FAQs/Tour Tips for Footsteps of Paul Cruises & Greece

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I’ve booked my Biblical tour with Living Passages! What do I do next?

Welcome! We are so happy to have you join us!

Once we’ve received your registration for your Footsteps of Paul cruise or tour, you will be sent a link to a form along with your invoice - we ask each traveler in your party, including you, to please fill out this form in its entirety within 3 days of receipt. This allows us to make sure passport and medical information is up-to-date and enables us to take your travel preferences into account as we prepare for your tour. (Note that we also ask for your shirt size so we can send you a gift - please check out the sizing chart included in the form before selecting your size, to ensure you receive a good fit!)

If you require any special assistance or accommodation for a disability or have questions regarding the accessibility of the sites we will visit, please contact us at +1 (888) 771-8717. We look forward to answering any questions you may have!

I booked airfare through Living Passages - when will I get my plane tickets?

Airfare booked through Living Passages is done via group booking. Ticketing for groups is not done until several weeks before departure, so you can expect to receive your flight information and ticket numbers approximately 3 weeks before your travel date. All tickets are issued electronically, so you’ll receive your itinerary and ticket number via email, along with instructions on how to change/add seat assignments or purchase more legroom. Group bookings typically require travelers to check in at the airport, so make sure you arrive at least 2 hours before flight takeoff to check in and go through security.

What do I need to do to be able to travel to Greece?

Travelers to Greece will need to have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond their scheduled return date. If you don’t have a passport yet, or if yours is expiring soon, you should apply for a new one as soon as possible. US Citizens can go to https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html for information on how to apply for/renew passports. Please be aware that passport processing times are long, and it may take up to 13 weeks to get your passport. Wait times to get an appointment for a first-time application before the process of issuance can begin can be long depending on your location, so please do not wait to make one. Please schedule an appointment right away if you need to apply for a new passport before your trip.

To find a passport acceptance facility near you, search here: Where to Apply for a Passport Nationwide (state.gov)

If you are bringing a minor with you, who will only be accompanied by one parent or by a guardian other than a parent (such as grandparents, an aunt or uncle, etc.) you will need to bring a signed and notarized letter from the absent parent(s) verifying your custody and permission to bring the child to another country. Please check current governmental guidance and regulations before travel and be prepared to produce any legal documents necessary for your travel.

Do I need to get a visa before I travel to Greece?

If you are a citizen of the United States, you do not need to get a visa in advance before traveling to Greece if you are staying less than 90 days. When you arrive at the airport, you will be issued a tourist visa.

What kind of money can I use in Greece?

The currency used in Greece is the Euro. We recommend that you purchase any euro from a currency kiosk or by withdrawing funds from an ATM when you arrive at the airport, instead of attempting to purchase the local currency before your trip. At Athens airport, this can be done while you wait for any checked luggage in the baggage claim hall. We do suggest small denominations for spending on things like drinks, water on the bus, small souvenirs, and tips over and above the standard prepaid tips for waitstaff, housekeeping, and your bus driver. It’s a good idea to carry at least a few one-euro coins with you while on tour - some public bathrooms in Greece will charge for entrance, so it’s best to be prepared!

Can I use my credit card in Greece?

You will be able to use a credit card in Greece in many places - Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted. If you plan to use your credit card to purchase souvenirs, withdraw funds from an ATM in the local currency, pay for laundry service at a hotel, or any other extra services, it’s wise to check with your card issuer or bank about applicable foreign transaction fees before you travel so there are no surprises. It’s also wise to notify your bank of your upcoming travel dates and the countries you will be visiting for security reasons.

What kind of clothes should I pack for Greece?

When you travel with Living Passages on a Footsteps of Paul Cruise or tour, you will want to wear loose-fitting clothing that is breathable, layers well, and protects you from the sun. Natural fibers with an open weave such as linen or lightweight wool are fantastic at keeping you cool. Clothing that is designed to be rinsed and hung to dry quickly for repeat wear the next day can also be very useful, such as hiking clothing you can find at an outdoor outfitter store. We won’t often have the opportunity to change for dinner after a busy day of sightseeing, so casual and functional clothing will be all you need to feel comfortable and prepared.

