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Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

Question 1: What are the travel services offered by Destination Management Turkey?

Destination offers a wide variety of travel products, which consist of, but are not limited to:

  • FIT (Individual) travel
  • Guided group travel
  • Excursions
  • City tours & sightseeing tours
  • Shore excursions
  • Hotel booking
  • Special interest travel
  • Meetings, Incentives, Events
  • Resorts & Spas
  • Golf travel
  • Luxury travel
  • Medical travel
  • Transfers and transportation
  • Yacht programs


Question 2: How can I plan a Turkey trip with you?

There are four easy steps you can take to arrange travel plans.

  • Send us an inquiry by filling out on of our online forms. You can either choose from our ready made “package tours” or you can ask for a “tailor made” program specially designed for you. Although required information that needs to be entered into the forms are indicated, it is recommended to fill out as much information as possible.
  • After we receive your enquiry, one of our professional travel consultants will email you and give you a proposal.
  • If you accept the proposal (you may modify it until you are satisfied with it), we will calculate the tour cost and send you the tour price. If you accept it, you will need to confirm that you would like to book.
  • You need to pay a deposit for 25% of the total cost per person to secure the booking. We will make all the reservations according to your itinerary immediately after we receive your deposit.


Question 3: What kind of tours can I get from you?

Package tours are elaborately designed by our travel experts, with scheduled tour routes, itineraries and quotations. All these tours are fully escorted packages, which means in each city, you will have your own professional tour guide speaking your language and a private air-conditioned car/van/coach with your private driver at your service during your staying there, from meeting you at the airport upon your arrival, showing you around, till seeing you off at the airport  for your next destination. All the tour packages we have on our website are flexible, tailored to meet your special interests

Tailor made tours (Custom made travel) is also available. We understand that people are different, so are their requirements. Therefore, to design a perfect and personalized tour in Turkey according to your own special interests, our specialists work with you to create a plan that suits you.

Note: If a group is bigger than 10 people, we can offer a private escort (nation-wide tour guide) who will be at your service at all times, traveling with the group from one city to another during your whole trip in Turkey.


Question 4: Do you offer group and/or FIT services?

For customized individual tours (FITs), we provide certain ready-made private FIT packages. These tours are guarantee departures that take off every day. Prices per person are reduced the more the guests, hence making this a fun and advantageous option for small groups of friends.

We can provide FIT packages in all of Turkey. We also offer hotel accomodations at all levels; tourists, superior tourists, first class, superior first class and deluxe. In addition, we can provide transfers and local sightseeing tours. We have contracts with hundreds of hotels all over Turkey and we will be happy to quote your FIT package based on the properties in our program. All prices are quoted as a package.

We are also happy to handle all of your group requests. Special Terms and Conditions apply to all group bookings and will be quoted by our group department. We can accommodate special interest groups and groups that require customized itineraries and services, such as family groups, groups of friends, special interest groups (church groups, academic institutions, groups with artisan interests), cruise groups, and corporate groups.

Please contact our group department to discuss all the details.

Note: To ensure that there is no miscommunication, group requests should be sent in writing specifying dates, number of passengers, number of rooms, hotel categories, meals, sightseeing tours, transfers and other services to be included.


Question 5: What is the difference between City Packages, Turkey Tours, Sightseeing and Cruise Extensions?

5a. City Packages: Subcategories include city packages (multi-day programs), sightseeing (half-day or full-day sightseeing tours of specified points of interest), family tours (augmented tours that fit families with children), and Istanbul and Beyond Combinations (packages that include excursions to neighboring cities such as Bursa, Yalova and Abant, which may or may not include accomodation at the excursion destination). Some of the details concerning the subcategories are as follows:

