Things you should know about our Services
To help us plan your travels, whether that is on business or leisure, it is helpful for us to know more about your preferred style and mode of travel, and whether there is anything in particular that you are looking to get from your experience or holiday. We will discuss your requirements with you, either by telephone or at a place of your choice, and then within 48 hours prepare a no-obligation, free of charge options schedule for your consideration. Our experience shows that this early dialogue is hugely valuable for all concerned as often ideas and options arise that you would have never thought of. There is no time limit to this dialogue. Once the preferred option has been chosen, a detailed quote and itinerary will be prepared and sent by email.
Please read carefully through the following information about our services. Whether you book by email, by phone or in person, you will be directed to these pages, as they will inform you about our services. Should you wish to book with us, our separate booking terms and conditions will provide the basis of our contract with you.
Our itineraries are designed uniquely to meet each client’s individual wishes. For clients booking a Travel Journey™ our focus is on an experience that really allows you get to know an area and to see beyond the normal tourist façade. We know that travelling for you is much more than just simply ticking off the sights. We want clients to be able to establish a relationship with the land and the people. Key to preparing the right trip is that we always build in free time for you to explore independently.
Booking, Confirmation/Invoice & Tickets
Once you have booked your travel with us and we have received your deposit, we will send you a confirmation and invoice summarising the arrangements made on your behalf, the outstanding balance and the date by which it must be received by us. You will need to check these details carefully ensuring that the title, initials or forenames and surnames given match those on your passport as we make reservations using this information and any inaccuracies will cause problems at a later date. Please contact us immediately if there are any inaccuracies. Once in receipt of any outstanding balance we will confirm receipt of the monies and remind you of certain points concerning your travel. Then, approximately 2 weeks before you travel, your final travel documentation is sent.
Passports & Travel Documentation
Please note that you are entirely responsible for ensuring that everyone in your party has the necessary correct and up-to-date personal documentation before you start the holiday. We do not accept any liability if you are refused entry onto any transport or into any country due to failure on your part to carry correct documentation. If failure to have any necessary travel or other documents results in fines, surcharges or other financial penalty being imposed on us, you will be responsible for reimbursing us accordingly. For British Citizens, a standard 10 year British passport is required for all holidays which must be valid for at least six months beyond your planned date of return travel. If your passport expires before this, or if your passport is endorsed in any way, it may still be acceptable, but you should contact your local passport office or the consulate or embassy of the country/countries you plan to visit/transit through, for detailed advice. Customers applying for a first British passport should allow at least six weeks to obtain one as they are now required to attend a personal interview with the Passport Office. Customers renewing their passport should allow a minimum of two weeks. However, in all cases, please apply as far ahead as possible so as to allow time for unexpected delays.
Our recommended visa Agent
We will advise British Citizens with a British passport at the time of booking of any visa requirements, if you have a British passport issued outside of the UK or if you are not a British Citizen, you must check immigration requirements with the relevant embassy or consulate of the country/countries that you plan to visit or transit through. However we recognise that the process of applying for holiday visas, with embassies, can sometimes be confusing and time consuming. We work in partnership with a travel visa specialist to provide an effective and efficient information and application (chargeable) service.
Whilst you are free to apply with embassies directly, many customers have mentioned that peace of mind is the biggest advantage that our recommended visa agent offers through their service, knowledge and efficiency.
Foreign Office Advice
Global and political situations do change. Your safety is our first consideration and if the Foreign Office advises against travel to a certain country, we act on this advice. The Foreign Office issues regular advice and updates. You can obtain this information by phone on 0845 850 2829, or by visiting https://www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo
Insurance & Travel Duration
It is a condition of booking with us that you take out sufficient and appropriate travel insurance cover. If you have arranged your own travel insurance please ensure that your documentation shows you as the named policy holder and that the cover is valid for the entire period of travel (including day of departure and return). You will be required to detail the insurance company, the policy number and the 24-hour emergency telephone number when making a booking with us. It is your responsibility to ensure that the travel insurance cover you purchase is suitable and adequate for your particular needs. Should you choose to extend your travel (either at the start or the end), you will need to extend the duration of your travel insurance cover.
Pre-existing medical conditions
If you, your travelling companions, or anyone upon whom your travel depends (such as a friend or family member whose illness or death would result in you wishing to cancel or curtail your journey) have a pre-existing medical condition you must inform your travel insurance company of this when you purchase your policy. Please ensure that you receive written confirmation from them that the condition is covered. You must take this written confirmation with you, in addition to the insurance policy itself. If you don’t, you may not have appropriate cover.
