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Guided Tours FAQ

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General Questions

1. Is travel insurance available?

We understand that unforeseen circumstances can arise, and that is why we have teamed up with Trip Mate* to offer you the opportunity to purchase Travel Protection for your peace of mind. You can browse an overview of their coverage here. While purchasing travel protection is not compulsory on a YMT Vacation, we recommend protecting your trip from unexpected events. Coverage will only apply during the tour you choose to protect. 

You may have coverage from other sources that provides you with similar benefits, but this may be subject to different restrictions. We recommend comparing the terms of any travel protection policy with your existing life, health, home, and automobile insurance policies. If you have any questions about your current coverage, call your insurer, insurance agent or broker. 

Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. For more details and to purchase Travel Protection, call 1-888-567-8060

*If you previously purchased travel protection for an upcoming tour through our partnership with Allianz, this remains unaffected. 

2. What happens if I cancel my tour reservation? 

We strongly encourage you to purchase Travel Protection. Cancelling your tour may result in loss of deposit, airline fees, supplier fees, and cancellation penalty of up to 100%. Please call YMT Vacations immediately to verify penalty fees incurred. 

3. What if my tour is cancelled/suspended by YMT? Can I get a refund?   

YMT reserves the right to cancel or reschedule any trip departure for any reason, including insufficient demand, strikes, lockouts, riots, stoppage of labor or Force Majeure Event (see under “Force Majeure”). 

In the event of a cancellation by YMT prior to departure for reasons excluding Force Majeure (see section “Force Majeure”), YMT will try, at your discretion, to rebook the same trip with a different departure date, or a similar trip, but there is no guarantee of availability. YMT will refund the difference in price if the alternate is lower. You are responsible for additional costs if the alternate is higher. If this rebooking option is not acceptable to you, YMT’s only responsibility is to refund the amounts paid by you for the reservation. 

In the event of a cancellation by YMT prior to departure or during your trip for conditions under Force Majeure (see section “Force Majeure”), YMT will provide a future travel/booking credit for the portion of your trip impacted. Future travel/booking credit will be redeemable for travel with YMT for one year past your original trip start date. 

YMT is not liable or responsible for any arrangements made independently by you. YMT assumes no responsibility for costs or fees you incur for independent arrangements not booked through us, inclusive of, but not limited to, airline, hotel, excursion, and travel insurance related charges. 

4. What are the identification and passport requirements for my tour? 

While YMT Vacations provides guidance on passport, visa, and travel document information on our website and in our “Know Before You Go” packet sent with Final Documents, ultimately each guest is responsible for ensuring they have all the necessary documents required for a tour.  

For domestic tours, beginning May 7, 2025, all air travelers holding a US passport will require REAL ID-compliant identification as set by the Department of Homeland Security’s REAL ID standards. Before this date, any government-issued ID, including any state driver’s license and any federal ID, will suffice for domestic travel.

More details about REAL ID and identification requirements:

  • All federal IDs are REAL ID-compliant. These include US passports, US passport cards, US military IDs, and federally recognized tribal-issued photo IDs. A full list can be found here: 
    https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification 
  • A REAL ID-compliant driver’s license is also acceptable for flights within the US. To check if your driver’s license is REAL ID-compliant, check for a gold or black star in the upper right-hand corner of your license. If your driver’s license is not REAL ID-compliant, be sure to bring a federal ID (such as your US passport) to the airport. 

For in-depth information, check out our article Do I Need A Real ID To Fly? 

For tours beyond the United States, including tours with stops in Canada and Mexico, a passport is required. Most countries require passports to be valid for at least 6 months after the end date of the tour. Some countries require additional visas, e-Visas, or other travel authorizations for US and other foreign citizens. Each country’s requirements differ, so please check the details for your specific tour. Visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html for application and renewal information. 

*Please note the passport application or renewal process is taking longer and may take up to 16 weeks to complete. It’s extremely important guests planning to travel check the validity of their passports not only for expiration date, but also to ensure that they have at least 6 months of validity after the final date of travel. 