  • City Packages: Contains two type of products, which are Istanbul City Breaks and Istanbul Add-on Packages.
  • Istanbul City Breaks include hotel accommodation in different categories, airport transfers and some sightseeing tours, depending on the length of stay and items included in the package. Itineraries are fixed. Departures are flexible. Applicable for both independent and group travel.
  • Istanbul Add-on Packages include only airport transfers and some sightseeing tours indicated in the package. These packages give our guests to combine transfers and sightseeing tours with their already booked hotel accomodations, and are hence flexible and dynamic. Itineraries are fixed. Departures are flexible. Applicable for both independent and group travel.
  • Sightseeing Tours: This subsection is specific to sightseeing tours in Istanbul, and excursions that start and end in Istanbul (packages that include excursions to neighboring cities such as Bursa, Yalova and Cappadocia). These do not include accomodation. Itineraries are fixed. Departures are flexible. Applicable for both independent and group travel.
  • Istanbul and Beyond Combinations are two-center holiday packages that include excursions to neighboring cities such as Bursa, Yalova ,Sapanca Lake, Bolu Forest, Abant, Antalya, Izmir or Bodrum, which include accomodation at the excursion destination. Itineraries are fixed. Departures are flexible. Applicable for both independent and group travel.

 

5b. Turkey Tours: This category is for all multi-day tours that encompass many different locations in Turkey, with varying starting/ending cities. They include accomodation and travel. Subcategories are Cultural and History Tours (classic guided tours of historical sites), Religious Tours (cultural or pilgrimage tours designed for religions) and Special Interest Tours (expeditions for other interests, such as nature, wildlife, geology, educational, etc.). Itineraries and departures are fixed, but through the Custom Made Travel page (also referred to as the Enquiry Page), flexible and tailor-made itineraries can also be requested. For group travel only.

5c. Sightseeing: This category is for city tours and sightseeing tours that are in destinations other than Istanbul. However, for the convenience of our site visitors, Istanbul sightseeing tours are also listed under this category. Itineraries are fixed. Departures are flexible. Applicable for both independent and group travel.

5d. Cruise Extensions: These are tours specifically designed to start/end at cruise ports for guests who have arrived or will depart with cruise lines. Itineraries are both fixed and flexible. Applicable for both independent and group travel.


Question 6: What is the difference between the subcategories of Cruise Extensions, which are Shore Excursions, Pre and Post Packages and VIP Transfers?

6a. Shore Excursions: These are short sightseeing tours and excursions that, in general, do not include accomodations, for the passengers of a cruise line who have stopped over at a port for a night or longer. Guests are picked up from and dropped off at the port where their cruise lines have anchored. These can have both fixed and flexible itineraries and are for both FIT and group travel. Departures depend on cruise arrivals.

6b. Pre and Post Packages: Post-packages refer to tour programs which Guests who are scheduled to disembark at a Turkish port after their cruise vacation may wish to attend, starting from the port they arrive and ending at cities with international airports from which they are scheduled to leave Turkey. Pre-packages are the exact opposite; tour starts from the city where Guests arrive by flight, and end at the port from which they will board a cruise to continue their vacation. These have fixed itineraries and are for both group and individual travel. Departures depend on cruise arrivals/departures.


Question 7: What is Alternative Travel and what are the differences between the categories?

There are specific types of travel products that do not fit under any other category, are very specific, require a specific expertise to carry out or cannot have pre-planned itineraries.

7a. Medical: Generally accepted to be under the umbrella of Health Travel, the concept of Medical Travel refers to any type of travel arrangement associated with a medical procedure, for both the patient and any individual accompanying the patient. An important part of medical travel is to match the correct procedure with the correct medical institution, specifically with those that uphold the highest of ethical, hygenic and professional values of medicine. The Medical Travel service, however, does not include direct medical advice from Destination and the tour operator’s role is to bring the patient and the medical institution together.

7b. Health and Spa: Travel plans for any type of health, wellness and traditional treatments that do not require medical procedures or the attention of a medical doctor fall under this category and is strictly different from Medical Travel in that sense. However, many patients choose to combine their medical treatments with post-procedure health and wellness plans, as part of a recovery plan.

7c. Golf: Turkey has very unique golf courses on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, especially concentrated around the Belek province of Antalya. Golf Travel refers to the planning of accomodations, transfers and any other additional arrangements such as tee times and green fees.

7d. Yacht Voyages: The Turkish coasts of the Aegean and the Mediterranean offer countless inlets and bays that can only be enjoyed fully on board a vessel that can both provide comfortable accomodation and speed. Gulets, the signature yachts of the Aegean used in these voyages, can accommodate up to 12 people at the same time. Tour lengths from boarding to disembarkment vary according to the request of the clients. Pre and post tours and land arrangements can be combined with Yacht Voyages.


