Efficiency Retreat - The Camino de Santiago
*want to travel in Europe, but not by yourself or
*enjoy great food or
*want to try new wines or
*are open to learning about a new culture or
*are up for an adventure or
*want a compostela as proof that you walked the Camino de Santiago or
*desire to learn how to experience peace
then you’ll want to get details about this experience!
*Camino walk: June 17 – 27, 2019
*11 days, 10 nights from Porto, Portugal, to Santiago de Compostela, Spain (see map below)
*Pre-Camino Virtual Seminar – three different start dates:
Early Bird Registrants – June 1, 2018 – June 1, 2019 – Your seminar information will be spread out over one year.
Standard Registrants – February 1 – June 1, 2019 – You will receive the same seminar information as the Early Birds, but in a condensed format.
It’s Not-Too-Late Registrants – April 5 – June 1, 2019 – You will receive the same seminar information as the Early Birds, but in a super-condensed format.
*3100 euros per person (single supplement is 500 euros) covers:
- Experience and expertise: Full time bilingual guide who accompanies the tour is either Spanish or lives in Spain year round. This is Fresco Tours’ home, and they love to share it with you!
- Fabulous food: All your meals (B,L,D) are included, so you only need to worry about enjoying the trail! Weather permitting, their gourmet picnics showcase the freshest of local flavors.
- Unique accommodations: Charming restored manor homes and 3-4 star hotels that offer the best in hospitality, comfort, and location.
- La Compostela: Our itinerary qualifies you for the Compostela certificate upon your arrival in Santiago.
- Semi-independent tour: You choose! Walk alone with the assurance that Fresco Tours will take care of you, or enjoy the company of others and your knowledgeable guide.
- Van supported: No need to carry a heavy pack – let Fresco Tours do the lifting while you do the walking.
*Above fee does not include airfare or any traveling you’d like to do before/after our Camino walk.
*Citizens of all countries (not just the U.S.) are welcome.
*Max group size: 15. Since my husband and I are going, that leaves only 13 spots! [Update: We only have 2 spots left!!]
*Download an itinerary here: Efficiency Retreat on the Camino – Itinerary.
*If you’re worried about whether or not you’re in shape to do this, ask me about my 2011 experience on the Camino with Fresco Tours.
Pre-Camino Virtual Seminar
Beginning on June 1, 2018, or February 1 or April 5, 2019, you’ll receive a combination of videos, articles and checklists that will help you prepare in both your work life and personal life for this journey of a lifetime. I will give you the guidance to become more efficient with your time, prepare you to leave work behind for a few weeks, and share tips for planning for an overseas trip. Your Pre-Camino virtual seminar will include:
*copy of The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer
*virtual nudges to guide you through the book
*monthly conditioning tips from personal trainer Carol Frazey of The Fit School
*live webinar with Helene to check-in with you on your progress
*2 hours of private phone coaching with Helene to give you extra assistance with any time- or organization-related challenges you’re experiencing or to help you with trip planning
*guidance for preparing to leave behind work and home for a few weeks
*checklists for trip planning and packing The Virtual Seminar is at your own pace, so you’re never “too late”!
With all of these resources, you’ll be ready to meet us at 3:00 P.M. on June 17, 2019, in Porto, Portugal, to start walking The Camino!
*Only 2 single rooms (single supplement) and 2 rooms with separate beds (“roommate style”) are available. The rest have a shared bed. If you are traveling alone, and would like to share a room, Fresco Tours will do their best to match you with a same-gender roommate. Requests for room types will be taken in the order that deposits are received.
*Your room is reserved (you’ve “signed up”) once you have paid your deposit.
*When the 15 spaces are filled, a waiting list will begin. You will be notified by Fresco Tours if a spot opens up.
*If you cancel after June 1, 2018, you will still receive all Virtual Seminar information and resources, including phone coaching.
*If you secure a spot after June 1, 2018, you will still receive all Virtual Seminar information and resources. Your seminar will start on either February 1 or April 5, 2019.
*Each participant is responsible for arriving in Porto, Portugal, by 3:00 P.M. on the afternoon of Monday, June 17, 2019, as well as for transportation for departing Santiago after our tour ends at the cathedral at noon. Airfare is not included.
