Microsoft word - pre-departure letter to parents and students.doc
Dear Students, Adult Travel ers and Parents,
Only 11 more sleeps and we wil be on our way! Here is the information you wil need for your final preparations. Make sure that you eat breakfast and lunch on the day we depart! Count on purchasing a substantial snack after we clear airport security. This wil help prevent nausea and fainting. It might be after 7:30 before we get our supper on the airplane. Try to sleep wel in the days before we depart because we arrive in Paris at 8:45 a.m. and immediately begin our tour of the city. You probably won’t sleep much on the airplane, so you wil be awake for over 30 hours between Saturday morning and Sunday evening before getting to bed.
We wil be departing for our March Break excursion on Saturday, March 12, 2011
Canada, Flight 832,
from Terminal 1 at 5:00 pm
, arriving in Montreal at +6:13 pm.
wil depart from Montreal at 7:50 pm that same night on Air Canada, Flight 870
, arriving in
Paris at 8:45 am.
We will meet at the Air Canada check-in counter, Terminal 1 Toronto Pearson
Airport on March 12, 2011, at 2:00 pm.
Please be on time for the group check-in.
We wil be returning from Amsterdam, The Netherlands in two groups on Monday, March
Itinerary A will leave on United Airlines Flight 947 at 11:15 am and will be
arriving in Washington, DC at 3:08 pm, connecting with United Airlines Flight
7770 leaving Washington DC at 5:03 and arriving in Toronto at 6:32 pm.
Itinerary B will leave on United Airlines Flight 909 at 10:05 am and arrive in
Chicago at 1:08 pm, connecting with United Airlines Flight 7394 leaving
Chicago at 4:09 and arriving in Toronto at 6:36 pm.
You can check the United Airlines website to confirm arrival times.
Passports and tickets
DO NOT FORGET YOUR PASSPORT!
(Actual y, your passport is now your ticket with EF
and Air Canada’s checking-in system.) Carry it on your body, in a “money belt” around
your waist or around your neck
. It is advised that you also carry a photocopy of your birth
certificate and another photo ID in case your passport is lost and another one must be
issued. What to pack
because you are responsible for transporting your luggage from place to place
(from airport to bus, from bus to hotel room). Check the weather in the cities we wil be touring prior to our departure, so that you wil have a hint of what to expect.
Bring along ear phones / plugs
for the airplane, if you own a set. They can be bought for
$3 on the plane but can only be purchased using a credit card.
Clothing should be respectful. Our school dress code applies at all times.
Be sure to
pack shirts, a sweatshirt, spring jacket, undergarments, pants, socks, a raincoat, umbrel a
and very comfortable walking shoes. Also pack a Bible, a watch, toiletries such as
shampoo and toothbrush, pajamas, glasses, addresses, extra batteries, etc. Liquids and
sharp objects (tweezers, scissors, nail clippers) should be inside your checked luggage (not
inside your purse or carry-on) - otherwise they wil be confiscated at the airport. If you are
planning on bringing electrical appliances
such as a hair dryer or battery charger,
remember that you need a converter and an “International Receptacle Plug” which can be
purchased at The Source or at the duty free shops at the airport. Be sure that it wil work in
France, Belgium and The Netherlands. Not every European country has the same style of
Please leave expensive jewel ery at home.
In your cabin luggage you should pack a smal , empty water bottle
that can be refil ed
after clearing security, as wel as daily at breakfast and lunch. Bring some snacks, a book,
music, cards and/or games to keep you busy while we wait at the airport. It is
recommended that you pack an extra change of clothing in your carry-on,
in case your
baggage gets lost or delayed. Luggage
Be sure that your luggage is within the weight and size restrictions. You are al owed one
suitcase that weighs no more than 50 pounds (23 kilos) when ful y packed, a carry-on such as a bag or backpack weighing no more than 22 pounds (10 kilos) and smal purse. Check the Air Canada website for further restrictions. Tag your luggage with your name and home address. Also, it is a good idea to put some distinctive strap, decals or markers on your luggage, as this wil help you to spot yours among the thousands of pieces of similar luggage on the airport luggage carousel. You may wish to attach a second luggage tag to your first luggage tag. On it, write the name of our hotel in Paris. In case your luggage gets lost, the airline wil know which hotel to send it to. (This tag can be discarded once we reach Paris.) Write:
Destination in Paris
20, Quai de Dion Bouton
The currency in France, Belgium and The Netherlands is the Euro (€) and the exchange
rate is about $1.34 (Can) = €1. You should purchase some Euros from your bank, or a
Foreign Exchange Office before we depart (we suggest about €50). Count on spending
about €25 per day. As wel , we wil be doing some extra excursions (as many as 3) which
cost about €25 - €30. This would include excursions such as a Seine River Cruise / Eiffel
Tower and Arc deTriomphe combination for €30 or an Amsterdam Cruise and cheese/clog
farm for about €25. We would be consulted about these excursions ahead of time. A good
rule of thumb would be for the participants to have €50 on them at the beginning of each
day. It won't necessarily al get spent in one day, but that way they will have plenty.
We recommend that you carry a debit card that you can use at any ATM in France,
Belgium and the Netherlands. Be sure that you have a 4-digit pin number and that you are
withdrawing money from your chequing account. (Savings accounts do not al ow
withdrawals in most cases, while travel ing.) Notify your bank and credit card company that
you wil be travel ing abroad, so that your card won’t be frozen on account of unexpected
activity. Always carry your ID and your cash in your money belt.
