The Tauck information suggests that men should bring a jacket for several evening meals. Is that necessary? They do take up packing space...(unless you wear it).
It says jacket and tie are optional on the tour. Just that. Your choice. If it doesn't say optional then that is Tauck indicating the tour includes a dining venue where it is expected. If you book a restaurant on your own time that has a dress code requiring jacket/tie then that's on you. Overall Portugal is pretty relaxed so you shouldn't have trouble finding alternatives that are casual.
JEB - Generally speaking, it's your choice. I would research the venues then make your final decision. My husband always travels with a jacket and it does come in handy on cool evenings. If you are not planning on eating in finer establishments, then you can get by without one.
Enjoy your trip. If you like octopus be sure to have it in Portugal!
Postscript - I see you will be dining at the hotel in Evora and also at a palace. If you were going to dress up bit, those are the times to do so. In the end, however, it's your choice.
If you are not planning on eating in finer establishments, then you can get by without one.
I disagree with this. We dined at Belcanto in Lisbon several years ago. It doesn’t get much “finer” than this. There were maybe two men with sport jackets.
This sport jacket thing with Tauck drove me a bit nuts on our N. Spain tour last year. We do carry on only so packing something as bulky as a sport jacket to be used maybe once or twice is not a choice we would make. And a sport jacket does not substitute for a real jacket from a utility standpoint-little insulation, wide open front, etc. I did not bring a sport jacket and felt perfectly comfortable with slacks and a collared shirt. I wore a standard jacket on the flight as I always do as airplanes are often cold!
We all have different traveling styles. I was merely offering an opinion such as you are offering yours.
I don’t wish to beat a dead horse, but, as anyone who reads this forum knows, you like to dress up. I respect your choice. But the way you stated this was not as an opinion. The antithesis of what you posted is, if you are planning on eating in finer establishments you need a sport jacket. Certainly you can choose to wear one, but I’ve spent quite a lot of time there and never ran across a restaurant where jackets were required. And, although we favored more mom and pop type places, even the top restaurants (and Belcanto is a two Michelin star place) were fairly casual when it came to attire.
It’s 2023, times have changed.
I've tried to pay attention to the number who dress up for Tauck welcome and farewell dinners. Generally the most jackets you'll see are the welcome. Drastically less at the farewell dinner. But this year on the Italy tour I'm going to try and do a count on the other nights when Tauck provides the dinner counting Tauck guest and other diners. Will be interested in the results. I won't bother with other nights on our own since we tend to either picnic or go light and casual.
I am not going to debate over semantics. Yes, we like to dress up a bit. And yes, I do believe in showing respect for the venue, the culture and the country I am a guest in. Respond if you are compelled to, but I won't engage in such pettiness.
What I wear is my choice, just as what you wear is your choice. JEB asked for suggestions.
On our recent trip on the Seine river very few men wore jackets. My husband was the only one at our table with a jacket. We will not be taking one on our future trips. When we first started travelling with Tauck there were more men with jackets but as time has gone on we think it is becoming less popular and people don't want bulky jackets taking up room in their suitcases. This is just our opinion.
I just came back from this tour on September 10. I have the pleasure of staying at the Monumental Palace and dined at the Le Monument, a Michelin starred restaurant of only 40 seats on the first floor of the hotel. The staff was wonderful on the Pre-night letting me into this restaurant without a reservation and in a sweatshirt, blue chino, and a polo shirt. There are other locals and tourists dressed in the range from top Italian fashion to polo and shirts. only some with sports coat.The meal costs about $180 for one person and was truly amazing. This is NOT part of the Tauck program.Probably the best food I have experienced during the whole trip. There were a couple inedible meals thrown in between while some Tauck guests finished their plates while other watched food sitting on their tables. Grilled Octopus only makes an appearance once in the included meal portion.
