Before your trip
TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS & THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOUR TRIP
(Updated January 2024)
PREPARING FOR YOUR TRIP
As you prepare to embark on your upcoming Affordable World journey, please log on to your My Affordable account and click on your trip confirmation ID to review the most up to date trip details including hotel information, flight schedules, and ticket number(s). Please make sure you have all travel documents*, passports, and necessary visas ready before you depart for your trip.
CHECKING IN AT THE AIRPORT
Be sure to bring your passport and all required travel documents as you will need to present them when checking in at the airport. Please be advised that not all airlines assign seats in advance. Some airlines assign seats at the airport during check-in. We recommend all travelers arrive at the airport at least 3 hours prior to the flight departure time. You will receive boarding passes at the airline counter when you check in for your flight
UPON ARRIVAL IN TURKEY
Please go through Customs and immigration on your own. After you pick up your luggage, exit the baggage claim area and meet the representative outside the airport right after Exit Gate #14, as shown in the map below. Please look for the Affordable World representative* holding an Affordable World flag or sign. Please wear your Affordable badge (enclosed) for easy identification.
*Depending on your arrival date, you will be met by a hotel representative or the local tour guide.
Airport Transfers upon Arrival
Affordable World tour guides/airport assistants will wait for arriving tour members outside the airport baggage claim area for up to 90 minutes* after the landing time of the tour member's flight before departing from the airport with transportation to the hotel. If for any reason a tour member does not meet the Affordable World representative within 90 minutes after the landing time of the tour member's flight, the tour member will be responsible for his or her own transportation from the airport to the hotel, along with all associated expenses. Please note the Istanbul (IST) airport is huge; please keep in mind that you may encounter a long walking distance from the arrivals gate to the customs & immigration section and to the baggage claim area. Please note we may provide your phone number to our ground operator in case they may need to contact you.
Extended Stay Travelers
Airport transfers are not included for those who have chosen to extend their stay at the end of the tour or depart early. If you have purchased an airport transfer service from us, please be sure to provide all flight information to Affordable World prior to your trip departure date.
Upon arrival in Istanbul, a tour guide or representative will provide you with a detailed day-to-day itinerary with transfer schedules for city and optional tours as well as any necessary vouchers required for the trip. Istanbul City Tour on Day 3 generally starts at 9 AM.
ISTANBUL CITY TOUR
Istanbul City Tour on Day 3 generally starts at 9 AM. Please be ready and wait in the hotel lobby by the meeting time provided by your local tour guide. Please note Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are closed during lunchtime and afternoon prayer times which are around 1 hour. This depends on sunrise and sunset. Both sites will be closed until 2 pm Fridays. Your tour guide will explain the history and provide essential info from the outside if there is a long line or the sites are closed.
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS & ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
- Passports must be valid for 6 months beyond the date of entry (into Turkey) and have at least 1 blank page for entry and exit stamps. You will be denied entry into Turkey if there is not enough space for entry and exit stamps in your passport.
- US Passport holders – Effective January 19, 2024, U.S. citizens are no longer required to have an entry visa to travel to Turkey for less than 90 days for Tourism and Business. Ordinary passport holders are exempted from visa up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
- Official passport holders are required to have an entry visa to Turkey. Obtain a Turkish visa via the Electronic Visa Applicable System prior to travel.
- Non-US-Passport holders – Please check with your local embassy or consulate for detailed visa and travel document/entry requirements.
- All travelers must ensure they are eligible to enter Turkey and produce all required entry documentation for this vacation. Requirements and restrictions may depend on different factors including but not limited to: your country of residence, passport nationality, transit points, as well as previous travel history.
- For detailed passport and visa requirements, all travelers are advised to check with the related embassy or consulate.
- Full proof of Covid-19 vaccination is no longer required for Turkey. This new protocol will take effect for Istanbul & Malta packages departing on or after July 05, 2023, and is subject to change at any time. For more details and a full list of exemptions, visit the Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
- Please note that the information provided in this document is based on the time of print/publication and a country’s requirements can change at any time. It is the responsibility of the traveler to check all updates and obtain all necessary documents and tests prior to departure, as well as entry back into the US. Affordable World is not responsible if you are denied entrance for any reason in any country, even if you hold a valid passport and entry visa.
- Baggage allowance for international flights varies by airline and is subject to change at any time. For up-to-date baggage allowance restrictions, please check with the appropriate airline for their latest regulations. Additional baggage charges may apply.
- Please keep in mind within Europe the baggage limitation on all flights varies by airline. Generally, the baggage allowance on domestic or within Europe flights is limited to 1 check-in of 44 lbs. and 1 carry-on of 13 lbs. Please check directly with the corresponding airline to confirm baggage allowance policies.
Important Luggage Info & Tips
- Baggage is the sole responsibility of the traveler. We recommend using a TSA approved luggage lock and Affordable World luggage tags (enclosed) showing the name and contact information of the owner. Baggage without a lock may be refused for transport
- DO NOT pack medicine, valuables, and other personal necessities in checked luggage. Keep these items in your carry-on bag
- Consider packing a change of clothing, a set of undergarments and toiletries in your carry-on bag to avoid inconvenience caused by delays or lost luggage.
- Lithium-ion batteries up to 100 Wh can be carried in the cabin and checked baggage, provided they are inside the device. 2 spare batteries with a capacity of 100 Wh-160 Wh. max can only be carried in hand luggage and packaged. They cannot be carried in checked baggage. Please visit the Turkish Airlines website to view all baggage restrictions.
