Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about our awesome small group tours? Keep reading to discover answers to some of our most frequently asked questions!

 General Trip FAQs

WHAT SHOULD I BRING?

When you register for a trip, you will receive a detailed packing list to ensure you have everything you need. Luggage storage options are available for most of our trips in the event there are items you will not need while on our tour, but that you still want to have before/after the tour.

HOW DIFFICULT ARE THE TRIPS?

Our trips have three difficulty ratings: easy, moderate, and challenging. Easy trips are less physically strenuous, the activities are shorter and more leisure based, and there are alternatives if you do not want to do every activity. Moderate trips involve considerable physical activity, but are still very manageable for anyone in decent physical shape. Options are available to make these tours less physically challenging. For challenging trips, physical activity such as hiking will be the primary focus of the day and the difficulty is more dependent on the weather. Participants should be in good physical shape and training for the trip is recommended. A more detailed description is available on the individual trip pages.

HOW PHYSICALLY FIT DO I NEED TO BE?
It depends on the difficulty level of each trip. Trips that are rated easy have activities that are not as physically strenuous, or you have the opportunity to not partake in those activities. Moderate trips will require more physical activity, but options may exist to opt out of some activities. For challenging trips, you will need to engage in physical activity for several hours each day, and often times options do not exist to opt out (although leaving the trip early may be an option). Overall we find that people who are mentally prepared for the trips and are willing to put in the effort do very well, regardless of difficulty level.
WHAT IS YOUR MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE?

Our groups are limited to a maximum of just 8 participants on our Highlights tours and only 12 participants on our Biking and Hiking trips. These are some of the smallest group sizes in the industry, enabling us to give you the best possible experience. With a smaller group comes better and more individualized attention, more camaraderie among the travelers, greater flexibility with the itinerary, and a more authentic, less touristy trip.

WHAT OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR SOLO TRAVELERS?
As a solo traveler, we can try to place you in a shared room with another solo traveler, or you can have your own single room by paying a single supplement. Some of our hiking trips do not have a single supplement with the hut and tent accommodations. Our small group sizes mean that our trips are great for solo travelers to meet other people and enjoy their trip!
DO YOU OFFER PRIVATE DEPARTURES?
If you are a family or group that would like a private departure, we can definitely arrange that for you! Contact us to inquire about dates and pricing.
ARE THERE ANY AGE RESTRICTIONS FOR THE TRIPS?

The minimum recommended age for participation in one of our standard trips is 13 and there is no upper age limit. Ability is more important than age, and some trips are more conducive than others to younger/older participants; contact us if you have any concerns. If you would like a trip with younger children, consider planning a custom trip.

WHAT MEALS ARE INCLUDED? WHAT IS THE FOOD LIKE?
Most of our trips include breakfast, which is typical for the local area. For our European trips, breakfast usually consists of a buffet with yogurt, granola, eggs, meats, cheeses, and cereals. For trips where lunch and dinner are not included, this is done to give you the flexibility to try as much (or little) of the local food as you would like, and to choose how much you would like to spend. For our hiking trips where lunch and dinner are included as well, meals are a combination of local specialties and continental cuisine. We believe that to eat well is to live well, and food is one of the ways that we strive to go above and beyond to give you the best possible experience. For many people, this is the highlight of the trip! Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated on all trips.

WHAT CERTIFICATIONS & QUALIFICATIONS DO YOUR LEADERS HAVE?

All of our leaders have traveled extensively and have lots of experience leading groups on adventure trips all over the world. Our leaders have also undergone extensive training in group dynamics, risk management, and wilderness and remote first aid. 

CAN I JOIN A TRIP LATE OR LEAVE EARLY?

We prefer that everyone goes on the trip in its entirety in order to get the best possible experience, however some trips do have the ability to join the group late or leave early. Contact us for details for the trip you are interested in.

DO I NEED A VISA FOR MY TRIP?

Visas are not required for most nationalities for the countries where our trips operate. A passport is needed for international travel, and it is recommended to have your passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the expected return date. 

HOW DO I REGISTER FOR A TRIP?

To register, you can book your spot by paying a deposit online. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email us!

Payment & Policy FAQs

When Do I Pay For The Trip?

To secure your spot, we require a $500/person non-refundable deposit. You can make a deposit online with a credit or debit card, or by check (contact us). The remainder of the trip cost is due no later than 90 days prior to the trip start date.

CAN I HOLD MY SPOT FOR A TRIP?

Yes! We allow you to hold a spot for up to five days before requiring a $500 deposit to secure your spot.

HOW CAN I PAY FOR THE TRIP?

We accept payment via check or credit card. You can pay for the trip deposit online or by mailing a check, and you will receive an invoice for the remaining balance of the trip cost to be paid at a later date.

WHAT IF I NEED TO CANCEL?

