Tour Booking Conditions
Please read these booking conditions carefully as they form the basis of your contract with Hidden History Travel. Once you secure your reservation with payment of a deposit or full amount we are entitled to assume that you have read these booking conditions and agree to them. In these booking conditions references to “you” and “your” include all persons named on the booking (including anyone who is added or substituted at a later date) or any of them as the context requires.
Our standard terms and conditions are set out in clauses 1-19 below. We also draw your attention to clause 20 which deals specifically with circumstances related to Covid-19.
1. THE CONTRACT
The contract only comes into effect once you have secured your booking by payment of the deposit we will ask you for after receiving your initial reservation. You undertake to pay for the holiday you have booked and we undertake to provide you with the holiday we have described.
2. PAYMENT PROTECTION
Any payments made to us are held in our trust account, which guarantees that you will be fully reimbursed subject to the terms and conditions herein. These terms and conditions meet the requirements of the UK travel laws and regulations, principally the 1992 package travel regulations and the Civil Aviation Authorities (CAA) Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) Regulations (see clause 4 below).
3. RESERVATION, BOOKING AND PAYMENTS
Initial enquiries and reservations can be made by telephone, email or by using our website reservation/enquiry form. Once we have confirmed availability of the tour and the places you require on it, we will ask for payment of the minimum deposit (usually £250 per person for non-UK tours, £100 per person for UK tours). Payment of the deposit is required to secure your place(s) and we cannot guarantee your place(s) without it. Payments can be made by credit/debit card over the telephone, by online or bank transfer, or by sterling cheque made payable to ‘Hidden History Travel Trust Account’.
The balance must be paid by the due date specified on your invoice. This is normally 3 months before departure for most tours. If you are booking after this point in time, the full amount is payable. If the monies are not paid in time, we reserve the right to cancel your place on the holiday and apply the cancellation conditions as set out in clause 7 below.
4. FLIGHT BOOKINGS
If you ask us to book your flights for you, we will provide you with financial protection in case we or our identified suppliers are unable to provide you with the services listed due to insolvency. For flights departing or arriving in the UK this protection is provided by the ATOL scheme. When you buy such an ATOL protected flight from us you will receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you, and who to contact if things go wrong. Only those parts of your trip which are listed on the ATOL Certificate will be ATOL protected. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. We will advise you before booking what protection will apply.
If you book your own flights direct with the airline or through a company other than Hidden History Travel, you should be aware that the flight only component of your holiday may not be ATOL protected. Furthermore, it will be your responsibility and not ours to ensure you get to the destination and agreed meeting point in time to join the tour. Hidden History Travel cannot take responsibility for any problems, delays or expense you encounter with your own flight arrangements. You are advised not to book flights until we have confirmed the operation of the tour. You are also advised to take out appropriate insurance cover, or to book fares which are protected and refundable (see also clause 8 below), and to pay by credit card.
5. TRAVEL INSURANCE
It is an essential condition of booking a holiday that you take out adequate holiday insurance covering at least circumstances leading to the cancellation of your booking and providing sufficient medical cover for illness or injury and repatriation while overseas. You must provide us with the name of your insurers, the policy number and emergency contact number before you travel. Hidden History Travel will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking. You are responsible for indemnifying us in full in the event that we incur any losses or expenses arising out of your failure to take out adequate insurance cover.
6. IF YOU WISH TO MAKE ANY CHANGES
We will do our best to accommodate any changes by you but these are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. Written notification will be required and we may charge an administration fee of £35 per person. We may also charge you for any resulting additional costs imposed by the suppliers of the component parts of the tour.
You may transfer your booking to another specified tour (paying or receiving a refund/credit in respect of any price difference) but this is subject to availability and may be treated as a new booking, and as a cancellation of your original booking which may therefore be subject to our cancellation terms as set out in clause 7 below. You should also note that airlines may treat a change as a cancellation and create a new booking, charging a 100% cancellation fee.
You may transfer your place on a tour to another person (introduced by you). When doing so, both you and the transferee shall be jointly and separately liable to Hidden History Travel for payment of the balance and any additional costs imposed by the suppliers of the component parts of the tour.
7. CANCELLATION BY YOU
If you have to cancel your holiday we must be informed in a written email or letter from the person who made the booking or, in the case of partial cancellation, by the person concerned. The cancellation takes effect from the date at which the notification reaches our office. As cancellation incurs costs we may apply cancellation charges as set out below but we aim to be fair in this respect and our membership of the Travel Trust Association helps to ensure this.
