FAQs for Odyssey Traveller
About Odyssey Traveller
When was Odyssey Traveller established?
Odyssey has been offering small group educational tours to the over 50’s since 1983.
Where is Odyssey Traveller based?
Our head office is located in Sydney, Australia.
Full details are available on our Contact Us page.
How can I get in touch with Odyssey?
You can call us anytime, we have dedicated toll free numbers for various locations around the world – click here for details.
Our website also has a chat function and you can chat to us straight away or leave a message in case we’re not online at the time.
Or you may prefer to send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How do you select Program Leaders to lead an Odyssey tour?
Odyssey program leaders are enthusiastic and experienced travellers with a passion for education. They are typically retired educational professionals, often from universities or the general education sector. While some of our leaders have other professional backgrounds, they are all well equipped to share their knowledge with others. Since the majority of our leaders lead on around three different tours a year, they are seasoned travellers and accustomed to regular teaching.
Odyssey’s leaders are hand-picked for the specific tours we offer each year. We strive to match a leader’s interest, their natural curiosity, along with the expertise in a particular subject matter for each tour. They are thus ideally suited to lead particular tours. In addition, we carefully choose leaders on their ability to build rapport with a group of mature travellers, which creates an intimate group atmosphere. Above all, we want our leaders to provide an atmosphere that is pleasant and convivial – ideal conditions within which to enjoy learning and exploring as you travel.
Odyssey’s leaders provide tour management, traveller support, and unique educational insights into our small group tours. While in many cases, local guides join us for in-depth tours in particular locations, our leaders teach throughout the entire tour. They also handle organisational and timing details, leaving our travellers free to relax and get the most out of their experience.
Booking a Tour
How do I make a booking with Odyssey?
To book any of our tours, simply select your preferred departure and click the “Book Now” button on our website.
Alternatively, you may call our office:
1300 888 225 (Australia) 0800 440 055 (New Zealand) 1 877 770 0446 (USA & Canada) 08 082 387 552 (UK)
Odyssey’s phone are answered by real people 24X7 so you can speak to our friendly team or email us on email@example.com and we will process your booking and email you a Registration offer/Invoice along with a booking form.
Once we have received your deposit, your booking is confirmed.
Is my deposit refundable?
Your deposit is refundable until the tour becomes Guaranteed. If the Tour you are booked on is Guaranteed, your deposit is non-refundable. More information can be found in our Terms & Conditions.
What is the Payment process?
A $500 deposit is payable at the time of booking to confirm your place on the tour. The final payment is due 90 days prior to departure (excludes AU/NZ tours). If booking via our website you can select a range of payment options with reminders to meet your financial schedule. Odyssey will also send you reminders by email as to when your payments are due.
Do I have to book my own Airfare and Travel Insurance?
No, Odyssey will gladly help you book your Flights and Travel Insurance, and we can often offer discounts.
I am worried that the tour I'm booked on will not go ahead, what are my options?
Odyssey will try to keep you up to date with the booking status and if we know that a tour is unlikely to go ahead, we will notify you early and offer to transfer your deposit to another Odyssey Tour. If we cancel the departure altogether, you will also get the option for a full refund.
For further information, please refer to our Terms and Conditions, or do not hesitate to contact us!
I am a single traveller; can I share with someone and avoid the single supplement?
Yes, if a fellow participant would like to share, we will match you together and you can twin share to avoid the extra cost of single accommodation. If we can not match you with another traveller the single supplement will apply.
I am neither Australian nor New Zealand based, can I join a tour?
Odyssey has a range of nationalities who join our programs. They are open to anyone and we offer a diversity of unique programs that extend their appeal beyond Australia & New Zealand.
General Tour information
What is included in the tour cost?
Each tour lists its specific inclusions under “INCL/EXCL tab on the top of the page. Typically, Odyssey tours inclusions are:
- Hotel accommodation.
- Meals as per each itinerary.
- Touring by comfortable and modern coach.
- Applicable entry fees and services of local English speaking guides.
- All sightseeing and field trips as indicated on the itinerary.
- Service charges and gratuities.
- Services of a Program Leader for the duration of the tour.
- Detailed tour information booklet.
*We do not include International Airfares or Travel Insurance in the Tour cost.
Are there any extra fees that I will have to pay on top of the listed price?
No, Odyssey do not charge any extra fees on the tour you select, apart from credit card fees. The listed price is the price you pay.
Our tours include all activities and meals advertised on the itinerary.
Meals or additional sightseeing outside the group tour are not included and are at each traveller’s expense.
Do we have time to explore by ourselves?
Yes you have free time to explore particular places and locations as an individual. Your days are typically spent in a small group environment, with an occasional free afternoon. But your evenings depending on the location are your time, about a third to half of the total number of evening meals are provided, leaving you time to explore or just people watch in the local squares and piazzas.
What should I wear/bring?
Odyssey will include suggestions in our Preparation Material, which is sent to you approximately 4 weeks before the tour starts.
Wear whatever is comfortable. It is recommended to have a sturdy pair of broken-in trail shoes, boots, or sneakers as we do walk a lot, many times on uneven cobble stone streets.
It is preferable to dress in layers and wear clothing that will wick away perspiration and keep you dry and comfortable.
Will I have to attend lectures?
No, the amount of learning you choose to take in is up to the individual. Each tour depending on the tour and the size of the group will switch between a formal lecture and filed learning, it is about finding the balance that reflects the interest of the group on the tour.