If you decide to cancel more than 45 days prior to the start of your trip, you will receive a Carpe Mundo credit that is transferable with no expiration for the amount paid, or we will refund your payment less a $250/person cancellation fee. If you decide to cancel less than 45 days prior to the start of your trip, no refunds or credits will be available. We recommend purchasing travel insurance or a travel interruption plan in case you need to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances.

WHAT TYPE OF INSURANCE DO I NEED?

Due to the nature and locations of our trips, we highly recommend that everyone participating in a trip has medical insurance that provides coverage while abroad. Although not required, we highly recommend purchasing travel insurance or a travel protection plan for your trip. This can provide coverage for both medical situations and trip cancellations/interruptions. We adhere to our cancellation policy, and these plans will protect your trip purchase in the event you cancel under certain circumstances. g a single supplement. Some of our hiking trips do not have a single supplement with the hut and tent accommodations. Our small group sizes mean that our trips are great for solo travelers to meet other people and enjoy their trip!

CAN YOU ASSIST WITH AIRFARE?

Our trips do not include airfare, but we would be more than happy to help you get the best flights possible to coordinate with our trips. We can even help you use your frequent flier points to get to/from the trip destinations. If you are interested in flying business/first class, we often times have access to unpublished airfare that costs less than if you were to book directly with the airlines. 

DO YOU OFFER ANY SPECIAL RATES? HOW FAR IN ADVANCE CAN I BOOK?

What better way to seize the world than by combining two or three of our trips?! Some of our trips are planned back to back to allow you to see more of the world- if you are already in a geographic region then why not continue the adventure? You will receive $150 off each sequential trip that you book. If you are traveling with three people, there are opportunities to all stay in a room together and receive a discount for the third person (discount varies by trip, consult individual trip pages for pricing). Repeat customers are given a discount when they decide to travel with us again. 

HOW ARE YOUR PRICES SO COMPETITIVE?

We maintain competitive prices by designing our trips so that you only pay for what you want. We specialize in doing only certain trips, and doing them well. This enables us to maintain lower overhead costs. We utilize frequent flier points to pay for leader airfare. For our hotel/inn based trips, food is not included so you can decide how much you spend on food and where you eat. Likewise in some cities, instead of forcing everyone to do the same activity or visit the same places, we provide suggestions so you can choose what you do based on what you want to see and how much you want to spend.

Self Drive Tours FAQs

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GO TO ICELAND?

Iceland is a great place to visit all year! The summer is the most popular time to visit due to the warmer temperatures, extensive daylight (24 hours of daylight at the peak of summer), and the ability to do some activities that are not available in the winter. If you visit from September to mid-April, you have a chance of seeing the Northern Lights and there are significantly fewer tourists, along with less daylight. Visiting in the winter means that some roads will be closed and not all hikes are accessible. Our favorite times to visit are the fall or spring, when there is still plenty of daylight, there’s a chance of seeing the Northern Lights, and there are less tourists than in the peak summer months.

SHOULD I CHOOSE A SELF DRIVE TOUR OR A GUIDED TOUR?

Depends on what you are looking for! Self drive tours are a fantastic way to see Iceland while being on your own schedule. Our guided tours are great if you are interested in traveling with a small group of like-minded travelers (this is often a highlight for many) and if you want to eliminate as many unknowns as possible. For those opting for a self drive tour, we provide a customized itinerary, suggestions of things to do and places to eat, general information on Iceland. The iPhone we provide will make your trip as enjoyable as possible with an Iceland guide book, maps of gas stations, ATMs, restaurants, and grocery stores throughout Iceland, Icelandic music to listen to or books to read, over 75 hiking trails, and even a Northern Lights forecast. However, it is not the same as having an Iceland expert show you around! Our guided tours have deluxe accommodations with breakfast included, they include a variety of activities, and you have someone to answer questions and handle any issues that may arise.

WHAT ARE THE ROADS LIKE?

Roads in Iceland are great for driving and easy to navigate. Cars drive on the right, all roads outside of Reykjavik are either a paved two lane road or a more rural one lane or paved road. The national speed limit outside of cities is 90 kph (~55 mph). The standard cars included with the self drive tours are two wheel drive, and are not allowed on “F” roads. If you would like a 4WD car to access more remote areas, we can arrange that.

WHAT TYPE OF CAR WILL I RECEIVE?

We arrange car rentals with reputable companies that we have worked with for years, providing you with some of the better rental cars in Iceland. Our standard price includes a mini car for one or two travelers, or a compact car for three or four travelers. Upgraded cars are available for an increased price. If you have a larger group, we can provide a SUV, minivan, or 9 passenger van. The standard prices include cars with a manual transmission; automatic is available for an additional fee.

WHAT DO I NEED IN ORDER TO DRIVE IN ICELAND?

To drive in Iceland, you just need a valid driver’s license. An international driver’s license is only needed if your usual license is issued in a language without Latin letters (i.e. Arabic, Japanese, etc.). The minimum age for drivers is 20 years old, but additional fees will be charged for drivers under 25.

