Booking & Cancellation

Our trips do sell out quickly, but there are always cancellations and changes. Once they fill up, we build a waitlist. However, we can’t predict the odds as it depends on those that cancel.

We fill opening via email.   It’s not like a deli serving # whatever.  We often need to fill a spot quickly and don’t have the luxury of time.   First reply gets a hold for 24 hours to allow time to ask work.  If no reply, general members next in bulk.  There is no specific order, everyone has an equal chance.  All others remain waitlisted and notified again when there’s another opening.

The wait list is really unreliable because most people make other plans.  To stop getting notifications, just ask to be removed.

CANCELLATIONS are tied in with our payment schedule.  In short, the amount of a refund depends on when you cancel.  To cancel a trip, login AFS, go to My Bookings, trip Details and use the cancel button.

PAYMENT SCHEDULE: AFS trips have three payment points:  Deposit, Mid-Point and Final Payment.  Each payment due date is specified on the specific Trip Itinerary and on your Trip Registration Details page once registered for a trip. Be mindful late payments can be considered a cancelation.  See our Terms & Conditions for specific details.

We challenge you to choose places you’d not normally visit on your own and to follow your heart. This is why we only present international tripschoices. We pride ourselves in not having “cookie cutter” tours like other operators. AFS strives to find unique and special activities for every trip. There is a perfect balance of cultural tours and leisure time. You will definitely meet interesting people and make new friends. Some trips can be culturally challenging or physically strenuous. Please choose your tour wisely.

Some AFS tours can be quite active involving long walking tours on cobbled streets or even strenuous river rafting. If you feel this would hinder you in the group, we suggest you contact Grand Circle (800-595-0405) as they cater to a more senior crowd with slower movement. Things differ in foreign countries.

Travel abroad always requires an open mind, flexible attitude and adventurous spirit. We love intrepid tourists who are willing to embrace the unpredictability and exoticism of foreign lands. The purpose of this journey is to have fun, explore, get great photos, make new friends and return home safely with memories always worthy of recollection.

Click the Book Now button located in 2 places on the daily itinerary. If you prefer you may also phone us at 1-770-432-8225. If you get our voice mail, please leave phone number and we’ll call you back.

Book early! All trips fill quickly. For most trips a $400 to $500+  deposit, depending on the trip secures your space. Some trips may require a second payment earlier. Final payments for all trips are usually due 90 days prior departure. Some prices include round trip air from various gateways, land only prices are usually available.

Group air or not? Regarding group air, we always arrange air from the least expensive departure city and convenient for our clients to reach from any state. We make no profit on group air and encourage you to arrange your own air from your hometown. Just google various travel search engines to see if you can get a better rate. Then simply meet us overseas on arrival day.

Nearly all of our hotels and lodges are first class, superior or deluxe usually with a 4 to 5 star rating. Even in the African bush you will have a private bath.  If any trip deviates from this it is noted in the itinerary.

Payment

We always accept cards on initial trip deposits without fee, but the 4% processing fees is too high to absorb for final payments.  To keep our trips affordable we do not build this cost into our pricing.  When mid or final payments are due, it’s your choice to charge or not. If charging our site will add a 4% cc processing fee to cover our processing cost.

Personal checks for final payment is preferred.

If you live outside the USA, bank wire instruction is available upon request.

We are proud of our prices and offer you a great value. Many other companies with large overhead may advertise great prices, but when looking into the details, you may discover that much is not included, such as transfers, breakfast or  have you staying in less than desirable accommodations with few meals etc. This can significantly increase their published price. Secondly, we’re upfront with the price. There are no hidden fees. Gratuities for guides, drivers and porters and cash for incidentals is all you’ll need. Due to our long term relationships with our foreign vendors over many years, we can offer you far more than you can get on your own. Suzy is renowned as an excellent shopper and her skills to negotiate hard getting the best price without cutting corners, we do have larger groups to give you the best cost. Finally, we run a tight ship. We don’t waste money on unnecessary things. Since most of our clients are repeats, we don’t need to advertise. These savings are passed directly to you.

You have several ways to purchase travel insurance

1.  Click this link https://www.travelsafe.com/?welcome=ADVGA02   and order from the TravelSafe Insurance website

When asked about Tour Operator choose “Other” found at the end of your drop down list or just leave blank.