Cancellation Period¹ Charge²
- 91 days or more Deposit
- 61 – 90 days Deposit + 25% of remaining balance.
- 31 – 60 days Deposit + 50% of remaining balance.
- 15 – 30 days Deposit + 75% of remaining balance.
- 0 – 14 days Deposit + 100% of remaining balance.
¹. This is the period before departure within which the written cancellation is received.
². Please note you may also have to forfeit up to 100% of any invoiced flight costs.
8. CANCELLATIONS BY HIDDEN HISTORY TRAVEL
Hidden History Travel tries never to cancel a holiday. However, our holidays do require a minimum number of participants to enable us to operate them. We will notify you of cancellation for this reason not less than 6 weeks before departure. If we have to cancel your tour for any other reason we will inform you as quickly as we possibly can.
If we do have to cancel your holiday for any reason, including “force majeure”, before the date of departure, you will have the choice of taking an alternative holiday (paying or receiving a refund/credit in respect of any price difference) or accepting a full refund of all monies paid to us. We cannot be held responsible for any additional services or products which you purchase outside the terms of your itinerary or our brochure or website. Please note this includes any flight costs for flights which were not booked for you by Hidden History Travel. If you book your own flights you are therefore strongly advised to take out cancellation insurance cover, or to book fares which allow refunds by the airline, and to not book your flights until we can confirm that the holiday will operate.
9. ALTERATIONS BY HIDDEN HISTORY TRAVEL
We reserve the right to make changes to your holiday. Where a change is a minor change we will, if practical, advise you before departure, but we are not obliged to do so. If your tour director is for whatever reason unable to travel with your party, we reserve the right to provide a replacement of similar professional expertise or a local professional guide. This will not be a significant change.
When a change is a significant change (such as an alteration to your flight time by more than 12 hours, or a change to a lower standard of accommodation for the whole or a major part of your holiday), we will advise you as soon as is reasonably possible if there is time to do so before departure. You may then either accept the change, or take an alternative holiday (paying or receiving a refund / credit in respect of any price difference), or withdraw and accept a full refund.
Very rarely, we may be forced by “force majeure” (see clause 10) to change or terminate your holiday after departure but before the scheduled end of your time away. This is extremely unlikely but if this situation does occur we will endeavour to provide you with as much information and general assistance as we can. However, we regret we may be unable to make any refunds (unless we obtain any refunds from our suppliers), pay you any compensation or meet any costs or expenses you incur as a result.
10. FORCE MAJEURE AND EVENTS BEYOND OUR CONTROL
In these conditions, “force majeure” or “events beyond our control” mean any event which we or the supplier of the service(s) in question could not, even with all due care, foresee or avoid. Such events may include, whether actual or threatened, war, riot, civil strife, terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, adverse weather conditions, fire and all similar events outside our control.
Except where otherwise expressly stated in these conditions, we regret we cannot accept liability or pay any compensation where the performance or prompt performance of our obligations under our contract with you is prevented or affected by or you otherwise suffer any damage, loss or expense of any nature as a result of “force majeure” or “events beyond our control”.
If you have any complaint whilst on your holiday you must make it known at the earliest opportunity to your Tour Director or other staff member/ representative of Hidden History Travel so that any problem may be remedied on the spot. If they are unable to resolve the problem to your satisfaction and you still have a complaint you should put it in writing at the time and then send it to us within 30 days of your return. We will do our best to resolve the problem and/or investigate it fully to reach an amicable solution. We regret we cannot accept liability for any claims which are not notified to us strictly in accordance with this clause.
12. CLIENT BEHAVIOUR
Hidden History Travel reserves the right at its reasonable discretion to terminate the holiday of any member of the party whose conduct is disruptive or detrimental to the enjoyment of other clients, or whose conduct may prejudice the reputation of Hidden History Travel with our suppliers or hotel owners. In that situation, Hidden History Travel shall have no further responsibility or liability to you. The departure of a coach, ship or train will not be delayed for passengers who are not on board by the stated departure time.
13. HEALTH & FITNESS
Your booking is accepted on the understanding that you appreciate the possible risk inherent in archaeological travel and that you undertake the holiday on that basis. It should be noted that most of our itineraries include visits or activities which require a reasonable level of mobility and fitness, and that the general levels of comfort and services in some destinations are lower than would be found in the UK and the EU. It is essential that you understand the nature of our holidays and that you are able to participate in all the activities included in your chosen itinerary. If you are in any doubt about this, please enquire before you make your booking. Ultimately, we rely on your assessment of your own ability to participate in a holiday.
