Frequently Asked Questions:

Here you can check in the different parts of the tours for FAQ's, the Frequently Asked Questions and their answers:

Should you have a question, just send a mail to info@mir-tours.de 

 

Catalogue & Booking

Our tours are always planned in a way that not just the owners of traditional camper vans and caravans can come along. We pride ourselves in being there for all kinds of camping units, as long as there are no local restrictions (i.e. China). This means you may come along on your motorbike and stay in your tent or a hut. Trailer tents, Rooftop tents are just as welcome as large vehicles on a truck chassis. If you are unsure about the suitability of your vehicle, we suggest you contact us. 

The tour description in the catalogue is held a little shorter to give you a good overview. On this website you find with each tour a pdf file with additional information. This gives you a detailed description as well as hints on your vehicle, documents, pets, travel budget etc.    Simply click on the link beneath the tour description and a pdf file will open up for you to read or print out. Alternatively we will mail this to you. On top of that we host frequent information days, where you can get to know our organization and place your questions. 

Simply get in touch and ask for a non-committal reservation. At the point when the booking closes we have to decide if the tour can run. This takes into account the definite bookings at the time and that people are getting ready for the pre-tour meeting. We also accept last minute bookings if this can be logistically managed. 

In 2015 the travel law was changed so that the final payment for a package holiday is now due 30 days prior to tour start. Since we are not offering classic package holidays this would not apply to us but we go along with this ruling. We also do not ask for the recommended deposit of 20 % upon booking. We ask for a 10% deposit upon booking. A second 10% deposit is only required if we have to pay additional services, i.e. for visa and permits.

One option is to offer you a booking of parts of a tour to fit in with your working life. Also some couple arrange it that one person does the whole trip and the other joins for part of the tour.

Each year we offer more than thirty tours, of which half or two-thirds can be realized. Unstable political or economic conditions may be a reason for this. Or, we simply did not meet the taste of the clients. At the point when the booking closes we have to decide if the tour can run. This takes into account the definite bookings at the time. Booked clients will automatically be kept up to date on the development of their tour. 

 

In the catalogue you find with each tour a minimum number of participants. This figure must be reached by a certain date (when the booking closes). This ensures that there is a certain number to thoroughly organize the tour. Help us making your desired trip come true, by booking in time. The stated maximum number will never be surpassed. We have been known for sending certain tours out without having reached the minimum numbers.  

For many years now we offer pre-tour meetings a few weeks prior to tour start. Here you have the best opportunity to speak about your individual needs and challenges. Some examples: you are not good at long walks, special dietary needs, you need a doctors treatment on tour, other assistance needed. We are glad to assist and find solutions. 

Have a look if it can be found in the tour previews. You may also opt to put your name down for a future tour giving you chance to influence our tour programme and catalogue. 

There is a tour booking form that can be downloaded as an attachement of this page. You find this at the end of this page. 

 

In order to comply with the EU-travel-laws we must issue you with the booking requirements. Ideally we like you to book after having read our tour catalogue. A fee catalogue will be mailed to you upon request. If you wish we can block you a space on the tour until you have had time to look at the documentation.   

A catalogue and a booking form can be found here

Please fill in the application in block letters and mail it to our address. In return you will receive our booking confirmation, along with an invoice and the papers of the insurances that are included in the tour price. You will receive a schedule with the precise dates for sending in your passport, passport photos or other documents. It will also include other important facts about the trip and the required preparation, for example the dates of the participants meetings prior to tour start.

If your mind is set on a certain tour we advise that you book in time as some tours are booked out only weeks after the catalogue is published. In case of an illness, the cancellation fees are refunded by the insurance company.

When booked you are required to pay 10 % of the tour price straightaway, the remaining amount is due 55 or 30 days prior to tour start. The invoice will guide you accordingly.

You may always place a non-committal booking for the upcoming catalogue. This option is fixed with a date that will give you sufficient time to read the catalogue prior to making your decision. With tours for the current catalogue we will always do this up until the next information weekend. If you need a longer option we may charge a small fee for this. These 25€ will be used as a payment towards your booking or if you decide against going with us we will donate it to a children's home in Eastern Europe. 

Pilotreisen sind Fahrten, die wir in dieser Form das erste Mal durchführen. Daher kann es vor Ort zu Änderungen an Programm, Routen und Standorten kommen, die uns bei Drucklegung und Abreise noch nicht bekannt waren. Pilotreisen finden oft auch mit geringerer Teilnehmerzahl statt.

