Frequently Asked Questions
I've never been to Europe. Would this be a good trip for my first time? Yes. If this trip happens to be your first to Europe, we'd like to stress just how little there is to stress about. The best part about coming with us for your first visit is that you won't ever feel alone. Foreign countries can sometimes feel, well, foreign. But having two experts like us with you is pretty reassuring, not to mention freeing. Look at us as the human equivalents of two fruity, umbrella-laden cocktail drinks: we allow you to forget your worries and you'll be having so much fun that at the end of the night, you'll feel like dancing on tables.
I've been to Europe a bunch of times. Would this be a good trip for me? Yes. The best part about taking a trip like this when you've already been to one of these cities . . .is that you can do our job for us! Just kidding. The best part is that this trip will introduce you to new places and broaden your perspective of these two fabulous cities. With a focus on activities that are not widely known or easily accessible, we designed these trips to be just as much fun for the well-travelled travelher as they are for the beginner travelher.
What ages are recommended for the children's trips? We would love nothing more than to have a group of cherub-faced, raspberry-blowing babies accompany us on one of these adventures, but sadly we recognize that this might not give you the most value for your money. Our philosophy when it comes to a minimum age cut off is really to leave it up to our clients. We trust that you know your children well enough to determine if they are ready for this type of a trip. In the past, we've taken kids as young as four and truth be told, they may have been more well-behaved than certain grown-ups who've travelled with us.
Will my child like this trip if he's boy (ya' know since this website is all pink and red and the name of the company is travelhers)? Good question. Our children's trips are perfect for boys and girls alike! Much like a Golden Lab puppy, our itineraries are adored by children no matter their gender. In selecting activities for our trips, we focus on delivering unique experiences that encapsulate the very best of these two dreamy places. If there is a macaron making class on the Paris itinerary or a visit to the Horse Guards on the London itinerary, it is not because either is a particularly feminine or masculine activity. Rather, our goal is to select only the very best activities.
How do you choose the activities for your itineraries? As the famed British detective, Sherlock Holmes would say "Elementary . . . my dear Watson." Actually our selection process is anything but elementary, (we just take advantage of any opportunity to quote English literature). It all begins with careful research. We read books, newspapers, magazines, blogs. Listen to radio shows and podcasts. We even watch BBC America and France 24. All in hopes of hearing about a great new event or class or museum, etc.
After that, we use a tried and true method of trial and error. We, ourselves take an exploratory trip to whatever it is that is being offered. If its a cooking class, we tie on our aprons and test it out. If its a new neighborhood that is becoming increasingly popular for its shopping, we head there, armed with our credit cards. Then we narrow our picks and eliminate the duds. Only the real gems become a part of our program.
Is this like those tours that cart around busloads of tourists? Um, no. Our emphasis is on crafting unique, customized experiences and we don't really see anything custom about an umbrella-carrying tour guide blindly marching a group of tourists from one landmark to the next.
How are travelhers tours different, you ask. Oh, let us count the ways. (Yup, another English literature quote for you.)
First, we prefer to take the scenic route. There is so much to see and do in Paris and London, to us it only makes sense to explore not just the headliners (Big Ben in London/ the Eiffel Tower in Paris), but all the little pockets of culture along the way.
Second, we believe in full immersion. Our hotels are in neighborhoods that exude the vibe of the city where we are. The location is particularly important to us because we want you to enjoy a balance of comfort and convenience, yet still experience the many small (and big) touches that let you know you aren't in Kansas anymore. Sometimes city streets are just city streets, and sometimes they are a gateway into a world you never knew existed. Deep thoughts, huh? The gist is that as much as we make sure you truly feel like you're on vacation, we also make sure you get a feel for everyday life in these cities.
Third, our goal is to provide you with a comprehensive experience. (We know, long word for a simple concept.) Basically, we want you to see as many different sides of each city as possible. Sure we'll do all the usual touristy stuff (or give you enough time on your own to do it) but we think our value lies in showing you the stuff that is off the beaten (tour group) path.
How big are these tours? In order to provide a more personal experience, we keep our groups tiny. We like to limit them to no more than six for our travelhers tours and no more than six mother/child pairs for our travelhers and tots tours. Of course, if you select our custom option for you and your friends, then its obviously up to you!
WHERE ARE WE STAYING? Whether in Paris or London our accommodations are top notch, and provide all the comforts of home. Stylish rooms, prime locations and quality service are guaranteed. We pride ourselves in booking the best because we know that where you lay your head at night is just as important as the head-turning sights you see during the day.
