Additional Information About Travel to Bulgaria and Romania
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 Bulgaria and Romania, 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. 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. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.
The flights for tours beginning or ending in Romania and Bulgaria will arrive or depart from Bucharest or Sofia. On-tour transportation is provided primarily by private motor coach, but may include planes, trains, boats, ferries, or other modes. While most destinations on your tour are accessible on foot, some cities may require some use of public transportation. Buses serve most cities and surroundings. Taxis are also available. Make sure the meter is running and always ask for a cab number and receipt.
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 sports 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. It’s always advisable to check with your doctor or
healthcare provider for the latest updates. Be mindful of the need for sun protection, especially while enjoying Bulgaria's coastal excursions.
In Bulgaria, expect to indulge in lots of fresh vegetables due to the area’s warm climate and amazing growing conditions. Lettuce may not always be in the mix, but salads will be an integral part of every meal. Another mainstay is the soup known as chorba. Among the most popular is the tripe variety, which Bulgarians use as a hangover remedy. You’ll also find lots of yogurt dishes, including a delicious cold soup called tarrator (a blend of yogurt, cucumber and dill). Pork is the country’s meat of choice, and you’ll find it in countless combinations of soups, stews and mains. If you have a sweet tooth, round out your meal with a kazanlak (the country’s take on the doughnut). And, when clinking glasses with your fellow travelers, be sure try some of the local spirits, such as rakia or menta.
The Bulgarian lev, Romanian leu and Turkish lira are the currencies you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually found in Bulgaria and Romania. We advise using a combination of small amounts of cash (for arrival and emergencies), as well as ATM/debit cards and credit cards, both of which are accepted in Bulgaria and Romania. 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.
Bulgaria and Romania operate on the European standard 220 volts. An adapter for most US 110v electronics is required.
Bulgaria and Romania are two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and 10 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST). When it’s 9am in California, it’s 7pm in Bulgaria and Romania.