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Please see below for answers to some frequently asked questions.
Q. Do I have to be an Alumni Association member to take a trip?
A. The University of Minnesota Alumni Association Travel Program welcomes all alumni and friends of the University. To support great alumni programming, like the Travel Program, we encourage at least one member of each traveling party be a member of the Alumni Association. Click here to join.
Q. How can I get a printed copy of a travel brochure?
A. If you would like a printed copy of any of our travel brochures, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the name and dates of the trip(s) you are interested in, your name, and your mailing address.
Q. How early should I make a reservation?
A. We recommend making reservations as early as possible. If a trip is going to sell out, it will generally do so within the first 30-60 days of the information becoming available. However, it is impossible to predict which trips will sell out. The longer you wait, the greater the chances that a trip will be full when you send in your registration.
Q. Is my money refundable if I have to cancel my trip?
A. Most tour operators will charge a cancellation fee from the time of initial deposit. This fee would cover any expenses incurred while processing a new reservation and mailing out preliminary trip information. As the departure date nears, the tour operators make more financial commitments to their vendors (airlines, hotel, ground transportation). Therefore, the cancellation fees will increase as well. The policies regarding cancellation vary for different trips. We suggest reading the fine print on the trip brochure and/or discussing cancellation policies with tour operators prior to making your deposit. The Alumni Association also provides travelers with the option to purchase cancellation insurance. This is strongly encouraged to minimize financial risks.
Q. What can I do if a trip I want to take is sold out?
A. Don't despair! If you have your heart set on a trip that is sold out, let us know! We can always put your name on a wait-list. Also, if interest is high for a sold out trip, we may try to book an alternate date with the tour company. It may also be possible for you to travel on the same trip with an alumni group from another school. We take all trip requests into account when designing the tour schedule for the following year.
Q. Who makes all of the travel arrangements for the Alumni Association Travel Program?
A. All of our trips are created and managed by top-notch tour operators, most of whom specialize in providing trips for alumni associations. We select these companies based on their established reputation and professional staff. They coordinate all tour itineraries and flight details. Click here to learn about our tour operators.
Q. Why do I have to pay more if I travel alone?
A. The prices of all trips are based on the cost of two people sharing a hotel room or ship cabin. If you travel alone, there is no one else to share the lodging expenses. Therefore, a single person must cover their entire costs, instead of half. Please note that the single supplement for a cruise is generally much higher than a "land" trip since a substantial portion of the total trip cost is that of the cabin. Most tour operators will try to honor requests for roommates, but there is no guarantee that one will be available.
Q. Should I purchase travel insurance?
A. We strongly recommend that you be adequately insured against last minute trip cancellation and other travel related risks. For example, if you must cancel your trip due to a family emergency and can only recover 50% of your money based on the tour provider’s cancellation policy, the insurance company will cover the remainder of the loss up to the level of coverage that you selected, provided you meet the criteria spelled out in the policy selected.
We have made arrangements through Travel Insurance Services (800-937-1387) to offer travel insurance in connection with the Alumni Association Group Travel Program. After you register for a trip, you will receive travel insurance information by email from the Alumni Association. Please contact TIS if you have questions regarding travel insurance coverage or costs.
Q. Can I take an Alumni Association trip if I have a disability or special need?
A. The Alumni Association encourages all alumni to participate in our travel program, however, some of our expeditions cannot accommodate people with health problems or physical limitations. The Alumni Association and their tour providers cannot take the responsibility for special arrangements or problems incurred by passengers unable to participate in planned activities. Travelers requiring assistance must be accompanied by someone who can and will provide all required assistance. Many countries do not offer the same level of access for persons with disabilities as the U.S. If you are concerned about the level of physical access or physical difficulty on a particular trip, please call the tour provider for that departure to obtain further information.
Q. Will the Alumni Association be the only group on the tour?
A. Unless a trip is specifically marked as a UMAA exclusive trip, you can expect other alumni associations and sometimes other unaffiliated travelers to be on the trip. UMAA exclusive trips are usually our small group land tours, while our larger cruise offerings will include passengers from other associations. The tour operator will send you a list of all travel groups with traveler names prior to your departure.
Q. How many people travel on Alumni Association trips?
A. The number of travelers in the UMAA group can range from 2 to 40. Generally the group size is somewhere in between. Depending on the type of trip (land tour, river or deep-sea cruise), there may be as few as 14 or as many as 1,200 passengers in total.