 

 

Some countries that we travel to have strict entry rules. Some states require a passport to still be valid for more than 3 months after exit, others require 6 months upon entry and another looks at the visa issuing date. Also there are differences according to nationalities. We look at the worse case scenario for the tour in order to avoid delays or extra costs. Should you be unsure we will gladly calculate the minimum validity date for you.

These tours my include ferry crossings or hotel stays. There may be special entry restrictions on pets or the character of the tour might not be suitable for dogs. As a pet owner we inform you about the meaning of this prior to booking.

The tour in question might not necessarily be suitable for all caravans. It may depend on the ratio between towing unit and trailer and/or your driving capabilities. Please note tours "only for mortor caravans" will not accept caravan bookings.

There are always clients that have difficulties leaving home for a certain time because of work or other commitments. In general getting to the outer borders of the European Union it is easily 1500 – 2000 km. On the tour one wants to see the most so there are not so many leisure days. 

We aim at offering a few short trips that are not longer which do not exceed 17 days. Certain trips have add-ons, so called plus-programmes who give people with limited time to speed up the arrival and departure stages.

Depending on the booking situation we shall accept part bookings for certain trips: i.e. some participants will only participate in the Moscow-St. Petersburg Tour until St. Petersburg and then take the ferry from there or Helsinki.

If you are interested in booking a segment it is always worth checking with us.

 

  

A few of our tour leaders are freelance, i.e. those from Belarus and Lithuania. Others are retired and combined their hobby of travelling with a responsible task. 

Our aim is it to assign the best possible tour leader to each tour. With generally 30 tours planned and 15-20 actually running we attempt to give a fair share to all our tour leaders.

We wage the wishes of our clients and those of our tour staff and find the best possible solution. This might occasionally mean that the assignment takes place prior to the end of booking period. We thank you for your understanding.

We try to satisfy your individual needs with the plus-programme. The plus-programmes are segments that may be added to the actual tour. There are several reasons for this: you might have driven a part of the trip on a previous tour. Also you might not have enough time.

As a serious tour leader we are not able to run tours to warzones or other dangerous areas. The tour operators insurance denies coverage in this case so we are forced to cancel the tour. As a member of the DRV (German Travel Union) we can ask advice from contacts in the foreign office. In case a tour needs to be cancelled we always attempt to offer an alternative. 

Because of the different approach locations of the parties, the official beginning of the tour mostly is abroad, e.g. in Poland, Hungary or Czech Republic. You will receive an information map describing the approach to a non-official meeting point in Germany/Austria/ Switzerland to meet other parties for driving to the initial point of tour start.

 

Our tours are set up so they can be driven with a regular motor caravan or caravan. If there are certain requirements in regards to the vehicle we will generally point them our in the catalogue or inform you upon booking.

One example is Albania for caravanners: the mountain roads are sometimes narrow and require driving skills. Another example is the tour „In the shine of the midnight sun“ where your vehicle must cover at least two days without having to take on water or electricity so we can park in the outback and enjoy the nature. If you are normally going around the European Union without any difficulties you will not experience problems in Eastern Europe.

 

Same as in Germany it is likely that adverse weather may cause a grass ground to be slippery. Still the locals are helpful and since you are travelling in a group we will support each other.

Money Matters

If we included tips in the tour price, we would have to pay taxes on this. The money aimed at honouring a good service would end up at the fiscal authorities. You should calculate 1-2€ per person per day for tips.

The processing of your booking through us is not some impersonal internet matter. As the booking, tour preparation and visa procurement takes several weeks, there is plenty of time to use the classical way of a bank transfer. We will write you a bill, which is paid from bank to bank. It is also possible to deduct the amount from your online account if you wish to save bank fees. Alternatively a cash payment can be made in the office.

You can not pay by credit card for your trip. For one simple reason: The fees du to the credit company are somewhere near 3-5%. Accepting credit cards we would add this percentage into the tour price, this raising the prices unnecessary, in some cases by € 100. This is a lot of money for a little comfort. Is this really necessary?

Should you have add-ins like insurances with the credit card contract, we suggest you read the small print. It is not always a requirement to pay with the card. Alternatively there is the possibility to transfer your payment to us from the so called Credit Card Account*. Ask the staff at your bank how this is done.  *This ist the account that pays for your credit card purchases during the running month. It it then balanced with a transfer from your regular account.

 

 

 

„We are visiting the oriental bazaars, but we are not there yet!" Our services are substantial and our prices are calculated with care. Upon the request „Make me an offer" you will receive our current catalogue with the regular prices.

