© 2017 The Secret Garden
This FAQ has general information about our tours.
Each tour also has it’s own FAQ page which is accessed on its Overview page.
(FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS)
What physical shape should I be in?
Our tours are designed for women of all ages and fitness levels. However, you should be able to walk up to 5 miles per day. We will rarely walk that far, but in order to enjoy all the activities, you will definitely need to do a lot of walking. If you are already walking 10,000 steps a day, you will have no problem keeping up. If you find yourself tiring, you can use a taxi (at your own expense) to meet us at the next tour venue.
What age should I be?
We allow women as young as 10, and there is no upper limit, as long as you are in good health and are able to keep up with the rest of the group. Women under 21 years of age should be accompanied by and room with their traveling comapanion.
Who will be my traveling companions?
The average age of our travelers is 60, and most women who join us are between 40-75 years old. They are empty-nesters, students, retirees, and professionals from all walks of life. They are single, married, partnered, or widowed. Mothers and daughters, sisters or friends often join us as a pair. Some women travel with us because their husbands don't enjoy or have time for travel, or have very different interests.
How many tour participants will I travel with?
Our tours are limited to 15 people, which includes your tour directors. We limit the number of guests on our tours so that we can get into smaller venues (like tea rooms!) and stay in boutique hotels . The small size also gives us the ability to occasionally alter our plans to adapt for the weather or a new venue we discover along the way. We want you to feel like you are traveling with a group of friends, which is not possible on typical large (50 guest) tour groups.
I am traveling alone - do I need to pay extra for a single ?
Not unless you require a private room. If you would like to share a room with another woman traveler, you do not need to pay the single supplement. We will match you with another unpaired traveler, usually on a rotating basis.
Do your tours include airfare?
We do not include airfare to get to the destination in the cost of our tours. Because women from all over the US travel with us, there is no convenient place for all of us to meet before the tour. Some women wish to travel on their preferred airline to either earn or use frequent flyer miles.
How much more money will I need to bring on this trip?
You will need money for dinners and snacks, alcoholic beverages, tipping the local guides and drivers on tours (when it is not included), and tipping cab drivers for personal rides not part of the tour. You’ll also want money for gifts and souvenirs and theater tickets (London). Other things not covered in the tour price are: - airfare to the tour starting point, single supplement for a private room (optional) , travel insurance, customs fees, excess luggage fees, personal expenses (telephone charges, laundry expenses, etc.)
Should I insure my trip?
We highly recommend travel insurance in case you need to unexpectedly cancel your trip, miss your flight, lose your luggage or have a medical emergency during the trip.
What should I pack?
Each tour has packing suggestions listed in its FAQ. For all trips, bring comfortable clothing and shoes in a “business casual” style. Jeans are not very comfortable to travel in, and workout wear is too casual to fit in with most tea rooms. Don’t forget sunglasses and a light rain coat too! Speaking of packing, see our travel store for some of our favorite products from clothing to day bags and packing organizers to books.
What about the payment?
We request a deposit to hold your reservation. The payment schedule for each trip is shown on its overview page. We do not take credit or debit cards due to the high processing fee we must pass on to you, so just mail us a check for your payments.
Can you help me with other travel arrangements?
Gladly! We would be delighted to assist you in finding the best airfare, train connection, local tours or convenient hotel accommodations to extend your trip. Contact us with your wishes, and we'll do our best to make your travel dreams come true.
What if I want to do a tea tour on my own?
We would be happy to work with you on planning and arranging an unescorted tea tour of any of the areas we have done tea tours in. See our page “INDEPENDENT TRAVEL” (link at top of this page) for more information.
What if I have a group of people who want to do a tea tour?
We can create a custom escorted tea tour just for your group. If you have 8-12 participants, we will meet you at the tours starting location and provide your group the same level of service we do on our scheduled tours. Call us to discuss your ideas!