Additional Information About Travel to Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia and Herzegovina
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 Bosnia, Croatia, Herzegovina and Slovenia, 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.We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps. 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. 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.
Round-trip flights arrive and depart from Dubrovnik or Ljubljana. 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—which is adequate. 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.
You will use the Croatian kuna and the euro in Slovenia. 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. Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges. International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
Croatia and Slovenia operate on the European standard 220-240 volts and use Types C or F plugs with two small, round pins. We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter. The strength of the air conditioning in European hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel. Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
Croatia and Slovenia are one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
and nine hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST). When it’s 9am
in California, it’s 6pm in Croatia and Slovenia.
There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Austria. At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov. Especially during the summer months, take proper care for sun exposure. Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications may be banned in one or all of the countries on this tour. Importing these drugs can carry severe consequences, including imprisonment. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to departure to ensure that any drugs you may want to bring with you are legal in all countries you will visit. If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify us by calling 855-355-8728 at least 30 days prior to your departure.
Please note that, depending upon the season, the climate can change drastically as you move from one destination to the next. We advise that you pack in layers. Light, loose-fitting clothing that provides comfort when exploring the sights is essential for your tour. A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is also recommended for shore excursions and exploring the cities. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any eventuality—a lightweight sports jacket and/or rainwear are advised. You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance. Waterproof shoes or sandals, a swimsuit, sunscreen and insect repellent are recommended for outdoor activities. A small bottle of hand sanitizer may be helpful when other facilities are not readily available while on the road. Also, remember that it is preferable not to visit religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
Croatian food is very good and very hearty. You may like to try traditional Balkan dishes, such as duvec (vegetables and meat), moussaka (eggplant and minced meat), sarma (minced meat and rice) and raznjici (grilled veal or pork). Along the Adriatic coast, you’ll find excellent seafood, especially scampi (prawns), prstaci (date mussels) and Dalmatian brodet (mixed fish stewed with rice). Away from the coast, look for specialties such as manistra od bobica (beans and fresh maize soup) or strukli (baked cheese dumpling). You’ll also find decadent apple strudel, an echo of the past Austrian influence. Virtually every region produces its own varieties of wine, which are quite delicious. Slovenian cuisine blends elements of Italian, Hungarian, Austrian and Balkan cooking. Pizzas, pastas, gnocchi and risottos are ubiquitous, as is the Austrian-inspired Shnitzel and the Balkan burek, a phyllo pastry stuffed with salty cheese or meat. Typical local dishes include krvavice (black pudding) served with zganci (polenta) or Kraski prsut (air-dried Karst ham). Another favorite is jota, a thick soup of sauerkraut, beans and smoked pork. Look for regional specialties such as zlikrofi, tiny tortellini stuffed with minced potato, onion and bacon. Along the Adriatic, look out for grilled seafood dishes with garlic and parsley. And for dessert, be sure to try prekmurska gibanica, a layered cake combining curd cheese, walnuts and poppy seeds, and potica, a rolled cake filled with either walnuts, chocolate, poppy seeds or raisins.
Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches. Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.