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FAQs for the Historical Hysterical Storytelling England Tour - 2017
(All information and listings subject to change
Last Update - 10/18/2017, 12:06 PM


My number ONE goal for everyone on this tour is to HAVE FUN!

How long is the tour?
  11 days on the ground (plus two days to travel to and from England)
   
What are the dates of the tour?
  Proposed - May 16, 20117 - May 28, 2017
Leave USA on Tuesday, May 16th - Arrive in Dublin the next day - Wednesday, May 17th (about 13 hrs total travel time - with a stop in New York - JFK).
Leave England Sunday, May 28 - Or stay longer if you like (about 16 hours travel time - with two stops - Paris & Minneapolis).
   
What is the itinerary?
  The plan is to visit: London, Canterbury, Salisbury, Stonehenge, Cardiff (Wales) & Dublin (subject to change) -
Click here for the itinerary
   
How many people will be in the group?
  We would like to keep the group small, 8-14 people. This will allow for ease of traveling, attendance at different attractions, and adequate attention for everyone in the workshop environment.
   
Can a non-teller come?
  Yes. Non-tellers, friends, spouses and partners are absolutely welcome to come and enjoy the experience, and will be encouraged (but not pressured) to participate in workshop activities.
   
How much will it cost?
 
The cost will vary - the current estimated total is approximately $2949
NOTE: This is an estimate of what the entire trip will cost - PER PERSON.
Fees paid to me prior to the trip: $1350 (see below for payment schedule)
Costs on your own: Airfare, Insurance, Food, Tips, Passport (Approx. $1400 - see below for more info)
The biggest expense while there, is impulse food, snacks and purchases (chotchkis) - the less you spend, the more you save
All pricing and estimates here are listed as US Dollars (all English £ prices have been converted to US dollars)
All pricing based on per person rates, double/triple occupancy in hotels, dorm room occupancy in hostels
Pricing may go up for a smaller group (4) or down if there are 10 or more in the group
   
  Deposits and Payment Schedule 
 
 
    Amount
  Due Dates
Initial Deposit ($300 of this deposit is non-refundable)  $ 600.00 December 2016
2nd Payment  $ 400.00 February 2017
3rd Payment  $ 350.00 March 2017
A total of $1350 - This covers all accommodations, entry fees for scheduled attractions, train travel between cities, Welcome Dinner, storytelling workshops/coaching, administrative and facilitation fees
   
 
You are responsible for Airfare, Food, Tips (see below) and any other personal wants or needs.
Should the trip be cancelled for reasons other than war or acts of god, participants will receive a full refund of all monies paid to me - less the $300 non-refundable deposit AND any other NON-REFUNDABLE fees for accomodations, airfare, or other fees that have already been booked and paid for.
   
  Airfare:
 

Airfares will be "on your own".
    The sooner you commit to the tour the better. Then you can check prices every day and wait for the best sale.
    Airfares can run from $800 - $1500 depending on when and where you fly from and when you purchase your ticket.
    Fares can fluctuate greatly...and have even gone as low as $363! Often, these "low" fare sales last only 24 hours.
    Checking every day is the best way to get a low price. Do NOT pruchase insurance from the airline booking site.
    (see insurance below)
    I use www.momondo.com - Latest fare check from Phoenix to Dublin: (as of 10/18/2017): $1100

NOTE: When you do purchase your airline ticket, MAKE SURE you use the EXACT name you have on your passport!

   
  Can I go EARLY or stay LONGER?
      Yes you can, however you must make all early or longer arrangements yourself. Feel free to contact me for a better     understanding of your options.
   
  Other Departure City Fare Estimates (these are as of Nov 1, 2016 - make sure you check your own city.)
 
 
Atlanta $770.00 
Boston  $ 450-660.00 
Chicago  $520-850.00 
Denver  $ 900.00 
JFK  $ 470.00 
Los Angeles  $ 550.00 
Miami $ 500-700.00 
San Francisco  $ 650.00 
Toronto $ 560.00 
   
  Currency - Exchange rate:
 
Use the calculater below to see the current exchange rate for Pounds (used in England) or Euros (used in Ireland)
    One has to be very careful in converting pounds to dollars.
    It can be detrimental to "assume" they are so close. (Even though the exchange rate is quite low)
    Make sure you think about the price and understand what the value in dollars is before committing to purchasing
   
  Food:
 
  All food is "on your own"
  Included in the tour price is a welcome dinner,
Breakfasts at the Canterbury, Salisbury and Dublin Hostels are included.
  We estimate food at $400 - $40/day (approx. $300-$450 for 11 days) - A conservative estimate is $350
  Estimated food prices below - you can spend more OR less if you desire
 
Full English Breakfast: One Egg, English Bacon (it's like ham), Sausage, Hash browns, Baked Beans, Tomato
NOTE: The Wetherspoon Pubs (King's Head Inn) announced in March of 2015 (in the wake of a "breakfast war") that they were offering a Full English Breakfast at £2.99 (that's $3.72). We can only hope!
$9 
Smaller breakfast
$6 
Porridge (oatmeal) $2 - Breakfast sandwich
$5 
Lunch: Jacket Potato (baked potato) & Drink - $6 ~ Cornish Pasty (like a meat turnover)
$8 
An afternoon Cream Tea or Hot Chocolate with scones
$8 - $12
Dinner: Curry plate; Roast chicken; Fish and chips
$8-$15 
Pastries at a bake shop: A chocolate croissant or a Pan aux raisin (possibly heaven on earth)
$2-$3 
Beer (pint) $4.5 on average. Go minimal on breakfast and lunch...and GO CRAZY in the pubs at night!
*Yes... There are Starbucks all over! Coffee $4.5; Latte $6-$8
 
 
Tipping:
 
  Tipping in England is a bit different than it is in the States. In a Pub, one generally does not tip the Barman (bartender) however, it is customary, if you have established a relationship and had a great time, to sometimes leave some change coins, and/or add a £1 on the bar and say, "...and one for you."

