Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help you get started with your Exploration of the World.

Travel is a very gray area, and we expect you to have a number of questions on your mind. We love to share experiences with our customers. Truthfully it is a highlight of our job. We may be busy Making Dreams Come True, but leave us a message, and we will get back to you ASAP. It might even be at night or on the weekend. Feel free to email us at alex@doldworldjourneys.com anytime. We look forward to hearing from you!

Questions

Quick Answers

What happened to European World Travel Service?
Our family found itself at a crossroad. After being in business for 43 years it was not an easy decision, but in the end the family thought it was best to dissolve the company. While many facets of Dold World Journeys will be similar to European World Travel, they are separate companies.

The primary characteristic of European World Travel Service, Inc., that will be brought over to Dold World Journeys LLC is our family's tradition of Value, Service, and Making Travel Dreams Come True. This motto is what keep our friends coming back to European World Travel for so long and is definitely a must for my new venture. It is the only way we do business. Besides it is in our blood.

Why Dold World Journeys LLC?
During my sabbatical of 2014, I realized how much I missed exploring the world with my friends. I began working at City Mill for home improvement experience and at the same time be able to spend more time with my family and help out my parents. With my dynamic position in the lumber department the days fly by and I love that City Mill is very customer service oriented, as was European World Travel. Working there has also helped me develop a different perspective on life.

With the blessing of my family and the flexibility of City Mill, I created Dold World Journeys, LLC. The central idea is to start off slow and maintain a balance in life. Being a brand new company means there are many details I still need to work through in order to figure out the best way to serve you.

How did you come up with the name Dold World Journeys LLC?
The first word, Dold, was easy because I wanted to recognize my parents, Walter and Jutta, and our family's long tradition of Value, Service, and Making Travel Dreams Come True (read more about the Dold Family Tradition). The World is our destination, as we will offer programs to all travelable places. I believe travel, like life, is a Journey to be shared among family and friends. It is not just the destination but the whole experience that provides life long memories.

What is the best way to communicate with you?
For those who have e-mail there are definite benefits. You can contact me anytime, day or night, and will be the first to receive information and register for a journey. Please e-mail me at alex@doldworldjourneys.com.

Electronic communication (via the website and e-mail) is by far the fastest, easiest, and most efficient way for us to keep in touch. 

Once you are registered on one of our journeys we will electronically update you with the latest information in regards to your trip. This includes pre-departure information (including flight schedules, additional expenses, packing tips, etc.).

I will post the majority of what I send online at doldworldjourneys.com, and around four weeks prior to each program we will give you finalized hard copies at our pre-tour briefing to help you prepare of your journey.

What if I don't have e-mail?
Please feel free to call me at (808) 732-9430. Being a one-man operation, it may be a little tricky to reach me live. Please leave me a message, and I will respond within 24 hours.

Ideally it would be great if I could e-mail you or someone you know (group notices, preliminary tour information, flight schedules, receipts, etc.). It is very easy to obtain an e-mail account, and I really like Gmail because it can be accessed worldwide and can be downloaded directly to your computer, tablet, and/or cellphone. If that is not an option, please see if you have a family member or friend who can receive the information electronically and give you a printed copy.

How does your website work?
From doldworldjourneys.com (and if you forget the name just type Alex Dold in your browser) you will be able to download complete itineraries (once they are set), find out more about our current operations, and learn "what's new" in terms of policy and procedure (much has changed). Remember to always check back from time to time for updates.

In the near future many of our more detailed tour information, like packing tips, weather, flight schedules, etc., will be available online.

Can we reach you by phone?
Yes, but if I am not able to reach the phone, please leave me a message. I will return your call, normally within 24 hours. At this time, I am a one-man operation, so my ability to answer telephone calls and schedule face-to-face meetings during typical business hours will be limited. I promise you, though, I enjoy providing customer service and will do my best to get back to you as soon as I can. With patience and voicemail.

How many Journeys do you plan a year?
We will offer between four to six journeys each year, and I will be the group host. Our slate will include an equal selection of European, North America, and Adventure (South America, Australia & New Zealand, Japan, Middle East, etc.) destinations. Once we present our annual program in August, we intend to commit to that list without any changes or additions. Also, we will rotate itineraries, giving them several years to 'rest' before offering them again.

