Tour Terms and Conditions

Here’s the stuff our lawyers make us say.  But we wrote it ourselves, to try and make it more understandable!

We’ve attempted to create this ‘fine print’ in a manner that is fair and understandable.  Basically, we expect you to act fairly and considerately, and in turn, we’ll act similarly and encourage the same of your fellow tour members.

If you have any questions or concerns, please ask.

Tour Operation

Tours are offered conditionally, and are subject to receiving a minimum number of participants.  Deposits are fully refundable until the tour becomes ‘guaranteed’.

If the needed minimum number of people do not confirm, we might offer to operate the tour with fewer people but a higher cost per person.  Alternatively, you have the choice of canceling and receiving a full refund of any monies paid.  In some cases we may be able to offer a similar itinerary on a ‘self-drive’ or ‘FIT’ basis – staying at the same places, with the same inclusions, but driving yourself by rental car rather than as a passenger on a coach.  You’d be free to accept or refuse this alternative.

In such a case, we would provide you with a mid-sized automatic rental car, touring maps, directions, and itinerary notes in lieu of coach transportation and guides.

A decision to confirm the group tour or to offer a self-drive substitute is usually made at least four months prior to tour commencement, and of course sooner if tour registration numbers so indicate.  Tour participants will be immediately advised as soon as the tour status changes from conditional to confirmed.

Please do not incur any costs that would not be fully refundable (such as airfare or trip insurance) until we have guaranteed the tour will proceed.

We reserve the right to alter an itinerary at any time for any reason, although we will at all times attempt to ensure that any changes or substitutions are of similar interest and value.

If an included item needs to be omitted for any reason and can not be compensated with what we consider to be a fairly equivalent item, then you will be refunded our underlying cost of that omitted item.

In the event of weather, strikes, industrial action, protests, mechanical problems, or other unforeseen issues outside our direct control, we will attempt to minimize the impacts of such events as best we can, but can not accept liability for such actions or non-actions of third parties.

Payment and Pricing

Prices are quoted on the basis of per person, with two people sharing a room.

A $500 per person non-refundable deposit is required to confirm your place on any tour.

The balance is due 90 days prior to tour commencement and if not received by that date your booking will be automatically cancelled and deposit forfeited.

Full payment is immediately due for tour reservations made with 90 days of tour commencement.

A $100 per person rush fee may apply to payments made in the last fourteen days prior to tour commencement.

Price reflects a 3% discount for cash/check.  If you wish to pay by credit card, then you will be advised the base tour price (ie the discounted price plus 3%).

Tour prices include both US and foreign currency costs and are based on a stated range of wholesale exchange rates.  If the wholesale exchange rates move outside of this range prior to full payment being received, then the tour price will be adjusted (either up or down) to fairly reflect the change in the cost of tour components.  If the price of the tour increases by more than 10%, you will be offered a no cost, no penalty opportunity to cancel and receive a full refund of all monies paid.

Tour prices are locked in place once full payment has been received.

Our Experience is Your Protection

We have been operating Travel Insider tours since 2003, and have been in the travel industry since 1989.

We can’t guarantee that nothing will go wrong, but we can offer to do all we can to help in the event of problems.

Occasionally we’ve had challenges and problems in the past, because we are necessarily dependent on actual providers and the services they operate in the countries we travel to.  If, for example, a train is late or cancelled, there’s nothing we can do about that except wait for the next train.  If someone’s luggage is lost by an airline, or stolen from a hotel, that’s again something that sometimes happens.  The key thing is to take such challenges in your stride, to remain positive and willing to enjoy the rest of the experience, perhaps (eg) buy some replacement clothes, and then move forward with the rest of your travel enjoyment.

We ask that you understand we will do all we can to make your travels as positive an experience as possible, but any time we step out our front doors, we introduce variables into our lives, even more so in foreign countries with different concepts of customer service.  The key part of your enjoyment of any tour and travel experience is to not let the inevitable problems that come our way interfere with our enjoyment of the rest of the tour.