2.  Phone TravelSafe directly at 888-885-7233 and give them code “ADVGA02”

3. By US Mail.  To request by email click here email us  Please include your name and address

TravelSafe Insurance NEW BENEFITS & COVERAGE as of September 2009:

*  No exclusion for epidemics and pandemics

*  Missed Connection Benefit Up To $2,500 (amount dependent on plan

purchased)

*  Up to $250 if you miss a prepaid event/activity due to a change in

itinerary made by a cruise or tour operator.

*  Revocation of previously granted military leave or reassignment due to war

*  Revocation of previously approved time off from work

*  You will also be covered when your travel plans change if you are:

*  directly involved in your company’s merger or acquisition

*  if they are a victim of a felonious assault within 10 days of the departure

date

*  if family or friends living abroad with whom you are planning to stay are

unable to provide accommodations due to a covered illness, injury or death

*   Those living in Florida should call 888-885-7233  to get a special rate.

ENHANCED BENEFITS:

*  Job termination or layoff provided your employed by the same employer

for one continuous year – no longer a two year employment requirement

*  Mental or nervous conditions are covered if you are hospitalized for any

length of time – no longer required to meet three day minimum

EXCLUSIVE & UNIQUE BENEFITS REMAIN UNCHANGED:

*  Up to 100% cash back Cancel For Any Reason Benefit (see plans for details)

*  Hurricane Warning Benefit

*  Up to $300 coverage for Travel Arrangements purchased on the trip

*  Hospital of Choice for Emergency Evacuations

*  Up to $25,000 for Non-Medical Emergency Evacuations

*  Up to $150 for re-banking fees associated with frequent flyer tickets

*  Up to $150 to cover airline change or reissue fees if a trip is canceled by Travel Supplier

*  Free One Call Travel Solutions Business & Concierge Services

“When should I buy it?”   To answer this and many other questions, click AFS TRAVEL INSURANCE 101.

Learn more at Travel Insurance 101  https://travelinsurance101.tumblr.com

Be sure to read our AFS Heading Abroad and Tips for the Trip provided to you prior departure. These documents contain a wealth of information and can answer 99% of your questions.  They can be found on tabs on the itienrary page after you register.

For money, convert on arrival. Do not order foreign currency in advance.  You can, but it costs more to do so. ATM’s tend give the best rate on withdrawal, however you should check with your bank for their foreign transaction fees. To save money, limit the number of times you use ATM. Multiple ATM transactions fees can get expensive. Traveler’s Checks are nearly obsolete now. Bring 2 major credit cards and small denominations of US cash. Bring a calculator to convert any purchase transactions.

Money 101 By Rick Steves

I cashed my last traveler’s check years ago. And I haven’t stepped into a European bank in ages. Now, I get my cash from ATM machines.

Nineteen European countries — and more than 330 million people — use the same currency. Using euros, tourists and locals can easily compare prices of goods between countries. And we no longer lose money or time changing money at borders.  Not all European countries have switched to euros. As of now, major holdouts include the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Croatia. Each of these countries has its reasons for choosing not to use euros (for example, the Swiss are protecting their lucrative secret-banking tradition, which would disappear with the transparency that adopting the euro would require). Meanwhile, several Eastern European countries that have joined the EU — including the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and the Baltic States — are working hard to satisfy requirements that will allow them to adopt the euro in the future.

Preparation

Specific info is always provided for each trip through “AFS Tips for the Trip” and “Heading Abroad with AFS” which are provided after booking.  If you need help with a passport or visa use Passport Visa Advisors 704-246-6373  Marc Gilland  https:adventuresforsingles.com/about/passport-travel-visas

Inoculations- If necessary we will tell you via TIPS FOR TRIPS.  Tips will be available on the itinerary page on our website.  Packing and more will be there too.

We encourage you to do this yourself. However it’s important to wait until our air schedule is posted in the Trip Tips before you make your plans.  if you need assistance we can help. Please phone us to discuss.

If you need help getting your own air, contact Atik, our excellent air rep.  212) 481-1800     [email protected]

To prevent errors, send him you’re with an AFS group and give the following:

Names: LAST/FIRST
Date of birth  Mo/Da/Yr
Dates/Routing  (specific cities they need to fly out of to connect)

WORLD ELECTRIC GUIDE  follow link for a comprehensive list

https://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plug-voltage-by-country/

Electric needs – Most hotels have hair dryers.  Its wise to get a worldwide outlet adapter that will fit 150 different countries.  If you’re a techie with many items (cellphone, iPod, laptop, camera etc.) You should buy consider buying an international power strip.  (Google it.)

