FAQ

BEFORE YOU GO

HOW DO I BOOK?

We suggest you check availability and make a provisional booking before sending your booking form – the availability information on our website is updated at least daily when we are open. Or call our reservations hotline on 0116 279 3929, or e-mail sales@preferredts.com. Then complete the booking form and return it (scanned copies accepted at the same e-mail address) with the deposit payment of £125 per person (or full balance if applicable) plus insurance premium if required, to: Preferred Travel Services, 41 High Street, Kibworth, Leicester, LE8 0HS. You can pay by bank transfer (details on our website), debit card, credit card or cheque. Please make cheques payable to Preferred Travel Services. You can download a booking form here.

HOW DO YOU CALCULATE HOLIDAY/HOTEL SATISFACTION SCORES?

We show a satisfaction score against each holiday and hotel on the website, where we have operated the holiday, or worked with the hotel, in the past. These scores are calculated from the holiday questionnaires given to previous customers.Holiday pages: marks out of 5 are given for ‘The Holiday as a Whole’. These are stored and expressed as a percentage on the holiday web pages.

Hotel: Marks are given out of 5 for the accommodation, food, and service in hotels. We average these three marks and express them as a percentage against the hotels we have worked with before.

If a holiday is a brand new addition to our programme, or we are using a hotel for the first time, there is no score to give for the holiday or hotel in question. Where we have modified the content of an existing holiday, we shall continue to use the scores previously achieved by that holiday, even if the title of the holiday has changed.

These results are updated twice yearly.

WHERE DO THE FEATURED TESTIMONIAL COMMENTS COME FROM?

Testimonials are comments received from previous customers concerning an aspect or aspects of the holiday in question. Particularly in the case of a new holiday, these will sometimes include comments on tour leaders, guides, accommodation or the booking process: but not necessarily made exclusively of the featured holiday. Comments may come from questionnaires or from other correspondence. If you want us to remove a comment you made, or feel we have used it out of context, please let us know.

Sometimes we re-launch a holiday with a slightly amended itinerary and a new name. Some or all of the comments may come from the previous version of the holiday.

WHO IS MY CONTACT FOR GROUP BOOKINGS?

Group discounts are available from as few as 10 paying passengers. Exclusive departures are also available. Please contact us on 0116 279 3929 or e-mail groups@preferredts.com for further details.

PRICES: WHAT IS INCLUDED?

Prices are subject to change, but not once you have booked and paid your deposit: from then, your holiday price is guaranteed – please see Clause 3 of our Booking Conditions. Please note that optional excursions, porterage, drinks with main meals, travel insurance and other items are not included in the holiday price unless specifically stated as included in the holiday descriptions. In most cases, prices shown are per person sharing a twin or double-bedded room. Supplements, including single room supplements, are shown for each holiday in our published material and in the ‘Accommodation’ section of each holiday on this website. We cannot guarantee that all room types, including the standard rooms that are the base price for a holiday, are always available.

For the avoidance of doubt, half-board normally includes evening dinner and breakfast. Lunches are not included unless specifically stated as being included in the programme.

In most cases, prices shown are per person sharing a twin or double-bedded room. Supplements, including single room supplements, are shown for each holiday in our published material and in the ‘Accommodation’ section of each holiday on this website. We cannot guarantee that all room types, including the standard rooms that are the base price for a holiday, are always available.

HOW MUCH IS THE DEPOSIT?

The deposit for each holiday is £125 per person (please refer to How to Book).

HOW MUCH IS INSURANCE? IS THERE AN AGE SUPPLEMENT?

Insurance premiums are £44.95 per person under the age of 80 at the date of departure for holidays up to 10 days and £54.95 for two weeks. Please refer to the Travel Insurance section of our Booking Conditions here.

Please refer to the Travel Insurance section of our Booking Conditions here.

Full policy wording can be found here.

We regret cover is not available to persons aged over 80 years at the date of departure. Such cover may be available with Goodtogo tel: 0330 024 9952 – please say you are travelling with Preferred Travel Services.

IS THERE A SURCHARGE FOR PAYMENTS BY CREDIT CARD?

