“When I refer to “our guides” – that usually means me – Gary Scott. Answers below have a short and a long answer and mainly refer to the Dolomites walking tours but the information is basically the same for all of our tours. – Gary P. Scott (the founder and owner of Right Path Adventures)
Terms & Conditions & COVID-19 Booking Policies
Due to the fluid situation with Covid-19, world weather and situations unknown to us going on around the world, we reserve the right to update these policies at any time and without prior notice.
BOOKING A NEW TRIP
Prices are per person based on double occupancy, quoted in US dollars, and are set well in advance of the trip departure date. Our prices vary depending on a variety of cost factors, with peak travel dates being the most expensive. Prices may change during the course of the year. You can always find the most current prices on our website, or by calling us. Prices cover land costs only; they do not include airfare to and from the trip. Trip prices include baggage transfers, porterage and all ground transportation during your trip. Please see the web page for each trip for the specific details for all items included and not included in the trip price for each specific trip as they do vary depending on the trip.
Trip Deposits: Deposits may be made on our website via credit card on PayPal and/or by check, money order, wire transfer in US dollars or a major credit card.
The deposit is $500 per person for Scheduled Departures.
For Private & Custom Departures a $2,000 group deposit is required to initiate your request and secure your itinerary for your group. The Private Trip deposit is refundable (minus a $250 administrative/booking fee) for two weeks while you gather your group. Once confirmed, the initial $2,000 deposit may be applied toward the first two individuals to sign up and a $1,000 per person deposit is required for subsequent guests. If we are creating custom dates for your group, the $2,000 deposit is non-refundable once the date is confirmed by us.
Paying Your Balance: The balance of your trip cost is due 95 days before the start date of your trip. We will send you an invoice for the balance due. Balances may be paid by PayPal, check, money order, wire transfer in US dollars or by major credit card. If final payment is not received when due, Right Path Adventures reserves the right to cancel your reservation.
Travel Insurance Policy: We strongly suggest taking out Travel Insurance for all Right Path Adventure tours. Given the active nature of our vacations—and your lifestyle—we know unexpected things that could impact your trip!
No one likes to think about what could go wrong on vacation, travel insurance may help protect your investment from unforeseen circumstances before and during your trip such as:
Sickness or injury; Job loss or relocation; Travel delays or trip interruption; Lost or delayed luggage; Death or illness in the family; Hurricane, fire and other natural disasters; Medical evacuation; COVID-19 positive test result; Civil disturbances such as war; And other covered reasons.
Please note if you leave a trip early for any reason you will not receive a refund and any and all costs of leaving early will be your responsibility.
In the unfortunate event you must cancel your trip, you will be responsible for any cancellation fees incurred, up to 100% of your trip price. A travel protection plan can help to protect your vacation investment up to 100% of your trip cost for cancellation due to unforeseen covered reasons and is a small price to pay for some peace of mind.
Guest Transfer & Cancellation Policy: If you must cancel your reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the terms outlined in the chart below.
Scheduled Trips: Transfers to another trip or credit on account for a future trip are only allowed before the final payment due date, after which time cancellation fees apply. If the new trip costs more than your original trip, you must pay the difference. Reductions in the group size may result in an increased trip price due at final payment.
Private & Custom Trips: Transfers to another trip or credit on account for a future trip are only allowed before 120 days prior to the trip, after which time cancellation fees apply. If the new trip costs more than your original trip, you must pay the difference. Reductions in the group size may result in an increased trip price due at final payment.
Exceptions to our cancellation policy cannot be made for any reason, including but not limited to weather, terrorism, civil unrest, epidemics or the threat thereof, personal, family or medical emergencies or force of nature. There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early. Private and upgraded rooms are considered part of the total trip cost and are subject to cancellation fees. We encourage guests to consider comprehensive Travel Protection plans for cancellation reasons that fall outside of our policy.
Right Path Adventures reserves the right to suspend departures in cases of force of nature or the failure of third parties—such as hotels — and to honor their reservations, in which case, all payments received to date will be transferred on account for use on a future trip (must be used within 24 months). Right Path Adventures is not responsible for expenses that are incurred in preparation for any suspended trips, such as airline tickets, or for costs that are incurred due to travel delays, flight cancellations or illness. All policies are subject to change.
|Final Payment Due
|95 days to trip start
|95 days to trip start
Cancellation Fees (per person)
|Days Prior to Trip
|96 – 155 days
|61 – 95 days
|0 – 60 days
*Please note: Due to our very busy guiding season any refunds will not be paid until 120 days after the trip booked is over.
(*) – Canceling 96 – 155 days from your trip – Rather than paying the cancellation fee, you may choose to keep your trip deposit on account to use on a future Right Path Adventures trip for use within 24 months (less a $250 administrative/cancelation fee).
Trip Forms & Release of Liability: Guests are required to complete and sign our Release, Assumption of All Risks, and Binding Arbitration Agreement and the Personal Information Form. These forms will be emailed to you after you leave a deposit and your trip is confirmed. We require all forms to be completed prior to final payment. We are unable to allow guests to participate in any aspect of a Right Path Adventures trip without a signed release form.
As we’ve learned during these past few years, what makes sense today may not make sense tomorrow. Please understand that we reserve the right to change these policies without prior notice due to the numerous very fluid and unpredictable situations occurring in the world.
