Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I choose Beyond Band of Brothers Tours?
- Why are your tours called "Beyond Band of Brothers"?
- There is an explosion of interest in World War II and visiting the locations where many of the iconic battles were fought. The 101st Airborne Division is one of the few units that was involved in all the seminal events of the war in Western Europe: the Normandy invasion, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge, and crossing the Rhine. They liberated concentration camps and marched into Berchtesgaden.
Following in the footsteps of the Screaming Eagles, and Easy Company of the 506th in particular, provides a nice roadmap for following the Allied efforts to liberate Europe. They are, however, only one unit of the millions of US soldiers who fought in the ETO. We take you Beyond Band of Brothers to illustrate the role the members of the infantry and armored divisions, the Army Air Corps and even the Navy played in these historic events to show how every single World War II veteran is a member of the Greatest Generation.
Beyond also means going further east and exploring Jewish culture and heritage on our Central Europe Remembrance tour. The Italian Campaign tour focuses on the brutal fight up from the island of Sicily to the Southern Alps, while travelling through Germany helps you trace the political, economic and ideological reasons behind Hitler's rise to power on our Third Reich tour, and we go to England to see the brave air defense of the Battle of Britain.
We are continually expanding our offerings of World War II related tours, adding a new Eastern Front Tour and several new tours to the Pacific Theater, as well as expanding into other conflicts with the American Civil War and Fields of World War I tours.
Simply put, Beyond Band of Brothers means a well-rounded experience of World War II, and beyond, that anyone with a general interest in the period or a highly specialized knowledge in one unit can likewise enjoy.
- What makes us the best?
- Simply put, we are the biggest and the best at what we do. In terms of World War II tours, no one comes close to offering the quality and quantity you get from us. Year around, you can find a guaranteed departure on one of our truly all-inclusive tours. Our tour hosts and guides are historians who have practiced their craft. All of our hotels and restaurants are tried and true, and our local knowledge is readily apparent. We have offices in the US and Europe, and our entire staff speaks fluent English. Book with us and you will feel the Procom difference. Our secure and guaranteed payment systems allow you to shop online with utmost confidence. All of our departures and prices are guaranteed and we have years of consistent delivery to back up that claim. Moreover, credit card companies carry joint responsibility for service guarantees, which provides a second layer of protection if you pay with a credit card. We carry mandatory surety bonds and insurance against liability claims. In short, you are safe with us.
- Why shouldn't I do this on my own?
- You could. Just keep in mind that you'll need to rent a car and drive to all of these places in foreign countries, book accommodation, find restaurants with menus you can read, and read up on all of the sites or hire local guides. Once you've finished, you'll realize that it would have been cheaper and much easier to book with us.
- Are departure dates for the tours guaranteed?
- Yes, all departure dates are guaranteed. There is no minimum number of participants needed to for a tour to take place.
- How long has Procom been in business?
- We have been running our tours since 2008. You can read more about our founder and our background in the "About Us" section on our website.
- Where is your office located?
- Our physical location is at 811 Corporate Drive Suite 108, Lexington, KY 40503. If you would like to visit our office in Lexington, please contact us for an appointment and we'd be happy to receive you.
Are these tours right for me?
- How much walking is there on the tours?
- We have developed a system of activity levels on a scale of 1 to 4 to reflect the strenuousness of each one of our tours. You can find the activity level and its description listed under each tour on both the website and in the brochures. Click here for a detailed explanation of the activity levels.
In general, all of our trips require at least minimal walking, and some trips require more strenuous activities. On all of our tours, it is necessary for tour participants to be able to get in and out of the bus on their own, which involves climbing 3-4 stairs. As every individual is different, please contact us directly to talk over the tour activity level if you have any mobility concerns. You are responsible for judging your own capacity and ability to participate in tour activities without delaying or infringing upon the progress of the trip or the other tour participants.
The limited use of a cane, walker or manual wheelchair may still allow you to participate in our tours, although we ask our participants to be aware that requirements for disability accommodations are different in Europe than in the US. We are able to accommodate manual wheelchairs for those who need them, as long as a physically able companion accompanies the tour participant to provide assistance. Travelers must be prepared for minimal walking in and out of hotels, rest stops, etc., since not all locations have ramps or handicap accessible facilities. We regret that the tour vehicles are not equipped with wheelchairs lifts or ramps and are not able to accommodate electric scooters.
- Do you accommodate special dietary needs?
