Additional Information about Travel in Belgium
At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your tour guide and driver a gratuity. Your WEST tour coordinator will collect the gratuity at any point during the tour (many travelers like to pay ahead of time to get it out of the way). Although it is not required, your driver and tour guides rely on these tips, and work hard to ensure you an unforgettable experience. We recommend tipping the equivalence of $3 USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6 USD/CAD to $9 USD/CAD per person per day for your tour guide. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalency of $2 USD/CAD per local guide, payable following the local tour. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.
In order to enter Belgium, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that our travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height), and you are allowed one personal bag, such as a purse or day pack. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on or personal bag.
Belgium operates on the European standard 220 volts.
The euro is the currency you will be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
Belgian cuisine is sophisticated and gourmet. Rich sauces accompany dishes of pork, game and beef. Seafood is of a very high quality—mussels steamed in white wine are a favorite. Patisseries offer decadent pastries and cakes, while Belgian chocolate is among the very best in the world. Belgian beers vary widely in style and flavor and are often much stronger, or higher in alcohol content, than other European beers.
To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).
There are no major health risks associated with traveling on this tour. However, it is always advisable to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates.
The flights for tours beginning or ending in Belgium will arrive or depart from Brussels. On-tour transportation is provided primarily by private motor coach, but may include planes, trains, boats, ferries, or other modes. In your free time, most locations are best accessed on
foot. You may want to use the modern transportation system in the
Belgian cities visited.
Belgium is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and nine hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST). When it’s noon in California, it’s 9 pm in Brussels.