It is our intention to set out clearly and simply the responsibilities which we at Back Roads Touring Co. Limited (UK Company No. 02473373, hereafter referred to as “Back-Roads Touring “Us” “Our” or “We”) have to You, your heirs, executors and assigns and any member of your party and their heirs, executors and assigns (“You”) and which You, in turn, have to us when a contract is made between us. You should therefore read and understand the contents. When you make a booking, you are confirming that you understand our booking conditions and have accepted them on behalf of yourself and all members of your party. Your contract will be with Back-Roads Touring Co. Limited which will act as the tour operator. A contract will exist as soon as we issue a confirmation invoice in response to your request for a booking and the deposit has been paid by you either to your travel agent or directly to us.
BOOKING YOUR HOLIDAY
1. Bookings can be made through your travel agent or with us directly and should be secured with a deposit of £100 per person per tour paid at time of booking. This deposit is non-refundable unless we cancel your tour. We reserve the right in our absolute discretion to refuse to accept any booking without specifying a reason. If you are booking within 42 days of departure, then full payment is required at the time of booking. Your booking is taken to be confirmed, and accepted, in respect of all persons travelling, when we issue a confirmation invoice. If your booking is made through a travel agent, We will address all correspondence to that travel agent. All monies paid by you to the travel agent will be held by them for and on behalf of Us.
2. If you arrange your holiday direct with Us, all correspondence and communications will be sent to the address of the first person listed in the booking file, unless you specify otherwise. Balance of all payments is required at least 6 weeks prior to your tour departure date. If you do not pay within this period we may have to treat your booking as cancelled in which case we have the right to withhold your deposit.
3. Alterations or cancellations by you after your booking has been accepted will be subject to the provisions of clauses 5 to 10 of these terms and conditions.
4. Prices quoted in our brochure are calculated on the basis of costs and exchange rates as at 1 April 2012. These prices may go up or down to allow for variations in transportation costs, and we reserve the right to alter prices and other particulars contained in our brochures and on our website accordingly. Changes will be made known to you before you book. We will give you the up to date price of your chosen holiday, which will also be updated and displayed on our website. Once you have accepted this price and a booking has been confirmed, that price is guaranteed and will not be subject to variation or surcharges unless you require changes to be made to your booking.
5. You must clearly state all your requirements at the time of booking. If you or anyone named on your booking want to change any aspect of your booking you must tell us as soon as possible, preferably in writing. We will do our best to accommodate your changes but you will have to pay a change fee of £25 per person per change. You will incur the fee if you wish to change to a tour of a shorter duration or wish to change to a tour with a different departure date. If you wish to change to a tour of a longer duration no change fee will be payable but you will need to pay the difference in the cost of the tour.
6. If a change is made to your booking less than six weeks before your scheduled departure date, cancellation fees will apply (see clause 10 below), unless you are changing to an earlier departure date of the same tour, in which case an amendment fee of £25 per person will apply. If any changes have occurred, a new invoice will be provided to you which will specify all costs associated with your booking including any cancellation/change fees.
7. If any person named on a booking is prevented from travelling as a result of illness, the death of a close relative, jury service or any other reason which we accept as significant, we may agree to that person’s booking being transferred to another person who satisfies all the conditions applicable to the tour, provided reasonable written notice (at least 21 days) is given to us of the intention to transfer the booking before the date of departure. In this case, both persons will be jointly and severally liable to us for full payment of the holiday cost (or, if part of the price has been paid, for payment of the balance) and for any additional costs arising from the transfer.
8. Where special requests (e.g. diet, room type etc.) are an important factor in the choice of holiday, you must advise us when the booking is made. We are happy to pass your request on to the hotel, but cannot guarantee that it will be accommodated. The provision of any special request does not constitute a term of your contract with us unless we have confirmed it in writing.
CANCELLATION BY YOU OR US
9. Cancellation of a booking by you must be made in writing and sent to Back-Roads Touring, Level 1, 107 Power Road, London W4 5PY, United Kingdom; an oral message is insufficient. This avoids any misunderstanding. We will not treat a booking as cancelled until written notice is received by us (fax or email is acceptable). If the cancellation is received six weeks or more before departure, only the deposit is forfeited and any other payments made upfront will be refunded. 10. If the cancellation is within six weeks of the departure date, the following charges will apply:
Days before departure % holiday costs forfeited
Over 42 days Deposit
42-29 days 40%
28-14 days 60%
13-7 days 80%
6-3 days 90%
2-0 days 100%
CANCELLATION OR MODIFICATION BY US
11. Every effort will be made to operate all holidays as advertised but it must be remembered that our tours are planned up to twelve months in advance. We use independent suppliers such as hotels etc., over whom we have no direct control. On occasions, changes do have to be made and we reserve the right, at our discretion, to modify or cancel any holiday, accommodation or arrangement at any time. Most of these changes are minor. However, if we consider them a material modification we will endeavour to advise you or your travel agent as soon as reasonably possible and if you accept them, they will form part of the contract between you and us.
