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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Escorted Group Travel?

Escorted group travel involves joining a group of fellow travellers to explore and experience a destination together. This type of travel is led by an experienced and knowledgeable Wells Gray Tours tour director who accompanies the group throughout the journey.

Key features of escorted group travel include:

  • Expert Guidance: The tour director provides valuable insights about the places visited, offers helpful tips, and assists with any needs during the trip.
  • Local Guides: In addition to the tour director, local guides often join the group to offer detailed commentary and deeper knowledge about specific sites and attractions.
  • Enhanced Experience: The combination of a tour director and local guides helps travelers to not just see the places they visit, but to truly understand and appreciate them, transforming the experience from mere sightseeing to a more immersive and educational journey.
  • Convenience and Support: Travellers benefit from the convenience of having logistics and planning taken care of, allowing them to focus on enjoying their trip and gaining a deeper understanding of the destination.

Overall, escorted group travel offers a structured and enriching way to explore new destinations with the support and expertise of professional guides.

Are Wells Gray Tours All-Inclusive?

Yes, our tours are all-inclusive. We handle all aspects of your travel arrangements, ensuring a hassle-free and enriching travel experience. Here’s what we include:

  • Hotels: Accommodation bookings are taken care of, ensuring comfortable and convenient lodging throughout your trip.
  • Transport: All transportation logistics, whether by bus, train, or other means, are arranged for you to and from our designated departure locations.
  • Airline Tickets: We book your flights, making sure you get to your destination and back home smoothly.
  • Cruise Bookings: We book your staterooms for cruise trips.
  • Attractions: Entry to various attractions and sites is included, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing tickets or making reservations.
  • Meals: Most meals are included. Each itinerary provides details on the number of meals included, and if there are free days, you have the opportunity to explore and enjoy meals on your own.

By booking through us, you save hours of research and planning. Our expertise allows us to create itineraries that maximize your time and enhance your overall travel experience, making sure every detail is covered for a seamless and enjoyable trip.

What’s Not Included?

Gratuities: Some tips are not included in the tour price and tipping is entirely at your discretion. Please make sure to read your tour itinerary as these details do vary from tour to tour. Please also refer to our Important Tour Information for appropriate tipping guidelines.

Is There an Age Restriction?

While there is no strict age restriction for our tours, they are primarily geared towards seniors aged 65 and older. However, we welcome guests of all ages to travel with us, and we have had participants from diverse age groups join our tours. In fact, we have even offered multigenerational tours to cater to families who wish to travel together and share special experiences.

We believe that travel should be inclusive and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of age, and we strive to create enriching and memorable experiences for all our guests. If you have any specific questions about the suitability of a tour for different age groups or family dynamics, please feel free to contact us for more information.

How is Wells Gray Tours Able to Offer Such Competitive Prices?

Our focus is on making travel easy, affordable, and enriching:

  1. Convenient and Personalized Service: We prioritize local departures and offer personalized service to cater to individual travel needs, ensuring convenience for our customers.
  2. Fully Inclusive Packages: Our travel packages are fully inclusive, covering accommodations, transportation, and major highlights of destinations. This approach saves our customers time and effort in planning and booking individual components.
  3. Superior Quality at Reasonable Prices: We aim to provide superior quality travel experiences at reasonable prices. This is achieved through maintaining strong relationships with travel suppliers, allowing us to secure valuable group discounts and pass on savings to our customers.
  4. Enriching Travel Experiences: Our guided tours and group travel offerings provide unique opportunities for travelers to explore destinations beyond the usual tourist spots. We focus on immersive experiences, offering insights from specialists and opportunities to engage with local culture, which enriches the overall travel experience.
  5. Cost Efficiency: By focusing on authentic experiences and working closely with local suppliers, we are able to keep costs down without compromising on the quality of the travel experience. We pass these savings on to our customers through competitive pricing.

How Much Physical Activity is There on Your Tours?

Most activities on our tours are designed to be enjoyable without being overly strenuous. However, participants should be capable of boarding the coaches on their own, walking moderate distances, and climbing stairs.

Our tours are categorized into different activity levels, indicated by symbols ranging from one to four mountains on each tour brochure. These symbols correspond to written descriptions that outline the expected physical demands of the tour. For tours rated as Activity Level 3 or 4, every participant must sign a declaration confirming their understanding of the tour’s higher activity level and their ability to manage it.

