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Changes to Your Itinerary
The Value of A Zephyr Adventure
Other Tour Dates
Getting to Your Tour
Hotels & Restaurants
Changes to Your Itinerary
WILL THERE BE CHANGES TO THE ITINERARY ONCE I BOOK?
While everything under “What is Included” on the webpage for each trip will remain the same, the actual restaurants, hotels, and activities listed in our itineraries are subject to modifications. Changes that are out of our control are common – a restaurant closes or loses its awesome chef, a winery changes its visiting hours, a hotel gets remodeled, a road or trail undergoes construction. You are entrusting us to create an outstanding vacation for you and so it is possible we may take the liberty of making necessary changes (even at the last minute, during the guides’ scout trip) to the itinerary that will improve your overall trip experience. If there is any one experience that is going to make or break your trip, please discuss this with us in advance! We will attempt to keep our website itinerary as current as possible and communicate any major changes with you in the weeks prior to the tour.
WHAT IS A SINGLE SUPPLEMENT?
Our trip prices are based on double occupancy. If you are coming on a trip solo, we will find you a roommate of the same gender. Many tour companies require you to pay a single supplement if they can’t find you a roommate. We don’t! (See our blog post about this subject.) If we can’t find you a roommate then you may end up getting your own room at no charge (although this is pretty rare). You also have the option to pay the single supplement to get your own room if you don’t want a roommate. Please see each individual tour page for the single supplement cost.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE ANYONE TO SIGN UP WITH ME?
Not a problem! 40% of our participants sign up entirely on their own, so you will likely be traveling with others in the same situation. Our guides are experts in making everyone feel at home and a part of the group. Also, check out a Zephyr alumni’s blog post about her first solo trip with us.
WHAT IS YOUR AVERAGE PARTICIPANT LIKE?
The average age of our participants is 48 years. Most are between the late 20s and 60s, although the range goes from youth to octogenarian. The gender gap is fairly evenly split with slightly more women than men. The majority of our participants come from North America but we get travelers from all over the world. About 40% of participants sign up alone, 40% sign up with a partner (friend or spouse), and 20% as a family. Most important, however, is this: most people who join us for the first time are nervous about the “group tour” experience but our alumni rate it as one of the best parts of their vacation. You’ll never know until you try.
WHAT IS YOUR MAXIMUM AND AVERAGE GROUP SIZE?
This is a key question in the outdoor tour industry. The truth is, we have done the number crunching and there is no correlation between group size and participant satisfaction on our tours. Small groups can be fun when everyone bonds and large groups can be fun because they allow you more opportunity to meet new friends. The important thing is to get it right on each tour. Our minimum group size varies from six to ten depending on the trip. Our maximum group size on skating and biking tours (where you have the freedom to go at your own pace) is 24 participants, the maximum on our hiking tours (where we are often on the same trail at the same time) is 16 participants, and the maximum on our food, beer, and wine tours ranges from 16 to 20, depending on the tour. The average group size for all tours last year was 13.
HOW DO I CREATE A PRIVATE TOUR?
We try to make planning a private tour as easy as possible. All you need to do is gather your friends, choose your itinerary, and select your dates – the rest can be left up to us! Once you have an idea of where you want to go, contact our tour operations team.
ARE PRIVATE TOURS DIFFERENT THAN PUBLIC TOURS?
All our private tours cost the same per person as our public tours. This means your group receives the exact same itineraries, meals, and activities as on our regularly scheduled group tours.
However, we do have a few specific Private Tour Policies that you may want to review before booking your private trip.
IS THERE A BENEFIT TO BOOKING MY PRIVATE TOUR EARLY?
For both our private tours and custom tours, the sooner you book, the better your chances are at securing all of the details of your trip the way you want it. Changes that are out of our control are common – a restaurant closes or loses its awesome chef, a winery changes its visiting hours, a hotel gets remodeled, a road or trail undergoes construction, or we simply can’t book the dates you want. You are entrusting us to create an outstanding vacation for you and the sooner you book, the sooner we can make the trip of your dreams a reality.
WHO ARE YOUR GUIDES?
Our guides are carefully chosen professionals and year after year are the highest-rated aspects of our trips. They are there to take care of all the details but also play with you during the day, eat with you at dinner, and often show you their favorite watering hole or sunset-watching point in the evening.
Most importantly, they know how to have fun, and that is contagious. All Zephyr guides are trained in CPR and First Aid and, when appropriate, are certified as inline skating instructors. On many of our trips we utilize additional local guides who specialize in the area’s history, language, geography or culture.
AM I FIT ENOUGH TO GO ON AN ADVENTURE?
While some of our tours are more challenging than others, most are designed to accommodate participants of ALL ability levels. We usually have multiple route options of varying distances, allowing you to choose where you want to fall on the exercise-relax seesaw for that day. Because we also have a support van available to give you a lift when needed, our adventures are suitable for almost all abilities. Please see our Ability Level page for details. Taste Vacations, Zephyr’s sister company specializing in luxury food, beer, wine, and spirits tours, offers trips suitable for everyone without the physical activity.