Always check the weather forecast right before you pack - temperatures can fluctuate over the Mediterranean in any given month, and it’s best to be prepared based on current weather conditions. Churches and religious sites often have a dress code requiring both men and women to wear clothing that is not revealing and that also covers the knees, shoulders, and full torsos. It’s wise to wear pants that cover the knee (capris or over-the-knee skirts work well for ladies) on days that we are touring religious sites. Some like to carry a shawl or a button-down shirt that can provide quick coverage for the shoulders for the day.

Don’t forget sunglasses, sunscreen, and a sunhat! If your skin is sensitive to the sun, you can even bring a collapsible umbrella to carry shade with you wherever you go!

What kind of shoes should I wear when traveling to Greece?

Bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes that you will be able to walk around in on uneven ground, dirt, rock, and smooth paving stones. Stone streets at ancient archaeological sites especially have been worn smooth by millions of feet and are slippery, so make sure you have good traction! Any shoes you bring should already be broken in so you don’t get blisters. It’s also nice to have a pair to change into at the end of a long day, so do bring a pair of comfortable shoes as well, such as sandals. No need to bring anything fancy - Greece is a casual country, so you can leave your dress shoes and high heels at home!

How do I do laundry when I’m traveling in Greece?

If you need to do laundry on the trip, there are two options:

  1. Use the laundry service at your hotel. The best time to do this is when you are staying at the same hotel for two nights in a row or more. It doesn’t typically cost too much to make use of the laundry service, so check with the hotel front desk when you check-in.
  2. Do your laundry by hand. If you have delicate items or have packed clothing that dries quickly, it’s easy to do it in the sink at the hotel and save some money! To make it even easier, bring a good cold-water soap (like this travel-size laundry detergent) as well as a couple of large Ziploc bags… just in case your laundry isn’t fully dry by check-out time and you need to pack it into your suitcase.
What can I expect each day that we tour in Greece?

Each day, we will get on the bus for touring and will not return to a hotel (or our ship) until the evening. You’ll want to bring anything you may need for the day in a small daypack that you can either carry with you or leave on the bus, depending on your needs. There will often be water for sale for a dollar at the front of the bus, and you’ll want to make sure that you stay hydrated on our long days. The bus will be air-conditioned, but don’t let that stop you from drinking as much water as possible! Let your Living Passages guide know if you need to use the restroom on a long drive.

On days the cruise ship visits a port, you will be given instructions on how to disembark the ship by your leaders. Ship arrival and departure times and protocols at various ports will vary from day to day, so always be attentive to the latest updates from the ship staff and your tour leaders and be ready to disembark promptly at the scheduled time and location.

While you drive to various locations, your guide will use the traveling time to point out sights of importance along the way and share facts about Israel’s history and the sites you are visiting that day.

Your days at sea may contain some special events and teachings with the group - keep an eye out for an itinerary with the details of your specific trip as you get closer to departure!

What are the seating arrangements like on the tour bus?

There are no assigned seats on the tour bus - the only reserved seats are the row at the very front, right behind the driver, as well as the front seat behind the local tour guide. This is so the guide, Living Passage's liaison, and your teacher can reach the microphone and direct the driver as needed, as well as confer with one another when last-minute opportunities come up on the tour - we want you to have the smoothest, most informative trip possible, and this helps our leaders provide it!

Feel free to move around and find new seats on the bus each day so you can meet everyone on your tour. We hope you’ll be just as blessed by the fellowship on the bus as you will be by the sites we visit and the teaching you receive!

What kind of physical activity does a tour of Greece require?

Much of the tour in the Mediterranean requires a reasonable level of activity and mobility— if you are not used to heat, please keep in mind that the sun can sap your energy and you will need to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Greece is a country with lots of hills, and visits to the Acropolis and other sites do require the ability to navigate moderately steep inclines and stairs.

There are some days with slightly more demanding walks at certain sites, and many places where stairs are the only way to access the site we are visiting. Streets at archaeological sites are often either slippery or rocky, and always uneven. Make sure you have shoes with good grip and tread, and advise the staff at Living Passages well in advance if you are concerned about activity levels and need more accessibility information.

If long periods on your feet tire you easily, we recommend this walking cane - it converts from a cane into a three-legged stool, so when we pause for periods at various sites for teaching you can simply unfold it and have a seat until it’s time to move again.

