"I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word" (LK 1:38)

Panama City Skyline

Before You Go

Do I need travel insurance?

The Australian Government strongly recommends purchasing travel insurance, with the number one reason being; because you're travelling overseas and unexpected costs can be incurred. Please see below link for more reasons why.

Smart Traveller Guide - Insurance Buying

Please contact your Pilgrimage Coordinator regarding your Travel Insurance. Find their details on the Pilgrimage page.

Your policy details will be required as a part of your My WYD Account.

Each pilgrimage has its own policy and process regarding travel insurance. Many pilgrimage groups have taken out a group travel insurance policy which is beneficial in case the whole group should encounter unforeseen logistical or medical issues whilst travelling in Central, South or North America. If your group has taken out a group policy you are already covered as a member of your pilgrimage group and as an individual. It is very important to contact your Pilgrimage Coordinator to ensure if you are already covered by a group policy or if you need to purchase individual travel insurance. Please contact your Pilgrimage Coordinator to enquire about travel insurance for your particular pilgrimage group before finalising your booking as you will need to complete travel insurance details as part of your My WYD Account

You can find the details of your Pilgrimage Coordinator on the Pilgrimages page

Will I need a passport?

Passports are needed when travelling outside your country. Your passport should have at least six months’ validity once your trip concludes.

For information regarding Passports, please visit: www.passports.gov.au/Pages/home.aspx

A copy of your passport identification page, passport photo and your passport information is required in your My WYD Account. Name change fees may incur after full payment is made and bookings close.

Will I need a Visa?

You are responsible for obtaining all necessary visas prior to the departure of your pilgrimage. Depending on your nationality, you may need visas to enter certain countries included on your trip.

For information regarding Visas, please visit: Smart Traveller

Most flight itineraries will be travelling and transiting via the United States of America. Australian passport holders will require an ESTA visa waiver application completed. To apply for an ESTA, please continue to the official U.S. Homeland Security website below:

esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

The ESTA application costs $14 USD, please note that all forms of payment may incur international bank charges and currency conversion involved in this payment.

You will require your passport details and complete travel information to complete your ESTA application.

Your ESTA application reference number and travel authorisation application response is required in your My WYD Account.

Do I need vaccinations?

We recommend you speak with your Travel Specialist Doctor or GP to find out if vaccinations are required for the countries you will be visiting

For Australian Citizens, the Australian Government provide country specific information for every country in the world, including quick facts about vaccinations needed.

smartraveller.gov.au/guide/all-travellers/health/Pages/health-checks-and-vaccinations.aspx

What if I have a pre-existing medical condition?

If you suffer from any form of illness, be sure to have an adequate supply of any medications prior to departing on your trip.

Any disability requiring special attention should be reported to Cosmos WYD by yourself or your Pilgrimage Coordinator at the time the reservation is made via the PIFs form in your My WYD Account. Cosmos will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the special needs of disabled pilgrimage participants, but is not responsible in the event it is unable to do so, nor is it responsible for any denial of services by carriers, hotels, restaurants, or other independent suppliers. We regret that we cannot provide individual assistance to a pilgrimage member for walking, dining, and getting on and off motorcoaches and other transportation vehicles, or other personal needs. A qualified companion must accompany travellers who need such assistance. Terms and conditions

Emergency Contact Information?

Providing Cosmos with your Emergency Contact information is compulsory and needs to be supplied to Cosmos before travel documents can be sent. Please update your emergency contacts and your profile via your My WYD Account

Am I expected to pay gratuities?

Gratuities are included in your pilgrimage price and covers your Tour Director, Coach Driver, and any Local Guides for their service.

How do I exchange currency?

Currency can be exchanged at airports or banks. Debit and credit cards are accepted at most bank machines throughout the world. It is advised that you check with your bank prior to departure, to be sure that your cards operate in the destinations you are travelling.

Panama’s official currency is the balboa, however the US dollar is widely used.

The rate of exchange for the balboa has always been tied to the US dollar—one dollar equals one balboa.

Panama does not, however, print its own paper currency and instead uses the US dollar as legal tender. Panamanian coins come in 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50-cent pieces. They are the same size, colour, and weight as U.S. coins and both are used frequently. While shopping or eating out, you may see prices with either a “$” or a “B/” before them, corresponding the dollars or balboas. They mean the same thing and have the same value.

How much luggage can I bring?

Due to limited coach capacity and keeping within the guidelines of Occupational Health and Safety, we strongly recommend that your single bag should have dimensions not exceeding 76x53x28cm (30"x 21"x 11") and weight not exceeding 22 kg (50 lbs). We do understand that slight variations to these dimensions will occur and provided the variations are only slight, luggage will be accepted on the coach.

Due to limited space on luggage racks in the coach, carry-on bags should not exceed the dimensions of 30x28x14cm (12"x11"x6"). For safety reasons, wheeled carry-on bags are not suitable as hand luggage on motorcoaches and minibuses as these bags can cause damage to persons and property if it falls from the overhead compartments for any reason. A carry-on bag and a handbag will be suitable inside the coach.

What not to pack in carry on or checked luggage?

From 30 June 2018, people travelling internationally will notice some changes to how they are screened in Australia. Passengers will be required to present all powders in their carry-on baggage separately for screening.

There will be quantity restrictions on some types of powders but most common powders remain unrestricted. Check the powder, liquid, aerosol and gel restrictions before you travel.

www.homeaffairs.gov.au/travelsecure

www.homeaffairs.gov.au/travelsecure/carry-on-baggage/travelling-with-powders-liquids-aerosols-gels

What about oversized luggage items like a guitar?

Oversized luggage rules can be different for each airline. We suggest looking at the airlines website and luggage rules specific to your pilgrimage. Excess luggage may incur baggage fees at check-in.

Any excess luggage items will need to be advised to the Cosmos WYD Team and added to your My WYD Account under Additional Info and other information.

Can I assign my seat on the flight?

Due to the group flight bookings, the Cosmos WYD Team cannot request special seats or assign seats to individuals. Group seating will be assigned at airport by the airline check-in staff.