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(800) 715-6670 Support@catholicjourneys.com
(800) 715-6670 Support@catholicjourneys.com

FAQ

FAQ for all Catholic Journeys Pilgrimage Tours

 

Will a priest be on our trip?

Yes, all pilgrimage tours have a Catholic priest as the Spiritual Director and daily mass.

Are your guides Catholic?

Our guides are Catholic, have perfect English, are professional, and are knowledgeable about the Faith and the destination.

How many pilgrims are on each tour?  What is the maximum number of pilgrims on your tours?

Our pilgrimage tours average about 15-22 pilgrims.  You can find more specific tour group sizes on each tour page.  Our private tours can go up to 44 which would be one full deluxe air-conditioned motor coach.  If you would like an estimated number for a specific tour date, just contact Marcelle and she can tell you what to expect for a specific pilgrimage tour date.  You can email Marcelle, chat, or call.

Do you have a clergy discount if I purchase a trip for clergy or religious?

Yes, we will discount the fare by 20% if the priest is traveling as a pilgrim and not as a spiritual director.   The discount is valid on any regularly scheduled pilgrimage and is limited to 2 discounts per pilgrimage tour date.  We will need to receive the Priest or deacon’s full name and a Letter of Good Standing.  The discount will be applied once the aforementioned is received and verified. The 20% discount is available to all Catholic Deacons, Brothers and Sisters, Nuns, Friars, Monks, Priests, Monsignors, Bishops, and Cardinals.  His Holiness the Holy Father goes for free!  Cannot be combined with any other offer or discount.

Do you have any deals, discounts, or promotions?

Yes!  Please go to our hot deals page for limited-time offers on pilgrimage tours.

Can I use airline points?  What if I want to make my own flight arrangements?

Yes!  You can use airline points and Marcelle will adjust your invoice/statement to the “land-only” price.  Almost all tours have “land-only” prices already posted.  Note that arrival times vary between dates and within pilgrimages.

If you make your own flight arrangements, we cannot advise you in advance which airport we will be using or the arrival time.  Also, arrival times vary between dates and within pilgrimages.  We will make flight arrangements approximately 60 days in advance of the pilgrimage tour start date.  Consequently, make your own flight arrangements well in advance to obtain a good rate or to use airline points.

If you make your own flight arrangements, we can arrange a private transfer from your arrival airport to the group hotel for an additional fee which varies per pilgrimage tour and is listed in the trip-specific FAQ.  Or you can make your own arrangements to travel from the airport to the hotel.  We recommend using our transfer service because they are known and trusted drivers.  As soon as you have your flight information, email Marcelle.

What are the types of airfare classes?  Can I upgrade my airline seat?

All of our prices are for the economy-class of travel.  It is possible to upgrade.  The terms used today can be confusing, so here is a link that explains the different classes of service offered by the airlines.

Flights overseas typically have 3 classes or sections of the plane that can be booked:

  • Business class – you must pay in full in advance of ticketing
  • Premium Plus aka Premium Economy or Premium Select – you must pay in full in advance of ticketing
  • Economy – This is our default ticket and is included in the quoted price with airfare.

Business class has fully reclining seats and is pending availability and seats are limited.

An upgrade to the business class cabin is available for $5,400 per person roundtrip with the following conditions:  the pilgrimage tour must be 1) paid in full more than 90 days before departure and 2) Guest Information Completed to guarantee the price and schedule.  Call for a quote if less than 90 days before departure for an expected higher price.

Premium Plus is pending availability and seats are limited.

An upgrade to the premium plus cabin is available for $1,850 per person roundtrip with the following conditions:  the pilgrimage tour must be 1) paid in full more than 90 days before departure and 2) Guest Information Completed to guarantee the price and schedule.  Call for a quote if less than 90 days before departure for an expected higher price.

Premium Plus or Premium Economy is only on longer Transatlantic flights and is a separate section of the plane between Economy and Business Class Sections. Not ALL Aircraft offer a Premium Economy section but most international carriers and newer aircraft will have it. Like Business Class this is a special fare and must be booked as such from the beginning. This is not the same as “Economy Plus” on United, or “Economy Comfort” on Delta which can be booked when making seat assignments on whichever flights you choose. These seats are located in the front of the Economy Class section and usually have an additional 3″-5″ of space between your seat and the one in front of you. “Premium Economy” seats tend to recline more, usually have a footrest, and have an armrest for each passenger sitting next to each other. They also usually have drinks included and some other additional amenities not included in regular Economy Class.

For United Airlines it is called Premium Plus and for American Airlines it is called Premium Economy and for Delta Airlines it’s called Premium Select.

