Frequently Asked Questions
Pilgrim's Retail Tour Departures
This trip is open to anyone! We have people from all over the world joining us in our starting city. You’ll fly out of whatever airport is most convenient for you and meet the group in the arrival city. Our tours are created to be spiritually encouraging for the Bible believer, but anyone is welcome to attend. It’s going to be a life-changing event filled with spiritual, historical and cultural emphasis that you will never forget! We hope you can make it!
Pilgrim Tours organizes all the administrative details of the trip. All travel accommodations, arrangements, and payments are made through Pilgrim Tours. They provide an expert guide that will lead you through the entire trip and give historical and religious context for each location you visit. At most of the locations a pastor or guide will teach profound Biblical truths that will inspire and encourage you.
People choose to take different routes with how they want to purchase their trip package. Many people opt to let Pilgrim Tours organize & arrange the entire trip for them including airline tickets and arrival or departing transfers. Some, however, choose to find their own deals with airline tickets and only purchase the “Land Only” option. All those arrangements can be made with Pilgrim Tours. To ensure your proper shuttle service to and from the airport, please be sure to send your complete flight itinerary to Pilgrim Tours upon purchase.
Ground transfer can be arranged by Pilgrim Tours no matter what time you arrive or depart. However, for this to be arranged, you MUST provide Pilgrim Tours with your COMPLETE flight schedule and pay for the transfer before departure.
We recommend that all travelers purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your trip investment! We realize that overseas travel is expensive, and while we do all that we can to ensure a safe and flawless trip, there are circumstances that cannot be controlled. Consider Travel Protection for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. To view/download the Policy based on your state of residence, which provides the full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, go to: https://www.pilgrimtours.com/company/insurance.htm
No. However, we do recommend that you are up to date on your routine vaccinations. Check with your Health Care Provider for any vaccinations that may be recommended for your individual health care.
Keep in original bottle with the prescription attached. If necessary, ask your pharmacist for small bottles with labels and take only what you need with a few days extra. Bring a list of the medications with the generic equivalent, as doctors in other countries may not be familiar with brand names. Your pharmacist should be able to provide this. Keep medications in carry-on bags. Have a note from prescribing physician for controlled substances, injectable medications, and multiple medications. Those who carry insulin should keep a copy of the written prescription with the medication. All medically necessary supplies for diabetes treatment are allowed on flights and can be administered if needed. Note that any container of insulin greater than three ounces must be declared at the security checkpoint.
Our tour guides and in-country tour operators will assist in accessing proper medical care should that be required. Some health insurance policies DO NOT cover illness or injury overseas and we find it best to purchase travel insurance, so you are properly covered.
Group fares do not allow for upgrades. If you have frequent flyer miles that you would like to use, we advise you to choose the Land Only option and arrange your own flights with the airline of your choice.
There is no need to carry a large amount of currency with you. US Dollars are accepted in most countries, credit cards are widely accepted, and ATMs are available in major cities. ATMs will provide you with local currency at time of exchange. We recommend taking small denominations of US Dollars of between $100-$200 per person. We do not recommend travelers checks due to the high usage fee and difficulty in cashing. Call your credit card institution BEFORE you leave to notify them of the dates/itinerary of your overseas travel. If not notified before travel, banking institutions can place a security hold on transactions to protect the cardholder from fraudulent use.
Money can be exchanged at the airport either prior to departure or upon arrival in country. Hotels can charge a (high) fee for exchange.
Yes. You will need a power converter/adapter specific to the country of travel if you plan to take items requiring power (computers, electric shavers, cell phone, camera). It is recommended to NOT bring electric curling irons. Hotels supply hairdryers.
Internet is available in most of the hotels that we use. Keep in mind that internet speed may not be as fast as you are used to at home or work.