For more detailed information about the activity levels of our tours, please refer to our tour brochures or reach out to one of our local offices. We are dedicated to ensuring that our tours accommodate a wide range of physical abilities while delivering memorable and enjoyable experiences for all participants.

Is There Any Free Time Given on Your Tours?

Yes, we do try to incorporate free time into our tours to allow you the opportunity to enjoy leisure time. Additionally, we try to provide free time in destinations so you can explore on your own and immerse yourself in the local surroundings. The amount of free time can vary depending on the specific itinerary of each tour.

If you have family or friends in the areas we are visiting and would like to arrange a visit, please inform us closer to the departure date, and we are happy to provide you with more information.

Do You Offer Small Group Tours?

Yes! Look for tours with the small group icons indicating 10, 15, 25, or 30 participants. These icons mean the group capacity is limited to that many participants (or less). Travelling in smaller groups allows us to access unique places and offers more personal encounters. It is one more way we are working to meet your evolving travel preferences.

Can You Accommodate Food Allergies?

Yes, we can accommodate food allergies. If you have a food allergy, please let us know at the time of booking or notify us no later than the time of final payment. Most food allergies can be handled, but please note that some restaurants may not be able to satisfy all food allergies. Here are the details:

  • Notification: Inform us of your food allergies no later than at final payment.
  • Allergy Management: While most food allergies can be accommodated, some restaurants might not be able to meet all requirements.
  • Medical Distress: An allergy causes medical distress, whereas a preference does not.
  • Self-Prepared Snacks: For some allergies, consider bringing your own snacks or food items to ensure you are not solely dependent on restaurant offerings.
  • Food Preferences: Unfortunately, restaurants cannot accommodate food preferences.

Your health and safety are important to us, and we strive to ensure your dietary needs are met to the best of our ability.

Can I Join a Tour in The Destination or Stay in The Destination Longer?

Yes, it is possible to join a tour at the destination or prolong your trip. However, please note the following: You will be responsible for arranging your own accommodations and transportation before and after the tour. Additionally, any additional costs incurred due to joining or leaving the tour early will be your responsibility.

Can I Use Air Miles Points?

Yes, you can use Air Miles points to pay for your flight. We deduct the price of our group airfare from the tour price, and you can then book your own airfare directly using your Air Miles points.

Can I Upgrade My Flights?

  • Possibility: Yes, you can upgrade your flights to business class for an additional cost. We can inquire about the additional cost for you and request the upgrade on your behalf. Please contact us for current prices and availability.

Can I Request a Seat on the Plane?

Aisle or Window Seat: Unfortunately, we cannot take requests for specific aisle or window seats on planes. Airlines typically assign group seating as a block and do not accept individual requests for specific seat types.

  • Alternative Option: If seating preference is important to you, we recommend considering the “No Flight” option with a fare reduction. This option allows you to book your own flights independently, where seat selection may be available.

How Do Online Check-Ins for Groups Work?

When Wells Gray Tours books a flight for you as part of a group block, there are some important details to note regarding online check-ins:

 Group Booking: Your flight is part of a group block booking with the airline.

 Online Check-In Limitations:

  • Depending on the airline, groups may not be able to check in online 24 hours in advance.
  • This is due to the airline’s preference to check in a large number of people travelling together at the airport counter.

Airport Check-In Advantages:

  • Ensures all passengers in the group are accounted for.
  • Provides an opportunity to authenticate passports.
  • Enhances the overall airport experience.

For further information about air travel or to discuss specific arrangements related to joining or leaving a tour, using Air Miles points, upgrading flights, or seat preferences, please contact us directly. We are here to assist you in planning your travel arrangements according to your preferences and needs.

Do I Need a Passport?

When travelling internationally from Canada, including to destinations other than the United States, a valid passport is generally required for all travellers. Here are key considerations regarding passports and the use of a NEXUS card:

  • Passport Validity: Your passport should typically be valid for at least six months beyond your scheduled return date. This ensures you can re-enter Canada smoothly, even if your travel plans change unexpectedly.
  • Changing Requirements: Passport and visa requirements can vary and may change frequently for different countries. It’s crucial to stay updated on the specific entry requirements for your destination and any additional documentation needed for your tour.
  • Advance Preparation: To avoid last-minute issues, check the latest regulations well in advance of your departure. This includes verifying visa requirements (if applicable) and ensuring your passport meets validity requirements.
  • NEXUS Card: A NEXUS card is an alternative to a passport for travel between Canada and the United States only. It allows for expedited processing at designated lanes when crossing the border by air, land, or sea. However, it cannot be used for travel to destinations other than the United States.