In most pubs, you order food at the bar and it is then brought to your table. There is no need to tip anyone. If a server/runner does an excellent job and does provide some extra service, like getting more of something, it is ok to leave 50p or £1 or 10%. In a restaurant where there is a server who takes your order and does give more service, again, one may leave 10% or £1.

Taxi cabs usually expect 10% as a tip.
In a hotel, one does not typically tip the chambermaid, but one does tip if a porter carries a bag for you, about £1.
   
What will the accommodations be like?
  We will mostly be staying in youth hostels Youth Hostels have “dorm” rooms (6-12 people) and bunk beds.
Some dorm rooms are “ensuite” with toilets and showers in the room.  Some dorm rooms have toilets and showers down the hall. There may be options to upgrade to a 2 or 4 bed room at some hostels. These are all, clean and safe accommodations, but be aware that these are NOT four star hotels. This is traveling on a shoestring.
 
Passport Info
 

You must have a current Passport. The cost is $135. It takes about 4-6 weeks to get your passport after submitting your application. Most Post Offices accept applications, many FedEx offices also. It requires 2 standard photos.
For those with current passposts: your pasport must be good THROUGH AT LEAST NOVEMBER 0f 2017!
Here is a link to the passport info page. http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/apply.html
YOU DO NOT NEED A VISA.
NOTE: Passports should be kept ON YOUR PERSON at all times, in a zippered pocket or a passport holder around your neck UNDER YOUR SHIRT. Do NOT keep your passport in any luggage or daypack. If you forget your pack somewhere or it is stolen, you are out of luck!

   
Insurance
  Travel and Medical Insurance is REQUIRED.
It covers almost every medical emergency and evacuation if necessary. The cost is minimal: $39 - pay on your own.
Here is a link to the insurance company that is recommended: iNext.com (choose the BASIC-$39 or Premium-$62 plan) This plan is good for 12 months and can be used for other trips within the 12 month period!
   
Climate
  Like many places, the weather in England can change rapidly. The average temperature for May is low=45, high=65-70. Rain is pretty much a constant way of life for the English. That being said, I have been there when the days were sunny and perfect, and I have been there when almost every day was rainy and cold. Come prepared for rainy and chilly!
   
Clothing
 
One word - LAYERS! As the temperature and presence of rain can change in an instant, for warmth and comfort, layers are the way to go.
Two words - TRAVEL LIGHT! - Two more words - NO FASHIONISTAS!
TWO pairs of pants/slacks
THREE shirts/blouses
Undergarments - TWO to FOUR sets
TWO to THREE pairs of socks

Find material that is LIGHTWEIGHT and will WASH and DRY quickly. These can be found at most camping and hiking stores. Find lightweight polypro, nylon or silk for undergarments. Silk is the best insulator. Polypro "wicks" moisture away from the body. The same goes for "sweaters" or pullovers. Polypro is the way to go as it is lighter and thinner. Do NOT bring BULKY sweaters or coats. They take up too much room. Socks should be synthetic too as they will wash and dry easily.

It is best to bring ONE lightweight jacket that is waterproof (with a hood is preferable). A good set of gloves keeps your hands warm when chilly. Pants that have "zip off" legs that convert to shorts are great. Denim jeans are NOT great as they are not good insulators. Cotton or synthetic material for pants is the best. Again, these can be found at camping and hiking stores (and even thrift stores sometimes).

Most Hostels have laundry facilities, but one can also wash single items in a sink and dry with various methods of hangers, or wash in the sink and use the dryers for expediency. Or 2-3 people can combine stuff for one load of wash and dry.

   
Baggage
 
NO SUITCASES - Backpacks Only

One medium size Backpack (30 - 40 litres)
This will be your main piece of luggage, carrying your clothes and toiletries. Make sure you can carry it comfortably between train stations and hotels. If your room is on the 2nd floor or higher, YOU will need to carry it, and often up the stairs if there is no elevator (lift). (all accommodations for 2017 will be on the ground floor or have lifts)

Keep this as SMALL and LIGHT as you can. We will all bring backpacks on the plane (and it absolutely MUST fit in the overhead). This should only be as heavy as you feel you can carry on your back from the train station to the hotel (this will usually be less than a mile).

ONE small to medium size DAYPACK - Collapsible, lightweight. (15-20 litres)
This will be your daily pack. Best if it is collabsable and fits IINSIDE your larger backpack. It should fit in the overhead, or under your seat on the plane.
You will want to carry your daypack with you throughout the day. Why?
   You will want to carry several items with you as we will be gone from the hotel/hostel for most of each day.
   Jacket; gloves; sweater; tablet/laptop; all chargers/batteries, water bottle(s), snacks, band aids...
   ANYTHING YOU THINK YOU MAY NEED during the day. If you buy something, put it in your pack.
   As the weather changes, you will add or delete layers to accommodate.
   (Some attractions, like the cathedrals, often require you to check any packs)

Ladies, a large purse is not recommended. Small "clutch" purses. If you must carry a purse with a strap, make it as small as possible with a good, sturdy strap worn across your chest (NOT just over the shoulder) - or even carry it inside your daypack or fanny pack.

   

Coming Soon:

Phones, Tablets, Internet

What to bring

What NOT to bring

More information and specifics as we get closer to the actual dates.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact me: 602-390-3858 - mark@storytellermark.com

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