What to know before you go to.... Medjugorje
How to Prepare for Your Pilgrimage:
Thank you for your desire and readiness to visit these places of grace and prayer. As we would like your trip to be as pleasant and helpful as possible. It is important to note that you pilgrimage will be packed full of spiritual activities and sightseeing. We do not include much free time for recreation, such as shopping. This is because our desire is to offer you the most comprehensive pilgrimage possible. However, all tours/activities are optional, and if you feel you are unable to keep up with the pace of the tour, manage the terrain, or would like free time for your own interests, you are welcome to refrain from participating in any aspects of the program you desire (of course, no refund can be issued for any aspects of the tour which you choose not to participate in).
It is also important to note that the amount of walking is significant, and the terrain varies greatly through out our tours. You will encounter hills, mountains, unpaved streets, cobblestone streets, etc. Please prayerfully consider whether or not you are up to such physical activities prior to registering. For this reason, we would like to offer you some recommendations, and we ask you sincerely to read them carefully.
A couple of weeks before your pilgrimage, one should begin preparing physically as well as spiritually.
1 - If not accustomed to physical activity begin walking "briskly" 1-2 times a day; build up to 2-3 miles with no discomfort.
2 - If possible attend daily Mass or attempt to spend quiet time in church during lunch or after work.
3 - Pray for Jesus and His Blessed Mother to open your heart and mind to be responsive to new perspectives, ideas, their words laid on your heart, etc.
4 - Begin praying the rosary daily ( Learn How to Pray the Rosary ) or at least the Apostle's Creed, 7 Our Father's, 7 Hail Mary's & 7 Glory Be's as Our Lady has requested; this takes about 5-7 minutes.
New Security Procedures:
All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in three-ounce or smaller containers. Larger containers that are half-full or toothpaste tubes rolled up are not allowed. Each container must be three ounces or smaller.
All liquids, gels and aerosols must be placed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Gallon size bags or bags that are not zip-top such as fold-over sandwich bags are not allowed. Each traveler can use only one, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag.
Each traveler must remove their quart-sized plastic, zip-top bag from their carry-on and place it in a bin or on the conveyor belt for X-ray screening. X-raying separately will allow TSA security officers to more easily examine the declared items. Visit the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) for complete details.
General Info About Your Documents, Flights, Arrival & Travel:
Medjugorje Web will ship your final documents to the address provided on your reservation application approximately 2-3 weeks prior to your scheduled departure date. The package will be delivered by Priority Mail. Your final documents will include your flight schedule with electronic ticket number, hotel confirmations, emergency contacts, general trip information, luggage tags, portfolio of travel documents, flight bag, and more. Carefully review your tickets to ensure that your name on the tickets are an exact match to that of your passport. Please note that the name field on your tickets is only 19 characters long, therefore names exceeding this length will be cut off (this is not a problem, as your actual reservation contains your full name). Please also carefully review the itinerary provided to ensure that all departure and destination cities, as well as dates, are correct. Please contact Medjugorje Web immediately should any discrepancies be found. *Please note that late payment/bookings can cause delay in the shipment of your final documents.
We recommend that you check in for your international flight three hours prior to the scheduled departure time. Passengers must personally check their luggage at the airline counter. Please advise the airline representative of your final destination upon check in so that you will not need to claim your baggage and recheck it during flight connections. Please note that our pilgrims travel from across the world. You will be traveling independently for all flights until your arrival at your final destination. You will not have a tour escort with you during your flights. Please be advised that Medjugorje Web attempts to centralize as many pilgrims as possible on the same flights, so you may arrive/depart on the same flights as many of your co-pilgrims (for additional information see "Arrival Procedure" below).
Our booking agent will book your airline reservations based on the routings provided to us, including connection time, cities for connections, and partner carriers. Airlines determine the standard for the required minimum connecting time to transfer from one gate to another for each specific airport. At times, the connection times provided by the airlines are quite tight (i.e. 45 minutes) and require passengers to make haste during their connections. At times the airline connection times are quite long, due to the flight availability at the time of booking. While we wish we could determine the connection times for each of our clients, we are subject to the rules, regulations, and availability of the carriers we work with. We also must ensure that all reservations correspond so that each participant is able to meet the group transfer to/from the airport to hotel and hotel to airport. We promise to do all in our power to provide you with the most convenient flight schedule available to us with our partner airline carriers at the time of your booking, however, we must still follow all appropriate airline rules and regulations.