For travel to Europe, ETIAS (which stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System) is scheduled to launch in mid-2025. It will allow US citizens traveling to Europe to authorize a trip before they travel using a quick online form. It’s estimated to cost less than $10 and will be valid for 3 years. ETIAS will allow a maximum 90-day stay within any 180-day period. It’s not a visa designed to be a barrier for entry into Europe. It’s a security measure for traveler screening and is reciprocal; something we already ask European visitors to do to enter the US. It will be fast and simple, with no need to visit a consulate or send your passport in the mail. You can find more information here. For now, no visas or permits are required for entry into any country that is part of the European Union. 

5. How do I find out if my tour requires a visa? How can I obtain one if needed? 

To determine if your tour requires a travel visa, please check our YMT web page with your specific tour and look for the FAQ section. This is where visa requirements are listed on our website. Please be aware that visa requirements can vary significantly based on your nationality. There may be additional requirements or conditions not listed in our general information. You can also check U.S. Department of State for the most updated information regarding visa requirements for any country. 

Also consider that personal circumstances can greatly influence the time required for visa processing. Some individuals, due to specific situations, may require additional time to complete the visa process. This could be due to a variety of factors and isn’t necessarily reflective of the typical experience.  

Please ensure that you allow plenty of time to process any necessary visas to ensure a smooth and stress-free journey. 

6. When will I receive my travel documents? Are documents mailed? 

Final travel documents are emailed approximately 4 weeks prior to your departure date. Final eDocs can be physically mailed upon request and for additional shipping cost.  

7. Can I change my tour date?

You can change your reservation to another date or destination, upon availability, up to 120 days before the initial reservation’s departure date (terms and conditions do apply). See our Peace of Mind Program for more details. 

8. Can I change my tour's itinerary?

Because YMT Vacations offers group travel packages, no individual changes are available on tour itineraries. However, you can choose to add more activities to your itinerary with YMT’s optional add-on experiences! See the “Add-Ons” tab on your tour’s YMT web page for more details. 

Reservation Information

1. How do I make a tour reservation payment online?  

Initial payments must be made by phone call to our Guest Services line at 800-231-1234. Once a credit or debit card is on file, you can login to your YMT account and make additional payments online.  

If you need to use a different payment method, please update the card on file in your reservation online account or call Guest Services at 1-800-231-1234.   

2. How many tour deposits are there? What is the cost of each deposit? 

All YMT tours require an initial non-refundable deposit of $250 per person to secure a spot, and then a second non-refundable deposit of $250 per person is required 180 days prior to your tour departure date. 

3. Will I receive a receipt for reservation payments? 

An invoice will be sent to your email within a few hours after you make reservation payments. For updated invoices, please login to your YMT account or reach out to Guest Services at guestservices@ymtvacations.com and request an invoice be emailed to you.  

4. When is the final payment for my tour reservation due?

Final payment is due 120 days before departure date, and when the card we have on file will be charged. As a courtesy, we email a reminder notice approximately 1 week before the final payment date. To use a different payment method, please update your online account or contact Guest Services at 1-800-231-1234 or email

5. What is a single supplement (SRS) and how is the cost determined?

Because YMT tour prices are based on double occupancy, each single traveler’s cost covers the difference. The listed price assumes each passenger pays one half of the cost of a room and/or cabin, thus the single room supplement charge (SRS) reflects the entire cost of a private room and/or cabin. 

6. How do I change identification or contact information on my reservation? 

To avoid delays or general issues (such as additional costs or denied boarding) during a tour, it’s the responsibility of every guest to verify the information shown on a reservation is accurate, including email contact information. If a reservation has any inaccuracy, please contact Guest Services as soon as possible at 1-800-231-1234 or email us.  

7. Can I change passenger names on a reservation?  

Once a reservation is confirmed with our vendors 120 days prior to tour departure, no name changes are allowed. To change passengers, your original reservation must be cancelled, and a new reservation made reflecting the correct information for passengers. Any non-refundable deposits paid on the original account will not apply to the new booking; all reservations are subject to non-refundable deposit requirements.

*Please note if you have purchased airline tickets through YMT and a name change needs to be made, you will incur airline penalty charges up to the full amount of the airfare price as determined by the airline. 

