Packing for your trip FAQs

What toiletries should I bring?

Most hotels provide shampoo and soap and lotion. We suggest you not bring too much with you as you can always buy what you need in the country and save weight while going through security and the hassles of having lots of toiletries. Plus, if you are just bringing a carry-on, you will be limited on how many oz of shampoo, toothpaste, etc. that you bring.

Power Adapters?

You will need your own power adapters for the country you are visiting. Make sure it is for the right place as there are lots of models. You might want to bring two along and an emergency charger depending on how much you will be using your phone/laptop etc. A kit like this should cover any place Team Long Run would be traveling - Click here.

What about appliances like hair dryers and curling irons etc?

Do not bring American hair dryers, they will short out the hotels and most hotels have hair dryers available. Other appliances are the same. Most international electricity runs on 220v, in the US, we run on 120v. This means most appliances will be ruined if plugged into an international outlet. Try to bring clothes that don’t need much ironing. Ironing boards etc. are usually available.

Do I need to own a backpack? Day pack or something more substantial?

On longer hikes in the countryside, your day pack should be able to hold your rain jacket and pants, gloves, hat, your lunch (and snack!), and water (I suggest carrying 2 liters on warm days.) I’ll carry extra water and a first-aid kit for the group.  If we’re walking in the city, I’d suggest carrying as little as possible. Most European cities still have issues with pick-pockets, and backpacks seem to be a popular target. Purses should be worn across your body in front of you.  “Situational awareness” is always your best bet.

Is there specific footwear/gear that I will need to purchase?

If we’re hiking in the countryside, it’s a good idea to have waterproof lightweight hiking boots or hiking shoes. It’s especially important that you have broken them in well. If we’re mostly walking in the city, you should also wear great walking shoes. You’ll want to spend time on your feet, you might as well be comfortable!

How much should I bring?

For a week-long trip you should limit your baggage to carry on. We have found, backpack and a carry-on bag is the best combination. A purse that can be worn around your body and keeps valuables safe. You may be carrying your luggage yourself and having to put it in the storage bins in the plane.

Trekking FAQs

Should I buy trip insurance? If so, should it cover medical/airlifts, etc?

Most of our travelers have some form of trip insurance to cover the unexpected. Some purchase the emergency care supplement that covers airlifts and mountain rescue. That’s completely up to you.

What happens if I get injured on a trip?

We’ll do our absolute best to see that you get the care you need. It’ll be our top priority, and we’ll be staffed to make sure you’re taken care of.

Will there be some downtime to do my own sightseeing?

On our “city treks,” (Paris, Venice, etc.) there will be some scheduled down time. On our countryside or mountain treks, you’ll be pretty busy during the day. Evenings are usually wide open.

How many hours can I expect to be exercising?

It’ll be easy to figure this out. If you know the distance you’re walking as you prepare, and then time yourself, you’ll be able to figure out your pace. Whatever it is, apply that to our planned hike. On my own, I usually walk just over 3mph on fairly level, even terrain. A 20-mile hike, then, would take me between 6 and 7 hours of walking, a 6-mile hike would take just under two hours. If my pace is 2mph, 20 miles may take 10 hours, etc. You get it.

What is the difficulty level of the activity and/or how technical are the hikes?

The hikes will vary, even on the same trip!  Most of our “trek” day hikes are between 6 and 15 miles (8-25k) None of the hikes are technical, and we try to be very transparent about the difficulty of the hikes. Experience has taught us to keep elevation gains at a moderate level.

Should I train for a hike?

You’ll have much more fun if you’re prepared to walk whatever distances we have planned. I find that the most fatiguing thing about a long walk is the amount of time we spend on our feet, so please don’t underestimate how long a walk may take. Gradually increase the time and distance you walk to prepare- don’t start too long or too fast.  If our longest walk is twelve miles, that may take anywhere from four to over six hours, depending on terrain. Members of our group are encouraged to walk at their own pace.  You’ll always have someone to walk with, and I’ll always be behind you!  These walks are not races, and none of them are required. If you need a lighter day than is scheduled, or just want a “day off,” we’ll help you figure it out.

Passport, Documents, and Money FAQs

Passports and documents…What to do?

Make 2 copies of all your documents and credit cards. Keep one separate from the documents in your luggage and leave the other one with a trusted friend back home. In an emergency, you will be able to recreate the needed documents. We suggest you leave your passport in your room safe when we are in crowds. You can bring your driver’s license with you.

Do all Credit Cards work internationally?

AMEX is not a very useful card in Europe. Visa and MC usually work but you want to be sure you have alerted your card company to your travel plans.

Should I get local money before I travel?

That is not necessary and can be very difficult and/or expensive. If you bring your ATM card you can get money at the country of destination as soon as you get into the airport. Typically, there are ATMs that are easily accessible. You will be charged a fee for each withdrawal. Make sure your bank knows you’ll be traveling so you can use both your debit and credit cards.

Communication FAQs

How do we communicate once we are in country?

We will have a WhatsApp list for easy communication. Please get the app so I can add you to the list. It is the most efficient way to group text in Europe.

How do I dial my phone?

We suggest you save Chuck and Hilary’s phone number (international) on your phone so you can dial them at any time. We will also give you clear instructions about how to call within and outside the country we are visiting when you arrive, if needed.

What sort of phone plan is best?

We use AT&Ts international plan which costs $10.00 a day. It allows for text and email and all phone calls. You should contact your phone carrier to see what they have available. Be careful of roaming fees!!

Hotel and Transportation FAQs

What if I feel like staying in my room during the trip or doing something else than what is scheduled?

We very much want you to do what you want to do on all our trips. Logistically, we can’t support other activities, but you are welcome to stay in and rest or find another activity you prefer any day you wish. The only caveat is if we have reserved a ticket or meal that is non-refundable. This is Your vacation!

Will I be picked up at the airport or have to find my way to the hotel?

We will make every effort to pick you up at the airport. You may need to wait for others to join the group, and if you come in before the trip begins or very late we may need to arrange for another way to get you to the hotel.

Can I wash my clothes at the hotel?

Yes and No. There are rarely washing machines available in Europe for guests. Sometimes you can send your clothes out to be cleaned but it can take 3-4 days to get them back. Our advice is to limit yourself to clothes that can be washed out in your hotel sink and that dry quickly. Smart wool is great. No heavy cotton… We provide laundry detergent to our guests if they need it.

Culture FAQs

Tipping?

Every country is different, as is every trip. If we have a local guide, it is customary to tip them at the end of the trip. Since most dinners will be on your own you can decide what is appropriate based on whether the tip is already included (like in France) or not.

Come join us on an upcoming trek!

In 2024, we're leading small group adventure travel trips to Paris & Normandy, Veneto and Dolomites, and the great Italian Cities! We've teamed up with Kelly Peticolas, our old friend and colleague who has her own travel business, Olive Group Travel, to offer these trips as "philanthropic travel" opportunities. 100% of our net proceeds go to Team Long Run's youth programs!