FAQ

Is my payment protected if there is a problem?

CT holds a travel agent permit issued by the Office de la protection du consommateur  (Consumer Protection Office).   This ensures that all the money received from schools and school boards is deposited into a trust account and is used to pay the costs of the tours that are booked.

In addition, for every dollar received CT pays 0.1% into the Compensation fund for customers of travel agents (FICAV).  This fund protects travelers in Quebec against fraud or in cases of bankruptcy of a travel agent. Only travelers doing business with an agency such as ClasseTrotteur have this kind of protection. A trip organized by an individual or a business that does not hold a travel agent permit issued by the Consumer Protection Office is not protected.   Another advantage of working with ClasseTrotteur

Are gratuities included during the tour ?

In most cases, no. The only exception would be when a meal is included in the package. In this case, CT would have an agreement with the restaurant owner which includes gratuities. For other aspects of the trip gratuities are not included and students must be prepared to leave small tips for services.

For the driver and the guide, we normally suggest one to two dollars a day per passenger. We can help by including it in the package if you wish.

Otherwise, here are some suggested amounts for gratuities:

  • Chambermaids: one dollar a day per person
  • Local city tour guide: one dollar per person
  • For a meal in a restaurant: 18% of the check
  • Taxis: 15 to 20% of the charge

What is your group cancellation policy ?

Any cancellation of a package may incur charges.

Penalties for tours that include no air travel:

  • 60 days or more prior to departure:  no penalty *
  • 59 to 45 days prior to departure:  50% of the total cost of the tour *
  • 44 days or less prior to departure:  no refund
  • No refunds after departure.

Penalties for tours that include air travel:

  • 60 days or more prior to departure:  no penalty *
  • 59 to 45 days prior to departure:  50% of the total cost of the tour *
  • 44 days or less prior to departure:  no refund
  • No refunds after departure.

* ClasseTrotteur will notify you of any non-refundable purchases you request CT to make for you as part of your package (such as professional baseball tickets) at the time of purchase.

What are your general terms?

You can read our terms and conditions here.

Does insurance cover all illnesses?

Most conditions are covered as long as the illness is stable for at least three months prior departure.  We strongly advise you to get a routine check-up prior to departure, to be quite certain.   If we provide you with insurance coverage, your CT advisor will put you in touch with the insurer.

For more information, download details here.

What happens if there are long delays at customs?

It is very difficult to predict what the delays will be at customs.  Our CT guide will provide guidance to facilitate the formalities, but the process remains unpredictable.

If delays exceed what are considered normal limits, and this causes a planned activity at our destination to be canceled, we will do our best to reschedule in the following days.

If rescheduling is not possible and the activity is cancelled,  we will refund you any amount spent on said activity, less any cancellation fee.

If a traveller in your group has caused the delay by demonstrating inappropriate behaviour,  gestures, or words or by an issue with their luggage, the activity will be canceled and no refunds will be made.

What travel documents are required to enter the United States on an educational tour?

Canadian citizens must present one of the following valid documents in accordance with WHTI requirements when they enter the United States by land or sea:

  • a passport;
  • a NEXUS card;
  • a Free and Secure Trade (FAST) pass;
  • an Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) or Enhanced Identification Card (EIC) issued in a province        where USA-approved EDL and EIC programs have been implemented;
  • a Secure Certificate of Indian Status.

For underage students

Canadian citizens aged 15 years or under are only required to present proof of citizenship, such as an original or photocopy of a birth certificate, or an original citizenship card. Canadian citizens aged 18 years or under who are traveling with a school or other organized group, under adult supervision and with the consent of their parents or guardian, may also present proof of Canadian citizenship only.

For more information, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

What travel documents are required when traveling in Europe on an educational tour?

Crossing international borders can be complicated and sometimes requires many different kinds of documents. Being prepared is the key to easing your way through this process, so make sure you know what documents you need, where to get them, and which ones will make your crossing quick and easy.

For more information, visit the Government of Canada Travel and tourism website.

Must my passport still be valid for a specified period of time before my date of entry into the United States ?

No, your passport must be valid until the day of your return to Canada.

What foods can I bring in to the United States if I pack a lunch for the first meal ?

The following foods are generally allowed for personal use:

Condiments (mustard, vinegar, jam …), hard and soft cheeses, butter, yogurt and sour cream, fish, pastries, candy, chocolate.  Dry mixes containing dairy products or eggs and beverages must be in their original packaging bearing an English list of ingredients.
Fruit and vegetables from Canada are generally allowed if they are labeled as being from Canada.  Fruit and vegetables from other countries that are purchased in Canada (such as mangos and lemons) are not necessarily allowed

What personal exemptions are allowed when we return to Canada?

If you have been outside Canada for 24 hours or more

You can bring in CAN$200 worth of goods free of duty and tax – note that you cannot include tobacco products or alcoholic beverages in this exemption

If you have been outside Canada for 48 hours or more
You can bring in CAN$800 worth of goods free of duty and tax – the goods must be in your possession when you cross into Canada.  You may include tobacco products and alcoholic beverages in your exemption

If you are outside Canada for 7 days or more
You can bring in CAN$800 worth of goods free of duty and tax. With the exception of tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, you do not need to have the goods with you when you arrive.

For more information, please refer to the “Alcoholic beverages” and “Tobacco products” sections of the (see link below).