Airlines now require that we provide electronic tickets (a.k.a. "e-tickets") in place of paper tickets. At check-in, you should be ready to provide your flight itinerary which was provided with your final documents and passport to the agent. The airline agent will then check you in for your flight, check your luggage, and provide you with a boarding pass for your flights. In the very rare occurance where an e-ticket cannot be issued, you will receive your tickets in a paper form. Please note that paper tickets must be present in order to check in, and or board the plane.
Many airlines participate in agreements/alliances with other airlines which permit passengers to travel from one point to another using more than one carrier. While your ticket may indicate that you are flying with one carrier (eg: Air France), you may find that you are actually seated in a plane belonging to another carrier (eg: Delta). Please review your airline itinerary carefully to determine which airline you should go to for check-in; if your flight is operated by a carrier other than the primary airline indicated on the itinerary, your itinerary will state "Flight Operated by (Airline)." You should check-in for your flight with the agent the plane is "operated by." If you have any concerns regarding which airline to check-in with, you may contact the airline directly or Medjugorje Web for clarification.
Airline Mileage Accounts:
Please contact the airline directly to open a mileage account and to obtain credit for the miles flown on this trip. Please be sure to save all boarding pass stubs from your trip as you may need them for proof of travel when obtaining milage credit upon your return.
Passports and Visas:
All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport to enter Mexico. Please note that for most travel abroad your passport MUST be valid for 6 months after your scheduled return date. For additional information on obtaining a US passport please visit: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html. A visa is not required for citizens of the USA for most of our destinations. For example the following countries do not require US citizens to obtain a visa for entrance: Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Croatia, Bosnia, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Turkey, Greece. Please be advised that it is the passengers responsibility to reconfirm if any visa's are required for their trip itinerary.
No inoculations are necessary for travel to Mexico from the US. But consult with your health care provider before traveling. In order to prevent "Montezuma's Revenge", avoid the tap water, including ice cubes. Your stomach may still become upset due to the change in diet. Bring anti-diarrhea medicine just in case. For the latest overseas travel health information, call the Center for Disease Control's travelers' hotline at 1-800-232-4636. Or visit their web site at www.cdc.gov.
US State Department Travel Advisories: For up to date US State Department travel advisories you may visit:
After disembarking from the plane you will clear immigration, and proceed to the baggage claim to locate your luggage. You will exit the baggage claim through customs into the "arrivals hall/ lounge." Look for the Medjugorje Web representative who will be holding a sign with your name and/or "Medjugorje Web." You will be transferred to your hotel where you will meet your guide and the rest of your group. Please remember to look for the sign!
If your plane arrives late, or you are re-routed you will probably miss the group transfer which is included in your package. In such circumstances you will need to pay for a taxi or private transfer to take you to your hotel. This cost will be at your own expense, and you may submit a claim to the airlines for reimbursement upon your return and/or to your travel insurance. For most destinations taking a taxi from the airport to your hotel is the easiest and least expensive course of action. However, for some destinations even a taxi can be very expensive due to the distance you are traveling. If you prefer to have a private transfer arranged for you in lieu of taking a taxi, you will need to contact Medjugorje Web to advise us of your flight delay and new arrival time at least 4 hours prior to your new arrival time. In this case will do all possible to arrange for a private transfer to meet you upon your arrival, however, you will be responsible to remit payment to your driver upon drop off at your destination. If you arrive at your destination, and are unable to locate your driver or a taxi, please call your local emergency contact (listed in your Final Instruction Booklet) so that they may dispatch a transfer for you. Please remember to save your receipts. We strongly recommend the purchase of Traveler's Insurance for this reason (http://www.medjugorje.org/insurance.htm).
For your international flight you are permitted to a maximum of one piece of checked luggage. International air carriers are becoming stricter about the size and weight of baggage and carry-on luggage. Please reconfirm with your air carrier within one week of your departure for specific information as to size and weight limitations (in case of changes). Most airlines will charge steep fees if your checked luggage is oversized or overweight. Keep in mind that your scale at home may not match exactly with the scale at the airport, so be sure to leave a few extra pounds of leeway!
