Getting Prepared

  • Where do I get more information about the tour?

    The best place to look is the trip notes for each of our trips on the relevant pages of this website. This will give you details into the day-to-day itinerary and inclusions as well as other useful information. Once you’ve confirmed your booking, we will send out trip-specific pre-departure information, which will give you the lowdown about visas, vaccinations and all the other vital stuff you’ll need before you go.
  • What should I pack?

    Once you have confirmed your booking, we will send out a detailed pre-departure information pack covering all sorts of practical information, including a general packing list and a list of any other special items you may need to bring.
  • What immunisations do I need?

    Immunisations vary from country to country and we strongly recommend you visit your local doctor or contact the Travellers Medical and Vaccination Centre (www.traveldoctor.com.au) to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you about appropriate inoculations. In some places anti-malaria medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure, so allow plenty of time. It is also important that you obtain a certificate of vaccination and that you carry this with you on your trip. Please note that in some cases a certificate of vaccination is compulsory in order to obtain a visa.
  • Do I need to take any medical supplies?

    A suggested list of items to take with you will be sent out to you with your trip-specific info pack on confirmation of your booking. Please note however that this list doesn’t cover what medications to bring. We recommend you carry personal medical items for managing common minor ailments such as colds, diarrhoea, blisters and sore throats etc. Travellers who take regular medication should take an appropriate supply. Asthma sufferers should ensure that they have an adequate supply of their routine medicine, as some major cities have high levels of smog.
  • How much luggage can I take?

    As a general rule, pack light but bring all the essentials. Leave some space in your luggage – you’ll no doubt want to bring home some souvenirs from the communities and cities you visit. There will be occasions when you will be carrying your luggage on and off public transport, so you should consider travelling with a backpack or a soft duffel bag. Suitcases are okay on some of our trips, but not as practical. Each airline has specific rules as to luggage allowances – check directly with them or ask your travel consultant to confirm for you.
  • Will I be able to do any laundry?

    Some of the places we stay have laundry facilities, and those that don’t may have laundry facilities nearby, especially within cities. It is also a good idea to bring some ‘travel wash’, and a travel clothes line. This will help you cut down on packing space, and can be particularly useful if you are on a multi-day activity adventure, such as trekking in remote areas.
  • Do I need a sleeping bag?

    Sometimes. This varies depending on which trip you are booking on, and we will let you know in the pre-departure information pack that is sent out to you on confirmation of your booking.
  • How fit do I need to be?

    Our holidays are designed to be enjoyed by anyone who is reasonably fit. However, some trips visit remote areas where medical facilities are limited or non-existent, so you must be in good health. Some trips may include an activity element, or be entirely activity-based such as our cycling and trekking holidays, so some preparation and practise of the activity you will be doing is recommended. On all holidays, physical preparation is useful and a flexible, open-minded approach is essential. There are some other factors to consider: bumpy roads, dust, traffic, delays and unfamiliar customs and cultures may all create additional demands. You also sometimes have to carry your own bags so bear that in mind when deciding if you really need that extra pair of shoes. Our trips are all graded, which describes the focus, level of activity, comfort and style of the tour. They’re pretty self-explanatory grades: ‘moderate walk’ for example is just that, with days consisting of five or six hour-walks, so a reasonably good level of fitness is needed. A higher level of fitness is needed for our ‘moderate trek’ trips, and higher still for our challenging treks and mountaineering treks. We also have cultural adventures, cycling, remote adventures, expeditions, wildlife and wilderness – for every one of our trips, we give you a full run-through of all you need to take and everything you can expect while on your tour. See the trip notes for each of our tours for details of the trip type. For the tours we categorise as adventurous, challenging or remote, we may ask you to complete a questionnaire in advance.
  • Do I need to get a visa for my trip?

    Many of the countries we travel to require you have a visa before arrival. This will vary greatly depending on which country you are travelling to and which passport you hold. We will send you a trip-specific pre-departure information pack with your confirmation. This has all the visa information and the best way to obtain them if they are needed. It’s best to get visas sorted out as far in advance as possible – the processing time in some cases can be quite long.
  • Do I need to take Travel Insurance?