The Value of A Zephyr Adventure
SHOULD I BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE TRIP PRICE?
Price is a legitimate concern on any major purchase like this, and it is an excellent concern! Essentially, our trips are nearly all-inclusive (you can see below what each trip includes and doesn’t include). Two of the biggest “unquantifiable” things you receive when participating in one of our adventures (and frankly, two of the most important ones, and the reasons that we have so many repeat travelers) are:
1.) You simply need to show up. You don’t have to spend time planning, booking, or trying to determine the best places to stay, eat and do your activities. We have spent countless hours doing this for you, so you can just arrive, and have an awesome time.
2.) Spending time with a group of other active people who love to have fun is an experience that most people are simply unable to create on their own. Our guides are experts at creating group fun and those who have never been on a group trip don’t realize how important this aspect can be…until they’ve experienced it.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE TRIP PRICE?
In general, adventures include double occupancy lodging, dinners, breakfasts, guide (s), van support, local transportation, a Zephyr Adventures activity shirt and a detailed Pre-Departure Packet. The number of guides varies per tour but generally we have one guide on groups of 6-9 travelers, add a second guide at 10, and add a third guide if the group exceeds 17. Trekking Adventures have a higher number of guides and also include most lunches but one dinner is often on your own. Wine Adventures include wine tastings conducted as a group, Beer Adventures include most beer tastings, and Food Adventures include most food-related tours and activities. Most active trips include instruction in the activities on that adventure – you can even learn something from our guides about biking and hiking! Equipment is included for some activities on Multisport Adventures: mountain biking, kayaking or canoeing, horseback riding, and river rafting. Check each tour page for exceptions and additions.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
Not included in the trip price is transportation to and from the trip location, beverages, lunches (although many trips do include at least some lunches — check the specific trip’s webpage for details), desserts, and personal expenses. Inline skates are never included on our Skating Adventures since it is much better for you to bring your own skates. If you know your size, we suggest you shop online at Inline Warehouse, which has a good selection and excellent service. Bicycles are available for rent on Biking and Skating Adventures.
The Tibet, Peru, Patagonia, and South Africa tours have internal flights that are not included in the trip price but will be purchased by Zephyr and billed to you. Sleeping bags are not included on Trekking Adventures but are available to rent for $75 per trip.
Other Tour Dates
What are next year’s tour dates?
We generally release the next year’s tour schedule all at once in September but often we have many of our trips finalized before then. If you’d like to be one of the first to know what public tours we will be running next year, make sure you are signed up to receive our emails and have provided information on what types of tours and what locations your are most interested in. If we know you are interested in a certain location and it is finalized early, we will contact you before September.
Can I choose my own dates?
Our public tours have set trip dates each year but if you are interested in a specific itinerary, you have the option of creating your own private tour. You can then gather your friends and choose your own trip dates. The minimum number of people required depends on the itinerary you choose. For more information, visit our Private Tours page.
Getting to Your Tour
WHERE AND WHEN DO I MEET FOR EACH ADVENTURE?
You are responsible for getting to and from the trip location and this transportation is not included in the trip price.
Most adventures meet just after lunch on the first day, giving you time to get to the trip location that morning. Some adventures require a full first day and, on those, we meet you in the morning and provide you with suggested hotels where you can stay the night before. We will send you a Pre-Departure Packet with detailed information about your adventure once you register, including arrival and departure information. Call or email us for exact information about a specific location.
Hotels & Restaurants
WHAT ARE THE HOTELS AND MEALS LIKE?
We stay in excellent hotels and prefer local, centrally located inns over chain hotels or luxury retreats isolated from the local culture. We eat in nice restaurants but will pass up a tourist trap for a small cafe in an out-of-the-way street. Giving you a quality, real experience is our goal.
DO YOU OFFER ANY DISCOUNTS?
We do offer discounts for children and groups. See our Booking Details page for details. Once you travel with us once, you are automatically in our Alumni Club and eligible for further discounts each year.
DO YOU RECOMMEND TRAVEL INSURANCE?
Absolutely! We think travel insurance is crucial. Every year we have many people who have to cancel an adventure at the last minute, losing their trip payment and airfare. See our travel insurance page for more information.
Deposit, Cancellation & Privacy Policies
WHAT ARE YOUR DEPOSIT AND CANCELLATION POLICIES?
Please see our Booking Details page.
CAN I SAVE A SPOT ON A TOUR WITHOUT PAYING A DEPOSIT?
Yes, we can “pencil you in” on a tour. We will hold your spot(s) on your selected trip without a deposit until such time that somebody else wants to book that spot and put down a deposit. At that point, we would like you to make a decision and we’ll email you (unless you prefer a phone call) and ask that you either book the spot by paying the $500 deposit or give it up. If we do not hear back from you within 24 hours we will give the spot to the other person.
CAN I PURCHASE A GIFT CERTIFICATE FOR A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER?
Of course! Please visit our Gift Certificate page.