Size allowances for Checked Bags:
Dimensions: Length + Width + Height = 158cm./62in.
Economy Class: 1 piece at 23kg. / 50lb.
Business Class: 2 pieces at 32kg. / 70lb. each
First Class: 3 pieces at 32kg. / 70lb. each
Size allowances for Carry-on Bags:
Dimensions: Length + Width + Height = 106cm./42in.
Weight : 1 piece at 13kg./30lbs.
You are also permitted one personal item to carry onto the plane such as a purse, laptop, briefcase, etc.
Important Items & Valuables:
Carry your passport, trip documents and money on your person but not all in the same place to limit the inconvenience in case of loss. Do not keep money, important documents, medicines or jewelry in your suitcase. Please leave valuable jewelry at home. We recommend a "neck safe" worn inside your clothes while touring. At all times please be as vigilant as you would in any major city, especially in crowded places. Never leave your bag unattended or out of sight in public areas, including airports, hotel lobbies, or dining rooms.
Be sure to keep ALL medications in your carry-on bag during your trip in case your suit case should be lost. Keep a separate list of important numbers (i.e. credit cards) in your luggage, together with a photo copies of your passport/visas.
** LOST LUGGAGE: In the event your luggage was lost during your travels, please see the office in Baggage Claim and fill out a report. They will ask you for flight information, your contact information (Name, Hotel you will be staying at, phone number of Hotel etc. All can be found in your Know Before You Go Booklet), as well as description of the luggage. **
Carry all documents and money on your person, but not all in the same place to limit the inconvenience in case of loss. Do not keep money, important documents, medicines or jewelry in your suitcase (Please leave valuable jewelry at home). We recommend a money belt worn inside your clothes, while touring.
On departure from your hotel, remember to double check that you have your money belt with you, and that you have collected any items left in the hotel safe. Please, at all times, be as vigilant as you would be in any major city, especially in crowded places such as subways, squares or churches/cathedrals.
Never leave your hand luggage unattended or out of sight in public areas, including airports, hotel lobbies or dining rooms.
Be sure to keep ALL medications in your carry-on bag during your trip in case your suit case should be lost.
Keep a separate list of important numbers, i.e. passport, traveler's checks, and credit cards, in your luggage, together with photocopies of airline tickets and the relevant pages of your passport/visas.
Pack a change of clothes (one pair of pants, one shirt, underwear etc.), in case of loss of luggage.
Common-sense rules of safety and security apply:
1. Avoid excessive displays of jewelry or cash
2. Avoid exploration on your own of unfamiliar areas
3. Be especially cautious if people approach you begging
How to Overcome Jet Lag:
Rapid travel through multiple time zones can take its toll on your physical and mental well-being. "Jet Lag" is the phrase used to describe the condition when an individual's internal body clock is out of sync with the actual time in the region to which you have traveled. It is important to try to adjust your internal body clock to receive the most out of your tour. Here are some tips on how to adjust your body to local time.
On the day of the flight/arrival:
1. Get out of bed earlier than usual.
2. Drink a lot of water to compensate for the dehydration that is common on long flights.
3. Shortly after your evening meal on your flight, set your watch ahead to Croatia's actual time.
4. Try to rest or sleep as soon as possible on your eastbound flight.
6. When you arrive try to keep active, and go to bed around 10:00 PM local time.
Please note that travel insurance is recommended for all our pilgrims. Be advised that travel insurance cannot be purchased after you have paid in full for your trip. For those who have purchased Allianz Global Assisntance Insurance through us, brief information as well as contact information will be provided in your Know Before You Go booklet. For more information you can also visit http://medjugorje.org/insurance.htm
Distances between Dubrovnik to Medjugorje (& v.v.), Split to Medjugorje (& v.v.) or Sarajevo to Dubrovnik (& v.v.) take by motorcoach approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours (one way). During travel days with extensive driving the coach will stop for bathroom/stretch approximately every 3 hours.
In Medjugorje, the official currency is the Bosnian Mark, however they do accept the American Dollar. Keep in mind that if you should use the American Dollar, you will receive change in the Bosnian Mark. Most shops and restaurants will accept Dollars, but they will not accept Credit Card. So bring along a credit card for convenience and security, and for "just in case". There is a bank where you can get your money in case needed at a very reasonable exchange rate and can be cancelled should it be lost.