There are three items you may need to switch between the different power systems:

  • Adapters or Plugs
  • Converters
  • Transformers

The adapter is simply a connector that changes the plug shape to match the outlet. It does not change the voltage or electrical output in any way. If you know that the plug shape is the only difference between your equipment and the electrical system you are planning to use, then an adapter is all you need. Some items come with ability to use either 110v or 220v built right in. In fact, most computers now have smart power supplies that are switchable between the two. Look at the different plug shapes shown below for various countries.

If your equipment requires a specific voltage, then you need a converter. Converters use an electronic switch to approximate 110v by rapidly cutting on and off the current received from a 220v source. This is okay for some electrical items like hair dryers but not good for anything electronic (something with a computer chip in it). Also, converters should not be used for anything that is going to be plugged in longer than a few minutes.

Electronic items need a transformer. You will also want to use a transformer if you are stepping up from 110 to 220. Where a converter would simply limit the amount of electrical output without really reducing it, a transformer actually reduces the voltage of the electricity going through it. This is a very important distinction. Always use a transformer with electronics!

You don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy one of out adventures. You do, of course, have to be in good health and fit, possess a reasonable level of fitness. Most of our tours are done the old-fashioned way, on foot.  We carefully pace our trips to allow people of many different ages and fitness levels to travel with us. And we always balance any hikes or lengthy city walking tours with plenty of ‘down time’ to allow you to rest.  You may even have to “rough it” a bit on occasion.   And you can always rest assured knowing that your safety and comfort are our top priority. Plus, with a resident Trip Leader along, and our local staff in a regional office nearby, we’re right where you are.

Our adventures are not appropriate for travelers using wheelchairs or other mobility aids. You must be able to keep up with the group.  It is essential that you tell the truth on your booking form.  As a guideline, you should be able to walk 3 miles unassisted over the course of a day, exploring on foot and standing for up to a half hour at a time. You must also be comfortable participating in, on average, 3-5 hours of daily physical activities. We also can travel over some rugged paths, as well as bumpy, unpaved, dusty roads, both by bus and on foot.

The U.S. Transportation Administration  or TSA has posted answers to some frequently asked questions on their website and will continue to update them as measures evolve. Here are the major changes that affect travelers:

At U.S. Airports (Other countries may vary)

Only 3oz liquids or gels will be permitted in carry-on baggage.

Exceptions: Medicines, which must be presented for inspection at the checkpoint. Prescription medicine that matches the passenger’s name is permitted. Essential non-prescription medicines such as insulin are permitted.

Beverages purchased in the boarding area, beyond the checkpoint, must be consumed before boarding because they will not be permitted onboard the aircraft.

Laptop computers, cell phones and other electronic items ARE still allowed on board.

Keep a paper copy of your emailed e-ticket. We email this 3 weeks prior departure if you bought group air.   Some foreign airports will not let you  enter he airport without it.

Arrival time: Passengers should consult their individual airline, but the TSA recommends arriving at least two hours in advance of flight time. Again, keep in mind that if it is necessary to remove liquids at the checkpoint, time will be added to the process.

Additional bag searches: There will be more hand searches of bags at the checkpoint and a bag check at the gate immediately prior to boarding the aircraft.

Note: Passengers traveling from the United Kingdom to the United States will be subject to a more extensive screening process.

The process of obtaining, renewing, or updating a passport is exactly what one would expect when working with a government agency: tedious, mind-numbing, and overly complex. While you’ll find everything you need to know about the often befuddling process on the U.S. State Department website, we’ve made things a little simpler for you by breaking down the basics—from forms to fees to IDs—and providing helpful links to the appropriate forms and websites.

Getting your first passport

To get your first passport, you’ll have to show up in person. Make an appointment at an acceptance facility or passport agency; search for the one closest to you here. You likely live near a facility where you can get a passport. Many post offices and even some public libraries can accept passport applications. Arrive at your passport agency with:

• Your filled-in DS-11 application form.

• Evidence of U.S. citizenship. Find a list of acceptable documents here.

• Valid identification. Find a list of acceptable ID here.

• A photocopy of the front and back of the identification you’re bringing on clean, white 8½” x 11″ paper.

• Your application fee. For a first-time adult passport, the total fee is $135.

• Passport photos. You can read more about the specifications for passport photos here. But most major drug stores, such as Walgreens or CVS, will sell appropriately sized passport photos that comply with government standards; this makes things a little easier.