12. In the case of any material modification or cancellation, we will, if possible, provide you with the following three alternatives:
(1) an alternative tour of equivalent or superior quality and equivalent price, if available on the dates you wish to travel;
(2) an alternative tour of a lower quality together with a refund of the difference in price between the package purchased and the substitute package; or
(3) cancellation with a full refund of all monies paid including your deposit.
13. A material modification is one which has a serious effect on your holiday and includes, for example, a change of departure date, departure point, or change of departure time of more than twelve hours, which may, depending on your circumstances, cause substantial inconvenience to you.We do not consider a change of hotel or accommodation as material.
14. We will use our best endeavours not to materially modify or cancel the holiday within six weeks of the date of departure unless compelled to do so because of circumstances beyond our reasonable control (referred to as “force majeure” as described in clause 27 below). If material modification or cancellation is made to your holiday within six weeks of the departure date for reasons other than force majeure or non-payment by you, and you wish to accept these changes, you will receive compensation in accordance with the following table: Period before scheduled departure date that we notify you or your travel agent of material modification or cancellation
Compensation offered per booking
Over 42 days nil
42-29 days £20
28-14 days £30
13-7 days £40
6-0 days £80
15. Certain holidays may require a minimum number of participants and in the event that there are insufficient participants by the date falling six weeks before the scheduled departure date, we will be entitled to cancel the holiday upon informing you that we are doing so, whereupon all monies paid by you for your Back-Roads Touring tour shall be refunded to you, but no further compensation will be paid.
16. We reserve the right to alter or substitute the type of vehicle mentioned in the brochure, depending on the number of participants on the particular holiday or tour, which may vary from tour to tour. In general, the maximum group size is 18 clients.
OUR LIABILITY TO YOU
17. Subject to clauses 20 and 21 below, we accept responsibility if due fault on our part, any part of your holiday arrangements that occur after your Back-Roads Tour has commenced is not as described in the brochure, or not of a reasonable standard. We also accept liability if you or any member of your party is killed or injured as a direct result of an activity forming part of those holiday arrangements failing to be as described and of a reasonable standard.
18. We do not accept responsibility if and to the extent that any failure of your holiday arrangements, or death or injury is not caused by any fault of ours, or our agents or suppliers; but is attributable to your own acts or omissions, or to the acts or omissions of a third party unconnected with your holiday arrangements or to unusual or unforeseeable circumstances or events which could not have been anticipated or avoided by us, our servants, agents, or suppliers even with the exercise of all due care.
19. For claims which do not involve personal injury, illness or death, the most we will have to pay if we are liable to you is two times the price you as the person affected, paid for your holiday excluding insurance premiums and change fees). We will only have to pay this maximum amount if everything has gone wrong and you have received no benefit from your holiday.
20. Subject to clause 17 above, if any failure in your holiday arrangements or damage arising from the non-performance or improper performance of the services involved in your travel package or tour relates to, or if you or any member of your party is killed, injured or becomes ill during or as a result of carriage by aircraft, ship, train or coach forming part of the holiday arrangements booked before departure in your trip with us, our liability to pay compensation and/or the amount of compensation we will pay is limited in accordance with the liability of the carrier under any international convention which governs such services. International Conventions which may apply include, but are not limited to, the following: in respect of carriage by sea, the Athens Convention 1974; in respect of rail carriage, the Berne Convention 1961; and, in respect of carriage by road, the Geneva Convention 1973. The terms of these conventions are incorporated into and form part of your contract with us. You should also be aware that these conventions may limit or remove the carrier’s liability to you and the amount which the carrier has to pay to you in the event of damage, death or personal injury. You should also know that the carrier will rely upon its ‘conditions of carriage’ which may limit or remove the carrier’s liability to you and limit compensation under international conventions.
