A Self-Guided Tour with Alpenwild – FAQ Answers

self-guided tours

Get the FAQ answers for Alpenwild’s Self-Guided tours.

What is a Self-Guided tour?

Our self-guided tours offer the same quality, service, and comforts of our guided tours. The only difference is that with self-guided, you are the guide! We design each self-guided itinerary to fit your individual interests and abilities and will provide you with prepaid accommodations, rail passes and our favorite hiking routes and sightseeing recommendations. We’ll plan your Alps adventure so that you can travel with confidence.

Is a Self-Guided tour for me? 

Self-guided tours are for those that enjoy working out the details of their trip and want to set their own pace and not be tied to the group’s timetable.They are ideal for travelers that prefer to venture on their own without the services of a tour guide. On a self-guided tour, you can enjoy the freedom, flexibility and adventure of travelling on your own without the planning.

What is included in a Self-Guided tour? 

A self-guided tour includes expert support from our Alpenwild Staff and is customized for each guest. We will make hotel reservations (typically with breakfasts), include rail passes, provide a detailed daily itinerary, basic trail or city maps, complete listing of all hotels with contact information, and train/bus schedules to follow each day. It is possible that you could also have the option to add on some dinners and luggage transfers where available, so be sure to ask if you are interested. We’ll handle the logistics so you can enjoy the destination. 

What is not included in a Self-Guided Tour?

In general, we do not include airfare, lunches, some dinners (or drinks with dinners that are included), and excursions on trains, lifts, buses, taxis, etc. In addition, travel insurance and items of a personal nature such as telephone calls, laundry, medical expenses, evacuation costs, etc. are not included. Swiss Topo maps are not included but are available for an additional charge. Please note that we will also list what is and isn’t included on your custom proposed itinerary.

How far in advance do I need to book a Self-Guided tour?

You can book a self-guided tour about a year in advance, however in some cases we may not be able to book select hotels until about 6-8 months prior. Keep in mind that it is best to book a self-guided tour at least 3 months before your travel date, especially since accommodations can become quite limited or not available at all.

How does the booking process work?

First you should contact us to come up with an itinerary and tour dates that you are happy with and then you can submit a booking through our website. We require a $500 per person deposit to guarantee your spot and then we will contact all accommodation providers to check availability for the dates you’ve chosen. If any hotel is fully booked, we’ll contact you to discuss alternatives. Final payment will be due 90 days prior to your tour start date.

Is it possible to start a Self-Guided tour on any date?

Yes, it is possible to start on any date, but this is subject to the availability of the accommodations. Please note that some areas can only be hiked during a specified season such as July to September due to weather and trail conditions.

How do I get to the starting point of my tour? 

We will provide detailed directions and a Swiss rail pass to get to the start of your tour. 

Do I need seat reservations on the trains?

Seat reservations are NOT required on Swiss Trains (except for the specialty scenic trains such as the Glacier Express and Bernina Express). You can use your pre-validated rail pass  to get right on the train when you are ready. Be sure to have your passport available as some conductors will request to see it with your rail pass.

Can you change the daily route to adapt to different mileage preferences on a hiking tour?

In most cases we will provide additional options on your daily itinerary where you can choose the route that you want to hike that day. However, there are some specific hiking and trekking routes where this is not possible. Be sure to talk to your travel specialist to let them know how much or how little hiking you want to do so that we can plan the perfect hiking trip for you.

What are the accommodations like?

We like to stay in small family-owned hotels in traditional Swiss villages. These are usually 3 and 4 star hotels that include breakfasts and are usually the same hotels as on our guided tours. We typically book superior private rooms with an ensuite bathroom. There may be an exception if your route includes a mountain hotel that may have shared bathrooms. If you have a specific hotel you would like to request, please let us know and we will do our best to include it.

Can I customize my Self-Guided tour? 

Yes! We do have several self-guided itineraries on our website that you can choose from, but you always have the option to make changes. You can also let us know your preferences and we can create a customized tour for you. Please be aware that we do require a 3 night minimum to put together a self-guided tour package for you.

Are Self-Guided tours suitable for families? Do you offer discounts for children?

Many of our tours are suitable for families but we do have some trekking tours that are challenging and may be difficult for children. Please be sure to talk with your travel specialist to make sure the trip you are planning will be a good fit for your family. We can often offer discounts for rail passes for children under the age of 16 and also for families sharing a triple occupancy or family room where available. 

How do I travel with luggage?

You will need to travel with your luggage to get to and from our tours. In some areas, we can provide luggage transfers between villages so that you can hike without worry about your extra bags. Luggage transfers are often included in the self-guided tour price if they are available in that region.

How do I do my laundry?

Self-service laundry is very rare in Switzerland and we often indicate if and where these services are available on your detailed daily itinerary.  Many hotels will offer to launder your clothes, but it can take 1-2 days to return. It is also possible to handwash some items in your hotel room sink. 

When will I receive my travel documents?

We typically mail out your tour documents 30-45 days prior to your tour. Travel documents usually include your daily itinerary, hotel contact and information, rail passes, packing lists and city and basic trail maps.

What if something goes wrong? Who can I contact?

We will provide you with an emergency contact number to use during your tour if needed. You can also feel free to email or call your travel specialist for any additional questions or concerns.

What if I need to cancel?

You can refer to our terms and conditions which also includes our cancellation policy. Trip Insurance is available through a link on our website to protect against certain unforeseen circumstances that may cause you to have to cancel.

I hope you found the answer to your self-guided tour questions. If not, do not hesitate to visit our Self-Guided Tours page, or contact us at 801-226-9026 or info@alpenwild.com.

See you in the Alps!

Tari McKell

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