Renewing a passport

You have two options here: Either you have your old passport or you don’t. If the former’s true, you can apply through the mail as long as your most recent passport is undamaged, was issued when you were at least 16 years old, and isn’t more than 15 years old. If you are nodding “yes” to all of that, simply mail in your old passport with the required documents and photos, and you’ll receive a new one in the mail in roughly four to six weeks. (Don’t worry. You’ll get your old passport back.) Here’s what you need: Form DS-82, your renewal fee ($110 for an adult), passport photos, and your old passport. Get more information about renewing a passport through the mail here.

Keep in mind that if you’ve changed your name since your last passport was issued, include an original certificate or court order that documents this; those without such papers must apply for a renewal in person.

Don’t have your old passport? Then you can’t get a passport renewed by mail. Head to a passport agency in person.

Lost or stolen passports

If your previous passport was lost or stolen, you’ll have to apply for a new one in person. You’ll need to bring two forms in this case: the standard DS-11 passport application and Form DS-64, which asks you to describe what happened to your little blue book.

Unfortunately, a replacement passport isn’t free. You’ll have to pay the standard application fee—$135—when applying for your new passport. Refer to the “Getting your first passport” section above; it lists everything else you’ll need to bring with you, including passport photos and identification.

Remember to always report your passport as missing the moment you’re sure it’s gone. You can do this by calling 1-877-487-2778.

Lost or stolen passports abroad

First and foremost, be prepared! Always travel with a photocopy of your passport and other identification, such as a driver’s license or birth certificate; this will make your situation much easier if (knock on wood) your passport disappears.  Take a photo of your important documents and store them in the Cloud for easy retrieval when abroad.

The State Department advises that American travelers get in touch with the closest U.S. embassy or consulate if they lose their passports while abroad. You’ll have to go there in person to get a new passport in order to return home. In What to Do If You’ve Lost Your Bag, Wallet, Everything, Rick Steves writes, “A replacement passport costs $140 and can generally be issued within a few days, or faster if you make a good case that you need it right away. If you don’t have the funds, the embassy will help you contact someone at home who can wire money directly to the embassy.”

Expediting a passport

You can get your passport expedited in roughly two to three weeks (door-to-door) via the State Department when you pay an extra $60 plus $12.85 for overnight delivery in addition to the standard processing fees. (Processing times can vary, so check theState Department site for the most up-to-date estimate.)

Need it sooner? Schedule an appointment to show up in person at a regional passport agency if you require a passport for travel within two weeks.

We don’t normally recommend using passport expediting services, which sometimes charge hundreds of dollars to secure passports in as little as 24 hours, unless you’re desperate. If you have enough time to get your passport directly through the traditional government channels, do it that way. It’ll save you a ton of money.

You can check the status of a pending passport application here.

Changing your name on your passport

Good news: There’s no fee for changing the name on your passport if your passport was issued less than a year ago. If the book’s more than a year old, though, you must pay standard renewal fees.

To change your name, fill out the appropriate form (use Form DS-5504 if your current passport is less than a year old and Form DS-82 if your passport is more than a year old) and mail it with your current passport, original proof of name change, a passport photo, and renewal fees, if necessary. Read more about tweaking your name on your passport here. And congratulations on your new moniker.

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Reservation

Our trips do sell out quickly, but there are always cancellations and changes. Once they fill up, we build a waitlist. However, we can’t predict the odds as it depends on those that cancel.

We fill opening via email.   It’s not like a deli serving # whatever.  We often need to fill a spot quickly and don’t have the luxury of time.   First reply gets a hold for 24 hours to allow time to ask work.  If no reply, general members next in bulk.  There is no specific order, everyone has an equal chance.  All others remain waitlisted and notified again when there’s another opening.

The wait list is really unreliable because most people make other plans.  To stop getting notifications, just ask to be removed.

If you do your own air, you may meet en route or at hotel. For those doing group air, you’ll probably get an e-ticket. No receipts are provided for group e-tickets, we only get a group manifest. All you need is to present your passport to the ticketing agent in order to check in and get a boarding pass, nothing more. At check in you may see some in the group at the ticket counter. However you’ll meet most people at the gate. Look for your trip leader as she/he will also be looking for you. By that time you’ll notice that people have gathered together. On arrival to destination, a person with an AFS sign will welcome the group. We never lost anyone in 20 years, feel free to relax.  you’re on vacation.