21. If we make any payment to you or any member of your party for death, personal injury or illness, you must give us or our insurers the rights you may have to take action against the person or organisation responsible for causing the death, personal injury or illness and you must co-operate fully with us in seeking recovery of any payment we may make to you.
22. Where, as a result of circumstances beyond our control, we are obliged to change or end your holiday after departure, but before the end of your holiday, we will not pay compensation or reimburse you for expenses incurred. You should have adequate travel insurance for your holiday and claim via your insurance company for any loss or out-of-pocket expenses you incur as a result of the change or premature end to your holiday. In the event that any claim is made directly with us and notwithstanding these terms and conditions we are held to be responsible for that claim, our liability to pay compensation and/or the amount of compensation will be limited in accordance with the conventions referred to in clause 20 above.
23. If however after departure, a significant portion of the services you have contracted for is not provided or we become aware that we will be unable to procure a significant proportion of the services to be provided:
(a) we will make suitable alternative arrangements, at no extra cost to you, for the continuation of the package and will, where appropriate, compensate you for the difference between the services to be supplied under our contract with you and those supplied; and
(b) if it is not possible to make the arrangements referred to in clause 23(a) above, or these arrangements are not accepted by you for good reasons, we will, where appropriate, provide you with equivalent transport back to the place of departure or to another place to which you have agreed and will, where appropriate, compensate you.
24. Every effort will be made to operate the tours in this brochure or on our website, but there may be a necessity to vary the itinerary, or delays may occur for a variety of reasons beyond our control. In the instance that we are unable to visit a site included in the list of entrances due to seasonal opening hours, we will offer a reasonable alternative in fitting with the itinerary. You will therefore need to undertake the tour of your choice with a flexible attitude.
25. All Our tours are conducted in English.
26. No refund can be made for services not used once the tour has begun, howsoever this eventuality may be occasioned, including where you decide to leave the tour early. The final decision on the itinerary and the content of the tour will be taken by the Back-Roads Guide, as appointed by us, taking into account the interests of the group as a whole.
EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY
27. Force Majeure
27.1 We do not accept liability for any loss, damage or expense resulting from a force majeure event. Force majeure means unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our reasonable control or the control of our suppliers, the consequences of which neither us nor our suppliers could avoid even with all due care, including, but not limited to, war or terrorist activities, threatened or actual, civil unrest, riot, industrial action, threatened or actual, adverse weather conditions, fire, flood, drought, natural or nuclear disaster, closures, unforeseen alterations to public transport schedules, changes imposed by rescheduling of aircraft or boats, unavoidable technical problems with transport, machinery or equipment, power failure, epidemic or outbreaks of illness or any other event outside our control the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised, which either delays or extends the tour, compels a change in the holiday arrangements or its cancellation.
27.2 We will not accept responsibility for any client who contravenes any law or regulation of any of the countries visited while on the tour.
28. Health and Medical Conditions
28.1 If you, or any member of your party have a medical condition or disability which may affect your holiday you must tell us at time of booking so we are able to advise as to the suitability of your chosen arrangements. We may ask You to complete a medical assessment form to assist us. If we reasonably feel we are unable to properly accommodate the particular needs of the person concerned, we reserve the right to decline the booking or ask for the person to be accompanied by a person who is able to provide full assistance to them throughout their tour.
28.2 All participants on a Back-Roads tour must be in good health as walking is a fundamental part of these tours. Our tours are not suitable for anyone with physical or mental disabilities, or restriction of movement.
28.3 You should also be aware that your fellow travellers may be of a wide age range and from various nationalities.
YOUR LIABILITY TO US
29. You must comply with all Government laws, regulations, local customs and foreign exchange regulations of each of the countries visited whilst on tour. Should we detect any contravention of any relevant law, regulation or custom, you may be asked to leave the tour without a refund of the tour fees you have paid.
30. No passenger will be permitted to embark or continue on the trip while their mental or physical condition is, in the reasonable opinion of any representative of Back-Roads Touring, or any Tour Guide, hotel manager, or other person in authority, such as to render him or her incapable of caring for himself or herself, or whereby their behaviour is causing danger to themselves or to other passengers, damage to property, or persistently affecting the enjoyment of others. We reserve the right to terminate your holiday immediately in such a situation.
31. We will not be responsible for expenses resulting in such persons being precluded from completing the tour for any reason, nor will we be able to refund them any part of their trip cost.
