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Experience the Magic of the Yamabushi Monks
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Country Walkers FAQ

Airfare FAQ

While we can make a reservation without an up to date passport, Country Walkers strongly recommends having a current passport when reserving a vacation to avoid any fees that will incur if you need to make changes more than two weeks after reserving. Make sure that your passport is valid until six months after the end of your trip.

Please be advised: Due to new U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) mandates, customers making a reservation are required to provide their Secure Flight passenger information exactly as it appears on the government-issued identification card they plan to use when traveling.

Passengers MUST have their information EXACTLY as it appears on their Passport. NO NICKNAMES. Please note that your middle name will not appear on your flight itinerary.

For example:

Your FULL NAME exactly as it appears on your passport.
If your middle name is spelled out on your passport, it needs to be the same when you make a reservation:
e.g. Martin James Cruz

If your middle name is abbreviated on your passport, it needs to be the same when you make a reservation:
e.g. Martin J. Cruz

For decades, our walking tours have been celebrated for bringing you the best of the world, one step at a time. They include many meals, follow off-the-beaten-track routes, and showcase accomplished, local guides. Our Air Packages simply add the convenience of letting us handle all of your travel arrangements to this already exceptional experience. They include two extra nights of hotel accommodations (as listed), complimentary airport car service for arrival and departure on scheduled dates, affordably priced airfare, and the option of adding Pre- or Post-Tour Extensions. Since your flights are being planned by the creators of your tour, you can count on them to meld seamlessly with the rest of your itinerary.

Our Self-Guided Walking tours are a great way to enjoy your vacation your way. They include detailed maps and route notes so you can easily navigate and seamless luggage transfers that whisk your bags from hotel to hotel while you’re out walking. When you add air, you’ll be getting an itinerary from our expert air department at a great price due to our partnerships with major airlines. You’ll also have the option to add on pre- or post-tour nights in some locations.

We work with most major carriers worldwide to get you the best flights at the best value. Flights will be selected with a focus on getting you the best routing available!

Your flight itinerary will be emailed to you soon (usually within two weeks) after you reserve your trip, but you are still free to request changes until 95 days prior to departure. If any changes are made to the flights, either at your request or by the airlines, we will email an updated itinerary to you, showing the current flight plan. If you reserve more than 10 months prior to departure, you will receive your itinerary around 10 months prior to departure when flights become available to book.

Wherever possible, we will request the best seats available for you when we reserve the flights (usually a few days after your Country Walkers reservation is made). By default, we look for what most of our guests want:

  • For a solo traveler, we look for an aisle seat.
  • For two people traveling together, we look for an aisle seat and the adjacent seat.
  • For all travelers, we look for seats in the side rows, not the middle.
  • For all travelers we look for seats as far forward in the plane as possible.
  • If these are not your preferences, please tell your Tour Consultant when reserving! We want to know how to make your trip smooth and comfortable!

You may see your current seat requests online any time at CheckMyTrip.com.

Wherever seat selection is allowed, we will select the best available seats for you. Airlines do not always allow pre-selection of seats on all flights, and some seats are only available for a fee, which must be paid directly to the airline. Please view your reservation on the airline website airline(s) directly for seat pricing within the month before your departure, as it is subject to change. Once tickets have been issued, they are non-refundable and non-changeable, but seats can still be purchased.

Our prices include all airline surcharges and government taxes and fees. There may be additional costs for departing from a different airport or customizing your package.

Please click here for more detailed information regarding your airline baggage information and fees.

Your comfort is our top priority! When selecting your flights, we will look for the fewest connections available. While some flights will require multiple stops, we do everything we can to minimize the stress of traveling by choosing the most direct flights our partners offer, and wherever possible, avoiding long layovers. Some destinations may require more flight connections than others. Please contact a Tour Consultant if you have itinerary questions about a specific destination.

We’re happy to take requests for departure cities that aren’t on our list. When making your reservation, ask your Tour Consultant about flying from your home city. Typically, we will be able to provide routing and pricing details for your confirmation within just a few days!