If you want to upgrade your booking to premium economy or business class please chat or email Marcelle.

Do I need a visa to travel to Europe? — ETIAS information
  • Starting sometime in mid-2025, Americans, Canadians, and Australians will need to apply online for travel authorization for Europe.
  • This applies to all travelers and all ages.
  • Fee 7 Euros or circa USD 8 per person.
  • The program is called ETIAS. Some refer to it as a “visa for Europe “It is not a traditional visa, but needs basic details about the traveler and their trip.
  • Approval will be sent by email within one (1) hour but could be up to four (4) days.
  • Once granted, it is valid for many trips over three (3) years or until the passport expires
  • The length of stay in Europe for US tourists (90 days within 180 days) remains unchanged.
  • The application will be simple and it must be done online.
  • You must have an email address.
  • The exact start date, or, when one will be able to apply is still unknown.
Do I need a visa to travel to Israel? — ETA-IL information.
  • As of June 1st, 2024 – Israel has launched a Program known as ETA-IL. It is an Online Authorization System designed to simplify and speed up the process of going through customs in Israel – before your arrival.
  • This applies to travelers of all ages.
  • Fee approx. $7 per person.
  • Once granted, you will be provided an E-Ticket that you must bring and present during Passport Control.
  • The travel authorization will be valid for two (2) years or until the passport expires.
  • The length of stay, per visit, in Israel can be up to 90 days.
  • Only the passenger can log in and apply; Catholic Journeys cannot assist you with this process.
Do you require travelers to be vaccinated?

No!  Catholic Journeys has no policy or requirements for vaccinations of any kind.  However, the airlines we use and the countries you visit may have requirements.  These requirements are constantly changing!!!!  Please check the requirements of the country you plan to visit.  Here is a link to the Centers for Disease Control for travelers.  Here is a link to the US Department of State for travel to different countries.

Should I get travel insurance?

We recommend travel insurance for all of our pilgrimage tours.  We also recommend that you purchase it as soon as possible.

Are there helpful pages from the airlines you use?  What should I expect when I fly?

We use a variety of airlines.  However, we use the following the most, and here are some helpful links.

United Airlines. As we often fly United to Europe, check out this very helpful page for restrictions, COVID-19, etc.

Traveling with children – United Airlines.

American Airlines We use American as well, and this page answers a lot of questions about International Travel.

Can I organize a pilgrimage tour for my parish, school, family, or group of friends?

Yes!  Click here for information on how to put together your own pilgrimage tour.

Tipping & Gratuities

Tips are not normally included in your package unless specified. You may wish to leave a gratuity for your driver and your tour escort at the end of each service performed. Gratuities are an important part of earnings for your driver and guide and can be paid in local currency or US Dollars.  The recommended amount for the Driver is USD 5.00 per person, per day, and USD 10.00 per person for the Tour Guide.  You can have two envelopes ready before you leave the USA, one for the driver and the other for the guide.  Pro tip:  if you exchanged too much cash into foreign currently this is a good time to spend it.  You may also want to bring a few extra dollars or local currency to leave in the Catholic churches where you will be celebrating Mass.  They often need funds and ask for donations at mass.

For our Holy Land Pilgrimage Tours only, we suggest $8 for the driver and $15 for the guide per person per day.  You can pay in USD or Shekels.  Also, you may need to have tip money for special city tours or museums.

When staying at Marija’s Magnificat Center in Medjugorje they ask for $1 or $2 per day for the house staff.

What should I pack?  Do you have a travel checklist?  Electrical adapter needed?

Please pack one checked bag, and a carry-on bag if needed.  Note that the airlines charge for all checked bags to Mexico.   Click here for a packing checklist, important reminders, and suggestions.  You will need an electrical adapter for every destination we serve except Mexico.

How do I meet up with the other pilgrims in the tour group?

Please wear your nametag at the arrival airport.  This will help the Catholic Journeys’ driver/guide identify you, as well as your fellow pilgrims. The driver/guide will be holding a Catholic Journeys sign and will be updated on your flight status.

Can you accommodate special dietary needs?

Yes.  When filling out the guest details form online, let us know your dietary needs and allergies.  We will notify the airlines and the tour guide.  The local guide will inform the restaurants at the hotel and any others that are part of the pilgrimage tour.

Does the deluxe motor coach have a bathroom?  If not, will there be restroom stops?

Motor coaches rarely have bathrooms.  However, there will be bathroom breaks, usually after 2 hours of driving.

Are prices in United States Dollars? 

Yes.  All prices posted on this website are in US dollars.

