Tour Du Mont Blanc FAQs
Learn the answers to the most commonly asked questions about traveling in the Alps.
Joining a Wildland Trekking trip to the Alps? We have compiled the most frequently asked questions that Wildland Trekking guests have about visiting and hiking the Tour Du Mont Blanc.
We invite you to peruse the categories below and find answers to your questions.
What are the local customs regarding tipping?
- While you are on your trek, all expenses will be handled by your guide except for souvenirs and alcohol. In general, in Europe, tipping is not as common as in the US. If you would like to tip your shuttle drivers, 5€ to 10€ would be a fair tip.
- For tipping your guides, tipping is completely discretionary and always appreciated. For most guides, sharing wild places with others is a true passion and way of life, and they strive to provide an outstanding experience for our guests. The industry average for this type of trip tends to be 5-10% of the total trip cost per person.
- If you have two guides, typically they will split the tip evenly. If you would prefer to pay one guide a different amount than the other, then pay each of them directly. If you would like to use a money transfer app such as Venmo or Zelle, ask your guide directly if he/she uses this service, if not, then cash or check is accepted. Euro is preferred but USD is acceptable. Thank you!
Are ATMs readily available on this trip?
- ATMs are readily available throughout Europe. You will want to let your bank know that you will be traveling so they do not put a hold on your card. Also, it is a good idea to research which of your credit cards have the cheapest international transaction fees. Lastly, it’s best if your pin is 4 digits, not 6 digits, when travelling in Europe. If you have a 6-digit pin, you will want to change your pin to 4 digits.
- Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted. Exchanging USDs into Euro is typically most convenient at an ATM versus going into a bank or an exchange bureau.
- For additional information on current currency exchange rates you can click here.
Will Euros be sufficient, or should I exchange money into other currencies as well?
- Euros will be sufficient. In Switzerland, they may give you change in Swiss Francs.
Are there ATMs at the hotels?
- There are not ATMs in the hotels, but there should be at least one in each town, except for Trient.
What is the internet access like?
- Internet access throughout Europe is readily available and reliable. At your lodges, you will have access to WIFI.
Can I use my cellphone while on the trip?
- Purchasing a SIM card upon arrival should give you the cheapest and most reliable cell phone coverage while in Europe. Ask for a SIM card by a major carrier such as Orange or Vodaphone so that you can use your phone in multiple countries. You can also call your phone carrier and ask about international phone plans or activating global roaming. Make sure to ask about pricing for these options.
- Phone service while you are hiking in the mountains may be patchy but will be reliable when you are at your hotel in the villages.
What are the toilets like on this trip?
- Western toilets are the standard in Europe.
- While on your hike, some of the trails will have public toilets; however, some trails will not. In these cases, you may need to use natural settings for toilets (i.e. digging catholes, etc.). You will want to be prepared with a personal toilet paper kit that includes toilet paper, wet wipes, sanitizer & ziplock bag(s) for carrying out used paper/wipes.
- For more information about using natural settings for a toilet please check out this resource.
What is the best way to travel from Geneva Airport to our hotel in Les Houches?
- Booking a shared transfer in a minivan is affordable (€35 – 50) and quick – 1 hr 10 min ride. You can book tickets here. The most affordable (€7-11) option is to take the bus from the Geneva Airport, but then you will have to transfer in Chamonix so it will take longer. You can book bus tickets here: https://www.flixbus.fr/ and https://www.blablacar.fr/bus. From Chamonix to Les Houches, you take the train, bus, or taxi.
What hotel do we stay in on the last night in Chamonix? I want to book an additional night at that hotel.
I have questions about traveling in-country before and after the trip, what can you help me with?
We can help to answer your travel questions to the best of our ability. Try these websites for booking transportation before and after the trip.
Accommodations and Amenities
Do most of the hotels provide toiletries, shampoo, body wash, hair dryers?
- Yes, the hotels provide toiletries. If there are not hair dryers in the rooms, you can ask at the front desk. It is best to bring a universal adapter.
Can I store extra luggage on this trip?
- Yes, you can store extra luggage. If you have additional luggage that does not include your day pack and/or duffle that will travel from hotel to hotel with you, then we can store your luggage with the shuttle company. You will not have access to this luggage throughout the trip. Your guide will give you the luggage on the last day. Please let us know how many pieces of luggage you need to store.
Are there laundry services available?
- Since your days will be filled with hiking, enjoying meals, and sharing time with new friends, we suggest that you have your laundry done before or after the trek. Its unlikely
Food and Water
What types of hiking snacks are provided while on the trail?
- Our team will have plenty of local snacks (chocolate, nuts, dried and fresh fruit, cookies, and trail bars.) available for the group, but common trail snack brands and items found easily in the US are not readily available in this destination. (i.e. protein bars, beef jerky, etc…) Some guests that prefer these types of trail snacks, usually bring a few of their own choice items from home.
Is the water safe to drink along the trek?
- You can drink tap water in the lodges along the way during the trek. It is best to fill your water in the morning at the hotel before departing for hiking. Regarding filtering water from natural sources, please ask your guide about this at the orientation meeting.