Please know that we want to do our very best to assist you in seeing these marvelous locations, but if we do not know about needed accommodations in advance, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to arrange for them. If you need more information about this tour or require accommodations, please give us a call at (888) 771-8717 and we are happy to discuss the activity level and accessibility of specific sites as it pertains to your personal needs.

I’ve heard I’ll be getting a package from Living Passages before we leave on the trip. What will I get in my box?

About two weeks before departure on your tour, Living Passages will mail you a few small gifts: a button-down shirt that is perfect for keeping the sun off, luggage tags to help you and the porters keep track of your bags, and a name badge to make it easy to identify who is part of the tour group.

We will also mail you hard copies of tour documents for you to bring with you on the trip. These will include any insurance documents that we’ve arranged on your behalf as well as a day-to-day itinerary, an emergency contact list complete with hotel and guide information, a list of the names of your fellow travelers, and a final letter with any updates to help you navigate your travel.

We hope these things will be a blessing to you and help you on your journey! If you want to guarantee to be recognized by fellow travelers and your greeter, we ask that you wear your complimentary Living Passages shirt and name badge upon your arrival.

My package has arrived, but my shirt doesn’t fit right - can I exchange it?

Each shirt is custom-ordered based on the size you requested in your traveler information form when you completed your registration, according to the size chart provided. Because shirts are customized for each tour and traveler, we unfortunately can’t exchange these gifts at this time. However, if your shirt does not fit you as desired, please still bring it on the tour and have it with you at dinner on the first night: you may find that other travelers are looking to swap for a different size as well and that you can exchange them amongst yourselves!

How do I meet up with my tour group?

If you are taking the group air, you will be on the same flight as most of your group - you’ll be traveling overseas together and will likely meet as you wait at your gate or board the plane, especially if you are wearing your complimentary Living Passages shirt!

If you have booked your own flights that arrive at the same time or earlier than the group air schedule, you will meet your tour group at the airport when you arrive, and then leave the airport together.

More specific information will be provided to you as the departure date draws closer, but in either scenario, expect to collect any luggage you may have checked and make your way to the Arrivals Hall of the airport - look for the representative holding a “Living Passages” sign who will be waiting to greet you! To make it easier to identify one another (and help the representative spot you in the busy airport!), please wear your Living Passages button-up shirt for your arrival, along with your name badge. It also helps to attach your Living Passages luggage tags to each bag you’re traveling with. (These items, along with your tour documents, will be mailed to all US residents approx. 2 weeks before departure. For participants residing in other countries, our representative will hand-deliver your items to you on the first day of the tour.)

Your tour group will use WhatsApp to stay in contact before and during your Christian tour. Download the apps before you leave if you are able. After you have downloaded the app, please be sure to send Living Passages the cell phone number that you will be using during your travels so we can add the correct number to the group chat. If you have flight delays or encounter any problems while traveling, this app is a great place to mention them to keep the coordinator informed of any issues - or to help you find the group once you arrive!

If you have trouble with the app, don’t worry - you can connect with your tour representative by email, and they will be happy to help you get the app working on the first day of the tour so you don’t miss out on any communications or photos that other travelers share on the trip!

What kind of luggage do I bring with me to Greece? Are there any size restrictions?

Airlines change their luggage restrictions frequently, and no airline is the same. It’s always best to check directly with the airline you are booked on to see the latest luggage requirements, and what kind of items you are allowed to bring on the plane.

Living Passages strongly recommends traveling light and packing everything you will need for your trip into a carry-on bag and “personal item,” such as a small backpack. Checked luggage can sometimes be lost by airlines, resulting in travelers not receiving their baggage for days after their arrival. This can cause unnecessary issues, and your tour schedule may not allow much time or opportunity for purchasing replacement items if your luggage is lost.

Because of this, as well as ever-increasing fees for checked luggage, we suggest not checking a bag unless absolutely necessary, or limiting yourself to a single checked bag in these cases. Our buses have limited room for luggage transportation, and there will not be enough space to keep more than a small backpack with you on the bus.

If you need to check a bag, be sure to pack a couple of changes of clothing, necessary toiletries, and all medications, cameras, etc. in your carry-on luggage just in case your checked luggage is delayed. This way, if your checked bag is delayed or lost, you’ll have what you need to enjoy the first days of your tour while the airline forwards it to you, without missing valuable days of your trip to shopping.