There is no charge for using a credit card to pay a holiday deposit. Balance or part balance payments by credit card are subject to a charge of 2% of the payment being made. No charges apply to payments by cheque, debit card, bank transfer, or where full payment is made at the time of booking – even if you use a credit card.

CAN I TRAVEL ON A DIFFERENT DATE?

Obviously the departure dates of our holidays are set and as advertised. Occasionally extra dates, or departure points, will be added due to demand/flight availability – please look at our website www.preferredts.com or call us. If you wish to combine two holidays into a longer break, or e.g. stay behind in your destination country to visit friends, we will try to assist and arrange special flight arrangements. Please note that for bookings including special flight arrangements there will be an administration fee of £15 per person, and the deposit payment (non-refundable) will be £250 per person.

CAN I TRANSFER FROM A WALKING HOLIDAY TO A TOURING HOLIDAY TRAVELLING TO THE SAME RESORT ON THE SAME DATE?

In most cases, yes, but not always (e.g we may have limited capacity for a visit to an attraction). Sometimes this is possible even in resort. An amendment fee may apply.

CAN I TRANSFER FROM A TOURING HOLIDAY TO A WALKING HOLIDAY TRAVELLING TO THE SAME RESORT ON THE SAME DATE?

In advance, subject to availability, yes. An amendment fee may apply. In resort, this is not normally possible, due to insurance implications.

WHEN MUST I PAY MY BALANCE?

In most cases, 8 weeks before departure. Please note that we do not send reminders. You may pay by bank transfer, debit card, or cheque at no extra cost. A 2% charge applies to balance payments by credit card. We do not send receipts for balance payments.

WHERE DO I GET HEALTH REQUIREMENTS AND TRAVEL ADVICE?

There are currently no compulsory health requirements for the countries we visit. For up to date UK government health and travel advice please visit www.dh.gov.uk/ travellers (020 7210 4850) or check with your GP, practice nurse or travel health clinic for advice. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up-to-date travel advice at www.fco.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo and www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

I HAVE A EUROPEAN HEALTH CARD (EHIC)? DO I STILL NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?

The EHIC replaced the old E111 in 2006. Your EHIC lets you get state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. An EHIC card is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical health-care or costs such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, being flown back to the UK, or lost or stolen property. Therefore, it is important to have both an EHIC and a valid private travel insurance policy. Most insurers now insist you hold an EHIC. The EHIC is valid in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries. The EEA is a free trade zone between countries of the European Union (EU), Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. The regulations on access to healthcare in the EEA also apply in Switzerland. Applying for an EHIC is free of charge. You can apply online at www.ehic.org.uk or by phoning the automated service on 0300 3301350.

DO I NEED A VISA?

Unless otherwise stated, no visas are required for full British passport holders. Nationals of other countries should consult the appropriate authorities. For visits to countries in the EU, passports must be valid on the day of return, but you should give yourself some leeway. Furthermore, requirements for countries outside the EU vary so we suggest you have 6 months validity from the date of your return to cover all eventualities. Please call us if you would like information about a specific country. You must have a passport for travel to/from the UK. In case your passport is lost or stolen overseas, a photocopy of the photograph page will be of help in obtaining an emergency passport from the Consulate for return travel. Make sure you are insured for the costs of obtaining an emergency passport. These will be the application fees but may also include expensive transport costs getting to/from the Consulate.

IS THE MONEY I PAY YOU PROTECTED?

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays in this brochure are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that the package you have booked is correctly identified. Please see Clause 14 of our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate.

WHAT ABOUT DATA PROTECTION?

Please be assured that we have measures in place to protect the per- sonal booking information held by us. This information will be passed on to the principal and to the relevant suppliers of your travel arrangements. The information may also be provided to public authorities such as customs or immigration if required by them, or as required by law. Certain information may also be passed on to security or credit checking companies. If you travel outside the European Economic Area, controls on data protection may not be as strong as the legal requirements in this country. We will only pass your information on to persons responsible for your travel arrangements. This applies to any sensitive information that you give to us such as details of any disabilities, or dietary/religious requirements. (If we cannot pass this information to the relevant suppliers, whether in the EEA or not, we will be unable to provide your booking. In making this booking, you consent to this information being passed on to the relevant persons.) Full details of our data protection policy are available upon request. We may also send you from time to time details of our other products and services and/or those of our newspaper and carefully selected third parties which may be of interest to you. If you do not wish to receive such information please indicate this in the space provided on the booking form or call us.