Question 8: What should I do if I don’t see the program or tour that is exactly what I want? Can I make tailor made / custom made travel packages? Can I request a quote for such programs?

Most definitely. Through the Custom Made Travel page (also referred to as the Enquiry Form), it is possible to request a quote for tailor made itineraries by specifying what the traveling group or individuals wish to include in their program. Enquiries are processed within 24 hours. A quote, together with a suggested itinerary, is sent within a maximum of 48 hours.


Question 9: What are the transfer services offered?

Destination offers transfer services between airports and hotels, or from cruise ports to hotels, and vice versa. For VIP cars and busses, Destination hires the best tour vehicles from reputable local transport companies. Our vehicles are equipped with comfortable seats, air conditioning and refrigerated cold drinks. We have a dedicated team of professional drivers who take pride in assuring the comfort and safety of our guests.

We also offer a VIP Transfer Services (meet and greet at the gate). For more information about and on the types of vehicles used, please visit our Tranfsers section.


Question 10: What is the difference between Selected Hotels and just simply “Hotels”?

“Selected Hotels” are those that have been hand-picked by our staff. Their quality is known to us and are inspected on regular intervals to ensure that our guests are accomodated and cared after properly. These are also the hotels that we prefer to use within our packages.

Bookings for our “Selected Hotels” are on a request basis, unless otherwise stated. We may also provide instant confirmation on a variety of hotels.


Question 11: When should I book my travel?

Reservations should be completed no later than 45 days prior to departure. For summer and other high season travel times, 90 days prior provides added security, due to increased demand. For assistance with reservations, please contact your travel agent or call us directly at +90 (212) 444-2615.


Question 12: When will I receive my travel documents and vouchers?

Guests can expect to receive all necessary travel documents 14 days prior to departure. This will include final reconfirmation and list and the Adress the Hotels of your Tour.


Question 13: How can I confirm that my purchase is complete and everything is arranged the way we want it?

Before a booking is made, you will receive a quote with a suggested itinerary for the requested services. There is no deposit required until the services are quoted exactly the way you prefer. In the event that a quoted service is not available at the actual time of booking, we will notify you of the change and make every effort to substitute a similar or better product.


Question 14: What forms of payment does Destination accept?

Guests and Clients can make payments via credit cards; American Express, MasterCard and Visa are all accepted. Wire transfers and SWIFT payments are also accepted. Information on bank accounts can be found within our Terms and Conditions section.


Question 15: Are international flights included within the quotation?

The quotation you get from Destination Management Turkey does not include international airfare. According to our experience, we suggest that you obtain the international air tickets in your departure country and make use of special discounted offers specific to your region.


Question 16: What are excluded from the tour price?

International flights to Turkey, costs of passports and visas, personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, room service and meals not specified, excess baggage fees, communication charges, airport, port and departure taxes, gratuities to your tour guide(s), driver(s) and yacht crew (which are at your discretion), optional sightseeing or shore excursions and travel insurance; these items are excluded from the tour price.


Question 17: I’m traveling alone, can you find roommates for a single traveler among other FITs?

Unfortunately, we do not provide this service. Instead, we offer single supplements to accommodate the solo traveler.


Question 18: Are single travelers within a group matched up with roommates?

Unless requested directly by the guests, we do not match up single travelers with others within a group.


Question 19: How will I meet the individual/driver from my transfer?

A representative will greet clients scheduled for transfers at the selected destination and will transport your party to the appropriate hotel or tour. For transfers from the airport, your representative will typically wait for you near the exit from the luggage area. You will see your representative holding a Destination sign or a sign with the traveler’s name.


Question 20: Who is our tour guide?

Our guides are all trained and licensed. In Turkey, there is a nation-wide exam for qualification to become a tour guide, which are refreshed annually. Only those who pass this exam will be certified by the Ministery of Tourism and will be able to work as a tour guide.

Our guides are friendly, knowledgeable and experienced. Some are experts in certain areas or destinations, whereas others have an overall knowledge and understanding and are all-encompassing. They are good at communicating with people and are flexible, and can deal with unexpected situations and difficulties.