How do we sign-up for a particular journey?(New for 2018!)
For 2018 there will be NO PRE-REGISTRATION for specific journeys. This will ease the process and require less paperwork. If a particular program catches your eye, let me know and I will add you to the INQUIRY list. Once that program is finalized you will be notified. Simple as that…

To join a finalized (itinerary, date and prices are set) please send in your completed and signed Reservation Form by e-mail or USPS mail. You can find it online or let me know and I will be happy to send you one. I will contact you once it is received. We prefer you make your payment by a single CREDIT CARD over the phone (for those who traveled with me within the last year you can just tell me you use your card on file).

** For our Hokkaido Snow Festival please submit a CHECK deposit made out to DOLD WORLD JOURNEYS, LLC with your reservation form. (Please see each program's General Conditions for more information.)

Please NOTE:
- A DEPOSIT will hold you a space on the program.
- Receipt of both the DEPOSIT and RESERVATION form will determine your discount position.

Can we pay with our credit cards?
Yes, we actually prefer you use your credit card to pay for deposits, insurance, and final payment. We ask that you make payment by a single credit card over the telephone. All payments go directly to the various vendors. Globus Family deposits and insurance payments are refundable on the majority of our programs. Let are a few custom programs were it will be necessary to pay by CHECK. Please read the General Conditions found at the end of each brochure for more information. 

Do you still offer discounts?
Yes, we will offer early sign-up discounts, similar in nature to European World Travel but slightly different in application. We are offering discounts on a first come, first served. In other words, guests on any journey will be able to earn the largest discount (up to $100 per person on some programs) if they are one of the first 15 to join (signed Reservation Form required). Then the discount drops slightly for the next 15 members.

These early sign-up discounts are NOT transferable to other itineraries, so Clients 31 and up may still have a chance to receive a discount if someone ahead of them pulls out.

We also will pass along any applicable vendor discounts, too (like the Globus Journeys Club). Please see our discount page for more information.

When should be purchase travel insurance?
We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance with your deposit. This will insure you are covered from a pre-existing condition. The Globus Family insurance is refundable on the majority of their programs. Each destination/vendor has its own rules, so please read the General Conditions found at the end of each brochure.

Our Company

Is Dold World Journeys a reliable company?
That is our aspiration. Dold World Journeys is a new company based on the Dold Family Tradition of Value and Service. This tradition stems from a long line of Dold entrepreneurs, including my grandfather, Franz George, who established the Prinz Frederick hotel and restaurant in Heidelberg, Germany, and my father, Walter Dold, who founded European World Travel with his wife, Jutta. European World Travel made our guests' travel dreams come true for a little over 43 years. Our greatest pride was our long list of return travelers, who were more than clients, they were 'Ohana.

Dold World Journeys plans to continue the Dold Family Tradition by creating a great product so people will come back. This product is based on the core principles of Value, Service, and Making Travel Dreams Come True.

>Read more about The Dold Family Tradition.

Are you a licensed Travel Agency?
We hold the required State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Travel Agent Registration (TAR 7051).

Value is listed as one of Dold World Journeys' Core Principles. How do you provide Value?
While my father stressed that we always had to have the best price, he knew it took more than the lowest price to earn a customer. Value is what made people come back. Our journeys are carefully designed so clients can fully experience a country. Our guests absorb these countries' cultures, learn about their people, and stand in awe of their amazing wonders. Our itineraries include fantastic guides (many hand picked), travel to unique destinations, and always maintain a very comfortable level of quality. We want our group members to Explore the World so we pack as much as we can into a program. If it is worth staying longer we will, to prevent our group members from having to pay more to go back.

We are so confident about our itinerary prices that we guarantee them (except in cases where we deal with foreign currency which is out of our control – like with Japan and Australia & New Zealand programs).

When searching for a program, it is important to shop and compare. Be sure to look at what is included for the price. 

