for your camera.
Be wary of any person approaching you offering unofficial taxi services. If you do not have an airport transfer included and you need transportation, make your way to the official taxi desk or to the regular taxi line outside the terminal. Chose a vehicle with a meter or taxi sign. If there is no meter, we recommend you pre-negotiate and agree on the fare before you get into the cab. Or consider an Uber or Lyft pick up.
Meals / Food
Breakfast will be served in our hotel’s main dining room throughout your journey and will be buffet style. Dinners (if included) will be at a local restaurant or your hotel. Most dinners will be served “sit down” with a pre-determined 3-4 course meal. 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, 206 Tours cannot guarantee a special meal request. Generally vegetarian and vegan meals tend to lack variety and imagination.
Stores are open daily Monday to Sunday. Ask your tour escort where to purchase regional specialty products which the cities on your itinerary are known for. Small, light items that you can easily carry home make splendid and festive gifts. Do not forget to buy something nice for yourself too. Whenever traveling, be aware of your personal belongings when shopping in crowded areas. If you purchase a video or DVD, please check very carefully that it is compatible with your home viewing system.
"What If" & Commonly Asked Questions
What should I do if my flight is canceled or delayed?
If your flight is canceled or delayed it is imperative that you work DIRECTLY with the airlines at the airport to arrange for alternate flights or protection. Please note that once your tickets have been issued or you have check-in for your flights, 206 Tours can no longer make any changes to your flight itinerary. This can ONLY be done by the airlines. In such case be persistent with the agent, however, keep in mind that the situation is not the airline agent’s fault. Try your best to remain courteous to them, as you may find that you receive more assistance this way. The airlines are not required to offer reimbursement for personal expense or overnights when delays/cancellations occur due to weather. If you find that you have no luck with the airline personnel, please contact your emergency number and we shall do all in our power to assist you.
What should I do if I miss my flight due to late arrival at the airport?
If you should miss your flight, due to your own late arrival at your departure airport, it is imperative that you work DIRECTLY with the airlines at the airport to arrange for alternate flights. You may incur additional costs to exchange your airline ticket (minimum of $300 per person). Once your alternate arrangements have been confirmed you may contact the emergency number in this booklet to advise of the flight delay and 206 Tours may arrange a private transfer at additional cost to you.
What happens if I miss my group transfer upon arrival?
If your plane arrives late, or you are re-routed you will most likely miss your group transfer which is included in your package. You may take a taxi at your own expense to your hotel or you may contact the emergency number in this booklet to advise of the flight delay and 206 Tours may arrange a private transfer at additional cost to you.
What happens if I have a problem or complaint during my trip?
If you have any problems, concerns, or complaints during your trip, please communicate them IMMEDIATELY to your tour escort. Your tour guide is at your disposal to assist you with all your needs including issues with your hotel room, meals, etc. Remember, there is very little that can be done to undo a problem once you have returned home if the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction by your tour escort, then please contact our office.
What should I do if I want to change my flights?
We promise to do all within our power to assist you with new flight requests or upgrades. Please feel free to contact us but do be prepared to incur some additional fees.
- Airline delays: fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/plaintext.html
- Airline seating: seatguru.com
- Airline tracker: flightarrivals.com
- Calendar and holidays: http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar
- Department of Homeland security: dhs.gov
- Driving directions: maporama.com; www.maps.google.com
- Emergency/Disaster information: redcross.org
- FAA Air traffic Control: faa.gov
- Flight delay info: fly.faa.gov/flyfaa/usmap.jsp
- Flight tracker: flightview.com
- Frequent flyer programs: webflyer.com
- Global Entry: https: //goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/main/goes
- Health (travel health info): cdc.gov; www.who.int; www.tripprep.com
- Internet access/hotspots: wi-fihotspotlist.com; www.wififreespot.com
- Last minute travel preparation: dontforgetyourtoothbrush.com
- Physical disabilities travelaccess-able.com
- Time around the world: time.gov
- Transportation Security Admin: tsa.gov
- Travel planning: worldtravelguide.net
- Travel planning (religious sites): sacred-destinations.com
- US State Dept. Travel Warnings: http://travel.state.gov
- Weather around the world: weather.com
- World Health Organization: who.int/eha/disasters