Special luggage tags will be sent to you approximately two weeks before departure - please attach these to each piece of luggage. They are very helpful to baggage handlers at hotels!

What do I need to pack for a Biblical tour to Greece?

Always bring all necessary medications with you in their original containers, along with copies of the prescriptions. It’s wise to bring enough for the entire trip, along with a little extra, as there will not always be a place to get refills. If you wear eyeglasses, bring an extra pair and the prescription just in case.

In Greece, toilet paper is not always guaranteed in public restrooms – it’s wise to carry some tissues or a travel toilet kit just in case! Hand sanitizer spray is great for a quick cleanse while traveling, too!

Being well-hydrated will help you feel your best on this trip. Consider bringing some electrolytes to put in your water each day, such as NUUN Tablets, or something equally easy to pack in your suitcase to keep you refreshed and energized. Always bring water with you when you leave for a day of touring!

Many of us enjoy waking up early or retiring late for private devotional time. Especially in chillier months, we’ve found that this travel-sized immersion water heater is perfect for making a mug of tea or instant coffee from the comfort of your room.

You might also want to consider bringing a fanny pack (preferably one which you can wear cross-body in front of you and is not easily unclipped, to prevent theft) or a light daypack to carry your water, small bills, camera, Bible, and any other incidentals you may need for a day of touring. Whatever you choose to use, make sure it fits the carry-on flight restrictions of the airline you’re flying with if you’ll be using it as your personal item on the plane. We always recommend that you keep your passport, wallet, and cash in a secure location that is out of sight and not easily removed from your person. While crime is low, a money belt or pouch that is worn beneath your shirt will keep your valuables more secure from pickpockets you may encounter in crowded areas. Do not keep your passport, wallet, or phone in your pockets or in your name badge lanyard, as these are easily accessed or stolen. Pickpockets do tend to target tour groups in Jerusalem, so it’s wise not to make yourself an easy target!

For more packing tips and product recommendations, check out our blog for 8 Tips to Help You Pack Like a Pro.

See this site for details on items that are prohibited for air travel: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm


What do I need to know about photography in Greece?

There is a lot to photograph in Greece: take twice as many memory cards as you think you will need if you’re bringing a camera!

Some museums, churches, and monuments do not allow photography - keep an eye out for any signs when you enter so you know what is permitted and can respect the restrictions. Some sites may charge for permission to use your camera. If you take photos with anyone leading a camel or donkey, their owner will often expect you to pay for them.

Be polite with your photography, especially if you wish to take photos of local people. It’s best to establish some type of relationship with them first - even a smile - and then request permission. When in doubt, refrain from taking a shot.

What do I need to know about crime in Greece?

Always leave expensive watches and jewelry at home - if you can’t replace it, don’t take it. Be aware that wherever large crowds are gathered, there will be pickpockets. Make sure that your money, credit cards, passport, and phone are difficult for others to access, such as inside a money belt worn under your shirt. Out of sight and carried in front of you is the way to go! Fanny packs are handy but easily stolen, and you never want to carry your phone or wallet in your back pocket.

When you’re in crowded areas, keep alert and aware of your surroundings. Pickpockets tend to target people who appear to be distracted and easy targets.

Never assume that your in-room safe is exempt from theft, either - be wise with what you choose to store in it.

Do I need to take any health precautions in Greece?
  • Tap water is safe to drink, but if in doubt, bottled water is plentiful.
  • Please be aware that smoking is very common, and you will encounter it in many places: hotel lobbies, restaurants, and on the street.
  • There are currently NO requirements for COVID-19 injections or PCR tests upon arrival or departure from Greece.
Should we tip in Greece, or on the cruise ship?

Tipping is customary in the Mediterranean. For good service, tips are between 10%-15%.

We have prepaid the minimum expected tips for your tour guides and drivers, as these are included in your tour. Though they’ve been given the minimum standard gratuity, if you enjoyed your guide or driver, a few extra dollars or euros would be a blessing to them! They will hear our discussions about the Lord, see our Bibles, and observe our conduct: and what a great testimony generosity can be! Any blessing you offer in the way of cash is a sure sign of kindness to these hard workers. You will find that they are away from their families for long periods, and kindness and cash will be a blessing to them for any extra assistance they offer you!

