Things to Remember

Luggage

You are limited to one piece of luggage and one carry-on.

Suitcase: Your suitcase must not weigh more than 35 pounds, and must be no larger than 62 dimensional inches (add height + width + length together – the maximum expansion of the suitcase must not exceed the maximum dimensions). Please do not bring a garment bag. Note: The 35 pound weight limit on the European suitcase is due to the amount and weight of the instruments that the group will bring. Suggestion: It will be easier to meet the weight restriction if the suitcase is somewhat less than 62 dimensional inches and weighs no more than 10 – 12 pounds empty.  Suitcases WILL be weighed at check-in.

Carry-on: Your carry-on luggage must be able to fit under the seat of the aircraft and the European coach, be no larger than 45 dimensional inches (height + width + length) and weigh no more than 13 pounds. Please bring a “soft sided” carry-on – not one with wheels.

Clothing/Packing List

  • 2 pairs of shoes (pack 1, wear 1)
  • 2-3 pairs slacks/skirts, 2-3 shorts
  • 6-9 shirts, blouses, tops
  • 7 sets underwear
  • Concert uniform
  • Girls: dress or dressy skirt and blouse
  • Socks, pantyhose
  • Pajamas
  • Bathing suit
  • Washcloth (optional)
  • Sweater
  • Raincoat, all-weather coat or jacket
  • Personal and toiletry articles
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Laundry soap (in plastic), plastic bags (wet clothes), elastic clothesline
  • Passport

Electrical Converter

If you are planning to take battery chargers, a travel iron, or other electric appliances, you must also take a “step-down” converter which converts European 220 to American 110 volts. You will also need a set of European adapters. These can be purchased in electrical stores, luggage stores or the luggage sections of department stores.

Passports

You must possess a valid passport to travel to Europe . To apply for a U.S. passport, obtain an application from your county seat, county court house or, if available, local post office.  Passport cards are not accepted for European travel.

In order to make application, you must have

  1. The completed application
  2. Proof of U.S. citizenship (original birth certificate)
  3. Identification that bears applicants signature
  4. Two identical photos (2″ by 2″ square)
  5. Application fee

Please note that passports take 8 – 10 weeks to process. You should plan to apply for your passport by no later than January 31st. Passports that expire within 3 months after the tour must be renewed.

American Music Abroad needs a photocopy of the picture page of your passport for the airlines by no later than April 15th.

For questions and to print passport applications, you may also go to the U.S. Passport website.

Participants that are not American citizens should contact their consulate for information on required visas. Non-American participants are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas. American Music Abroad can provide a letter confirming tour participation and countries to be visited if needed. Please contact us.

Insurance

American Music Abroad suggests that participants have travel insurance coverage for trip cancellation (due to health or other personal issues) as well as baggage coverage and additional health coverage. An insurance brochure from Allianz Travel Insurance  is sent with the acceptance packet. Alternate insurance companies with competitive rates are Travelex and Travel Safe.

Instrumental participants are required to have instrument insurance for their instrument(s). We suggest checking with your homeowners policy regarding instrument coverage. If you do not own your instrument, please obtain insurance through your rental company or through a separate insurance agency.  We recommend purchasing instrument insurance through Anderson Group – Music Agency or Merz-Huber Co..

Payment & Cancellation Schedules

For the Payment and Cancellation Schedules, please refer to the American Music Abroad Honor Bands, Choirs and Orchestras color brochure given to you at the information meeting.   A copy of the brochure is also available for download under your members page.  A statement listing the payment schedule and your account status is sent on the same day as each newsletter.  The general payment schedule is listed on the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Escort & Driver Tips

It is customary for tour participants to give their tour escort and European coach driver a monetary token of appreciation at the end of the tour. You will be notified of the amount in the June Newsletter.

Spending Money

You will need some foreign currency for independent meals and small purchases. Currency can be ordered from your local bank, AAA Travel Agency, or other online banks.

ATMs have become very popular in Europe and provide a convenient method of obtaining local currency. ATMs are usually easy to find and often have the best exchange rates. To get cash from an ATM, we recommend a VISA card or Mastercard debit card (you must know your PIN). We do not recommend taking a MAC card. Although these cards may work in some ATMs, they often are not accepted.  Do not take a debit card without a VISA or MasterCard logo.

You may also use your VISA card or Mastercard for purchases in stores. Your credit card bill will contain the exchange rate.

Pre-paid credit cards are available for teens. Visa Buxx, AAA Travel Money Cards and American Express PrePaid Reloadable Cards are excellent options. Cards can be used in stores and ATMs worldwide.  Be sure to request PIN when you apply.

For more information on spending money and the amount and types of foreign currency to purchase, please refer to the information in the February/March Newsletter.