Welcome to our Italy & Europe Music Tours
– Information page for clients

Here we will build up a database of extra information pertaining to Italy and other European travel. About three weeks out from the trip we will send you your ‘pack’ of flight tickets, your name badge, luggage label + our ‘what to pack’ advice

Travel insurance : It is always a good time to check exactly what you are covered for ( and what you are not ). Premiums vary a lot, and many would say that you get what you pay for. We always say that you only know an insurer when you make a claim.

Probably the biggest and most contentious issue is that of pre-existing medical conditions. It is essential that you have declared these at the time of taking out the policy ( or later ). We have heard stories of an urgent operation about to take place in Europe, only to be paused due to the Travel Insurance company discovering that the condition was pre-exisiting. If you think the reciprocal arrangements in Italy and UK mean you will be treated the same as a privately insured client, then you may be surprised. Always ask the company ” exactly what happens if I fall ill and/or need to be hospitalised.”

Leave nothing to chance, as the first thing most companies do is to check your medical records for the last 5 years if there is a major claim ( sometimes before they do anything). If in any doubt, call your insurer and get something in writing.  When deciding, also value the advantage of dealing with an Australian call centre ( based in Australia ).

Travel money : A ( fairly ) recent article in Traveller ( SMH ) CLICK HERE

Business class : If you have booked business class, then Stewart will have done all your bookings for the Emirates cars to collect you from home/ tale you home at the end of the tour etc. He will send you a confirmation. We do not book the Emirates car for the trip to the hotel in Dubai as we like everyone on the bus so we can chat to you and then do the check in all together.

Mobile phones and mobile internet : This situation is ever changing. We use an Optus $10/day roaming pack (set up on the phone ) which gives us a load of calls and internet. Vodaphone also does a pack for $5/day. Go into your phone provider ( or call them ) and check what the offers are. You could buy a local SIM card ( and often queue for an hour ) or get one delivered to you before departure. Some people use TravelSIM ( from travel agents, Post office etc ) but we found it clunky and would not recommend really.

If you are arriving earlier/separately from the group, it is essential you have a phone with you ( and turn it on ). For most of the trip, unless you are a Share Broker, you should endeavour to just use ‘WhatsApp’ to call or text home ( or one of your fellow travellers ). Just download the WhatsApp ‘app’ and send Stewart a message @ +61401299014 to let him know you are now on WhatsApp. he will add you to the ‘group’ for the tour. This is not essential, but handy if you like.

If you don’t have a phone with you, then tell your friends or family to call you in the hotel ( give them a 3 second call first ). Relax and leave the technical world behind!

Coffee 101 : In Italy, there are no Flat Whites and Latte is Milk. Cappuccino is widespread, but only as a breakfast coffee prior to 11am ( often that is all they will have ). A short black is just known as ‘caffe’ or espresso. In busy caffes, there will be a ‘cassa’ ( cashier). Go there , tell them what you want and pay them. You will get a docket to give to the barista, In less busy places, often you get your coffee first then pay as you leave ( approx E 1.50 on average ) . This is all assuming you are standing at il banco ( the bar ) – pronoun = ‘eel BAHN – co ‘. If you sit down, expect to pay twice the cost.

EMIRATES FREQUENT FLYER : To join the Emirates Skywards programme for free. Once joined, email us the membership number CLICK HERE

ITALIAN 101 – CLICK HERE for a few essential words which will enhance your experience !

SEATING ON FLIGHTS : We have secured lovely seats for everyone on these flights. For Economy clients, we pay the extra fee to have you in the little ‘Music Lovers Tours cabin’ at the front for the long haul flights. You will mostly be in a ‘clump’, on the left side of the plane. From 2021 onwards some routes will also offer Premium Economy, which is expected to be in this ‘forward’ cabin. Talk to us if you would like a price for a Premium Ecomony upgrade. For Business Class, we jumped in and grabbed your seats of choice ( for single travellers, these will be the much-prized ‘window pods’.

FLIGHT UPGRADES with CASH: Quite often, 48 hours before the flight, we receive an offer from Emirates to upgrade to Business Class with a cash payment for just one leg of the trip ( no limousine service or lounge access though ). These normally come to us, and need a quick decision ( for practical reasons, as we have much to do and the seats are scarce. ). If you are Skywards member they may come direct to you.

The cost in the past has been about $1,400 – $1,500 for a long leg ( Australia to Dubai ) or $800/$850 for a shorter leg ( Dubai to Italy ). If you definitely want to do this, if it is offered, then please EMAIL STEWART Please remember time is of the essence, and we may be overseas if the offer comes through. If one is offered, we will pay for it immediately on your behalf and send you an invoice ( please pay us by credit card using the link on the invoice). Only do this if you are sure – so don’t change your mind!

Important : If the upgrade comes directly to you ( as it sometimes does ), then you will need to act and do the upgrade yourself. It can only be done online. Check your emails at 48 hours before your flight time – at the time of online check in.