Frequently Asked Questions
For whom are our trips intended?
For those who need some time to pause and be revitalized, who seek self-discovery, inner growth, knowledge of other peoples and cultures, to marvel over new landscapes or the beauty of Life. For us, it’s important that each traveller feel respected in his/her beliefs, values and uniqueness.
What distinguishes us from other travel agencies and/or tour operators?
- Trips with a theme: each trip is geared to a specific theme by suggesting experiences, workshops or contemplation with regard to said theme.
- Slower pace: the pace of our tours is slower than that of traditional tours. The goal is to allow each person to assimilate the surroundings, to be revived and better understand the local culture.
- Silence: during the trip, moments of silence are sometimes encouraged in order to foster in-depth soul searching.
- Time for sharing: usually taking place at the end of the day, we suggest that participants share what they’ve experienced during the day or as part of the trip. Each participant is invited to express himself/herself, but no one is obliged to do so.
- Daily intention: during our trips, we sometimes suggest a daily intention to facilitate inner growth.
Are our trips religious or spiritual?
Our trips are above all spiritual; some deal with a religious sphere, but not all. We have willingly created two phases: Foundations of the being and Foundations of the faith to draw a distinction between betterment trips geared to personal fulfillment and pilgrimages geared to deepening the Christian faith. In both cases, our trips are intended for any person who feels concerned, regardless of his/her religious affiliation.
What distinction do you make between spirituality and religion?
Spirituality should not be confused with religion. From the start, it’s essential to point that out in order to clarify the language. The realm of spirituality is wider than that of religion. The word Spirituality comes from <em>spiritus</em>, meaning spirit. Spirituality can neither be seen nor touched, but rather deals with everything that brings meaning to life, all that bears upon the deepest, most authentic aspect of the human being. It implies the notion of personal growth and its effects can be perceived in all spheres of life. One may feel the need for a spiritual life and undertake steps toward inner growth without belonging to a particular religion and/or practicing it. On one hand, the religious need finds its source and can be strengthened through a spiritual path. On the other hand, the spiritual need can easily spring forth, take root and develop while disregarding religion. By defining this distinction, we simply wish to acknowledge the true path to spirituality which touches our entire being, and contributes to higher awareness and wellbeing. Thus, in this realm that we call spirituality, faith is an asset among others and prayer is one expression of a spiritual experience. The person deemed spiritual is not necessarily the one who adheres to a religion but rather the one who is capable of inwardness and who believes in transcendence.
Religion was defined, for the first time by Cicero, as the recognition of a superior being referred to as divine, to whom we extend worship. In languages where the term comes from the Latin word <em>religio</em>, religion is most frequently observed as a phenomenon which deals with the relationship between humanity and divinity. Being intangible, this relationship can neither be seen nor touched. For this reason, humans rely upon symbols, religious rituals and worship in order to express this relationship between humanity and God, between Heaven and Earth.
Why travel with a small group?
Travel experiences in small groups are always more intense. Within small groups, bonds become more personal than in large groups and, due to shared profound moments, strong friendships are often created. We specifically talk about small groups, because in large ones bonds may remain more impersonal and thus less enriching. In fact, in a large group, one cannot benefit from the familial and intimate atmosphere that can originate in a small group of ten to fifteen people. Therapists working with groups state that it’s not mere coincidence for a certain type of individual to be in the same group as a similar one. It’s as though Providence allowed certain people to come together to share, exchange and help each other. Each individual has something to offer the other and vice-versa. Mutual acceptance is fostered by the guide within the small group which, as days go by, can turn into a circle of fraternity, respect and attention. During our trips, moments of silence are encouraged to allow each person to look inward, draw from his/her Source and achieve inner growth.
What does the OPC or FICAV funds cost?
They are mandatory additional costs of 0.1% (1$ per section of $1000) for the contribution to the Compensation Fund for Clients of Travel Agents of Quebec. These fees will automatically be added to your invoice and are already included in the sale’s price, unless otherwise noted.