8. If I want documents delivered to my home, how do I change my address for document delivery? How do I change my phone number if I need to?  

All documentation is emailed to guests. However, for an additional fee upon request, we can send physical documentation. To avoid a delay with your final documents, we request mailing address changes be made at least 90 days prior to departure. Please contact our Guest Services team at 1-800-231-1234 or via email.

Optional Add-On Experiences/Shore Excursions

1. What are Optional add-on experiences? When and how can I book optional experiences? 

For many YMT tours, we offer additional experiences at an additional cost to give you more exposure to a delightful destination. Optional add-on experiences are available to book as soon as you reserve a space on a YMT tour!  

View the choices by going to your tour’s specific web page and click the Add-Ons tab. To reserve your space on optional experiences, call our Guest Services line at 800-231-1234 or email us at guestservices@ymtvacations.com.  

2. What is the cancellation policy for optional experiences?   

Optional add-on cancellations made at least 20 days prior to the tour’s departure date can be refunded in full to the original form of payment provided for the service (please allow approximately 4 weeks for refund processing).  
 
Cancellations of optional experiences made within 20 calendar days of departure date are 100% non-refundable. If you purchased trip insurance, the reason for the cancellation may be covered under your policy. You are responsible for contacting your provider to file all insurance claims. If you need to cancel optional add-ons, please call Guest Services at 800-231-1234.  

3. How do I book my cruise line Shore Excursions? 

If you have a reservation which includes a Cruise tour, additional Shore Excursions may be available directly with the cruise line. We highly recommend that you visit the cruise line’s website or call their guest services to book Shore Excursions well in advance of your embarkation date. You will need your cruise line reservation number we provide in emailed final documents.

On Tour

1. What should I pack? 

Keep in mind, laundry facilities may be outside of hotels. Most itineraries are of a casual nature, and 2 pairs of slacks and one collared shirt, or a casual dress, are generally sufficient for evening dinners or other more “formal” events. Dress in layers to be comfortable, and so you can quickly adjust to changing environments and air conditioning. Don’t forget to pack your favorite walking shoes. 

If you’re traveling on a cruise, please check your final documents (emailed approximately 4 weeks prior to departure) for specific information regarding appropriate onboard clothing. 

If you have questions about doing laundry while on tour or on a cruise ship, please read How to Do Laundry on Vacation. 

2. Does YMT have any limits for luggage? 

The YMT luggage allowance is one suitcase and one small bag per guest, in addition to a small handbag or personal item. Due to capacity limits on vehicles, the standard maximum weight per suitcase is 50 pounds, and 44 pounds for itineraries that include intra-tour flights. The dimensions of each large suitcase may not exceed 30 inches by 21 inches by 11 inches. Carry-ons cannot be larger than 12 inches by 11 inches by 6 inches and must fit in the overhead compartment of the motor vehicle. Any luggage that is larger or heavier may not fit on the motor coach and might need to be shipped home. To comply with safety regulations for motor coaches, mid-size buses, and vans, wheeled carry-on bags are not accepted as hand luggage. View our helpful packing guide here! 

3. How much cash should I bring? 

For a domestic YMT land tour, we suggest you bring what you would normally budget per person, per day for food and souvenirs. For international tours, we recommend bringing $100 – $200 cash in local currency. Most cruise passengers use their credit cards and assign all charges to their cabins.

4. Where/How can I exchange my dollars into the local currency?

We recommend exchanging dollars into the local currency at your local bank ahead of time, if possible. They may or may not charge a fee and will provide options such as conducting the transaction online or even mailing you the currency. The easiest way to obtain a local currency upon arrival is to withdraw cash from a local ATM, with applicable fees. 

5. Who will guide my tour? 

All YMT Vacations tours are guided by professional Tour Directors. In some destinations, such as Hawaii and Ireland, you may have a Driver-Guide who will both guide your tour and operate your motor coach. On tours including a cruise portion, you may or may not have a YMT Cruise Host onboard to assist you with any questions about the ship, information about your tour, or recommendations. 

