Depends on where we are. You will always have a bed, but it may be a fold out couch, rollaway, hideaway, or futon. If your bed is a double or larger, you will most likely share it. Sheets will be clean and bug-free, but not quite like the Four Seasons Hotel's satin sheets.
You will share a bed with someone else (King, Queen, Full, Double) unless you are sleeping on a single.
Pack enough clothes for 5-6 days only. You will have opportunity to do laundry at least once per country during the trip. Hand washable, quick dry items are best, as you can pack lighter but do laundry in your bathroom sink more often when washing machines are not available. Do not bring laundry detergent. Laundry detergent is available locally. We use laundromats periodically. Laundry is at your expense.
Read these Travel Tips for how to pack.
Dress modestly. Choose clothing that covers the necessary areas and avoids excessive skin exposure. Avoid wearing clothing that is revealing or inappropriate for an educational setting. Clothing should cover the essentials and refrain from displaying offensive language, inappropriate symbols or graphics, alcohol, drug, or illegal products. Choose attire that is comfortable yet respectful. Appropriate undergarments required.
Holy sites have special requirements:
Both men and women need to cover their knees and upper arms. They prohibit wearing shorts or skirts above the knee, sleeveless tops, and low-cut shirts. Men must take their hats off before entering whereas women may continue wearing theirs. Although this is sometimes harder to follow during the summer months, without following these guidelines, you will either be turned away or required to buy a shawl to cover up (which is bumped up in price.)
Therefore, your best bet is to follow the rules and where the appropriate clothing. Pants are your best bet, but long shorts or skirts below the knee are also allowed.
Do NOT wear short shorts, tops with exposed midriff, or sleeveless tops.
Comfortable, casual clothing is desirable for most of the trip. You will visit "holy places" in Italy, Greece, Turkey, and includes Vatican sites, churches, mosques, etc. You will be informed in advance the days we are visiting "holy place" sites.
Average temps in Greece, Italy, & Turkey are between 70-105 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot & sunny. Sunscreen is a must.
We will do our best to accommodate group tastes, but most often food preparation is out of our control. If you have stringent dietary needs, you will need to bring $ for your own food supply, as it is not feasible for the group to cater to one person's specific needs when traveling and eating as a group. On a typical day, the group will eat from restaurants, food stalls, street vendors, and fresh food from the local market, either at a restaurant or in our apartment kitchen. You get to embrace the culture and live like a local.
Most meals are served "family style". (Family Style means: the trip leader orders a variety of foods for the group to share around the table at the meal.) Either the trip leader will order for the group (to make sure you get to try some of the fantastic foods you've never experienced before), or each table will combine their $ allotment for that specific meal to order shared dishes for your table. As determined by the trip leader, there will 2-3 meals in which you will be given cash to eat at the establishment of your choosing.
FOOD PHILOSOPHY: You are not expected to like everything, but you are asked to try everything.
You may discover a new favorite!
NOTE: We rarely take you to an American chain restaurant overseas (though travel schedules may require it on occasion so I apologize in advance!) You may find one and eat at it on your own time and expense, but our thought is that you don't travel to the other side of the world to eat American food!
NOTE: Read this if you have FOOD ALLERGY CONSIDERATIONS or CONCERNS
Typical meals (3 per day included)
BREAKFAST(almost always at our lodging): yogurt, fruit, coffee, tea, milk, cereal, bread, butter, jam, boiled eggs, bakery items, etc.
LUNCH: this is our larger meal of the day. Usually eaten sometime between 1p-3p at some of our favorite spots (which are highly rated restaurants known for authentic meals of great quality and good quantities).
DINNER: smaller than lunch. Usually eaten between 8p - 10p. Good food, just not as large as lunch. Europeans typically eat a later supper by American standards so you may want a snack inbetween meals.
SNACKS (at your own expense): coffee shops, gelaterias, bakeries, etc.
NOTE: our meal-time schedule is typical for Europe but later in the day than most American meal times.
NOTE: water is our beverage of choice 99.9% of the time. Break your soda addiction. Drink more water! Meals include water, but do not include soda, pop, coffee, tea, etc.
Don’t order extra food and plan on reimbursing us. Order it on a separate ticket after all other orders have been placed.
However, opportunities for this will be rare as we normally order our meals “family style”.
Every place we stay has drinkable, potable water. BRING A WATER BOTTLE for the trip. You will fill it before venturing out for the day and you will refill it multiple times during the day. Water is essential for life . . . particularly your life! We rarely buy bottled water. We drink what the locals drink from the tap. It will not make you sick. Due to the typical level of daily exertion, you will need to stay well hydrated. Plan on drinking a couple of litres per day!
Chaperones & Parents?
Adult sponsors accompany the group during the trip. Groups are chaperoned for safety, Christian behavior, and to maximize the International experience. However, it is our goal for Students to be able to "explore" safe sections of each city in approved groups without a chaperone or parent. We believe this is an important part of their exposure and adventure overseas.
Typically, students bond better and develop more when a parent gives them the freedom to experience the culture apart from parental supervision. "Helicopter" parents create a negative environment for others and limit the learning experience of the students.
Alcohol / Wine / eCigs / Smoking / Marijuana / etc
Decisions about alcohol, beer, wine, smoking, medical marijuana, etc are personal decisions, and Christian practices vary widely regarding their use. It is not our desire to impose our interpretation and practice upon trip participants, however, necessity dictates that we establish guidelines that the entire group will follow. ClassicalTrips.org has chosen to abide by a strict interpretation of "avoiding the appearance of evil" and "doing nothing that would cause a brother to fall" among all our fellow Christian believers. As such, all ClassicalTrips.org participants must agree to abide by our guidelines regarding the use of these during all of the trip.
We practice a strict No alcohol, No wine, No smoking, No illegal drugs, etc on all ClassicalTrip experiences.
Each trip participant commits to abstain from these practices during the entirety of the trip, beginning with the NYC departure and ending after the NYC return. Though your personal beliefs may differ from these guidelines, by coming on the trip, you are agreeing to abstain during the trip entirety. This commitment applies to all trip participants, whether they are adult or student; with the group or separate, during scheduled events or during free time, etc.
It is our intent to maintain a Christian witness at all times in all behavior.
STAND RIGHT, WALK LEFT: this mantra applies to escalators, moving sidewalks, stairs, etc. at airports, Metro stations, subways, train stations, etc.
Use the “Group wedge” to get on the bus or Metro.
We will explain this on the trip.
Cultural Thought: American politeness and “keeping your personal space” will cause you to be left behind at the station when we are boarding buses or Metro. Squeeze in!!
Travel Motto: There's always room for one more!
INFORM your bank debit/credit if you plan on using your card overseas.
INFORM your phone provider if you plan on using your smartphone overseas.
Take out a calling/texting/data plan in advance if you plan on using your phone’s cellular data.
Wifi is available, but it can be spotty.
Don’t access personal data or websites without using a VPN.
Foreign SIM cards only work on UNLOCKED phones.
Every trip participant that has a smartphone is required to download Whatsapp.com to their smartphone for use during the trip. It's been the best way to stay in communication among the group for times when we may be dispersed across one of the trip cities or for times when we need to inform everyone of an unexpected change in plans. It works over readily available wifi and does not cut into your data plan when on wifi.
Download WhatsApp in advance and make sure it works for you in the USA before expecting it to work overseas.
A link to our Trip group chat will be provided in advance.