Student FAQ’s

faqs

    • WHEN WILL OUR FLIGHT INFORMATION APPEAR ON OUR GROUP PAGE?

      Flight information will appear on your group page approximately 6 weeks prior to departure. We do not publish it sooner as flight changes may occur before then.

    • ARE YOUR TOURS ACCESSIBLE FOR HANDICAPPED TRAVELERS?

      Vámonos does not discriminate on any basis. Unfortunately, some locations are not handicap accessible. It is difficult to maneuver a wheelchair in some areas. Moreover, coach buses are not usually equipped with lifts. However, we will try to accommodate as best as possible the needs of handicapped travelers.

    • WHO SHOULD I CONTACT WITH MY PAYMENT QUESTIONS?

      Email carrie@vamonostours.com for assistance with all your payment questions.

    • WHO IS ORGANIZING THIS TRIP?

      They will be traveling by private charter coach or 15-passenger van. In addition to the Vámonos staff, students will be traveling with at least one school teacher per 10 student travelers and possibly additional teacher / parent chaperones.

    • HOW IS THE TRIP SUPERVISED?

      Students are always together with the teachers and chaperones. In some instances, we split into small groups with four to six students per adult. Chaperones accompany them during free time and have students in close view. There is also a Vámonos staff member with the group at all times.

    • WHO CAN I CALL IF I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?

      Feel free to call/e-mail your teacher leader at any time. In addition, visit Vámonos’ website (www.vamonostours.com) for additional information about the tour, other destinations, and the company. You may also contact us at 888.366.6121.

    • MY CHILD HAS SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS, HOW WILL HE/ SHE BE ACCOMMODATED?

      Please see our Food Allergies and Restrictions page or contact Carrie: carrie@vamonostours.com

    • CAN I GET CREDIT FOR THESE FLIGHTS ON MY FREQUENT FLYER REWARDS PROGRAM?

      You may get credit for frequent flyer miles for your flights. Due our group reservation Vamonos is not able to process frequent flyer miles for each individual traveler. A few weeks prior to travel, your Group Leader will be issued a confirmation number for your flights. Call the airline directly with this number and the airline will credit your miles to their rewards program.

    • WHAT AIRLINES HAVE LUGGAGE FEES?

      Each airline carrier has different luggage requirements that are subject to change. It is best to check your booked airline carrier’s specific restrictions. Most allow you to have a free personal bag (for under the seat) and a free carry on suitcase (please note dimensions). Additional luggage fee is typically around $25.
      Links for accurate and up to date luggage restrictions to our most commonly used carriers are:

      American Airlines
      Delta
      United Airlines
      JetBlue

    • DOES MY DESTINATION REQUIRE A PASSPORT?

      All U.S. Destinations and Puerto Rico do not require a passport. For all other destinations, You must apply for your Passport NO LATER than your 1st deposit / enrollment deadline.  Failure to do so may result in cancellation of your flight reservation.

    • WILL MY HEALTH INSURANCE BE ACCEPTED IN MY TOUR DESTINATION?

      If you are traveling in the U.S. or Puerto Rico then your insurance will likely be accepted, but we encourage you to check with your carrier. If you are traveling to Cuba, it will not. Cuba requires you to purchase health insurance for while you are there. This insurance is included in your tour price. For all other destinations, call your insurance carrier.

    • CAN I USE MY CELL PHONE WHILE ON MY TRIP?

      Your cell phone will work in Puerto Rico (no roaming or long distance) except for a few companies such as verizon. Contact your provider to confirm if any roaming charges apply.

    • WILL THERE BE LIFE JACKETS AVAILABLE ON THE BOAT?

      Yes, life jackets are available on both our Parguera boat excursion and on our catamaran adventure day. All travelers must wear a life jacket to swim in the bioluminescent bay at night in La Parguera.

    • OUR GROUP HAS OPTED FOR A SNORKELING EXCURSION, IS THE GEAR NEEDED INCLUDED?

      Yes, all snorkeling gear is provided (mask, snorkel, and fins) on our Fajardo catamaran tours.

    • WHAT WAIVERS DO WE NEED TO SIGN?