CAN I EXTEND MY HOLIDAY?

Holidays are of a 7 night duration, but in areas such as Crete, Cyprus, Andalucia, Catalonia, the Algarve, Tenerife and Lanzarote, an extra week may be available..

WHERE CAN I FLY FROM?

We offer holidays flying from over 20 airports across the UK – the vast majority are direct flights. More and more of our customers are using our range of regional flights to meet up with friends and relatives from other parts of the UK on our holidays – if you would like us to send a brochure to a friend, just ask. Alternatively they can download one, or read online at www.preferredts.com.

ARE ALL YOUR FLIGHTS DIRECT FLIGHTS?

The vast majority of our flights are direct, non-stop flights from the UK to the resort airport. On the holiday flight pages, BA via LHR and BA via LGW mean British Airways flights with connections at Heathrow and Gatwick respectively. KLM via AMS is KLM Royal Dutch Airlines connecting in Amsterdam; and LH via FRA means Lufthansa with a connection at Frankfurt.

ARE THERE SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS?

In most cases, yes. These are imposed by hotels, but we try to limit them as much as we can. We also arrange special no-supplement departures to certain destinations.

HOW MANY ROOMS HAVE NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT?

On certain holidays we offer departures with no single room supplement. We only put these on sale when we have a minimum of 10 singles at no supplement. On some holidays we have 20 single or more rooms, but even then these offers are very popular and availability is finite (first come, first served!). In some cases, when our allocation of ‘free’ single rooms is full, the hotel may offer extra rooms at a supplement. ‘Single’ rooms are in fact doubles for sole occupancy in some resorts.

ARE THERE MOBILITY REQUIREMENTS?

Please note that in order to get the most from your visits to many of the attractions mentioned, reasonable amounts of walking will be necessary. The terrain of archaeological sites may be uneven, and scenic hill towns are….hilly! We regret we cannot accept any bookings from wheelchair users unless travelling with a companion able and willing to take responsibility when boarding coaches, trains etc and on excursions. Our representatives, guides, coach drivers etc. are not permitted to offer physical assistance. Please refer to Clause 12 of our booking conditions.

CAN I MEET WITH FRIENDS FROM A DIFFERENT DEPARTURE AIRPORT?

We list all the airports available for each holiday. So if you have friends in other parts of the country who want to join you, you can check which is the best airport for them. We are even able to arrange for a friend travelling from a different airport to share a twin/ double room with you for the holiday! Just ask us. Please make us aware that you are travelling on the same holiday as friends from elsewhere by noting this in the Special Requests section of the booking form.

MIGHT MY FLIGHTS CHANGE?

Airlines and timings are subject to change. Please refer to Clause 6 of the Booking Conditions. Our brochures are printed some time in advance and, in some cases, before the airline has published its timetable. In these cases timings shown are based on experience of previous years. While latest known light timings will be given at the time of booking these can change. Sometimes an airline will add a new route: when possible, we may add this to our programme. Sometimes routes are withdrawn, in which case we will adjust our programme and offer alternatives if possible.

WHAT ABOUT AIRCRAFT SEAT NUMBERS?

Specific seats, for example aisle or window seats, can be pre-booked at an extra cost. Otherwise, airlines will choose seats for you. While most airlines allocate seats together on the same booking free of charge, this is not guaranteed, and you could be seated away from your travelling companion(s). Therefore, if you have any seating preferences (including guaranteed seats together), it is important that you tell us when you book, and, in any event, at least four weeks before your departure date. We shall tell you if your preferences can be accommodated and at what extra cost, if any. Please note that any requests received within four weeks of your departure date may not be possible, even with payment of an extra cost.

 

WHEN DO YOU SEND OUT TRAVEL TICKETS?

10 days before departure.

HOW MUCH LUGGAGE CAN I TAKE?

One standard suitcase per person to be checked into the hold is included in the cost of your holiday. The permitted weight varies from airline to airline, from 15 to 22 kg of hold luggage and 5-10 kg of carry-on baggage, with currently a minimum of 25kg between the two. Please refer to the airline website or the following pdf summary for more specific information. With 25kg, however, split between carry-on and hold luggage, you should be fine – and this luggage allowance is INCLUDED in your holiday cost. However please remember that this information is subject to confirmation with your final departure information.

