Frequently Asked Questions

 

Here are some of our most common FAQs. If you still have any questions that weren’t covered below, please contact us here and we’ll be sure to help you out!

 

What is included in the trip price?

 Please click Here to see what's included in your 20 day Thailand trip.

What isn’t included in the price?

  • Travel Insurance (it is possible that Epic Travels can arrange it for you)

  • Travel supplies and other personal expenses

  • Food

  • Booze

  • Shopping

  • Activities outside of pre-arrange Detours group events

Will my cellphone work abroad?

If you really need to use your cell phone, you may be in luck. If your phone is “unlocked” and has an external SIM card then you can usually just buy a local SIM card to swap with yours. This is a simple and cheap solution, but you’ll be operating with a new local phone number. Some cell phones do work without the SIM card switch, but roaming charges could be very costly. Check with your wireless provider for detailed info.

What kind of a travel experience can I expect?

The philosophy of living care-free and easy-going has been the backbone of our organization from the beginning. We concentrate on creating epic travel experiences by spending an endless amount of time researching and travelling throughout all of our destinations. We seek out the best spots that we feel the average traveler would not find on their own. We’re not your typical “Tour” company... Epic Travels is an organization made up of travelers, travelers who love to travel! We are not people in suits running a business in search of wealth, we’re all constantly travelling because it’s our passion and hey, we’re good at it!! Our trips have their own unique style to them, we don’t show up to a destination and hand out a regimented itinerary...instead we get to know our groups and plan accordingly to what each group’s interests are! Because after all who are we to make you do something you don’t want to while on vacation! We know from experience which activities, day trips, sports, and cultural sights etc etc etc are the best and we offer our advice and we let you plan your own itinerary at each destination with your leaders. By consulting with your leaders once you arrive, you can make your journey as busy as you desire... from all day every day activities or maybe you’re there just to lounge on the beach and catch a tan with minimal activities planned. We understand every type of traveler and we feel that having a pre-planned day to day itinerary set in place before even meeting our travelers would be ridiculous! It’s your trip... and we’re there with you to create the best experience possible!

Can I arrange my own airfare?

Yes, just let us know and we will only charge you for the ‘land only’ portion of the Epic Travels experience. This will get you everything the rest of your group gets with the exception of the airfare and transport to and from the airport. If you are thinking of planning your own airfare, please clear all your flight dates with us beforehand to ensure that you aren’t arriving late and departing the group early! We will also provide you with instructions on getting to the guesthouse from the airport to meet up with the others in your group so that your arrival is absolutely worry free! This might also be a good option for people joining us outside of North America.

How do I sign up?

Signing up is easy. Simply fill out an online registration found on our website under the ‘Trip Registration’ section. Once we receive your registration, we will send you everything you need to know about making your first $200 deposit.

After we receive and confirm your deposit, we will send you our ‘Preparations Guidebook’ with everything you need to know about getting set for your epic adventure with us!

 Are these trips just party trips?

All our trips are to tranquil destinations that provide a lot of opportunities to party, but if you’re not going for the party, you will have no problem having a great time on one of our trips. Every traveler is coming along for different reasons, and we realize this, so we plan our trips so you can party nearly every day if that’s your thing or you can relax and escape the party as well. Our destinations are places where it’s easy to get lost in the moment so partying can be an essential part of many people’s trip, yet at the same time partying is never something we force onto our groups. We do plan parties for our groups at each destination but they’re never parties where drinking would be forced upon you or be necessary in order to enjoy yourself and have a great time. If you’re worried about your trip being too focused on partying, stop worrying, because there’s so much more to having an awesome travel experience than just the party. We’ve developed the perfect recipe for success with our level of partying for every traveler.

I hear it rains a lot in tropical countries…is this true?

In Thailand, as for the idea of it being rainy season, we have been in Thailand every month of the year and the weather in May is as good as any other time of year. The 2 separate coasts in Thailand experience different weather patterns: the West coast experiences a higher chance of rain between May and November, and the East Coast has a higher chance of rain between September and March. We go to both coasts because the idea of there being a higher chance of rain when we are on the west coast in May for example, still does not take away from the experience of being there. We emphasize the words 'a higher chance'. Most of the time the weather is great! And if it does rain, it’s a warm shower, and it’s typically quick rainfall that rarely last all day. Thailand is so much more than just sitting on the beach, with so many activities you'll always find you are busy having fun, regardless of what the weather is like. The rain is even part of being in Thailand, and being in a tropical country, and it would almost be a disappointment to have a trip without any. It’s cool when all of a sudden the sun disappears, the clouds come over, and you see a tropical storm come pouring down for 20 minutes, and then it is gone, the sun comes back out, and your day goes on.

So basically,  we’ve planned accordingly so anytime you can come on a trip with us will be great – regardless of Mother Nature’s plan you’re guaranteed to go home with a tan (or burn) that all your friends will be jealous of!

In Nicaragua, we have planned our trip to avoid the rainy season!

I may come on my own, will that present any problems?