      In addition to signing Vamonos’ terms during sign-up, each traveler must read and sign a waiver for the following excursions:
      Zipline adventure
      Snorkeling adventure
      Your group page has links to the appropriate forms. Please have all travelers sign them. Feel free to bring the forms with you and hand them to your Tour Director. You may also send them to us via email or mail as well.

    • WHAT CAN OUR GROUP DONATE TO OUR SERVICE LOCATION?

      You can see our list of donation suggestions on our donations page. Visit our service-learning page for more information.

    • DO WE NEED TO BRING PASSPORTS?

      If you are a U.S. citizen, you do NOT need a passport to Puerto Rico since it is a commonwealth of the U.S. Travelers 18 and over need to bring an official state issued photo ID or driver’s license. Travelers under 18 may bring any photo ID.

    • IS THE WATER SAFE TO DRINK IN PUERTO RICO?

      Puerto Rico has the same water standards as the U.S. We do provide filtered water for all students while we are on the tour.

    • WHAT WILL THE STUDENTS DO IN PUERTO RICO?

      Students will live and breathe Puerto Rican culture on a daily basis. They will speak Spanish with the Vámonos’ friends and staff and eat only authentic Puerto Rican or Spanish cuisine, among many other activities, as stated in the tour highlights.

    • WHAT ARE THE HOTEL ARRANGEMENTS?

      Students can expect to room with two to four other students. Each room has two double beds, so students may have to share beds. Where possible, we will request three beds per room and/or a cot. Our teacher chaperones will carefully review rooming assignments before the trip. Hotel rooms are located so that they are concentrated and easily monitored by chaperones. Bedtime is enforced, and students and parents are informed of consequences before leaving on the trip. Hotel security may keep a close eye on our rooms for extra security and supervision. We rarely have problems enforcing bedtime since our days start early and are very active. Students are usually exhausted and tend to look forward to getting some sleep at the end of the day.

    • CAN I USE MY CELL PHONE WHILE ON MY TRIP?

      U.S. phones don’t tend to work in Cuba. Calls from a hotel generally cost about $2.40 per minute. Many still bring their U.S. cell phone with them to use for it’s alarm, camera, etc.

    • WHAT CAN OUR GROUP DONATE TO OUR SERVICE LOCATION?

      You can see our list of donation suggestions on our donations page. Visit our service-learning page for more information.

    • WHAT DOCUMENTS TO I NEED TO TRAVEL TO CUBA?

      • Valid U.S. Passport and 2 photocopies of it
      • Photo ID
      • Cuban Visa (This will be sent to the group leader or given to you at the departing airport)
      • Signed Affidavit stating that you are traveling under an approved People-to-People program
      • Signed airline reservation form
    • IS THE WATER SAFE TO DRINK IN CUBA?

      We recommend you drink bottled water while in Cuba. However, it is not necessary to use bottled water for brushing your teeth as the hotels purify the water. You can also drink beverages with ice in it. It is safe to eat the fruit and salads at restaurants included in the itinerary.

    • WHAT WILL THE STUDENTS DO IN CUBA?

      Students will live and breathe Cuban culture on a daily basis. They will speak Spanish with the Vámonos friends and staff and eat only authentic Cuban or Spanish cuisine, among many other activities, as stated in the tour highlights.

    • WHAT ARE THE HOTEL ARRANGEMENTS?

      Students can expect to room with another student. Each room has two double beds, so students will have their own beds. Our teacher chaperones will carefully review rooming assignments before the trip. Hotel rooms are located so that they are concentrated and easily monitored by chaperones. Bedtime is enforced, and students and parents are informed of consequences before leaving on the trip. We rarely have problems enforcing bedtime since our days start early and are very active. Students are usually exhausted and tend to look forward to getting some sleep at the end of the day.

    • DO I NEED AN ADAPTER OR CONVERTER FOR MY ELECTRIC DEVICES?

      Yes; Cuban residents use the standard US 110V outlet. However, given the number of European tourists, many hotels have 220V outlets. We suggest travelers look at the wattage for their electrical devices such as phone and laptop chargers. Many of these indicate 110-220V. To be safe, a 220V adapter and a transformer is suggested. More Information.

    • WILL I BE ABLE TO PURCHASE OVER THE COUNTER MEDICATIONS, TOILETRIES, ETC. WHILE IN CUBA?