If traveling through other European destinations in conjunction with Medjugorje, make sure to bring and use your Visa or MasterCard. Discover Card is not accepted. It is recommended that you contact your local bank and credit card companies before departing on your trip to advise them of the countries you will be visiting, and the dates that you will be there. By doing this, it resolves the risk of having your credit card, of debit card, from being shut off due to fraud or theft.
We are frequently asked, "How much money should I bring with me?"
This is a difficult question, and differs with each person. The type of lunches you prefer can make a big difference (restaurant vs cafe). Are you planning on purchasing mementos for yourself or loved ones? We recommend that you bring at least $300, to cover your water, lunches, taxi's etc.
1. We suggest carrying no higher denomination than $20.
2. For Lunches, Taxi etc: Bring $20-$50 worth in small bills, ex: $10, $5, or $1.
For those spending time in Dubrovnik or Split:
The national currency there is the: Croatian Kuna
Do not exchange more money than needed, as Kuna's are useless outside their country and the exchange rate is poor to convert back to U.S. dollars.
Taxis usually cost $8 dollars wherever you go whether there is 1 person or 4 people in the car.
For up to date currency exchange rates please visit www.xe.com . Also note that the currency flocculation has been particularly volatile in the last year, so we strongly urge you to check the current exchange rates prior to departure and prior to exchange. The official currency for Bosnia-Herzegovina and Medjugorje is the Mark (BAM), however the US Dollar and Euro are widely used.
For Up To Date Currency Exchange, Go to: www.xe.com
(Bosnian Marka - BAM)
You should ask your bank for information about where you can use your card and what commissions are charged for withdrawing money. Note: You need a four-digit personal identification number, or PIN (six digits won't work), to use ATMs in Europe. If you have a six-digit code, you have to get a new one for your trip. Be sure to find out your daily withdrawal limit before you depart. Also keep in mind that many banks impose a fee every time a card is used at a different bank's ATM, and that fee can be higher for international transactions (up to $5 or more) than for domestic ones. On top of this, the bank from which you withdraw cash may charge its own fee. For international withdrawal fees, ask your bank before you go. You can also get cash advances on your credit card at an ATM. Credit card companies try to protect themselves from theft by limiting the funds someone can withdraw outside their home country, so call your credit card company before you leave home. And keep in mind that you'll pay interest from the moment of your withdrawal, even if you pay your monthly bills on time.
Weights and Measures:
The metric system is used exclusively throughout Europe. A kilometer is a bit over 1/2 mile (.62 miles). A kilogram equals 2.2 pounds.
Most of Europe operate on a 24 hour clock. This means that 6:00 pm is 18:00, etc.
Medjugorje is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (Based on Eastern Standard Time: When it is 2:00 PM in New York, it will be 8:00 PM in Medjugorje).
Tips are an important part of earnings for your tour guide and bus drivers. Tip envelopes are enclosed for your convenience.
Your tour escort who is with you throughout your tour or for the whole day should be tipped $5. - $7. per person per day (or depending on the level of the satisfaction) therefore for 8 days prepare total $40. - $56.
Your bus driver $2. per person per day (or depending on the level of the satisfaction) times 3 days, therefore $6. total.
Depending on your satisfaction, in Medjugorje it is customary to tip your home owners and staff $ 2-$3 per person per day (if 7 nights stay $10.- $20. total) Donation to your priest / pilgrimage spiritual leader may also be considered. Restaurants include tax and a 15%service charge (service compris) in their prices. If a meal or service has been particularly good, leaving another $ 1 - $3 is customary, as is leaving the waiter the small change from your bill if you pay in cash. If service is not included, a 15% tip is appropriate.
Hotels / Accommodations:
Rooms in Medjugorje are basic. There is a twin bed, night stand and a small cabinet for your clothes. Several towels can be found on your bed. For the most part, rooms are not air conditioned. Rooms are smaller than you are used to. Every room does have a modest bathroom. In the bathroom you will find a sink, toilet and shower stall. Some showers you may need to hold the shower head while taking a shower. Fixtures in bathrooms and bedrooms are not standardized. Most hotels do NOT offer a hair dryer in the bathroom, we recommend bring one if it is essential to you. Most hotels do NOT offer toiletries (shampoo, lotion), we strongly recommend that you bring an adequate supply with you.