It is pretty typical for us to have about 30% or more of the group being single travelers, and then most of the other people come with 1 or 2 other friends. Everyone who is coming on a trip is excited, so it’s only a matter of time before the group has all become one big group of friends. From past experience, the people who were concerned about this were pleasantly surprised how quickly and easily they made friends with the other group members. Once you have registered for one of our trips, as the departure date nears we will ensure a forum such as a Facebook group, or an online meeting point has been set up to provide each group member with some information in the case people are departing from the same city and would like to meet up! Having said that…We think that coming on your own can be an ideal way to do these trips because you have the benefits of having many friends to hang out with, but you are never really obligated to one person in particular.

Can anyone be a trip leader?

You might think that showing 20 people around a beautiful, tropical country might be your dream job but not everyone will fit the requirements of being a great Epic Travels trip leader. Each leader has to go through a rigorous training session for months before actually getting the role and title of 'trip leader'. These training sessions involve numerous experiments on the quality of sand, weather & temperature in different areas around the globe to make certain our trip members receive the most sunshine & soft sand for their hard earned dollar..... food & beverage testing to ensure maximum deliciousness and hours of pillow punching at numerous bungalows/huts to guarantee ultimate comfort. As well, they are often forced to pack their bags, gather twenty people up, get them on a boat, bus, train or plane (whether the people want to leave or not) to the next epic destination while ensuring everyone has all their belongings, travel friends and a smile on their face. It is a tough job and only a select few people will make the cut but if you are interested...let us know and we'll keep our eye out for you during your trip! We’re proud of our team of leaders in the sense that we are all travelers who have extensive travel experience and we love having the opportunity to share our travel knowledge with our group members!

What if I don’t live in Vancouver, LA or Seattle? Or I reside in Europe, Australia or some other wonderful place besides North America?

It might still be possible to get you on our regular group departure by connecting your flight from your home city to the city where the rest of your group will be departing if you live in Western Canada or the USA. If you live in the eastern part of Canada or the US this departure city will be different but we can usually arrange something where you meet up with the other travelers (for the west) during one of the layovers so that you can fly into your final destination and start your trip together. There is an additional airfare charge for flights originating outside of the stated west coast cities so please contact us for a price from your city.

If you want to join the Epic Travels experience from a country outside of North America you will be charged the 'land only' price and will need to arrange your own airfare to meet up with the rest of your fellow travelers. Just make sure you hear from us what the exact dates will be for your trip as we would hate for you to miss anything we have planned at the beginning or end of your adventure with us!

Can I travel to Europe, Australia or somewhere else before or after my trip?

For sure, just let us know and we will attempt to set up a flight for you that will get you to your other destination before or after your trip with us. The added cost will depend on the extra price we will have to pay for that particular flight. It’s also cool that most of our trip dates line up with each other so you can usually continue on with us if you like by flying to another country and starting another adventure!

I have an allergy to peanuts…can I still come?

A lot of food in Asia is cooked with peanuts but you shouldn't be too worried about it. If you take the appropriate precautions, you will be fine.

In the past we've had many other travelers in the same circumstance. What we've recommended they do is:

1) Bring an epi-pen and carry it with you at all times. You can also store it at each bungalow we stay in the restaurant's fridge. Your group leader will be able to help you out with this at each destination.

2) Make sure you are informing other people in the group that you have an allergy and where to find your medication. This way, if anything were to happen...they would know what to do. The most important person to communicate this with is the group leader. Regardless of whether or not your leader speaks the native language they will always be able to direct you to someone who can help you get the allergy written out and translated to avoid any potential problems!

3)  Go to this site killerpeanut.com and fill out the form and choose the relevant language and a translation can be made for you to print out and take along with you.  Show it every time you order food and you will be fine.

Be sure to let us know about any health problems when you sign up so that we can properly take care of you and ensure you have an accident free adventure!

If for some unforeseen medical, family or personal reason I cannot go, what is the cancellation policy?

If you purchase flight cancellation insurance for your plane ticket (which we highly recommend) and you need to cancel for any type of medical or family emergency, the full cost of the flight will be reimbursed to you.

The other portion of your payments which go towards our costs of preparing the trips, advertising, etc….are  partially refundable depending at what point you cancel your trip.  The $200 deposit is non-refundable because we need to have commitments from people, so that we can turn other people away.  Each of the following payments are 50% refundable until the next payment is due – at which point they become non-refundable. If you cancel after your ticket has been issued, you will incur a Flight Cancellation Fee along with a Free & Easy Cancellation Fee. For more information on each fee, please contact us directly.

One thing we want to mention is that if you do cancel, we can move any non-refundable amount that you paid to a future trip with Epic Travels so that you don't lose the money....and the option to join us again is always available!

I am really interested in culture and history that is completely different from our own and I would like to visit as many temples and such as I can. Are there any of these kinds of things to do except for the one in Bangkok?

