Trip FAQs

Trip Faqs

Considering a “Discover the World” alumni trip, but have some questions? Please browse our list of ‘frequently asked questions’ below, or contact Susan Henderson. We can’t wait to travel with you!

Can I book my own flights?

Yes, you can book your own flights if you wish.  The advantage of booking your flights with our tour operators is the ease of having the whole trip planned by one travel provider and your transfers are frequently included, from airport to hotel or ship and the same on the return. If you book your own flights, you are then responsible for booking and paying for your transfers.

Can I upgrade my flights to Business Class?

Yes. Please contact the tour operator directly to ask about the cost and availability of a Business Class upgrade.

How long must my passport be valid?

Canadian citizens will need a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of return from the travel program. This is not a Government of Canada rule, but of most of the countries that we visit.

If your Canadian passport expires before this time, you must apply for a new passport.

Is it possible to deviate from the group travel dates?

Yes, many of our travellers go a day or two ahead of the group to become used to the change of time zone. Others choose to extend their trip by staying on at destination following the group travel.

Please contact the tour operator directly at least 60 days ahead of travel to ask about availability and associated fees.

May family and friends travel with me, even if they aren’t Western alumni?

Yes, our travel program is for Western alumni, their families and friends, current and retired staff and faculty, their families and other members of the Western community.

What about trip insurance?

We do strongly recommend that our travellers are covered for trip cancellation, interruption and medical emergencies. Please connect with Western Alumni’s preferred partner Manulife Financial Travel Insurance to see if it is right for you and your travel insurance needs. They can be reached at 1-866-521-8506 (Monday – Friday, 8am – 8pm ET) or by email

What medical precautions do you recommend?

We advise our travellers to check with their doctor regarding their general health and any recommendations for inoculations or immunizations that might be required by the country you will be visiting.

Do carry a complete list of your medications, allergies and phone numbers for your emergency contact person, physician and medical insurance company.

Why are most trips priced in US dollars?

Our trips are planned up to two years in advance. Many of the advance payments to suppliers are expected in USD. When our travel partners must convert to CAD so many months in advance, they have to speculate the value of the Canadian dollar at the time of travellers booking. For 2019 travel, that would mean an exchange rate of 60 cents CAD vs $1 USD. Over the past several years, the final pricing has worked in the favour of our travellers, paying a better rate than would have been if originally priced in Canadian.

Why do some prices say “from”?

Ships and rail cars have various price points. We quote the lead-in, or lowest price.

Note – on most of our trips we travel with alumni from other Canadian universities.