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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Small group tours on guaranteed dates

What is included in the price?
Transport (new, small air-conditioned coaches – usually Isuzu Turquoise with 30 seats); accommodation / breakfasts in high-standard hotels (hotel details listed for every tour); tour manager throughout the trip; local guides (as specified in the program); the majority of dinners (listed in the program); all entrances and special cultural programs (specified for every tour); porterage; information leaflet; health insurance; our service charge and all taxes (including 23% VAT).

What are not included in the price?
Transport to and from Poland (the tours are land-based only); beverages during the dinners, 2-6 evenings we leave free for you to decide where to dine (if some people want to dine together, the tour leader can book a good restaurant in advance).

Can I book the tour just for one individual or are the tours only for groups?
It is mostly individual travelers who book our guaranteed-date small group tours (couples, single travelers, families of 2-3 members or friends), but sometimes 4-5 people book together. If there are more people who wish to travel together, they usually order a separate private tour with the same or similar itinerary and services.

Who will be my fellow travelers?
Usually people from English-speaking countries (the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland), sometimes also people from other countries who have very good command of English (e.g. Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, or India). People usually appreciate that the group consists of various nationalities. To date, our youngest participant was 10 and the oldest, 85, while the average age is 40-60. Our guests are open-minded and easy-going. We have been told that friendships begin during a tour with StayPoland.com.

How much free time will I have during the tour?
Group members spend most of the time together and the fact is that the program is quite rich. However, at every major destination you have some free time. In addition, we schedule several evenings when dinners are not prepaid.

Who is the tour leader?
The tour manager stays with the group from the very beginning to the end. She or he knows Poland, loves the country, and is fluent in English and a licensed tour guide. We hire only the best guides, either Poles or English-native expatriots who have lived in Poland for a long time.

When do I have to book?
Before all tour places are taken. In 2013 five out of eight dates were fully booked a long time before the start.

Do you give discounts?
We appreciate any positive word of mouth and give 100 USD discount per room to customers who contact us after recommendation from previous fixed date tour customers.

When do I pay, how much and in what currency?
To minimize the tour prices, we publish them in Polish zloty (the currency of our costs). It's practical also from the customer's perspective. Otherwise travel agencies are forced to artificially increase their rates in foreign currencies in order to avoid unfavourable future exchange rates changes. Our site shows the today's exchange rate in any currency. The needed prepayment is just 20%. .

Can the price rise?
No. Our costs are in Polish zloty and you will be billed in the same currency. We do not have to add a buffer margin like overseas companies which have to risk exchange rate changes. This is one of the reasons why our prices are low given their value.
In the past 8 years we observe the same trend: PLN grows stronger in the spring, so people who decided to pay the full amount in the winter, saved some 5-10% of the price in their currencies.

Can I get money back if I need to cancel the tour after I have paid for it?
Like every travel business we must apply cancellation fees. If you have to cancel more than 40 days before the tour departure the fee is only 50 EUR. Please consult tour conditions for more information.

What guarantee do I have that I won’t lose the money I have prepaid?
StayPoland.com has been on the market since 2003. Our prepayment policy makes the business stable. Also, we have the liability insurance, as required by Polish law, and all prepayments up to 55,076 EUR are insured by SIGNAL IDUNA insurance company.

Can your "guaranteed-departure" tours ever be cancelled?
No, there is no minimum of participants. On average there are 12-18 participants. In the last years of operation there have always been at least 8 persons in a group. In the unlikely situation that there are fewer people, your price won’t change and we’ll organize a very enjoyable private tour for you consisting of the same or comparable services. If customers sign up for a date, we do not cancel it.

How much would it cost me if I did not use StayPoland.com and booked everything directly?
Firstly, you’d have to rent a car. Railway is in some areas inconvenient and will not take you everywhere. Without a guide, previous reservations and a local driver, it is improbable you’d make it to visit everything in the same time frame and on a comparable comfort level.
We can organize the same trips also as a private ready-made tour only for you or your group. For individual customers it would be costly to arrange a private Chopin concert, highlander show or a castle feast, so there are fewer services in private packages. Usually the customers hire their personal driver and the final price for 2 people is the 15-20% higher than the price quote for a fixed-date group tour.
Of course, it is possible to travel even without a local travel agency, but our work substantially increases the probability that you will receive the best local services for your money, you have an access to your personal consultant in Poland and we are ready to help you if you needed it once you’re in Poland. On top of that, many people say that our service helped them to save even on expenses.