Special Rates for Singles, Triple Shares and Children

We offer a matching program for singles who wish to share a room with another solo traveler.

If you do not wish to share a room, or if no suitable room mate is found, we can offer a single supplement.

Some of the hotels used on some tours do not have triple share rooms and so triple share rates are not always available.

Child discounts are sometimes available; and it seems every different hotel and attraction operator have different policies and different age limits.  So we can’t offer an across the board indication of child discount levels, but will do the best we can to help you bring your children (or grandchildren) with you too.

Imagery and Information

The photographs and video shown and information provided on this web site and related promotional materials depict typical scenes as described, but the subject matter may not necessarily be experienced or seen, as illustrated, while on our tour.  No warranty is made concerning weather.

Please note that we may take publicity photos during our tours for subsequent public display.  Your image may appear in these photos, but you would not be identified by name.   In addition, other tour members will be taking pictures for their own purposes.  You agree to appear in these photos, and if you wish to not appear in photos, will advise ourselves and other tour members in writing so we know to not inadvertently include you.

Documentation

Assuming full payment is received more than 75 days prior, an electronic set of documents including a full souvenir itinerary, stay-behind itineraries to be left with friends, relatives, and workmates, travel vouchers if needed and other materials will be sent to you, typically two to three weeks prior to tour commencement.

If you have registered for the tour closer to departure, documents will be sent no sooner than two weeks after full payment is received.

Cancellation/Changes

You can change the names of participants at any time prior to document issuance for a $50 per name change fee.

You can change the travel arrangements we have made for you at any time prior to full payment being made, subject to applicable cancellation and change fees, which vary depending on the travel products affected and their applicable policies, and will in all events also include an administrative fee on our part of not less than $50. If you anticipate the need to make changes between booking your tour and actually taking the tour, please discuss with us the likely feasibility and costs of any changes or cancellations.

Subsequent to full payment being made, changes of any type may or may not be possible, and may require the payment of a higher fee plus courier fees for documents to be returned to us and to suppliers then sent back to us and on to you.

Once payment has been received, if you cancel your participation prior to one month before tour commencement, you will receive a 50% refund upon the return of all tour documents, unused.

If you cancel after that time, or do not return all tour documents, unused, our ability to refund depends on if we can resell your space to other travelers.  If we can resell your space at full price, you’ll still get a 50% refund; if we can’t, no refund will be paid.

No refund is given for cancellations subsequent to 48 hours prior to the start of the advertised ‘Day 1’ of the tour, and/or for any unused portions of a tour.

Cancellation and change fees may be reimbursable by a travel insurance policy, depending on circumstances.  For this and all other reasons, we recommend you purchase travel insurance accordingly.

Travel Insurance

We recommend you purchase comprehensive travel insurance to provide some degree of financial compensation and mitigation in the case you experience any losses.

Note that some policies also allow for you to cancel your travels for any reason or as a result of pre-existing medical conditions, providing partial or full recompense in such cases, but for this coverage to be activated, you are typically required to buy the insurance within 7 – 14 days of paying the deposit for the tour.

Inclusions and Exclusions

Only those items specifically stated to be included are included in the tour.  All other items not so specifically stated are not included and if you choose to avail yourself of them would be at extra cost.

Tour Variations

Unexpected things happen to us all, everywhere, and may happen to us when we are touring, too.  Weather, special events, traffic, closures, mechanical problems, changes/delays in operating schedule by suppliers, or who knows what else may interfere with the planned tour itinerary and require us to make changes as best we can.

We will do the best we reasonably can to present the tour to you as described, and/but if circumstances beyond our control require us to make changes to the tour, we will do the best we reasonably can to provide alternate inclusions of hopefully similar interest.

If a tour component is cancelled and that results in us obtaining a refund, then we will either allocate that money towards other touring items or refund the money on to you in turn, whichever, in our opinion, will make for a better tour experience.

