7. MONEY, TIPS
1. SPECIAL COVID CONSIDERATIONS
Q. Do I need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or have a negative test result for this trip?
A. Though there are no current requirements for traveling to the states where this tour takes place, WanderTours requires that you are either fully vaccinated (this means it’s been at least two weeks after your first shot of a one-shot vaccine or two weeks after your second shot of a two-shot vaccine) OR that you have a negative PCR test (NOT a rapid antigen test), no more than 3 days prior to the start of the tour. You’ll be asked to send us, via email, a screenshot or PDF of your paperwork showing either your vaccination information or your negative test result. You will not be able to join the group until we have this paperwork.
Remember that a PCR test (rather than a rapid antigen test) can sometimes take longer than 24 hours to get results, so plan accordingly.
Q. Will masks be required during this tour?
A. At this time, masks will be required in any place where they are required by the local government (in shops and in restaurants when not seated for a meal, for example), and any time we are unable to socially distance with each other (while traveling in the shuttle van, for example).
Q. What other sorts of safety precautions will be taken during this trip?
A. The very goal of this tour is to spend as much time as possible outside, where transmission is lowest. While biking and taking part in any other outdoor activities, you will not be required to wear a mask. It’s still best to stay socially distanced from anyone with whom you are not directly traveling with (someone in your buddy bubble, for example).
We take Covid-19 seriously. This destination was chosen for the ability to spend as much time as possible outside and we will have spare masks and hand sanitizer available during the tour. There are still inherent risks with traveling while Covid-19 is considered a worldwide pandemic and one’s health cannot be guaranteed by WanderTours.
2. GETTING TO SPOKANE, WA
Q. How do I get to Spokane?
A. Spokane has an international airport that is the regional hub for Eastern Washington and Idaho. It’s possible to fly into Spokane, take a taxi to the hotel and not have to rent a car during your trip. NOTE: If you plan to rent a car, no matter which airport you fly into, please book early. There is currently a shortage of rental cars and people are finding either no rentals available or that they are very expensive.
It’s also possible to drive yourself to Spokane. It is located approximately:
* 105 miles north of Lewiston, ID
* 198 miles west of Missoula, MT
* 280 miles east of Seattle, WA
* 355 miles northeast of Portland, OR
We’ll first meet up on the morning of the 8th when we’ll meet our guides and get outfitted and organized with our bikes.
Q. Can I arrive at the hotel prior to the start date or stay after the tour ends?
A. Yes, you can! Let us know if you’d like us to book additional nights for you or you can search on your own as there are many places to stay in Spokane.
Q. If I drive, what do I do with my car while we’re biking?
A. You’ll be able to leave your car at the hotel where we will spend our final night in Spokane.
3. DURING THE ADVENTURE
Q. Since this is a biking trip, how fit do I need to be to participate?
A. The trails we’ll be riding on are not particularly difficult. But we will be riding some distances and that’s where your fitness level will be most handy. In short, we would expect participants to have an intermediary level of fitness.
Also, you may choose to rent an electric bike for an additional fee. This is great for the person who really wants to do this trip but is unsure of their fitness level.
The more experience you have on a bike prior to the adventure, the more fun you’ll have!
Q. How difficult are the biking trails?
A. These trails are considered to be easy to moderate. The Centennial Trail and Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes are both paved bike paths but have a few hill climbs. The Hiawatha Trail is crushed gravel and has a slight downhill grade.
Q. What’s the benefit of a fully-guided bike trip?
A. So many benefits!!! First, there will be full van support (a sag or support and gear vehicle), meaning we’ll regularly meet up with our vehicle along the route where we can top off on water, grab a light snack and hop in if we want a ride for the next leg.
Another huge benefit is that if something happens with your bike (a flat, for example), our guides can handle it. Repair work is free if you’ve rented a bike and there may be a charge if the repair needs to be done on your own bike.
Note that there may be stretches of path where there will be limited access for the van. We will know in advance where these stretches are.
Q. How much biking is involved in this tour?
A. The number of miles we’ll be riding each day is outlined on the itinerary page. In short, each day will consist of anywhere from 24 – 37 miles (with some optional additional miles). Expect to be riding about 5 – 6 hours each day.
Q. What if I get tired and want to stop for the day?
A. No problem! We are usually no more than 5 miles away from a spot where you can meet up with the sag vehicle and hop in for a ride.