Service is another of your Core Principals. What Service do you offer?
Value and Service go hand in hand. Service to us means constantly improving to satisfy our clients. We read our group members' evaluation forms and listen to our customers. When a few in our group are not happy for the same reason, we lose sleep, even if it is not our fault. It is important to us that everyone is satisfied, so we find a solution.

Communication is important to us, and it starts by answering your questions. Electronic communication (via the website and e-mail) will be the fastest, easiest, and most efficient way for us to keep in touch. Remember you can send me a message anytime, day or night, with e-mail. We want to hear from you and realize planning for a journey brings up a number of questions. There is no such thing as a dumb question; trust us, we've heard them all.

Once you are registered on one of our journeys we will automatically electronically update you with the latest information in regards to your trip. This includes pre-departure information (including flight schedules, additional expenses, packing tips, etc.). It will also be posted on our website. We put everything together (optional excursions, hotel list, name list, currency, weather, travel tips, etc.) at our weekend brunch tour briefing usually held at Maple Garden Restaurant about four weeks before departure.

On tour I (Alex) will be there to serve you. My main role is making sure everyone is having a fabulous time, like at a party. All our groups also have a professional tour director or country guide who is an expert in the field. They are very knowledgeable about history and culture, along with where to shop for bargains and unique buys. Most importantly, they are on hand to work out any glitches that may arise. When you join our tour you will have at least four people looking out for you: the Hawaii Host (me), Tour Director, Local Guides, and a Driver. Just make sure you pack your toothbrush and some clean underwear then sit back and enjoy the journey. We will take care of the rest.

You often use the phrase Making Travel Dreams Come True. Where did it come from?
My mother and former general manager of European World Travel Jutta Dold once said, "I'm like a magician. I make travel dreams come true." That analogy stuck. Have you ever read a book or an article about a place and said to yourself, "One day I'd love to go there"? At Dold World Journeys we have a fantastic tradition and goal, and it is to help you visit those places you've only dreamed of.

We believe you should experience the world, so we continue to take you all over it—Europe, the Americas, Africa, India, Egypt, Japan, New Zealand, Iceland, Syria, Iran, and more. We have something for everyone. Whether it was seeing Mount Rushmore or Neuschwanstein Castle or the Pyramids of Giza for themselves, we love knowing we played a small part in helping our guests arrive at destinations they've only been able to imagine until then.

How does Dold World Journeys help people to experience the world?
We want you to go exploring, and we do everything possible to make it easy. We operate our locally hosted tours with a minimum of 15 people (maybe even less with a good airfare). We offer discounts to encourage you to sign-up early. The majority of our deposits are refundable, on the average 120 days before the departure (please see each journey's General Conditions). After that deadline we only charge a penalty if we lose money. If we have not done so earlier, at the 120 day point we either guarantee the tour or cancel it. This might be a little early to cancel, but it gives our clients time to make other plans. We want you to travel, even if it's with another company.

If you have to withdraw after final payment, you only pay the land and air vendors' penalties. Dold World Journeys does not charge a fee for your cancellation. We don't believe in making money off your loss.

Do your clients' tour evaluations really play a role in how you improve your programs?
Definitely Yes. We give our clients evaluation forms at the end of their tour and appreciate the time they take to share their comments with us. We read each one and follow up when necessary. When a few clients are unhappy for the same reason, we lose sleep. Most of the time the problem is beyond our company's control, but we still work to find a way to resolve the issue. It is important to us that all our clients are happy.

These tour evaluations also keep us updated on the latest practical touring information. We combine our customers' reports with research from the Internet and our continuous communications with experts in the field (like tour directors and tour hosts) to provide our clients with the most current information.

Do you guarantee your prices?
Yes, we not only give you value, we also retain it for you. We guarantee our prices except in the few cases where we work with foreign vendors, must pay them in their currency, and the dollar's value drops drastically. There may even be times when we lower the price of a tour after it was published.

Our tour prices also include airline ticket taxes, which can fluctuate daily and can reach over $500 per ticket. Read through the "Price" section of each tour's General Conditions to see if its price is guaranteed. After you book with us the only costs you have to think about are travel insurance and spending money.