How fit do I need to be?
A reasonable level of fitness reflective of the type of tour you are looking to join be it an Active, Specialist or Discovery style tour offered.
We provide general guidelines for the level of fitness required to assist you in planning your vacation with us.
How large are your group sizes?
Odyssey Travel is famous for our small groups, and we average of 8 participants per Tour. Our maximum group size is 18 people, but we’re currently limiting it to 12 travellers. Read more about the benefits of small group touring on our Articles page.
What currency should I bring on tour? Is USD the best option?
Currency information will be provided to you in our Preparatory Material document, with current exchange rate information and best currency to take along for your chosen tour.
Whatever currency you need, it’s always advisable to have some small denomination notes when you arrive so you can easily pay for a taxi, train ride or even a coffee on arrival.
Travel dates and itinerary flexibility
I don't want to join the complete tour, is it possible to do a shorter version?
Yes, Odyssey can adjust an itinerary that will suit your dates and locations, as long as it is a section of the full Tour. The price will be adjusted accordingly.
Can I join the tour a few days late or depart a few days early?
Yes, if you need to join the tour after it has started or leave a bit earlier just let us know and we’ll work with you to make it work as smoothly as possible. Just let us know at the time of booking.
Can Odyssey assist with extra touring before or after my tour?
Yes, we can assist you with extra nights at the group hotel before or after the tour or even a stop-over on your way to/from the tour.
Our friendly team is here to help make your holiday a memorable experience.
Can I book a tour for a private group?
Yes, if you are travelling with a group of friends we can make any tour departure exclusive just for your group.
Get in touch with us for more information.
Visa and Documents
Do I need a visa to travel?
It will depend on which tour you have selected and on your nationality. Some destinations require a visa to be obtained prior to arriving, while others can be arranged on arrival or at border crossings.
We will give you all information required when you book your tour and if needed we can arrange the visas on your behalf (Australian residents only).
How long does my passport have to be valid in order to travel internationally?
There’s no set duration amount as it will vary from country to country.
Generally, 6 months of validity from the date of your return home should be sufficient.
We recommend you check your passport details and validity when you complete your booking form, and if needed, start the process of renewing your passport straight away.
When will I receive my Travel Documents?
For travellers residing in Australia we will post your tour documentation approximately 4 weeks prior to the start of the tour. Your documentation will include your Day by Day Itinerary, Hotel List and contact details, Preparatory Material and any other vouchers or documents needed for services booked and an Odyssey Traveller luggage tag.
Travellers from other locations will receive all documentation electronically, and our Program Leader will provide you with Odyssey Traveller luggage tags on Day 1 of the tour.
Accommodation, Transport & Meals
What is the standard of accommodation used on Odyssey tours?
In major cities Odyssey stays in centrally located 3-4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses. On our long-stay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments where available.
What are the amenities provided at the accommodation?
This will vary from hotel to hotel and from country to country.
Each itinerary has an indication of the hotel we will book for the tour and we can provide more information at the time of booking.
Is Wi-fi available at the accommodation?
In most cases Wi-fi is readily available at the hotel’s public spaces and often in the rooms as well.
What type of transport is used on Odyssey Tours?
Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries.
Specifics for your trip are always outlined in your tour itinerary.
We are currently limiting the use of public transport and will be using private vehicles rather than trains or local buses.
Can airport transfers be booked for my tour?
Yes, depending on your destination. Our friendly team will be able to advise you when you book your tour.
What is the baggage allowance?
We don’t have a set baggage allowance, however we recommend you pack light as porterage is not included and many times not available at the locations we visit and you will need to handle your own luggage.
Some tours that include internal flights may have luggage restrictions, and this information will be outlined in the “INCL/EXCL” section of the tour page.
Are meals included on tour?
We include many meals as part of our itineraries.
Breakfast at the hotel is usually included as well as a welcome and farewell dinners.
We believe sharing a meal with your fellow travellers is a great way to end the day and talk about your experiences, so we have a few dinners included along the way too.
In more remote destinations, most meals are catered for.
What dining options are there when meals are not provided?
Your Odyssey Program Leader and local guides will always be on hand to assist you in finding dining options nearby.
I have specific dietary requirements; can I still travel with Odyssey?
Yes, we work closely with our local operators to cater for any dietary requirements you may have.
Health & Safety
I am a senior, am I too old to travel?
According to Forbes, travelling has benefits for your mental health and age makes no difference in that regard. Odyssey Travel specialises in Small Group tours for the mature and senior traveller who is seeking adventure or is curious about the world we live in. Typically our clients beginning travelling with us from their mid 50’s, and don’t stop even into their 80’s.
Is it safe to travel?
For the latest Australian government advice on travel safety and security please visit www.smartraveller.gov.au or www.safetravel.govt.nz for the New Zealand government advice.
The safety of our travellers and our staff is our priority and we would never send anyone to a destination we deem to be unsafe.
What vaccinations are required for my destination?
Many of the destinations we visit may require certain vaccinations.
We recommend you book an appointment with your GP or Travel Doctor and take along a copy of the tour itinerary so they can advise you on what is required for you, based on your past immunisation history and overall health.
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes, we strongly recommend all travellers purchase adequate comprehensive travel insurance when booking one of our tours.
Travel Insurance is your best tool should something go wrong before or during the tour. Please contact us to discuss your requirements and we can assist you with the best cover to suit your needs.