We have to stay away from so-called Last-Minute-business, as this is shifting the planning process not only for us but also for our clients. One can not compare us with the airline or hotel business which is operating anyway.

Early bookers will receive a small thank you like entry to trade fairs. Spontaneous bookings place at the trade fair or info meeting will be rewarded with a small present.

Frequent travellers can become members of the Mir-Club. They will then receive a small rebate on their future trips. More details on this subject on our Mir-Club-Website.

 

 

In general there are two persons in a vehicle, so a tour of 15 vehicles consists of 30 Persons. Sometimes one in five vehicles is occupied by one person, sometimes during the whole trip only one.

Some charges like meals, entry costs are subject to the head count, but the group strength might be a factor.  Other charges are depending on the unit, i.e. parts of the overnight payments or fees for local permits and administration. These are more often paid per vehicle and not per person.

 

Instead of giving the majority of the „two-per-vehicle“ people a disadvantage by making a mixed calculation we are simply passing on the additional costs. As a rule of thumb we charge 10%, in certain trips that involve high vehicle charges (i.e. Singapore Tour) the price is calculated accordingly.

Anyone having a third person on board is receiving a discount.  

Most of the ferries have different prices which vary according to the length of the vehicle, the kind of the cabin… We like to avoid that the owner of a small van has to bear the extra costs for a driver of a large caravan. Therefore, these costs are not included in our tour prices. Of course, we will inform you before your booking about the costs that are expected.

 

Tour Preparation

Prior to tour start you will receive a tour booklet stating the most important information about your tour. This enables you to know what is happening. We attempt to take care of all matters that can be done before prior to the tour setting off. This means we get the visa, order the insurance at the border points etc. and ensure that the tour runs as smooth as possible. After all a lot of our tours go outside of the Schengen area. 

Taking along a cb radio will give you  some comfort and security. Regardless, whether you go with the tour leader in the group or just with another friendly vehicle; you can stay alert to any difficulties in the road (potholes, speed cameras) and stay in touch about sights en route and little individual stops for shopping, taking pictures or toilet breaks. It is a swift and simple communication that a mobile phone can not offer. 

The tour leader will advise on where to continue on the road and take action according to the traffic. The logistics of driving stages, borders and toll stations as well as the parking is made easier. With the cb radio you may voice any concern like being stuck in traffic, fearing a break down or wanting to take a photograph.  

 

We recommend getting a cb radio for any trip longer than 3 weeks. 

Sickness, accident or break down are sudden occurrences and are an expenditure ad hassle. If you own a safe-conduct pass your motoring club or insurance is of assistance, i.e. they organize spare parts, pay translators and in the worst case arrange your repatriation.

The tour leader is naturally helpful, where he can do something. For some issues he will rather put you into the hands of a local person (translator and/or driver). Not because he doesn’t want to deal with you, but he still has to take care of the rest of the group.

 

The local touring partner and our office will be assisting you in dealing with the mishaps once the group has to continue with the programme. Together with organizations like the ADAC, ACE, AA and ANWB, who have a lot of experience coping with the local oddities, we shall try to get you on the road again as soon as possible.

Participants of the long distance tour are required to do this. With their statement they confirm that they have spoken to their medical doctor about the tour and that there are no imminent health concerns. This applies to tours that go to tropicla and warm regions, with stressful driving (India, Asia) and special mountain heights. 

Die Fahrzeughöhen sind uneingeschränkt. Die Autobahnbrücken im Königreich sind normalerweise 5,03m hoch. Wenn die Höhe des Fahrzeugs inkl. Ladung mehr wie 3m beträgt, sollte im Fahrerhaus ein Schild mit der Höhe in Meter, Feet & Inches angebracht sein.

Die Längen: Wohnwagen sind auf 7m* Aufbaulänge beschränkt und die Gesamtlänge des Gespanns darf max. 18m betragen. Reisemobile dürfen maximal 12m haben.

Die Breite für Kfz (PKW, Reisemobile...) darf max. 2,55m sein. Wohnwagen sind auf 2,30m* beschränkt.

*Ausnahme! Wohnwagen mit einem Zugfahrzeug mit einem zulässigen Gesamtgewicht von über 3,5T: Die Aufbaulänge des Caravans darf 12m betragen und es ist eine Breite von 2,55m zulässig. Die Gespannlänge bleibt bei max.18m.

Ukraine, Russia (European Part), Belarus and Poland should be on any current green card. Some countries such as Turkey, Tunisia or Morocco may be left out. 

Try to get an additional insurance from your regular insurer, possibly against an additional payment. 