6. How many people will be on my tour? 

At least 25 guests are required to operate our tours with a maximum of 50 guests per tour.  

Flights & Transportation 

1. Why is it important that I give my name as it appears on my passport when booking flights?   

When booking flights, the name displayed on your Government ID must exactly match the one on your boarding pass (including middle names or middle name initials). If not, TSA or airline security may deny your boarding.

2. If my name is misspelled on my flight tickets, what do I do? 

Contact Guest Services immediately at 1-800-231-1234 or via email to update the appropriate information to ensure that you do not encounter any problems or extra fees at the airport upon checking in for your flights.

3. Will there be any need for me to rent a car?

Because YMT only offers package tours, it’s not necessary for you to rent a car on any of our itineraries. We take care of all transportation needs between the stops on your itinerary. While leisure time is allotted, it will likely not be enough time to rent a car. 

4. Will YMT Vacations provide transportation from my home to the airport? 

Guests are responsible for arranging transfers between their home and departure airports. 

5. If I purchased my flight with YMT Vacations and the flight is delayed or cancelled, what do I do?

If your flight is delayed or cancelled, please call YMT Vacations immediately. We will make all necessary efforts to book a new flight and get you to your destination. In some instances, this may result in partially missing the beginning of your tour. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to purchase Travel Protection, and to file a claim for compensation due to partial tour loss. 

6. Is my flight protected if I purchased my airline tickets outside of YMT Vacations? 

YMT Vacations cannot guarantee or alter flight arrangements purchased through other ticketing parties. If your flight is delayed or cancelled, please contact the airline directly to make new flight arrangements. Once new flights are booked, please contact YMT Vacations. We will make all necessary efforts to communicate your new flight arrangements with our ground operations. In some instances, flight delays and/or flight cancellations may result in partially missing the beginning of your tour. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to purchase Travel Protection, and to file a claim for compensation due to partial tour loss. 

7. Can I request seat assignments on the airplane? 

When you book with your Travel Consultant, we will forward your request for an aisle, window, or adjacent seat to the airline. Every attempt will be made with the airlines to accommodate your request; however, airlines don’t always allow pre-assigned seating on Economy tickets, and thus will need to be selected upon checking in for the flight. 

8. Can I upgrade my airline seat?  

For an additional cost, YMT Vacations can make upgraded air arrangements for guests. Unfortunately, we cannot assist guests with applying frequent flyer miles to their upgraded airfare arrangements

9. Can I use my Frequent Flier Miles to book air with YMT Vacations? 

Frequent Flier accrual miles are dependent on the airline and program enrolled. Refer to your rewards program for clarification on accrual point description. Redemption of Frequent Flier Miles to book air must be redeemed through the airline carrier directly. 

10. Does YMT Vacations handle airline baggage fees? 

Airline checked baggage charges are not included in YMT airfare arrangements. Please visit the relevant airline’s website or guest services team for their latest policy. Additional airline charges generally apply when checking pieces of baggage, per person. Please review the FAQ “What are the limits for luggage?” for YMT’s luggage policy. 

11. When is the last day I can get flight tickets with YMT Vacations? 

For best routing availability we suggest you book airfare at the time of reserving your tour spot. However, flight tickets must be purchased with YMT Vacations 90 days prior to departure at the latest. 

12. When can I find out about my flight tickets? 

If you purchase airfare through YMT Vacations, you will receive the flight confirmation code and flight itinerary times via email. Flight information may also be available online through our website. 

13. How do I change my departure city? 

To change your departure city or any other flight information on your reservation, contact Guest Services at 1-800-231-1234 or via email. If airline tickets have already been issued, penalty fees may apply. 

14. What do I do when I arrive at the airport for the beginning of my tour? 

If you purchase your flight tickets with YMT Vacations, a YMT representative will meet you in the arrivals area (baggage claim, or arrivals hall) to lead you to your transfer to the hotel or tour group.  

Guest who booked your own airfare arrangements, transfers and baggage services are your responsibility to arrange from the airport to the hotel or tour group. Because many hotels offer free shuttle service to and from the airport, we suggest contacting the hotel to discuss the details of transfers on your arrival day.