Do I Need Travel Insurance?

While insurance is not included in tour fares, we strongly recommend purchasing a policy even when travelling within Canada. Here’s why:

  • Coverage for the Unexpected: Travel insurance provides protection for unforeseen events such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, lost luggage, and more. Even domestic travel can encounter unexpected challenges that may disrupt your plans.
  • Comprehensive Insurance Policy: We offer a comprehensive insurance policy through Travel Guard, which includes coverage for medical and cancellation claims. Policies purchased at the time of deposit include a waiver of the pre-existing condition clause for medical and cancellation claims.
  • Ease of Purchase: Travel insurance policies can be purchased no later than at the time of final payment. There is no need for a medical questionnaire to purchase the insurance.
  • Cost of Insurance: The cost of insurance depends on various factors such as your age, the length and cost of the tour, and the provider you choose. For specific details on pricing, please inquire with us.

Having travel insurance ensures you are financially protected against unexpected circumstances that may arise before or during your trip. For more information and to review the policy details, please contact us. We’re here to help you make informed decisions about your travel insurance needs.

Can You Help Arrange My Travel Visas?

Requirements for travel visas vary widely depending on the destination. Although we are unable to arrange visas on your behalf, we will provide information if visas are required and helpful links how to apply for them.

Do I Need Vaccinations to Travel?

Wells Gray Tours does not provide specific health advice regarding vaccinations. However, our trip itineraries will indicate any compulsory or suggested vaccinations for the countries you are scheduled to visit. Here’s our guidance:

  • Consult Local Health Clinic or Doctor: We recommend that all travellers contact their local travel health clinic or doctor for up-to-date advice on vaccination and health issues specific to the countries they plan to visit. This is crucial as health recommendations can vary widely and may change over time.
  • Conflicting Information: It’s important to note that there may be differing recommendations or advice available for the same areas. Seeking qualified medical advice ensures that you receive personalized guidance based on your health history and the latest medical information.

For the most accurate and personalized advice regarding vaccinations and health precautions for your travel destinations, please consult with a healthcare professional or travel health clinic before your trip.

What If I Need Assistance Walking? Can the Tour Director Help Me?

No, the tour director’s primary responsibility is to oversee the tour’s operation and ensure all guests have an enjoyable experience. They are unable to provide assistance to individual guests, such as pushing a wheelchair or offering walking support.

  • If you require ongoing assistance, like the use of a wheelchair or walker, it’s important to be accompanied by someone who can provide this help throughout the tour.

Bringing a Walker:

  • On a level one tour, you are typically allowed to bring your walker. Each tour has an activity level rating that specifies its requirements and accommodations.
  • We recommend checking the activity level description for each tour to understand specific requirements and suitability for your needs, including whether bringing a walker is permitted and feasible.

For personalized assistance regarding mobility concerns or specific tour requirements, please feel free to contact us directly. We are here to ensure your comfort and enjoyment throughout your travel experience.

What Are the Seat Arrangements on The Coach? Can I Request the Front Seat?

Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee the front seat for the entirety of the tour due to our mandatory seat rotation policy. Here’s how it works:

  • Seat Rotation: Seat rotation is mandatory on all our tours. Your tour director will explain the pattern and frequency of seat rotations at the beginning of the tour. This policy ensures fairness among all tour participants and allows everyone to experience different views and seating positions.
  • Single Room Accommodation: If you are travelling alone and have booked a single room, we cannot guarantee that you will have two seats to yourself on the coach. Seat allocation depends on the number of people booked on the tour and the size of the coach.
  • Exceptions: Due to the seat rotation policy, exceptions cannot be made, including requests for specific seats due to motion sickness or other preferences.

If you experience motion sickness, we recommend preparing accordingly with medications or other remedies that can help alleviate symptoms during travel. Please ensure to bring any necessary medications with you and consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice.

Can The Coach Pick Me Up at Home or Make Special Stops?

Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate requests for extra stops or deviations from the planned itinerary for visits to relatives or specific personal locations. Here’s why:

  • Driver Schedule and Safety: Our drivers operate on strict schedules that include mandatory breaks and adhere to safety regulations, including driving hours limits. These regulations are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of all passengers.
  • Pick-Up Locations: Please contact our local offices to confirm the designated pick-up location nearest to you. This location is predetermined to optimize travel efficiency and logistics for all passengers.
  • Home Pickups: In some areas in Victoria and Greater Vancouver home picks may be possible depending on the number of people booked and coach size. The decision is made about 2 weeks before departure and you will be contacted about your pickup point and time.

Are there Seat Belts on Coaches?

  • Availability: Seat belts are available on most coaches for your safety during travel.
  • Usage: It is strongly recommended that you wear your seat belt while on the coach to ensure your safety. However, it is ultimately your choice whether to use it.

If you have any further questions or require assistance regarding pick-up locations or seat belt availability, please do not hesitate to contact our local offices or customer service team. We are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable travel experience for all our passengers.

Will The Coach Have a Bathroom?

In most cases, yes. However, we recommend minimizing the use as much as possible due to the limited capacity of these facilities. We plan our tours to allow for frequent comfort stops and opportunities to visit public restrooms.

How Do I Reserve a Spot on a Tour?

The booking process with us is straightforward and customer-focused. Once you’ve found an itinerary you love, simply give us a call or visit one of our local offices, and our dedicated sales team will assist you in booking your tour. You will be required to pay a deposit to secure your seat/s, with the deposit amount varying depending on the tour.

During the booking process, we’ll inform you if there are any Early Booking Bonuses available, discuss the cost of insurance if you choose to purchase through us, go over the cancellation policy, and provide you with the final payment date.

Regarding reminders for final payments, while we do not have the capacity to call everyone, rest assured that if you forget, we will follow up with you if your payment is overdue by a day or two. We will not cancel your tour booking until we have had the opportunity to speak with you directly.

We strive to ensure your booking experience is smooth and worry-free, so feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns throughout the process.

What If I Have to Cancel My Trip?

If you find yourself needing to cancel your trip, we understand that unforeseen circumstances can arise. We have implemented a fair cancellation policy for our tours. For specific details regarding cancellation fees and policies, please refer to the tour policies attached to your tour itinerary. These policies can vary depending on the specific tour you have booked. If you have any questions or concerns about our cancellation policy, feel free to reach out to our customer service team for assistance. We’re here to help make the process as smooth as possible for you.

Do You Ever Discount Your Tours Closer to Departure?

No, we do not discount our tours closer to departure. Instead, we offer Early Booking Bonuses. The earlier you book, the more money you save. These bonuses are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so once they are gone, they are gone.

These tend to go very quickly, so if there is a tour you are interested in, make sure to get on our Interested List.

Being on the Interested List means that when a tour comes out for sale, we will notify you before it is advertised. Please note that this does not mean you are automatically booked on the tour. To book you on the tour, we must speak with you and collect a deposit.

Do You Have a Rewards Program?

Yes, we offer a Loyalty Rewards Program that includes Experience Points and various Rewards Levels. You can learn more about our program and the benefits it offers by clicking here.

To find out how many Experience Points you have accumulated or to inquire about how many days or tours you have accumulated please call or visit your local office. Our team will be happy to assist you with any questions you have regarding our Loyalty Rewards Program.

Do You Have One Brochure with all your Tours?

No, we do not produce a yearly brochure. Instead, we continuously release new tours throughout the year. Every Tuesday, known as “New Tour Tuesday,” we introduce new tours on our website and Facebook page, typically unveiling about two new tours per week. Additionally, we publish an “Experiences Brochure” four times a year (March, June, September, December), which provides a summary of all our current offerings. We email this magazine to you during those months.

If you enjoy being among the first to know about our latest offerings and want to take advantage of early booking discounts, we highly recommend subscribing to our monthly e-newsletter. This newsletter is sent out during the first week of each month and is the best way to stay informed about our tours, upcoming travel options, travel tips, and information about our webinars. You can sign up for the newsletter here. It’s a great way to ensure you’re always up-to-date and have access to our newest travel opportunities.

What If a Tour is Sold Out?

Many tours fill up very quickly but often have cancellations as well. If you are serious about joining a tour, we will collect a deposit from you and add you to the waitlist. This way, if seats become available, they are yours! If we cannot book you on the tour, we will refund your deposit.

Can I Travel as a Single?