Our Tours

How do you pick the journey departures dates?
Comfortable weather is a major factor for us when choosing a departure date. We also look at special events, crowds, and other aspects, but let's face it—no other country makes air conditioners like we do in the US. As our Turkey tour director told us, many of their air conditioners are merely decorative.

Whenever we add a new journey or hear that the weather was unfavorable on a tour, we research weather forecasts and study our past clients' tour evaluations to figure out a better time to go. One of the reason we limit the number of journeys we offer in a year is so we operate them at the Best Times of the Year to Travel.

I see some of your tours are labeled "Custom." What are Custom Programs?
Custom Programs are ones we design and organize ourselves, from the sites you visit to the activities you participate in and to the hotels you stay in. Some of the past custom tours I have been blessed to host were the Kingdom of Oman & Dubai; Indonesia & Malaysia; Iceland, Greenland & the Faroe Islands; Australia & New Zealand; and Across the Southern US.

When we know we can design a tour with a better Value for your dollar, we pursue it. Most of these are tours to adventure destinations. My father was a pioneer when it came to creating specialty tours, and my mother led these groups all over the world. Today we do everything we can to follow this Dold Family Tradition.

That sounds interesting. What goes into making a Custom Program?
Tailoring custom tours is a complex process we find both challenging and rewarding.

If it is the first time we are offering an itinerary, we consider all the major sights and work out a schedule to fit them in at a comfortable pace. Then we send a rough draft out to multiple vendors (oversea specialists) to be sure that the itinerary is doable. We take the results and go back and forth until we are sure we have built a fabulous adventure.

If we are repeating a custom itinerary, we re-read the tour evaluations from the previous groups and talk with our oversea vendors about what worked well and what did not so we can make any adjustments necessary to improve the experience.

How do you come up with ideas for Custom and New Journeys?
Friends. Every year I turn to my friend of 20-plus years, world traveler, and former Director of Product Development at Brendan Vacations Todd Ney to pick his brain on destinations, time of year to travel, and travel design. Among other things, Todd led me to our Dubai operator, gave us the brilliant idea to add a relaxing overnight in Alexandria on our Egypt tour, and created our amazing adventure to Peru, Bolivia & Chile. Knowing it is important to seek advice from those smarter than we are, and considering the success I have had with Todd, every year I turn to many of our long term friends in travel to design a number of our new journeys and adventures.

One of my closest mentors and friends, Bobby Chinen, is a genius when it comes to creating tours to Japan. After working for a travel agency in Japan and his 25-plus years taking over the reigns of Sus Tomita Travel, Bobby is the designer of all our Japan programs.

When we see an interesting Globus Family exotic program I call on my long time buddy, Ryan Droegemueller. We first worked together when Ryan was the Manager of the Globus Group Department; today he is in charge of the Africa and Asia tour design and operation for the Globus Family. From our 16-plus-year relationship, Ryan has developed a keen understanding of our customers' needs and was vital in helping us modify our popular Kenya & Tanzania program and creating our India & Nepal adventure.

Helena Novak is the Senior Vice President of Business Development at Alexander+Roberts (formerly General Tours World Traveler). Helena was born and raised in Slovakia, she and I first connected when creating European World Travel's 2009 Israel & Jordan venture. We hit it off quickly as she and I share the same passion for travel. In her position she has learned tricks to saving costs and is very up to date on the latest "things to explore around the world."

Are some of your journeys operated by vendors like Globus and Alexander+Roberts (formally General Tours)?
One of our core principals is to give you the best Value for your money, and this is why we use Globus, Cosmos, and Alexander+Roberts (formerly General Tours) for most of our programs. They offer time tested itineraries, provide a professional tour director (which can make or break a tour), and use great hotels. With their years of experience, huge support system, and buying power, these companies can give you unbeatable value on certain programs, so we don't even try to outdo them. Trust us, I've tried.

With our long-term relationship with these tour operators, we receive a lot of special treatment, which we happily pass on to our customers. As Scott Nisbet, President and CEO of Globus Family, said, "You certainly have a lot of friends around the world. I guess decades of producing lots of passengers and being such likable people has that effect. All the operations offices around the world have agreed to your requests."