Hotels limit single rooms per group (usually to 2 or 3) and depending on price, they can go quickly. The single supplement rates are determined by the hotels and can add up quickly, often $600 or more.   Cruise ships often charge double. If available, you can buy a single supplement on any trip, but we encourage you to let us match you according to your age and do our best to match personalities.

I’ve had amazing success in matching roommates for over the decades. You’re only in the room to sleep. Courtesy is contagious. Please be respectful of the other’s privacy. We require a no smoking policy for room sharing, unless both parties smoke. Also, please don’t gossip. “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss others.”  Save your money for sleeping and use it for shopping!

Yes we will find you a great roommate.  There’s no single supplement if you are willing to share and we are limited with only a few single rooms per group.   Suzy works hard to match you with a compatible roommate according to your age and personality to save you money. Please understand minimal time is spent in your room on these trips.  We never offer triples.

How well do we match roommates?

Here is a recent note from a client…

“I must  compliment you once again with the roommate assignments.  I do not know how you figure out who gets along with each other but once again you assigned me with another lovely roommate” –  Kathy G.

“We just clicked and had soooo much fun.  Can you  imagine she implied I was a “true Southern Belle.”  Oh yeah, she is a yankee from Philadelphia.   We had sooo many laughs.  I’m sure we will be in touch with each other.“ – C. Mitchell

Hotels limit single rooms per group (usually to 2 or 3) and depending on price, they can go quickly. The single supplement rates are determined by the hotels and can add up quickly, often $600 or more.   Cruise ships often charge double. If available, you can buy a single supplement on any trip, but we encourage you to let us match you according to your age and do our best to match personalities.

I’ve had amazing success in matching roommates for over the decades. You’re only in the room to sleep. Courtesy is contagious. Please be respectful of the other’s privacy. We require a no smoking policy for room sharing, unless both parties smoke. Also, please don’t gossip. “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss others.”  Save your money for sleeping and use it for shopping!

Sorry we can’t help you.  It’s not that we don’t want to, but we are not travel agents.   Therefore we do not have the tools to help with individual reservations.  AFS can only arrange accommodations for groups, not individuals.  When we ask our group suppliers they quote rack rate, so you are better off googling the hotel making your own reservation online.  For air, we do use consolidators that. for a small fee can do individual reservations to assist you in air plans that coordinate with group air.  used as well.  Our goal is to book the airport that offers the best schedule and rates.  We provide you with a guidelines on when to plan your flights into and out of these airports.

The Group

Most groups average between 25 to 45 single travelers.  The bigger the group the greater the cost savings which are passed on to you.   If groups exceed 50 people, we’ll usually add 2 coaches and 2 national guides for better manageability and maximum guest comfort. Most singles prefer larger groups because there are simply more opportunity to make new friends and the odds of connecting are far greater. Medium to large size groups have worked well for us and our clients, and it simply enables us to give you a far lower price.   However, we have been presenting more small group trips that are limited to 12 to 18 people in total.

Listed in past trips we include a group photo.  Please look over this section on the web to get a better idea of our groups.

Please look through our photo gallery to get a better idea of people type and group size.

No you do not need to be single to travel with AFS.  However, most of our guests are single. Occasionally a guest may have a partner that is either unable to travel or doesn’t enjoy it. We’ve had several couples come on our trips because they may have met or married after meeting on one of our past trips.  When a trip nears departure and is not full, we will add couples.

AFS is not a dating venue and we screen callers to discourage such inclination, especially if this is their sole purpose. Our journeys are about the destinations and for anyone who simply loves to explore the world! Suzy loves to see romantic connections happen and thus far AFS has been responsible for 21 marriages. It is far more common, yet equally rewarding, to see the true lifelong friendships develop between people of either gender from all over the USA.

Age’s range from 30 to 70.  The average ranges between 35 to 55.  Exactly where depends on the trip.  The cheaper the trip or more active, the younger the group.    No matter your age, you’ll have plenty to people within your age group to hang with.  It’s important to be in good health and possess a reasonable level of fitness. Most of our tours are done the old-fashioned way, on foot.

Where does group air fly from?

Our clients are from all 50 states, Canada and elsewhere.  To best serve everyone, we offer Land Only (you buy own international air) and Group Air.  Our group air originates from a single gateway airport depending on our final destination.  For example, New York when heading to Europe or Africa.  Miami for Central and South American.  Los Angeles when traveling to Asia.  Other airports may be occasional used as well.

Our goal is to book the airport that offers the best schedule and rates.  We provide you with a guidelines on when to plan your flights into and out of these airports.   Land only is always an option unless noted.)