Previously an international mountain guide with 50+ Himalayan expeditions and treks under his belt (including two successful expeditions up Mount Everest), Right Path’s founder and owner Gary P. Scott has been guiding all over the world for over 40 years. Gary started Right Path Adventures 15 years ago and since then has guided thousands of happy guests on over 300 tours in Europe and he is very proud to boast a perfect safety record covering ALL of those trips. That means – NO accidents – over 40 years of guiding all over the world – an amazing achievement.
We attract awesome people on our tours and many of our guests make lifetime friends with us and the other guests on our tours. We are honored and humbled when people decide to travel halfway around the world to hang out and hike with us and we feel a tremendous responsibility to give them the time of their lives with awesome accommodation, fabulous food, incredible hikes, views, adventures and activities and off the beaten path immersive experiences they would never be able to find on their own. As we often say “if it ain’t fabulous – we don’t do it!”.
Gary and his wife Katarina organize and guide 25-30 tours a year with groups of 6 – 12 people – so between 150-200 guests a year. Many of our guests have been on numerous trips with us and most seasons we get 30-40% of returning guests and/or referrals from past guests. We are also very honored to be a “TripAdvisor Recommended Tour Company” with 70+ Five Star Reviews and their number one tour company in the Dolomites, and we have earned a few travel awards along the way.
We continue to keep our expenses and tour costs low but with rising costs for everything all over the world we have changed our standard group size from 8 to up to 12 guests, but most groups will stay at 8 guests. Our competition charges twice what we charge, and they have 12-20 people on their tours for a less intimate and/or unique immersive experience – and not nearly as fun as ours tours with far less experienced guides.
We are a small company that is continually improving what we do and how we do it and always with the best interests of our guests in mind. We named the company Right Path Adventures because we want to keep our guests on the right path and do the right thing along the way. Our number one goal for our guests is to have a fabulous time, however, our number one focus is the safety of our guests.
All of our tours are easy to moderate and very safe and what we call “soft adventures”. We do not take risks with our guests and only take people where they will be as safe as possible. Gary is super experienced and intuitive at reading a person’s walking ability and very careful and conservative where he takes people and he knows the “right path” to take people on. Of course there are certain risks associated with any kind of travel and that is why we strongly recommend taking out travel insurance within two weeks of paying your deposit on one of our trips.
Due to the fact that we are a small company, and that we only lead tours five months of the year, and we only have a specific number of guests we can take on each tour we need to have a fairly strict cancellation policy in place. We do understand that “stuff” happens and that is another very good reason to take out travel insurance. We always try to work with our guests and strive hard to make our guests happy when cancellations occur.
Most of our guests book their tour with us 12-18 months in advance and when they book that spot on that tour their spot is taken off the website and thus is not available to anyone else. It is therefore very hard to resell that space on the trip and we then lose the possible revenue from the people that cancel. Our tours are very competitively priced for a standard group and are a great value for what our guests get in return. Since Katarina and I also stay in hotels or apartments while on the tours we have considerable expenses to cover regardless of how many people are on that particular tour. With less than a full group it is often tough to cover our costs.
Another consideration when it comes to refunds is that once we get a booking we immediately contact the hotels we work with to hold rooms for that booking. Many of the hotels we use are smaller, family run hotels that we have been working with for years and many of them are fully booked during the season, so when someone cancels a trip with us and we cancel the hotel rooms we often have to pay the full amount for the rooms since they also may have a hard time rebooking those rooms. Therefore we reserve the right to also deduct any hotel room costs that we have to pay from the tour fee paid. Since we have to wait until the tour is over to determine the hotel bill we reserve the right to make refunds for cancellations once our season is over which is usually in November.
There is also a considerable amount of behind the scenes work that occurs with people making a booking with us. Sometimes it is dozens of emails back and forth and often phone or ZOOM calls with our guests – which we love to do. We made a list of all the steps we need to take from the initial contact with potential guests to booking them and what happens when they cancel – and it’s around 20 steps. Each step takes time and we don’t work for free. (We’d be happy to share that list with you if you are interested – it was quite eye opening to put it together.)
When someone cancels it is not as simple as crossing someone’s name off a tour list and sending them a refund. We are VERY disappointed when someone cancels with us – we know they will be missing out on the trip of a lifetime. Many of our guests tell us that their trip with us was one of the best trips of their lives and we are very happy to hear that. Our credo is that we just want to make people happy.
Booking a place on one of our tours:
Most of our guests book their tour with us 12 – 18 months in advance and many of our tours get sold out very early in the year so don’t wait to book if you have specific dates in mind.
You can hold your space on one of our tours in 2025 with a deposit of 25% of the total trip fee (per person).
Private groups and/or group leaders can book a tour with a deposit of $500 per person in their group (which will be taken off their balance due). The remainder of the group’s deposits of 25% of the trip fee per person needs to be paid within two weeks to hold the booking.
Final payment for all tours is due 120 days from the starting date of the tour.
Cancellation & Refund Policy:
All cancellations will be charged a $500 per person administration fee. Plus any hotel or other charges we have to pay due to the cancellation. (Read more above). Or you can move your deposit to a different tour date within 18 months (minus a $250 per person administration fee and any hotel or other charges we have to pay due to the cancellation).
From 120 – 180 days – cancellations will be charged 100% of the deposit amount paid. Or you can move your deposit to a different tour date within 18 months (minus a $500 per person administration fee and any hotel or other charges we have to pay due to the cancellation).
