Frequently asked questions
Do I have to be a knitter to go on one of your trips?
Absolutely not! About a quarter of the participants on our tours are non-knitters. Sometimes they are the spouses, friends or relatives of a trip participant. Sometimes they simply want to go where we’re going and enjoy the pacing, itinerary and camaraderie of our trips. You don’t have to be a “maker” to come along on one of our adventures.
What does the cost of a tour include?
Your tour cost covers all lodging, entry fees, transportation, workshops, educational experiences and studio visits. It also covers, on average, two meals per day. Breakfast is always included, then each day you will also have a lunch or dinner covered by the tour. Your transportation to and from the nearest airport is also included, unless the tour specifically notes differently due to special circumstances. What’s not covered by the cost of the tour? Alcohol, tips (though we’ll help you determine appropriate situations and amounts), activities you pursue during free time, gifts and of course, yarn!
Why is there an additional charge for single travelers/those wanting a private room?
It's a common misperception that arranging for a single, private room is an "upcharge". We are not trying to make participation by solo travelers more expensive! The reality of travel is that when you share a room, the cost of your lodging is reduced by about half. In fairness to everyone, we build the tour price around those lower, shared room rates. Then we make the option of a single, private room available for those who prefer it and are willing to pay the additional expense. Rowan Tree Travel does not make a profit on our single, private room supplemental fees. The pricing structure ensures each participant pays ONLY what it truly costs them for lodging during the trip. We do our best to keep the single, private room supplement as low as possible. Please do not think of it as a punitive fee... but perhaps as an investment in some "alone" time -- often quite beneficial when touring for several days with a group. If you are concerned about the impact of the fee on your ability to participate in a trip, please let us know. We will work to match you with another solo traveler with whom you can share accommodations.
What should I bring with me?
Take a look at our recommendations regarding packing, preparing for travel and specific destinations. You'll find information on a wide range of topics: how to choose clothes for the trip, cell phone usage, dealing with foreign currency, tipping customs at the destination and much more. We will alert you if there are any unusual items you’ll need to have with you. Workshop tools and notions are either provided on site or you will be alerted as to what is needed to bring along. Though we do not have a maximum luggage size or allowance, we highly recommend traveling as lightly as possible. No one has ever said they wished they’d brought more stuff to lug around with them on a tour. Many though, have stated they could have carried much less.
Will there be someone available to help with luggage?
Rowan Tree Travel stays predominantly in small, locally-owned inns and hotels. Most do not have sufficient staff to disburse luggage to individual rooms. Some do not have elevators. We suggest you only bring the size and amount of luggage that you can comfortably move around yourself (i.e. through the airport, from the bus to your hotel room, etc.) Most of our travelers bring one suitcase and a smaller bag (backpack, tote or large purse) which they keep with them through the day.
What is the activity level of Rowan Tree Travel’s trips?
In general, a tour does not require a great deal of walking – but does have a quick pace! We want to see and do as much as we can while in a given area, then move on to a new environment every 1 to 3 nights. Our days are full; our evenings are generally relaxed. Free/unscheduled time is offered every few days so individuals can pursue their own interests, enjoy some down time or simply catch up on sleep. We depend on individuals to monitor their own needs and let us know if they need to step out of an activity. A retreat has a much more relaxed pace than a tour. We generally stay in one place, whether it’s an inn, hotel, country home or retreat center. Daytime activities are scheduled such that individuals can opt in or out, depending upon their interest level. There is ample time for knitting, socializing and soaking in the atmosphere of our setting. We love to include hikes, yoga, local events and other impromptu activities during retreats – again, optional per your interest level and abilities. Walking trips are our most active tours. We walk every day or every other day, plus change hotels every 1 to 2 nights. Our hikes average 5 – 8 miles per day, 15 miles at the most. If you have concerns about your mobility in relation to any of our trips, please do talk with us about it. We can advise you as to any potential concerns. Unlike in the US, accessibility is not legally mandated. You’ll find many more and longer sets of than we are used to traversing. For the most part, we can get you fairly close to our activities, with walks of less than half a mile. Please note mobility concerns on your registration. Notice on the form allows us to pre-plan for any assistance you may need.
Can you accommodate a special diet?
In most cases, we can make arrangements for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals. With notice, restaurants and inns can also avoid specific ingredients to which you have allergies. Your best bet to insure trouble-free eating while on tour with us is to a)note your special needs on the registration form, b)check with your tour guide at the start of the tour as to whether there are any potential problematic meals ahead and c)check with your server at the beginning of each meal to remind them of your needs. It will help us if you are as flexible as possible while traveling. Bring along a few snacks or packaged foods – especially if your allergies are severe. RTT staff always alerts our providers as to special diets and allergies prior to the tour. However, mistakes can happen. Working together, we and you can assure your continued health and comfort as we travel. In very rare cases, we may be unable to meet your dietary needs. If at all concerned that may be the situation, we will contact you to discuss the situation well in advance of travel dates.
Can I string two tours together to extend my time traveling?
Yes, and we encourage you to do so as it makes your international flights a smaller percentage of your overall cost to spend time overseas. Rowan Tree Travel offers a standard $100 discount for any traveler participating in concurrent trips. For details, please contact us.
How soon before traveling do I need to acquire or renew a passport?
ASAP! The moment you begin planning an international trip, we recommend you begin the passport application process. Same for renewals! We remind our travelers to check the expiration date on existing passports. Why? Not everyone is aware that a passport must be valid for three months past the date of return. If you do need to apply or renew, be aware that the process can take as long as three months. Unforeseen circumstances (like a pandemic…) could make the process take even longer. Don’t hesitate. Don’t procrastinate. Start the application or renewal process today.
Can I talk with someone who’s been on one of your trips?
We are happy to put you in touch with someone that has either hosted a group trip or has been a participant on one of our tours. Just let us know.
Should I get travel insurance?
There’s only one answer to this question: YES. We’ve traveled enough to know that the extra cost involved in travel insurance is well-worth the peace of mind provided. Travel insurance is offered in many forms. Take time to consider what is most appropriate for you, especially if you or close family members have ongoing health concerns. Rowan Tree Travel provides our tour participants a menu of options from our own insurance provider. Additionally, your credit card, personal insurance company and flight/booking site may offer trip insurance at a reasonable rate. Be sure to review insurance policies as to whether the coverage is for trip “interruption” or trip “cancellation”. We also recommend you closely review the criteria under which you can be refunded and whether that refund is 100% or a smaller percentage of trip costs. Ask questions of your provider. It is always better to review the offered coverage prior to the trip rather than be surprised later.
How can I get my LYS or fiber arts guild to organize a trip with you?
Talk with your local shop owner or guild to see if there is interest. If so, please let us know a point person’s name and best means for contact. If your LYS owner feels inundated by the responsibilities of organizing such a trip, offer to assist! Whether for a yarn shop group or a fiber arts guild, or even a group of friends that craft together, it only takes one enthusiastic person to get a trip going! The yarn shop or guild (we call them the “tour host”) gets the word out; we organize and facilitate the tour. It’s a great partnership. Give us a call or send an email. We’re happy to talk with you about ways to get traveling!