32. In all cases we will notify you of the situation and the reasons why we have taken any action against or towards you. We will have no obligation to arrange for your return to the point of departure.
33. Please ensure you carefully read your confirmation invoice, tickets and all other documents we send to you as soon as you receive them, and contact your travel agent, or us if any information appears to be incorrect. We regret that we cannot accept any liability if we are not notified of any inaccuracy in any document within 14 days of us sending them to you or your travel agent. While we will do our best to rectify any changes made outside this time, it is your responsibility to meet any additional costs which may be involved, except in the case of an error made solely by Us and where there is good reason for you not contacting us within the specified time.
34. Each passenger is responsible for ensuring that all necessary travel documents (e.g. passports, visas, vaccination certificates etc.) are valid and effective. We strongly recommend that you verify current information with your travel agent. We will not be liable to make any refund or pay compensation if you or any member of your party is unable to proceed with the holiday as planned because of incorrect or missing personal documents.
35. It is a condition of booking that you and all members of your party take out comprehensive travel insurance before you travel on your Back-Roads tour and that it is adequate for your needs. Your insurance must include cover for cancellation, medical and repatriation expenses, personal injury, death, cover for loss of baggage, money and valuables, personal liability, delay, curtailment, missed departure and legal expenses. If you suffer from a disability or medical condition you should disclose this to insurers. Insurance cover offered by credit card companies or reciprocal medical cover agreements are often not sufficiently comprehensive to cover these things. Your travel insurance should be taken out at time of booking.
36. You also agree to indemnify us against all third-party actions taken against us in respect of actions, accidents or damages caused by or to you arising from your participation in the holiday.
37. In the event of you making a claim against us for services rendered on your trip, you agree to sign over to us, any rights to take action against the supplier or any other person or party that you have a complaint or legal right against and to co-operate fully with us should we or our Insurers wish to enforce those rights which have been assigned to us.
38. In the event of you not making a claim under your insurance policy by the date falling 5 days before the maximum length of time permitted by your policy for making claims, you shall assign, by letter sent by special delivery post to Us not less than 5 days prior to the said specified maximum time, the benefit of the insurance policy to us and give immediate notice of such an assignment to the Insurer.
39. In the unlikely event of any dissatisfaction with the accommodation or any other services provided by us, you must report it immediately to your Back-Roads Guide so that prompt efforts can be taken to find appropriate solutions to the problem. It is unreasonable to take no action whilst on holiday, but then write a letter of complaint upon return. Failure to notify the Guide of any problem immediately or at the earliest opportunity in writing or any other appropriate form, may result in your ability to claim compensation from us being extinguished or at least reduced.
40. Any complaint made to us after the holiday has finished should be made in writing within 28 days of holiday completion. In the event you do not notify us in writing within 28 days, this may affect the company’s ability to investigate your complaint and may impact on the way that your complaint is dealt with. In consequence, this may affect your rights under this contract.
42. This applies to any sensitive information that you give to us such as details of any disabilities, dietary requirements or religious beliefs. If we cannot pass this information on to the relevant suppliers, whether in the EU or not, we will be unable to provide your booking and we cannot accept your booking. In making this booking, you consent to this information being passed on to the relevant persons. You have the right to ask us in writing for a data subject access request to obtain a copy of the information which we hold about you. You will be charged a fee for this. Any requests should be addressed to the Company Secretary, Back-Roads Touring Co. Limited, Level 1, 107 Power Road, London W4 5PY, United Kingdom.
43. We operate a non-smoking policy on our vehicles, although we make frequent stops for breaks.
44. There are strict weight limits in Europe and the U.K. for vehicles when fully loaded, therefore we have limited luggage capacity. Therefore you are only entitled to one piece of main luggage of a standard size and not weighing more than 20kg. In addition you may bring a daypack. If you are carrying more luggage than this allowance we are within our rights to refuse to carry additional bags and You will be responsible for making alternative storage arrangements.
45. No servant or representative of Back-Roads Touring has any right to alter, vary or waive any of these terms and conditions, nor do they have the right to undertake any liability whatsoever on behalf of Back-Roads Touring unless such alteration, variation, waiver or undertaking is in writing and signed by a duly authorised representative on behalf of Us.
46. All contracts with Back-Roads Touring are governed by UK law and are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of UK Courts.
47. You understand that future Back-Roads Touring advertising or publicity material may include statements made by passengers, or their photographs, and you consent to such use of your comments and/or photographic / video likeness.