GENERAL INFO

GENERAL INFO ABOUT DESTINATION & DAILY LIFE

At Your Destination
 

About Your Sightseeing
To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted tours, there is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our motor coaches which will be organized by your Tour Guide. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which may affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Maxx Tours & Travels will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary.
 
Purchasing Tours Locally
On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. 
 
Independent Activities -  Maxx Tours & Travels itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration.  Maxx Tours & Travels is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion.
 
Gratuities
Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currencies, Euro or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional "compensation." There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience.
 
Suggested Tipping: Independent Tours

Hotels:
Porter: 3 € per bag
Wait staff: 5-10% of the bill (lunch or dinner)
 
Gratuities are appreciated and expected for good service in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists. Restaurant bills often include a service charge. Taxi drivers do not expect gratuities and rounding up the fare is usually sufficient.
 


 

 

 

Currency 
We suggest getting a small amount of currency for the first country you're visiting before you depart. It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert euros, dollars to the local currency. It's also a good idea not to carry too much money. Many countries have ATM machines that accept most ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs don't always have letters. ATM machines will only dispense cash in local currency. Check with respective consulates to learn current currency allowances and requirements. Use your credit card whenever possible. Should you decide to carry cash, please note that exchange at banks is typically more favorable than at hotels or exchange bureaus. However, bank hours are limited to Mondays through Fridays and sometimes only morning hours on those days. 
 
Czechia - The Czech Koruna (CZK) is the currency of the Czech Republic.
 
Austria and Germany - Euro (€) is the currency of the Austria and Germany.
 
Hungary - Hungarian forint HUF (ft) is the currency of the Hungary.
 
 
Credit Cards 
While credit cards are accepted in most destinations, it is advisable to carry local currency. Inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card being blocked for security reasons. 
 
Shopping
Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities. 

We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally crafted merchandise which you may not be able to find on your own. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within 72 hours of the item's receipt.  

While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is! 

About Tax-Free Shopping
Tax-Free Shopping allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. If interested, we suggest you check the respective country’s online website, or with your tour manager or with www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased. 
Tax-Free Shopping form Limits;  Czcehia :2000 czk , Austria:75 € , Germany:25 € , Hungary:50000 ft

 
Czechia - Some favorite souvenirs include Bohemian glass or crystal, porcelain, pottery, exquisite Christmas ornaments, and fine lace and embroidery work. Craftsmen and artisans often form associations and run their own retail stores, where you can often find high quality workmanship. Jewelry incorporating semi-precious stones, especially garnets, is another Czech specialty.
 
Austria - Austria is renowned for its high quality winter sports equipment, wine, as well as an assortment of top-of-the-line, handcrafted items, including crystal, wood carvings, textiles, and fine leather. If you are traveling during the Christmas season, the Christmas markets are a must-see, not only for the goods but also for the hot mulled wine and unforgettable atmosphere.
 
Hungary - Hungary is renowned for its food and beverage products, especially fine red paprika, brandies, and Unicum liqueur. Additionally, traditional items such as ceramics, embroidery work, painted eggs, crystal ware, and costumed dolls are highly popular.

Germany - In addition to large department stores featuring a wide range of goods, Germany has many specialized shops that feature high quality items such as optical instruments, knives, glassware, china, handcrafted toys, and antique books and maps, among many others.
 

 
Your Safety is Very Important

It is also important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:
 
  • Be aware of potentially dangerous places and situations as you would be at home. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry and carry your valuables concealed in inside pockets or hidden pouches. Your objective is to avoid drawing attention and to blend in with the crowd
  • Don't put all your valuables (money, credit cards, passports, etc.) in the same place (in case one wallet is stolen, you should have other valuables and identification in another safe place) 
  • Do not leave valuables laying loose in your room or on the bus as Maxx Tours & Travels  is not responsible for any loss. Use the hotel safe. Keep copies of your passports, credit card numbers and travelers checks numbers in the hotel safe 
  • Credit cards are generally accepted everywhere and are safer than traveling with large amounts of cash 
  • Do not pack valuables (cameras, computers, jewelry, etc.) in your checked luggage. Keep hard to replace valuables with you in your carry-on bag 
  • Keep wallets safely tucked into front trouser pockets and/or wear a money pouch inside your clothing 
  • Carry handbags close to your body, shoulder bags the cross-body method with the bag in front of your body.

If you've purchased an guided tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of Maxx Tours & Travels representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Maxx Tours & Travels vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.  
 