Question 21: What kind of vehicles are going to be used on our journey?

Vehicle type depends on the type of tour. If you take a private tour, a private car/ van / bus with air-conditioning and in good conditions will be provided, based on the numbers of individuals.

If you join a group tour, you will share a big bus with other guests. These busses are also air-conditioned and in good condition overall.


Question 22: What kind of restaurants do you use?

Cleanliness and good local cuisine is a must for any restaurant we choose. For the Guest who are looking for fine dining, we choose from a wide range including sea food, steak, kebab, ethnic food and eclectic cuisine.

Our gourmet food expert carefully selectes the restaurants we use each year. We also receive help regarding new suggestions from organizations dedicated to dining excellence. We can supply the up-to-date list upon request to our Guests.


Question 23: What type of hotels do you use?

The hotels that we use reflect the cultural feeling of Turkey. We carry both local and chain hotels within our inventory, but prefer local and friendlier hotels in our packages.


Question 24: What type of boats/yachts do you use?

All the boats we use are carefully selected for their safety, comfort and quality. They all must pass the Turkish Coast Guard safety inspection. The typical boats used on the Aegean are gulet-type masted wooden vessels that can navigate with both propellers and sails. It is recommended that these vessels accommodate no more than 12 people at the same time, excluding boat staff.


Question 25: Do I need a visa to enter Turkey?

Each traveller must have a valid passport with at least 6 months minimum remaining before it expires. The traveller is responsible for obtaining information about entry requirements and visas for the countries to which they are traveling.

Most visitors require tourist visas for Turkey. Visitors from the USA, most European countries, Canada and Australia can purchase these on arrival at the airport; other nationalities should check with their local embassies or visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website (http://www.mfa.gov.tr/visa-information-for-foreigners.en.mfa), for latest regulations, as some nationalities do require consular visas. Arriving passengers may obtain a 90-day multiple entry visa at international airports.


Question 26: Does DestinationTurkey offer travel insurance?

Destination Management Turkey provides no insurance for passengers due to loss on the trip herein. Passengers are strongly advised to obtain their own travel insurance for health or baggage loss before travelling abroad. Insurance is also recommended to provide coverage if refunds pursuant to the final payment and cancellation clause below are unavailable due to the terms of that clause.


Question 27: Can I make changes and/or ammendments to my reservation, and if so, how?

You may make changes and/or ammendments to your reservation either through the admin panel, or by directly contacting us. Please note that changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If you change the date of your tour, and subsequently cancel, cancellation penalties will be based upon your original tour departure date.

We cannot guarantee that the price will remain the same for reservation changes. For instance, if you change your reservation from double occupancy to single occupancy, you will be charged the single supplement. Ammendments will always come with extra charges.


Question 28: What is your refund and/or ancellation policy?

You can find more information regarding this within our Terms and Conditions.


Question 29: I need special assistance; what can I do?

Our regular tours may at times be fast-paced. Some tours require walking long distances, climbing stairs and ramps, and traverse somewhat rougher terrain. Please bear in mind that although open air museums (ancient ruins) have conveniences set up for the maximum comfort of tourists, many sites are not wheelchair accessible. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the special needs of our guests. At the time of booking, please indicate any physical disabilities or limitations you or any of the guests in your group may have, so that we can help you determine the appropriateness of the tour. For limitations that require minor support, we recommend that you travel with a companion who will be able to provide support when necessary.

For other cases, you may always use our Enquiry Form to request a quote for a custom-made travel arrangement, and a tour plan can be created to suit your special needs.


Question 30: What are quick facts I need to know about Turkey before I travel?