Activities and Meals

You should be in good health and reasonably fit in order to participate in the walking components of this tour (eg be able to conveniently climb 75 steps or walk a mile at a normal average climbing/walking speed).

Note that some foreign countries do not provide experiences that are as ‘safe’ as in the US.  It is not uncommon to see slippery surfaces, uneven steps, and poor or no handrails, for example.  Ice is another hazard if present.  You need to be aware of such challenges and be responsible for your own safety.

Please note that seating on coaches can not be reserved and all passengers are expected to take fair turns in the front, middle and rear of the coach (we publish a rotating roster for the front seats to ensure this is amicably managed for all).  We typically do not fill coaches more than three quarters full, so you’ll usually have plenty of seats to choose from.

Unless advised otherwise, special vaccinations are not mandatory, but you may consider it prudent to check with your healthcare professional and to follow any courses of protective vaccinations he/she recommends prior to traveling with us.

If you have any special dietary or other preferences for meals, please let us know prior to when you make final payment so we can advise the hotels accordingly.  We will help you to meet your needs, but can not guarantee that this will completely and consistently occur.  Other countries aren’t necessarily as sensitive to dietary issues as the US is.

Health

No-one likes to have their travels interrupted by ill health.  Not you, not other tour members, not us.  We therefore ask you to ensure you are in sufficient good health as to be able to enjoy your time on our tour without undue concern for medical challenges, and if you should become impactfully unwell prior to or during the tour, to consider canceling your participation.  We also urge you to take all reasonable precautions not to acquire any type of infectious illness while traveling to join the tour, or of course, while on the tour itself, and if you do become so afflicted, to either voluntarily cancel or at least exercise reasonable precautions to avoid passing your illness on, including wearing a mask around other tour members, socially distancing, and excusing yourself from any group meals.

We provide one small travel sized (1 ounce) bottle of hand sanitizer for each person on our coach tours, but do not provide masks.  If you think you will need more hand sanitizer or masks, please bring them with you.

We don’t wish to become “the medical police” but you and we have a shared responsibility to each other and the group as a whole.  Accordingly, we reserve the right to ask you to leave a tour if you test as having an elevated “fever” temperature by means of scanning with a non-contact IR thermometer and/or are coughing/sneezing at a level which concerns other tour members.  In such a case, while not your fault that you’ve acquired an infection, it is also not our fault, and we ask you to accept the loss of travel experience and associated costs, which hopefully will be reimbursed via travel insurance.

Unless advised otherwise, special vaccinations are not mandatory, but you may consider it prudent to check with your healthcare professional and to follow any courses of protective vaccinations recommended prior to traveling with us.  Please note we are not qualified medical personnel ourselves.

Accidents and Emergencies

Life happens, as do unexpected and unfortunate events.  Unexpected things are particularly likely to happen when you’re far from home.  Your normal routines are interrupted, so it is easier to forget or lose things.  There are new and unexpected risks, and sometimes foreign countries have lower standards of safety – things like, perhaps, uneven, steep and slippery stairs with no handrail, for example.  Unfamiliar foods may react with your stomach in unfortunate ways, you may be identified as foreign tourists by opportunist professional pick-pockets, and so on.

We are not medical professionals, but we will help you to contact a medical professional in the event you need one.  We are also not police, but will help you to contact them too in the event you need them.  If you feel you may have extra risks or extra needs, we recommend you ensure you have an appropriate person with you as a travel companion.

If you are forced to leave the tour itinerary, you can of course rejoin again if and when circumstances allow, and we’ll offer such advice and guidance as we can as to how to achieve that.  We recommend you consider travel insurance to cover such costs and losses, and also recommend you travel with some extra cash for emergency needs, and keep it carefully protected.

Your Responsibilities Include

In addition to the other matters listed in these terms and conditions, it is your responsibility to get yourself to the tour commencement place at or prior to the tour commencement time, and to observe the tour timetable during the course of the tour.