Porterage for your luggage has been prepaid, but it would be kind to tip a couple of extra dollars when the luggage is delivered to your room.

Tipping of waitstaff for all your meals provided by Living Passages is included, although this does not include sodas, specialty coffees, juices, etc. If you are seated for a meal and order a beverage, it’s customary to leave a small tip on the table and settle your bill before retiring to your room.

While we have prepaid your tips to your cabin steward and your main dining room waiter, we are not able to prepay the other staff you may come in contact with (spa staff on the ship, specialty room services, etc.). Please take this into account when booking services aboard the ship.

Can I use my cell phone in Greece?

To make sure you can use your phone while traveling, contact your cell phone service provider before you leave to ask about plans that cover you in Israel. If they have an international plan, you can add it to your phone then. If you need to add unlimited data, please do, but if using the hotel wifi at the hotel in the evenings will be enough for your use, do not feel that it’s necessary.

If the cost of an international plan is not reasonable, let us know - we can take a moment at the airport for you to purchase a SIM card that works in-country and can give you internet access and the ability to call. Note that using a different SIM card will mean you have a temporary phone number and cannot receive calls or texts on your usual phone number while you’re using it. However, you will have access to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and any other apps you have downloaded - these are excellent for keeping in touch with both friends and family back home as well as the group when you’re connected to WiFi!

Can I use cellular data or get cell phone service on the cruise ship?

When at sea, most phones have no service available. Check with your cell service provider to see if they have any special service available for when you’re at sea. If you are docked in a port, you will usually be able to get service on your cell phone if you are using a service plan that includes out-of-country service.

Where can we get WiFi on the tour in Greece?

The tour bus will often have WiFi. However, please don’t use Facebook or upload/download movies over it - it’s to be shared by all for basic things like texting and emails. 

Many of the restaurants we visit will also have WiFi access so you can stay caught up with friends and family back home.

There will be internet access at the hotels we stay at in Greece as well. The hotel WiFi will be the best for making any updates or downloads. Some hotels offer it for free throughout the hotel, others charge, and some will offer it for free in the lobby areas. If you need to stay connected and able to email, call, and contact others while traveling, we recommend purchasing an international plan with unlimited data or purchasing a SIM card for temporary use once you arrive at the airport. (For iPhone users, you will need to have your phone “unlocked” by your provider before you leave to use a different SIM card.) Most cell carriers have fairly reasonable international plans for travelers.

How do I get WiFi on the cruise ship?

Each cruise line has a different WiFi package available. Each ship will sell you a daily WiFi package for a price, but costs can vary - please plan to check directly with the ship’s information desk after check-in if you need to purchase internet access for your laptop or phone. If you just need occasional access to your email, many ships offer the use of one of their computers on board in the internet café.

How do I charge my phone or electronics in Greece?

To charge electronics in Greece, you will need a voltage converter and a plug adaptor. Greece operates on a 230V voltage, so if you plan to bring any electrical appliances, including hair dryers or battery banks for recharging your phone on the go, you will need to convert the voltage so it does not ruin your appliances. If you are taking a camera that requires charging, check your owner’s manual for any specialized conversion you may need to make.

Additionally, if you live in the United States, power outlets in Greece require a different type of plug than you are used to: you will find they primarily use “type C” and “type F” plugs, as used in Europe. We suggest a voltage converter and an adapter with multiple outlets and USB ports, like this one, to keep things simple!

Sometimes the wall sockets are recessed, which can make it difficult to plug your voltage transformer directly into the wall. To make sure you can always charge your device, bring a simple plug adapter as pictured in the diagram below.

adapter image

How can I prepare spiritually for my Christian Tour of Greece?

As you travel, it can be hard to absorb all the sights, sounds, and teaching all at once. We have several recommended reading suggestions for you before you travel, to more fully prepare if you wish to dig deeper and find even more significance in the locations we will visit. Keep an eye out for an email containing relevant articles and reading material specific to your tour. Alongside your reading of the scriptures pertaining to these sites, we suggest:

Most of all, begin to pray now for your travel companions, your driver, guides, and hosts, your housekeepers, the shop owners, and all those God brings to your mind. Pray for God’s blessing on your trip, that He will use your investment to His glory, and for a Christ-centered response to each day and every situation. He will provide plenty of opportunities as you travel to be His hands and feet - what a blessing and a privilege!