FAQs about your travel with
The Shenandoah Travel Group, Inc.,
and some suggestions for your travel
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What are Departure Point, Design Point and Meeting Point?
Departure Point, Design Point and Meeting Point are the internal divisions of The Shenandoah Travel Group, Inc., (hereafter STG Inc.) whose specific purposes are to create and operate on the client’s behalf programs of domestic and/or international travel, religious pilgrimages, and programs of continuing professional education for architects, landscape architects, interior designers, engineers and related professionals from any country worldwide. Meeting Point provides meeting planning services and event planning consultation for the operation of board or business meetings for 15 to 300 attendees.
Where can I find information on STG, Inc.’s programs and how do I register for a program?
You need only open the STG Inc. website (www.DP4Travel.com) to view the list of program offerings and services, and to register for participation in any of the announced programs.
How and when will I receive my travel documents?
All final travel documents required for your travel program will be sent to the address which you provided on your registration form approximately two weeks prior to the date of your program’s departure. Airline tickets are issued in electronic form. No paper or printed tickets are generally issued any more, but a receipt/itinerary may be contained in your travel document folder as proof of purchase. No final travel documents will be sent unless full payment is received. Travel documents are generally sent by standard U.S. mail, registered mail, by UPS or by FedEx, or by a similar delivery service.
Can I use some of my accumulated frequent flyer miles for my airline ticket?
Yes. To do so please notify STG Inc. of your intention to use these miles at the time of your registration for the program. Go to the website of the airline in question and reserve and confirm your seat on the airline’s web site. You then become responsible for your airline ticket and any associated transfers or transportation which would bring you to the locale of the program’s first event and/or take you to the airport of departure at the conclusion of the program.
Can I upgrade from economy class to business class or first class on my flights?
Yes, if space is available, and for the additional cost and difference in fare between the economy class fare paid by STG Inc. and the fare quoted by the airline for such an upgrade and if allowed by the airline.
Do I need a passport or a visa for participation in my travel program?
American citizens require a valid American passport (and valid for at least six months after the date of your return to the States) for entry into foreign countries and for re-entry into the United States from any destination or country outside the territory of the United States, including Canada and Mexico. A visa may be required to accompany a valid passport. The program information posted on the program’s itinerary on the website will advise you if a visa is needed for your particular travel program.
Citizens of countries other than the United States should contact STG Inc. for particulars regarding the necessary valid travel documents for any particular program.
Each traveler is personally responsible for obtaining and maintaining her/his own valid travel documents in preparation for departure and participation in a STG Inc. travel program.
Can I bring a traveling companion with me on the travel program?
Yes. Your companion or guest is welcome on a STG Inc. program. Your companion would need to complete a registration form, provide payment information, and obtain any necessary travel documents as mentioned above just as you would need to do. Hotel rooms are available for single or double occupancy as per your particular request.
How many people will participate in the program in which I am interested?
STG, Inc. limits all of its programs to forty participants. Some programs will have a lower maximum number of participants. If the demand for a particular program is significant, the program may be repeated at a later date
Are there “Terms and Conditions” to which I must agree in order to participate in a STG, Inc., program?
Yes. STG Inc.’s “Terms and Conditions” are located on the STG website and can be downloaded from that site. All participants in any STG, Inc. travel program must consent to these “Terms” with your signature before admittance to any travel program.
Will I receive learning unit credits for participation in a Departure Point or Design Point program?
If applicable, the exact number of learning units for each program (and parts thereof) will be identified in the itinerary for the specific program in question.
Which hotels will STG Inc. use?
STG Inc. customarily uses four-star, five-star and luxury properties for its program participants on international programs. On domestic programs good three-star properties may be added to the itinerary in favor of economy. All international accommodations regardless of category will have private baths. All rooms are available for single or double occupancy as per your request.
Are the programs and venues handicapped accessible?
STG Inc. is pleased to request handicapped accommodations for you if so instructed. Availability of handicapped accessibility in sleeping accommodations on international programs and/or on cruises will be requested but cannot be guaranteed. Note: international sites other than hotels and cruise lines may be less handicapped accessible than their counterparts in the United States.
What if I have special dietary or health needs?
STG Inc. requests that you inform us of your requests or needs at the time of your registration so that appropriate arrangements may be made. You will be advised shortly after registering if for whatever reason(s) your request cannot be fulfilled or honored.
When must I pay to participate in a program?
We must receive final and total payment for any domestic or international travel program at least sixty (60) days prior to the departure of your program. Registrations received within sixty (60) days of scheduled departures must be accompanied by full payment, and are subject to a late registration penalty of $100 per person (or the equivalent in foreign currency). Programs done locally in your geographical area must be paid for at least fifteen (15) days prior to the beginning of the program.
We impose a payment schedule on each participant based on the date of receipt of the registration relative to the date of the travel program’s departure.
Your non-refundable deposit which is also considered to be your first payment is collected from you by PayPal when you submit your registration for participation in one of our programs and pay your deposit with your credit card.
See the “Terms and Conditions” for complete details.
