Cross Cultural Journeys Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why travel with Cross Cultural Journeys?
A: Simple: We focus our attention on arranging all the details of your journey so that you don’t have to! With our contacts and years in the field, we have connections to people, places, companies, festivals, and events that the first time visitor cannot hope to have. Our job is to set up and deliver a thoughtful, brilliant trip; your job is to relax and enjoy it, not having to worry about a thing.
Q: How are you different from other tour companies?
A: First, we plan journeys that are flexible, with time for serendipity, not “tours.” We offer the opportunity to experience the world differently. We travel to “be with” the people in their culture not “look at” and merely photograph a destination. We talk with clients beforehand to see what they are interested in and customize each itinerary to include the interests of our travelers.
Q: What kinds of people travel with CCJ?
A: People like you! Our travelers range in age from 16 to 85, with the majority in their mid 40’s and 50’s, and those who come from all over the country. They bring to the group a rich variety of interests, spiritual pursuits, and perspectives. Many of our travelers are sophisticated world travelers who choose our trips for the content we offer through our uniquely qualified trip leaders, and who travel with us regularly, while others have never traveled with a group before. Our travelers frequently find that they have a great deal in common with one another and because our journeys typically have a theme, the group is rather focused. One commonality of our travelers is their desire to deeply experience the people and culture of the places we visit and the desire to learn from their experiences.
Q: I’m not so sure about traveling with a group.
A: We continually receive feedback from our travelers saying they had never traveled in a group before (Our travelers are often quite independent, and they want to ensure that they have plenty of alone time and flexibility) and that they were surprised and delighted to find that being part of the group was one of the highlights of their experience. Long after the journeys has ended, many of our travelers continue to stay in touch with each other.
Q: How large are the groups?
A: We feel that the group dynamics and the interface with the culture works best when we do not descend in hordes, and for the most part, we keep the group size between 15 to 20 travelers. Occasionally, in compelling circumstances, we arrange a larger group.
Q: Who leads the trips?
A: We plan trips based on travelers’ interest. When we find a leader who has a particular expertise in, and passion for, a particular culture or region that coincides with what we know our travelers are looking for, then we are likely to put a trip together. The leader serves as the bridge to the culture, and his or her only responsibility on the trip is to be available to you. Unlike other travel companies, we also send along a trained trip manager who works with the local land operators, and who handles all the details to ensure a smooth and seamless experience.
Q: Are the itineraries “fixed”?
A: Yes and no. On one hand, we do handle absolutely all of the details and arrangements so that you don’t need to think about them, you just need to be and experience. At the same time, having that basic planning in place allows us to be flexible when we come upon a festival or we are invited into a local home for tea, or come upon some “can’t resist” opportunity. Our leaders and managers recognize the value of serendipity, and are able to be creative and flexible as unforeseen opportunities present themselves along the way.
Q: Is it possible to have a single room?
A: Yes, it almost always is (occasionally a specific hotel might not be able to accommodate singles, but this is the exception). However, if you would like a roommate, we do our best to pair you with someone we feel would be a good match based on information we gather from our phone conversations.
Q: How difficult are the journeys?
A: Each trip is different. If you have a question after reading the itinerary you can call our office or email us and we would be glad to address any individual concerns you may have.
Q: Is travel safe these days?
A: Travel, like life, has inherent dangers. At the same time we work with exceptionally reliable and skilled professionals in each country, people we know we can trust implicitly. In terms of international politics: as the world situation changes we keep in close contact with the United States Department of State and our contacts in the countries. Should we need to cancel a trip for safety reasons, you will receive a full refund. Our travelers’ safety is always our top priority.
Q: Do you recommend Travel Protection?
A: Yes. For trips to any destination, Cross Cultural Journeys recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.
For trips to most countries: For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click here or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 47-0272. Please advise Travelex that Cross Cultural Journeys is the travel company for this trip.
For trips to Cuba: Contact Cross Cultural Journeys at (800) 353-2276 to learn more about how to help protect you and your trip investment. Cuba travelers may not enroll online. You must contact Travelex Insurance Services by phone at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 47-0272. Please advise Travelex that Cross Cultural Journeys is the travel company for this trip.
Please Note: To be eligible for the waiver of pre-existing medical condition exclusion, the protection plan must be purchased within 15 days (Travel Basic) or 21 days (Travel Select) from the time you make your initial trip deposit. However, the plan can be purchased any time prior to departure.
The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries and may be changed without notice. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. If you have questions about coverage available under our plans, please review the policy or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800.228.9792 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (formerly known as Stonewall Insurance Company), 1314 Douglas Street, Suite 1400, Omaha, NE 68102. 11.17 E7N
Q: What is your cancellation policy?
A: Cancellations must be received by CCJ in writing by letter or email. We calculate your refund based on the day we receive written notification. Regardless of reason or cause, cancellations result in the costly processing of letters, toll calls, record adjustments, refund checks, as well as a loss of time, which often precludes resale. Thus, there is a nonrefundable cancellation fee of 50% of the deposit per person. The following penalties will apply on cancellations:
- Minimum cancellation fee 50% of deposit per person
- Between the time of the reservation and up to 60 days prior to departure: 50% of deposit
- Between 59-0 days prior to departure: 100% of trip price
Please note that no partial refund will be given for unused travel for any reason once the trip begins.
Q: Can your company arrange my personal trip to Cuba?
A: Yes. We are happy to discuss creating a personalized people-to-people travel experience for you, within the constraints of U.S. government restrictions on travel to Cuba. Note that under U.S. law, U.S. citizens in Cuba must have a full-time schedule of people-to-people activities and be accompanied by a representative of an organization like Cross Cultural Journeys that sponsors such trips.
Q: Will you be able to help me arrange my flights to and from my destination country for one of your trips?
A: Cross Cultural Journeys plans group travel once you arrive to your destination. We are happy to recommend travel agents with whom we have worked seamlessly for many years. These agents know the best routes, times and departures to get you to and from your destination country.
Q: What about flights to Cuba?
A: As of November 30th, 2016, direct commercial flights are available to be booked from the United States on many major American cities. You can book flights on your preferred airlines just like you would for any other destinations. Learn more on our blog Flights to Cuba: What you need to know.