Please note that while we can request non-smoking rooms, there is no such policy of separating Smoking vs. Non Smoking. In most restaurants people still smoke.
Remember to check with guide for up to date schedule as there is no modern system of sharing up to date schedule. A basic bulletin notes are written by your guide for important information, suggestions, or changes from your tour escort.
The voltage used is 220 volts AC, single phase 50 cycles (the U.S. uses 110/120 volts). Unless you use a good quality electric current converter, the heavier voltage will instantly burn out any electrical equipment you wish to use abroad. Before leaving home, you will need to purchase an international adapter so your two-prong plug will connect to the various local electrical supply outlets (check that it is sufficiently powerful for your appliance), and a converter to convert the 220 volts to 110 volts. Adapter/converter kits that include the entire range of plugs can be purchased at better electrical supply stores. Stores such as Radio Shack, Walmart, K-Mart, Target sell adaptor/converter kits readily. Buying electrical devices in foreign places is not recommended unless you are sure that the current they use is compatible with the current at home. It will likely cost you more than the original price to have an appliance converted.
Note: If you have an up-to-date laptop with you, they already have a converter built into it. You will only need to purchase an adapter to plug it in.
Telephones in Medjugorje:
The telephone country code is +387 (from US 011 + 387 followed by the city code and telephone number).
You may bring your cellular phone, but make sure to contact your wireless phone provider and inform them, that you will be traveling out of the country (giving them destinations). Most have an "international plan" if not get one for the trip. This will allow you to make calls to the United States while you are out of the country using your wireless phone. If you have a smart phone with a data plan please make sure to contact your cellular provider to inquire about an international data plan. International data usage can be VERY expensive. We suggest you get a generous plan or disable your data while traveling.
A Magnificat book has been provided to you for daily prayer and reflection. Please note you can now download the Magnificat App to your smartphone. However it will require international data consumption so make sure you have an international data plan prior to departure with your provider. This will be at your additional cost with your mobile provider.
Please note, most accommodations do not have phones available in the room.
Public Telephones: Telephone booths are located across from the Information Center (to the left of St. James church) pay phone cards may be purchased; 5 minutes is about $12 to phone the U.S.
They will also give instructions in the Information Center:
1. Pick up receiver
2. Slide card in with "arrow" side face up going in first
3. Punch 001 area code phone number
4. The number of minutes you have will keep showing up in the window area on the phone. Do not punch in the numbers like you're running a race. The 00 gets you out of the country and into the International system, the 1 is the country code for the U.S; no matter where you are in the world you must dial 1 to get in to the U.S.
International telephone calls can also be made from the Post Office, or from the booths recently installed beside the Parish house in the church grounds. There are also kiosks at the round-about at the centre of Medjugorje.
The automatic telephones are worked by telephone cards which can be purchased in the main post-office or at the "information centre", on the Church grounds. The cards range in value depending on the number of impulses.
They are also known as WC, and they are available in most tourist locations. Be prepared with tissues in your pocket at all times. Also, be aware that some public toilets are manned/ womaned by attendants who ask for a small "user's fee".
If you are bringing a digital camera, make sure to bring extra batteries and memory cards. Photography is not allowed in some museums and in some security-conscious facilities.
From the airport to Medjugorje (round trip), as well as for excursion to Cenacola, the Orphanage, and Tihaljina are included. Transfers are not included within Medjugorje. Visits within Medjugorje, and getting to and from St. James Church, be prepared to walk (anywhere from 5 - 20 minutes). Of course climbing the Pordbrdo (Apparition Hill) and Krizevac Mountain (Cross Mountain), the ONLY way of getting there is by foot.
Medjugorje terrain is very rocky! Expect uneven surfaces everywhere; muddy and slippery surfaces when raining please watch your step! Due to the new structures going up every day of old buildings, access to some establishments may not be convenient for wheelchair use, and facilities for the disabled in general may be limited. Many areas are Pedestrian ONLY, and have rocky terrain, muddy surface or cobblestones. High-heeled shoes are not suitable for Medjugorje; rubber-soled walking shoes are recommended. Many streets are narrow, and due to strict traffic regulations, the buses are not always permitted to drop groups off directly in front for their houses/ destination.