You may wish to check out our Turkey Highlights section for more information. However, some of the important items that may not have been mentioned there are as follows:

  • Language: The national language is Turkish, but English is widely spoken in hotels, tourist areas and shops. Taxi drivers will have problems speaking English, so make sure to get assistance from the hotel/restaurant before boarding a taxi.
  • Cash and Currency: Turkish Lira is the local currency (TL). Banks are open from Monday to Friday. Exchange offices are plentyful. US Dollars and Euros are accepted at most touristic locations. It is possible to get around Turkey with only a credit card, but having cash is highly recommended. A person can carry a limit of 5,000 USD or equivalent on them at any time. For amounts above this figure, a customs declaration is required.
  • Tipping: It is customary to tip in Turkey and you may want to carry small bills in your pocket. Visitors would normally consider tipping their tour guides or drivers. Recommended amount is $15 for tour guides per person per day, and $10 for drivers per person per day. As a rule of thumb, use 10% for tips at restaurants that are not covered within your tour program.
  • Culture and Religion: Turkey is a secular country, with the majority of its citizens being Muslims. Although religious tolerance is high, it is recommeded to respect the local faiths and customs.
  • Food and Alcohol: Alcohol consumption is legal, but openly consuming on the street is illegal and may cause a gentle reminder by a police officer. Pork is not served in many restaurants, and those that serve pork have to indicate as such. Packaged foods and drugs do not contain pork products. It is safe to assume that almost all food in Turkey is “halal food”. For kosher dining, unfortunately options are limited. It is best to search on the internet the restaurants that have been certified by the Chief Rabbinate of Turkey for its kosher service.
  • Attire: Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. From late Autumn till late Spring, some parts of Turkey (especially Istanbul) may get very cold. Shorts and tshirts are recommended during other seasons, as the weather may get very hot. Covering is only required when visiting mosques and churches.
  • Electricity: Current is 220-240V. Sockets are the standard continental European dual round plugs.
  • Health: No vaccinations are required for visitors to Turkey. It is preferable to drink only bottled water; however, tap water may safely be used for tooth brushing. Sunblock is highly recommended. Hygene standards are generally high, but it is not recommended to eat “street food”. Long distances between Turkey and your origin may cause your immune system to be unfamiliar to local pathogens.


Question 31: What are the must see sights in Turkey?

Although Turkey is a fascinating destination with a lot to offer, the highlights are most definitely the exotic and lively metropolis of Istanbul, the inspiring ruins of Ephesus, the natural beauties of Cappadocia and Pamukkale, and the glorious beaches, resorts and coastline of the Aegean and the Mediterranean.


Question 32: How are the travel seasons in Turkey categorized? What is high season, shoulder season and low season?

High season marks the most popular time for travel in a year. The weather conditions and other elements are very good for traveling. The number of travelers are at its peak during this period. Hotels, airlines and travel agencies are very busy. Prices for hotels, air tickets, etc. is higher compared to other seasons.
Low season marks the time when the travel industry is least busy. Prices are lowest during this season, but weather conditions are generally unfavorable. Shoulder season is right between high and low seasons.

In Turkey, generally speaking, the seasons correspond to the following dates:

  • High Season: June 1 – August 31 (Istanbul and Resorts)
  • Shoulder Season: April 1 – May 31, September 1 – November 15
  • Low Season: November 16 – March 31


Question 33: What is the best time to visit Turkey?

Turkey has different climates at every corner. Istanbul can be enjoyed all year round, but the most popular time is from April to October. During Spring and Autumn, temperatures are in the mild range and humidity is bearable. Winter months have the highest rainfall, which goes on until early spring.

The best time for Cappadocia, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Troy and other historical highlights of Turkey is from April till November.


Question 34: Is it safe to visit Turkey?

The short answer is: YES!

In 2013, Turkey had 34,910,098 visitors. In 2014, this number climbed up to a whopping 36,837,900. Just the first half of 2015 is showing figures of 20,375,256 visitors (according to TURSAB statistics). The thing is, we’ve taken good care of them. Not a single individual has been hurt from any potential conflict that may have arisen due to political disagreements.

Yes; there are sometimes pickpocketing, theft, mugging and in very rare instances, homicide, but which country doesn’t? Besides, these figures are quite normal compared to other countries. Just check out this Wikipedia page and you will see that Turkey, as of 2015, is listed 147th country in terms of homicide rate. That’s below the USA and better than most of its neighbors, except for Greece and Armenia (but Turkey is close).

Would the Syrian conflict affect Turkey? No. The distance from the Syrian border to Istanbul is equivalent to the distance from Rome to London. Check it out from a map if you’re not convinced. The country is HUGE, has a well established military presence and is pretty much safe, even at the Syrian border.

Long story short, no, there’s nothing to worry about in Turkey, and yes, it’s safe to visit!