Your fitness and ability to participate
Please let us know if you suffer from any medical condition or physical disability, which may affect your travel arrangements, or have any health or fitness concerns which may affect your ability to cope with the itinerary suggested before any booking is made. We are here to help you choose the right travel arrangements and as we must be aware of all details, to ensure your health and fitness.
It must be noted, in particular, that where a booking is to be made on a cultural tour, trek, safari, expedition or voyage, it is in the interest of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen tour. With this in mind, please be aware that (as further discussed in our Booking Conditions, Clause 5) if it is felt that any customer is not able to participate in a tour without endangering the health or safety of themselves, or any other person (including other group members), or that the presence of the customer on the tour means the tour is unable to progress as advertised and contracted, the Tour Leader at any stage has the right to require you/the clients to leave the tour.
To ensure that this is never necessary, please make sure that you have fully understood the level of fitness and ability required to complete the tour on which you are booking.
Any travel that reaches elevations of 2500 metres or more above sea level will have time included to prepare for acclimatisation. It is essential that the body acclimatises well to spending extended periods of time above this altitude. It is difficult to predict who is at risk from altitude sickness but if you have a heart or respiratory problem we advise you to check with your doctor before taking any risks on extended travel or trekking at high altitudes.
Specific high altitude travel insurance is a pre-requisite for any bookings.
The Department of Health's leaflet (T7.1) “Health advice for travellers” is available at Post Offices, by phoning 0845 605 0707 or online at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-health, showing health requirements and advice for the countries you are visiting. It is your responsibility to ensure you are aware of all recommended vaccinations and health precautions in good time before departure. Details are available from your GP surgery and from the National Travel
Health Network and Centre www.nathnac.org. For European holidays, you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for access to health care in many European countries. Further information is available from the Department of Health as above.
All quotes are expressed in GBP sterling and based on customers sharing twin (or double) bedded rooms. Wherever possible, we try to include accommodation which best reflects the local area in which you are visiting. Some examples include a boutique city hotel, a finca in Andulucia, a Berber village house in Morocco, a hacienda in Argentina or a safari lodge in Botswana.
Where we use hotels, properties will be chosen in accordance with client wishes but always with a focus on key requirements of cleanliness, safety, comfort and a good location. What is important to recognise is that the type of room provided and the level of facilities will vary from country to country.
Unless the booking is for an ‘all-inclusive’ itinerary most itineraries include breakfast as a minimum. Other meals are usually not included allowing you to choose what and where to eat. Where there is no option, such as when camping, on safari or on some boat-based tours, meals will be included.
If you have a specific dietary need please discuss it with us before you book. We will do our best to ensure that the transport provider and tour operator have the details.
We cannot, however, guarantee that an appropriate meal will be provided on all flights. We will send an automated request through to the airline. Please be aware that in most cases airlines do not confirm individual meal requests, so it is worth double checking that the meal has been ordered at check-in.
Bear in mind
For many of our clients we act as an agent of a tour operator. In these arrangements you will be informed of the booking terms and conditions that apply, and will be asked to read them carefully, as they will set out the respective rights and obligations of that operator.
Many tours are fully staffed, but it is every client’s responsibility to read any individual ‘Tour Notes’ for details. All tour accommodation is given a rating to describe standards and facilities. Again you will find these in the individual tour Trip Notes.
Tour operators also try to cater for you if you have special dietary requirements but we do ask you to have realistic expectations. In some countries there is a limited choice of food and it may be difficult to cater for all special meal requirements. Please check the Trip Notes carefully before booking if you have any specific requirements.
The variety of transport used is another important aspect of any tour booked. Many operators will use everything from buses, boats and trains to camels and donkeys. You may even find all these on the same tour!
Tour Operator ‘Trip Notes’ are quite specific about the level of fitness and ability required on any given tour. It is your responsibility to let us know if you have any concerns in this area.
From time to time, some elements of tours may change from those that have been published. This could be the result of inclement weather, a change in the local political situation or in flight or train schedules or other circumstances beyond the control of the transport provider. We will keep you as well informed as possible about these changes.
Will my tour operate?
Tour operators reserve the right to cancel departures that (in their opinion) are not commercially viable (except for “Guaranteed Departures”). Typically this happens when less than six or seven people have booked on a tour (the exact numbers can vary). Tour Operators commit to making every departure work and only cancel when absolutely necessary. We will give you as much notice of a cancellation as possible, allowing you to consider alternative tours or dates. However they do not guarantee a minimum number of participants for each tour and they may decide to operate a tour with less than the normal minimum number of people.
The price of your travels will not include tipping, unless explicitly stated. Please be aware of fixed service charges and gratuities automatically added to restaurant and bar bills. These, and any other, additional charges are always borne by the client.