Please be prepared to walk. Unlike in other destinations, transfers are not included for all your daily activities.
In order to get to Church, Visionary's homes, Podbrdo, Krizevac you will have a choice: to walk approximately 15 minutes, or to take a taxi at a cost of $8. per ride (regardless of destination within Medjugorje). Of course, it's advisable that you join others, and that $8. taxi ride be split up within the party/ number of people traveling (maximum 4 people per each ride).
Just like in any other destination, be wary of any person approaching you offering unofficial taxi services. If you do not have an airport transfer included and you need transportation, make your way to the taxi line area, or to the regular taxi line outside the terminal (if at the airport); choose only those vehicles with a meter and a taxi sign.
Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Other major cities are Banja Luka, Tuzla, Bijeljina, Zenica and Mostar. Medjugorje is bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south. Serbia is to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast. Bosnia and Herzegovina (also: Bosnia-Herzegovina) is almost landlocked, except for 26 kilometres of Adriatic Sea coastline, centered on the town of Neum, which you will drive through if you will be arriving and/or departing from Dubrovnik.
A different way of life in some countries on tour may take you by surprise, but if you travel with an open mind and respect local customs and culture, you should find it easier to adapt to and enjoy your new surroundings. Standards of living may not be quite what you are used to, but there are compensations - a closer sense of reality and a more authentic feeling of locale. Due to cultural differences in Europe you may not be greeted quite as cheerfully as back home; smiling is generally reserved for intimate friends! So be especially wary of people presenting themselves as "instant friends" and never accept any offer of food or drink from strangers.
Ask your tour escort for regional specialties products which the countries/cities in your itinerary are known for. If you purchase a DVD, please check very carefully that it is compatible with your home viewing system (for USA and Canada - DVD region 1; for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific - DVD region 4). Whenever traveling abroad, be aware of your personal belongings when shopping in crowded areas.
U.S. citizens who have been to Europe for more than two days may return to the United States with up to $800 worth of merchandise duty-free. For those who wish to bring more home with them, a flat rate of 3% duty is levied on the next $1,000 worth of purchases. It's a good idea to retain the receipts from your purchases should they be requested by a Customs Inspector upon your return to the United States. For details visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel.
Meals / Food:
Please check with guide upon arrival for meal times. Most breakfasts are basic continental buffet style. Unlike in the USA, it is frowned upon to take food out of the breakfast room. Most dinners will be served "sit down" with a pre-determined 3 course meal. Your meals include tap water and coffee or tea. All other beverages, including bottled water, are available at an additional cost. While some houses may be able to provide for a special diet, such as vegetarian or salt-free, there is no way for us to guarantee this. Also, please note, vegetarian meals tend to lack variety and imagination. Check with your tour guide for a list of alternative restaurants. Food is generally safe to eat.
Due to differences in mineral and micro-biotic levels, we recommend that you avoid consuming local tap water (including ice), as it may upset your stomach.
With so many traveling to Medjugorje for spiritual healing, let us not forget all those looking for physical healing. Visiting Apparition Hill is a vital part of your pilgrimage to Medjugorje, and we are happy to make arrangements for all those who are not physically able to climb.
Community Cenacolo contributes to Medjugorje in so many ways, and one of them, is that the men there are available to help anyone up Apparition Hill that needs it. With a minimum of three week's notice, and provided that Apparition Hill is not crowded. Please feel free to contact us upon registration, up until 3 weeks before departure, so that we can make arrangements for you. *Not available for Cross Mountain
General Information About Your Pilgrimage Destination(s):
Due to global weather changes, regional temperatures may deviate from the norms. We recommend layered, easy care, loose-fitting clothing, an item or two for rain or unseasonable temperatures and something warmer. Light-weights for summer. Medium-weights for winter with heavier clothing for inland areas. It is a good idea to pack waterproofs at any time of year.
Mid-summer advice: Wear a sunhat and loose-fitting clothing, drink at least one liter (one quart) of mineral water a day if you can (carry a small bottle in your hand luggage); avoid eating too much ice-cream and reduce the amount of ice in drinks. A small battery-operated fan may be useful in warm weather.
The language in Medjugorje is Croatian, but English is widely spoken in Medjugorje, and most signs appear in English too.
