Family booking with Explore Europe
Traveling around Europe with children can be daunting. But it’s also an amazing opportunity to experience so much beauty, culture & gastronomy. To be sure that you are best prepared to join us on one of our trips, we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions so you and your family feel more confident to book with Explore Europe!
This post is organized into 4 main themes:
- Health and flexible booking policies
- Hotel Arrangements
- Bus Arrangements
- Attractions Arrangements
Health and flexible booking policies
- Safety & security
Q: Is Europe safe for me and my family at the moment?
A: We’re always monitoring what’s happening in Europe and how it impacts our trips. The latest recommendations from the German government, along with local authorities where we travel, are guiding our decisions. We’ll communicate any pertinent information related to your departure by email so you’re always in the loop.
Q: Who are we going to be sharing the bus with?
A: All buses are private. That means the people who will have access to the bus will be the passengers registered on the trip, the bus driver and the trip leader. All people will be subject to COVID checks (negative tests, vaccinations or specific requirements from local authorities). In addition, our buses will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before the group boards and regularly thereafter, with a specific focus on high-frequency touchpoints.
Q: What are hotels doing to make it safe to visit?
A: Each hotel has implemented their strict guidelines, such as frequent cleaning of common areas, thoroughly disinfecting guest rooms between customers, staff trained in local health, hygiene, and physical contact guidelines. Some of them offer 24/7 free online medical consultation as well as COVID tests directly at the hotel (PCR or Antigen, subject to a fee). Read more here.
Q: Will I need vaccinations & Covid tests for my family?
A: A unanimous decision that would apply to all countries in Europe has yet to be agreed upon. We will be complying with the requirements of the local authorities. As of now, the options in Europe typically are:
- Option 1: Covid vaccination (2 shots within the last 9 months, or 2 shots + 1 booster shot)
- Option 2: Non-vaccinated guests (including children over the age of 12) to get tested a certain amount of time prior to travel (24h/48h or 72h)
- Option 3: Proof of recent recovery from COVID-19
Q: Does my child need to be vaccinated?
A: Some European countries are requiring children over the age of 5 to be vaccinated. We will be complying with the requirements of the local authorities on that matter. You would be informed prior to departure of the necessary requirements.
Q: Are we going to travel if we need to quarantine in the destination country?
Q: Will face masks be required on the trips?
A: Face masks will no longer be required on the bus, unless when specified by local policies. Your Trip Leader will have a small supply on hand if you forget your mask, but we’re recommending that all guests bring their own face masks. We’ll make every effort to have hand sanitizer available, but it’s always a good idea to bring your own.
Q: Will face masks need to be worn by children?
A: Typically, children aged 6 and up are required to wear a face mask in Germany. We will be complying with the requirements of the local authorities regarding their face mask policies. You would be informed prior to departure.
2. Cancellation policies
Q: What happens if I have to cancel my trip?
A: Up to 30 days before departure, you are free to cancel for any reason. You will be fully refunded for the amount you have paid. Within the 30 days before departure, if you wish to cancel then our regular cancellation policy would apply. You can find the full details here.
Q: What is the Peace of Mind policy?
A: The Peace of Mind policy is included in every one of your bookings. It offers you more flexibility and gives you a better overview of your options if Explore Europe has to cancel/postpone a trip. If a country/region becomes or remains a risk area for the time of the trip, Explore Europe would have to cancel said trip. We are committed to inform you 30 days before departure of the status of the trip.
Q: My trip was just cancelled, what are my options?
A: All passengers are entitled to a full refund, a credit, or a transfer to a future trip. You can also choose to take part in the new date for your trip.
Q: Will my family be in the same room together?
A: Hotel arrangements are made to accommodate every family size, and assure that your stay is as comfortable as possible. Hotels in Europe are typically smaller than in the States. However, they do offer a variety of rooming possibilities.
1. Family room
These are available in some hotels. They have different options:
- Option 1: Consist of one double bed (fits two adults) and one single sofa bed (fits one adult): not available at all hotels
- Option 2: Consist of two queen-size beds in one room (not available at all hotels)
- Option 3: Consist of two connecting rooms (not available at all hotels)
2. For a family with one infant (2 adults + one child under 3 years old)
You will be offered a double room with a baby cot/crib – they are usually always available at most hotels. We request them in advance when we have a booking for 2 adults and 1 infant.
3. For a family with 2 small children up to 8 years old
You will be offered a triple room (1 double-bed + 1 single bed) + baby cot or depending on the hotel – to have more space – the infant can sleep in the same bed as the parents.
4. For a family with older children (+11 yo)
You will be offered the possibility of two double rooms next to each other; or for some hotels, two connecting rooms.
5. For some extra space
If you wish to have extra space, you always have the option to book a single room. These are available at an extra cost. It can be arranged that the rooms are located next to each other.
Q: Are the hotels used to receiving families?
A: Some hotels offer fun and recreational activities for families i.e. Croatia.
Q: How is the seating assigned on the bus?
A: Families are always seated together on the bus. You are welcome to bring car seats for the children to make the ride comfortable for them. We have a limited number of front seats and tables on each trip. If you wish to reserve them free of charge, you would simply need to email us your request. Please note: these are available at a first come first served basis.
Q: How much luggage can I bring?
A: Each passenger including children are allowed to bring one piece of luggage (20kg) to put in the hold of the bus and one personal item (10kg) to be carried onto the bus. Blankets, pillows, car seats and strollers do not count as personal items. Please do inform us if you plan on bringing a stroller as we have limited storage space for such items.
Q: Do I need to wear a mask on board?
A: Each country has their own rules and regulations, but mask mandates have been widely lifted around Europe. We will be checking that information and complying with the German government and the local authorities. That information will then be communicated to you prior to departure.
Q: How accessible are the walking tours with the local guides?
A: Our tours are planned with family-friendly itineraries in mind. You will have plenty of time to enjoy the views and take pictures on site. A reasonable pace is set so everyone can properly discover and explore the cities. You are welcome to bring strollers on the tours. Please be aware that European streets can be narrow and cobbled at times, and some tours include sections with steps.
Q: Can I bring a stroller to visit local attractions?
A: Some historical attractions in Europe restrict the use of strollers inside their buildings. You would either have the possibility of leaving it at the reception, or you would need to leave it on the bus. Large hiking baby carriers are often prohibited. We would therefore recommend bringing a baby wrap with you instead.
We hope to see you soon on one of our trips – you can find them all here. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!