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Frequently Asked Questions
A: Our tour directors are caring professionals who go out of their way to look after the personal interests and needs of each guest. Our tour directors are qualified historians and gourmet experts who have lived and worked in France, know the history and culture intimately, and are passionate about this beautiful country! Some of our tour directors are French-speaking Australians, and some are English-speaking French. Please see our “About Us” page for more details.
Q: Can I organise my other travel arrangements for my holiday through Toujours France?
A: We offer pre- and post tour accommodation in Paris at either the hotel being used on the tour, or if your budget requirements are different, at a wide selection of other hotels and apartments. We also offer transfers and local sightseeing, and a very large selection of hotels and apartments throughout France.
Our associated travel agency, Pan Australian Travel, can organise your airfares, train travel, car hire, tours in other countries and travel insurance. They offer extremely competitive prices for our tour participants. Please see our “About Us” page for further details.
Q: What type of hotels can we expect on our tour?
A: The accommodation we offer is four star and three star standard. Some tours are a mix, and some are all the one standard, ie all four star or all three star. It is important to remember that many hotel rooms throughout Europe are often quite a bit smaller than we are used to in Australia.
All the hotels we use have been inspected by a member of our staff and chosen according to our criteria. We look for a high standard of comfort and charm. A warm welcome by staff is also important, as is location. We prefer hotels in the historic centre of a town or city where possible, or if staying in the country, a village or location where you will have access to a variety of restaurants, cafes and activities in your leisure time.
We have many criteria and very high standards. However we ask our guests to understand that not all hotels can satisfy them all, and that all hotels vary. In certain areas, especially those that are isolated, choice is limited. It is also very important for our guests to accept that within the one hotel, especially charming and/or historic properties, rooms can vary in style and size. In a group situation this is out of our control and there will be no compensation offered for these variances. We do offer a minimum standard of room and guarantee that this standard will be met.
Q: I am travelling on my own and the single supplement is a lot extra. Why is this?
A: Nearly all hotels charge a supplement when there is only one person in a room. If a hotel charges the same price for a room no matter whether there are one or two people in it, this means that the price per person will be twice as much for a single traveller than for a couple or two friends sharing. This is frustrating for single travellers and we do try to keep our single supplements as low as possible, but there is little we can do to alleviate this problem.
Q: I am happy to pay the single supplement as I am travelling alone. What kind of room can I expect?
A: When paying a single supplement you may be staying in a single room, or you may be lucky enough to receive a double room for the same price. This varies according to the hotel. On most tours you can choose to pay a higher supplement and be guaranteed a double room for sole occupancy.
Q: What are bathrooms like in France?
A: It is very common in France and throughout Europe that the shower is placed over the bath. If a guest has mobility problems, and think they will have problems getting in and out of the bath, it is possible for us to request a room with free standing shower, or room for guests with disabilities (which usually have bars etc to hold onto). However often a hotel may only have one of these rooms to offer, and it may be booked out. Therefore guests must be prepared that we may not be able to satisfy this request.
Q: I would like tea/coffee making facilities in my room. Is this possible?
A: No, it is very rare for hotel rooms in France to provide this facility. The “café society” predominates in French culture and there is always a large number of cafes within walking distance from the hotel. Often you can ask for tea/coffee at the bar downstairs.
Q: Can the tour itinerary change much after we have booked?
A: We plan our tours with enormous care and with consideration being given to opening times, travelling times, availability of refreshments, etc. We also place a great deal of emphasis on guests enjoying leisure time in each place, the better to soak up the ambience of each location.
The itineraries in this brochure are as accurate as we can make them at time of publication. However occasionally situations arise such as the close of a building for restoration, or a restaurant slipping to below our usual standards, that necessitate alterations to the itinerary. Any need to deviate from the original itinerary will always involve a substitution of equal value or standard.
Q: What kind of meals are provided on the tour? I don’t want “canteen” type meals that seem to often be offered on group tours.
A: Our restaurants are selected for the quality of menus, wine and ambience. Restaurants are not always sophisticated but will always be an authentic experience with to the best of local cuisine. Many of our restaurants are real highlights of the tour and chosen to give you an extra dimension to your experience of a particular region.
Sometimes between visits restaurant standards can rise or fall and we endeavour to keep up-to-date with these issues through our local contacts. However these things are sometimes beyond our control and we ask that our guests understand that such occurrences, good or not so good, are a part of the travel experience.
On most of our tours many meals are included in the tour price. However we always leave a number of meals free for you to enjoy independent dining. If you prefer company you should always communicate this to your tour director and they will organise other like minded people to dine together.
Q: Do you provide lots of tips such as what type of clothing I should pack, what currency to take overseas, etc.?
A: We take pride in extremely comprehensive and beautifully presented documentation, which includes our “Traveller’s Companion”, with lots of tips and local information. You will receive this with your final tour documentation, about one month before you travel.
Q: Can we expect to have our luggage taken care of everywhere we go?
A: Sometimes. You need to expect to carry your luggage yourself at times during the trip. In our four star hotels, porterage is always provided, but in three star hotels, this is not necessarily a feature. Your tour director will always endeavour to help if you are having trouble. At train stations, porterage is always provided in Paris but is not always available at country stations, so again, you need to be prepared to carry your own on and off the train and to the bus if necessary.