*Our deposit, cancellation fee, and payment schedule will differ from what’s posted on the Fresco Tours website since this is a custom tour.*
Reservations and Payments
To join us on the Efficiency Retreat on the Camino, please visit Fresco Tours’ Secure Online Reservation Form or download and print a PDF version of the Reservation Form – one for each participant. A deposit of 500€ per person to reserve your space and participate in the Pre-Camino Virtual Seminar is required. Payment should be made via bank transfer or with a credit card (Visa and MasterCard only).
Choose “Spain-taneous Custom Tour.” Under Comments, type “Efficiency Retreat” or “Helene Segura.”
The balance of your tour payment is due 60 days prior (by April 18, 2019) to the departure date. Failure to receive the remainder of your trip balance by the due date will be considered a cancellation.
Once Fresco Tours has received your registration form and processed your deposit, they will send you a confirmation of your reservation via e-mail or post. At this time, they will send you a receipt of payments received, a summary of pending payments with due dates and a copy of their Assumption of Risk / Liability Waiver Form, which must be returned 60 days prior (by April 18, 2019) to the start of tour. In addition, they will send you an Orientation packet with information regarding suggestions on preparation, a packing and reading list and other tips to get you excited and prepared for your Fresco Tour.
Note: If you use Fresco Tours’ Secure Online Reservation Form, you will receive an automated email to let you know that your request has been correctly registered. If you do not receive an email, please check your “Bulk Mail” folder or contact Fresco Tours.
Once Fresco Tours has received final payment and the signed Assumption of Risk / Liability Waiver Form, you will be sent a receipt and final details regarding your tour, including a detailed itinerary and the hotel contact list.
Single Supplement Fee
Due to the nature of the accommodations that Fresco Tours uses, there are a limited number of single rooms available. Requests for these rooms are based on availability. The single supplement fee for this tour is 500 euros. In some cases, it may imply a room smaller in size than a standard double room. If you are traveling alone, and would like to share a room, Fresco Tours will do their best to match you with a same-gender roommate.
Cancellation / Refund Policies
All cancellations must be made in writing to Fresco Tours. No refunds will be issued due to late arrival, early departure, or any unused portion of a tour. The Assumption of Risk / Liability Waiver form must be signed and received 60 days prior (by April 18, 2019) to tour departure or the reservation will also be treated as a cancellation. Cancellation fees are outlined below:
- Cancellations received by May 31, 2018 150€
- Cancellations received June 1, 2018 – March 16, 2019 500€
- Cancellations received March 17, 2019 – May 16, 2019 50% Of Trip Price
- Cancellations received after May 16, 2019 100% Of Trip Price
Fresco Tours reserves the right to change, modify, or cancel a tour prior to departure for any reason, including lack of participants (tour minimum: 6 passengers with 1 guide) or acts of nature and/or circumstances beyond our control. In this case, any payments received will be refunded in full, and this will constitute full settlement. Fresco Tours is not responsible for any additional expenses due to a canceled tour, such as the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets. Fresco Tours reserves the right to accept, refuse, or decline any tour member’s participation at any time for any reason. In such a case, Fresco Tour’s liability is limited to the actual cost of the unused services.
Changing Tour Dates
If Fresco Tours is notified of your tour date change by May 31, 2018, you can apply your deposit to your new date without penalty. This tour date can be up to 1 calendar year in advance and is subject to availability. Otherwise, the above Cancellation Fees will be applied.
In light of the above and due to the nature of Fresco Tours active vacations, Fresco Tours strongly urges the purchase of the appropriate travel and personal insurance, including trip cancellation / interruption insurance. For more information regarding travel insurance, please see the Fresco Tours FAQ.
Fresco Tours can be contacted online here or toll-free at 1.888.246.6089.
Other questions you might have:
Question: Can this Fresco Tours outfit be trusted?
Fresco Tours is not a random company that called me up out of the blue and hit me with “an offer I couldn’t pass up.” My husband and I used Fresco Tours as our Camino guide back in 2011. It just so happened that the owner, Alex Chang, was the leader on this particular trip, and he was training a new guide. I was impressed from day one with Alex because of his attention to detail (you know I dig that!) and his desire to make sure that everyone had the chance to experience the local culture. We weren’t tourists with him. We were travelers. My husband and I got to know him quite well during our 11 days, and we’ve kept in touch with him ever since.