Most of the guys on this trip have brought at least one sport coat with some changing to multiple different outfits during the trip. I think it is reflecting the Tauck demographics and the reasons why these guests go on Tauck trips. For me and three other solo professionals, we even skipped the farewell dinner and opt for room services for multiple personal reasons: have tight deadline at work, a little under the weather, need time for shopping and doing some own sightseeing, personal choice that we are on vacation not there to impress ......
There is no reason to stuff your suitcases with things you don't need. You are not making an impression to any one but yourself. None of the restaurants have a dress code.
Just a dress shirt or high end polo shirt with chinos would be perfect for all occasions on this trip.
In Evora, we were at the wine cellar one night and a separate roped off area the second night. The rest of other hotel guests are local European family, young singles, active hikers......no interaction. We are far, far away.
A restaurant is a business. When I go to one I'm a customer. The business is free to set their rules including dress code and can refuse to serve me if I fail to meet that standard. Once I'm in I show respect by treating the servers respectfully e.g. showing appreciation for their service, complementing the food, and providing appropriate compensation. If you want to go beyond that you can personally recommend the restaurant to others and even post a positive review on sites that provide that service.
Tauck as well is a business. They are free to set standards for their guests. If I've booked a Tauck tour I will adhere to their standards whether that's wearing a pair of jeans or a ball gown.
I see what you mean Claudia but the main reason for not taking a jacket is complying with their other rule, taking one medium suitcase. People don’t adhere to that either. There are very few tours that Tauck say jackets are absolutely required. When you read their clothing list, one part says jacket and then the other part suggests it’s your choice, which is why so many people are confused.
Going forward and encouraging new younger customers as we older people die off, Tauck has to change that requirement. I just want to be on tour with pleasant people who do not harass the tour director. I want to be with people who are on time. Most important is wearing the correct clothing for religious establishments or true cultural reasons. So many people on tours do not do that. It is more important than whether a jacket that takes up so much room in a suitcase is worn for maybe one meal.
I’m actively noticing that more and more people don’t bother to what I would call ‘dress up’ at all at Welcome dinners. Most of our tours are what we call adventure type tours which are different from the European centered ones. The locals I doubt even own much clothing at all. An upcoming tour, some of the locals we will meet will barely be wearing any clothes.
Jumping in here on the topic of blanket dress code - beyond even Tauck. I am talking about experiences I have had at past workplace and country clubs.
I feel like a like of these codes really don't address the real issue of dressing decently.
1) in my workplace, "denim" was no allowed. That meant that i could not wear a beautiful designer denim outfit while my co-worker looked like she was cleaning her house in her pink velour lounge pants and top.
2) Went to In-Laws country club in nice denim. Hubby in dark wash with a pressed dress shirt, and I was dressed comparable for a female. We got reprimanded. Meanwhile a "member" was at the next table in ill fitting outfit of wrinkled chinos and golf shirt. His was acceptable.
Those are just easy examples, but in general I find these dress codes as not really addressing the issue.
For our upcoming tour, despite DH's protests, I have banned his sport jacket. I will be the one packing and unpacking and I am not babysitting that thing. We have black chinos coming, with dress shirts and/or nice pull over sweaters to combine. Even his day jeans will be dark wash, for just in case. I am confident we will be dressed appropriately within the group.
Side note. There was a request for no sneakers for certain event dinners. My husband has to have a built up shoe. Dress leather shoes are very heavy in a suitcase. We bought instead a pair of dark grey sport shoe/ sneaker. If that doesn’t pass then we go elsewhere.
On a humorous note, I watched a t.v.segment recently about how many times you could wear jeans before washing. Surprise answer was 9-10. That assumes you aren't doing manual labor in them. Also that you could freshen them up by spraying with vodka. I love it. I'm planning to talk the flight attendant on our next trip into giving me a vodka miniature. Lol.
I once went into a "jackets required" restaurant without a jacket. They gave me the ugliest green jacket I ever saw. I learned my lesson!