For full details on all these personal exemptions, here is a link to the Canada Border Services Agency website http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/help-aide/faq1-eng.html#_s1

What documents must be presented if an underage student is not a Canadian citizen?

This is a very difficult question to answer as there could potentially be as many situations and statuses as there are students travelling.  We recommend that the parents or guardians of such students contact the embassy or consulate of the country of destination directly to validate the requirements.

If you undertake to do so on behalf of parents or guardians, we strongly recommend that you obtain written instructions for your protection.

Where do I reach the US embassy and consulate in Canada?

Embassy of United States in Ottawa
490 Sussex Drive, Ottawa
613 238-5335 / 613 688-5335

http://canada.usembassy.gov/

 

Consulate General of the United States to Quebec
2, Place de la Terrasse-Dufferin, Quebec
418 692-2095 ext 6

Consulate General of the United States to Montreal
1155, rue St-Alexandre, Montreal
514 398-9695 / 514 981-5059

http://montreal.usconsulate.gov/

If I travel without a CT guide, what are my resources if I have a problem?

The presence of a CT guide takes a lot of pressure off tour organizers and greatly enhances the students’ experience.  However, if you’ve chosen to travel without our representative, please know that we are still with you at all times!

Our hotline is available 24/7 by dialing 1-800-347-2443.  We will be on hand to answer directly during regular business hours.   Outside regular hours, follow instructions and your call will quickly be forwarded to our tour manager on duty.

Do the students need pocket money?

All educational tour packages will cover entrance fees for scheduled visits, however students should have some pocket money (preferably in local currency) for meals, snacks and souvenirs.

Here are suggested amounts to have on hand per day:

  • Breakfast: $ 10
  • Lunch: $ 10 to $ 15
  • Dinner: $ 15 to $ 20
  • Snacks: $ 5
  • Miscellaneous / Souvenirs: $ 10

What kind of transportation is used during the tours?

We use luxury coaches which are generally equipped with washrooms, video entertainment systems, reclining seats, etc.  Basically, comfortable and suitable for long-distance travel.

For tours overseas, we use reputable airlines and quality carriers for local ground transportation.

What kind of meals could be included in a tour package ?

When a group wants to include meals in a tour package, we base our choice of restaurants on the following three criteria:

  • Menus must offer balanced meals
  • Menus must allow the students to explore and try new things
  • Meals must be affordable

While practical, we try not to select fast food chains for dinner time.

Can CT provide special meals for vegetarians and / or children with allergies?

Yes, but this can only be done in tour packages that include meals.  In these cases, the cooperation of parents and organizers is essential to ensure the best possible service to the travellers.  Organizers will be required to inform us of any special needs when filling out questionnaires concerning meals.

The information collected will be submitted to the selected restaurants to ensure the availability of alternate dishes. Please note that we only provide suggested restaurant options when meals are not included in your package.

Will there be any luggage restrictions?

For ground travel (by tour bus), the answer is no … and yes. No,  because we do not limit the number of bags or their weight. That is up to you. Yes,  because if your students can’t carry their own luggage they have too much!

For air travel, the answer is yes! But the limits are different depending on the carrier. So check with your advisor for updated information.

Can you help with suggestions for packing?

Of course!  We have two lists of suggestions, one for travel to the USA and one for travel in Canada. Ask your tour advisor!

Are students allowed to travel with a cell phone ?

It is very difficult to predict what the delays will be at customs.  Our CT guide will provide guidance to facilitate the formalities, but the process remains unpredictable.

This is a school administration decision.   We do not want to ban cell phones as they are very reassuring for parents.

However, students must store them away during visits, guided tours or at any other time when their full attention is required.

In addition, students must be reminded of the very high fees associated with text messaging, emails and phone conversations made from a Canadian cell phone in the USA.

Can I bring a lunch?

It is recommend that you bring a lunch for your first meal. If your destination is in the USA, please read the question related to allowed food for personal use.

Are vaccines required?

Please consult with Health Canada for recommendations on specific destinations.  Generally speaking no vaccinations are required for travel to the United States or Canada.

Are parental consent letters required?

We strongly recommend that all students traveling abroad carry a letter of consent proving that they have permission to travel.  If a student is not traveling with his/her parents or guardians, the letter must be signed by all persons legally authorized to make important decisions on his/her behalf.  For example, a student traveling alone, with a group or with one custodial parent should carry a letter of consent.  Letters of consent are meant to facilitate travel for Canadian minors abroad and prevent international abductions.

You can fill out the form provided by the Government of Canada by clicking here:  Consent letter

More information

As accompanying adult, do I have to pay for my travel expenses ?

No, accompanying adults do not pay for the package sold to students. However, you are responsible for your personal expenses. We can cover your expenses if you make the request before we prepare the tour package.

Can a parent act as accompanying adult and have his/her travel expenses covered ?

You may, at your sole discretion, choose who you want to accompany and supervise your group. Accompanying adults can be from the school or they can be parents.

What is the student/adult ratio required by CT?

Normally this ratio varies between 1/10 and 1/12.5. But in the end, you are the best judge of what the ratio should be for your specific group. We will build the package accordingly.

As a Trotteur-Guide will be accompanying us, what are my responsibilities during the trip with the students ?

We count on you to ensure the appropriate behavior of the group. Be it on the bus, in museums, at restaurants, pools, etc. Our trotteur-guide will make sure things run smoothly during the trip but he/she will require your cooperation to keep the students motivated. He/she will consult with you throughout the trip to make sure everyone has a blast!