    It is compulsory that you have comprehensive travel insurance. Domestic government medical insurance and private health schemes will not cover you in most overseas countries. Peregrine has a policy designed to cover participants in our programs; please ask your consultant for full details. You may take other cover, of course, but we require you to be adequately insured before we can allow you to participate in our tours. Please check the terms of the policy carefully, particularly with regard to limits of cover (eg for replacement of photographic equipment, baggage loss, etc) and the procedure for making claims (for example, most policies stipulate that claims must be made within a certain time after completion of your journey). Your policy MUST cover medical costs in case of hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation. If you are going on one of our activity holidays, make sure your insurance covers you for this activity. Once you have paid your deposit or full payment, certain fees will apply if you cancel your holiday. Insurance should therefore be organised at the time of booking to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances that would require you to cancel before travelling. Your Peregrine leader will need two copies of your policy - the Tour Leader and our Ground Operator will keep one copy each in the unlikely event of an emergency. The copies must show the policy number and the emergency hotline phone number.
  • Can I get online whilst travelling?

    Internet cafés are plentiful throughout much of the world, particularly in major cities – an internet email address and a webcam/phone account (such as skype) are good ways of staying in touch.
  • Will my mobile work overseas?

    If you want to take your phone with you, there is a good chance that it will work in most major cities. Check with your service provider before you go if they have a reciprocal agreement with the countries you are travelling to, and make sure you remember to get international roaming turned on.
  • I am going on an activity holiday – trekking, cycling etc. Do I need to pack differently?

    Probably. Once you’ve confirmed your booking with us, we send you an information pack that is specific to the trip you’re going on. So if you’re climbing Aconcagua or cycling through Provence, all the information on what to bring and how to bring it will be with you well before your departure date. And if you’re still unsure about something or want further information, you can always contact us via email, phone or pop in for a chat.

Families and Private Groups

  • What about my family? I want to travel with my children.

    We offer family trips to fantastic destinations, with each itinerary planned with children in mind. From checking out China’s Great Wall to coming face-to-face with sea lions in the Galapagos, our family trips offer a great variety of culture, wildlife, exotic sights and are brilliant for both learning and fun. Each trip is packed with exciting things for kids and lots for adults as well. We give a minimum age for each trip. None of our family trips are strenuous, with the exception of our Nepalese trekking trips, which although they aren’t difficult by trekking standards, nonetheless require fitness and an enjoyment of walking.
  • I’m worried about long travelling days.

    For our family trips we try to minimise long travelling times, and we don’t do any disruptive travelling at night. We tailor our family trips so that the travelling we do is broken up with fun activities and interesting sights.
  • What activities can I do on a family trip?

    Our family trips are like all our other trips – varied activities in fantastic destinations, with lots of encounters with locals. You could be discovering Japan’s ancient Samurai history before visiting Disneyland, or riding an elephant in Thailand before a Mekong river cruise – all our family trips have unforgettable adventures. We often include physical activities that the whole family finds fun – for example kayaking, cooking, fishing and snorkelling – but we know that it’s important your family has time to relax as well. Where we can we choose hotels with pools and we keep out of the heat of the sun. Any activities always finish relatively early so you’re comfortably settled at your hotel early each evening.

Booking the Trip

  • Do I have to book online?

    No. Whilst this site is designed to make booking as easy as possible, we appreciate that sometimes it’s nice to talk to a human being, so give us a call! We can do the whole booking procedure over the phone, or you can come in and see us. Alternatively if you have a favourite travel agent, then by all means book through them.
  • If I’m booking a few trips at once, can I get a discount?

    Of course we reward loyalty. Book your second Peregrine trip and we'll give you a 5% discount. And if you really love to travel, then you'll receive your 10th trip for free (to the value of $2500). Get 10% off trips when you've taken 11 or more. And first time travellers get 5% off when you book three or more trips in the one transaction.
  • How do I know which trips are available?

    For each trip, we give details of the booking status – whether the trip is closed, places are available and if so how many remain to be filled. Also check the ‘guaranteed’ column – if a trip is listed as guaranteed, that means we’ve reached the minimum number for the trip to go ahead but that there may still be limited places remaining. Alternatively, you can telephone our travel experts.
  • Can I just do part of the tour?

    Unfortunately it is not possible to do sections of our tours. However, some of the longer tours are made up of smaller tours completed back-to-back, so it might be possible to book separately.
  • Does the tour price include international flights?

    The prices quoted on the site do not include international flights. Our team of adventure consultants are able to assist with all your travel plans, including your international flights – just ask us.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    There is no guarantee as to when other people will book and hence when the tour will fill up. Our advice is that when you know which one you want to book, don’t delay - put your name down as soon as possible, that way you won’t be disappointed. However, we can usually take bookings for most of our tours right up until the departure date if there are spaces left, so have a look at the availability.
  • When is the final payment due?

    The final payment is due in full 56 days before the departure of your trip. If you’ve booked your trip within 56 days of the departure date, full payment is needed, And last minute bookings require payment up front before confirmation. Please note that for our polar trips full payment is required 120 days before departure.
  • Can I book through a travel agent?