No one can totally guarantee your safety however, we do all that we can to keep our travelers safe and out of harm’s way. Pilgrim Tours does business in foreign countries using only licensed, respected, reliable, and experienced destination management companies who are committed to safety and quality. We maintain ongoing personal relationships with these companies to ensure the highest quality of tour guides, private motor coaches, and accommodations. In Israel, our tours do not go into Gaza or Hebron. We do go into some parts of the West Bank such as Bethlehem or Jericho, safety permitting. If there is local unrest or an occurrence that renders the safety of our travelers questionable, our local guides will eliminate that from the itinerary and see that our travelers remain safe and out of harm’s way. Security on planes bound for the Middle East is much stricter than domestic and even some international air travel. Please be aware when flying into and out of Middle East countries that security personnel may question each traveler separately and extensively regarding the nature of travel, who packed your bag(s), who you are traveling with, and if you know anyone in the Middle East. Additionally, luggage is x-rayed and examined. Understand that these precautions are for YOUR safety and this process requires patience and understanding.
Pilgrim Tours advertises in the Baptist, Evangelical and traditional Bible believing Protestant markets and our devotional leaders present living practical encouragements from this perspective to our passengers.
This depends on the area in which you are travelling. If it is a country that does not allow evangelism, we do not allow it. Remember that you may get out of the country without a problem, but there will be hundreds or even thousands of Pilgrim Tours passengers that will follow at a later date. You have "no right" to draw attention to others because of what you may feel led to do.
Pilgrim Tours encourages you to be a witness by your loving actions and attitude while on tour. If you choose to pursue evangelistic efforts, please do so while on your own and at a different time and place.
Pilgrim does employ many Christian guides, but this is not guaranteed. Our guides are very familiar with our devotional, scriptural, historical and cultural information requirements. This coupled with our choice of devotional leaders provides an atmosphere that is exceptional even for the person who has been to this region on prior occasions. We have consistent testimony that the Pilgrim experience is far superior to other tours.
If your tour is in one country for the entire time, you will normally have the same guide throughout. When you cross to another country, we generally hire a new guide, bus and driver from that country.
There is a very limited amount of free time. Time will be provided for shopping on occasions, but this is not a primary concern. You will also have a couple of hours at the end of the schedule to shop if you wish.
Yes, there will be opportunities to shop while on tour. Our tour guides choose which shops to visit based on location, the size of the group, and how much time is available between site visits. There are many options if you choose to go out on your own in the evening. Pilgrim Tours does not endorse any specific shops and you are never required to purchase anything. Some shop visits are necessary in combination with site-seeing locations.
An average day will be 8:30-5:30. There will be occasional days that you can expect a 8:00-6:00 schedule or longer if the crowds are larger than normal.
Activities for this tour require you to be in good health and able to climb stairs without assistance, walk at a modest pace for a few miles a day on uneven terrain, and be able to transport your own luggage. Please note that many international sites and facilities, as well as tour buses, do not have available accommodations for persons with mobility limitations (wheelchair, walker, cane, etc.). We suggest that you prepare yourself by walking 1-3 miles or more per day for the weeks prior to your departure. As per our “Terms & Conditions,” agreed to by each passenger at time of reservation, the Tour Director retains the right to require non-mobile persons to stay behind when deemed necessary, and also terminate the membership of any member displaying disruptive behavior, delaying or endangering fellow members and/or interfering with the operations of the tour. If you have a medical condition or use medical equipment which could affect your travel, please consult your health care provider and our office.
Pilgrim Tours recommends that travelers be 10 years of age or older to be able to both benefit from the tour and not take away from other tour member’s experience. Our days are full and most adult travelers are ready for bed after dinner. Infants/babies/toddlers are restricted from our retail programs.
Pilgrim will accept your reservation as a "single requesting a share." If another person of the same sex is interested in a room-mate, we will allow the two of you to correspond and agree to share a room. Pilgrim will not automatically assign a room-mate. If a room-mate cannot be found, the passenger will be responsible to pay the single supplement charge.
Breakfast and dinner are typically included in the cost of the tour. Lunches usually are not included in the cost and typically range $15-20 US Dollars plus gratuity. If lunch is included or if dinner is not included, this will be indicated on your itinerary. Hotels typically offer buffet style meals and can provide for vegans, vegetarians, and other special dietary requests.
