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Italy: Venice, Florence, Rome and more!
March 5-14, 2015
Registration Deadline: ongoing until remaining seats are filled.

UPDATE: We have room for a few more families on this trip (depending on how many in each family). As long as no one backs out, I'll be able to confirm the second bus after October (after everyone makes their final payments).

What we're doing...
We're traveling to Italy again, and we hope you can join us! We had a wonderful time touring Italy in 2012, forging strong friendships and exploring ancient ruins and historical treasures, museums and cathedrals, canals, islands, and catacombs together.

We'll visit Rome, Florence, Venice, Burano, Pisa, Verona, Assisi, and Pompeii. Some of the sites we'll see are St. Mark's Square, Doges' Palace, Michelangelo's David, the Uffizi Gallery, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, the ruins of Pompeii, the colorful island of Burano, St. Peter's Square, and more.

I'll fill and confirm one bus, then fill and confirm a second bus. Early registrants will have a better chance of being confirmed for the trip (they'll have spots on the first bus and not have to wait for the second bus to fill).

Children under four cannot travel with us on this trip.

European hotel rooms are usually smaller than those in US hotels, so be prepared for a few cultural differences. At the very least you'll come away with a better appreciation for the larger size of most US hotel rooms and never take them for granted again. And, hopefully, you'll also come away with an appreciation and respect for a culture that is able to make do with less "stuff" and space than we're accustomed to. In any case, families will be housed in clean rooms in hotels that cater to tour groups. On our previous trip, we were very pleased with our hotels.

Larger families will be split into multiple rooms for two and three people. For example, a family of four would stay in two rooms, with two people in each room. A family of five would stay in two rooms, with two in one room, and three in another. (We'll request nearby rooms for families who have to use two rooms.) Please email me if you have questions about room arrangements. Rooms for three (triples) are harder to come by, so the sooner you register and we can confirm the trip, the sooner I'll be able to lock in all the triples we'll need.

Food Allergies, Special Needs...
Make sure you list any food allergies or other special needs on your registration form. I'll check to see if your needs can be accommodated before you mail payment. (No money will be refunded or special accommodations will be made due to allergies or other special needs if you don't tell me about them upfront.)

If we have two buses, we may not stay together for every leg of the trip. They'll keep us together as much as possible, but we may have to split up from time to time. When you register, please note if you're traveling with another family and would like to be on the same bus (so you'll stay together throughout the trip.)

Airfare to Venice arriving on March 5 and departing Rome on March 14 is not included in the price. (Note that many flights to Italy are overnight flights, so you may have to depart on Wednesday, March 4 to arrive in Venice on Thursday, March 5).

Cost and what's included...
The cost of this trip is $1,897 per person if we meet our group minimum. This includes hotels, transportation within Italy, breakfast each day, five group dinners, sight/museum admissions, and tour guides. It also includes a group transfer to and from the airport. (We'll set up the transfer time later. If your plane arrives later, you'll have to arrange for your own transfer).

This price does not include airfare, any extra tours you do on your own, any meals other than those listed above, non-group airport transfers, trip insurance, and tips for our tour guide, local guides, and bus driver.

If the trip isn't confirmed, I'll refund all deposits (including the initial $250 per-person non-refundable deposit). Please don't buy non-refundable plane tickets until I send you an email that officially confirms the trip and travel dates.

Payment terms and schedule...
A $250 per-person non-refundable deposit is due 7 days from the date I confirm your registration. This deposit will be applied to your total.

A payment of $750 per person will be due by March 31. (We're past the payment due date, so this payment is due with your $250 deposit and is refundable only if I have a family on my waiting list to replace you. There are no families currently on the waiting list since we still have seats available.)

A final payment of $897 per person will be due by October 7. (Non-refundable.)

Cancellation policy and refunds...
The $250 per person deposit is not refundable for any reason. Your March payment is refundable only if I have a family on my waiting list to replace you. No replacements, roster changes, or refunds will be made after October 7, 2014.

Your signed registration form and payment acknowledges that you understand and agree with my cancellation and refund policy.

This event may be cancelled if we don't have enough participants to meet the minimum required. If it's cancelled, you'll receive a full refund.

Please don't purchase non-refundable airfare until I confirm the trip. You're responsible for your airfare and any cancellation penalties the airlines charge.

Travel insurance that covers trip cancellation is highly recommended. Thoroughly research policies to make sure you can cancel for any reason, and that it covers emergencies and any unforeseen circumstances such as sickness, death of a loved one, and acts of God (natural disasters, etc.).

Carolina Homeschooler LLC Waiver Form
A waiver form will be attached to your confirmation email. All adults (ages 18 and older) in your party must sign this waiver, and all children under age 18 must be listed on this form. Your space on this trip will not be confirmed until I receive this signed waiver.

Want to go?
On your registration form, please list if you're traveling with other families. (This is important so I can make sure you're seating on the same bus, and, in the event we're housed in different hotels, in the same hotel.)

Your deposit is due within 7 days of the date I confirm your registration. (I'll send you a confirmation email with payment instructions.)

After you complete the registration form, you'll receive an automated notification that it posted correctly. This email does not confirm your space on this trip - it just confirms that your registration went through correctly. Please email me if you have any questions or don't receive your automated email within 30 minutes of registering.

To register for this trip, click here.

(I use the same registration form for many of my trips and events. Please make sure you choose the correct event on the form and complete all required fields.)
Important Notes
Our first bus of travelers to Italy is confirmed. I'll be able to confirm the second bus after I receive final payments this October.

Your non-refundable deposit is due within 7 days of my registration confirmation email. Please don't register until you can pay this deposit.

I accept checks, bank checks, and BillPay (through your bank). I can't accept PayPal or credit cards (credit card checks are fine).

Please make sure you select the correct trip on the registration form. (I use the same form for multiple events.)

Homeschoolers in other states (and Canada, and beyond) are welcome to join us.

We'll walk a lot during this trip, even with bus transportation, and many streets are uneven cobblestone. If you have problems that won't allow you to walk for extended periods during the day, please consider postponing your trip until you're more able. I don't recommend this trip for older people (grandparents in their 60s or 70s, for example) unless they're active and are accustomed to walking for extended periods during the day. (That said, we had four grandmothers with us on the last trip that outdid us all. Just sayin'...)

Start a walking program before the trip if you don't ordinarily do much walking. Be sure to walk in the shoes (sneakers, walking shoes) you'll be using for the trip - don't buy new shoes without breaking them in thoroughly.

If you don't already have a passport, start the process in early January in case you run into problems or delays. Your passport must remain valid for at least three months beyond our length of stay in Italy. If it's due to expire before then, you'll need to renew it before we depart. Visit the State Department's passport website for more information, and to find out where to apply for a passport in your local area. A visa is not required.

Refunds are not guaranteed. Please read my payment and refund policy carefully before you register and mail payment.

If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of Carolina Homeschooler, please join my community and ask for references before registering. Don't send money to anyone on the internet if you don't trust them.