Why should I choose Beyond Band of Brothers Tours?
Why are your tours called "Beyond Band of Brothers"?
There has been an explosion of interest in World War II, and many people want to visit the locations where these iconic battles were fought. This interest is partly due to the ever-expanding list of high-quality books, movies and TV series about this era-defining event. Band of Brothers, one of the best-known series about the war, follows the 101st Airborne Division, one of the few units involved in all the seminal events of the campaign in Western Europe: the Normandy Invasion, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge, and the crossing of the Rhine. They liberated a concentration camp and marched into Berchtesgaden. Following the footsteps of the Screaming Eagles provides a comprehensive, inspiring roadmap to explore the Allied efforts to liberate Europe.
Artwork such as Band of Brothers, however, can show only a certain perspective: the 101st was only one unit, and their story cannot capture all of the experiences lived by the millions of other U.S. soldiers who fought in the European Theater of Operations in World War II. Hence, "Beyond:" we take you beyond the Band of Brothers series to illustrate the role the members of other infantry and armored divisions, the Army Air Corps and even the Navy played in these historic events.
Beyond also means delving into the background of the conflict to gain an understanding of what the civilian population had to endure, or by going further east and exploring Jewish culture and heritage on our Central Europe Remembrance Tour. Further tours, such as the Italian Campaign Tour or the Battle of Britain Tour, focus on the other major battlefields of the European Theater. Our Pacific Theater tours explore the conflict with Japan, while on our Third Reich Tour we travel through Germany to trace the political, economic and ideological reasons behind Hitler's rise to power.
We go even further back in time, beyond WWII, to understand the birth of our Nation on the American Revolution Tour. Our tours on the American Civil War and the Fields of World War I Tour give insight into the intertwined string of events that led up to WWII. We also step forward beyond WWII to explore its repercussions in the Indochina Wars on our new Vietnam War tour.
Beyond Band of Brothers offers a well-rounded experience of American History. Our tours pay homage to the Heroes but also go beyond individual stories, so anyone looking for an intellectually fulfilling experience can enjoy them.
Why not take this trip on my own?
You could! All you need to do is create a detailed itinerary, rent a car, drive thousands of miles to unknown places, some in foreign countries, navigate unfamiliar highways and narrow mountain roads, book accommodation in multiple cities, find good restaurants with menus you can read, and research all the sites in advance or find and hire a reliable local guide. Or you could leave all of that to us and just enjoy a professionally organized, well-thought-out tour without the hassle.
What makes Beyond Band of Brothers the best?
Simply put, we are the biggest and the best at what we do. In terms of WWII and American History tours, no one comes even close to offering the quality and quantity that we do. All year round you can find guaranteed prices and departures, and we have years of consistent delivery to back this claim up. We offer multiple tours with various packages, durations and activity levels to make sure you find something that works for you. Our tour managers and local guides are professionals who have perfected their craft. All our hotels and restaurants are tried and true, and our local knowledge is evident. We have offices in the U.S. and Europe, and our entire staff speaks fluent English. Our secure and guaranteed payment systems allow you to shop online with the utmost confidence. Once you book your trip, we will guide you through everything related to your tour, from what travel documents you need and what to pack to a recommended list of books to read and movies to watch before your departure. We are not an assembly line company focused on mass production – our goal is to bring history to life to give you a once in a lifetime experience.
Are departure dates for the tours guaranteed?
Yes, all departure dates are guaranteed. There is no minimum number of participants needed for a tour to take place.
How long has Beyond Band of Brothers Tours 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?
We are located at 400 North Ashley Drive, Suite 1010, Tampa, FL 33602. If you would like to visit our office in Tampa, please contact us for an appointment and we would be happy to welcome 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 one to four to reflect the strenuousness of each tour. Each tour has an activity level rating both on the website and in the brochure. Click here for a detailed explanation of the activity levels.
In general, our trips require some minimal walking, and some trips require more strenuous activities. On all our tours, participants must be able to get in and out of the bus on their own, which involves climbing three to four steps. If you would require special accommodation due to restricted mobility (such as a walk-in shower), please make sure to let us know in advance. 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 wheelchair may still allow you to participate in our tours, although we ask our participants to be aware that requirements for restricted mobility and disability accommodations are different in Europe and the Pacific than in the U.S. We regret we cannot provide passengers with wheelchairs, but we can store manual wheelchairs for those bringing their own, as long as a physically able companion accompanies the tour participant to provide assistance. Tour participants must inform us before the tour if they will bring a wheelchair. 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 wheelchair lifts or ramps and are unable to accommodate electric scooters.
Do you accommodate special dietary needs?
We provide a variety of healthy and tasty meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner on tours where meals are included. We make every effort to accommodate those with health restrictions, such as diabetes, lactose or gluten intolerance, or food allergies, as well as preferences such as vegetarianism. We regret that we are unable to accommodate vegan or kosher meal plans. Please note that dietary requests must be provided to us before the tour, that is, at the time of booking and cannot be modified during the tour.