From 60 – 120 days – no refunds. Or you can move your deposit to a different tour date within 18 months (minus a $1,000 per person administration fee and any hotel or other charges we have to pay due to the cancellation).
Other “Terms & Conditions” of Travel on a Right Path Adventures Tour:
1.To keep our guests happy and comfortable we only allow those over 18 years old on our standard group tours. If you have children under 18 years old please contact us for a private tour – which we can often arrange for a very reasonable price.
2. You will be responsible for transport costs to catch up with the tour if you miss meeting the group for the planned departure time. (Plan plenty of time before the trip due to flights being delayed or canceled these days.) Just another good reason to get travel insurance.
3. If you decide to leave the tour early for any reason, including sickness or injury or not being able to manage the hikes there are no refunds.
4. If you break something on our van (which is why we ask that you let us close the doors), you will be responsible for all repairs and costs associated with replacement and/or transportation of the van to get a replacement.
5. There will be no refunds issued if you do not show up with the suggested footwear or clothing in our “Suggested Packing Lists” on our website – and we deem it not safe to take you on the day’s outing or hike. Trail runners – yes – sneakers or tennis/running shoes – no!
6. If you are rude to our staff, or the hotel staff where we have you accommodated we will ask you to leave the tour with no refund. If you are not fun to be with, or a demanding person – please choose another company to go with. We attract awesome fun loving people who are a joy to be with and that is one of many reasons that make our tours unique. We love what we do and want to share that with people who love and appreciate what we do and how we do it.
7. We reserve the right to not hike or partake in a planned activity or drive to a location due to inclement weather or conditions. Your safety is our number one focus and we will always stick to that.
8. Those guests who want to participate in a guided Via Ferrata or rock climbing ascent in the Dolomites need to plan that outside of their time with us, unless prior arrangements have been made with us.
9. We do not send out detailed itineraries before a tour and we reserve the right to change the itinerary at any time and as we like to stay flexible to the group, the weather, and to keep our options open. People sometimes ask us “what hikes will we do” and my reply is “I don’t know, I haven’t seen you hike”. Don’t worry we’ll find the “right path” for you and your group!
10. Relax, be in the moment, and let us take care of everything and know you are going to have the best trip of your life…
Everything possible – and following all COVID guidelines and precautions.
Your health and safety have always been our number one priority, and we are continually monitoring the COVID situation in all places that we run tours. We are not going to run the risk of people getting sick on our trips and will have no problem canceling or rescheduling a trip if deemed necessary with refunds provided.
Our guides will not run a trip if they are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID19 and will be wearing masks when necessary and appropriate and washing their hands at every opportunity. Water for handwashing and hand sanitizer will be available in our vans at every stop whenever possible.
Anyone wanting to join one of our trips will be sent a comprehensive questionnaire regarding their health and where they will be traveling before the tour with us. We will be in touch with all trip participants right before the trip to check on them and to make sure they are fit and healthy. Any person we deem unsafe to travel with the group will be deemed “unfit to travel,” and we will cancel their trip and refund their trip fees.
We will be maintaining ALL recommended COVID safe procedures at every step of our trips, including limiting the number of people on our trips (and the number of people in our van to 4-6 guests (and having two vehicles if needed for a larger group). We will be cleaning the van/s at every chance we get and thoroughly disinfecting it at the end of each day.
Private van pick-ups can be arranged to and from most cities in Europe if you do not want to take a train or a flight to meet us at the start or the end of a trip, or we can assist you with organizing private vehicle transportation.
As always, we highly recommend comprehensive trip insurance (as we did before the COVID situation), and even emergency evacuation insurance. Check out our recommended Travel Insurance provider here, and for Global Rescue for emergency evacuation insurance, click here.
We will be practicing social distancing whenever possible, using hand sanitizer at every chance we get and using masks when deemed appropriate. We will also be checking the situation in advance at every place we visit, every hotel we stay at and every restaurant where we plan to dine. If a place is deemed unsafe or a health risk, we will not take you there. Fortunately, our tours focus on getting away from it all and avoiding crowds, and we spend most of our time in nature and away from most risks. You can dine away from the group on your own anytime you want.
Once again – your health and safety have always been our number one priority, and we are continually monitoring the situation in all places that we run tours. We are not going to run the risk of people getting sick on our trips and will have no problem canceling or rescheduling a trip if necessary.
Awesome! That’s why we have so many Five-Star reviews on TripAdvisor and won awards for our trips and why we have many guests come back time and time again, and why many of my guests become lifelong friends.
We attract like-minded, fun people who come on our trips to hike, explore, enjoy great food, have unique experiences, relax knowing we have everything taken care of, and to have a great time. My tours and my guiding style is fun, laid back, interesting, flexible, safe, healthy, enriching, educational, mindful, and even transformational. We have had many of our guests go on 2, 3, or 4 tours with us, and many are willing to talk with you about their experiences if you are interested – just let us know.
Your job as a guest on our tours is to relax and have a great time and to let me do my job. My job as a travel company owner and walking and travel guide is to take care of you (my guest) to the very best of my ability.
Travel Tip: Give more and get more back. We have found that the more you give to a trip and to the group, the more you will get out of it. Be nice and friendly and people will be nice and friendly back to you. Be the opposite, and you’ll probably get the opposite back. We personally believe that when you join a group trip, you have an obligation to contribute to the betterment of the group and arrive with a great attitude. No one enjoys the company of a sourpuss. I used to tell people at my travel talks – and I’ll repeat it here – “if you aren’t going to be fun to be with – please do not come on one of my trips.” It’s not fair to the other members of the group or me!