Q. What happens if I get a flat or something else happens to the bike?
A. Ah! That’s the benefit of a guided trip! There will be support staff who can fix a flat and do minor repairs to your bike should you need it. If you’re renting the bike as part of the tour, there is no charge but if you are bringing your own bike, there may be a fee for repairs.
Q. How many guides will we have?
A. There will be one guide who rides with us during the day, and another who drives the sag vehicle.
Q. Where will my luggage be during the day while I’m riding?
A. Your luggage will be in the sag vehicle each day and taken to the hotel so you’ll have it at the end of each riding day.
Q. What happens to the bike and my gear at the end of the day?
A. Once we’re done riding, our guides will take the bikes (whether it’s your own or the company’s) and lock them up to the sag vehicle over night so you don’t have to worry about it!
Q. If renting a bike, how do you know what bike size I need?
A. We’ll be asking for your height and inseam (without shoes) in order to get the best fit for you!
Q. We will be traveling through a number of tunnels, how will we see?
A. We will provide you with headlamps so you can see.
Q. What kind of food should I expect?
A. All meals are included and will range from hearty breakfasts to picnic lunches on the trail to pub fare in the evenings. Dietary restrictions can definitely be accommodated, just let us know your preferences.
Q. Will bottled water be available throughout the trip?
A. Definitely. At every stop, a cooler with iced water will be available for you to top off your water bottle(s). A water bottle is included as part of the bike rental but you’re welcome to bring your own bottle(s), too.
Q. What kind of weather should I expect?
A. In September, expect mostly dry weather with highs in the mid-70s and lows in the high 40s.
4. HOTEL INFORMATION
Q. What’s kind of accommodations should I expect?
A. We will be staying in comfortable hotels and inns during this 4-night trip. Each accommodation is outlined and linked to in the itinerary.
Q. Are shampoo and conditioner provided?
A. Yes, all of the accommodations provide basic amenities such as shampoo and conditioner.
Q. Are there hair dryers available?
A. Yes, hair dryers are available at all of the accommodations.
5. PACKING INFORMATION
Q. How should I dress/pack for this trip?
A. You’ll receive a suggested packing list for the tour once you register. In short, you will want to pack for both warm and cool weather conditions, including rain.
Q. Do I need my own helmet?
A. Helmets are provided but you may want to bring your own as it may be more comfortable.
Q. Do I need to bring a repair kit for the bike?
A. If you are bringing your own bike, it would be prudent to bring your own repair kit specific to your bike including tubes and a multi-kit.
Q. If I want to bring my own bike, what kind is best?
A. A hybrid bike is best as it will work well on all the trails we’ll be riding.
Note that a road bike will not work on the Hiawatha Trail but if that’s all you have, you could bring a road bike and then rent a mountain bike just for the final day’s ride.
Q. Will I be out of cell range at any time?
A. There may, indeed, be times when we are out of cell range when we’re biking during the day.
7. MONEY, TIPS
Q. Is tipping appropriate?
A. Tips are included for our guides (one guide and one driver) but additional tips would be appreciated if you feel they have gone above and beyond your expectations.
8. WANDERTOURS TRAVEL DETAILS
Q. Do I need insurance for this tour?
A. Until the pandemic has been declared over, we ask that all tour participants acquire travel insurance. We have now partnered with Travel Insured International so that you have ability to purchase “cancel for any reason” insurance. We HIGHLY recommend travel insurance (no matter who your provider is) to protect your travel investment from any future issues. Although we are technically not requiring it, you will be asked to sign additional paperwork acknowledging the risk of traveling without insurance.
Q. Is there a schedule for installment payments?
A. We don’t have anything formal set up but you can definitely send in payments on your own schedule. Some people send in monthly payments while other people send in payments when it’s convenient.
Q. Will I receive a refund if I have to cancel my participation in the tour?
A. Once you have paid a deposit, there is a cancellation fee if you cannot join us. The cancellation fee depends on the tour and how far in advance of the tour you cancel. Our refund policy is covered in our Booking Terms and Conditions and is also outlined on the Registration Form.
For this tour, a deposit of $300 is required and there is a $200 non-refundable portion should you cancel prior to 90 days from the tour start date.
Refunds will be sent by check within two weeks of us receiving written notification (email is fine) of your cancellation. If Beth is traveling when you cancel, it may take longer than two weeks to get your refund check out to you. She’ll mail it as soon as she can upon returning to the office.
Q. What’s the emergency contact info that I can give my family?
A. About two weeks before your departure, you will be given an emergency contact number should someone need to reach you while away.
Ready to join us?