Frequently Asked Questions
What are Untours apartments like?
Are there minimum rentals?
On which days can my Untour(s) begin?
Is there luggage service?
Are overnight guests allowed in Untour apartments?
For 2-week Untours, guests may stay up to 6 nights.
For Sampler or one-week Untours, guests may stay up to 3 nights in each destination.
Please give us the name of your guest and the nights of their stay so we may inform the apartment owner. Guests are subject to owner approval. Most owners charge on a per-guest basis and all are subject to per-guest taxes and other expenses, so we must charge a guest fee:
Untours guests pay $55 per person, per night
Swiss Untour guests pay $79 per person, per night
Any guests staying longer than these limits will be billed at the full Untours price, and the per-person price will be adjusted for the higher number of people sharing the apartment.
Do you have Untours year round?
We do have some Untours that run through the late fall and winter. Untours to Greece run year round as full-service Untours. Other Untours available, with reduced staff support (i.e. no transfer assistance or orientation), include the Holland Untour.
What are your typical clients like?
What options are available for single travelers?
All Untours and all apartments are available for singles. There are no additional charges for singles on Untours. However, Untour packages are more expensive for singles because the cost of the Untour apartment is paid by one person instead of being divided among multiple travelers. In general, the larger the apartment, the more expensive it will be for a solo traveler.
Will Untours make both domestic and international flight arrangements?
Will I earn frequent flyer miles on my airline ticket?
Can I extend my Untour and/or my time in Europe?
Yes. Sometimes our guests like to extend their stay by adding nights at the beginning or end of their Untour.
While your Untour apartment rental dates are fixed on a Wednesday-Wednesday schedule (Saturday-Staurday for Ireland), we can often help you with hotel reservations or suggestions in your arrival city or other nearby points of interest. We can also make suggestions for transfers and transportation.
And if we make your flight arrangements, we are happy to shift schedules to accommodate your extra days. Please let us know your plans at the time of booking.
Do I need visas or a passport?
U.S. citizens do not require visas for any European Untours destinations.
Also, some Untour Marketplace products, including cruises and safaris, may include destinations which require visas. Please inquire for details.
How can I talk to others who have traveled Untours?
- Hop on the Untours Café (www.untourscafe.com) and view photos and videos, read trip logs and blogs, and peruse the forum where people ask questions and have discussions.
- Try IdyllChat, our listserv group that discusses Untours, Europe, or travel in general. You'll find a community of more than 500 people who can tell you about their experiences.
- Browse our archive of Untourists' Trip Logs. Read detailed reports written by Untourists detailing their own experiences. Click here to visit the Trip Log Archive.
- Give us a call. We may be able to find someone who lives near you who has traveled on an Untour and is willing to talk with you.
How long has the company been in business?
How do I contact Untours for more information?
How does pricing work?
Are there taxes or extra charges for Untours?
All local taxes are included in the price of your Untour package. There are generally no extra charges other than optional upgrades you may wish to add.
In driving programs, there are normally extra fees for additional drivers, and you will have options to purchase extra insurance and upgrades.
Guests to Istanbul are required to purchase a visa ahead of their US departure, and Buenos Aires guests must pay an entry fee in advance.
Also, extra fees and taxes sometimes apply for cruises, safaris and other Untours Marketplace products. Please inquire for details.
Are meals included in your prices?
How much should we expect to spend on food?
Costs vary depending on fluctuations in exchange rates and the particulars of your destination. Costs will be higher in tourist centers than in smaller towns. (The same meal will cost much more in Venice than it will in a small town in Umbria.) Groceries in Europe tend to run a little higher than in the U.S. Budget travelers can cut food costs dramatically by using their Untour apartment's kitchen.
Restaurant prices vary widely, with fancier restaurants in big cities or tourist centers running high. Simple family restaurants in smaller towns will be comparable to their US counterparts or a little higher. Look for daily menus of local favorites to save money in restaurants.
Do I need to exchange currency before my departure?
What is the best way to change currency overseas?