YES! I wish you would! I am very accessible and love talking to people and helping them plan incredible trips. I also think it very wise to chat with me before a trip to see if my travel style fits with your style. And you get to talk with the owner of the company AND your guide – so a double bonus.
I am constantly on the move, so best to start a chat with me – (see the chatbox on the bottom right-hand side of your screen), or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a good contact number to call you on. Or you can try me on my U.S. phone at 435 729 9107, or on my Australian phone at +61406 834 855. Try me anytime as I have my phone off when I am sleeping or unavailable. I look forward to chatting with you!
You don’t. You don’t need to be “fit” to enjoy our tours, just able to walk.
I have guided over 40 treks and expeditions into the Himalaya and over 20 just to Everest Base Camp, and everything thinks, “Ooooo, that must be a really hard trek, and you have to be really fit to do it” – that’s simply not true. I have taken people in their mid-70’s and people who did NO (zero) training or physical preparation and people who were 60lbs overweight and people with injuries to Everest Base Camp, and they all made it. (Let alone in 2003 I co-led an awesome group of 27 people with all kinds of disabilities – including four folk in wheelchairs – who all made it – what’s your excuse?)
What’s far more important is that your feet are “fit and ready” to be on them for 6+ hours a day. Sure, you’ll be less tired at the end of the days walk if you are “fitter” but I have taken the least likely candidates on hiking tours, and they may have been sore at the end of the day, but they did it – and they felt darn proud of themselves at the end of each day, and the trip!
Most people plan and book a trip like this way in advance, so you’ll have plenty of time to “get in shape,” and we can help you with suggestions for how you can best prepare physically for one of our tours. Plus, we avoid bis ascents and descents and use cable cars to get to the best hiking spots and the best views, and remember – we’ve taken thousands of people on hundreds of tours, and we know what we are talking about. Bottom line – we want you to have a great time and not worry. If you are concerned about your fitness, please contact us, and we’ll evaluate that for you and discuss if you have time to get in better shape for one of our walking tours.
No. If you need any further clarification, please contact us. Can you walk?
We have taken dozens of people with absolutely no hiking experience on our tours – and they had a blast! But think about it, most trips involve walking whether you visit Paris or Rome or New York or the Grand Canyon. I believe you’d be more tired and sore after spending the day walking around a city than on one of our trips. I once guided 27 people with all levels of disabilities to Everest Base Camp in Nepal – and four of them were in wheelchairs – so we can handle whatever level of fitness or walker you are. Once again, contact us for further clarification on this if you are concerned. Please don’t miss out on this incredible experience by pre-judging yourself – let us do that for you – we are the experts and we certainly don’t want to take people who are not up for it so we will be honest for you and match you to the “right trip” and on the “right path”.
Pretty much everything (except for some lunches and dinners on some tours) with no hidden surprises. Our two Dolomite tours cover everything.
Please check the descriptions for each tour where it will state exactly what is included and not included – just know that we are a company that strives to offer the best of service and value for money at the best price possible. We don’t cut corners and won’t hit you up later for “hidden” extra charges.
Some of our tours include everything except for some meals where you can make your own choices of where you dine and how much you spend (with our recommendations of course). Our goal is to include as much as possible, so you have minimal out-of-pocket expenses. All of our tours do not include alcohol and hotel extra charges or spa treatments, or travel insurance (which we highly recommend, especially in these times.) You are also responsible for getting yourself to the start of the tour and wherever you need to go after the tour finishes.
We don’t nickel-and-dime our guests, and we are more generous than we should be and often pay for many things that most tour companies don’t include. For example, single travelers can have their own room at no additional charge – as most companies charge a single room supplement.
Our tours start and end at different places, so please double-check the pickup and drop off information for the specific trip you are interested in. For trips with 10 am pickup, you will want to arrive the night before the trip starts, but we always choose places that are interesting and fun to stay in. Our Dolomites Walking Tours start in the cool city of Bolzano, Italy and end in the mountain resort town of Cortina d’Ampezzo for example.
Trying to get to the start of a tour the morning the tour departs is not wise as you will no doubt be rushed and stressed out, and we usually have to get going as we have plans for that day, and you will have to catch up at your own expense. If you get to the pickup place the night before this won’t happen, and you will be more relaxed – which is the mode we want you in. Of course, if you book a private tour or if you let us know your travel plans in advance, we can wait for you or arrange for you to meet us en route.
Private van pick-ups can be arranged to and from most cities in Europe if you do not want to take a train or a flight to meet us at the start or the end of a trip, or we can assist you with organizing your own private transportation. Travel Tip: Use GoOpti for inexpensive van transfers.
I find it amusing when someone spends a small fortune flying overseas, and on a tour, then they don’t want to spring $20 for a taxi to get them to the start of a tour on time, or they spend three hours on a crowded public boat/bus ride that made them sick, and late, when they could have taken a very pleasant 30-minute private boat/taxi ride for a few more bucks…
Another free tip: We only want you to have the best trip possible, and so we are always happy to help you with planning your trip before you make travel plans before and after your tour with us. We have had people visit places where they weren’t happy, and we could have easily suggested a far cooler place to go. And we have had people follow their travel agents or some well-meaning friends’ advice, and they flew one place, had to stay the night in a hotel, then took a train to another place, just to go somewhere where we could have helped them get to in a private van in a few hours…
We use nine-seater vans that are comfortable, spacious, clean, and safe.
