Turkey Travel Tips

Know Before You Go: Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.

Passports and Visas: It is each traveler&rsquos responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure and a visa if required. Please check the information at http://www.righttravel.info/page/visa-5.html for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. US citizens can obtain their visa upon arrival to Istanbul airport.

Entry Requirements: US citizens require a passport valid for six months beyond travel dates. Visas are required for Turkey

Trip Preparation: A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas) are in order and that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. If you lose the originals while traveling, you will have copies for easier reporting and replacement.

Health Information: Check with your personal physician for the latest overseas travel health information, or contact the Center for Disease Control travelers hotline at 404-332-4559, web site www.cdc.gov.

Climate & Clothing: Spring: 50°F-65°F Summer: 70°F-90°F Autumn: 55°F-75°F Winter: 40°F-55°F. Bring comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, clothes you can layer and an all-weather coat. Some religious sites do not allow shorts or sleeveless shirts.

Shopping: Shopping in a foreign country can be a wonderful experience. We do include a few stops at recommended popular shops on every escorted tour, intended to enhance your cultural experience. As you explore the country independently, you may find fantastic, one-of-a-kind merchandise. You may get terrific bargains. However, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Currency: The Turkish Lira is the currency of Turkey. We suggest getting a small amount of currency for the first country you&rsquore visiting before you leave the U.S. It is a good idea to carry a chart with you to help you convert U.S. dollars to the local currency. It&rsquos also a good idea not to carry too much money. Many countries have ATM machines that accept most U.S. ATM cards, but be sure you know your ATM password in numbers-the keypads on foreign ATMs don&rsquot always have letters. Most ATM machines will only dispense cash in local currency. Check with respective consulates to learn current currency allowances and requirements. Use your credit card whenever possible. Should you decide to carry cash or travelers checks, exchange them at banks where the rate is more favorable than at hotels or exchange bureaus.

Credit Cards: While credit cards are accepted in most destinations, it is advisable to carry local currency. Inform your credit card company that you are traveling to avoid your card being blocked for security reasons.

Gratuities: This is a matter of personal discretion. You may use the following as a guideline:

Tour escort (Coordinator may or may not act as a guide):

$6 or $7 per person per day

Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage):

$3 per person per day

Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program):

$2 per person per half day of sightseeing (2-3 hours)

River Cruises:

$6 or $7 per person per day as indicated by each cruise line (see details regarding European River Cruises)

Private car tours(small groups of 2-14 passengers):

$12 to $16 per person per day for each day of sightseeing

Hotel Porter:

$1 per bag per person

Wait staff:

$1.50 per person (lunch or dinner)

Chamber maid:

$1 per person per day

Tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional compensation. There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour escort or phone our local office. Numbers have been provided in your documents for your convenience.

Gratuities are appreciated and expected for good service in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists. Restaurant bills often include a service charge.

Local Emergency Phone Numbers:

  • Ambulance/Medical: 112 
  • Fire: 110 
  • Police: 155 156 in rural areas

Languages: Turkish is the local language. Limited English is generally spoken in tourist areas.

Electricity: Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances. The voltage used is 220 volts.

Domestic Flights: On domestic flights in Turkey you are allowed 1 checked piece of luggage, not to exceed 15 kg (33 lb), and 1 carry on not to exceed 8 kg (17 lb) per person.

Code of Conduct: The common form of greeting is shaking hands, while close friends will sometimes hold hands and kiss cheeks. In Turkey, hospitality is highly valued and people are often quite friendly. Even salespeople may offer tea to customers. If you are comfortable with accepting, you may drink it without any obligation to make a purchase. Casual dress is acceptable, but beachwear should only be worn at the beach or poolside. If you are visiting Pamukkale you may want to bring a bathing suite in order to take a dip in one of the Hot Spring Pools. Smoking is generally permitted except in cinemas, theaters, and on public transportation.