If you want to arrive early, return late, travel to additional locations, or customize your travel plans in any other way, ask your Tour Consultant! We are able to accommodate most requests and are happy to work with you to make your trip perfect for you!  Our complimentary airport transportation is only included when you arrive or depart on our scheduled dates using our airfare.  If you book individual flights on your own separate from our ticket, transportation to and from the airport would not be available and you would be responsible for booking your own transportation.  You can find suggestions for transfer companies in your Vacation Preparation Handbook.

Please note: There is a fee associated with this Custom Air option, and additional charges besides the standard fee may apply.

In order to offer the value that we are proud to provide, we work within very strict guidelines dictated by our airline partners. Unfortunately, that means that most itineraries cannot be supplemented with air miles. If you are a Frequent Flyer member of an airline, you can submit your boarding passes, as proof of flight, directly to the airline to try to secure some credit. All decisions about air miles are made by the airlines.

In order to offer the value that Country Walkers is proud to provide, we work within very strict guidelines dictated by our airline partners. Unfortunately, that means that most itineraries cannot be supplemented with air miles. When tickets have been issued, you may be able use miles to upgrade directly with the airlines*.

*If your membership rules require the tickets to be issued in a certain booking class for upgrade, please tell your Tour Consultant. We will be happy to let you know whether we can issue the tickets in that booking class, and if so, whether there will be a difference in cost.

If you are a Frequent Flyer member of an airline, you may be able to get credit for some or all of the miles by applying directly to the airline. Please save your boarding passes, as you may be required to submit them as proof of flight. All decisions about air miles are made by the airlines and cannot be influenced by Country Walkers.

Country Walkers gets some great deals on cabin upgrades, and we’ll be happy to check for availability on your flights. Just ask your Tour Consultant! If cabin upgrades are available, we’ll let you know what extra cost would be involved. If the price is right for you, we’ll make the upgrade for you!

Upgraded economy seats may be available for an extra charge once your tickets have been issued, either directly through the airline or with the help of our friendly Guest Services team. Please contact us for further details!

Your final trip documents will include the phone number and email address of our 24/7 emergency assistance line. All airlines are responsible for rebooking travelers on the next available flight. The assistance team can help advise you on how best work with the airlines to arrive at your destination as well as guide you on your next steps for additional scenarios.

If you’re traveling with a companion on a separate reservation and you would like to fly together from/to the same city on the same dates, just let us know and we’ll make every effort to book you matching routes.

Change requests are best received by Country Walkers prior to 95 days before your departure and may incur additional fees. Change requests received within 95 days of departure frequently come with higher fees from the airline.

All commercial flights are subject to change at any time by the airline, including those flights we schedule on your behalf. While flight schedule changes can mean big changes, we will be handling most of the work, so big changes don’t mean big headaches! If anything changes, we will notify you and send you an updated itinerary, so you can travel with confidence!

If you prefer a special airline meal (vegetarian, salt-free, low-calorie, kosher, etc.), please call the airline directly to reconfirm your requests after you receive your final itinerary email with your e-ticket number.

Absolutely! Your flight itinerary will be emailed to you soon (usually within two weeks) after you reserve your trip, and it will contain a booking reference number. You can then go to CheckMyTrip.com and register. If you reserve more than 10 months prior to departure, you will receive your itinerary around 10 months prior to departure when flights become available to book.

Tickets are usually issued about one month before the departure date, but issue dates can vary. We’ll be happy to issue your tickets early upon request. Once tickets are issued, we can no longer make any changes, and the tickets will be nonrefundable, so you’ll want to be quite sure all your arrangements are final before requesting that we issue the tickets early. Your flights will still be subject to change by the airlines at all times. When tickets are issued, we will send you an updated flight itinerary that includes your e-ticket numbers. The check-in agent at the airport will use these numbers to print boarding passes.

Any U.S. citizen traveling by air within the continental U.S. is required to carry either a valid passport or a REAL ID in order to comply with the REAL ID Act. Most REAL IDs have a star on the top right corner of its state-issued driver’s license or identification card signifying compliance, however, a few states (Hawaii, Tennessee, Ohio, and Utah) have issued compliant REAL IDs without a star. You can learn more about the REAL ID here.