- Please visit www.tsa.gov for USA carry-on restrictions.
- No porter service will be provided throughout the tour or on ferry journeys; customers will need to be physically able to carry their own baggage when embarking and disembarking the ferry to place baggage in the designated storage area (this may include steps, inclines and/or uneven walkways).
- During the tour please always keep an eye on your personal belongings and valuables. Be aware of your surroundings when going out on your own.
- Never leave your valuables on the coach bus. Neither Affordable World nor the coach bus company bears responsibility for any loss, theft or damage to your valuables.
- Important note: Affordable World Tours’ representatives cannot enter the luggage claim area. After you collect your luggage, please exit the baggage claim area. Our local Affordable World representative will be waiting for you outside with an Affordable World flag or sign.
Turkey’s currency is called Turkish Lira (TRY) As of July 2023, the exchange rate is $1 U.S dollar to 26.04 TRY. We suggest you bring a combination of cash and credit cards for your trip. Most department stores, hotels and restaurants will accept major credit cards such as American Express, Visa, and MasterCard. However, it is more convenient to use cash especially if you are planning to shop and eat in smaller shops. Please always keep your currency exchange receipts as you may need to present these when changing TRY back to your own currency at the end of your trip. All travelers entering or leaving the EU with a sum equal to or exceeding 10,000 Euros must declare it on their customs form. As of July 2023, the Turkey currency restriction for exit is 25,000 Turkish Lira or 10,000 euros (or equivalent).
An important note on tipping - please note gratuities are not included in your tour cost. They are customary and their purpose is to encourage and reward quality service. Our guides greatly appreciate any tips you would like to give them. Our recommended tip amount is:
- Local guides: €1 or £1 (half day), €2 or £2 (full day)
- Local drivers: €1 or £1 (half day), €2 or £2 (full day)
- Long distance coach driver: €3 or £3 per guest per night
HEALTH & MEDICAL MATTERS
Medical and vaccination requirements vary between countries and it is important you check with your family doctor or a qualified medical professional for the most up to date travel health information for the region you are visiting. Due to the length of the trip, it is advised you consult your doctor for existing medical/dental conditions before departure. It is advised to pack any prescription medicine in your carry-on hand luggage. Please make sure prescription medicine is fully labeled. It may also be useful to bring aspirin, over-the-counter medicine for the flu, indigestion, motion sickness, etc. In case of illness during the trip, please immediately notify your tour guide for assistance. If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Turkey to ensure the medication is legal in Turkey. Always carry your prescription medication in its original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. Some medications may be unavailable in Turkey.
Our Itineraries include city tours and these involve a decent amount of walking. Be prepared for many steps, uneven pavement, walking up steep inclines, and tight spaces – comfortable walking shoes with grip are strongly recommended.
Turkey’s electrical system operates at 230 volts. The electrical outlets are two associated plug types, types C and F. Plug type C is the plug that has two round pins and plug type F is the plug that has two round pins with two earth clips on the side. It is recommended travelers bring their own voltage converter and adapter
The time difference between major cities in North America and Istanbul are as below:
- Los Angeles + 11 hours
- New York + 8 hours
Certain meals are included in Turkey as per the itinerary. We regret to inform you that Affordable World is unable to confirm any special meal request as it is based on the availability of restaurants, hotels, and airlines. Please contact the airlines directly to place special meal requests for your flights.
Although Affordable World Tours’ national guides will be happy to assist you with any shopping requirements, Affordable World Tours does not assume responsibility for any items purchased at shops while on tour. You are never required to purchase any items while on tour and thus must be responsible for your own purchases. Any after sales correspondence must be between the passenger and the shop in question.
Optional tours may be added up to 7 days prior to the departure date. Optional tours may also be purchased while on the tour. All on-site optional tour purchases are an additional $10 per person and must be payable in USD cash (credit cards are not accepted for on-site optional tour purchases). Optional tours that have a “pre-book” icon are only available for purchase up to 7 days prior to the departure date and are not available for on-site purchase. Unused services, including optional tours are non-refundable.
OTHER IMPORTANT NOTES
Hotel Elevators: Elevators in most European hotels are generally smaller than in the US. Please be patient when waiting for elevators or for luggage in hotels.
Public Restrooms: It is common in Europe that travelers have to pay to use restrooms. It is recommended you carry some coins at all times.
CLIMATE & CLOTHING
The climate zones observed in Turkey are the Mediterranean Climate where summers are hot and dry and the winters are mild and rainy. We suggest bringing comfortable, casual clothing and good walking shoes for the trip. Please be aware some churches and other sites in Europe have specific dress requirements (i.e. no shorts or sleeveless tops).
TURKEY EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS
+90 530 9621490
+90 530 9621491
We’d like to remind all guests to check their local state travel guidelines regarding travel restrictions when arriving from international destinations or other US States, as this may vary state by state.
110 Atatürk Blvd.
Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara
Telephone: +(90) (312) 455-5555
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(90) (312) 455-5555
Fax: +(90) (312) 466-5684
Contact American Citizen Services Ankara
Istinye Mahallesi, Üç Şehitler Sokak No.2
Istinye 34460 – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +(90) (212) 335-9000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(90) (212) 335-9000
Fax: +(90) (212) 335-9102
Contact American Citizen Services Istanbul
Our experienced staff of Turkey specialists take pride in providing you with the very best in service and planning. Thank you for choosing Affordable World as your partner in travel. We are confident your trip will be happy and rewarding!