It is your responsibility to ensure you have the necessary travel documents that may be required (a current passport not due to expire until six months after the end of your travels, and with sufficient blank pages in it for visa stamps), and to obtain any necessary visas authorizing your travel to the countries in the tour.

It is your responsibility to have arranged any vaccinations that are either mandatory or recommended by your healthcare professional.  It is your responsibility to arrange and pay for your own medical care should you become unwell on the tour.  While we will do what we can to assist, we are not healthcare professionals and our ability to assist is tempered by our requirement to continue to maintain the touring experience for other tour members.

It is your responsibility to comply with the reasonable requirements and requests of the tour leader and tour guides, and if you don’t understand any such requirement, it is your responsibility to request and obtain the necessary clarification.

Our tours leave promptly at the advised times from each stop.  It is your responsibility to be on the vehicle/vessel or at the meeting point on or prior to each departure time.  If you miss any departure time it is your responsibility to make your own arrangements to catch up with the tour, and no refund will be given either for missed tour components or the costs you incur after so missing any part of the tour.

It is your responsibility to exercise care and prudence while traveling.  Not all foreign destinations have the same high standards of care and safety that are usually to be found in the US, and you need to be self aware and to realize that in some countries, the obligation is on you to be careful and cautious, not on service providers to attempt to foresee and prevent imprudent acts.  Care and prudence involves being aware of theft/crime risks, being careful when visiting places that might have slippery/uneven walkways and stairs, keeping away from the edges of tall things, watching out for low beams in buildings, and all other things where problems and mishaps may occur.

It is your responsibility to obey all local laws while on tour.

Notification

If you encounter any problems, you agree to immediately advise us of these problems so that we can mitigate and hopefully resolve them.

If you do not notify us of problems in a timely manner, then our subsequent liability and obligation to you is limited to that which would have applied if you had advised us in a timely manner, and if such redress is now no longer available to be offered to you due to the passing of time, we have no obligation to offer you alternate compensation instead.

Limitation of Our Liability

We act only as agents for the principals offering the services and products included in this tour and have no control over their products and services.

David M Rowell, ‘The Travel Insider’, dba Travel Insider Touring and Adastra Tours, and the various companies involved in providing services offer no warranties express or implied and reserve the right to amend this tour in any way at any time as they may choose in their sole and unfettered discretion.  Participation on this tour is on an “own risk” basis and participants are responsible for ensuring that they act in a prudent and appropriate manner.

We are not liable for any matters outside our control, including acts and omissions of suppliers, and matters related to war or terrorism or natural disaster or civil disorder and or the fear of war or terrorism or natural disaster or civil disorder, whether reasonable or not, and any other Acts of God.

You agree we are not liable for any acts or omissions, and agree to indemnify us and hold us harmless from any matters arising from your own acts or omissions or those of your fellow tour members or other people in general.  You further agree that in any case where liability may be found, our liability will in no case exceed that reasonable amount of profit we earned from your payment to us that relates to the loss or damage or other problem suffered by you.

Acceptance of these Terms and Conditions

Your forwarding payment to us is your act of acceptance of our terms and conditions.  You agree that you have conveyed these terms and conditions to all people traveling with you, and the payment for each of the people traveling, whether it be paid directly or jointly, is evidence of each person’s acceptance.

Any disputes or other matters arising from the operation of these tours or involving David M Rowell, ‘The Travel Insider’, dba Adastra Tours, will be heard within the jurisdiction of King County, Washington, and will be interpreted under US law and practice and will be judged in the light of the normal standards of conduct and liability at the places where the matters at issue occurred, these standards typically being lower than in the US.  All parties agree to accept binding arbitration (also in King Co, WA).  In the event that any term or condition is varied or voided, the remaining terms and conditions will remain binding on you and us.

Other Tour Terms and Conditions

Each tour may have additional terms and conditions that specifically relate to that particular tour.  In such cases, if the additional terms conflict with these terms, then the more restrictive terms will over-ride the less restrictive terms.

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David.