Globalization and technology have led to the homogenization of your life, and now you crave locally made and authentic experiences. Contrived, packaged tourism is not for you.

WHO’S TO SAY WHAT IS TRULY AUTHENTIC TRAVEL?

Locals are! Locals are the ultimate shopping deal hunters, they know the best local winemakers, can organise gondola lessons in Venice and pastry-making in France. They have those connections. Travel is not just about seeing the Eiffel Tower or the Colosseum. It’s about learning how to make homemade Tuscan cuisine, tiramisu or balsamic vinegar, meeting the winemakers and chefs, or biking secret local's trails.

Siamo creates and links extra-ordinary experiences, with ‘approved’ local guides, for independent people. We take all the headaches out of independent experiential travel, provide guidance when needed, but stay at arms length to give you independence. We give you flexibility to do your own thing, and not to be with people you don't know, or connect you with real locals (with like-minded values to you) when needed for authentic, off the beaten track, journeys and adventures that can’t be found in Guide Books or on Trip Advisor.

Siamo Travel: Stories to Tell and Experiences to Share
About Us » FAQ's

Got a Question?

No question is too big or too small. We've compiled a list of questions which guests have asked us over the years which you may find useful

Before you Depart

Q. Will I need insurance? 

A. Yes absolutely.  Siamo highly recommend you purchase a policy that will cover you for skiing both on and off the piste and for adventure activities.  Look for something with unlimited medical expenses and emergency evacuation and repatriation.

Q. Tickets and vouchers

A. Do I receive paperwork prior to leaving.  All of your paperwork is digital.  You can also access your paperwork in our client section of our website, making storage, access and travel organisation easy and simple.

Q. What and how much should I pack?

A Recommendations on what to pack will come with your final paperwork.  In the Dolomites it can get as cold as minus 15 quite regularly during the coldest months of the year so please take note of our recommendations.  If it gets that cold, rest assured we’ll be warming up in front of a fire at a local Refugio, (Bombardino https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardino in hand)!

Otherwise, bring as little as possible, at least that way you can shop till you drop and take more home with you!  In any of our mountainous environments the weather can change in a blink of the eye, so we recommend layers rather than straight Hot or Cold options.

Q. Can I pre-book ski rental gear

A. Yes, both in NZ and Italy we have contracts with local providers who we’ve used over the last few years.  Your Siamo host can meet you and direct you to one of these shops and help you get yourself prepared for your epic ski adventure.

If you know your boot size and ski & pole length then you can send that though to us and we’ll let the rental shop know in advance.

Q. Back pack, duffle bag or wheeled case?

A. This is entirely up to you.  We can work with any option although we do recommend that you match your travel luggage to your destination i.e If travelling with Siamo on the 9 Day Italy by Rail trip then we’d suggest packing light and manageable:  you will need to load and unload the train so multiple bags are not ideal!

With our ski products, if you are bringing an oversized Ski bag that will cover both your skis and your attire, please let us know as we have to account for the extra baggage room in our vehicles

Q. Can I use my mobile while travelling?

A. Yes you can, but if you don’t change to a local sim it could cost the earth in roaming fees.  We strongly encourage you to contact your provider at home and have a chat with them.  Firstly ask them to unlock your phone (there may be a charge involved) and then let them know where you are travelling to and for how long and they can best advise you on the best course of action. 

It may be that buying a prepaid tourist chip will be the easiest solution if you are in any one location for a while. Depending on the country you may need to provide your passport in order to secure a local number.

Internet in all the main cities across Europe is excellent.  Free wifi locations are common at different café’s and restaurants but our experience is that in places like Italy and France, the strength and speed is not strong.  So make sure you have completed your updates on your tech pieces before you travel.

In June 2017, the EU is moving to a full Digital Single Market, which means once you buy a sim in one country you can use it under those same purchasing tariffs in any EU member state.

In New Zealand a prepaid sim is quick and easy to buy, and even easier to top up.

Whichever your journey, your Siamo host will help you get sorted. 

On Your Journey

Q. How do I charge my phone/laptop or other electron device?

A. Every country has a different plug configuration – even within Europe.  You are best to invest in an international charger which you should purchase before you leave your home country!

Q. Tell me about my host? 

A. Hosts are your local travel guru’s – with the emphasis on Local!  They know the location your visiting intimately and are passionate about sharing it with you.  Their job is to help you have the most amazing local experience imaginable, to smooth out the travel bumps which tend to pop up, and become part of your memorable travel moments.

Q. Who does Siamo best suite? 

A. Siamo suites those who want to truly experience a local culture from the grass roots, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or travel experience.  If you have the passion to be local, then Siamo is for you.

Q. How fit do I have to be?

A. That will depend on your chosen journey! If you are completing the crazy ‘Lunch on the Run’ trip with us, then of course you need to be fit enough to finish a marathon while eating and drinking your way around local French vineyards.  For the most part though, getting close and interavtive with the locals doesn’t mean having a resting heart rate below 50!

Q. Is it ok to travel alone?

A. Of course – you’ll never be truly alone with Siamo.  We’ll give you space as and when desired but always be close enough to be a local contact when you need us.

Q. Are activities included in the price?

A. No generally any additional activities are at the purchasing discretion of the traveller.

Q. Single upgrades

A. If you’d like that single room all to yourself then just pop us a line.   Single upgrades are possible in most of our locations at an extra cost.  We’ll let you know – it depends on the trip booked.

Q. Where do I sleep?

A. You’ll sleep in the best possible accommodation we can find which balances the traditional travel experience with a local focus.  Check out our Accommodation page for further details.

Q. What are the cancellation fees

A. Fully refundable up until 30 days before departure

25% non refundable 30 days before departure

Non refundable from 14 days before departure

Q. To tip or not to tip?

A. Tipping is welcomed by all who take care to serve you and make your meal or experience a memorable one.  Generally we suggest rounding up a bill, but your Siamo Host will guide you if this is your first trip

Q. Should we tip our Siamo Host?

A. ts not expected but would be well appreciated.  Your hosts have been chosen because they live and breath travel and want more than anything to experience it with you.  If you’re inclined to thank them at the end of your journey then please go ahead!

Q. What time is check in for my hotel on the first day?

A. Check in is generally from 2pm.  Should you arrive earlier, in most cases you’ll be able to store your luggage and go for a walk.  Your Siamo itinerary will tell you where and at what time we’ll be meeting the night before our departure.

Q. What if I arrive late and miss part of the trip?

A. Our mantra is to take the stress out of your travel experience with Siamo.  If you are delayed, for what ever reason then try to let us know – via email or live chat.  We’ll do what ever we can to help you meet up with us.

Q. Can I change money easily?

A. Besides airport exchange centres, it is getting harder and harder to change money in different locations around the world.  The easiest way of obtaining local currencies is through hole in the wall cash machines.  We advise you check your eftpost card is accepted world wide – best to ask your bank, as there are some cards that are not accpeted outside their issuing countries!

Q.I’ve heard there are still squat toilets used in Europe, is this correct?

A. Yes it sure is.  You will find, on occasion, squat toilets in more off the beaten track locations in Europe.  They are few and far between but the odd one may present itself while we go exploring in the Dolomites.

Squat toilets are not a known commodity in New Zealand, and we drop loo’s are few and far between!

Q. Can I do my washing along the way?

A. Washing is difficult, but not impossible.  Most of the hotels we stay at, regardless of the location, have laundry facilities for a small cost.  Try to bring wrinkle free clothes and our packing tip is to roll your clothes and then pack them!  It means no wrinkles!

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Frequently asked questions