Should they decline, check whether:

-  they take care of the damages that are above the liability of an insurance purchased in that country. 
-  they take care of any damages between you and fellow tour participants 
If yes, ask them to confirm this in writing. 

Should they also decline we recommend thinking about changing the insurance. Some insurers will gladly give you the coverage you need and this scenario entitles you to an extraordinary change of insurer. 

Vehicles that are not running on a German numberplate have more diffiulties. we can advise you individually. You may get a local insurance at the border, alternatively our local touring partners may get this. This is one of the points discussed in the pre-tour meeting. 

Alternatively you may check for an insurance that you book in advance from home. There are two agents in the Netherlands doing this. More info again from us or look it up in the LINKS.

 

 

Wenn Sie es noch nicht getan haben, so empfehlen wir Ihnen Kontakt aufzunehmen mit dem:

Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräber Fürsorge e.V.
Werner-Hilpert-Str. 2
34112 Kassel
Tel: 0180 / 570 09-99 (0,12 € / min)
www.volksbund.de

Der Volksbund hat es sich zur Aufgabe gesetzt deutsche Kriegsgräber ausfindig zu machen und sich darum zu kümmern.

Reichen Sie dort eine formlose Anfrage ein, geben Sie alle Informationen, die Sie von dem Vermissten vorliegen haben. Innerhalb einiger Wochen erhalten Sie dann eine Antwort. Dieser Service ist kostenlos, Sie werden lediglich um eine Spende gebeten, das liegt aber ganz in Ihrem Ermessen. Sie können dort auch Mitglied werden, der Mindestjahresbeitrag liegt bei 6,- €.

 

On Tour

For a tour starting further away, we always offer a list of campsites or overnight places. You could go through those together with other participants or the tour leader. Same applies on going home.

 

We include all must-see sightseeing and certain programmes into the tour price to give you a well-balanced tour. Only special interest programmes, i.e. balloon ride, ballet or boat rides are optional programmes that might be offered and will be paid for individually. 

 

The tour price includes all services that need to be rendered to all clients alike. We do not like our tour leaders to be cashiers collecting money day by day. 

We believe that a meal together once in a while brings the group together and enhances the climate and the experience. 

 

Therefore we include in the tour price some 3 course meals with an non-alcoholic beverage. Also local specialities like afternoon tea, tapas or shashlik are offered. Also we like to offer the opportunity to cook together or have a barbecue. 

Regardless if you are travelling alone, together with other participants or with the group leader: You decide on your pace. We support this with map material, a written description on how to get where you need to go as well as routes and waypoints for navigation systems. 

 

We rarely go straight from a to b, unless there is a reason for this. When it makes sense we offer additional sightseeing points, picture stops, as well as supermarket, petrol station and other halts.  

We organize the tour from our office and send along a tour leader with each trip. He/She ensures that all services are rendered according to our standards. Also he briefs the tour on the logistics and assists you when you need support. The organization of each trip is solely in the hand of Mir Tours as a tour operator. In this way we differ from other operators but think we reach a higher level of quality. 

 

In many countries we engage an additional local guide who is supporting our tour leader ans acts as a local guide. He further assists with the smooth running of the tour, offers help in case of break down, sickness and other mishaps. 

The support of a single participant haven a mishap like break down or sickness during the trip has the highest priority. In case of emergency our office may be reached 24 hours a day on all days of the week.  

For many years we have been members of the German Travel Association and gain from their training and competence. We believe that crisis management is very important today.  

When there is the classical sightseeing i.e. in the big cities in Eastern Europe this is arranged as follows: 

A tour bus with a local guide leaves at 9:00 am from the campsite/overnight place. The bus takes the group to the various sightseeing points, some places are driven by, others are visited by foot. i.e. museums, churches, palaces etc..

Around mid-day or at the end of the programme there is some leisure time prior to the bus returning you to your vehicle. During some programmes we arrange for a supermarket stop. Often it is possible to stay behind to extend your stay and re-join your vehicle by using local transport. 

In some towns, where the overnight place is located central we might do the sightseeing programme without bus or by use of local transport.  

Attention Dog Owners: prior to taking the dog along on sightseeing you should bear in mind that a lot of places and transportations may not be entered if accompanied by a pet.

This is a question with many possible answers. There are shipping lines that carry dogs without much hazzle and others do not accept pets at all. We always check with the line in question.  

There are different way of accommodating a dog on a ship. On some short crossings the dog stays in the car, on some he may be brought to the decks. 