To ensure our clients receive the most from their tour, many times we add to the vendors' published itinerary. For example on our Highlights of Europe we add a day in Rome to acclimate and an extra day in London to visit Stonehenge and Bath; to the standard Globus India tour we included Nepal, and on our Grand Tour of Egypt with the Nile Cruise we started with a night in Cairo to acclimate and then added a visit and overnight in Alexandria.

Is it true that some of your Hawaii groups merge with other travelers from around the world?
Yes, some of our groups join up with other English speaking people from around the world. Cooperating with vendors to fill their motor coaches helps to keep our prices really low and allows us to send a group with a Hawaii Host and as few as 10 people. Our clients often come home with heartwarming stories about the people they met on tour and how they plan to email and stay in touch with their new international friends. As my mother used to say, "Be careful of showing too much Aloha and inviting them to see you in Hawaii. Remember these people are travelers and we live in paradise, so they come."

Of course traveling with just Hawaii people is fun and rewarding, too. We termed these packages "All Hawaii." All our departures start off as "All Hawaii" groups and only open to other if we do not have enough turnout locally. Our "custom programs" are only sold locally to Dold World Journeys clients.  

How would you describe your groups from Hawaii?
Over the years, tour members have told us their group was so special. This affirmation really hit us on our tour to Turkey, when a first time customer mentioned that we had a very cosmopolitan group. Everyone was mingling, making new friends, and catching up with old ones. Part of our service is to foster this "'Ohana" spirit, which helps you to have a more fulfilling travel experience.

What can you tell me about our Host, Alex Dold?
Although born into the travel business, I have been a part of the industry officially for over 27 years. The majority of my career was spent working with Hawaii Hosted Groups. Along with managing the department and creating tour programs, one of my responsibilities was to coach our team of "Tour Hosts." I constantly encouraged my team to—Keep Our Customers Happy, like hosts at a party making sure everyone is having great time. It was important to me that our hosts were active and doing things for their guests, like taking them to unique places and adding a personal and compassionate touch to the program.

Of course, I had one of the best trainers in the game, my mother Jutta who lead people all over the world, some places you would not think possible. In my 13 years of hosting, I have led 40 Hawaii groups to places like Russia, the British Isles, Oberammgau, Spain, Norway, Egypt, Turkey, Africa, Israel, Jordan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Iceland, India, Dubai, Oman, Panama, Colombia, Nicaragua, Cuba, Japan, the US, and Morocco.

Do all your tours have a Tour Director?
Yes, all of our Hawaii group journeys have a Tour Director or Country Guide (many of them hand picked), and this person is a major key to our Service. Tour Directors and Country Guides are experts of the area, paid professionals who normally speak multiple languages. They are knowledgeable not only about the countries you are visiting but also where to shop for specialties and bargains and can suggest the best places to eat. Most importantly they can work through any unexpected glitches. A Tour Director makes the difference between a good tour and a fantastic one.

When I am on tour is it only the Hawaii Host who is there to help me?
With Dold World Journeys you are cared for by Alex your Hawaii Host, Professional Tour Director or Country Guide, Local Guides, and a Motor Coach Driver. You will have at least four people looking after you, so you are free to relax and enjoy the journey that you dreamed of. This is a just a small part of our Service and Value.

What is the minimum amount of people you need to send the tour with a Hawaii Host?
We want you to travel so we try to make it easy for you. We operate our tours with at least 15 people flying together, the minimum we need to keep our airline group contract. In fact, we are so serious about wanting you to travel that there maybe times when we send a group with a host when there are fewer than 10 members on board. If we can make it work, we do it.

Do you offer the same tours each year?
We do NOT intend to. As part of our effort to Make Travel Dreams Come True, we always look for new adventures or bring back previous European World Travel ones. This means there is a good chance a current tour will be stored in our Dold World Journeys vault and not be offered for the next few years. 

The good news is that we plan to alternate tours from time to time; unfortunately, our crystal ball is broken so we can't tell you yet which tours will be stored and which ones will come out of our vault. We can only strongly highly suggest that if it was your Dream to experience one of them, you should go when the journey is being offered!