Are you an established and licensed travel agency?
We obtained our Polish travel agency license in 2003 (registration number 730 by the Masovian Voivodship authority). The travel agency is insured by SIGNAL IDUNA SA. We are a member of ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents) and the Forum of Polish Inbound Travel Operators.

Why do you advertise your service as personal?
1. Before your arrival in Poland you have access to your own Personal Travel Assistant, whom you will meet as s/he will dine with all of you on your first night in Warsaw.
2. The groups are small; usually 12-18 people and the relationships are cordial.
3. We respect your privacy and individuality; we understand that everybody needs to be on their own sometimes.
4. Last but not least, people are not made to wear a badge with their first names and the tour manager does not guide the group by carrying a yellow umbrella. Instead, if it ever happens to rain, each group member receives a their own umbrella as a gift.

What did previous customers like or dislike?
StayPoland.com is probably the first travel agency publishing all customer comments (including criticisms and suggestions) instantly online. Each customer comment is instantly published and helps us to constantly improve our service and products.
The share of tour customers who consider our service as good, very good or excellent ranges between 98-100%.
http://www.staypoland.com/customer_comments

Why are you are better than other tour operators?

  • We run our own hotel and car reservation system and have access to preferential rates.
  • No other agency gives Total Transparency
  • We are locals and do our best to provide maximum value and insight.

How do I go about reserving a place?
Contact our Personal Travel Assistants (see request link on every tour page or email incoming@staypoland.com) to see if there are still places available. We will be pleased to answer all your questions and see to any additional arrangements (airport pick-up, tour extensions). Afterwards you will be asked to fill in the Tour Order Form. To reserve a place on the tour, we require a 20% prepayment (payable by credit card or bank transfer). After the payment, we send a payment receipt and your Tour Voucher.

I like your tours, but the dates do not suit us, what should I do?
We can organize a well-priced private tour for you.
If you want to travel together with other people, please let us know as soon as possible. We sometimes publish additional tour dates and your preferred dates can become “published” and attract more travellers.

Can I partake in just a part of the tour or pick just several services?
We recommend that you take the full program. A tour shorter of maximum 2 days is generally allowed. Please confirm it in advance with our tours department. We can deduct the savings from your bill.

What weather can I expect in Poland during my fixed-date Escorted tour?
Weather in Poland is not always reliable. The hottest months are June and July when sunny days (65-90%) occasionally come with spells of rain (downpours happen too). The best months for travelling are June, August and September, as the weather is generally fine and most popular with visitors.

Is the tour suitable for children?
8 years is the recommended minimum age. 6 years is the minimum age. Parents know their children best and if you feel that they will enjoy the program in a group, then we are all for it. However, please be considerate to the other travelers.
Not recommended: The Holocaust Museum in Auschwitz: We let parents decide. The museum recommends the minimum age of 12, but it depends on the person. It is necessary to be able to understand and respect the message of the museum.

Is the tour suitable for non-English native speakers?
Definitely, it is a great way to practice English. However, you should be fluent to enjoy the trip fully.

Is the tour suitable for seniors?
Yes, the tours are very comfortable, although there are some challenging things to bear in mind:
a/ Wieliczka Salt Mines: Walking down the stairs (7 minutes, alternatively you may pay an extra elevator charge: approx. 250 PLN). Then 2 hours of slow-paced sightseeing and some passageways with stairs. During the tour, you can sit on the benches. When the tour ends, we return in an elevator. The tour is not too difficult, but you should avoid it if you have frail joints or suffer from claustrophobia. The alternative is to enjoy Krakow during this time.
b/ Krakow sightseeing: There is a lot to see and the tour takes 5 hours and it includes quite a lot of walking in the old streets.

Is the tour suitable for people with disabilities?
Not really. It you have severe problems with walking or are on a wheelchair, please request a well-priced private tour.

Is the tour suitable for pets?
No, unfortunately we do not accept pets on our escorted tours.