- How far in advance should I begin planning my trip?
Start initial planning as soon as possible. This will ensure availability and better pricing. Don't worry about planning things too far in advance; you can always change your mind! As long as the change does not involve a cancellation where a down payment has been made, Red Balloon can arrange last minute modifications at no extra charge.
- Can you arrange my flight?
Red Balloon can indeed book flights on your behalf.
- Do you organize internal transportation?
Red Balloon organizes all internal transportation throughout the extent of your holiday. All trains, buses, and cars will be reserved and the reference numbers communicated to you well in advance.
- Can you provide a babysitter?
Whatever your customized travel itinerary, Red Balloon can provide you with babysitting services. However, a specific family oriented itinerary can also be prepared, allowing you to enjoy your holidays in France with the whole family.
- Can you provide a wheelchair accessible itinerary?
Red Balloon is more than happy to provide you with a wheelchair accessible holiday itinerary.
- How can I be sure there are no hidden costs?
In order to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible and that there are no surprises, Red Balloon will provide you with a detailed cost sheet of your stay as well as all terms and conditions before finalizing your customized itinerary. Contact Red Balloon for all pricing details.
- What size must my group be?
Red Balloon prides itself on providing the customer with an intimate and unique French experience. Therefore, groups of ten or fewer are suggested. For larger groups, Contact Red Balloon to organize a trip that is suitably adapted while remaining a particularly unique experience.
- A package trip is less expensive, why not just book that?
Package trips are often less expensive because they function on a large group tariff. Also, tour operators have deals with hotels and restaurants in the most tourist-filled areas of the country. They send all their groups to the same places to see the same things. With Red Balloon Travel and Consulting, you get to experience firsthand a breathtaking region of France of which very few are aware. You will be traveling either by yourself or with people with whom you have chosen to travel, so you will be in good company. An intimate group also avoids your getting lost in a glaringly conspicuous group of tourists. You will be able to interact with the friendly local people and your spectacular surroundings.
Also unlike a package trip, Red Balloon organizes your trip from A to Z, according to your specific needs. Extensive research and planning ensure that every last detail is to your expectations, so the only thing you have to worry about is enjoying yourself.
Finally, the Red Balloon fee includes our complete availability during the extent of your trip, should you require our services. After all, your complete satisfaction is the most important thing; we'd like you to come back for another visit!.
- I'm interested; where do I sign up?
Fantastic! Contact Red Balloon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Can you plan our holiday using one of your example itineraries?
You can absolutely use one of the itinerary examples. You can even combine a few example itineraries if you like. We can decide together what to modify, if anything, in order to make it the perfect trip for you.
- Can I modify my itinerary once it’s been planned?
You can of course modify your trip once it has been finalized. All modifications are, however, subject to availability and price differences.
- What information will I need before I leave?
Red Balloon will provide you with all necessary information before you leave. This includes, but is not limited to:
a. your customized detailed itinerary,
b. all necessary maps
d. French cell phone and emergency numbers,
e. a handy phrase book that can discreetly fit in a handbag,
f. a booklet of information concerning the Metric system, road rules, local customs and etiquette, etc.
g. a list of relevant books, music, films, newspapers, and recipes.
- Do you provide guides?
While a guide is not included in the original program, Red Balloon is more than happy to provide an extremely knowledgeable English speaking guide for an additional fee. The guide will be there for as much or as little of the trip as you would like. If a driver is all you need, we can do that too!
- Does everyone speak English?
Many of the places you will visit are small towns or villages in the countryside, so English is not often spoken (which is also part of the region's untouched beauty). However, as English is a required language in school, most people do have at least a minimal level of English. But not to worry! Hand signals are always a highly efficient means of communication. Also, you will be provided a small booklet of helpful phrases to keep with you at all times.
- Do I need a French driver’s license?
If you are American or European and visiting France for less than 90 days, you do not need a French driver's license. An International Driving permit is, however, strongly advised. For more information, go to this site: www.amb-usa.fr/consul/acs/guide/DRIVING.PDF
To make driving in a foreign country as easy as possible, Red Balloon will provide you with a set of road rules to enable you to safely navigate the French roads.
- Do I need a visa?
If you are American or European and staying in France for less than 90 days, you will not need a French visa. If you are staying for a longer period of time, check out this page from the U.S. Embassy website: www.amb-usa.fr/consul/acs/guide/STAYOFF.PDF.
- Should I bring traveler’s checks?
Traveler's checks are indeed a valid possibility; however these days the most economical means of payment is your credit card. For cash, withdrawing money from an ATM is also the most economical, as you only have a small exchange fee as opposed to the additional service fee of the traveler's check. Remember that you are charged each time you withdraw money, so use wisely.
- Do I need travel insurance?
You should most definitely have travel insurance. Verify with your bank, as many international credit cards have automatic travel insurance. Otherwise, Red Balloon can provide you with an excellent insurance that will cover everything you need for the duration of your France holiday.
- What if I run into trouble?
You will be provided a direct telephone number with which to contact Red Balloon should you need assistance during your trip. As Red Balloon is located in Valence, in the middle of the Drôme department of the Rhône-Alpes, a quick solution is always possible.
- What if I don’t like my hotel?
While all accommodations have been verified beforehand, if you are unsatisfied with anything, Red Balloon will do its best to provide you with an acceptable substitution. Any upgrading could require additional costs.
- What if it rains the entire time?
It is highly unlikely that it will rain during your entire trip, as the Rhône-Alpes region gets little rain. However, should the weather force you to alter your plans, we can provide you with alternative solutions. Red Balloon will not let a little lousy weather ruin your trip!
- What should I wear?
Clothing depends on the time of year and your type of holiday. RedBalloon will provide you with a list of suitable clothing once your itinerary has been planned.
- What if my flight is late?
Do not worry if your flight is a little late or even cancelled. As long as you inform us as soon as possible, we can modify your travel arrangements to coincide with your arrival time.