Our Policy

Does your company offer discounts to travelers?
Yes, we offer sign-up discounts and pass on any applicable vendor ones, too. Our discounts are limited, based on the first come, first served principle, and non-transferable. This is to help us fill departures and keep them "All Hawaii." Visit our discount page for more information.

What do I do if I am interested in signing up on one of your tours?
To join a departure please e-mail or USPS mail in your completed and signed Reservation Form found here or on the last page of every brochure (DO NOT SENT MONEY). A deposit is NOT required to hold your space until we have finalized the itinerary for your journey. Once the prices are finalized we will require a per-person deposit and payment of insurance (if you would like to be covered for a pre-existing condition and CANCEL for ANY REASON) to secure your spot (amounts listed in the General Conditions section of the itinerary).

When the program's prices (deposit, insurance, and package) are set, you will find them on each brochure and online.secure your spot. We prefer you make payment by a single credit card over the phone. The majority of the Globus Family deposits and insurance payments are refundable to a point (please see the program's General Conditions).

For 2018 there will be NO PRE-REGISTRATION for specific journeys. This will ease the process and require less paperwork. When the 2018 list goes public and a particular program catches your eye, let me know and I will add you to the INQUIRY list. Once that program is finalized you will be notified and have an opportunity to put down a DEPOSIT and turn in your RESERVATION FORM. Simple as that…

You mentioned my deposit is refundable. When is it refundable until?
For the majority of our tours you may cancel up to 120 days prior to the tour's departure and receive your deposit back. On a few tours the deadline is 160 days out (itineraries with cruises), and for just a couple of our journeys it is non-refundable. In the event a departure tour sells out and we put it on waitlist, we give our clients advance notice that their deposits will be non-refundable after a specified date. This helps us to guarantee more programs operate. Please see the General Conditions page of each brochure for more information.

Are there any cases when you refund a deposit after the cancellation date has passed?
Dold World Journeys does not charge penalties if you cancel, but the vendors do. After the refundable deadline passes, if we do not suffer any penalties from the vendors as a result of your cancellation, we will refund your money. We believe in making a profit by providing a great product, not from your losses.

Can I transfer to another tour?
Most likely not. It will depend on when you make the request. The earlier the better the chance, but there is no guarantee. Keep in mind, any early sign-up discount you may have earned is NOT transferable. 

Do you sell Travel Insurance?
Yes, we offer Travel Insurance with all our tours. How much and the type depends on the particular tour. As part of the finalized journey brochure and online will be a description of Travel Insurance and the cost. It is highly recommended (and in a few cases mandatory) that you purchase travel insurance with your deposit. The Globus Family insurance is refundable, based on the deposit's refundability deadline, on the majority of their programs. If you do not wish to purchase travel insurance with your deposit, in most cases you can still purchase insurance with the final payment but will NOT be covered for any pre-existing condition.

We believe in Travel Insurance and have seen it put to good use. With the airlines not working together, Mother Natures' influence, and many overseas vendors cutting back on local city support, you should seriously think about having coverage. Honestly, less than 90% of the people use their insurance, but for the 10% who needed it, the insurance has saved them tons money and a lot of frustration. I have personally helped over 1,000 clients file claims, and while we do not consider ourselves experts we will be happy to share our experience with you. Travel Insurance is complex, and we welcome all questions.

What happens when I join one of your programs?
After we send you a receipt to acknowledge your reservation form and/or deposit, look out for pre-departure information from us as your departure gets closer. Here we will let you know how your group is coming along, what you should plan to pack, what the weather is expected to be like, how much money you should plan to bring along, what your group's preliminary flight schedule is, and other details about your trip. Ideally we would like to send these items by e-mail and plan to post it online.

Does your company have a meeting for its group members before the journey leaves?
Yes, we normally hold each tour's briefing about three to four weeks prior to departure, giving you ample time to prepare for your trip. Since many of our clients prefer not to drive at night, we do our best to hold the meetings on weekend mornings. At this gathering, usually held at Yen King / Maple Garden Restaurant in Moiliili, we supply you with your final documents and even more tips and hints (optional excursions, hotel lists, currency, weather, etc.).

