Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I registered for my tour. What do I do now?


It’s hard to believe that we're only 3 months away from the start of our June tours. Even more surprising is the fact that we’re less than two months away from the Arches & Canyonlands hiking tour, our first guided trip of the season.

Here’s a quick 10-point checklist to make sure that you’re prepared for your upcoming hiking tour with Ryder-Walker.

1. Make sure that you haven’t lost your registration package. Guided and private guided travelers should have received a spiral bound notebook when they registered for their tour. This book contains an itinerary, equipment list, travel information and general info. Self-guided travelers should have received an initial package of documents that includes the equipment list, regional information and general information. The self-guided spiral-bound books and maps will arrive one month prior to departure, or earlier, depending on your tour.

2. Make sure that your passport is current. Get one if you haven’t done so already.

3. Buy your plane tickets.

4. Consider purchasing tour cancellation insurance.

5. Send in your waivers. You should have received two separate waivers with your registration package. The first waiver is a Travel Protection waiver/application. The second wavier is a release of liability. We need both waivers for every participant.

6. Apply your final payment. Final payment is due 90 days before departure. If your trip begins in June or earlier then your final payment is either due now, or due very shortly.

7. Inform us of any special needs. Are you a vegetarian? Do you have an aversion to yodeling or gnomes? Do you travel with excessive amounts of luggage? Do you have allergies, medications or medical requirements that we should know about? We’ll do everything we can to make your vacation spectacular.

8. Notify us if you need extra accommodations. Will you arrive early or stay late following your tour?

9. Contact us if you need special travel advice for logistics or accommodations surrounding your tour. Are you having trouble deciding where to sightsee? Do have all of the rail and bus schedules that you need? Rail passes, (for the tours that include them) typically arrive one month prior to departure or earlier. We can also purchase and/or upgrade rail passes to meet the additional requirements of your vacation. Are you heading off to Italy or Spain following your hiking tour? Will you put on the Ritz in Constantinople? No problem, just give us a call. We’ll help you plan the extras around your hiking adventure. If a destination falls beyond our scope then we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction.

10. Organize your equipment and start exercising. This is a great time to work out the kinks in your system. Check your old raingear for leaks. Break in your new foot wear. Have you ever considered trekking poles? Now is the time to buy them. How do those knees feel? Start small and gradually increase your intensity and mileage. If you start now then you’ll enjoy your vacation infinitely more. Please contact us if you need advice. Most importantly, have fun. Your vacation is just around the corner!