 

For longer crossing there are often special boxes or special pet areas on deck. A few shipping lines permit pets to be taken to the cabin. The “camping on board”-option offers you a chance to leave you dog in its usual environment. Generally you can say that you are responsible for your pet and have to make provisions for food, water and a basket or blanket. Most ferries have a place to go walkies.   

It is not uncommon for people to detour to a war grave or visit their place of birth. There are no travel restrictions except for military or other no-go areas.

Ideally you inform us about your plans when participating in the pre-tour briefing, so we can engage in research if necessary.
Our tour leader or accompanying will gladly help as long as the group is taken care off. On the other hand a translator and/or local driver are easily arranged for to take you to the desired place.

 

 

Driving in convoy comes from our beginning in the times of the Soviet Union. Because of the language barrier, different letters and the often non-existent sign posting to town and site made people use the easier option, i.e. following the guide who knew his/her way around. 

In some countries, i.e. in some parts of China, Iran and Vietnam the government institutions expect us to stay together as a group and not to roam around the country. Occasionally we are even accompanied by state security and in some place they go as far as setting all traffic lights to “green” for us. 

In the regular trips up to 50 days it is not necessary anymore to go as a group. New technologies such as the GPS systems make it easy to find a place. Our credo now: “Anyone wanting to go by themselves may do so unless it is forbidden by local law”. In the daily tour briefing the upcoming route is talked through and one can go alone or with friends. 

Anyone going alone can adjust his driving to his own needs and requirements, make stops, take pictures at their convenience and visit the sights individually. Still the track and the evening destination has to be found individually by a certain time, even when this is in the centre of a city. 

Difficult border, i.e. borders to Belarus and Russia should be crossed together with the group. Also one should consider driving ahead of the group so the followers could assist in the event of a breakdown or another mishap. 

Those going with the group leader have to adhere to the departure, break- and sightseeing times, drive in their place in convoy and should have a cb-radio on board. In exchange they do not have to worry about the track, place to stop and par and finding petrol pumps or shopping sites. One receives guidance. An important issue is that in case of emergency and other issues one is not alone, these may be: health problems, vehicle breakdown, police check, security matters and things that require the local language concerning local language. 

Going in the group is for some participants the only option. This may result from different points of view. Some find it easier to follow others because there is no co-driver to assist in finding the way or the co-driver does not like to read the maps and signs. 

 

In der EU ist auch in Osteuropa die Versorgung mit AdBlue kein Problem, da viele der neuen Lastfahrzeuge die Harnstofflösung benötigen. Auf den Haupttrassen haben viele Tankstellen westlichen Standard und verkaufen auch AdBlue.

Sollten Sie sich abseits dieser Strecken bewegen oder nach Sibirien oder Asien fahren, so empfehlen wir Ihnen im Road Book, bzw. auf der Wegpunktliste Tankstellen wo man noch einmal seinen Bestand nachfüllen kann. In der Vergangenheit hat auch schon mal unser touristischer Partner dafür gesorgt, dass die Mercedes Vertretung vor Ort ausreichend AdBlue auf Lager hat.

Die Situation verbessert sich zunehmend.   

Every case is different. 

On tour you travel individually or in small groups (the tour leader taking charge of the last grouplet) or you travel with the tour leader. 

A small mishap like a tyre puncture might be taken care of on the spot whilst other members of the group take a break in a near by parking place. For larger technical problems where you need a garage, the tour leader will arrange for a garage as well as a translator to assist you.   The tour leader will assist you in case of emergency, but still has to take care of the whole group. Your safety conduct pass will cover most of these expenses. With a little luck you are swiftly taken care of. 

 

You might miss a few programme points, have to catch up with the group or have your tour come to an end. In any case we will watch over you and give you further assistance. This might include help in getting a guide, getting spares or driving your vehicle home for you. 

What else do I need to know about Mir Tours?

As Camping Perestroika, then Perestroika Tours and today Mir Tours & Services: we have  25 years of experience as tour operator for camping and caravanning tours.

Travelling unites. It is not surprising that our clients make friends with each other an the locals. Some groups still re-unite after more than 10 years. 

What memories stay after a tour with us? Ask our clients! Joint activities, the get-togethers, stories form the road and the laughter often stay longer in the mind than actual destinations.

If you enjoyed your tour with us become a member of the Mir Club. This is our tool to take care of our regular clients. We invite you to special meetings and events, some of them being sponsored by us. Mir Club member stay at Camping Schinderhannes for a reduced rate and get a little rebate after their next tour with us.  

With this in mind we hope you have a good tour with pleasant memories!