    Yes. Peregrine offers a full travel agency service – for example, we can handle your international flight bookings. However, if you have a favourite travel agent, by all means book through them.

You and Your Travelling Companions

  • Is this a typical group tour?

    Peregrine doesn’t offer typical group tours, and our customers aren’t typical group travellers. People who travel with us want to really get to grips with the country they’re visiting, to immerse themselves and to truly understand and appreciate the cultures they experience. From learning about the spectacular icebergs they’re floating past in Antarctica to watching the magical Dogon dancers of Mali, our travellers want to get up close to the world’s essential and greatest sights and to do so with experts and locals. It’s all about authentic experiences in exotic cultures – a combination that serves up unforgettable memories. And to get those authentic experiences, we keep our groups small – there are never more than 16 on a Peregrine tour. Our customers want a rich cultural experience that really gets under the skin of the place they’re visiting, so we have local leaders, work with local businesses wherever we can, and often have activities that help you get the most of the place you’re visiting.
  • Who will I be travelling with?

    While every group is different, Peregrine tours are generally an international crowd, with travellers often from Australia and New Zealand, the UK and North America. Most people who travel with Peregrine are in their 40s and 50s, although we see plenty of younger and older travellers as well. We also have a ‘backpacking’ brand, www.geckosadventures.com, which mainly caters for travellers in their 20s and 30s.
  • Are there any age limits?

    There is no specific upper age limit on our tours; they are more of a suggestion. The majority of travellers are in their 40s and 50s, but whether you’re older or younger, you’re welcome. The main thing is that you’re after a rich cultural exploration, some activities, and an off-the-beaten track adventure in a small group with local leaders.
  • How many people will be on the trip?

    The maximum group size on all trips is 16, and groups usually consist of about 9 travellers.
  • Do I need to be able to swim?

    Several of our holidays include travel by boat, ship or canoe. It is assumed by us that you can swim, unless you advise us otherwise. If you cannot swim, you must let us know, so we can let your tour leader know. However, swimming is by no means compulsory at any stage in our trips.
  • Is Peregrine group style travel for me?

    If you’re inquisitive and adventurous, want to travel in small groups and see the culture through the eyes of a local, then the answer is ‘yes’! We pride ourselves in offering the best small group adventure tours. Peregrine tours take you to the essential sites and out of the way gems, our local leaders know what’s great about their country and how to get the best out of it, and we always look for comfortable, interesting places to stay and activities that enrich your experience of the landscape and its people. Our tours get you closer to the places you are visiting. Immersing yourself with like-minded travellers in interesting, unique cultural experiences while we take the hassles out of travelling – taking care of the transport and accommodation, transfers and tickets, so that you can spend more time getting to know and enjoying the country you’re in. Peregrine isn’t for everyone. If you think it might not be your style, have a chat with one of our travel consultants and perhaps consider our ‘backpacking’ adventure brand, Gecko’s – www.geckosadventures.com.

Money Matters

  • What’s included in the trip cost?

    Included in the price of each trip is your tour leader, accommodation, transfers, transport on tour, entrance fees to all the major highlights, and you’ll also find we include several meals on many trips.
  • How much spending money do I need?

    Our trip notes give an indication of some typical prices of the destination you’re going to, and your pre-departure information pack will give more details. Remember that with Peregrine some of your meals, your transport, accommodation and entrance fees to major sites are paid in advance, so you don’t need to worry about these when you’re on holiday.
  • What is the best way to take money with me?

    A combination of cash, an ATM card and perhaps a credit card as back-up is good. Travellers cheques are a safe way to carry money, however travellers can find it difficult in some areas to exchange them. As a general rule, American dollars are accepted throughout the world, but make sure you have small denomination bills, and that they are not ripped or marked, as this may affect your ability to change them. And remember to check with your bank about using your bank cards overseas.
  • Do I need to tip the local guide?

    Your tour leader works hard to ensure you have a great trip, so please don’t hold back if you feel they have earned a tip for their efforts. If you would like to reward your leader for his or her services, you can choose to do so individually or make a group presentation at the end of the tour. Full details of tipping are covered in the trip-specific information pack that we send out to you before your departure.
  • Can I bring gifts for people?

    If you want to give to local people please bring something useful like pens or school books, not lollies. The other thing we insist upon is that gifts are distributed in an organised and responsible manner - either through the headmaster of a school or ask your tour leader what the most beneficial approach is. Some children, and even adults, may ask for things on the street, in villages, etc, and although giving may give both of you a brief moment of joy, handing things out like this only encourages begging and is destructive in the long term.

On Tour

  • Why do you use local tour guides?