- Yes, we are able to cater to special dietary needs without limiting options. In the past we have accommodated vegetarians, gluten free and lactose intolerant passengers, for example.
- What if I am not a history buff?
- Our tours are carefully balanced to appeal to both history buffs and to those just looking to take an interesting, rewarding vacation. Background information is provided on the war, as well as present day information about the European, American, and Japanese cities, towns and country-sides we visit. Maps, videos, and presentations give a fuller picture of the grand events recounted. Dinner, in particular, is a great chance to unwind and socialize over great food and drink.
Moreover, our tours present a variety of historical landmarks beyond tanks, guns and battlefields. Visiting five European countries one after the other on our Beyond Band of Brothers Tour, for example, allows you to compare the characteristics of how they are similar as members of the European Union, but still different. On our other tours you get to visit places such as Pompeii and the Colosseum in Rome, the Dole Pineapple Fields in Hawaii, or Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster in London, to name just a few.
Our Beyond Band of Brothers R &R tour is specially built to suit both World War II history buffs and non-history buffs alike. This tour visits such sites as the Normandy Beaches, Bastogne War Museum and the Eagle’s Nest; while also visiting Mont Saint-Michel, Vianden Castle and taking a Sound of Music Tour. This is the perfect tour for the blended history and cultural enthusiast groups.
- What age are your passengers?
- People of all ages enjoy our tours. Although the average age of our passengers is 60, we host a wide range of age groups, with a number of high school and college-aged passengers, as well as those who are comfortably retired.
- Can children take the tour?
- Absolutely. We encourage the participation of younger ones who would like to learn about the Greatest Generation and their achievements. However, due to the subject matter of the tours and the nature of the locations we visit (burial grounds, concentrations camps, etc.) a child must be at least 10 years old to participate.
- Are passengers travelling alone welcome on your tours?
- Solo travelers are more than welcome to join our groups. Passengers like to mix and mingle and friendships are quickly formed as everyone is interested in this period of history and exploring what Europe and the Pacific has to offer from the point of view of the world wars.
- Can I arrive earlier than my start date of the tour and can I stay longer after the tour ends?
- Yes, we have many passengers that arrange to come a few days earlier and stay longer.
- Is it safe to travel to Europe?
- Absolutely. The areas we visit are probably where Americans are the most loved in the world. The locals in many places are extremely grateful to their American liberators and haven't forgotten what they did for their county. For many of our tours we spend most of our time off the beaten path. That nature of battlefields is that they tend to be removed from the cities, and usually remain rural even years after the war has ended. Our tour managers have experience navigating these tourist sites and are equipped to monitor for potential threats.
Sadly, in today’s world, horrible things can and do happen all around the globe, as well as in our own back yards. We are always taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of our passengers, including but not limited to reviewing the security protocols of our service providers (hotels, museums, restaurants, etc.) and running background checks on specific people coming into contact with our passengers. We have built strong relationships with local authorities (such as police, local government, as well as the American Battle Monuments Commission) which enable us to feel secure at major events, such as anniversaries and Oktoberfest.
- Can I talk to previous passengers who have taken your tours in the past?
- We can provide, upon request, contact information of some of our previous passengers who have agreed to speak with those interested in our tours about their experience with us. You may also view the “Reviews” section of the website for written reviews and video testimonials.
- Do you offer private tours?
- We do offer private tours. A private tour must be for at least seven days and for a group of ten or more participants. Proposals for private tours are always issued on individual basis. Please contact our office for details.
What is included in the tour price?
- What is included in the tour price?
- Inclusivity is specific to each tour departure. What is included in the tour cost is specified under each tour.
Prices do not include: airfare (unless otherwise stated), travel insurance, excess baggage fees, extra alcoholic drinks at dinner, extra hotel costs (e.g., consumption from the mini-bar, pay TV, laundry services, etc.), or costs resulting from a tour participant failing to arrive at the pick-up location on time. All prices and departures are guaranteed!
All prices and departures are guaranteed!
- Does the price include airfare?
- The price does not include airfare to the starting point of the tour and back home. Certain tours require air transportation during the tour program. The cost of these flights are included in the price and will be clearly stated as such.
- What about gratuities?
- Tips for our onboard staff (tour managers and bus drivers) are not included in the tour price, but are a voluntary way of showing satisfaction for good service. Because we are frequently asked about the standard amount for tipping tour staff, we provide the following guideline based on the average total amount given by our tour participants: €10.00 or $10.00 per tour participant, per tour day.