If deemed necessary, we will limit the number of people in our van due to COVID and use a second van if necessary. Our drivers are very safe and drive for the comfort and safety of our guests, we are never in a hurry and rarely have people experience motion sickness because of the way we drive. We get many comments from guests that they feel very safe when driving with us.
We know the front seats offer the best views, and we know it’s less fun to sit in the back of a van, and we know that some people get motion sickness, however – since we drive slowly and smoothly, we hardly ever have people suffer from motion sickness, and for that reason, we ask that people swap seats often – unless you prefer to sit in the back of the van.
We also kindly ask that people do not eat or drink beverages (water is fine) in the van, and there are many good reasons why we ask this. We do try and stop every hour for a 10-15 minute pit-stop, and that is a great time to hit the bathrooms, rotate seats, and/or have a snack or a cup of coffee.
Awesome! If we didn’t use awesome accommodation, people would not come back time and time again to go on other tours with us, and they do!
We want you to be very happy with every aspect of our trips and where you will be staying. We hand select the accommodation and don’t stay there again if we find it not up to our high standards. We consider location, views, cleanliness, amenities, the staff, the vibe of the place, and many other “unseen” factors when choosing accommodation. We are not looking to save money when we book hotels – we want our guests to be happy.
Please note that on some of our tours, when we stay one night in a location, it is not always possible to get “the best rooms with the best views.” Many Europeans stay at places for a week or more, and often are regulars that come back to the same hotel year after year and often reserve rooms way in advance for the next season, and so they get the best rooms. We have found we can secure better rooms in less expensive hotels so sometimes we do that. And please understand that it can get very busy in Europe in the summer and to secure a room for a few nights is sometimes very difficult so we use our contacts to get the best rooms we can get that are available. It’s not easy to make everyone happy all the time, but we sure try to!
We offer our single travelers a room on their own at no additional cost, even when this costs us more. Single rooms are not as common as western countries so often a single room might not be that large or with a view – they are usually at the rear of a hotel. We do try and negotiate the best rooms for all of our guests, and when available, we will book a double room for our single guests – once again, even if it costs us more. You can always ask the front desk to upgrade your room – at your own expense.
If you are not happy with your room or want to try and move rooms, we suggest that you don’t unpack but politely ask at the front desk if there are other rooms available. I have always found that a smile and being nice gives me better results whenever I am asking for anything, anywhere.
We choose hotels based on many factors, sometimes it’s because they are unique to that area or country, and we want you to have that experience, even if it means fewer amenities or something else. It could be the sunset from the rooftop balcony is out of this world, and that’s why we choose for you to stay there.
Or, it could be the wonderful owners or staff that welcome us back each time we stay and treat us so well. The more you interact with the hotel staff the more you will get out of the experience staying there. The more times we stay at a place, the deeper those relationships and friendships get, and you will often feel very welcome where we have you stay.
Often our guides will stay at a different hotel to save on overhead, and often they will dine on their own for the same reason and many others.
Travel Tip: If your guide recommends you do something – like order a drink from the lobby bar and watch the sunset from the rooftop – do it – otherwise, you’ll miss out on the main reason we stayed there in the first place. Bonus Tip: When your guide suggests doing something – it’s not a “suggestion.”
Awesome! If they weren’t awesome, people would not come back time and time again to go on other tours with us, and they do!
Why would we not want you to be happy with where we dine? As with accommodation, we are not trying to save money on the places we choose to dine; we want you to be happy and to have a “local experience”. We choose restaurants based on our vast (and past) experiences, and often it’s because of the location, the view, the vibe, the quality of the food (obviously), and the way the staff treats our guests. Most of the places we dine offer numerous meal options and many places now offer gluten free and vegetarian meals. Organic locally grown food is also a big thing.
Travel Tip: Avoid when possible asking for changes to what’s on the menu.
In Europe, most hotels have breakfast included, and on some of our tours such as the Dolomites tour, we cover the cost of all meals. On some of our other tours, we cover some lunches and breakfasts (check each tour for details), and you have the choice of where you dine when the tab is on you. We will, of course, make recommendations on where to dine. The cost of lunches and dinners is equal with what you’d pay to go out to eat in the U.S. or Australia, and there will be numerous options for what level of dining you choose. Our guides usually take the evening off and so won’t be joining you for dinner, let alone it’s more expensive for them and a lot of calories to eat out all the time at restaurants for six months straight.
We have no problem paying for a beer or glass of wine at lunch, but in the evenings and at other times, alcohol is at your expense. Travel Tip: Please don’t order French wine a German beer when you are dining in Italy – it’s a huge insult. Ask the wait staff for their suggestion for a good wine or beer from the region, same with food, and they will be happy to help you. And, to get the best service – look the restaurant staff in the eyes and smile and say hello and even ask how they are doing – they will appreciate it.
Just the “right” amount. Don’t worry; we’ll keep you on the “right path”.
With a zillion trips and walks/hikes under our belts we know what works and what is a great walk/hike. We know exactly where to take you to get the best views and to have an incredible experience. We know how to vary the walks to cater to different “levels” of walkers and often take detours to split the group up to make everyone happy. We have never “lost” anyone nor ever had anyone have an accident on one of our walks – and we plan to keep it that way. And, we often have an extra guide along, (or get one if necessary), so we often have a guide in front and one bringing up the rear, especially if we find the group has wildly varying abilities and experience.