    One of the main reasons many travellers choose Peregrine is because we exclusively use tour leaders who were born and raised in the region. They are highly qualified, speak excellent English and their intimate knowledge of their homeland enables them to show you things that other travellers miss out on. Travelling with a local leader means you enjoy a uniquely local perspective, meeting your leaders’ friends along the way, eating at restaurants where the locals eat and seeing sights you won’t find in guidebooks. Aside from the benefit to you, by employing locals, we are providing income and training to local people. And we work to ensure our staff and local partners are the best in the business. Throughout the regions we visit, our operators possess a wealth of knowledge and experience, so you can be confident you’re in safe hands. They are out in the field, continually monitoring and refining our adventures to ensure we offer the most innovative trips, as well as the best value for money.
  • How much free time is there?

    All our trips are a combination of organised activities and free time. Our detailed day-to-day itineraries are online and give you an idea of how much free time to expect. It sometimes depends on the trip – some of our trekking adventures, for example, may have less free time than other holidays we offer. Many of your most memorable experiences will occur when you branch out and do your own thing, so we know it’s important that you have time to yourself. The framework is in place and the details are taken care of, but on many days, you decide what you want to see and do. It’s your holiday, so it’s your choice.
  • Will there be time to explore the cities we start and end in, or should I allow extra time?

    With all of our tours, we strongly believe we have well balanced itineraries to enable you to explore all the places you are visiting. However, there is always more to discover and we can arrange additional accommodation, should you need it. We also have trip extensions around some of the great places we start and end trips in – many people, for example, after climbing Mount Kilimanjaro like to add a Zanzibar trip extension for some much needed rest!
  • What standard of hotels should I expect?

    We use quality hotels – they’re not extravagant, but they’re well-appointed, centrally located, have private bathrooms and amenities such as air conditioning in hot areas. They average around 3.5-4 stars, although you may get anything from 3 star, and, on occasion 5 star! When we go to out of the way places, we often stay as guests of local people in simple huts or longhouses for a night or two. They may not have the trappings of a hotel, but these accommodations are part of the adventure of exploring a country, and our travellers find these stays a highlight of their trip. Aside from being more interesting places to stay than bland hotels, they also help to keep costs down, and by supporting local businesses you help the local economy.
  • What will the food be like?

    Food is a highlight of Peregrine trips. Our local leaders take you to out of the way places and experience the best and most interesting cuisine of the cultures you visit. The leaders’ local knowledge will mean you can decipher menus, get useful tips on what to try, and visit all the most interesting restaurants and markets.
  • I’m a vegetarian or have special dietary needs, is that a problem?

    No problem. The only important thing is that you let us know in advance, so we can inform our local leaders. That way, they can make sure you are looked after in the local restaurants. It is important to realise that in some places your diet might be slightly limited, as meat often forms an integral part of the local diet. If in doubt, ask our consultants for their first-hand knowledge of each individual destination.
  • How do I get to the start of the tour?

    Airport transfers are usually included in the price of Peregrine tours – just check online or with our travel consultants. Tours always start in a specified hotel and we let you know exactly when you need to be at that hotel.
  • Can I book extra accommodation for the start or end of the tour?

    Yes. In all cases, we can organise extra accommodation for the start and end of the tour. Just let us know and we’ll organise a quote for you. We also have trip extensions in many of the destinations we travel to – more details are on this website or contact us. One small exception –visa regulations prevent us from booking additional accommodation in Bhutan.
  • What form of transport do we use?

    Wherever we can, we travel on public or locally owned transport – it benefits the local economy and gives travellers a more authentic experience of the country they’re in. Private buses are sometimes used on longer road journeys to guarantee our freedom to explore and to increase your comfort, so in these instances we hire vehicles from local suppliers. In certain areas, whether it’s the old quarter of a city or a remote rural valley, the best way to explore is on foot, so we try to incorporate walking activities into our itineraries. Elsewhere, we might use boats, ships, camels, bicycles... how we travel reflects our belief that the best travelling experiences are the most authentic and the ones that bring you closest to the cultures you are visiting.
  • Are there any long travelling days?

    Our itineraries indicate travelling time and mode of transport. Although there are some days where we travel relatively long distances, our trips are organised to make travelling as convenient and efficient as possible. We occasionally take domestic flights. Travelling by land between different parts of a country or region is sometimes a highlight of a trip, with interesting communities and spectacular landscapes encountered en route.
  • What will the weather be like?

    You’re best to contact one of our travel consultants or visit the country pages of our website for an indication. More information on climate and seasonal weather is contained in the trip-specific information pack, which you will be sent on confirmation of your booking.