Frequently Asked Questions
How do I contact Beaux Voyages?
You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at our toll free number
(1-877-362-0045). Walt Ballenberger, Founder and Director of Quality, can be reached at the
following number when he is in the U.S.: 303-913-3654.
Do you have a Frequent Travel Awards Program?
Yes, it is simple and one of the most generous programs in the travel industry. Just follow the
link in the heading above.
What is included in the trip price?
-All lodging in Michelin 3 or 4-Star hotels or country inns.
-All breakfasts and dinners as specified in tour itineraries. Picnic lunches as specified in
-Snacks, beverages, and a helping hand for tired riders from the support van.
-Expertise and services of the tour guides.
-Special guided tours where indicated, including prehistoric caves, chateaux, canoeing,
Normandy battlefields, etc.
-Pre-tour package with detailed information on tour, description of sites and events.
-Baggage transfers and transfers to and from train stations or airports.
-Gratuities at hotels and restaurants.
-Cycling accessories such as helmets, water bottles, bike locks, pumps, carry-pouches, etc.
-Not included: airfare, train fares to and from pick-up and drop-off locations, alcoholic
beverages (except for special events such as opening night cocktail party, etc.), personal
expenses, 2 or 3 lunches (depending on trip itinerary).
What kind of physical condition must I be in?
Our tours are meant to be fun and enjoyable above all, not a test of physical prowess. If you
regularly participate in some form of exercise, you should have no problem. Our longest day of
cycling is 38 km (about 24 miles), and a typical full day would be about 30 km (approximately
19 miles), as we attempt to keep the mileage reasonable for kids. Longer routes are available
as options for those who wish to get in more miles. In preparation for the trip, we would
recommend some sort of aerobic activity for 20-30 minutes per day about 3 times per week.
What is the terrain like in the Dordogne Valley region?
The terrain is moderately hilly for the most part. For those who do not wish to ride up a hill, the
support van is always nearby to provide a lift.
Are there age limits for kids?
Yes, kids must be at least 8 years old. In addition, kids must be able to swim to participate in
canoeing and kayaking (even though life vests are required).
Are child discounts available?
Yes. All children below 18 years of age receive a 10% discount. A maximum 25% discount is
available if the child is the 3rd guest in a room with parents. There is normally no problem in
arranging for the 25% discount, as our hotels know we are family oriented and have reserved
for us their larger rooms.
Are children’s bikes available?
Yes, and tandem attachments are also available for the younger cyclists (typically 8-10 years
Can I bring my own bike?
Most certainly, but we do offer high quality hybrid bikes for rent to avoid the awkwardness of
carrying a bike as luggage. This is especially true if you wish to visit Paris or other parts of
France in conjunction with your Beaux Voyages trip.
Do I have to carry my own luggage?
No. On moving days guides and hotel staff will pick up our baggage, and you will find it in your
next hotel room. The same applies for transfers to and from the train station at Brive-la-
Gaillarde. (See where do I meet my tour?)
How large will my group be?
Groups can be anywhere from 6 up to a maximum of 20 guests. Typically groups will be in the
Can I book my trip through my Travel Agent?
Most certainly, just have your Travel Agent contact us at our toll free number (1-877-287-7496)
to make the booking. Your price is the same whether you book through your travel agent or
directly through Beaux Voyages.
How far in advance should I book?
Many people book 5-6 months in advance of departure, however, we will make every effort to
accommodate bookings on short notice.
Why should we choose Beaux Voyages?
We are a family business that specializes in families. We maintain that no other tour company
will have so many guides (4 in most cases), nor will they have guides who have such extensive
backgrounds in both working with children and in French culture in general. Our family has
experience in elementary school teaching, art and children‘s art, music, art history, etc. In
addition we lived and worked in France, speak the language, know the people, culture, cuisine,
wine, etc. In short we are “hard-core Francophiles”. Also, we are highly motivated to see that
every adult and child has the best time possible on our trips. Our future depends on you
returning and telling your friends and family about the great time you had with us. All our
guides are family members, and we do not hire temporary workers as guides. We are on-hand
to personally resolve any issues to the guest’s satisfaction. We are eager to share our
appreciation of France and its joie de vivre with each and every one of our guests.
Our children would have a hard time sitting still through a long French dinner. Are
there options for them?
Yes, we will feed the kids early from excellent children’s menus and then occupy them with art
projects, French games such as boules petanques, swimming, etc. while the adults can fully
enjoy the fine French cuisine offered by our hotels. There will often be emphasis on local
specialties such as foie gras, confit or magrait de canard, cheeses, etc. This is one of the top
reasons for traveling with us. Vegetarian choices are also available upon request.
Who owns Beaux Voyages and how long have you been in business?
Beaux Voyages, Inc. was founded in 2001 by Walt Ballenberger and family. We are a family
business that specializes in serving families. We are the tour guides, and our guests will
receive lots of personal attention, especially the kids, from Tina (an award winning elementary
school teacher), Linda (professional artist with many years of teaching children’s art), Jay (a
classical guitar performance major, guitar instructor, and right hand man), and Walt
(experienced leader with years of experience in the military and industry. Walt is a West Pt.
Graduate). If anyone has a problem, we will be there in person to resolve it quickly and to the
guest’s satisfaction. We are passionate about France and eager to share this passion with our
guests. Top quality and guest satisfaction are overriding goals.
What does a 4 star Michelin rating mean?
The Michelin company sets the standards for rating hotels,
restaurants, and attractions in France and across Europe. A 4 star rating for a hotel generally
means top class comfort. Our hotels are the finest in the region.
What about your Reservation and Cancellation Policy?
Our group sizes are small, normally 18 people or less, so we encourage early booking. A
deposit of $500 per person is required at the time of booking. We accept major credit cards
(MC, Visa, Amex), check, or money order. Final payment is due 90 days before the start of the
trip. Cancellations must be received in writing. If cancellations are made prior to 90 days before
the trip’s start date, a $150 fee applies. A 50% charge applies if a cancellation is made
between 30 and 90 days before a trip start date, and a 75% charge applies between 15 and 30
days prior to trip departure. There is no refund for a cancellation which occurs within 14 days
of a trip start or during a trip. We strongly recommend trip cancellation insurance. We reserve
the right to cancel any trip at any time for any reason if the quality of the trip or safety of our
guests is judged to be compromised. A refund of all payments received in such a case will be
made and will constitute full settlement. In the event that we must cancel a trip due to too few
participants, we make every attempt to notify you prior to 90 days before trip start. We do not
recommend nonrefundable, advance purchase air tickets, as we cannot assume responsibility
for loss on such tickets.
What am I responsible for?
Guests are responsible for arriving at the trip starting location with the appropriate clothing and
gear and for respecting the laws and customs of France. Guests should follow directions of
guides and respect the rights and privacy of fellow group members. If the trip leaders feel that
any guest is exhibiting behavior that would be detrimental to the well-being or enjoyment of
others in the group, that guest may be asked to leave the trip. Guests should arrive in sufficient
physical condition to support up to 40 km (25 miles) per day of cycling.