I booked a trip, what should I expect before the trip?
After reception of your registration form, we will send you your invoice. We will perceive your final payment 60 days before departure for trips with flights (unless exception) and 45 days before departure for trips by bus. Your check will be deposited or your credit card will be charged and you will receive your debited invoice. You will receive an invitation for the pre-departure meeting that will take place between 3 weeks to a month before your departure.
How will I receive my travel documents?
The documents will be given to you at the pre-departure meeting. If you cannot attend this get together, the documents will be sent to your home address by mail.
Do I need a Visa to travel to Israel?
People travelling with a Canadian or American passport, if it is valid at least 6 months after the return date, do not need a Visa. For all other nationalities, please consult with the website of the Embassy of Israel.
My passport has expired, what should I do?
Consult the website of ‘Canadian Passport’. There is a 24 hours’ renewable service if necessary.
Should I need a Visa to travel to the selected destination, will the agent take care of getting one for me?
Spiritours is committed to inform you on the procedures to follow to obtain your Visa but it is the client’s responsibility to obtain the necessary Visa before departure within the required timeframe. The cost of the Visa is not included in the cost of the trip
Can a person, that does not live in Canada, join one of our groups?
Yes, it is possible to offer the package without the flights, so that the person may buy his/her own plane tickets from the country of departure. Please note that when we sell the land portion, the flights, nor the transfers to and from the airports and hotels are included. The person that reserves his own flights must make sure to join the group on his own or his flight times must correspond with the ones of the group. We strongly suggest to wait until the group is confirmed before purchasing your plane tickets.
I prefer to travel in First-Class, how can I do this?
The price of the plane ticket is always calculated as economy class. You must communicate with the person responsible of the trip to obtain the difference in price for your First-Class plane ticket. We will contact our flight supplier to obtain a price, and make sure that you will be on the same plane as the group.
May I purchase my plane ticket with my accumulated Fidelity Points (credit card, Frequent Flyer or others).
No, Spiritours does not offer this possibility. You must contact the company with whom you detain your points (Airmiles, credit cards, etc.) which will reserve your flight. We suggest that you wait till the group is confirmed before doing so and to reserve the same flights as the group as much as possible.
I suffer from food allergies, what can I do?
You must absolutely indicate your intolerances and allergies on your Registration Form and we will forward this information to our Suppliers. However, we cannot guaranty that all restaurants will be able to prepare special meals.
My Mother is 80 years old, can she take a trip to the Holy Land?
To travel with Spiritours is not a question of age but rather a physical condition. If the person is capable to walk and follow the program that she chose, she can join the group. Clients of Spiritours, aged between 80 and 90 have travelled to Israel.
Why is it preferable to supply a photocopy of our passport?
This allows us to receive your complete name and surnames with the proper spelling as it appears on your Passport. For certain visited countries, we must supply to our local agency several important information that will appear on your Passport. (where it was released, citizenship, expiry date).
Is the water drinkable?
In certain countries, you can drink tap water but this remains rare. This information will be given to you with your pre-departure documents.
Do all the Groups leave from Montréal?
The majority of our trips have their departure from Montreal, but it happens sometimes that certain of our clients leave from another airport in Canada. In such case, the information concerning the departing airport will be indicated in the detailed program. If by any chance, you wish to leave from an airport that is closer to home, you must contact us and request it at the moment that you register (as long as you are 60 days before departure). We will contact our flight supplier to find out about availability and the price, therefore an additional cost might be applicable to the initial price of the trip.
Am I obligated to take the travel insurance proposed by Spiritours?
We highly suggest that you take insurance for all your trips abroad. We offer this possibility to our travelers but you are not obliged to sign-up with Blue Cross proposed by Spiritours. It might happen that you are already insured at work or that you already have proper insurance. In that case, you simply refuse the travel insurance proposed by Spiritours by putting a check in the box that is precisely on your registration form and add your initials. We recommend that you verify with your insurance company the conditions and coverages offered.