Some brothers and sisters on the tour (if willing), may be asked to take an assignment. The assignment may be for the text, comments and prayer; reading a paragraph in the Watchtower study and commenting on it; or reading and commenting on a paragraph from the Bible study. Your tour guide will give you your assignments – we hope you consider it an enjoyable privilege and an unforgettable experience.
In order to cross the Canada/US border, each person must have a valid Canadian passport or proper immigration papers. Anyone not born in Canada must be absolutely sure to have the needed documentation with them for inspection by border officers.
CAMERAS & RECORDING DEVICES
You may want to take pictures and record your adventures on the tour. There is no problem taking pictures at Bethel facilities but you can not record the comments of the guides.
Final commitments will be made 90 days before departure dates. We will be ‘locked’ in so to speak. Our deposits will have been accepted and these are now non-refundable.
CHECKOUT AT HOTELS
When we check out of each hotel the basic charge has been paid. However, all room charges such as telephone calls, room service, movies, mini bar, etc must be paid for by you upon leaving the hotel. Please make sure these additional costs you incur are cared for.
Children are most welcome on the Bethel tours. They will remember these memories of visiting the Headquarters of Jehovah’s people for years to come. However, children 16 years and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The tour guide will not be responsible to act as a babysitter. Children in the past have been well behaved and have added a lot of joy to the tour.
Upon crossing the border into the US, you will have to check to see how much you may bring back with paying duty. We will be in the US for 7 nights.
DRESS AND GROOMING
When visiting Bethel facilities, our dress, grooming and conduct should be similar to what is expected at the Kingdom Hall. When traveling on the bus and sight seeing our dress can be casual.
Dress and grooming should reflect dignity and be well arranged and modest: – 1 Tim. 2: 9, 10
Christians should not reflect a love of the world or and worldly tendencies: – 1 John 2:15-17
Do not stumble others or offend them: – 2 Cor. 6: 3, 4
Also see the attached link for the dress and grooming guide or it will be posted on the information board at your local Kingdom Hall.
DUTY FREE SHOPS
The bus will be stopping at the duty free shops on the way into the United States, as well as on the way back into Canada.
English is the principle language at the Bethel facilities in the US and Canada. However, if a Bethel tourist does not understand English, sometimes there is a tour guide translator available. Please let us know if you will have a language problem.
Lapel badges should be worn throughout the whole tour. They serve as identification, a protection and at the same time a witness.
There are laundry facilities and/or dry cleaning services for guests at some hotels.
It is suggested to limit your luggage to one medium sized suitcase and one small carry on item. Your luggage is your responsibility and too much luggage is not only a problem for you to carry but as well, there is limited space on the bus. However, if you do assistance with your luggage, there will be capable brothers on the bus to help you.
Always display good Christian manners. This means not always being first in line, having first place on the bus, or being served first at restaurants, etc. From time to time your tour guide may request that everyone change seats and have an opportunity to visit with others. Please cooperate with this arrangement.
Most meals are not included with the tour price. It has been a general rule to expect to pay around $50US per day per person – depending on what, how much and where you eat.
MEDICAL AND TRAVEL INSURANCE
It is important that everyone on the tour carry some form of hospital/medical insurance for the time you will be out of your own country. If you must for some reason go to the hospital or visit a doctor, it can be very expensive. You must arrange for your own insurance before travelling. Also, travel insurance is optional and can be purchased through your bank or insurance company.
The Christian congregation has advised us to always carry a current and signed Advanced Medical Directive card. This is especially important when travelling. Please have it with you on your Bethel tour.
MEETINGS ON THE BUS
We will arrange for a Watchtower study and a Bible Study on the bus, as we do not want to miss out on this spiritual food while we are away from home. Because of our schedule it will not be possible to attend local meetings at a Kingdom Hall.
NOTIFICATION OF VISIT
Some have inquired if they have to contact Bethel regarding their visit. This will be done for you by your tour coordinator. The Bethel facilities will know that you are coming.
ON THE BUS
During the longer bus rides, we will arrange for the consideration of our meeting parts. There will also be other times on the bus for singing songs, telling experiences, etc. And everyday will start with a consideration of the Daily Text and Prayer.
The tours have been arranged so we can see as much of the Bethel facilities as possible as well as a few other points of interest. There will also be FREE days in New York and Montreal for you to do whatever you would like to do or see.
SIDE TOURS AND SECURITY
Nothing has been planned for the evenings during the tour, so you are free to do what you like. However, we recommend that you do not go off by yourself as parts of NY are considered high crime areas. Please be careful and travel on groups of 2 or 4. If you miss our bus at the designated pick up place and time, you are expected to find your own way back to hotel. We do not want to scare you but want everyone to be careful and aware of the schedule at all times.
Swimming pools are available at most of the hotels we will be staying at. Our young people especially enjoy these facilities. Please follow the rules for your safety.
What you tip for services rendered is up to you. However, people in the hotel and restaurant industry, especially in the US, expect to receive a tip. The following is suggested:
Restaurants…………………… 15% – 20%
Hotel Housekeeping……… $2.00/person/day
Your bus driver…………….. To be advised
Some restaurants in the US will add the gratuity on the bill. Make sure to check this before paying.
We suggest you take US money with you. The banks in NY State are reluctant to exchange Canadian money or other money for American dollars. The ATM’s work well if you have interact or Plus System on your bank card. Visa and major credit cards are readily accepted.
There are no guarantees on the weather. You should come prepared for the season in which you travel. Wearing layers can be helpful.
Some of our brothers and sisters will require a wheelchair at the various Bethel facilities, as there can be a lot of walking. You are encouraged to bring your own. Wheelchairs are available on a first come first served basis at the Bethel buildings. Please let your tour coordinator know if you will be bringing your own wheelchair.
WHO MAY GO ON THE TOUR
While the tours have been arranged mostly for Jehovah’s Witnesses, we have had some husbands, wives and relatives that are not Jehovah’s Witnesses accompany us. This has produced fine results. So as long as a non-witness relative is accompanied by a witness, we are happy to have them on the tour.
If you require more information or have any questions, please contact us:
S & S TRAVEL
firstname.lastname@example.org ~ 306-529-5888 ~ www.betheltours.ca