Ryanair is currently increasing allowance from 15 to 20kg.

IN RESORT – GENERAL

WHAT HAPPENS ON A HALF-BOARD HOLIDAY IF MY FLIGHT TIMING MEANS I ARRIVE AFTER DINNER HAS ENDED?

If you arrive at the first hotel after the normal meal time has ended, a cold meal is normally provided.

YOU OFFER MANY DEPARTURE AIRPORTS. DOES THIS MEAN I WILL SPEND AGES WAITING AT THE ARRIVAL AIRPORT?

Transfers to your hotel on arrival will be arranged by coach, minivan or car as appropriate. We do sometimes group arrivals together but the longest you can expect to wait is 1 hour – and this would be very unusual. Please note that while all airports are listed, by no means all of them will be used on the same date.

IF I STAY AN EXTRA WEEK, CAN I DO MY INCLUDED EXCURSIONS THEN?

Excursions operate during the first week only. There may not be a local representative service during the second week, although a local contact number is generally provided, and the UK emergency number is always available. Naturally, your return airport transfer will be arranged for you.

WILL YOU TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS OF ME WHILE ON HOLIDAY?

Our walking guides, tour directors and resort representatives may take photographs which find their way into our brochures and on to websites including, for example, their or our facebook pages. If you prefer not to be photographed, just let them know.

DO YOU CHANGE DETAILS FROM THOSE IN THE BROCHURE?

Generally, No. Accommodation has been reserved in the hotels mentioned, but we do reserve the right to substitute similar hotels should circumstances dictate. Where a train or boat journey features in a programme the journey will be made by road if, for any reason, the train or boat is not operating. The order of visits described may be subject to change, e.g. due to guide availability, days of the week, and for other reasons.

HOW DO SPLIT ARRIVAL DAYS WORK?

On some holidays, due to flight schedules from certain airports, customers may arrive on consecutive days. However, you will not miss any included activity. These will be arranged for days when everyone is present, or (particularly on holidays with more than one centre) the activities of Day 2 will be repeated on Day 7 for anyone who was not present the first time.

WILL ALL HOTEL FACILITIES BE OPERATIONAL?

In our brochure descriptions, we try to include only items that will be available during your stay. However, please note that at the discretion of the hotels (and their view of the local climate), lido and pool areas, as well as air-conditioning, may not be operational, and hotels’ charging policies for access to spas, safety deposits, wifi, etc are always subject to change.

CAN I TAKE LUNCH INSTEAD OF DINNER?

Half board normally includes evening dinner and breakfast.

DO ALL HOTELS OFFER BUFFET MEALS?

We make group bookings in hotels. In some hotels this will mean a set menu at a fixed time for dinner with no or limited choice, so please make sure we are aware of any special dietary requirements. Where house wine is included with dinner, this will be limited in colour, type and quantity by the hotel!

WHAT ARE HOTEL CHECK-IN AND CHECK-OUT TIMES?

Hotel check-in times are usually between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., check-out times between 10 a.m. and 12 noon on the day of departure. However, times do vary. Therefore, if you check-in immediately after a night flight this would normally count as one night’s accommodation. Similarly if your return flight is at night you will normally be required to vacate your room in the morning prior to leaving for the airport later on. Day rooms are subject to availability/cost and should be arranged locally with the hotel.

WHAT ABOUT TOURIST TAXES?

Local tourist taxes apply in some places and may be introduced in others. These are not included in the holiday cost and must be paid by hotel guests directly to the hotel. We show these in the holiday descriptions where possible, but you may wish to ask us if any apply to your holiday. The amount of the charge, which is imposed by authorities at the destination, is subject to change.

IS THERE TEA/COFFEE MAKING IN ROOMS?

This is provided in some hotels, but not in most.

IN RESORT – WALKING

HOW DO I KNOW HOW HARD A WALK IS?

On all our walks we advise distance and elevation gain/loss. Naturally, altitude and terrain affect different people in different ways. Our staff, both in the office and in resort, are happy to advise.