- Do you offer travel insurance?
- No, we do not offer travel insurance. We do, however, recommend that you purchase a travel insurance package. The most important travel insurance provisions are those covering refunds for last-minute cancellation and for medical emergencies and can be purchased through a travel agent. Medical coverage is especially important outside the United States, where many US policies will not apply.
- What is My Trip?
- My Trip is a user-friendly online page that helps us share and collect information regarding your tour. It serves as a step by step guide to preparing for your trip as well as a source of information about your journey itself. Several tour documents provide continually updated information about your tour and a “To do list” will keep you in touch with your travel consultants regarding the details and information we need from you in preparation for your tour. Access to My Trip is only provided for passengers who are already booked.
What will my tour be like?
- What is the average size of the tour groups?
- The size of the groups will vary based on the tour, ranging from about 15 to 35 passengers. Please contact our travel consultants for information on the specific tour(s) you are interested in.
- Do you offer free time on the tours?
- Some free time is given in selected places for shopping and individual sightseeing. Procom has no affiliation with any of the shops at your disposal, and there is no pressure to make additional purchases on the tours.
- Who are your tour guides?
- Our tour guides are local historians who devote their time to passing on their knowledge and sometimes even personal experience to our passengers. They are all fluent in English and have been working with us for several years.
- What type of tour buses do you use?
- We use luxury bus transportation with three types of Mercedes tour buses or vans. They are air conditioned, with reclining seats, video screens, movies, and free onboard Wi-Fi. The vans fit 6-16 people and the coaches accommodate 48 people.
- What type of hotels do we stay at?
- All of the hotels you will be staying at on our tours are first class 4-star hotels with private baths, and free wireless internet service.
- What airport do I need to arrive at?
- Arrival and departure airports are specified in the first and last day’s program of the itinerary for each tour.
- Am I going to be left alone on the tour?
- No. There is a 24/7 tour manager with the group at all times, from pick-up on the first day to drop-off on the last. They stay at the same hotel as you, eat with the groups, and ride the bus with you. They are historians themselves who offer information about sights as we travel through Europe, the Pacific, and the United States and who speak the foreign languages needed to communicate with locals.
How do I book a tour with you?
- How do I book a tour?
- For online booking, click on the “book now” button of the tour you are interested in and complete the booking section with your information. You can also call us at our toll-free number 1-888-335-1996, or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- How soon should I book?
- Our groups tend to fill up quickly and we want to ensure you are able to get the departure date of your choice. Remember that all of our departures are guaranteed and there is no minimum number of passengers required for a tour to take place. But the best reasons to book early are the larger discounts we give to reward early booking, as well as first dibs on plane tickets. Booking your airfare in advance comes with the lowest rates, best layover options and the availability of the few first class spots or those elusive "economy comfort" seats with the extra few inches of heaven for your knees.
- What is the deposit amount required to book a tour?
- Your spot on the tour can be reserved by making a 10% deposit. Your deposit is credited towards the total tour cost.
- Now that I am ready to book, how do I make arrangements to pay you?
- You can mail us a check, pay online through our secure website, or give us a call and pay over the phone. We accept all major credit cards: Visa, Master Card, American Express and Discover.
- Do you have a payment plan?
- Once you have reserved your place on a tour with your 10% deposit, we are happy to work with you on an individual payment plan. This option is not available if you chose to take advantage of the 20% off early-bird rate. Contact one of our travel consultants with any questions about payment schedules prior to booking.
- Can I give the tour as a gift?
- We would love to help you surprise someone and will stay discrete during the booking and payment process if you let us in on the fun. We will also offer a personalized gift certificate for the person receiving the gift.
- What currency is the price of the tour in?
- The price of the tour is listed in U.S. Dollars.
What travel documents do I need?
- Do I need a passport?
- A valid passport is required for all participants on our tours outside the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii. A driver's license issued by your state or a passport card cannot be used for overseas travel. Per international travel regulations, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the date of your return home from your tour. If your passport expires within 6 months, it must be renewed prior to your departure from the U.S.
- Do I need a visa?
- For U.S. citizens, the only tour that requires a visa is the Eastern Front Tour, which involves travelling to Russia. Please speak to your travel consultant for more details on this. Visas may be required on any of our tours for non-US citizens. If visas are required, it is the tour participant's responsibility to ensure that all completed visa applications are provided to us in a timely fashion.
What do I need to know when preparing for the tour?
- Will I get an itinerary for my tour before departure?