You are probably very good at what you do, and we are very, very good at what we do. From many years of experience, we know how to evaluate our guests and to find the perfect hike for them. Don’t worry that we will not cover enough ground for you; there are always options and side-trips, and there is always more walking you can do at the end of the day if you want to walk more. And, there are often options to walk less if that is your preference, and there is often a cable car or chair lift nearby to cut a trail or take a shortcut or to head back to the village or hotel if you have had enough hiking for that day. There is always tomorrow.
We do know what a great hike is and what suits 95% of our guests, and we rarely have a problem with people not being comfortable with the walking distances we choose. We’ll always point out other walks you can do from the hotel, but interestingly enough, we always ask at the end of the day if people want suggestions of other walking routes, and 95% of the time, they say, “no we’re fine – that was perfect thanks.”
We believe in the philosophy of “it doesn’t matter how far you walk, what matters is how you feel about how far you walked.”
For those that need numbers – on a typical day we’ll cover 8 – 12 miles and 1,000 – 2,000 feet of elevation gain. You can hike fast or slow – it doesn’t matter – we know how to keep groups together, so let us worry about that. With fitter and keener walkers we’ll cover more ground.
Our guides think deeply about where to take a group each day, depending on the group and the weather, and are experts at finding the “right path” for you. Since we are doing day hikes, we can vary hikes from day-to-day. In the Dolomites, for example, there are thousands of miles of trails to choose from for all levels of ability and fitness, and hundreds of cable cars we use to access the best hikes and best views without having to spend half the day hiking up a huge hill looking at your feet.
We have taken mountain goats, and marathon runners, and very experienced hikers on many of our trips, and they love the walks we have taken them on. We’ve also had people ask to be challenged, and they often regretted that later. Don’t worry – we are experts at taking groups with varied hiking fitness and having everyone very happy at the end of the day.
We have also taken people with no previous walking experience and who were not in great shape and we showed them how to use hiking poles and how to walk more efficiently and to slow down and not rush, and they did great and had a wonderful time. We rarely have problems with people “not being able to keep up” or “holding the group back” – we are experts at this. It’s OK if people to charge ahead and some people bring up the rear – that will usually happen no matter what the makeup of the group. If someone races ahead, they will simply be waiting at the next trail intersection or enjoying the view with a cappuccino at the next rest stop – no big deal. It is not a race and we are always trying to slow people down to enjoy the scenery, and not just focus on “getting to the end” – what’s the point in that?
If you are still worried about anything, it is better to contact us and even consider booking a private trip. Most people book a trip like this many months in advance, and so have time to get into “walking Shape,” or we can suggest a walking program for you to get you into better shape for the trip if that is a concern of yours.
We try and get across to our guests that the idea is there is no hurry, and that the goal is to enjoy the incredible views and not simply rush by them. To relax and be in the moment and savor the experience.
I have had people ask, “what trails are you going to take us on” and my reply is, “I don’t know – I haven’t seen you hike.”
Think of your hiking guide like a ski guide. They are going to take you on an easy trail (ski run) to begin with and see how you hike (ski), and what types of terrain you like and don’t like, and then adjust things as the trip progresses. There are ALWAYS options and lots of trails we can take. What’s easy to one person is hard for another – it’s all relative. Best to contact us to chat, and we’ll find the “right path” and the “right” tour for you.
Of course, on a private trip, we’ll tailor the walks specifically to your group and your walking preferences and go for as long and hard as you desire.
Want harder or longer hikes, just ask your guide; that is why they are there.
Tip: Don’t tell a super fit mountain guide that you want to be challenged.
They vary greatly. From soft single track trails winding their way through a forest to wider windy, rocky trails, to off-trail rambles through wild-flower filled meadows, to dirt roads, to switchbacks and gently ascending and/or descending paths – you can cover them all in a few hours. The Dolomites are rather rocky mountains, so do expect some rocky up and down trails.
Awesome hikes – we don’t know exactly until we see you on the trail.
With around 10,000km of hiking trails spread over nine nature parks that intersect like a giant spider web over ridges and passes and down into valleys and villages, it is a very confusing place. We have our favorite hikes that have the best views, but it is hard to describe the trails we take people on as very few hikes have names like other places in the world, and we often wander from one trail to another depending on the group and the weather and to avoid the busier areas. As we mentioned in answer to the last question above, we won’t know what hikes we will be doing until we see the group hike, but rest assured we’re going to show you the best of the Dolomites without a lot of driving and while staying away from crowds. And, to be honest, we like to keep our favorite trails a secret.
It’s not an issue, really – let me worry about that. We often have a guide in front and one bringing up the rear so it is not an issue. We also often deal with couples with different hiking abilities and keenness and various injuries. We have dealt with practically everything you can imagine many times – before so don’t worry; we have many solutions – let us handle it.
With over 250 walking tours under our belts, we have had every level of walkers, and maybe 1% of the time, we have someone who just isn’t up for one or two of the walks and when that happens we’ll have them drink a cappuccino with one of our guides and chat about life in Europe while the others ramble on and then swing back around to all join up again.
You won’t be left behind or waiting for long upfront – it rarely happens – and when it does we adapt and have options for slower walkers and are very used to this. We often have an extra guide along, so we have a guide in front and one bringing up the rear, so it is rarely an issue. We get many couples who have different walking speeds and conditioning and
If you are worried about it, contact us to figure out a solution, and we’ll let you know if we’ll suggest it if we think you should book a private trip or your own guide (which we can arrange).
