We hope to answer many of your questions in our brochures and in this section. Please read the brochure for your tour carefully, and then contact us with any questions. Randy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 908.451.0252.
How do I select a battlefield tour company? What sets you apart?
The best place to start is by comparing the tour company’s philosophy to the participants’ vacation philosophy. Our tours are designed for those with a serious interest in military history, and we prefer to get clients into the field. Half the trip won’t consist of free days for participants to explore well-known cities. We visit select museums. We prefer to keep group size small and to introduce clients to European culture. This means generally staying and dining at local European hotels and restaurants, not American chains. Finally, we try to tell both sides of the story, drawing on maps, photos and first-person accounts. Our tour guides generally speak and conduct research in multiple languages.
A second comparison level is experience and background. Founder Randy Gaulke is not a veteran, but he has been studying military history for decades as a wargamer, reenactor and battlefield visitor. Randy has lived in Europe for more than two years and he speaks fluent English and German and intermediate French. Retired Bundeswehr Officer Markus Klauer’s military career included five years in an armored battalion and professional work with American and French units. He has also been studying military history and touring the battlefields for decades. Markus has written five books on military history. He lives in Lille, France and speaks fluent German, French and English.
A third comparison is the guide to participant ratio. On most KDIH tours we have two guides, and we limit the number of participants. This gives our clients much more access to the guides and their knowledge base.
A fourth comparison level is cost. It is important to understand what is and is not included. KDIH tours cover almost all meals (except dinner beverages) and costs, whereas many tours cover only a portion of those expenses.
What is traveling to Europe during Covid-19 like? What are the risks involved?
In spite of the Delta variant increase, KDIH ran two tours to France, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg in 2021—quite an accomplishment.
Since early 2021 we have published numerous blog posts about travel to Europe during this period. Please spend a few minutes reading the most recent post or two.
It is important to remember that the tour will be in the field most of the day and will be staying at relatively small hotels, sometimes in the country and sometimes in small cities or large town. Contact with others is limited.
KDIH also requires that tour participants be fully-vaccinated, and it encourages participants to be up-do-date on booster shots.
Are spouses welcome?
Yes, but… Our tours are generally designed for those seriously interested in military history. There is limited down time, and the option of staying at a hotel in town is not always viable.
For 2022 we are trying to make our 5-day (+2) tours a bit more spouse friendly. We pledge that at least half of our hotel nights will be in large towns / small cities, making it easier for those less interested to “opt-out” for a day or two. We also pledge that we will structure at least two cultural events into the tour. Depending on the region, this could include visits: to unique churches or other buildings; to alcohol producers (champagne, calvados, etc.); or to Mirabelle orchards, dairies, specialty food producers, etc. It could also include dinners with key locals and their spouses.
The above paragraph does NOT apply to our 3-day (+2) tours.
Are your tours children friendly?
Mature minors under 18 are welcome, but they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Will there be European participants on my tour? I like the concept of an international tour.
We hope so, but we can make no promises.
We developed the 3-day (+2) tour in an effort to create tours that attract more European participants. Because Europeans can visit the battlefields more frequently, they tend to stay for shorter time periods.
Do you offer tours on the anniversaries of major battles?
Generally no, because small locations like the Normandy Coast and Bastogne become overcrowded, requiring greater effort to fight crowds than spending time on the battlefield.
How important is being in good physical condition?
KDIH tours are designed to get participants out into the field. They will include walks of moderate length and pace (up to three miles over a few hours) over moderate terrain. Participants can always elect to stay with the vehicle, but they will be missing key portions of the schedule.
Another alternative for those with physical limitations would be to hire one of the guides for a private tour designed to be much less physical.
What clothes should I wear for a battlefield tour?
For the field, hiking / trekking shoes or ankle boots are highly recommended. Sturdy pants and shirt and weather resistant outer gear are essential as the weather can range from hot and sunny to cool and rainy. Wearing layers can help one adjust quickly to changing weather conditions. Bringing a compact umbrella is always a wise choice.
For dinner, a nice pair of slacks and a button-down shirt are great selections. Adding a sweater or blazer is also very European. For women, a dress, nice skirt and blouse or slacks and blouse can look great for dinner, perhaps with a scarf.
Why don’t you offer longer tours?
Correctly or incorrectly, we assume that most American clients will have other travel plans and that our tour will only be a portion of their holiday in Europe.
Our European clients also tend to take more frequent but shorter battlefield tours. We have developed the 3-day (+2) tours with that in mind.
What are your deposit, payment and cancellation policies?
Please refer to our current Terms and Conditions for the answer.
Do I need a passport and visa?
Participants need a passport AND most governments will not permit a traveler to enter their country unless the passport is set to expire AT LEAST SIX MONTHS AFTER THE FINAL DATE OF TRAVEL.
At the time of this writing, participants do NOT need a visa to visit the countries we visit.
We require that participants show proof of vaccination, because most European governments are making it quite difficult for unvaccinated citizens and tourists to engage in many activities.