What is the payment plan? How do we pay our balance?
Please book your reservation by placing a $500 deposit for your spot on the pilgrimage tour.  You can pay in full when booking or at any time.  When you are ready to pay after making a deposit, simply click on the Pay Now button on your Tour Statement.  Full payment is due 90 days before departure.  We will send you an automatic reminder notification approximately one week before the final payment is due with a link for you to pay via credit card.  We accept all major credit cards.  We can accept payment in multiple installments and on different cards by contacting customer service.
Do we charge credit card fees? 
No.  We do not charge additional fees for the use of a credit card.
How do we submit our guest details, such as our passport name and number?
After booking your reservation with a deposit or full payment, you will receive a link to the forms to be filled out.  Most of the information is required by the airlines and we will be unable to ticket you without this needed information.

 

I am thinking of flying with a baby. What should I know?

Everyone needs a passport, and there is a charge for everyone flying.  The article below explains:

Flying Internationally with an Infant: The Complete Guide

I am a diabetic.  How do I travel with insulin?

Tips when traveling with insulin

What pilgrimage tours are the easiest in terms of walking?

Pilgrimage tours that have the least amount of walking include Medjugorje, Lourdes, and Our Lady of Guadalupe.  The pilgrimage mentioned above tours would be the easiest if someone has concerns about physical exertion and walking.  There is walking on all of our tours, but these would be the easiest.  If you are considering a pilgrimage tour with someone who has limited mobility, we suggest you investigate these travel scooters or these folding mobility scooters.

Is help available for someone with limited mobility?

Yes! If you have difficulty walking long distances, we can request wheelchair assistance for you to maneuver through the airports. If you need assistance while on pilgrimage, you can bring a collapsible wheelchair.   If wheelchair assistance is needed, you will need a travel companion to assist you, as the pilgrimage tour guide or priest cannot perform those tasks.  You also might consider these powered travel scooters or these folding mobility scooters.

Why are pilgrimages important?

A pilgrimage is a journey to a sacred place for a religious motive: to ask for a favor, discharge, an obligation, or give thanks. Why do people make pilgrimages? The theologian Lagrange suggests it is an instinctive movement of the human heart. Man-made for God seeks something of the spiritual. Keep reading.

Do you offer gift certificates after the pilgrimage?  How do we redeem them?
Please email us your review at support@catholicjourneys.com, and we will send you a gift certificate redeemable for $100 towards the pilgrimage tours we offer.  One review per passenger.  The review must be submitted within 90 days of the pilgrimage.  Reviews must contain original content.  Gift certificates can be applied when booking online or via the staff by contacting us at support@catholicjourneys.com.  Certificates state expiration dates of approximately one year.
Do any of your pilgrimages visit places of eucharistic miracles?

Yes!  We go to several places on this list of eucharistic miracles, including Lanciano, Loreto, and Santarem.

I have questions about passports.

Answers to passport frequently asked questions.  Always pay to expedite your passport application. 

VERY IMPORTANT: Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your scheduled return date. If your passport expires within 6 months of the end of your pilgrimage, you will need to renew your passport before departure. 

If your passport was issued by a country other than the US or Canada, a visa may be required. When you are ready to update your information, contact Marcelle at support@catholicjourneys.com.
Here are some helpful guidelines posted by the Bureau of Consular Affairs, U.S. Department of State:
http://travel.state.gov/passport

In case you need an expedited passport procedure, at an additional fee, you may contact the National Passport Information Center by phone: at 1-877-487-2778 or email: NPIC@state.gov
Or make an appointment with a Passport Agency in your area:
http://travel.state.gov/passport/npic/agencies/agencies_913.html

I need to renew my passport.  What do I do?  Do I have enough time?

Here is a link to the webpage that outlines how to renew your passport.

Always pay to expedite your passport application.  If you are traveling within 5-7 weeks, then you should be able to pay the Expedite fee for the passport book, and send your completed application, old passport, new pictures, and payment via USPS Priority EXPRESS Mail, and include the additional charge for them to send it back via same.

Within 2 weeks of departure, you can contact the Passport Office to make an appointment in person.

  • Special Issuance Agency – Located in Washington, DC, this agency issues diplomatic, official, service, and no-fee regular passports, and facilitates visa processing for those traveling on behalf of the U.S. government. You will not be able to access this webpage if you’re not browsing the web on a U.S. government-issued computer or mobile device.

You can still register for the trip if you are applying for a new passport. Just take a picture of your current passport before you send it, and be sure to enter the name exactly as it appears in your passport: Given Name, Surname. If you have gotten married, or have changed your name since you received your last passport, you will need to include the new name that you are using to apply for the new passport.

 

Catholic Journeys – The only pilgrimage tour company 100% Catholic owned and operated with a priest on staff.