No problem. We understand that issue and have handled that many times.
There are ways we can get around the cable car rides in most cases and there are many trails that we don’t need to use cable cars to access. Once again, it’s best to discuss this in advance to find out the best plan for you.
We avoid big drops and dangerous trails, to be honest, I don’t have the stomach for them anymore either, and it’s too stressful for me to take people on steep and dangerous trails. If you let us know in advance, or we find out during the tour you want more “challenging terrain,” we’ll hook you up with one of our local guides to take you on some more serious trails.
Please click on this link for our recommended packing guide for our walking tour in the Dolomites and what to take on the trail in your daypack here.
We provide hiking poles for anyone that wants to use them, and we will teach you how to use them to help you walk more efficiently and with less effort and stress on your joints. They can also prevent slips and slides.
The best walking or hiking shoes are the ones that are the most comfortable for you. Some people wear runners – no need for heavy boots!
I am a big fan of low cut hiking shoes with good, solid soles and have worn them all over the world including over rocky and icy glaciers to Everest Base Camp. Some people have weak ankles and do like a little more support, but you rarely need to worry about mud or hitting your ankles on rocks where we will be going. There are some very good low cut hiking shoes by climbing shoe companies like 5.10 and LaSportiva with a sole that is great on Dolomite rock and slippery cobblestones in villages so they make great travel shoes as well. (I have used these brands for many years, and they are very durable and very comfortable.)
Hiking “boots” are too heavy and not necessary, and rain or/and mud is rare, so it is unlikely your shoes will get wet. You also do not need “GoreTex” boots, which keep your feet hot and sweaty ALL the time, as opposed to keeping your feet dry that rare time when it is wet. And really, is it that big a deal if your feet get wet – they will dry out overnight in your hotel room. The conditions and weather are pretty darn good when and where we go, so bring what works for you or enjoy the comfort of a new pair of lightweight low-cut walking shoes and be happy!
I have had people wear running shoes, and they will work; however, some of the trails are quite rocky, and some sections are on dirt roads, so wearing running shoes all day, day after day, is very different from wearing them for a few hours and many peoples feet get sore and even bruised heels. I suggest walking shoes with a more solid (Vibram type) sole.
Lot’s! We will suggest many things you can do, and/or other walks you can do at the end of the day if you haven’t got enough “steps” on your device.
Why not unplug from your devices and relax in the hotel spa (many European spas are awesome), go for a swim (I always pack a swimsuit), watch the sunset, explore the area on an e-bike, or explore the village and do some shopping. Or have a drink at the lobby bar and write some postcards and talk with the barista – it could be the highlight of your stay. Why not do something different and let your mind be on vacation…
Travel Tip: Walk around the shops and buy a small gift for a friend or family member, or yourself – clothing and caps make great gifts and travel mementos. I have bought small, inexpensive items like a leather belt in a market that has lasted me many years and reminded me of that place. Your friends/family will be touched that you thought of them while on your trip, and no doubt appreciate a cool gift from halfway around the world.
Most places take credit cards these days, and there is usually an ATM close by to get some local currency (the best way to get cash). It is always a good idea to have some cash on you – say $250-500 in smaller bills.
The places we go to are “safe,” and we have never had anyone have any issues with theft on one of our trips – (just be careful of your “stuff”).
Travel Tip: You have worked hard and saved up for this overseas trip, and have spent a lot of hard-earned money to get here and on this tour, so why not relax your purse strings, support local merchants, and live a little…
Yes, most people in the tourism business speak English where we will be.
In most places we go people in hotels and restaurants will speak English. However, we do prefer to stay at more off-the-beaten places versus to experience more of the local feel of a place, versus places full of fellow western travelers, so some staff may not speak great English. We consider this all part of the experience and the fun but we would not go to these places if we hadn’t been able to get things done or order what we wanted. That said we have found that if you speak slowly and clearly, most people will figure out what you are trying to say. Tip: And this is nothing new, learn a few words of the local language before you go and/or use Google translate on your phone and start a conversation – many people will enjoy the experience and a chance to learn and practice their English.
Quick story: My wife Katarina spoke only three words of English when we met, which I joke was “leave me alone” – and the rest is history as they say.
Yes, pretty much everywhere except for some areas on more remote trails.
All the hotels we use have free Wi-Fi. We do suggest unplugging and being in the moment as much as possible while on our trips. We also kindly ask that phones are not used at group meals (unless to look at photos) and that you are present while on trails and during our activities.
There is always time to check all those important emails and messages before breakfast and before dinner, so why not take a moment to unplug and be in the moment and really be where you are… you are on vacation – (which is supposed to give your mind a break from work and the rest of the world) – unless you are waiting for a kidney transplant or something super important, it probably can wait, right. We ask that if you must use your phone at group meals, then please excuse yourself from the table first.
Do get an international plan for your phone; it is well worth it and quite inexpensive these days, you’ll be glad you did whenever you need it. We do ask that you keep your phone on the morning of your pickup.
Tip: Want to offend your group or your guide – check your messages/emails while on the trail or at dinner. Time on the trail is a sacred time to us, and phone use distracts everyone around you from the special moments we are all trying to capture.
We get many single travelers, and they are made to feel very welcome and instantly part of the group – you won’t feel like a “loose” wheel on our trips.