What do you do when you don't have enough people to operate a tour with a Host?
At 120 days prior to departure (in a few cases earlier), if we don't have enough members to send a group we'll contact you and offer you options. The idea is that at this point you still have enough time to find another tour, even if it is with another agency. Sometimes this 120-day window hurts us, as many times people want to sign up for a tour after we have cancelled it, but we honor this cut-off point because it benefits our clients.

How do you pick the tour's airlines?
Honestly, when it comes to flights there's not much choice these days, especially with all the airlines cutting schedules. We check with all major airlines and match prices to the best schedule — not too short and not too long layovers. United Airlines has the most flights out of Hawaii and services all major destinations with their large network of airline partners. Luckily, our long-term relationship with United Airlines normally offers us the best price. This works out perfectly since over the years we have built a number of friendships with United Airline staff members, allowing us to better service our clients, especially when it comes to seat assignments.

Every so often we are faced with last minute schedule changes that force us into a long layover and maybe even an overnight. In these cases, we make up the difference with an overnight hotel, dayroom, or a sightseeing program at no cost to our clients.

If possible, we try not to overnight en route. We understand that breaking up the flights has a lot of benefits, but because we are traveling with a group it can be a hassle for our guest. With a group we need to collect everyone's luggage, transfer to the hotel, and wait for our room assignments and/or suitcases. Then the next morning we have to stand in line to check in at the airport and face numerous security check points once again. Whenever possible we try to arrive at the tour's starting city a day earlier than the tour commences to better acclimate. This gives a little extra time to those who want to rest and those who want to start exploring the city. Best of all it avoids the negative aspects of flying.

May I deviate from the tour?
Yes, but Dold World Journeys does not handle airline deviations. You can work with whom you want or we can put you in touch with the agency who issues our airline tickets. Either way you will be purchasing the tour from us on a "land only" bases and meet the group at the starting city.

Land-only space is limited. Land price does NOT include airport transfers, dayrooms, or pre or post night hotel accommodations. These can be purchased.

We are using the services of scheduled airlines. Airfares used are special low cost group fares based out of Honolulu with no changes allowed. When people want to modify their flight schedule there is no guarantee they will be flying with the group.

Please let us know your plans ASAP. There are charges for any changes made after final payment. Once your itinerary is confirmed and the airline tickets are issued, these are non-refundable, and the airlines will charge fees for changes. 

How do you handle seat assignments?
Part of our service is the amount of time we spend on seat assignments. We know how much they mean to clients. Once everyone in the group has made full payment, we send all the names to the airlines for seat allocation. The airlines have full control of all seats.

We do everything we can to put husbands and wives together with one of them sitting in an aisle. For roommates with different last names we request as many aisle seats as we can and seat roommates close to each other. If you would like to request a window seat or be seated next to your roommate with only one of you in the aisle, please let us know before the final payment deadline. Window seats and aisle seats are very limited.

Please do not attempt to do you own seat assignment as this can mess up the enter groups seating. If you want to do your own seats assignments no problem. We will divide you out of the group record and give it to you. The only drawback is that if the airlines changes flights while enroute there is a possibility you may not be flying with the group.

Also, it is basically impossible for us to get upgrades on group tickets. If you are a United Airlines Mileage Plus Premier Member or higher, please let us know before you make your final payment so we can try to accommodate you in Economy Plus seating (United Airlines will not do it automatically in a group situation). If you are not a Premier Member, United Airlines does allow you to purchase their Annual Option, which gives you the possibility of sitting in the Economy Plus section (more leg room). Seating requests can never be guaranteed, but we will do our best. Our long term relationship with United Airlines helps tremendously in seat situations.

What additional expenses will I have?
Hotel accommodations, airfare, entrance fees to the attractions featured in the itinerary, and most meals are included in the tour price. Additional expenses include (but are not limited to) optional excursions; additional meals; tips to the driver who takes you through your tour, the tour director who takes care of you on tour, local guides, and hotel personnel; and souvenirs you are planning to buy. Please see our General Conditions found on the back of the itinerary for more details. We put a lot of effort into making our itineraries and Conditions pages clear on what is and is not included. Remember we love to hear from you, so please e-mail us when you are unsure.