WILL I HAVE TO SHARE A ROOM WITH A STRANGER? As we mentioned earlier, this isn't that kind of tour. For the girls' trips, each room is booked individually, unless you choose to pair up with someone. For the children's tours, rooms are double occupancy: one room for every mother/child. (We can make special arrangements for anyone traveling with more than one child.)
WILL I HAVE TO SHARE A BATHROOM WITH STRANGERS? Thankfully we've never had to experience the quirky European practice of shared bathrooms. Rest assured, there will be zero chance of a Clark Griswold type encounter in the bath. Private bathrooms are guaranteed.
CAN I EXTEND MY STAY? Of course, you can extend your stay as long as you like. We'll put you directly in touch with the hotel to work out all of the details for your post-travelhers trip stay.
Why don't you include flights in the packages? Flights are not included because we don't want to bind anyone to a flight itinerary that's not ideal for them. Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to flying: some people prefer red-eyes, others will only fly during daylight hours; still others want to maximize their mileage awards and will therefore only fly certain airlines. We leave this part up to you so that you can select the option that works best for you and your needs.
What airport should I fly into? The main airports in London are Heathrow and Gatwick. Either works and both are easily accessible to the city center. For Paris, Charles de Gaulle is the bigger of the two international airports and while Orly is smaller, it is perfectly suited for takeoffs and landings as well.
HOW DO I KNOW THIS IS THE RIGHT TIME OR THE RIGHT TOUR FOR ME? Much like other decisions in life, there is no perfect time to take this type of a trip. We have struggled with this one ourselves and have certainly had doubts and thought "maybe if I wait a year, it will be a better time to go" and "if I skip it this time, I won't have to rearrange my schedule and miss the fill-in-the-blank (ballet recital, hockey game, birthday party). But our past experience has proven to us that as much we would like a clear sign to float down from the heavens and onto our door stop Mary Poppins style, the odds of this happening are unlikely. The most we can hope for is an Amazon Prime order to arrive on TIME and show us that the family will have toilet paper and toothpaste while we're away. (By the way, we actually do have a Mary Poppins costume left over from one Halloween . . . so maybe we could give you that sign after all.)
How do you handle bad weather? We want you to experience the absolute best weather on your trip, which is why we only book our tours for days when it will not rain. Kidding! As much as we would like to guarantee perfect weather on our trips, this is something we cannot control. In the past, we have experienced rain, freezing rain, wind, clouds and heavy fog, (and that's just all in one day!) Although we can't freeze time (pun intended) and push any bad weather off until after our trip, we may be able to switch some of our scheduled outdoor activities to days when the weather is more cooperative. These decisions are made on an as-needed basis. Please keep in mind, we do our best to ensure that you are having so much fun that you hardly notice a few rain drops!
How much walking is involved? This is a tricky one to answer and in large part it is up to you. However to provide some general guidance, we will say that there is more walking involved than there is eating (and there is plenty of eating). Keep in mind, neither of us is an athlete or even moderately physically fit and we've managed but the truth is that long, wide boulevards are almost synonymous with the city of Paris, itself and the grand castles of England, wouldn't be so grand if they were comprised of only a few rooms. What all this really means though is that the few extra steps you take throughout the day translate into extra servings of creme brûlée or bread pudding at night.
Are tour events optional?: We think its best to be upfront and honest about just what's required of you, so here's the long answer: absolutely nothing. If you wake up one morning and decide you want to experience the beauty of London from your hotel room window, without setting foot on the streets below, we understand. If you realize your long lost cousin is in Paris at the same time as us and want to ditch us so that you can spend more together, then by all means ditch away. We want you to have the best time on this trip and we recognize that sometimes that means things change at the last minute.
Should I be nervous about traveling to London or Paris? No, you should be nervous about NOT traveling to Paris or London. We know there are risks involved with travel but overwhelmingly the benefits far outweigh any potential dangers. Trust us. Any apprehension will quickly wash away once certain realizations hit you . . . like the fact that British accents are so much more adorable in person and that macarons taste infinitely better standing atop the Eiffel Tower.
Do I have to speak French to go on the Paris trip? There is absolutely no language requirement for these trips, but you may surprise yourself and want to give it a whirl. Sure, it might take some time before you sound like a local, but that shouldn't prevent you from uttering a few "bonjours" and "au revoirs" now and then. The trickiest part about the French language is . . . well, everything. But
We require half of the total cost of the trip as a deposit and the other half is due 30 days prior to departure.