14. SPECIAL NEEDS AND REQUESTS
If you have any special needs, medical condition, or special requests, you must inform us at the time of booking so that we can advise you on the suitability of the holiday. We will advise the relevant suppliers but cannot guarantee that they will be met. The sites, services and facilities that we or our suppliers use or provide in our destinations are not necessarily equipped for wheelchair access or other special needs. Furthermore, Hidden History Travel has no liability to you if such requirements are not met. We regret we cannot accept any conditional bookings, i.e. any booking which is specified to be conditional on the fulfilment of a particular need or request.
If you know that you need help, you should bring a helper with you, whose participation is subject to availability and the full tour price. Hidden History Travel reserves the right to refuse to take participants who have not provided all relevant details of any medical condition, disability, infirmity or other factors which affect your ability to fully participate in the holiday at the time of booking or as soon as any such condition etc. develops, if later.
15. PASSPORTS & OTHER DOCUMENTATION
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have all the necessary documentation to complete your journey. Be aware that some countries require a passport valid for 3-6 months after your holiday. Whatever your nationality you should check with your relevant embassy for visa and other requirements. British citizens should consult the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) website: www.fco-gov.uk before making a final decision regarding a destination.
We require full passport details no later than 4 weeks prior to departure for airline bookings. The names that appear on your airline tickets should be the same as the names in your passport. If the names in your flight reservations are incorrect they may not be easy to change and may incur charges.
Once a contract comes into effect confirming your holiday with us, we will not apply any surcharges. Before this time we reserve the right to apply surcharges to our holiday prices only where we believe it is unavoidable and only in the event of: i) Governmental action ii) Airport charges iii) Aircraft fuel costs or iv) Extreme currency fluctuations.
(i) Our obligations, and those of our suppliers providing any service or facility included in your holiday, are to provide them with reasonable skill and care. You must show that reasonable skill and care has not been used if you wish to make a claim. This means that, subject to our booking conditions, we will accept responsibility if, as a result of the failure of ourselves, our employees, agents or suppliers to use reasonable skill and care, you suffer, for example death or personal injury or your contracted tour arrangements are not provided as promised or prove deficient.
ii) We will not be responsible for any injury, illness, death, loss (including loss of possessions or enjoyment), damage, expense, cost or other sum or claim of any description whatsoever which results from any of the following: – the act(s) and/or omission(s) of the person(s) affected or any member(s) of their party; or – the act(s) and/or omission(s) of a third party not connected with the provision of your holiday and which were unforeseeable or unavoidable; or – ‘force majeure’ as defined in clause 10 above.
iii) Where we are found liable for loss of and/or damage to any luggage or personal possessions (including money), the maximum amount we will have to pay you is £500 per person affected. You must ensure you have appropriate travel insurance to protect your personal belongings.
iv) Where any claim or part of a claim (including those involving death or personal injury) concerns or is based on any travel arrangements (including the process of getting on and/or off the transport concerned) provided by any air, sea, rail or road carrier we limit our liability to compensate you in accordance with the relevant international law conventions.
v) Where the cause of death or personal injury is the act or omission of our agents, suppliers or sub-contractors our acceptance of liability is subject to you assigning to us your rights against them and to your co-operation with us in any legal action we may wish to take against them.
vi) The maximum liability for any claim other than for death, personal injury, luggage or personal possessions will be limited to the price paid for the holiday. This maximum amount will only be payable where everything has gone wrong and you have not received any benefit at all from your tour.
All matters arising from your contract with us are governed by English law and are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.
19. TERMS AND CONDITIONS CLAUSE
For our up-to-date Booking Conditions please visit our website. These Booking Conditions may be amended from time to time.
20. COVID-19 CLAUSE
20.1. FCDO Advice
Please note that the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) may intermittently advise against all but essential travel to a number of overseas destinations, including popular holiday destinations in which we operate. However, many of these destinations remain open and welcoming to UK tourists and flights to and from these destinations continue to operate. Whilst holiday destinations remain open to UK tourists, flights continue to operate and holiday services can be performed, we will continue to offer holidays to our customers who wish to travel.
If you book a holiday with us during the Covid-19 pandemic, you confirm that you have checked, understand and accept the FCDO travel advice relating to your chosen destination, including where there may be a requirement on you to quarantine upon your return to the UK (or in destination), and understand and accept that there is a heightened risk of travelling during the Covid-19 pandemic, beyond that associated with travel during ordinary times. You are also required to purchase a specialist travel insurance which includes certain cover for Covid-19.
20.2. Travel Advice
For up-to-date travel advice from the UK government, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice and https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk. We recommend that you consult these websites before booking in order to make an informed decision about your chosen destination, and again before departure.