Tourist Street Scams
Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed:
 
  • Remain alert and cautious. Be wary of any unusual contact or commotion in crowded public places, including train stations, markets, subways and tourist sites; 
  • Be especially careful when traveling independently, or leaving your tour group to explore on your own. Try not to travel alone, especially at night. Avoid narrow alleys and poorly lit streets;
  • Use only official taxis and check the change you receive from all taxi drivers and vendors;
  • Beware of pickpockets often working with an accomplice who will distract you by spilling something on you, dropping a wallet or other seemingly valuable object, or tripping and falling down in front of you;
  • Beware of aggressive street vendors who may approach you offering a demonstration which may end with you being pressured to purchase an item or act as a distraction for another pickpocket;
  • Don’t tip beggars;
  • Wear the shoulder strap of your bag across your chest;
  • Carry modest amounts of cash (Euro or US dollars or local currecies) in small denominations so that you can avoid flashing large bills when paying for small items;
  • ATM machines can be a convenient way to carry less currency. However those machines too can be used for robbery. Be wary of anyone who can look over your shoulder when inputting PINs. Another scam involves rigging the machine with a plastic insert which makes your card retrieval difficult; the thief then removes your card after you walk away;
  • If you are confronted, do not fight back - give up your valuables. If your possessions are lost or stolen, report the loss immediately to the local police and keep a copy of the official report for insurance claims.
 
Local Emergency Phone Numbers
Czech Republic
  • Ambulance/Medical: 112 or 155 
  • Fire: 150 
  • Police: 158 
Austria
  • General Emergency: 112 or 122 
Hungary
  • General Emergency: 112 
Germany
  • Ambulance/Fire: 112 
  • Police: 110
 
Languages
Czech Republic - Czech is the local language. German and limited English are generally spoken in tourist areas.
 
Austria - German is the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas.
 
Hungary - Hungarian is the local language. Limited English is generally spoken in tourist areas.
Germany - German is the local language. English is generally spoken in tourist areas
 
 
Electricity
Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances.
 
Czech Republic - The voltage used is 220 volts.
 
Austria - The voltage used is 230 volts.
 
Hungary - The voltage used is 220 volts.
 
Germany - The voltage used is 230 volts.
 

Code of Conduct
Czech Republic - Dress should be conservatively casual. Normal courtesies should be observed. Please note that punctuality is important, and if you arrive late at the theater or opera, you may be denied entrance.
 
Austria - Shaking hands is a customary greeting and normal courtesies should be observed. First names are not used when being introduced, but after a relationship exists, using first names is appropriate. Politeness is highly valued, and saying hello and goodbye is important even in shops and restaurants. 
 
Hungary - Shaking hands is a standard form of greeting. Normal courtesies should be observed and when addressing a newly met acquaintance, both first and last name should be used. Conservative casual dress is appropriate. Smoking is prohibited on public transport and in public buildings.

Germany - Shaking hands is a customary greeting and normal courtesies should be observed. First names are not used when being introduced, but after a relationship exists, using first names is appropriate. Politeness is highly valued, and saying hello and goodbye is important even in shops and restaurants. 

 
Food and Meals
As specified in each itinerary. Meals are based on the hotel's or restaurant's buffet or set menu. In general, beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. 
 
Holidays
On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants. 
 
Holidays - Czech Republic

Holidays 2018

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Mar 30: Good Friday
Apr 1: Easter
Apr 2: Easter Monday
May 1: Labor Day
May 8: Liberation Day
Jul 5: Saints Cyril and Methodius
Jul 6: Jan Hus Day
Sep 28: St. Wenceslas Day (Czech Statehood Day)
Oct 28: Independent Czechoslovak Day
Nov 17: Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day 
Dec 24: Christmas Eve
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: St. Stephen's Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

Holidays 2019

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Apr 19: Good Friday
Apr 21: Easter
Apr 22: Easter Monday
May 1: Labor Day
May 8: Liberation Day
Jul 5: Saints Cyril and Methodius
Jul 6: Jan Hus Day
Sep 28: St. Wenceslas Day (Czech Statehood Day)
Oct 28: Independent Czechoslovak Day
Nov 17: Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day 
Dec 24: Christmas Eve
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: St. Stephen's Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

 
Holidays - Austria

Holidays 2018

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Feast of the Epiphany
Mar 30: Good Friday
Apr 1: Easter
Apr 2: Easter Monday
May 1: Labor Day
May 10: Ascension Day
May 21: Whit Monday
May 31: Corpus Christi
Aug 15: Feast of the Assumption
Oct 26: National Day
Nov 1: All Saints' Day
Dec 8: Immaculate Conception
Dec 24: Christmas Eve
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

Holidays 2019

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Jan 6: Feast of the Epiphany
Apr 19: Good Friday
Apr 21: Easter
Apr 22: Easter Monday
May 1: Labor Day
May 30: Ascension Day
Jun 10: Whit Monday
Jun 20: Corpus Christi
Aug 15: Feast of the Assumption
Oct 26: National Day
Nov 1: All Saints' Day
Dec 8: Immaculate Conception
Dec 24: Christmas Eve
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve

 
Holidays - Hungary

Holidays 2018

Jan 1: New Year's Day
Mar 15: National Day (1848 Revolution Memorial Day)
Apr 1: Easter
Apr 2: Easter Monday
May 1: Labor Day
May 21: Whit Sunday
Jun 5: Whit Monday
Aug 20: Hungary National Holiday
Oct 23: National Day (1956 Revolution Memorial Day)
Nov 1: All Saints' Day
Dec 24: Christmas Eve
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Dec 26: Boxing Day
Dec 31: New Year's Eve