What are the terms and conditions of my participation in a tour?
Responsibility Clause and Disclaimer of Liability—Foundations of Faith, Inc., does not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for your trip including, for example, cruise, airline, bus or other transportation companies; lodging, restaurant or entertainment facilities; guides or guide services; local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional excursions, etc. All such persons and entities are independent contractors. Foundations of Faith, Inc., and/or its agents and their representatives abroad (collectively, “Suppliers”) act only as agents for the tour members in making arrangements for hotels, transportation, touring, restaurants and/or any other services. Suppliers will exercise reasonable care in making travel arrangements. However, they do not assume any liability whatsoever for any injury, illness, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity to person or property because of any act, omission, or default of any hotel, carrier, restaurant, company or person rendering any of the services included in the tour or other arrangements. The tickets, coupons, tariffs, rules or contracts currently in use by any carrier, hotel, restaurant or other contractor rendering services shall constitute the sole contract between such contractor and you or other tour members. By participating in a Foundations of Faith, Inc., tour, you participate in all activities of the tour at your own risk. Suppliers shall not be responsible for loss of or damage to your property or luggage, accidents en route, or ill health which may require you to miss all or parts of tours or arrangements or to return home prior to your planned return. Tour arrangements are planned in advance. If between planning time and the actual tour operation, circumstances require changes, Suppliers reserve the right to vary itineraries and substitute components of tour programs without any penalty to the Suppliers. The right is reserved by Suppliers to accept or deny any person as a member of any tour. Delays, cancellations and over bookings may occur on air flights, cruises and land reservations by the participating carriers and hotels. While Foundations of Faith, Inc., will take all reasonable efforts to avoid any inconvenience associated with such actions, Foundations of Faith, Inc., does not assume responsibility for the actions of the carriers and hotels. It is agreed that any controversy or claim arising out of or relating in any way to this Responsibility Clause and Disclaimer of Liability, to this contract, to the brochure, or any other information relating in any way to the trip, or to the trip itself, shall be settled solely and exclusively by binding arbitration in Montgomery County, Maryland, in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association then existent. In any such proceeding, the substantive law of Maryland will apply. In any circumstance in which the above agreement to arbitrate shall be held to be unenforceable, the parties agree that venue shall be proper only in Montgomery County, Maryland, and the substantive law of Maryland will apply regardless of choice of law principles.
Should I purchase travel insurance?
We highly recommend the purchase of guaranteed comprehensive travel insurance at the time that you make your deposit for travel. We are not responsible for loss or damage to luggage, accidents en route, ill health that may require you to miss part or all of your trip, etc.
What size luggage am I allowed?
Given the price of fuel, airlines are changing their baggage restrictions frequently. Please check the website of your carrier for the most up-to-date information.
Where should I pack my passport and valuables?
Do not pack your passport, your money or any valuables in your suitcase. Photocopy the opening pages of your passport that show your name and passport number. It will make replacement easier if you lose them en route. Keep your copies in a place separate from the original passport.
Are there any special screening procedures?
Effective Sept. 26, 2006, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has adjusted airport security screening procedures.
Pre-Screening — Passengers may carry travel-size toiletries (3 ounce or less) that fit in a one-quart size, clear plastic, zip-top bag through the security checkpoints.
Post-Screening — Passengers may bring items, including beverages and duty-free items, purchased in the secure gate area on board the aircraft.
Should I lock my luggage?
Given the myriad of regulations imposed by the TSA, we are offering the following tip regarding luggage. As of January 1, 2003, TSA began screening 100 percent of checked baggage at all commercial airports across the United States. TSA suggests that you help prevent the need to break your locks by keeping your bags unlocked. In some cases, screeners will have to open your baggage as part of the screening process. It is recommended that you pack any valuable items in your carry-on luggage. You may keep your bag locked if you choose, but TSA is not liable for damage caused to locked bags that must be opened for security purposes. If TSA screeners open your bag during the screening procedure, they will close it with a tamper-evident seal and place a notice in your bag alerting you that TSA screeners opened your bag for inspection.
What clothes should I bring?
Summer — For the most part casual, comfortable clothing is recommended. Bring good comfortable walking shoes. Please, no shorts, sleeveless shirts or tank tops at any holy sites! Evenings may be cool, therefore a sweater or light wrap is recommended. For your day in Petra, bring a cool, cotton-sleeved top and slacks or jeans along with sturdy comfortable shoes. Remember to pack a hat, beach shoes, sunglasses and sunscreen.
Winter — Mornings and evenings may be cold, so bring clothes that you can layer. Also, be prepared for rain.
What is value added tax (VAT)?
There is a 17% value added tax (VAT) on most goods and services in Israel, Jordan and Egypt. At retail stores, this tax is always included in the price. Upon making a purchase of $100.00 or more at a store that has an agreement with the VAT authorities, ask for the “VAT Refund Form” and have it stamped. You will be eligible for a tax refund at the airport prior to your departure. Do not pack these gift items in your luggage. They should be kept in your hand luggage, along with the VAT form that you received from the merchant. When purchasing an item in your hotel, such as meals or drinks, we recommend that you charge it to your room; therefore it will be exempt from VAT.
What is the electricity abroad?
The electric current for Israel, Jordan and Egypt is 220 volts A.C., single phase, 50 cycles. Sockets are usually three-pronged, and foreign-made appliances often require an adapter. It is suggested that you have a selection of plugs for different sockets. Electric shavers, hair dryers, and other small appliances should be equipped with adapters to local current or transformers. Adapters may be purchased in the United States.
Do hotels have laundry facilities?
Most hotels are equipped with laundry facilities and will send out laundry for you; however this service may be expensive. Many rooms have the convenience of a line in the bathroom to hang up hand-washed items for overnight drying.
How should I carry my medicine?
All medicines should be carried in labeled prescription bottles. Antibacterial hand sanitizer, handi-wipes and small packages of tissues are recommended. We also recommend preparing your own mini-medical kit. Include bandages, aspirin, antiseptic cream, and anti-diarrhea medication.
Can I drink the water?
Water in Israel is safe to drink. However, just as with travel in the United States where a change in water can cause some people to have a reaction, the same is true for travel overseas. Bottled water is readily available. The fruits and vegetables in Israel are safe to eat. In Jordan and Egypt, water is not safe to drink! We highly recommend you drink only bottled water and eat food that has been cooked or that you can peel.
Should I bring my Bible?
Please bring your bible on your pilgrimage so that you may read about what occurred while you are in the very place it happened.
How do I make international phone calls?
Cellular phones for use in the Middle East and Europe may be rented prior to your departure. These phones are convenient, as you receive a dedicated phone number to provide to your family or work prior to your departure. When you arrive home, you simply place your phone and accessories into a special pre-addressed overnight return envelope. In addition, these phones have specially negotiated rates that are usually much less expensive than placing calls from your hotel.