      Medicines and toiletries are scarce and expensive. Be sure to bring a first aid kit and sufficient quantities of any medications and toiletries you may require while traveling. Also it is recommended that you bring pocket packs of tissues and hand sanitizer with you as the public facilities are often lacking in these items.

    • CAN I USE MY CREDIT CARD OR U.S. MONEY IN CUBA?

      It is now possible for credit card companies to setup accounts in Cuba so that travelers may use their credit cards, but it will take time for companies to develop the infrastructure to make this possible. For now you will need to take enough cash with you for your trip.
      U.S. money can be exchanged for CUCs once in Cuba at the hotel, airport, exchange bureaus, and some banks. You will need your passport to make the exchange. There is a 13% transaction fee regardless of where you choose to exchange your money.

    • CAN I BRING BACK SOUVENIRS?

      You can import up to $400 worth in merchandise. No more than $100 of your merchandise can be alcohol and tobacco products. Please note travelers must be at least 18 years old to purchase tobacco products and at least 21 years old to purchase alcohol products.

    • CAN I USE MY CELL PHONE WHILE ON MY TRIP?

      Check with your cell phone carrier to find out what your options and cost are.

    • DO I NEED A PASSPORT TO TRAVEL TO COSTA RICA?

      You do need a passport to travel to Costa Rica. You must apply for your passport by the time the first deposit is due to ensure you have received it by the time we ticket your group. You should also bring 2 copies of your passport and store them in a separate location from your passport.

    • HOW MUCH SHOULD WE TIP OUR DRIVER, GUIDES, AND SERVICES?

      Tipping  is recommended. Tipping in U.S. dollars is acceptable. The following amounts are suggested:

      Guide – $5 per person per day
      Tour Manager – $4 per person per day
      Driver – $3 per person per day

    • CAN I DRINK THE WATER?

      Water quality in cities and large towns is good, but that may not be true of rural areas. We recommend bottled water to be on the safe side. You should be ok to use the water for brushing your teeth.

    • DO I NEED A CONVERTER OR ADAPTER FOR MY ELECTRICAL DEVICES?

      Outlets in Costa Rica are the same 110v outlets as in the U.S. However, they do not have grounding plugs. If any of your devices require a 3 prong outlet you will need to get an inexpensive adapter like this one.

    • WILL MY CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD BE ACCEPTED IN COSTA RICA?

      There are many places that will accept a credit card, but your bank may assess high fees for using it. We recommend you check with your bank. Not all places accept credit cards so cash may be a better idea. We don’t recommend traveler’s checks as they can be difficult to cash.

      There are ATM machines readily available in cities and large towns. They can dispense money in U.S. or Costa Rican currency for a reasonable exchange fee.

      If you do opt to take a credit or debit card, you may want to inform your bank before you go. Using your card in Costa Rica without informing your bank could trigger a fraud alert on your card.

    • CAN I USE U.S. CURRENCY IN COSTA RICA?

      Yes, a lot of places will accept U.S. currency, but will give you change in local currency. Only dollars in good condition with no rips will be accepted. Large bills over $20 are not accepted.

    • DO I NEED ANY VACCINATIONS OR MEDICATIONS TO TRAVEL TO COSTA RICA?

      There are no required vaccinations or medications, but we recommend you check the CDC website and check with your doctor to see what he/she recommends.

    • WHAT TIME ZONE IS COSTA RICA IN?

      Costa Rica is in the Central Standard Time (CST) zone. They do not participate in day light savings time.

    • WHAT IS MEDICAL CARE LIKE IN COSTA RICA?

      Costa Rica has good medical care and modern hospital facilities. Drug stores are also required to have a certified pharmacist on duty. Drug stores are well stocked with over the counter medicines, but they won’t be brands you recognize. If you have a preferred brand of OTC medicine you may want to bring it with you.

    • WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED TO TRAVEL TO QUEBEC?

      If you are traveling to Quebec as a U.S. citizen, then you only need a passport and ID.  If you are not a U.S. citizen, then you will need to contact your embassy as you may need an additional visa to enter Canada and your embassy would be able to help you secure one.

    • WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PASSING THROUGH BORDER PATROL?

