Songlines Music Travel: The Practicalities
What do I need to know?
What do I need to be aware of once I have decided to travel?
At the time of booking we will ask if you have read and understood the information below as well as the booking conditions. Please take time to read this information.
The tour duration is always calculated from the actual day of travel from the UK, until and including the day of arrival back in the UK, even if this involves simply a late evening departure from London, or an early morning arrival back home. It is a legal requirement that we show our tour durations this way and makes clear how many days you need to set aside for your holiday.
Costs and Fees
The items included in your tour are; the cost of the flight (unless you are buying land arrangements only) from London to the destination airport, including UK departure taxes and all overseas airport charges included in the cost of your ticket; flight supplements or flight surcharges may also be incurred, see below; transfers between the destination airport and the hotel (unless you are buying land arrangements only); all transport detailed in the tour itinerary; accommodation and meals as detailed in the itinerary; the services of a Songlines Travel Leader; the services of local guides as detailed in the tour itinerary, together with the services of drivers and other necessary staff.
The items NOT included in your tour are international departure taxes (unless included in the cost of your ticket); passport costs; vaccinations; visa fees; insurance premiums; excess baggage charges; hotel porterage, meals other than as stated as included in the itinerary; optional tours and excursions; and items of a personal nature such as drinks, phone calls, laundry and room service charges. Tips for personal service are not included and it is worth noting that in some countries these are a way of life and very much expected. Your Travel Leader will give guidance about this.
The Ex-London tour always includes the flights to and from your destination and transfers between the destination airport and your hotel. Your Travel Leader will meet you at the destination airport.
The land arrangements-only tour does not include any international flights or transfers between your destination airport and the hotel. You meet your Travel Leader on arrival at the first hotel. If you are considering booking a land-only tour you should only purchase air, train or bus tickets that are totally refundable and flexible. Dates of operation and itineraries can change and it is important that you can change your connecting travel arrangements if necessary. Also in the event of a tour being cancelled it is important that any air, train or bus tickets you have booked are fully refundable. It is advisable to refrain from booking any connecting air, bus or train tickets until eight weeks prior to travel.
The prices shown on any of the Songlines Music Travel brochures are guide prices only. They represent the cost of travel at the date of issue of the brochure you are reading (there will be a date of issue on the brochure). The selling price at the time you book your holiday could be different to that shown in the brochure. Where flights from the UK are included in the tour price, the prices shown are based on group air fares. If these are not available, a flight supplement may be payable.
Travel insurance is an obvious requirement when travelling abroad. With Songlines Music Travel it is a mandatory requirement that you hold insurance and our Travel Leaders will want to see evidence of your insurance when they first meet you. You may choose to purchase your own insurance. If you do so, please ensure that your documentation clearly shows you as the named policy-holder; that your cover includes, as a minimum, medical expenses and repatriation; that the cover is applicable for your dates of travel and that your policy displays a 24-hour emergency number.
Alternatively just click here to link up with our recommended insurers and this will be done for you. The choice is yours (but bear in mind that if things do go wrong and you need help, the insurers we suggest will be in a better position to liaise with us and help you more swiftly).
The pre-existing condition that might stop you, or anyone you are booking on behalf of, travelling with us needs to be declared to your insurer. You should then get written confirmation from the insurer that the condition is covered. If you do not do this your cover may be invalid and we will not be able to allow you to travel (even if you have arrived in the destination country).
The group nature of our tours means that all holidays operated by Songlines Music Travel are offered on fixed departure dates to allow us to assemble a viable group. However like any group tour organiser, we do require a minimum number of participants to operate each tour. Should this number not be reached then the tour will not be commercially viable and we must reserve the right to cancel the departure. Normally this would apply if we had less than eight participants booked, although this number may vary. In such situations you will be offered an alternative departure date, or an alternative tour, or a refund of monies paid. We do not cancel tours less than eight weeks before departure except in exceptional circumstances.
The itinerary for our tour is designed to operate without difficulty. But sometimes local conditions dictate that we must amend the itinerary. Local politics or safety considerations can cause this, as can unforeseen weather conditions, or simply a change in flight or other transport schedules. We will advise in advance if such changes seem necessary before you depart, but we ask that you understand the need for flexibility once you are on tour.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office may sometimes be a key component in your decision whether or not to travel. Politics, including terrorism, can affect the advisability of visiting some countries, as can the current security or crime situation. Whilst we would have no hesitation about re-routing or even cancelling a tour if Foreign Office Travel Unit advice suggested this was the prudent course of action, before booking on any tour you should always consult the FCO Travel Advice Unit website at www.fco.gov.uk or contact the relevant Embassy or Consulate before making any decision to book. FCO travel advice is always either ‘Prescriptive’ (in which case we would cancel or re-route your tour) or ‘Advisory’. Health Requirements
The health requirements for your tour depend on the country you are visiting. When visiting any developing country we recommend that you are immunised against typhoid, tetanus, polio and hepatitis A. Malaria and/or yellow fever may also be a factor. Detailed information on this subject can be found at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and you should also consult your medical practitioner. Remember to leave sufficient time to have any inoculations as the process may take some weeks.
The nature of some of our tours means that conditions on tour may be different from those you are used to at home. Service standards, operating conditions, unusual events and infrastructural inadequacies are sometimes such that a sense of humour can be useful. If you expect everything to run like clockwork, irrespective of which country you are in then you may be advised not to book on some of our tours.
The security of your holiday is important. Songlines Music Travel programmes are operated by The Tailor-Made Groups Company Ltd, a fully bonded tour operator licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Travel & General Insurance Company plc. The ATOL scheme covers all package tours that include the provision of ex-UK flights whilst land-only arrangements, without any air travel, operated by the company are financially protected by Travel & General Insurance Company plc. Itineraries and prices that we may indicate on our brochures, for tours departing after January 2012, are for guidance only and are subject to change once we receive final prices from our suppliers. Final itineraries and dates together with revised prices will be issued on brochures and available to view on our website available from November 2011 onwards.
For information and reservations, call Songlines Music Travel on 01992 579697