If you choose to book your own airfare, we can reserve you on a package that allows you to add the pre or post hotel nights, as well as the pre and post extensions.  Hotels are subject to availability.  When you book your own airfare, transportation to and from the airport would not be available and you would be responsible for booking your own transportation.  You can find suggestions for transfer companies in your Vacation Preparation Handbook.

Vacation Preparation

Each day’s walks have been carefully designed to bring you through a range of landscapes—from olive groves to medieval villages—so you can experience the breadth of a place. Of course, it’s not just about walking: scheduled stops take you deeper into your destination’s culture, with included wine tastings, visits with locals, and more. With options to shorten (or lengthen!), a walk and detailed activity ratings for every tour, we make sure to invigorate but never exhaust you.

On our guided tours, unless otherwise announced by your leaders, breakfast is usually served every morning around 8:00 a.m. Please come to breakfast dressed and ready for hiking. Your guides will then review the day’s itinerary so that you can plan your day accordingly. On Self-Guided tours, the day’s timing is up to you: get started bright and early or sleep in as much as you want.

Need something? On guided tours, your guides are here to provide snacks, refill water bottles, and offer pep talks…whatever it takes to make your day perfect. On Self-Guided tours, your detailed route notes give you the inside scoop on every aspect of your destination: where to stop, things to skip, and what you just can’t miss.

Most guests arrive back at the hotel between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m., depending on the route selected and individual pacing. This allows time to relax, enjoy the property, or take a stroll before dinner. You will find your luggage waiting for you each afternoon when changing hotels.

Conversations with local people can be a highly rewarding part of traveling. People are often intrigued by our groups, and are happy to chat with respectful visitors. On guided tours, your guide can help you get the ball rolling.

Your attire is a key part of your non-verbal presentation. Your clothing should show a respect for local tradition. Dress modestly if you want to connect with older and more traditional people, especially in smaller villages.

The etiquette of photographing people is about the same as it is on the streets of your own town. You need permission to take a close-up (you can always ask your guides to help facilitate this on guided tours), but not for a crowd scene.

On our guided tours, our Country Walkers vehicle gets you to the trailhead, reunites with you at trail’s end, and meets you wherever possible in between. It’s your safety net when you need a break along the way.    Self-guided adventures do not have a support vehicle.

We have adopted a no-smoking policy in the support vehicle and at meals.  We also reserve only non-smoking rooms for our guests at all of our hotels.

We cannot control smoking policies in public places, such as restaurants, but we ask that Country Walkers group members wait until after meals to smoke.

Your documents will be sent according to the schedule below. Please make sure your email is up to date on your reservation.  We will be sending all documents to you via email.  Once we’ve emailed documents to you, you’ll be able to view them in your MyAccount whenever you’d like.  Depending on the details you provided when you making your reservation, we will email you to ask for missing information, like passport details.  Please keep an eye out for these emails and update your information right away.

Within the first two weeks of reserving your tour:

  • Welcome and invoice
  • Information on how to log in to your My Account
  • Travel Protection information
  • Packing List/Vacation Preparation Handbook
  • City information for arrival/departure cities and Pre- and Post-Trip Extensions
  • Participation Agreement
    • Please note every guest must sign this document.

45 Days after you reserve:

  • Trip Reservation Evaluation Survey*

*Please take a few minutes and respond to our questions about the quality of your reservation booking experience so that we can continuously provide excellent service.

75 DAYS Prior to your departure:

  • Packing List/Vacation Preparation Handbook


  • Order your complimentary gift from Country Walkers


  • Final air itinerary with e-ticket number

28 Days Prior to your departure:    

  • Final day-to-day itinerary

After you return home:        

  •      Please rate and complete an online review of your Country Walkers vacation
    • Your review may be featured on the Country Walkers website.
  • Post-Vacation Guest Evaluation Survey
    • Please take a few minutes and respond to our questions about the quality of your experience. We monitor our guests’ opinions after every trip, and often have an opportunity to make immediate changes if they are pointed out to us.