15. Do I have to inform the airline if I’m bringing a wheelchair or a CPAP machine?

Depending on the airline, you may be required to share information about your wheelchair such as the device’s size, weight, and battery type to help them safely and properly handle your assistive device. 
 
You may fly with a portable oxygen concentrator, ventilator, respirator or CPAP machine, but there are a few rules you’ll need to follow depending on the device you’re bringing with you. Please check with the specific airline.

Hotels 

1. What type of hotel accommodation is provided during tours? 

All YMT Vacations tours provide standard tourist class hotels, typically 3-4 stars, with either one or two beds and a private bathroom. For international hotels, we recommend bringing a converter and/or adaptor for your electronics, as some countries have different power outlets or electricity voltages. Hotels will either have a hair dryer in-room or will have one available at the concierge. If you have questions about the specific hotels’ accommodation on your tour, please contact YMT Guest Services to learn more. 

2. Are there discounts for triple or quad cabin arrangements? 

Discounts (if applicable) for triple or quad accommodation vary depending on the tour and departure date. Please speak with your YMT Travel Consultant regarding the specifics of your vacation to see if any discounts apply. 

3. I’m traveling with another person. Can we request two separate beds? 

Yes, separate beds can be requested, except on A-Rosa river cruises. Make your request to your YMT Travel Consultant at the time of booking, or with our Guest Services Department. All requests are passed to the hotels and cruise lines when final payment is made, but we cannot guarantee these requests will be fulfilled. 

4. Can I request an ADA accessible room? 

ADA rooms are limited and reserved for those guests in a wheelchair on domestic tours only, as other countries don’t have ADA compliance regulations. ADA rooms must be booked and confirmed 90 days prior to departure. Please inform your YMT Travel Consultant or Guest Services if you need to request an ADA room

5. Are there restaurants within easy walking distance of the hotels? 

Most YMT hotels have dining options within walking distance or a restaurant in house. Where this isn’t available, your tour director will inform you of other options. They may make a food stop on the tour bus before arrival at your hotel or run a shuttle bus to nearby restaurants. 

6. When will I receive the names and addresses of the hotels on my vacation? 

Hotel contact information will be included in your final travel documents emailed about 4 weeks before departure date.  

7. Can I book additional nights at the same hotel? 

Yes. If you would like to arrive early or stay later at a specific hotel, feel free to contact the hotel directly to plan. For certain tours, YMT does offer pre- and post-night accommodation. Please contact your Travel Consultant or YMT Guest Services to learn more. 

Cruise

1. Do I need to fill out the online registration for my cruise line before I go? 

All guests are responsible for registering for the cruise on their own. For ocean cruises, our team will send out your required cruise registration documents via email approximately 85 to 90 days before tour departure. For river cruise tours, we will send the registration (when required, not always applicable) approximately 60 days before departure. 

We strongly recommend you fill out the cruise line’s required registration form as soon as possible, and at least 72 hours before you leave for your tour. Waiting to complete any cruise or immigration form could result in delays at the pier during the embarkation process. Your ID will need to match the government ID details you provide.   

2. What is the tipping policy aboard ships? 

On the ship, guests pay an automatic gratuity that averages between $15-$20 per person, per day that is included in the cruise cost. Most cruise lines charge this amount directly to your onboard ship account. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this policy, please see the guest services staff aboard your cruise. 

3. What is the tipping policy for YMT cruise hosts? 

A tip of $1 a day is recommended for YMT cruise hosts. YMT Cruise Hosts are not part of the Cruise Staff and are on the cruise to facilitate embarkation and disembarkation, help you navigate services on the ship, and support you in case of an emergency while onboard. 

4. Can I pre-pay gratuities?

Please contact the specific cruise line you will be sailing with. When it comes to paying gratuities, there are two options: prepay your gratuities before you sail, or you can choose to have them charged to your onboard account. 

5. When will I know my cruise cabin assignment and booking number? 

Your cabin assignment and booking number will be included on the cruise registration email sent 85 – 90 days before the tour date. These numbers will also be listed in your final travel documents, which are emailed about 4 weeks prior to your tour. 