What if I am not a history buff?
We balance our tours carefully to appeal to both history buffs and those just looking to take an interesting, rewarding vacation. On the tour, you will get background information on the relevant war, as well as present-day information about the European, American, and Vietnamese cities, towns and countryside destinations we visit. Maps, videos, and presentations give a fuller picture of the events.
Moreover, our tours present a variety of historical landmarks beyond tanks, guns and battlefields. Visiting four European countries one after the other on our Beyond Band of Brothers Tour, for example, allows you to compare how they are similar as members of the European Union but still culturally distinct. On our other tours you get to visit places such as Pompeii and the Colosseum in Rome, to name just a few.
We have specially built our R&R tours to suit both World War II history buffs and cultural tourists alike. The tours combine the major military-related sites with popular tourist attractions and the favorite destinations of soldiers who were on Rest & Recuperation leave while serving in Europe during WWII. These tours are ideal for those who are looking for a more balanced European holiday but still want to visit the most iconic World War II sites.
What age are your passengers?
People of all ages enjoy our tours. Although the average age of our passengers is 55+, we host a wide range of age groups, with an increasing number of high school and college-aged passengers, as well as those who are comfortably retired.
Can children take the tour?
Absolutely - we strongly encourage the participation of the younger generations who would like to learn about history in detail. However, due to the subject matter of the tours and the nature of the locations we visit (burial grounds, concentration camps, etc.) and the movies we watch on the bus 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 the subject matter of the given tour.
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 on your tours?
Absolutely. The locals in many of the places we visit are often extremely grateful to Americans, who they see as liberators from WWI and WWII and have not forgotten what they did for their country. Our tour managers have lots of experience navigating the routes we follow and know the areas well.
Sadly, in today's world, unpredictable things can and do happen all around the globe, as well as in our own backyard. 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 who encounter 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. We also recommend anyone traveling internationally to consult the official International Travel Country Information pages provided by the U.S. Government.
Can I talk to previous passengers who have taken your tours in the past?
Upon request, we can provide 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, and issue proposals for private tours on an individual basis. Please contact our office for details.
What is included in the tour price?
What is included in the tour price?
Inclusions are dependent on the tour type but are also specific to each tour departure. What is included in a tour package is detailed on the What's Included page, while the tour cost is specified under each tour.
Prices do not include airfare (unless otherwise stated), travel insurance, excess baggage fees, valet service, extra alcoholic drinks at meals (unless otherwise stated), 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!
Does the price include airfare?
The price does not include airfare to the starting point of the tour or back home. Certain tours require air transportation during the tour program. The tour price includes the cost of these flights 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 guests frequently ask about the standard amount for tipping tour staff, we provide the following guidelines based on the average total amount given by our tour participants: €10.00 or $10.00 per tour participant, per tour day which is shared between the tour manager and the driver. We accept payment by check, too. Tipping of the local guides is at the passengers' discretion. On all-inclusive and luxury tours, tipping of the restaurant and hotel staff is taken care of by us.
Do you offer travel insurance?
For your convenience we offer a travel protection plan, provided by Travelex Insurance Services, that helps provide coverage for trip cancellation/interruption; trip delay; baggage loss, theft or damage; medical expense; emergency evacuation coverage; and more. Travel insurance is not included in the tour price. We recommend that you purchase a travel insurance plan to protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected, so you can relax and enjoy your trip.
What is MyTrip?
MyTrip 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 continuously 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 MyTrip is only provided for passengers who are already booked.
What will my tour be like?
What is the average size of the tour groups?
Group size will vary based on the tour and the package, ranging from about 15 to 45 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?
You will have some free time in selected places for shopping and individual sightseeing. BBoB has no affiliation with any of the shops at your disposal, and there is no pressure to make additional purchases on the tours.
Am I going to be left on my own 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 will stay at the same hotel as you, eat with the group and ride the bus with you. They are well-trained and capable professionals who offer information about sights as we travel through our tour destinations and have ample experience in handling local requests and any issues that may arise.
Who are your local guides?
Our local guides are local historians who are devoted to passing on their knowledge, and sometimes even personal experience, to our passengers. They are all fluent in English and have worked with us for several years.
What type of tour buses do you use?
We use high-quality tour buses or vans. They are airconditioned, with reclining seats, video screens, and free onboard Wi-Fi. The vans fit 6-16 people and the coaches accommodate 48 people. Most of our buses have toilets, which should only be used in case of emergencies, but we also schedule plenty of restroom stops while on the road.
What type of hotels do we stay in?
All the hotels you will be staying at on our tours offer private bathrooms and free wireless internet service. Depending on the tour package you purchased, hotels are 3-star on our Budget tours, 4-star on our All-inclusive tours and 5-star on our Luxury tours. Please refer to the tour types section of the brochure for more details.