Absolutely! Many of our guests travel as singles and have a fantastic time while making new friends. All of our itineraries are designed to welcome solo travelers. The only potential downside to travelling as a single is that your fare may be higher. This is due to the additional accommodation costs that arise from not sharing a room with another guest. However, many solo travellers find the experience well worth the investment, enjoying the flexibility and unique opportunities to meet others on the journey.

I will be travelling alone but would be interested in sharing a room. Do you have a Partner List?

Yes! If you are looking for a partner to share a room with and help reduce costs, we can add you to the partner list for that particular tour. If there is someone else also interested in sharing, we will connect the two of you so you can get in touch and see if you are compatible.

How Much Luggage Can I Bring?

You must handle your own luggage, including lifting it into overhead bins on motor coaches and all other modes of transportation. Please ensure you can manage this yourself throughout the journey. When possible, we will include luggage handling for one suitcase per person at each hotel; however, please refer to the tour itinerary for specifics on each tour. Additionally, when flying, be prepared to pay a fee for checking luggage at the airport, as this is often required by airlines.

  • Hand Luggage – Quantity: 2 items. One compact handbag (e.g., compressible backpack), One small personal item (e.g., purse) Maximum Dimensions: Width: 21 inches/53 cm, Depth: 10 inches/25 cm, Height: 7½ inches/19 cm, Maximum Weight: 7 kg/15 lbs.
  • Checked Luggage – Quantity: 1 piece. Maximum Size: 62 inches/158 cm (length + width + height), Maximum Weight: 50 lbs./23 kg

Please ensure your luggage adheres to these guidelines to avoid any inconvenience during your tour.

Do You Have Any Sustainable Travel Initiatives In Place?

Yes, we are deeply committed to sustainable travel practices and ethical tourism. We understand travel as a transformative experience and recognize our responsibility to protect our planet and the destinations we visit. Our dedication to responsible tourism extends to ensuring that the natural and cultural wonders we explore today are preserved for future generations.

Sustainability and ethical tourism are fundamental principles that shape our operations and travel experiences. We aim to minimize our environmental footprint while enriching the lives of both travellers and local communities. For more detailed information about our sustainability initiatives, we encourage you to visit our sustainability page, where you can learn about our ongoing efforts to promote sustainable travel and support the places we visit.

How Can I Best Prepare for My Next Wells Gray Tours Adventure?  

  1. Important Tour Information Sheet:
    • You will receive an Important Tour Information sheet along with your ticket package after final payment.
    • This document will outline specific requirements for your tour, such as packing details, luggage information (e.g., restrictions, allowances), and any recommendations regarding currency to bring.
  2. Dedicated Preparation Page:
    • Visit our dedicated page on “How to Prepare for your Adventure” which includes a general packing list and other helpful tips.
    • You can access this page to familiarize yourself with what to expect and how to pack efficiently for your tour.
  3. Review Tour Itinerary and Inclusions:
    • Take time to thoroughly review the tour itinerary provided to you. Understand the highlights and activities included, as well as any optional excursions available.
    • Familiarize yourself with the destinations you will visit, including cultural norms, weather conditions, and local customs.
  4. Documentation and Travel Essentials:
    • Ensure you have all necessary travel documents such as your passport, visas (if applicable), travel insurance information, and any required medical documentation.
    • Pack essential items such as medications, toiletries, comfortable clothing suitable for the activities planned, and appropriate footwear.
  5. Communicate Special Requirements

If you have any specific dietary restrictions, mobility concerns, or other special requirements like travelling with a sleep apnea machine, inform us by final payment so we can try to make necessary arrangements. Please note that no changes can be made to your booking within two weeks of departure, including but not limited to special rooming requests, pickup points, and food allergies.

  1. Stay Informed:
    • Keep updated on any travel advisories or changes in the destination countries’ entry requirements.
    • Stay connected with us for any last-minute updates or changes related to your tour.

By following these steps and utilizing the resources provided by Wells Gray Tours, you can effectively prepare for your adventure and maximize your enjoyment during the tour. If you have any further questions or need assistance, please feel free to reach out to our team. We’re here to help ensure your trip is memorable and stress-free.

I Have Other Questions?

Please give us a call, and we will be delighted to assist you further. Additionally, we recommend reading our Terms and Conditions before booking, as it contains all the necessary details you need to know. This ensures you have a clear understanding of our policies and procedures before confirming your booking. Thank you, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!