DO I NEED TO GO ON ALL THE WALKS IF ONE IS TOO HARD FOR ME?

No. You are on holiday – it’s your choice! Talk to your walking guide about the other walks, and make your decision. But if for any reason you are not participating on any of the walks, please advise our walking guides or representative in advance.

WHAT WALKING EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?

The walks we have chosen for you offer suitable walking for regular walkers of reasonable fitness and full mobility. For your comfort and security, and in recognition of the fact that paths in places may be stony or wet, it is essential that you should have appropriate footwear. Either strong walking shoes or boots which give ankle support and have soles with a good grip (boots are obviously the better option, plimsolls are definitely not!). You should also take a rucksack or backpack, carry a snack or packed lunch, a sweater, a waterproof (just in case!), a hat, something to drink, insect repellent and good sun cream. Binoculars/cameras are an extremely good idea, and walking poles if you have them . You may wish to take a spare pair of socks and a small towel in case there has been recent rain. Undergrowth abroad can be more abrasive than in the UK, so you may prefer long trousers to shorts. The routes of the walks, and the order in which they are done, may be amended due to weather conditions should your walking guides deem this advisable. Your walking guides live locally and will make the appropriate decisions for your comfort and safety, according to the weather.

CAN I WALK FURTHER? OR LESS?

The walks are designed for regular walkers of average fitness. If you wish to walk further, our guides will assist you with information on other walking possibilities in the area. If you wish to stick to shorter distances, some of our walks can be abridged to suit – though in some instances you may have to pay for a taxi back to the hotel from a convenient point!

DO YOU STICK TO THE WALKS IN THE BROCHURE?

The details of the walks are believed correct at the time of printing the brochure. However, they may be amended due to local conditions or substituted with walks of similar content and quality – sometimes because the local situation has changed, so a variation is preferable to what was originally planned. Similarly the order of operation of the walks is subject to confirmation. Distances and elevations should be taken as indicative only and may not agree with local signage nor with GPS systems’ readings, which, as we have found out, do not always agree with each other! Please bear in mind that while walks are on marked paths, farm tracks and tarmac roads, the different nature of terrain, vegetation and local standards in the resort areas means that these are often very different to those you would find in the UK. Vive la difference!

HOW MANY WALKERS TO A WALKING GUIDE?

We normally provide a walking guide/assistant guide for a maximum of 15-20 walkers. This ratio can change slightly for operational reasons (e.g. terrain, local regulations, guide availability) but if there are more than 20 walkers in a group we would normally provide an assistant as well as the walking guide.

DO I NEED SPECIAL INSURANCE FOR WALKING HOLIDAYS?

Please check with your insurer if in doubt. Our travel insurance covers you for group walks up to an altitude of 3000m (approx 9850ft). The highest altitude reached on any of our group walks is 2550m (8415ft). If you decide to walk separately from our group, or if you have not taken out our insurance please ensure your cover is valid, particularly if you are going above 2000m/6560ft.

DO I NEED A PACKED LUNCH FOR WALKS?

In most cases we try and make the first walk one where supplies can be found en route, or a half day walk. Please refer to the walking itinerary information we will send with your travel information. Packed lunches may be available from hotels, but generally have to be ordered before dinner the previous evening. Please check locally.

IS TRANSPORT TO THE WALKS INCLUDED?

When required, transport to the start point of walks is included. If we use a larger coach to get more than one walking group to a start point, you may be asked to delay starting out so as to keep walking groups separate.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I CANNOT KEEP UP WITH THE WALKING GROUP?

Our walks are not a race, but they are for regular walkers who can keep up a reasonable pace both on the flat and on uneven, sometimes rising ground. Our guides are instructed to keep the rear of the walking group in sight as far as possible. Sometimes we have an assistant guide who will often stay towards the back of the group. That said, in the interests of the party as a whole  we need to be able to keep a group together. Anyone haring off ahead of the leader will be asked to wait. We try and make the first walk a flexible one, and with a breakout point or an easier option, if this is feasible. However, in the interests of the party as a whole, in extreme cases we have to reserve the right to ask people who cannot keep up to refrain from coming on the other walks both for their own safety and so that the itineraries can be respected. In this very unlikely event, naturally we will try and assist customers who wish to make alternative plans.