- In order to make your tour information accessible at all times from any location and mobile device, we have made all of your tour documents, including your itinerary available electronically on your personalized My Trip page under the tour documents. Please download the PDF forms to your personal device and carry them with you anywhere or print them out at home for a hard copy reference.
- What airport do I need to arrive at and depart from?
- The arrival and departure airports are specified in itinerary for each tour. There are arrival and departure requirements on all of our tours. Be sure to consult us prior to making your final reservations.
Tour participants must arrive at the designated airport by 12PM local time on the first day of the given tour. If a flight that was scheduled to arrive by the given time is delayed, we will wait until 2PM for the delayed tour participants. After 2PM tour participants will be required to arrange their own travel to the designated hotel. On the last day of the tour, we will arrange a transfer from the hotel to - and only to - the major international airport in the final city of the tour for the tour participants’ return flights. The latest transfer to the airport will depart the hotel no later than that hotel’s check-out time.
- How do I meet up with the group at the start of the tour?
- Your tour manager will contact you directly at your personal email address one month prior to your tour departure with detailed information regarding the exact meeting place and time for your group. Please confirm the receipt of this pick-up information and check your e-mail regularly.
- Do you have a limit on the amount of luggage I can take?
- On our tours to Europe, we recommend that each participant bring one suitcase and one carry-on bag due to the limited capacity for luggage storage on motor coaches. Our luggage allowance and regulations may be different from airline requirements. We recommend you check with your airlines directly on their luggage restrictions to avoid any additional or excess luggage fees.
On the Eastern Front and Pacific Theater Tours, where certain airfare is included as part of the tour cost, the luggage limit is strictly one checked bag up to 50 lb. and one carry on item, per airline regulations. Any excess baggage fee charged by the airline for exceeding this weight or checking additional bags must be covered in full by the participant.
- What types of currency are used on the tours?
- The type of currency depends on the tour. Taken as a whole, our tours cover areas where the Euro, U.S. Dollar, Ruble, Zloty, Forint, Pounds, and Yen are used. Your travel consultant will be able to help you determine what currency you will need for your specific tour.
- Is there an opportunity to do laundry on the tours?
- The hotels on our US tours have laundry facilities with washers and dryers that are available for use. Bring some quarters and a bit of detergent with you.
Laundromats are, however, almost non-existent in Europe. None of the hotels have washer and dryer facilities as they do in the US. In turn, most hotels offer laundry services, mostly charging on a per garment basis, which can be rather expensive. Some hotels may charge on a per bag basis: you can stuff as much as you can in the laundry bag they provide and they have a very favorable charge compared to the per garment cost. Normally, laundry services are available only on working days.
Your tour manager will be able to help you at the beginning of the tour to discuss where it would be worth to have laundry done.
- I take prescription medication, should I bring this with me?
- Absolutely. You will want to take your medication with you. You do not want to depend on being able to get your prescription filled while you are overseas, as American prescriptions will not be accepted. Many drugs that are sold over the counter in the US require a prescription overseas. Also, many drugs have different names and/or ingredients than in the US. So if you have a pain killer or a motion sickness pill that you know works for you, we advise bringing it with you.
- Is there a dress code for the dinners on the tour?
- We do not have a dress code for the dinners or the tours themselves. We want you to be comfortable and casual while on your vacation.
- What should I pack for the tour?
- You can find a detailed packing list in the “Travel Tips” file on your personalized My Trip page.
In general, pack versatile clothing good for all types of weather. You should bring sturdy, water resistant shoes that you feel comfortable wearing all day and on uneven terrain such as on beaches and cobblestones. A waterproof jacket is useful, and some warmer layers for evenings or high altitudes are essential.
Since you'll probably be taking lots of pictures, don't forget your camera, memory cards and charger. Other electronic devices you might bring, such as a cell phone or laptop, will also need their chargers. You will need an adaptor that will transform the US plugs to European/Japanese plugs. Washcloths are not so wide-spread overseas and are typically not provided at hotels.
- Do the hotels have hair dryers?
- Yes. All hotels provide hairdryers, towels and toiletry kits.
- Can I use my cell phone overseas?
- If you bring your cell phone with you, be sure to check with your carrier regarding international calling plans to make sure you're not left without service during the trip.
- What is the weather like at the time I am planning to travel?
- Unfortunately, there is no one answer to this question, but we can provide the following link for you: http://www.holiday-weather.com/. All you need to do is specify the time of year you are traveling and the country you are checking the weather for.