One of the most important aspects of travelling is engulfing yourself into a new culture and consequently, learning from it! We encourage everyone who travels with us to join us by taking in the culture whether it is by exploring ancient temples, testing local cuisine, learning local language, helping out the community, or learning about each destination’s history etc. With the help of our awesome leaders and our local contacts, the opportunity to experience a lot of culture and history is continuously offered. It’s up to you and how much you’d like to learn and be involved and no matter what type of traveler you are, there will never be a lack of interesting culture and history surrounding you! 

How often will we be expected to get up early? And how long does it usually take to get accustomed to the time change?

DO NOT worry about this at all. We are not your typical regimented travel company, so the idea of the trip is to be living carefree, and easy-going, so we definitely do not plan many early mornings. There may be a couple of early mornings on days that we have to travel, but it is certainly not the norm. Also, we would expect that after a day or two that you are accustomed to the time change. For many people, it takes hardly any time to switch over because as soon as you arrive, you are too excited to be tired.

Do I need to get some shots done before I leave?

From the most recent information we have received from local health clinics is that people traveling to SE Asia will require shots for Hep A, Hep B, & typhoid. As well, you may need to get some additional boosters. We’re not doctors and do not know more than your local health clinics so please contact a professional and let them know which region of the world you are travelling to and they will ensure you are prepared for your trip with us! 

There are no shots recommended for travel to Japan.

What type of currency is primarily used there and what is the recommend form (credit card, travellers cheque, cash) that is most accepted and most secure?

There are banking machines in every country we run trips to, which will dispense to you the local currency and your leaders will be sure to direct you to them! In all our destinations you will be using the local currency. You will need to have a debit card that has the “Plus” or “Cirrus” logo on the back of the card. We suggest having at least one debit card and one credit card. From past experience, many times group members have lost or misplaced their cards while on a  trip and usually they have had another piece of plastic to retrieve $$$’s from the ATM. We also suggest signing up for Online Banking if you have not already. This is a great way to transfer funds and juggle your money accordingly to ensure you always have enough cash for food, booze and good times! Traveler’s cheques have become a thing of the past just like the mullet and we do not suggest bringing travelers cheques along with you (mullets are ok). One of the beauties of being with a large group is that we can all look out for each other and you will never be stranded alone in a foreign continent if you were to have a banking issue. Your leaders are knowledgeable travelers who could help you sort out any discretion with your bank.

Generally, how large are the groups?

Group sizes generally range from (including leaders) 17-20.  Over the years we’ve found this to be the perfect number of group members, as it gives everyone plenty of opportunity to meet the other people on the trip and have a good number of BFF’s by the end of it.  Every trip is different and regardless of the size of the group, you’re assured an awesome adventure. 

Do I need a passport? 

Everyone who travels with us will need a passport. Wait times vary for passport approval so it is best to begin working on obtaining yours shortly after making your initial trip deposit. This is the most important document you need to enable you to travel, so we suggest ensuring you have one and that it has at least 6 months validity left on it from the date of your departure.

Do I need a travel visa? 

For Thailand, you will not need a Thai Visa as long as you are not extending your Epic Travels trip.  If you do intend to extend your trip past the group dates, you should apply for a Visitors Visa from the Thai Consolate before your trip.  Once you’ve registered for a trip, Epic Travels will ensure you are prepared and fully aware of the complete visa process so there’s no delays in finding paradise!

Do I need travel insurance? 

Everyone traveling on a Epic Travels trip absolutely needs some sort of medical travel insurance. It can either be arranged through us or in some cases you will be covered through your work or school. Whatever the case is, you will need to provide proof that you have medical coverage before you are allowed to join your trip.

What is the age of the majority of travelers in my group? 

Our trips are designed for the 28-45 age group. No matter what the difference in age is...everyone joining us will have lots of things in common and be looking forward to having the most amazing experience of their life!  

Who will be leading my tour? 

Each group will have two knowledgeable and outgoing Epic Travels group leaders responsible for showing you the best experiences Thailand has to offer. These pairings are usually different from trip to trip as our team is continually changing and getting stronger. For Example: If your friend did a trip with Justin, he may be busy saving puppies and testing sand somewhere else on the globe so don’t expect to have the same leaders as your friends did!  You will be notified before your departure date of who your trip leaders will be so that you can add them as a friend on Facebook and secretly stalk them over the internet until you can actually do it in person. All of our leaders have spent loads of time in the destinations that they lead trips in and will have answers to most of your questions. As well, they are there to provide you with knowledge regarding the culture and language of the country and what there is to do and see in each of your trip destinations. The leaders will also help plan group activities depending on what the group wants to do. Whether it’s scuba diving, rock climbing, muay thai lessons, etc etc etc..... your leaders have been trained by Epic Travels as well as through their own travel experiences to direct you and ensure you make the best choices to maximize awesomeness on your trip! Your leaders are also there to deal with any issue that may arise whether it’s that the cooler is out of cold beer, you need some assistance stringing a hammock, or you maybe ate the wrong food and are not feeling so hot and need some advice.  All our leaders are experienced in the way of Epic Travels...you can feel confident that they are going to be an essential part of your trip and experience!

Click here to learn more about the Epic Travels family.