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 and payment. You can also call us at our toll-free number 1-888-335-1996, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a sign-up form to book your tour.
How soon should I book?
We recommend booking as soon as you have chosen a tour. Our groups tend to fill up quickly and we want to ensure that you can get the departure date of your choice. Remember that all our departures are guaranteed, which means there is no minimum number of passengers required for a tour to take place. Another good reason to book early is 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 that give you the extra few inches of heaven for your knees.
What is the deposit amount required to book a tour?
If you are booking at our List Price or Layaway Rate, a 10% deposit is required at the time of booking. In case of the Early-Bird bookings and most promotional prices, full payment is required at the time of booking.
Now that I am ready to book, how do I arrange my payment?
You can pay online through our secure website, send in the sign-up form in the back of this book with a check by mail, or email us your sign-up form and 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 choose to take advantage of the 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 we will remain discreet throughout the booking and payment process if you let us in on the fun. We will also send a personalized gift certificate for the person receiving the gift.
What currency is the price of the tour in?
The price of our tours is listed in U.S. Dollars.
What travel documents do I need?
Do I need a passport?
You will need a valid passport 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 tours that require a visa are the Eastern Front Tour and the Vietnam War Tour, which involve traveling to Russia and Vietnam. Please speak to your travel consultant for more details on this. Visas may be required on any of our tours for non-U.S. 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?
All your tour documents, including your itinerary, are available electronically on your personalized MyTrip page under the tour documents. You can access your tour information at all times from any location and on any mobile device. Please download the PDF forms to your personal device to carry them with you anywhere or print them out to have a hard copy for reference. Note that the preliminary itinerary on MyTrip is subject to change.
What airport do I need to arrive at and depart from?
We specify the arrival and departure times and airports in the itinerary for each tour. There are arrival and departure requirements for all tours. We highly recommend arriving a day before the start of the tour to decrease the risk of delayed flights impacting your tour. Be sure to consult us prior to making your final reservations.
If a flight is scheduled to arrive by the given time but is delayed, we will wait one additional hour after the specified pick-up time for the delayed tour participants. After one hour, participants will be required to arrange their own travel to the first night's hotel. We will do everything we can to assist with these arrangements, but do not assume responsibility for any additional costs.
On the last day of the tour, we will arrange a transfer from the hotel only to the airport indicated in the tour description. Departure time requirements at designated airports on the last day of a tour are provided under the description of each specific tour. Unless otherwise stated, the latest transfer to the airport will depart the hotel no later than 11:00 am.
How do I meet up with the group at the start of the tour?
One month prior to your tour departure your tour manager will contact you directly, at the email address you provided, with detailed information regarding your group's exact meeting time and place. Please confirm the receipt of this pick-up information and be certain to check your email regularly for this information.
Do you have a limit on the amount of luggage I can take?
On our tours in Europe, we recommend 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 the luggage restrictions directly with your airlines to avoid any additional or excess luggage fees.
On the Eastern Front, Vietnam War and Pacific Theater Tours, where we travel by plane between the cities we visit during the tour, the luggage limit is strictly one checked bag up to 50 lbs. 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, Pound, and Dong 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?
Some of the hotels on our US tours have laundry facilities with washers and dryers available for use. Bring some quarters and a bit of detergent with you.
Laundromats, however, are almost non-existent in Europe. None of the hotels have washing facilities as they do in the US. In turn, most hotels offer laundry services, usually charging per garment. This can be rather expensive. Some hotels may charge per bag: put as much as you can into the laundry bag provided for a single fee. This has a very favorable charge compared to the per garment cost. Normally, laundry services are available only on working days.
Your tour manager will be available to discuss where it would be best to have laundry done, but generally, it is suggested to use the laundry services at a hotel where the tour group stays for at least 2 nights in order for you to get your clean clothes back by the time the group leaves from the hotel.
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 U.S. require a prescription overseas. Also, many drugs have different names and/or ingredients than in the U.S., 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 MyTrip page.
In general, pack versatile clothing suitable for all types of weather. Bring sturdy, water-resistant shoes that are comfortable for all-day wear and on uneven terrain, such as on beaches and cobblestones. A waterproof jacket is suggested, and warm layers for evenings or high altitudes are essential. If your tour includes visits to religious buildings (e.g. Vatican City and St Peter's Basilica) be prepared to dress appropriately (i.e. shoulders and knees must be covered).
Since you will probably be taking lots of pictures, do not forget your camera, memory cards and charger. Other electronic devices such as your cell phone or laptop, will also need their chargers. You will need an adaptor that will connect U.S. plugs to the appropriate local outlets. Washcloths are not very widespread overseas and are typically not provided at hotels.
Do the hotels have hairdryers?
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 are 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.