Question: Isn’t is really hard to walk 10 miles per day?
A decent pace for walking in order to get your heart rate up for good cardio exercise is 3 miles per hour. In a little less than 3.5 hours, you’d be able to cover 10 miles. We’ll be on the Camino by 8:00/8:30 AM each morning, stop for lunch around mid-day, and we’ll meet at the rally point around 3:30/4:00 PM each afternoon. On average, we’ll have about 7 hours each day to hike, stop for pictures, take bathroom breaks, enjoy lunch, pop into historic buildings or churches, talk to cows, stop for more pictures…. Walk at a pace that works for you.
Question: Are we seriously going to have workshops during a vacation?
Hiking the Camino de Santiago back in 2011 was one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. Our daily hikes allowed me to eat and imbibe without packing on the pounds. My brain was so relaxed that it created some of the best ideas I’ve ever had. My soul felt at peace. I loved that Fresco Tours handled all of the logistics so that I didn’t have to worry about anything. I also loved that each of us had the freedom to walk in silence for five miles or chat it up for five miles. You could walk alone or with a different person each hour or day. Each one of us was able to decide as individuals how we wanted to experience the Camino, so there was never pressure about pace or worrying about hurting someone else’s feelings when you just wanted to be alone.
So, when Alex Chang approached me about doing an efficiency retreat along the Camino, I initially did not like the idea. I’ve heard about conferences that have hard-hitting classes in the morning followed by an afternoon of lounging around or bar-hopping. That type of schedule really didn’t interest me because after the first afternoon of lounging, I wouldn’t want to go to any more classes. If we’d need to follow a strict schedule, I didn’t want to lose the “pace freedom” that I enjoyed back in 2011. And if we’re supposed to be hiking each day, who’s going to want to sit for a long workshop at the end of the day when you’re tuckered out, or at the beginning of the day when you’re just waking up and you’re wondering about what that day’s hike will be like?
But while walking our dogs one evening, I came up with a great plan! (Do you see what walking can do for you?!) The “retreat” would actually start with tutorials well before the trip to help you prepare for leaving work behind so that you’re not living on your phone while walking. In the 12 months prior to our hike, I’ll send you a combination of videos, brief articles and checklists that will help you prepare in your work life and your personal life for this journey of a lifetime. (This virtual seminar is at your own pace, so you can join up at any time before April 30, 2019!)
While on the Camino with Fresco Tours, each day typically ends with everyone heading to their rooms to shower and then meeting up in the lounge before dinner to prep for the next day. (Since wine will likely be involved at dinner, it’s important that we do this before our meal!) For our efficiency retreat, we’re going to combine the “prep talk” with a no-more-than-30-minute facilitated conversation about time management on Days 2 – 8. Since my guiding principle is that time management is all about mind management, I’ve created a time management curriculum that ties in to what many people seek on The Walk – which is peace. You won’t have to bring any materials or devices. The handout will be minimal and thin enough to tuck into your roller board before loading it on the vehicle in the morning. Since time management truly is all about mind management, we’ll be working on, well, our minds! Your mind will wander as you journey the Camino, so why not spend a few minutes each day making that thinking count – and becoming a better manager of your time so that you can enjoy peace like this more often, without having to travel to a foreign country?
I’m worried about something going wrong in my life which causes me not to go, and then I’ll lose my deposit.
I get the jitters, too, whenever I’ve put a deposit down on something. But then I look at this way: I can either worry about the negative or focus on the positive. I choose the latter. I also understand that life can happen, which is why I look into travel insurance and purchase a policy that covers my needs. (Always read the fine print of what you’re purchasing!) You might consider those options. Something else to consider is that if something happens and you cancel after June 1, 2018, you will still be a part of the entire virtual seminar. It won’t be like you’re losing your deposit; you’ll be investing in yourself and your well-being. If you cancel within 90 days of the trip, that’s when you lose money, so I’d definitely look into travel insurance if this is a concern for you.
If you have questions that are not addressed in the video or in the text on this page, please contact me!
Note: Check with your tax and/or legal representative to verify which part - if any - qualifies as a tax deductible business expense for your individual situation.