Many singles worry that other couples will just want to be by themselves whereas the opposite is true – couples often love meeting and spending time with other people – no matter if they are singles or couples.
We offer our single travelers a room on their own at no additional cost, even when this costs us more. Single rooms are not as common as western countries, so often a single room might not be that large or with a view – they are usually at the rear of a hotel. We do try and negotiate the best rooms available for all of our guests and, when available, will book a nice double room for single use – once again, even if it costs us more. You can always ask at the front desk to upgrade your room – at your own cost.
Yes absolutely! Contact us to discuss the possibilities and we offer price breaks for doing more than one tour with us. On our Dolomites tours, we often get people doing back-to-back tours, and in that case, we take them to different areas with different hikes and different hotels and experiences
We have just significantly dropped our prices for 2021 to the lowest prices in ten years to encourage people to travel again after COVID19, so we don’t have much room to offer discounts. However, we always take care of returning guests, larger group bookings, for booking back to back tours, and in “special cases”. Contact us, and we’ll see what is possible.
No problem. You don’t have to walk any day if you don’t want to. Our only agenda for our trips is for people to have a fantastic time – how much or how little you walk is up to you. (But you’d be missing out big time!)
Occasionally we’ll get people who want to stay back at the hotel to relax in the hotel spa, or to explore the village we’re staying in, or to take an easier walk in the valley – it’s no problem. For our planning, it is best if you can tell us as soon as you know you want to sit out a day or talk to us about the next day’s hike in case we know you wouldn’t want to miss it and we’ll suggest a better day to sit out. Anything is possible and OK by us.
The Dolomites are one of the safest places on the planet. There is very basically no crime in the area, and we have never had a problem on any of our trips. Just keep a close eye on your belongings on the way there and especially in major cities and around train stations. Cities like Milan have issues with gypsies and pickpockets, so don’t engage with them.
Yes, yes, yes, and yes – the best you can get, especially these days. Check out our recommended Travel Insurance provider here. And if you are traveling as a family I suggest taking out international rescue insurance for your family – check out Global Rescue at this link.
Biggest Travel tip: Find out if you trust the company (and your guide) that you want to book a tour with before you book with them. And then – you can relax as now you know you are in good hands and that you don’t have to worry about a thing. And then, listen to your guide and do what he says to do.
RPA reserves the right to change the price or cancel or withdraw any tour, or any guide for any reason whatsoever prior to departure. After departure, RPA reserves the right to alter or omit any part of the itinerary, to substitute hotels or leaders, to change any means of conveyance without notice with liability for increased costs (if any) borne by the trip, course or expedition members. RPA reserves the right to accept or reject any person as a tour member at any time and will refund a prorated amount within 90 days of the end of the planned trip.
I, (the undersigned below) understand, and am aware, that during the adventure travel and/or active and/or walking tour, in which I am currently participating, or will participate in, under the arrangements of RPA, certain risks and dangers may arise including, but not limited to: steep or treacherous terrain; inclement weather; avalanches, rock fall and other natural occurrences; slips and falls; misuse, failure or loss of equipment; shortage of food or water supply; use of ropes and equipment; the hazards of traveling in politically unstable areas; the dangers of civil disturbances and war; the forces of nature; the risks of exposure to insect bites; the hazards of ocean and river water; acts or omissions of RPA; travel by boat, automobile, train, ship, aircraft or other means of conveyance; the risk of altitude and cold including hypothermia; my own physical condition, illness, and the physical exertion associated with this activity and accident or illness in remote places without access to medical facilities, transportation, or means of rapid evacuation and assistance.
I understand, and am aware that during the tour in which I am currently participating that during any group meals or activities I will consume alcohol in a responsible manner. If I consume too much alcohol and begin to act in a rude or unwieldy manner to anyone, and if I injure myself or cause any accidents, RPA is not responsible for any incidents or damages that occur and may ask the trip participant to leave the trip, at their own expense.
I certify that I am familiar with the dangers, hazards and risks incident to adventure travel as listed above. And I accept and clearly understand that these hazards and risks may result in personal injuries to myself and others, including paralysis and death, and hereby expressly assume all of the above risks of acts or omissions of RPA, and do hereby expressly agree to hold RPA harmless and defend them against any and all liability. I understand that I am responsible for taking care of my luggage and possessions and that if anything goes missing on any part of the tour it is completely my responsibility and RPA will not be held responsible.
Travel insurance is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
In consideration of the services furnished me, and to be furnished me as a member of this adventure travel tour, I hereby release RPA and all the members of the tour from any and all damages, injuries, losses, or any cause of action which may result in me, my legal representatives or others purporting to exercise statutory or other rights arising out of, or in connection with this tour. And I hereby assume each and every damage incident to my participation, and agree to indemnify and hold harmless RPA and all members of the tour against any sums which they, or any of them may be subject to pay in consequence of any claim or demand by or through me, or resulting from my being a member of this tour. This includes any and all travel associated with getting to, and departing from the booked tour.
RPA reserves the right to use any and all video, pictures, audio and documents and testimonies obtained on or after this tour for future marketing and advertising. (agree)
By signing this document, I acknowledge that if anyone is hurt or property is damaged during my participation in this activity, I may be found by a court of law to have waived my right to maintain a lawsuit against RPA or Gary Scott on the basis of any claim from which I have released them herein. Any legal action must be filed in Nevada via RPA’s mailing address. I have had sufficient opportunity to read this entire document. I have read and understood it, and I agree to be bound by its terms.