Do not purchase travel ers’ cheques, since they are now obsolete.
Take your TDChristian Student Card so that you can get a discount on entrance fees to
places not included in our tour.
We are expected to tip our tour director, bus drivers and guides. EF recommends that we
tip our tour director $4-5/person/day and our bus driver $2-3/person/day. Ms. Joosse wil be
col ecting $60
from each travel er so that we wil pay these tips and you do not need to
bother further with that. You may pay with cash or with a cheque made out to TD Christian.
Washrooms al over Europe are cal ed WC. Public washrooms often charge a nominal fee
for use, usual y about €0.50
Travel ers are required to pay for any phone cal s or incidental personal expenses incurred
at the hotel. These wil be payable the evening before departure at each hotel. Of course,
any damage you cause to hotel rooms or busses is your responsibility. Food
We encourage you to eat authentic French, Belgian and Dutch food. Beverages are not
included with our meals. Be sure to budget for them. Breakfast and dinners are provided,
but beverages are not included with our meals. Let Ms. Vanderkooy know if you are a
vegetarian. Lunches are not provided. Medications
Be sure to let Ms. Vanderkooy know if you are taking any medication. All medication should
be put in your carry-on. Keep an extra prescription in case you lose your medication. Ms.
Vanderkooy wil be carrying a first aid kit, sewing kit and duct tape. If you are prone to
stomach upset and/or diarrhoea, you are advised to carry Imodium. If you are prone to
motion sickness, you should carry Gravol. If you normal y require Midol, Tylenol or Advil, be
sure to pack your own. Chaperones are not al owed to give out any medications. Hotels
Students from TD wil be sharing rooms. Depending on the hotel, there may be two, three
or four students per room. Adults wil share a room with another adult. Hotel rooms
outside of North America are very, very smal .
At the airport, before we leave Toronto, we wil give each of you a card with the names,
addresses and telephone numbers of the hotels we wil be staying in. Please keep this
information with you at al times. In case you ever get lost, you can take a cab to the hotel.
We wil also give you the mobile phone number of our tour director. If you get lost, you can
try contacting him as wel . The names and locations of our hotels are also listed on the EF
website so that family members at home can track our progress on-line.
Unless you have an international cel phone, you should not count on using it in Europe. It
either won’t work, or it wil be prohibitively expensive. EF has provided you with one phone
. If you need another phone card, it is recommended that you purchase it at any local
kiosk in France, Belgium or The Netherlands. The card can be used at any pay phone.
This is significantly less expensive than cal ing home “col ect.”
EF Tours requires that we have an emergency contact list.
Please check to see that the
contact information on the sheet is correct. With your permission, we wil photocopy the
contact information for each of you, as parents, so that you can communicate with each
other, if necessary.
In caseparents need to contact us please use the contact information at the end of this
letter. Sunday worship
We wil not be attending church services on Sunday, March 13, the day we arrive. We wil
be attending the English Reformed Church in Amsterdam
on Sunday, March 20 at 10:30
am. You can check out this church online at http://www.ercadam.nl/index.shtml– there is some
interesting historical information there, as wel as the liturgy, etc. We chose this church
because the service is in English. In 1607 English-speaking worshippers in Amsterdam
petitioned for a place in which to worship and the Town Council decided to give them use of
a redundant building in the Begijnhof. Behaviour
Both EF Tours and TD Christian have behavioural expectations. We ask that both student
participants and their parents careful y review and sign the Guidelines sheet
We are looking forward to travel ing with you and enjoying the sights, tastes and sounds of
France, Belgium and The Netherlands. We wil keep you posted with any other information that comes our way.
In the meantime, practice your French and Dutch and stay healthy and excited!
Sincerely, Ms. Joosse Mr. Siebenga Mr. Vanderkloet Ms. A. Vanderkooy
Our contact person at EF Tours, in Toronto, is Alyssa DiGaetano. S
he can be reached
Our tour director is Colin Peck
. He can be reached on his cel phone at 44-780-1286-102.
TD CHRISTIAN CANADIAN
No alcohol consumption.
No profane language. Remember that we are representing TD Christian, and
are subject to the rules established for and by TD Christian.
You are not allowed to get any piercing or tattoos while on this trip.
NEVER GO ANYWHERE ALONE! You must be part of a group of at least 3 of
our people at all times.
Let your group leader know where you are at all times.
Be careful when talking with strangers. People can distinguish between the
locals and the tourists.
You are expected to attend all excursions and follow the exact trip schedule.
You will receive a wake-up call every morning. Please abide by it.
Curfew will be between 11:30pm – midnight, depending on what is scheduled
for that evening. Know that we will be with you at all times.
Please check in with your group leader each evening before curfew.
You are not allowed to leave the hotel after curfew.
Members of the opposite sex are not allowed in your room at any time.
Do not damage or remove anything from the hotel room that does not belong
to you. You will be required to pay for any damaged or stolen property.
Respect the laws and values of the host country you are visiting, as well as our
own Canadian laws and school policies.
Have fun, be excited, try a few different foods while on the trip and learn
some French and Dutch while on the trip.
If a problem arises, the supervising teacher will attempt to notify the parent by a
collect phone call.
Violations of the Rules may result in:
a supervised confinement during the trip and/or
disciplinary action taken by the principal upon return to the school, such as a
return of the student to Toronto, at the expense of the parents/guardians.
________________________ _____________ __________________
signature of student
signature of parent/guardian
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