You must purchase specialist travel insurance policy available which includes specific cover for Covid-19 related issues and incidents which may affect your travel arrangements [and travelling to a destination subject to a FCDO advisory against travel], You can choose to purchase the travel insurance offered by us on our website or a comparable alternative. It remains your responsibility to read and understand the insurance policy and ensure that it is suitable and adequate for your particular needs. Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you on holiday. If you choose to travel without adequate insurance cover, we will not be liable for any losses suffered by you in respect of which insurance cover would otherwise have been available.
20.4. Cancellation – the following clauses are in addition to our standard cancellation terms and charges:
Where you are choosing to travel to a destination subject to the FCDO advisory against non-essential travel, you accept that once your booking has been confirmed, if you decide not to travel due to the FCDO advisory, you will have to pay our standard cancellation charges as shown in clause 7 of these booking conditions – you are not entitled to cancel and receive a full refund in these circumstances, as it is assumed and you confirm that you have made your booking with full knowledge of the FCDO advisory against non-essential travel.
Where your chosen destination is exempt from the FCDO advisory against non-essential travel at the time of booking but is subsequently removed from the FCDO exemption list and at that point becomes subject to the FCDO advisory against non-essential travel, you accept that you will not have the right to cancel your booking and receive a full refund. If you choose to no longer travel in these circumstances, you will have to pay our standard cancellation charges as shown in clause 7 of our standard booking conditions above, as you made your booking with full knowledge of the risks of travelling during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Please note that we will have no liability for any refunds, compensation, costs, expenses or other losses of any kind incurred by you (including, where applicable, the cost of medical treatment), in the following circumstances:
(a) If you, or anyone in your booking party, test positive for Covid-19, or are notified or otherwise become aware that you have, or suspect you may have, come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 (or where they otherwise suspect they may have Covid-19) and have to self-isolate for a period of time.
If this happens within 14 days of your departure date, you must contact us immediately as you may no longer be able to travel. We will offer you the following options where possible and subject to availability:
- (i) Postponing your holiday to a later date. We will notify you of any impact on the price the postponement may have (please note that you may have to pay full cancellation charges on some elements of your holiday, such as the flight, as well any increase in cost imposed by suppliers);
- (ii) If not everyone on the booking is affected, you will have the right to transfer your place on the holiday to another person nominated by you, subject always to compliance with the requirements within our booking conditions;
- (iii) Cancelling your booking, in which case we will impose our standard cancellation charges as at the date of cancellation by you. You may be able to claim these costs back from your travel insurance – please check your policy wording.
If this happens whilst you are on your holiday, please notify us immediately and we will provide such reasonable assistance as we can in the circumstances. However, we will not be responsible for covering the cost of any curtailment of your holiday, missed transport arrangements, additional accommodation required, or other associated costs incurred by you. Your travel insurance may cover some of these costs for you – please check the policy wording.
(b) You fail any tests, checks or other measures imposed by a supplier, airline, port or airport, border control authority or other government body or local authority or fail to submit for testing or assessment when requested to do so, and as such you are denied boarding, entry to the destination, access to the travel services or you are otherwise unable to proceed with your holiday, or any part of the holiday, or you are required to self-isolate within the destination. Your travel insurance may cover some of these costs for you – please check the policy wording.
20.5. Your Holiday Experience
You acknowledge that the suppliers providing your holiday will need to comply with national and/or local guidance and requirements relating to Covid-19 and have implemented certain measures as a result. This will likely include specific requirements regarding personal protective equipment, such as use of face-masks by staff (and you may be required to wear a face-mask as well), social distancing, maximum number restrictions on the use of certain facilities, designated alternative entrance and exit routes, mandatory hand sanitisation, limited entertainment options and limited food/drink availability and temperature testing. We do not expect these measures to have a significant impact on your enjoyment of your holiday and all measures will be taken with the purpose of securing your safety and those around you.
20.6. Events Beyond Our Control
In these booking conditions, “events beyond our control” means a situation which is beyond our or the supplier’s control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken. Such situations are likely to include, whether actual or threatened, war, riot, civil strife, terrorist activity, industrial dispute, natural or nuclear disaster, adverse weather conditions, flood, epidemics and pandemics, fire, airport, port or airspace closures, restrictions or congestion, flight or entry restrictions imposed by any regulatory authority or other third party, an FCDO advisory against travel to a particular destination and any other government restrictions on travel. Except where otherwise stated in these booking conditions, we have no liability including for compensation, costs and expenses in such situations.