WHAT ARE THE ACCOMMODATIONS LIKE?

A variety of accommodations are available to accommodate a range of budgets. The base price for our tours include private rooms with shared bathrooms. Upgraded tours include private rooms with private bathrooms. Budget options (staying in hostels or campervans) and luxury options are available upon request. Standard accommodations are in country hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses, farmhouses, apartments, or cottages. All of the locations that we choose have received great reviews from other travelers. We choose locations that will add to the amazing memories you will make on your trip, such as cottages with private hot tubs, guesthouses on a working farm, hotels in a stunning location, etc. These are considered to be “comfort” lodging options in Iceland- they are not budget nor luxury. Upgraded rooms include accommodations at nicer, more luxurious hotels. Breakfast is generally not included with the rooms, except for some of the hotels or B&Bs when choosing the upgraded room options. Further details will be given when you provide your trip dates and we can check availability at our preferred lodgings.

WILL I GET LOST?

Roads in Iceland are easy to navigate and there are road signs at almost all intersections and turn offs. We provide you with a personalized map that can be used with Google Maps for navigation and directions while in Iceland, making it very easy for you to get from one destination to another.

HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN GO ON A SELF DRIVE TOUR?

We arrange self drive tours for as few as just one person, or for as many as you would like! The largest rental vehicle available is a nine passenger van, but if you have more than nine people we can arrange for several vehicles to be rented. The prices we provide are based on two or four people- if you have a different number of travelers, contact us about pricing for your group.

WHAT IF I WANT TO BOOK EXCURSIONS FOR MY SELF DRIVE TOUR?

We are more than happy to help book excursions for your trip! Options vary by trip- look at the individual trip pages, at the end of the “Trip Highlights” section, to see what activities can be included for your particular itinerary, or contact us if you have any specific questions. We can arrange a variety of activities such as snowmobiling or hiking on a glacier, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, whale watching, kayaking with seals or among icebergs, glacial lagoon zodiac tour, hiking inside a glacial ice cave or a lava cave, snorkeling, or dog-sledding.

WHEN DO I PAY FOR THE TRIP?

To reserve your self drive tour, a 50% deposit is due to confirm the reservation, and the remaining balance is due 60 days before the start of the trip.

WHAT IS THE CANCELLATION POLICY?

If you cancel more than 45 days before the start of the trip, the amount paid can be applied to any Carpe Mundo tour without expiration and without penalty, or we will refund your deposit less a $100/person cancellation fee. If you cancel less than 45 days before the start of the trip, no refunds will be provided.

WHAT TYPE OF INSURANCE DO I NEED?

There are several different types of insurance that we recommend for your self drive tour:

  • Medical insurance that provides coverage while abroad in case of injury or medical emergency. If you do not have insurance or your current policy does not cover you while abroad, we can provide recommendations for short-term insurance policies.
  • Travel insurance/travel protection plan to cover the costs of your trip in the event of a cancellation. We adhere to our cancellation policy, and these plans will protect your trip purchase in the event you cancel under certain circumstances. If you are interested in purchasing one of these policies, please contact us for additional information.
  • Additional insurance offered for the car rental. These include a loss damage waiver, gravel/windshield protection, and sand/ash protection. If the rental car is damaged for any reason while in your possession, even in circumstances out of your control, you will be charged to repair the damages.

DO YOU OFFER ANY SPECIAL RATES? HOW FAR IN ADVANCE CAN I BOOK?

We offer a discount if you combine a self drive tour with our Iceland Hiking trip. This is the best way to see Iceland, as you will get to see spectacular views and parts of the country that can only be accessed by hikers. If booking both a self drive tour and the Iceland Hiking trip, you will receive a 15% discount off of either one of the trips. A popular option for visitors to Iceland is to stop in Iceland for up to a week while flying between the U.S. and continental Europe. You will also receive a 15% discount if you arrange a self drive tour before/after one of our tours in continental Europe. We can book trips a little over a year in advance, but you won’t be able to book flights more than 11 months in advance. The sooner you plan your trip, the better the availability at our preferred accommodations.

DO YOU OFFER ANY SPECIAL RATES? HOW FAR IN ADVANCE CAN I BOOK?

We offer a discount if you combine a self drive tour with our Iceland Hiking trip. This is the best way to see Iceland, as you will get to see spectacular views and parts of the country that can only be accessed by hikers. If booking both a self drive tour and the Iceland Hiking trip, you will receive a 15% discount off of either one of the trips. A popular option for visitors to Iceland is to stop in Iceland for up to a week while flying between the U.S. and continental Europe. You will also receive a 15% discount if you arrange a self drive tour before/after one of our tours in continental Europe. We can book trips a little over a year in advance, but you won’t be able to book flights more than 11 months in advance. The sooner you plan your trip, the better the availability at our preferred accommodations.

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