The population of Medjugorje currently numbers about 4500 inhabitants. All are of Croatian nationality, speak the Croatian language, write with the Latin alphabet and are Catholic. Politically, the new state under which Medjugorje emerges is a parliamentary democracy. The population of the parish of Medjugorje started to return bit by bit, fostered by supernatural events - Our Lady's apparitions (which began back in 1981). Today, Medjugorje is a part of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Because of the war, the infrastructure of Medjugorje is still underdeveloped.
All foreign (non-European) nationals need a valid passport to enter Medjugorje. For an up-to-date country-by-country listing of passport requirements around the world, go to the "Foreign Entry Requirements" page of the U.S. State Department website at http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html.
All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport to enter Europe. Please note that for most European travel your passport MUST be valid for 3 months after your scheduled return date.
A visa is not required for citizens of the USA for the pilgrimages we offer. For example the following countries do not require US citizens to obtain a visa for entrance: Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Croatia, Bosnia, Medjugorje, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Turkey, Greece. Please be advised that it is the passengers responsibility to reconfirm if any visa's are required for their trip itinerary.
U.S., Canada, Australia, European Union citizens do not need an entry permit (visa) to stay in Medjugorje as either tourists or on a business trip for a period of up to three months. (If you enter Medjugorje under the Visa Waiver Program, you are not allowed to take up any employment there.) More information is available from the Consulate Section of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Embassy, 2109 E Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20037. (1 202) 337-1500 Fax (1 202) 337-1502
Note: NON US, Canada or Europe Passport Holders may be required to obtain a visa for Croatia as well as Bosnia- Herzegovina, as some of the flights/ routings will take our groups through Croatia (Dubrovnik or Split) to Medjugorje, which is located in Bosnia. Please note that your flights are in/out of Dubrovnik, which is in Croatia, however, Medjugorje is located in Bosnia, therefore you will actually be "visiting" 2 countries. US or Canadian citizens do not need to obtain visas for Croatia or Bosnia. When and if visa is required it is passenger's responsibility to obtain one. Please note that obtaining a visa (especially for Bosnia) can be very difficult and usually takes a minimum of 6 weeks to complete. Please be certain to take this into consideration PRIOR to registering. Cancellations due to lack of appropriate travel documents will incur usual penalties.
Bosnia-Herzegovina Embassy: www.bhembassy.org
Croatia Consulate or Embassy: www.croatiaemb.org
Emergency Telephone Numbers in Bosnia-Herzegovina:
Emergency Police: 122
European General Emergency Code: 112
Embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina:
Americans living or traveling in Europe are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's Travel Registration web site https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/ , and to obtain updated information on travel and security issues. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in cases of emergency.
Alipašina 43, 71000 SARAJEVO
Tel.: 387 33 445-700
Fax: +387 33 659-722
Alipašina 43, 71000 Sarajevo
tel: +387 33 445-700
fax: +387 33 221-837
For Additional Information About Your Destination:
Please visit the official tourism website as follows: http://www.bhtourism.ba/eng/
What To Pack:
For Winter, Early Spring, and Late Fall: Be sure to pack a warm jacket, a hat, scarf and gloves, just in case.
For Summer, Late Spring, and Late Summer: Bring a sun hat and plenty loose-fitting clothing. Don't forget a lightweight sweater for the evenings as some places may be a little cooler than others.
A note about summer attire: shorts (or mini skirts) and bare shoulders are considered inappropriate at religious sites. For men, shorts that can be transformed by zippers into trousers may be convenient.
Bring an all-weather coat, just in case. We strongly recommend that women bring a shall or sarong which can be placed conveniently in their day bag, so that they may drape their shoulders, or tie around their waists in the more religious sites.
Make sure you have a good pair of walking shoes. If new, make sure you walk in them for a couple of weeks to break them in. On the plane you will want to wear loose-fitting clothes and pack a pair of slippers to wear for the flight, as well as a lightweight jacket. Make sure your shoes are lace-up, as your feet may swell a little.
General Clothing for Men:
Jeans, casual slacks, short and/or long sleeve shirts, socks, undergarments, and light jacket or coat.
General Clothing for Women:
Jeans, long skirts, casual dresses, casual slacks, short and/or long sleeve, socks, stockings, undergarments, and a light jacket or sweater is suggested.
