Some helpful information…
Physical Condition — You will enjoy the tour to the degree of the shape you're in. One scale I've used is the following:
• OK Shape — Able to walk a steady mile.
• Good Shape — Able to walk a steady mile up and down hills (including stairs).
• Better Shape — Able to walk a steady mile up and down hills (and stairs) that have cobblestones and marble sections.
• Best Shape — Able to run a marathon up Mount Olympus — or whatever mountain — and not be winded!
Shoes — You will want two (2) good pair of walking shoes. Break them in before the trip so you know they will be comfortable, but don't wear them out!
Perfumes, colognes and sprays — Because some on our trip will be allergic to smells, odors, etc. and we will be next to each other and on a bus a lot of the time, we request that you not use perfume, after shave, body sprays, fragrant lotions, etc. on the trip. And this can even apply to essential oils. What may seem like a very faint smell to you may be overpowering to someone else.
Travel Insurance — Kenneth Mills Tours strongly recommends the purchase of travel insurance for protection of your tour and luggage investments. Go to Squaremouth — http://www.squaremouth.com/22174 — (or click the link at the bottom of this page), and select the policy that best fits your needs. On Squaremouth you can compare a number of policies from different companies and make your own decision. Please familiarize yourself with what is available and their requirements.
Walking Surfaces — On many tours we will be walking up and down hills and over cobblestone. Also, as many of the streets, etc. are stone and marble (in Greece), there will be sites that are rather slick, so we need to take great care as we visit various sites. (I'll probably be the first to fall down! — So, as Elvis sang, "Treat me nice!")
Passport — This is a good time to remind you that you will need a passport for any overseas travels, and the expiration date (in most situations) must be at least six (6) months after you return from your tour.
TSA PreCheck® and Global Entry — Many travelers use TSA PreCheck® or Global Entry. These programs give you a "Known Traveler Number" are for U.S. citizens and U.S. lawful permanent residents. TSA PreCheck® gives you expedited security screening at more than 200 airports within the United States. Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck® and members can use Global Entry Customs Kiosks at more than 75 airports when returning to the U.S. from travel abroad. To apply or learn more, go to https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/.
How to Dress — Business casual, khakis, nice jeans/pants — nothing with holes or overly worn. Men are to wear shirts with collars and sleeves. Ladies are to have blouses/tops with sleeves — nothing low cut. Bermuda shorts can be worn on some days in some situations. Many sites will require that both shoulders and knees be covered (men and women) and women may be required to wear a skirt at some sites. In this situation it would be good to carry a wrap-around skirt you can throw on. (Some sites have skirts they will give you to use.)
Words, Images, Messages on Clothing — This includes shirts, jackets, pants, caps, etc. — Basically, no messages/images of any type. If you have a sweatshirt that has a state or school name ("Arkansas" or "Harding") that will be OK. And you may have a jacket with a company name on it. However, it is best not to have any mascots or artwork on any clothing. There should be no political messages of any type.
Rain Gear / Cool Weather Wear — On some of our tours we will run into light showers or rain sometimes. I carry a very light plastic poncho I can throw over me. (It fits in a 4"x6" pouch.) As far as cooler weather goes, think layers.
Security — There will be times when we will be in areas where pickpockets operate. The number one item you want to protect is your passport! Dr. Manor recommends "pickpocket-proof pants" from Clothing Arts (clothingarts.com). I wear 5.11 pants, and they work well for me. We can loan you money or clothing, but we can't loan you our passport! I make a photocopy of my Passport, Driver's License, and Insurance Cards and have a copy of that in each piece of luggage I carry and in my backpack.
Luggage — How much luggage should you take on the trip? Some folks like to take anything they think they might need. Others can pack everything they want for a 2-week trip in a carry-on! Keep in mind, that you will be toting your luggage at times. We will provide you luggage tags, but you may do something else to identify your luggage, like paint a bright sunflower on it! On my luggage tag, I don't put my home address and phone number (I don't want people to have it) — I put the address and phone number of my home church. (I don't put the church name on the tag.)
Eating overseas — We've always had great food on the tours. However, to make sure my system can handle any changes, about a month before I leave, I begin taking probiotics to help build up good bacteria in my gut. This is not as critical in nations where the food is like or similar to what we are used to. However, we do this as a precaution even in places like Israel, England, or Greece.
Prescriptions — TSA does not require prescriptions to be in prescription bottles. HOWEVER, laws of different states and different nations vary. So, please have all prescriptions in a prescription bottle for that medication. If your bottle is large (3 months supply / 3 times a day / horse tablet size), you may want to contact your pharmacist and get a smaller bottle with your prescription label on it and just carry a two-week supply.
Traveling with Vitamins — We put our vitamins in individual Zip-lock bags with a label on each bag identifying the specific vitamin.
Sharp Objects and Other Prohibited Items — Please familiarize your self with items you can and cannot take on board the aircraft. This is a good brochure from the TSA on what you can and cannot carry — http://www.maximuminflation.com/documents/prohibiteditems_brochure.pdf — You may normally carry a pocketknife with you. Don’t bring it; don’t check it. Even though you can check it, you may not be able to carry it in the country in which we are visiting.
Being Nice to Airline, Customs, and TSA Personnel — I’ve found that being nice to these folks really makes traveling a lot more enjoyable. They have a job to do, and I try and help them do their job efficiently. And they have been very nice to me.
Your Passport — Don’t forget your passport. If you do, Delta (or United or whoever) won’t wait on you; the bus won’t wait on you; we won’t wait on you. (We love you, but we still won’t wait on you!) Remember your passport!
Your Driver's License — Just a reminder that you need a “Real ID” driver’s license for airline flights.
Start a "Go Box" — Set a box on a table or designate a specific spot for items to take on your trip. This will give you a place to put things when you suddenly remember you want to take ____________________ on the trip.
Spending Money — On most tours you can spend a lot of money on a variety of things. You will probably want about $15-$25 each day for meals / snacks. In Egypt, we will need to exchange dollars for the Egyptian Pounds (EGP or LE). In Greece, we need to exchange for Euros. In Israel the US Dollar is widely accepted, and you probably won't need to exchange any dollars for shekels. You will want money for souvenirs. You can find souvenirs for a few dollars up to several thousand dollars. Know your budget!