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.
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. You can shop for smaller, less expensive apartments on our website to help offset this.
You can also consider cruises. Here is a link to our latest round-up of single travel info.
Will UnTours make both domestic and international flight arrangements?
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 Ventures 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?
How long has the company been in business?
How do I contact UnTours?
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. In some UnTours, you will pick up the car in one location and drop it off at a different location. In these cases, there is a drop-off fee that you must pay directly to the rental company.
We strongly recommend you purchase Trip Protection, and this insurance is at an extra cost.
Extra fees, port charges, tips, and taxes sometimes apply for cruises, safaris, and other UnTours Venture 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. Prices are higher in tourist centers and cities 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.
Restaurant prices vary widely, with fancier restaurants in big cities 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?
Arriving at a European airport during the daytime, you will find ATMs, banks, and exchange services. But having a small amount of local currency in hand is helpful in case of unforeseen complications.
What is the best way to change currency overseas?
- ATM Cards are your best bet for cash. 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.
- Most major banks add a 3% transaction fee on the amount of each withdrawal. Check your bank’s rate before you travel. Credit unions often offer lower fees.
- Credit cards can be used for many purchases. Many companies charge a currency conversion fee, often 3% of the purchase price. Credit/debit cards from credit unions often charge lower fees. 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. American Express cards are not as widely accepted in Europe as VISA and MasterCard. It is a good idea to bring one of the latter two cards in addition to an AMEX card. If you have a card with the “contactless payment” feature, it will be especially easy to use and will make things easier for merchants who are not used to getting signatures for credit card payments.
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?
Can I use the internet on my U.S. phone in Europe?
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 prepaid SIM card. Some stores sell only one brand of card and some sell multiple brands. It shouldn’t matter much; prices are usually similar. The store will often want a copy of your passport.
3. If needed, ask for a SIM card with a data plan.
4. Refill the credit as needed, usually by buying additional credit at tobacco or newspaper shops.
5. 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.
Can I use my smartphone's GPS in Europe?
Google Maps does offer the option of downloading Offline Maps. This is a way to avoid using wireless data. There are some other offline GPS navigation apps available as well, but we have not tested them. Keep in mind that using the GPS on your phone will use your battery more quickly too. Before agonizing too much over this question, ask your UnTours contact if a GPS will be included in your UnTour.
What kinds of apps would you recommend for our trip?
- WhatsApp can be very useful for communicating with people in Europe. It is widely used, even by many of our UnTours On-Site reps.
- 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)
- DB Navigator is another good rail app, the German railways app. (needs data)
- GPS navigation app like Google Maps (see above)
- City transportation apps. We have used apps for Paris, Venice, and Rome. Some of them do need data access. GoogleMaps is excellent in the UK for public transportation.
- 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)
- Culturetrip fills you in on the local culture and sights. (functions on and off line)
- GoogleTranslate can be very useful. (download language for offline use)
- A weather app 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, Facetime, or WhatsApp 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?
- Rick Steves writes a detailed and very readable summary on the issue of cell phones in Europe and a shorter one on smart phones and data roaming.
- For much more detailed info on pre-paid SIM cards, including an active user forum, try this site.
Page last updated 12/1/21.