Some hotels will not object to your taking a fruit or bread and lunch meat snack from the breakfast buffet. Ask your guide if this is acceptable. For those who choose to purchase a more substantial lunch, expect to pay $8-15 each.
Table water is available in Israel, Greece, Turkey and most European countries and this is drinkable. Bottled water should be purchased for Egypt and Jordan.
Bottled water is provided on most busses at a reasonable cost.
Yes, you need a Passport to travel out of the country. It must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after your return date. Passport Cards ARE NOT sufficient! Israel and Greece do not require a visa for tourists from Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Turkey, Egypt, and Jordan require an entry tax for this same group of countries. Recently, Turkey has required that visas be purchased in advance at the following link: Click Here
Egypt & Jordan do not require that a visa be purchased prior to arrival. Non-U.S. Citizens are responsible to fulfill appropriate entry requirements of the countries you transit during travel. We recommend you contact the local consulate of the countries you plan to visit and transit for entry requirement information.
The motor-coach will normally have 48-52 seats. Rest stops are made every 1-2 hours for your comfort.
The average group size is between 30 and 35 persons. Pilgrim does take as many as 40-45 persons on some occasions. A Private Group Tour passenger count is up to the group leader's discretion.
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). A total dimension of the 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 should not weigh more than 20 lbs and is not to exceed the following dimensions: 22” length + 14” width + 9” depth. It must fit under the seat in front of you or in the overhead compartment. Be sure your luggage is clearly marked on the inside and outside. If you are traveling with a tour group, you must use the luggage tags provided along with your own.
Please Note: Due to recent changes in baggage allowance in the industry, we advise checking with your airlines before you depart to see if there has been a change in their regulations.
Most hotels are 4 star or above according to local government standards. This can be described as a better than average property with good standard of cleanliness and service. Examples of hotel lists will be given out by our customer service agents on request. Hotel Comparison Chart
Hairdryers and irons are available at most hotels.
Dress should be modest in respect to the culture you are visiting. Shorts may be worn but some churches and religious sites may require that shoulders and knees be covered. It is suggested that you bring pants or skirts with you on the bus to change into before touring these sites. A light shirt or shawl is helpful to have on hand if wearing sleeveless tops. Your guide will advise you of days that this will occur so that you can be prepared. Jeans can certainly be worn at all sites. Head coverings may be required for both men and women. A cap, scarf, or other head covering is acceptable. Most evening meals are in the hotel therefore no special attire is required for evening meals. Comfortable shoes are a must! Practical walking shoes and/or sandals and at least one pair to interchange or wear at night.
It will be possible to send out laundry on the first night of hotel stays with two or more nights, but costs are expensive. We suggest that you reuse items by spot washing and hanging clothes to dry while out on tour.
This is possible at the Jordan River Baptismal Site. Baptisms are only allowed while wearing the special white robes, which can be rented or purchased on site. Swim suits must be worn under the robe. A baptismal kit, which includes the mandatory baptismal robes, a baptismal certificate, a towel and free entrance to the change facility and hot showers, is available for rent or purchase at the gift shop. The cost is $10 to rent or $25 to purchase the baptismal kit.
Bethlehem is part of the Palestinian Territory and often requires that you change busses and guides at the check-point. This does feel a bit uncomfortable for some and optional free time in Jerusalem is available for those who do not wish to go.
Gratuities (tips) are normally included for all typical services during Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and Italy tours as stipulated in the tour brochure conditions including bag portage, guides/driver/hoteliers/food service (service gratuity for lunches is not included unless indicated in tour program). It is customary that service providers, guides, or drivers be tipped for any SPECIAL or PERSONAL service, which they may provide for you. You may, of course, at any time, give an additional gratuity to a service provider should they exceed your expectations. Gratuities for other countries should be given to the appropriate tour manager/guide on the first sightseeing day in that country.
If you have a cell phone with international capabilities, contact your company for costs and to verify that it will work in the areas you are touring.
Emergency contact information is also included in your travel documents.
Recommended Devotional & Study Materials - Click Here
Group Tour Etiquette - Click Here