      If you are traveling to Québec by bus, you will need to pass through border patrol. Please remove hats and sunglasses and turn off all electronic devices. Answer all questions respectfully and honestly. No Jokes!

    • WILL MY CELL PHONE WORK IN QUÉBEC?

      Many phones will work in Québec, but roaming charges and fees may apply. Contact your cell phone provider prior to departure to find out about pricing, text, and internet plans and pricing.

    • IS THE WATER SAFE TO DRINK?

      Water quality is on par with the U.S. and is safe to drink.

    • WILL MY ELECTRONIC DEVICES WORK IN QUÉBEC?

      Canada uses the same voltage and outlets that we do in the U.S. so your devices will work. No adapters or converters are needed.

    • CAN I USE MY CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD IN QUÉBEC?

      U.S. credit and debit cards do work in Canada, but there may be some unexpected charges. We recommend you check with your bank prior to departure.

    • CAN I USE U.S. CURRENCY IN QUÉBEC? WILL I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXCHANGE MY MONEY FOR CANADIAN DOLLARS?

      Some towns near the border will accept U.S. dollars. You will also be given the opportunity to exchange your money for Canadian dollars. Please be aware that Canada no longer has a 1 cent coin. amounts are now rounded to the nearest 5 cents.

    • WHAT ARE LOONIES AND TOONIES?

      Unlike the U.S., Canada doesn’t have paper bills For $1. they use coins. The nickname for the one dollar coin is Loonie because it has always had a loon (duck-like bird) on it. The $2 coin is nicknamed the Toonie because it is equal to 2 Loonies.

      If you have any Loonies or Toonies at the end of your trip that you don’t want to keep as a souvenir, be sure to exchange them before you leave as the U.S. banks will only exchange paper bills.

    • WHAT TIME ZONE IS QUÉBEC IN?

      Québec is in the eastern standard time zone. They also practice daylight standard time.

    • CAN I BRING BACK SOUVENIRS?

      Anything bought must be declared. Travelers should find out what is restricted or prohibited make sure you know what the restrictions and prohibitions are before buying souvenirs.

    • WILL MY CELL PHONE WORK IN PANAMA?

      Not likely. Contact your cell phone provider for options while in Panama. Whats App will allow you to text other Whats App users for free when connected to Wifi. Consider this app to help you stay connected.

    • WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED TO TRAVEL TO PANAMA?

      You will need a valid passport that’s effective for at least 6 months past your trip. Citizens from the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, and European Union countries do not need a visa to visit.

    • CAN I DRINK THE WATER?

      Water quality in Panama City and other urban areas is high and the water is drinkable, but we recommend erring on the side of caution and sticking with bottled water.

    • WILL I BE ABLE TO CHARGE MY PHONE, USE MY HAIR DRYER, ETC. IN PANAMA?

      Yes; no adapters or power converters are needed to use your electrical devices. However, you may need a 3 prong adapter as some outlets aren’t able to accommodate 3 prong plugs.

    • CAN I USE MY CREDIT CARD IN PANAMA?

      Yes; some urban area places will take credit cards, but cash is still the most common method of payment.

    • DO I NEED TO EXCHANGE MY U.S. CURRENCY FOR LOCAL CURRENCY?

      No! Panama has adopted the U.S. dollar as their currency. They have their own coins called Balboas and do not accept U.S. coins. Do not bring any bills larger than twenties as larger bills may not be accepted.

    • DO I NEED ANY SPECIFIC IMMUNIZATIONS TO VISIT PANAMA?

      Please check with the CDC to see what they recommend for travel to Panama. We also encourage you to visit your family doctor to discuss the recommendations.

    • WHAT TIME IS IT IN PANAMA?

      Panama is in the eastern standard time zone (EST), but does not observe daylight savings time.

    • WHAT KIND OF MEDICAL CARE DOES PANAMA HAVE?

      Panama City has some good public and private hospitals and clinics. However, outside the capital, medical care facilities are limited. Private hospitals require payment up front and can be expensive.

    • WILL I HAVE WIFI ACCESS AT THE HOTEL?

      Yes for the most part; most hotels offer free internet access. Check with the hotel upon check in. Many restaurants and other places offer free hotspots as well for public use.