For international travel, the State Department recommends passports be valid for at least six months beyond your return date. In addition to a passport, many countries require a visa for entry. To obtain the most current entry requirements for your upcoming trip, we recommend you consult travel.state.gov. Residents of Canada should consult travel.gc.ca/.

NOTE: You must have a blank page in your passport booklet for each country you will visit.

To renew your passport by mail or to obtain extra pages, you may request a form at your local post office. We recommend that you renew or obtain a new passport as soon as possible as wait times are very long (currently 10-13 weeks).

If you are applying for your first passport, check the U.S. Government ‘Blue Pages’ listings in your phone book for the closest U.S. Passport Office, or apply online at the U.S. Department of State website, travel.state.gov. Residents of Canada should consult travel.gc.ca/.

Travelers who prefer having this process managed for them can contact Pinnacle Travel Document Systems online at PinnacleTDS.com or [email protected]. They will professionally manage your passport and travel visa requirements. The cost for assistance is generally between $200 -$400 per traveler. Assistance fees are non-refundable so be sure to clearly review the quote you receive from Pinnacle. We encourage guests to exercise extreme caution about passport-service companies found through an online search. Many are scams.

If your passport is not valid for at least six months following your scheduled return, you may be refused admittance to a country and, consequently, required by that country’s government to return to your country immediately.

Please keep in mind that the spelling of your first and last names on your Country Walkers trip invoice must be the same as it is on your passport. We use this spelling for your air ticket.

If you are travelling with a non-USA passport, please make sure to check entry and exit requirements for your destination.

Emergency Photocopies

The smartest and easiest security precaution you can take is to carry photocopies of the personal information pages of your passport, your air ticket, and your credit cards. Add the phone numbers for reporting lost credit cards and for your travel protection company and medical emergency network. Store the copies in your bag, separate from the originals. Additionally, take pictures of all documents and store them on your phone while you are traveling. This can save you immeasurable time, money, and bother if your documents are lost or stolen during your trip.

Please check with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding recommended vaccinations and other health advice for traveling in the region. You can obtain information in a number of ways:

You can call the CDC’s International Traveler’s Hotline toll-free at 877.FYI.TRIP
24 hours a day. Please note that automated information is arranged typically by disease, rather than by country or region.

Visit the CDC’s website at cdc.gov/travel, where you will find comprehensive information about preventing illness while traveling.

We offer a six-week walking fitness plan, created by certified athletic trainers, to help you prepare for your trip. Our easy-to-follow exercise plan incorporates walking, cross training, stretching, and yoga, and will help you get the most out of your exercise routine, whether you’re a novice, a veteran, or anywhere in between. It even includes tips for walking on uneven terrain! For a copy of your Couch to 10K Plan please visit images.vbt.com/CW-Training-Plan.pdf.

Review Your Tour

We’d love to hear from you! Please leave a review about your experience on the Country Walkers website. You will receive an email after you return from your trip with a link to the review page. Or simply go to countrywalkers.com to find the tour you would like to review and click the “Write a Review” link near the tour name at the top of the page. Please note these online reviews do not replace the Post Tour Guest Evaluation we also send you when you return from your CW adventure, as those are only used internally. Thank you for your feedback!


COVID-19 Policy FAQ

Country Walkers no longer has any COVID requirements to join our tours. This policy could change at any time.

Search for your destination country here to find country specific travel requirements by looking at the Entry and Exit Requirements section.

To keep our guests and communities safe and healthy, it’s important for all Country Walkers guests to follow the local health and safety requirements for their travel destination. While traveling with us, it’s important for guests to actively monitor their own well-being—and we encourage everyone to use common-sense preventative measures such as regular handwashing (or use of hand sanitizer) and/or wearing a face mask, as it aligns with individual guest preference.  Any guest who begins to feel unwell while traveling with us will be encouraged to self-isolate and/or wear a mask to protect their fellow travelers. As always, by traveling with Country Walkers, guests agree to be accountable for their own well-being—and to respect the health and safety of their fellow travelers and the Country Walkers staff.

Country Walkers highly recommends that guests purchase travel protection for potential coverage in these types of situations.

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