There are instances when an additional gratuity may be appropriate, perhaps because it is customary in your host country, or because of the nature of the activity undertaken, or simply because you have received exceptional service. Such additional gratuities will be on an individual basis and at your own discretion.
2 exceptions to this are with Group Trekking/Adventure holidays and Cruising, both have an established culture of tipping and your Tour Manager will be on hand to offer advice on this topic.
Overseas Standards - warning
In some countries you may experience laws and standards that might not be the same as you are used to in the UK. Travelling to distant shores involves adapting to living conditions that are often very different from our own. If you are visiting a country with less advanced infrastructure, travellers with an open and flexible approach, though maintaining caution, will enjoy the experience and all it offers.
Please be prepared to cope with unusual situations, local inadequacies and unpredictable events.
Be aware that some countries around the world have serious security problems. Thieves, muggers and drug pushers are likely to be active in big cities and street markets; and certain areas may be considered ‘out-of-bounds’ for tourists. However, most crime is opportunistic. Using your common sense will reduce the risks. Unfortunately, no destination can be guaranteed to be safe from terrorism. We are able to monitor the political situation in the regions and will advise/re-route or cancel a journey if we feel it is necessary. If you are concerned about your safety when visiting a particular destination, please contact the Foreign Office or the appropriate embassy.
Proof of fitness
Tour operators will in certain circumstances, usually on more strenuous tours, require you to provide proof of medical fitness before travelling.
Disabilities, Medical Conditions & Mobility
Please note that Tour Managers, where applicable, cannot provide individual assistance with boarding flights, trains or coaches, or handle your luggage. Customers are required to provide us with full and accurate details of your mobility, health and fitness (including any disability), so we can advise you on the suitability of tours. We want all our customers to enjoy their travels to the full, and are here to help answer any mobility, disability, health and fitness issues or concerns. You must advise us of any change in any disability or medical condition or in your health or level of mobility or if any medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday develops between booking your travels and departing.
‘Tour Only’ tours start at the joining point overseas and do not include any connecting flights to or from the joining point. If you are planning to book ‘Tour Only’ we strongly recommend that you only purchase flights (or train or bus tickets) that are totally flexible and refundable. This is because by their very nature, tour itineraries can change and it is important that you are able to amend your connecting travel arrangements if necessary. Also, in the event of a tour being cancelled it is important that you are able to get a refund if you no longer wish to use the associated flight, bus or train.
We regret that we cannot accept liability for any connecting travel arrangements that you make (including any cancellation or amendment charges) in the event of any change to, or cancellation of, our tour; or for any other reason that makes you unable to use your booked travel arrangements.
All international flights booked through us are provided by major airlines. The type of aircraft is often known at this point. We provide you any information given to us at that point in time. Please be aware that operational changes can be and are made by an airline at any point and we cannot be responsible for this.
Seating on flights and trains
Although we are unable to assign specific flight or train seats, it is possible to put special requests through to the majority of airlines and train operators. If you have a special request, please tell us at the time of booking. Please be aware that no guarantee can be made that your request will be successful. Failure to grant your request will not be a breach of contract on our part. Sometimes your allocated seats will not be close to other members of your party. We recommend that you check in to your flight or train as early as possible in order to have the best chance of being given alternative seats. If you require specific seats because of a disability or reduced mobility or a medical condition, please make this clear at the time of booking. Subject to safety requirements and availability, EU airlines are required to make all reasonable efforts to arrange seating to meet the requirements of individuals with a disability or reduced mobility. You may be required to provide written confirmation of your disability, reduced mobility or medical condition and fitness to travel from your doctor.
Flight schedule changes
When you book a flight-inclusive tour with us, your holiday confirmation will contain provisional flight details. The timings, flight numbers or route could change several times before departure. We will inform you as soon as possible if there is a change which i) affects your departure or arrival time by more than six hours, ii) moves the tour to a different day or iii) significantly affects the tour itinerary. We suggest that you defer booking any connecting travel to the airport or arrangements such as car parking or overnight hotels until you have received the final invoice with confirmed travel times. Where an itinerary includes domestic regional flights, these will be automatically rebooked to connect with your international flights.
We strongly recommend that you do not purchase non-flexible, non-refundable connecting rail, air or bus tickets, as they usually incur cancellation or penalty charges in the event of a change to the departure time or date.
The reality of air travel today is that congestion, operational changes, poor performance and unforeseen environmental disruption can lead to the possibility of lost luggage, over-bookings, delays and cancellations. Customers should be prepared to cope with the consequences of disruption and in the event of undue delay customers will be looked after in accordance with the standard practice of the tour operator and/or transport provider.