- ATM Cards are your best bet for cash. They accept debit and credit cards; Visa or Mastercard are widely accepted, as are bank cards on the PLUS or Cirrus networks. You can get your money when you need it, at the best wholesale bank rate. For security reasons, some US banks use 6-digit pin codes for their debit cards, but longer pins do not work in Europe! To assure your credit and bank cards work overseas, call the issuing banks before departure to tell them your travel plans. Fraud protection could block your card for use otherwise. Also, be sure you know your pin as numbers--not letters--because European keypads only display numbers.
- Most major banks add a 3% transaction fee on the amount of each withdrawal. Check your bank’s rate before you travel.
- Credit cards can be used for many purchases. However, most companies charge a currency conversion fee, often 3% of the purchase price. Credit/debit cards from credit unions often charge lower fees. And cards from Capital One and The State Department Federal Credit Union charge no fee. Credit cards can also be used in ATMs to obtain cash, but you’ll often start paying interest immediately.
- Travelers’ Checks in US dollars are a less desirable option because of bad exchange rates and the inconvenience of limited bank hours for exchange. The same drawbacks apply for US dollars.
Can I pay for my Untour by credit card?
Can I use my U.S. cell phone to make and receive calls when I'm in Europe?
Will it cost me an arm and a leg to make and receive calls in Europe on my U.S. cell phone?
Can I get Internet on my U.S. phone in Europe?
Are there any U.S. phone companies that offer a better international package than the others?
I've heard that I can save money by getting a "SIM card" in Europe? How does that work?
1. Call your carrier and ask them to "unlock" your phone. Unless your phone is unlocked, you cannot use any other SIM card.
2. When you get to Europe, go to a mobile phone store. You will need to buy a pre-paid SIM card. Some stores sell only one brand of card and some sell multiple brands. It shouldn't matter very much. Prices are usually pretty similar. The store will want a copy of your passport. If needed, ask for a SIM card with a data plan.
3. Refill the credit as needed, usually by buying additional credit at tobacco or newspaper shops. The cards often expire after 3, 6, or 12 months. Decide whether you want to keep adding credit when you are back in the US in order to be able to use it again on a future trip. If you do, check in with a phone store in Europe to find out how that can be done.
My apartment in Europe does not have Wi-Fi. Is there a way for me to get Internet in my apartment?
Should I consider buying a phone with an international SIM card before I leave for Europe?
Can I use my smartphone's GPS in Europe?
What kinds of apps would you recommend for our trip?
- Rick Steves has a useful app with his excellent audio tours. (does not need data)
- SBB (Swiss Railways) has a great rail schedule app that can be used for schedules all over Europe. It is easy to use and, for Swiss trains, can even predict how crowded a train is likely to be. (needs data)
- GPS navigation app (see above)
- Map apps like CityMaps2Go allow you to download city and regional maps to use off line. (does not need data)
- City transportation apps. We have used apps for Paris, Venice, and Rome. Some of them do need data access.
- Compass. Make sure you have a compass app as a basic navigation tool. (does not need data)
- Flashlight. You never know when you'll need it. (does not need data)
- E-reader. Buy books or borrow them from your library to read on your phone. (does not need data)
- TripAdvisor can be a great way to find a restaurant near your location. (needs data)
- UnitConverter to convert metric to and from the US system of measurement. (does not need data)
- A translation app like GoogleTranslate can be very useful. (needs data)
- A weather app like TravelBug can help you plan your indoor and outdoor excursions. (needs data)
- A wine app like Vivino can be a fun way to record the wines you taste. (needs data)
- Skype or Facetime can be great ways to communicate with friends and family. (needs wi-fi data)
- Rick Steves has a useful list of apps
Can you recommend any additional resources?
Page last updated 8/14/2015.
What are Samplers?
Can I combine any two programs to create a Sampler?
To construct your own combination, add the One-week Untour price for the first destination with the cost of a One-week Add-On from another destination. We will do our best to accommodate your desired combination and make recommendations for transport between sites, but the cost and responsibility of making those arrangements will be yours.
What Samplers are offered?
What are One-Week Add-Ons?
MEET OUR STAFFElizabeth Killough
Director - Untours Foundation
I share Hal Taussig's passions for ending poverty, riding bikes, treasuring great books, and discovering just the right films on Netflix, so I joined him at the Untours Foundation over a decade ago.