What to know before you go to
Many seasoned travelers are not aware that their health insurance may not cover them outside of the country. If you need to cancel your trip due to an unforeseen emergency or serious illness, most of your trip may be non-refundable if you are not insured. In the event you become ill during your travels, finding and receiving medical care may be very frustrating without insurance. Travel insurance also covers lost baggage and worldwide emergency assistance. For a minimal amount of money, travel insurance is a must.
Visa and Passport Information
US citizens need a valid US passport for entry in Malta. The passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond intended stay. Make two photocopies of your passport. Leave one copy at home with family and carry the other separately from your original.
Non U.S. Citizens are responsible to fulfill appropriate entry requirements of destination. Contact your Consulate office for requirements.
Health Certificates Language Spoken
None required. Maltese and English
Currency The currency in Malta is the Euro
Check the travel section of your newspaper or the Internet for the most recent exchange rate. If possible, exchange currency at a US bank before you leave. ATM machines are available throughout the islands. Please be advised that the ATM machines dispense money in Euro ONLY - NOT US DOLLARS. Banks are normally open between 8:30 am – 12:30 pm from Monday thru Friday, and up to 11:30 am on Saturday. Most hotels and restaurants, as well as many shops, accept Access, American Express, Carte Blanche, Diners Club International, MasterCard and Visa.
Please Note: We suggest you call your bank and/or credit card company before you leave to let them know you will be out of the country and using your ATM card or credit card.
Electricity is 240 volts, 50 hertz. The three-pin, rectangular plug systems are used in Malta. You will need to bring along the necessary converters to operate any 120 volt appliances such as hair dryers, electric razors, etc.
If you are required to take medications, you should notify the leader of your group in the event of an emergency. Ask your doctor to write an extra prescription to take with you if your medication is lost. All medication must be kept in its original container, including over-the-counter medications.
Due to the size of baggage compartments in touring coaches, each passenger is restricted to ONE suitcase and ONE carry-on bag (in addition to your purse, camera case or video camera). Be sure your luggage is clearly tagged on the inside and outside. If you are traveling with a tour group, you must use the baggage tags provided along with your own. The total dimension of bag to be checked on the airplane is not to exceed 62 inches (length + width + height) and should not weigh more than 50 lbs. Carry-on luggage is not to exceed a 45-inch dimension (length + width + height) and should not weigh more than 25 lbs, as it must fit under the seat in front of you or in the overhead compartment.
Six hours ahead of EST and one hour ahead of GMT.
Average Temps & Rain Fall
Jan-Mar 49-61F 2.5"
Apr-Jun 60-76F 1.3"
Jul-Sep 72-89F 1/2"
Oct-Dec 58-70F 4"
Leave your travel information with a family member or friend, including a copy of your passport, your flight itinerary, travel itinerary, hotel names and phone numbers. In the event of an emergency, family members may contact Pilgrim Travel at 800-322-0788.
Dress comfortably for the flight, wearing clothes that allow freedom of movement and shoes that slip on and off easily.
When at the airport, never leave your luggage unattended for any length of time…no matter how short. Do not accept packages from strangers to carry on to the plane for them.
Check-in time for international flights is normally two hours prior to departure depending upon the time of day and the departure airport. If you are leaving from a busy international airport, three hours may be safer. When checking in at the airport, a valid passport is needed as proof of identification for international travelers.
What to Pack
Comfortable, casual clothing that can be layered to match the weather is a good suggestion. Planning your wardrobe around one or two colors is also helpful. You may choose to bring along one dressy outfit but it is not necessary. Be sure to include comfortable walking shoes and a lightweight jacket for mornings and evenings.
A raincoat and rain hat (or poncho) are easier to use when sightseeing than an umbrella.
Be sure to keep important items such as documents, money, medications, keys, etc. on your person or in your carry-on luggage. Never pack these items in your checked luggage.
Do not make yourself a target by wearing expensive jewelry. A good way to conceal your money and valuables is by purchasing an inexpensive, lightweight pouch that attaches around your waist and is worn under your clothes.
Do not over-pack. Leave room in your suitcase for souvenirs.
If you are traveling with a companion, cross-packing is a good idea. Put half of your items in your companion’s luggage and vice-versa. This will ease the frustration of lost luggage.
Take along a small backpack. When you are touring, fill it with bottled water, tissues, paper and notebook. It will also come in handy for carrying souvenirs.
Don’t forget these travel sized necessities: sewing kit, first-aid kit, tissues, travel clock, toiletries, notebook and pen, pre-printed address labels (for sending postcards), plastic “zip-locking” bags (for storing open bottles and containers).
A usual tip for tour bus drivers is $2.00 per person, per day and a tour guide/escort usually receives $4.00 per person, per day. Hotel maids receive $1.00 per person, per day. Tip taxi drivers at least 10-15% of the fare. This is simply a general guideline. Tips and gratuities are earned for services rendered in a courteous and professional manner.
For meals that are not included, check with your group leader or the front desk at the hotel for suggestions (be sure to mention the price range you are interested in). Specialties include fish, cheese-filled pastries, rabbit stew and timpana (a meat and macaroni pie).
Check with your group leader or the front desk for the best shopping areas. Specify that you are interested in purchasing items that are known for their local and cultural appeal. Shop for handmade lace, pottery glass, and gold and silver filigree.
Before you leave to go to Malta, research the Maltese archipelago and its history. If you're looking for live entertainment, Malta boasts an abundant cultural calendar. Shoppers won't want to miss the huge, Valletta open-air market on Sunday mornings.