While this is the first time Cohica has offered Guided Trips, we expect the experience to be a lot like our Custom and Designed Trips - well-paced, stress-free and loaded with authentic experiences, amazing hotels and stunning scenery. However, this time you’ll have the added benefit of sharing your travel with a small group of like-minded people, local guides, and us!
What is included?
Just about everything! Virtually every travel expense is included in one up-front price – airport transfers, luxury boutique accommodations, meals as specified in the itinerary, authentic experiences with local guides, private transportation from one destination to the next, and all entry fees and appropriate gratuities.
What is the group size?
Our groups are capped at 12 travelers. Every Cohica Guided Trip is led by both Ryan and Megan, for a maximum 6:1 traveler to Trip Leader ratio.
What kind of people travel with Cohica?
Cohica Travelers are people who value connecting with the local culture through authentic, active and participatory experiences. This curiosity and appreciation of authenticity runs through every person who has traveled with Cohica to date, so we expect the group to include a wonderful mix of backgrounds with a common philosophy for travel.
Is there an age restriction?
At this timeout Guided Trips are limited to adults only.
How active are Cohica Guided Trips?
Please be prepared to walk up hills, oftentimes on uneven or cobbled streets. Guided hikes may be included in trip itineraries but will be optional.
Will I have a choice of activities?
Each trip will include 1-2 days where you will have a choice between two different activities. This will split up the larger group and allow for customization based on individual interests and preferred activity level.
How much free time can I expect to have?
We will have a minimum of one planned group experience per day. Free time will range from 1-4 hours, at which time we will provide tips of what to see and do in your destination.
What type of accommodation is included?
We will stay in highly-rated boutique hotels, luxury agriturismos (farmstays), and unique resorts and villas. We visit each of the properties personally, to ensure they are comfortable, offer a high level of service, and provide an authentic feel and sense of place. The hotels are minimum of 3 stars, but generally of the 4 to 5 star level, (according to the European Hotel Stars system).
What type of transportation is included?
Transportation is via small luxury, air conditioned vans. Drivers take country roads instead of highways whenever possible for the best scenery. The minibuses do not have restrooms, but we won’t travel more than 1.5 hours without a break. We often include stops at historical sights, wineries, or restaurants to break up a journey.
What type of activities & experiences are included?
Activities will be authentic, immersive and reflective of the destination. We often include workshops and classes encouraging participation and experiences that you wouldn’t get at home. Activities are either pre-arranged by us with our personal contacts, or with our trusted network of local guides.
Should I be concerned about safety or crime?
In general, Europe is a safe, secure and organized place to travel. In the unlikely event of an emergency, we are familiar with the local emergency numbers and procedures, as well as the local healthcare system. That being said, we encourage you to be empowered while traveling - to always be aware of your personal surroundings and follow your intuition on anything that ‘doesn’t feel right.’
What if I don’t speak the language?
One of the benefits of traveling with a group is that you’ll always have an English-speaking American trip leader nearby to help with the local language and bridge the gap between American and local culture. That being said, we encourage you to try to speak the local language! Most Guided Trips include a ‘crash course’ with a local teacher to learn simple phrases, how to order, how to locate a bathroom, etc., during the first couple days of the trip.
I have special dietary requirements - will this be a problem?
Absolutely not. Please inform us of any dietary restrictions or allergies before the trip and we will be sure the chefs are aware. We take allergies very seriously.
What if guided/group travel is not for me?
No problemo. Traveling with a small group is not for everyone. Check out our independent Designed Trips, or contact us about creating a Custom Travel Plan just for you.
Booking & LOGISTICS
How far in advance can I / should I book?
We recommend securing your spot as soon as possible. There are only 12 spots available on each trip and we anticipate a full group..
How do I secure my spot on the trip?
A $500 booking deposit per person will be due at time of booking. After we receive your booking deposit, your spot on the trip is secured.
What is the payment schedule?
After the initial $500 per person booking deposit, the final payment (the remainder of the trip cost) will be due 90 days before the departure date.
What is the cancellation policy?
We very much hope you don’t have to cancel, but in the event you do, our cancellation fees are as follows:
Cancellation 30 days before the trip: 100% of the trip price
Cancellation 60 days before the trip: 50% of the trip price
Cancellation 90 days before the trip: 25% of the price
The $500 per person booking deposit is non-refundable.
How can I be confident to book during COVID-19?
Your health and safety is absolutely our highest priority. We’re constantly monitoring travel restrictions and regulations in the countries where we travel. In the event that it is unsafe to travel and there are travel restrictions in place, we will reschedule the trip for a later date. If the alternative trip dates don’t work for you, we will provide a full refund.
Are flights included?
International flights to and from the U.S. are not included in Cohica Guided Trips. However, if you’d like our recommendations on the most cost-effective and efficient flights from your home airport, just ask.
Is the trip guaranteed to depart?
Yes. We do not require a minimum number of travelers and guarantee every trip departure. Only in the case of a force majeure would we postpone or cancel a trip.
Can Cohica help me with travel plans before or after the Guided Trip?
Most certainly. If you’d like to travel independently before or after the Guided Trip, we can develop a mini Custom Travel plan, with our recommendations of where to go, what to do and where to stay, based on your personal preferences and travel style. We can then book your Custom Trip and include all of your travel information in your pre-trip packet.
Do I need a visa or passport?
Europe does not require entry visas, but please be sure to check your U.S. passport’s expiration date before reserving your spot on the Guided Trip. It must be valid for three months beyond your return date for you to travel.
Should I bring credit cards and/or local currency?
Yes. Before leaving the U.S., contact your credit card company and bank to advise them of your travel dates and destination, and to be aware of any international transaction or withdrawal fees. When you arrive, we recommend you visit a local ATM to withdraw cash - the exchange rate that your bank provides will be better than a Currency Exchange counter at the airport, even with an ATM withdrawal fee. Generally, nearly every major shop or restaurant accepts international credit cards, with Visa and Mastercard being a bit more common than American Express. However, in many small towns and at local markets, cash is best.
How do I stay connected while traveling?
Depending on how much you want to be connected, you have a few options:
Contact your mobile provider before leaving and sign up for a temporary global plan with international data and/or calls.
If your phone is unlocked, you can visit a local mobile provider and purchase a prepaid SIM card once you arrive. The local SIM cards range in number of minutes, data usage and duration. If you’re interested in this option, we can provide our recommendation for the best local providers.
Disconnect during the day (turn your data off) and use your phone for photos only, then hop on WiFi at local cafes or at the hotel.
Do I need an electric adapter?
Yes, although many hotels now have universal outlets, you will need a simple plastic European electric adapter. If you forget, you can purchase one at many stores in major cities.
How much luggage should I bring?
Please limit your luggage to one suitcase and one ‘personal item’ (backpack, tote bag, etc.) per person. If checking luggage on international flights, we always recommend packing a change of clothing and other essential items/medication in your carry-on bag, just in case.
What should I pack?
We will provide a packing list for men and women in your pre-trip packet.