Frequently Asked Questions
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- Why should I travel with U.Va. Cavalier Travels? U.Va. travel programs offer a unique lens through which to view the world. A key component of our programs is the U.Va. faculty who accompany each trip, accompanying as a friend, travel resource and great travel interpreter. These programs offer you the opportunity to meet wonderful U.Va. alumni, including those who live and work in your travel destination. U.Va. faculty and alumni have varied and often distinctive contacts in the countries you will visit, offering access to special sites and experiences otherwise not typically available. We offer the opportunity to study the region's people, culture, history, geography and ecology with some of U.Va.'s most distinguished faculty and with great alumni, opening up the world in new way for the entire U.Va. community.
- Do I have to be an Alum to travel on your trips? While Cavalier Travels programs are designed primarily for undergraduate and graduate alumni of the University of Virginia and their parents, these programs are also open to family and friends who wish to experience educational travel.
- Can I bring my family on a trip? Many of our programs are family-friendly and we encourage family travel with children aged 14 years and older who have an interest in the subject matter. Call our office to inquire about those possibilities. On occasion we will offer programs specifically designed to include younger children, and they will be described on our website and in our literature
- What are your physical and/or health requirements? All participants must be in good health to enjoy Cavalier Travels programs. Any condition that requires special medical attention or assistance must be reported at the time a reservation is made. Our website will give information on the rigors of individual trips. Most of our trips involve some walking, often on uneven surfaces or climbing stairs. Participants can “opt-out” of any excursion. If you have concerns about your ability to participate, please feel free to call us. We recommend you check with the operator, your physician, or other health resources (see Travel Resources page) to determine if there are specific health recommendations for your destination.
- How large or small are your trips? Trip size varies. Check the trip website or call for more information. Most of our land-based trips accommodate just 15-30 people.
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- What type of trips do you offer? We offer a variety of trips from land-based landmark and museum tours to all-inclusive luxury cruises, riverboat cruises and rail journeys.
- What's included in the price of a trip? Most travel is all-inclusive, covering meals, internal transportation, entrance fees and gratuities. We do facilitate some trips that are not all-inclusive to enable you to experience local cuisine on your own. We provide the best in-country guides and lectures led by U.Va.’s top faculty. We provide a full program of tours and excursions with first-rate English speaking guides. On programs with group airfare, transfers and baggage handling for participants on the recommended flight itinerary are also included. All pre-program materials, travel information, lectures and tours are included.
- Is airfare included in the price of a trip? Some programs include discounted group airfare. These economical flight options are limited to select gateway cities and frequent flyer up grades are not available (though, many of them will allow you to accrue frequent flyer miles). Unless specified, international and domestic airfare are not included in the price of a trip. Most of the tour operators with whom we work will arrange your air for you at an additional cost.
- Wouldn't it be cheaper to plan the trip on my own? Your own planning might or might not be less costly, depending on how you plan and what you choose to include. Traveling with Cavalier Travels offers many benefits that individuals could not reasonably get on their own. We often arrange visits to residences or gardens that are not open to the public, for example. Since U.Va trips are usually all inclusive and costs are based on group participation, opportunities to stay in comfortable accommodations and participate in special events are often included in these programs, but not available or not economically feasible when traveling on your own. Through our quality site guides and expert U.Va. faculty, we provide insight into your destination that would not be available to individual travelers. We look after the details so that you can relax and enjoy sharing experiences with like-minded people.
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- Do you offer or recommend travel insurance? We strongly encourage that you subscribe to optional baggage and trip-cancellation insurance. Explore cancellation insurance which will cover you either in the event you need to cancel or in the event of a political crisis or natural disaster. We do not offer trip insurance directly, but our operator will offer you information with your confirmation. Be sure to include both the cost of air travel and land arrangements in your insurance coverage. Trip insurance can also be found online at www.tripinsurancestore.com and/or www.americanexpress.com
- You may want to purchase optional travel health insurance as well. Check with your own health insurer to determine if and in what way you are covered when outside the United States. Some things to keep in mind: Medicare does not currently provide coverage for those traveling outside the United States. This restriction applies to passengers on board cruise ships that are registered in a foreign country (almost all cruise ships have foreign registry).
- Your credit cards may cover you in some areas. Make sure you find out exactly what they cover.
- It's a good idea to have your camera, jewelry, sports equipment or any valuable personal possessions specially scheduled on your homeowner's policy. Travel Insurance limits what you can claim for certain personal belongings.
- Many health insurance plans do not guarantee payment directly to foreign hospitals. They may have a deductible or they may not cover the cost of emergency medical transportation. Deductibles or co-payments frequently apply outside most plan service areas.
- Do you have a catalog that lists all of your trips? We issue a full-line destinations catalog each Fall. To ensure that you receive a catalog, please e-mail us at email@example.com or call 866-765-2646 to let us know of your interest. In the meantime, our website will be updated as soon as new trips are confirmed, so it will be the best place to go for the most up-to-date information.
- How can I ensure I receive information about the specific trips that interest me? To ensure that you receive information about each trip that interests you, request trip information as early as possible. Request information online or call us anytime at 866-765-2646.
- When is trip information available? Information is generally printed six to nine months in advance. If you request information before it is printed, the material will be sent to you when It is available.
- Will I automatically receive detailed program descriptions of all trips? After you receive the catalog, you can request more detailed program descriptions by sending in the card found in the catalog, making the request online, or calling us at 866-765-2646.
- Does U.Va. ever cancel sponsorship of a trip? Yes. The University of Virginia will cancel its endorsement of and faculty and staff participation in any program destination for which a Travel Warning is issued by the U.S. Department of State. Vendor Terms of Agreement will specify under what circumstances the vendor will cancel a program and/or under what circumstances participants might receive some reimbursement if they cancel their travel with the vendor themselves. Cavalier Travels strongly recommends that you purchase trip cancellation insurance which might include appropriate coverage, to protect non-refundable costs in such an eventuality.