What happens if I have to cancel out of a program for which I have registered and paid my deposit and/or subsequent payments?
Cancellations do happen on occasion, although not frequently. If you need to cancel, written notification of cancellation must be received at our STG Inc. office in Vienna, Virginia. Please see the “Terms and Conditions” for an explanation of the process of cancellation and possible reimbursement. Penalties do apply for any cancellation from a program.
If I have to cancel do I receive a refund?
Financial penalties always accompany a cancellation. Deposits, as noted in the “Terms and Conditions” are generally non-refundable. Other refunds have to be determined or calculated on an individual basis based on the date of receipt of cancellation notification and the non-refundable obligations which we have incurred by the date of your cancellation.
Do I need trip cancellation and / or trip interruption insurance?
While trip cancellation insurance is not required to participate in a STG Inc. travel program, STG Inc. does strongly urge and advise each passenger to consider the purchase of trip cancellation insurance. Each traveler always and in every instance travels on a STG Inc., program at her/his own risk. STG Inc. will provide you with a list of several insurance companies that sell trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance. STG Inc. does not sell insurance of any kind, and we are not insurance agents or an insurance agency.
Can I bring my cell phone with me?
You are advised to check with your cell phone carrier prior to departure to see if your service is available in the area in which you will travel.
How much should I tip in restaurants, to guides, and to others?
Consult the itinerary of your particular program for the features which are included in the program’s per person cost. Service charges and tips/gratuities to guides and motorcoach drivers are generally already included in the per person cost of your program. In many restaurants a service charge is always applied to the cost of your meal. Yet a very modest tip is not out of place. Tip for other services as you would in the United States.
Will my electronic (hair dryer, computer, Ipod, etc.,) work at my destination?
Most hotels (domestic and international) are now equipped with hair dryers. Sockets and outlets may differ from country to country. Adapters for foreign outlets can be purchased in the United States. Currents also differ in foreign countries. If you are unsure of your electronics’ capabilities you are advised to consult a knowledgeable technician prior to travel.
What is the expected dress code for my travel program?
Unless otherwise noted in a particular itinerary, the suggested dress is informal and comfortable. If your travel program requires business attire, it will be noted in your itinerary.
What will the weather be like on my travel program?
One wise traveler once noted that “climate is what you expect; weather is what you get.” Several days before departure, check such websites as www.weather.com or www.weatherunderground.com for weather forecast information.
How much local currency should I bring?
Consult the itinerary of your particular program for the features which are included in the program’s per person cost. Some local currency in your pocket may be necessary on arrival in a foreign country (taxi fares, incidentals, etc.). The use of credit cards may bring a better rate of exchange than travelers’ checks on international programs. ATMs dispense bills in the local currency. The purchase of foreign currency while in the United States and prior to travel generally costs more than the purchase of the local currency once you arrive in the country of its use. The amount of money allowed to be carried out of or into the United States by any individual is controlled by United States federal law. If you are carrying or plan to carry in excess of $10,000 in any form either out of or into the United States, you are advised to seek legal counsel prior to this activity. www.xe.com is one site on which you can see the current monetary conversion rates which are applicable in most countries.
Are there “hidden costs” to be discovered on my program?
No. The features included in the per person cost of each program are detailed in each program’s itinerary. All other expenses are the personal responsibility of each participant.
What level of physical exertion can I anticipate?
Each itinerary will have a brief explanation of the presumed level of physical activity and/or physical exertion associated with the travel program for a person generally considered to be in “good health.” STG Inc. always suggests that all travelers consult with her/his/their personal doctor for advice and counsel prior to travel.
What happens if I need medical care or assistance during a STG Inc. program?
The STG Inc. representative who accompanies your travel program will assist you in obtaining medical assistance should this be needed. Payment for medical assistance, hospitalization and/or medications given during any treatment is your responsibility and is normally due at the end of the services provided. Bills should be brought home with you and sent to your insurance provider for reimbursement.
STG Inc. strongly encourages a visit to your personal doctor prior to undertaking a foreign journey regardless of destination or length of travel.
Please be advised that all participants in any STG Inc. program participate and travel at her/his/their own risk at all times and in any and all circumstances.
If any inoculations are either required or advised for any travel program, mention of this will be made in each individual itinerary on the website.
And some additional suggestions….
Photocopy your passport, the credit cards and insurance cards that you will be taking with you. Leave one copy at home with a family member or friend and securely pack a copy to take with you.
Retain for easy access the phone number(s) of the company(ies) or service(s) you would need to contact should your credit cards or other valuables be lost or stolen.
Give a family member or colleague emergency contact information for you, and carry a copy with you.
Ensure that you have enough prescription medication with you for your travel program. Do NOT pack your medications in your checked luggage.
Before you leave home contact your credit card companies and inform them that you will be traveling, perhaps out of the country. Giving them your dates of travel and list of countries to be visited may assist in the use of your credit cards abroad.
Pack light – and consult the TSA website (www.tsa.gov) and the website of the airline on which you will travel to check on the latest luggage and security advisories.