Other Suggested Items to Bring (check list):
__ Inflatable head & neck rest, eye mask, foam earplugs (for flight)
__ Portable alarm clock
__ Flashlight with extra batteries: take batteries out while traveling
__ Old towel or small plastic bag to sit on outside
__ Handy wipes: freshening up during the day
__ Travel pack size Kleenex.
__ Extra batteries for flashlight, camera, recorders
__ Tape recorder or journal for Mass, and talks
__ Extra film for camera: expensive outside of US
__ Travel size poncho, in camping section of Wal-Mart
__ Optional grocery size plastic bags: 1-2 for dirty clothes or items you purchase
__ Soap-small bar travel size
__ Shampoo-travel size or put some in a small container; don't carry some big bottle
__ Toothbrush & Toothpaste-travel size
__ Deodorant-travel size
__ Chap stick
__ Aspirin/Advil, Etc.
__ Feminine protection
__ Dramamine or Bonine - if subject to motion sickness
__ Pepto Bismol- tablets
__ Allergy/cold medicine; tablets (put medicines in a sandwich bag)
Some people find that taking them selves off caffeine and taking compounds high in anti-oxidants to be helpful in combating jet lag. You can also take Jet-stress or Cell Guard which are herbal complexes designed to combat jet lag. Ginger can be helpful in motion sickness. Melatonin helps to allow you to sleep on the plane. These items can be found at most health food stores.
What If...& Frequently Asked Questions:
What should I do if my flight is cancelled or delayed?
If your flight is cancelled or delayed it is imperative that you work DIRECTLY with the airlines at the airport to arrange for alternate flights or protection. Please note that once your tickets have been issued or you have checked in for your flights, we can no longer make any changes to your flight itinerary. This can only be done by the airlines. In such case, remember, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, so be persistent. However, it is important to remember that it is not the airline agents fault, so try your best to remain courteous to them, as you may find that you receive more assistance this way. Please be advised that the airlines are not required to offer reimbursement for personal expense or overnights when delays/cancellations occur due to weather. We strongly recommend the purchase of Travel Insurance for this reason (http://www.medjugorje.org/insurance.htm).
What should I do if I miss my flight due to my late arrival at my departure airport?
If you should miss your flight, due to your own late arrival at your departure airport, it is imperative that you work DIRECTLY with the airlines at the airport to arrange for alternate flights. You will incur additional costs (minimum of $200 per person) for such changes. Please note that you should contact us once your alternate arrangements have been made so that we may arrange for a private transfer (at your expense) if necessary.
What happens if I miss my group transfer upon arrival?
If your plane arrives late, or you are re-routed you will probably miss the group transfer which is included in your package. In such circumstances you will need to pay for a taxi or private transfer to take you to your hotel. This cost will be at your own expense, and you may submit a claim to the airlines for reimbursement upon your return and/or to your travel insurance. For most destinations taking a taxi from the airport to your hotel is the easiest and least expensive course of action. However, for some destinations even a taxi can be very expensive due to the distance you are traveling. If you prefer to have a private transfer arranged for you in lieu of taking a taxi, you will need to contact us to advise us of your flight delay and new arrival time at least 4 hours prior to your new arrival time. In this case we will do everything possible to arrange for a private transfer to meet you upon your arrival, however, you will be responsible to remit payment to your driver upon drop off at your destination. If you arrive at your destination, and are unable to locate your driver or a taxi, please call your local emergency contact (listed in your Final Instruction Booklet) so that they may dispatch a transfer for you. Please remember to save your receipts. We strongly recommend the purchase of Travel Insurance for this reason.
What happens if I have a problem or complaint during my trip?
If you have any problems, concerns, or complaints during your trip, please communicate them IMMEDIATELY to your tour escort. Your tour escort is at your disposal to assist you with all your needs including issues with your hotel room, meals, etc. Remember, there is very little that can be done to undo a problem once you have returned home, but, most of the time your tour escort can address any concerns you may have swiftly. However, if the issue is not resolved to your satisfaction by your tour escort, then please contact our office.
What should I do if I want to change my ticket?
If you would like to change your ticket for any reason once it has been issued you MUST work DIRECTLY with the airlines. You will incur additional costs (minimum of $200 per person) for such changes.
For more on our general terms and conditions visit http://medjugorje.org/tandc.htm
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