I never bring a jacket. As already stated, bringing something so bulky that you may wear once or twice, and likely to get creased in a suitcase, is silly, in my opinion. That said, on my recent ESW trip, I saw the most sports coats, at initial and farewell dinners, of all yours I've done. It was about 50%.
Only jacket-required restaurant on-tour I've done is at the Old Cataract in Aswan, Egypt. They gave me a jacket upon entry and once I sat down, I took it off and put it on the back of the chair. There were no issues.
I think it is the Tauck demographics. Of the three Tauck trips I have taken, i have noticed the population tends to be static with certain types over represented. Very few youngsters and the athletic type. The Venice and Adriatic Coast Cruise ended up with all sea kayak and 4 by 4 excursion canceled. The hiking trips all had fewer than five participants. Supposedly fewer than five climbed the walled city in Dubronik even though many more claimed they had. The average guests have many changes of evening wear and truly enjoyed the dining room experience. Many have bypassed the grill which serves excellent food.
There is no way I will bring leather shoes, long dress pants and a sport coat to Croatia on a vacation. No way!
I’m a veteran of over thirty tours with Tauck tours over twenty years. Yes, a certain demographic of entitled and demanding people is Increasing. It makes it less pleasant for me. So, I have found a company that is so far suiting us, longer, more thorough tours, most meals in restaurants and less emphasis on fancy hotels where with Tauck you don’t even get the time to enjoy the fancy extras that are making Tauck tours more and more expensive .With Tauck, we definitely feel very safe and well cared for but now we have met and traveled with people who are very experienced travelers, we are seeking what they do, travel with multiple companies depending on what we need and want from a travel destination.
You are so right British. In my last river cruise on the Duoro, there were only 2 gentlemen that wore jackets to the Welcome, Farewell dinner and a dinner at a winery. More and more people are just dressing nicely without going to the 9th stage. As for me if there's a night when I can do without changing for dinner I'm a happy camper, maybe just change my shoes.😁
Ok, you can’t stop me saying more on this one. For a few tours in Europe, my husband has taken dress shirts and a Bow tie…..some people are so impressed with that alone plus his British accent, it is hilarious! If he feels overdressed, he can take the tie off and put it in his pocket 😂😂😂
In the light of this ‘jacket’ discussion, people should find this article quite interesting.
JEB, I hope your question and the responses have not alarmed you. You will have a fantastic trip. Most Tauck customers don’t read the forums. Hey and be glad when it comes to clothing that you don’t live in China 🤪
Thank you to everyone for your comments. I had suggested to my husband that he take a nice shirt and a couple of his bow ties...then I read British's comment. I think he will be fine without a jacket that he might wear (wrinkled) twice :-) We are only taking carry-on luggage, so space is really limited.
Have a great time JEB. Please post a report when you get back, it’s nice to read peoples’s experiences….and I still have nort been to Portugal, well I guess I have, I’ve changed planes in Lisbon 😀
Have a great time JEB, do not stress about clothes.
We are back from our wonderful trip...on the jacket question 3 or 4 men out of 12 wore jackets to the welcome and farewell dinners. All were impressed by my husband's bow tie! We had good weather, except for a bit of rain on the first day. Porto is beautiful, and has very steep streets. Wear good shoes for walking. The tuk-tuk trip one day was very bouncy and bothered some people. Meals were very generous--lots of good food and wine. Hotels were lovely with amazing breakfasts. Our tour guide, Laura, was fantastic. We started early several mornings so it's a good idea to arrive a day early to start to adjust to the time zone. No need for fancy clothes for women...just have layers. Unfortunately, I had covid when I got home, although I have had vaccinations, and I was the only one to wear a mask on our long bus trips! I'm better now.
Laura was my tour director on this tour, too. I agree that she's fantastic. I was headed to Spain following the Portugal trip, and she took care of filling out the on-line entry form that I needed at that time (2022...probably not needed any more). I couldn't figure it out!
Glad you had a great time JEB. You are obviously going to be on the no jacket required team going forward and maybe the three or four men who took them will be too.