6. Can I request an ADA accessible cabin?

ADA cabins are limited and reserved for those guests in a wheelchair. ADA cabins must be booked and confirmed 90 days prior to sailing. Once the cabin is confirmed, the onboard special needs team will reach out to you for more information.

7. Are wheelchairs available on board? 

No, they are not available once you have embarked on any ship. Rentals may be available near the cruise port. Please reach out to the cruise line for specific access on any ship. 

8. I am a cruise loyalty member; will I receive any perks? 

We will forward your past customer information and any membership numbers onto the cruise line; special upgrades and other perks are at the discretion of the cruise line and not controlled by YMT Vacations. 

9. Where can I get my cruise eDocs or book shore excursions? 

The cruise line partners website or guest services will have access to your cruise documents and be able to help you book shore excursions. Can’t find exactly what information you’re looking for? Contact our Guest Services at (800) 231-1234. 

10. Where can I get my cruise eDocs or book shore excursions? 

You will be able to download them 21 days prior to sailing. Please log into your cruise line’s account either online or via their official smartphone app.   

11. Are there laundry services aboard the ship?

Yes, typically there is a laundry service available, but there are typically not washers and dryers for self-service. Check with the ship’s guest services team for time of services.  

Motor Coach

1. What kind of buses (motor coaches) does YMT use? Do the coaches have charging outlets? 

We use modern sightseeing motor coaches with large picture windows that are perfect for witnessing beautiful vistas during the land portion of your vacation. All motor coaches are air-conditioned but plugs and outlets for device charging are not guaranteed. Motor coaches will seat between 30 – 50 people.

2. How often does the motor coach stop? 

The length of time spent on your motor coach varies depending on the itinerary planned for the day; comfort/sightseeing stops are planned approximately every 2 hours. 

3. How are seats assigned on the motor coach? 

To help foster a friendly motor coaching experience and give everyone a variety of views, we rotate seating arrangements regularly throughout the tour as determined by the Tour Director. 

4. How much should we tip our guides or driver/guides? 

Tipping can vary greatly depending on the different countries, regions or type of service provided. Please refer to our Know Before You Go document that will be emailed to you as part of the Final Documents approximately 4 weeks prior to your departure date. 

Loyalty Rewards

1. Am I entitled to any perks or discounts as a returning YMT guest?   

Returning guests receive a loyalty discount of 5% if they have traveled with YMT within the last year, or 3% if they have traveled within the last 3 years. 

Tour Review 

1. How can I give YMT Vacations a review of my experience?

Once you’re back from your YMT tour, you’ll receive a Guest Survey via email. If you did not receive it, please email any feedback to our Customer Experience team at customerservice@ymtvacations.com 

Health & Safety

1. Do I have to be vaccinated to participate in a YMT tour?  

Find out what vaccinations are recommended for your trip by the U.S. Department of State and be sure to consult your doctor with any questions or concerns before receiving any travel vaccinations.  

Although vaccinations are not required to participate in any of our tours, we highly recommend Covid-19 vaccinations, boosters, and pre-travel Covid-19 testing. You’re responsible for bringing the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) you’re most comfortable carrying (including hand sanitizers or face coverings). For more information, please check our Safety & Peace of Mind policy. 

2. How is tour activity level determined?  

A tour’s activity levels are very important, as this indicates the level of movement and how long a day’s events are generally. This will help you decide which tours are the best fit for a trip you’ll enjoy. Learn more about YMT’s Activity Levels here.

3. What happens if I get sick on tour?  

YMT reserves the right to remove or quarantine you if you show signs of illness or pose a threat to the safety and health of other participants. Removal or quarantine for any health, safety, or behavior-related assessment is at the sole discretion of YMT or our supplier. Any costs incurred for medical assessments, diagnosis, and/or any other medically-related charges are your responsibility to pay and are due at time of services. 

You will be allowed to rejoin the trip with confirmed medical certification from a licensed health practitioner indicating fitness to travel without causing harm or posing a safety or health risk to other guests. 

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