Pre-Departure Important Information

SECTION 1 - YOUR BOOKING

Your holiday documentation : Once your booking is confirmed we will send you a written confirmation invoice. It is your responsibility to check this carefully and if there are any errors or you are in any doubt regarding any aspect of your holiday then contact us straight away. Approximately four weeks before your departure we will send, to the lead person on your booking, a travel pack which will include your joining details and itinerary. Route notes and maps will be provided on arrival at your first accommodation.

General changes to your holiday : If you have to alter your holiday arrangements before you depart then this will incur charges as set out in our Booking Conditions. If you change your holiday after departure then there may be additional costs which you will be asked to pay locally. Please also be aware that many of our contracts with suppliers do not allow for refunds on bookings that have been altered or cancelled without giving considerable notice. Refunds will generally not be provided for unused bike hire, transfers or for no-shows or curtailment of your accommodation booking. However, you may be able to make a claim on your travel insurance if you have to cut short your holiday due to injury, for example.

Travel insurance : It is vital that you have travel insurance that covers you for cycling to all destinations you will be visiting, plus any other activities that you wish to participate in. If you have insurance we advise that you check with your insurer to make sure cover is adequate. If you do not have insurance at the time of booking we recommend that you arrange this as soon as possible so that you are covered in case you have to cancel, due to illness for example. We do not sell insurance ourselves. Please note that insurance provided by credit card companies and banks often has limited cover. Please check at the time of booking that the cover provided by such a policy is adequate. Please note that we cannot be held responsible or liable in any way for customers who fail to take out adequate travel insurance.

Transfers and child seats : Unless you have specifically booked a private transfer then transfers will be shared with other travellers who are arriving or departing around the same time as you. Transfers are not booked exclusively for Freedom Treks customers, many are scheduled services running to a published timetable. If your incoming flight is delayed, the transfer will not wait for you and you will have to wait for the next available departure. Transfer vehicles may not be fitted with seat belts, so if this is a concern then we must be made aware before departure. Where they are fitted they must be used. Equally, child and infant seats are not routinely provided and certain transfer vehicle types do not have the means to secure seats. Please discuss any requirements you may have with us and we will do our best to accommodate them. If we have to make changes to your transfer arrangements as a result then additional charges may be incurred.

If you or members of your party will be taking your own cycling equipment, please let us know so that we can book a vehicle with sufficient luggage space.

Check-in and nights in residence : The standard international practice is to let rooms from midday to midday. However times do vary. Check-in times are usually between 2pm and 4pm, checkout times between 10am and 12 noon on the day of departure. 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 by 12 noon prior to leaving for the airport. Day rooms are subject to availability/cost and should be arranged locally with the accommodation management.

Local representation : As most of our customers are independent travellers, we do not have local representatives in the resorts that we offer. If you encounter any problems your first point of contact should always be the local suppliers themselves who will endeavour to assist you. Please refer to your holiday voucher for their contact/emergency telephone details. We have an emergency phone in the UK which is manned 24/7 throughout the season should you require urgent assistance, the details for which are provided in your holiday documentation.

SECTION 2 - OTHER CHARGES/COSTS THAT ARE NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR HOLIDAY COST

Travel documents : The costs of applying for a passport, travel authorisation, visa or other permit to travel as required for the destination(s) you are visiting.

Parking charges : If you are on a self-drive holiday there may be parking charges at some hotels which are not included in your holiday cost. These charges are payable locally and are generally about €10-15 per night. Parking is not generally charged for by smaller hotels or those in smaller towns, but most hotels in the larger cities do have a parking fee.

Visitors tax/port fees : On some Croatia tours, a visitors tax/port fee is payable locally direct to the boat operator. This cannot be paid in advance. This is clearly stated on our website where applicable.

Local hotel tourist tax : On some Italy tours, a hotel tourist tax is payable locally direct to the hotel. This cannot be paid in advance. This is clearly stated on our website where applicable.

Entrance fees to museums, attractions, National Parks, etc. : unless stated on our website.

Ferry tickets : on some tours, ferry tickets must be bought locally. This is clearly stated on our website where applicable.

SECTION 3 - FLIGHTS, AIRLINES and ADVANCE PASSENGER INFORMATION

Airline websites and on-line services : Most airlines offer a range of services through their websites which can greatly enhance your flight experience, for example up to date flight information, meal and seating requests and on-line and telephone check-in. We strongly recommend that you use these services. You may also be able to provide the required API (Advance Passenger Information) on-line, see Section 4 below.

Baggage allowances : Baggage allowances are often changed. We advise that you check your airline’s website and/or your e-ticket prior to departure for the latest information on baggage allowances and hand luggage restrictions. Please note that most airlines now charge for second bags. If you exceed the luggage allowance, you will be liable for excess baggage charges.

Please note that ALL airlines flying into and out of the UK do not accept any bags weighing more than 32kgs. Any baggage item in excess of the maximum 32kgs, on all routes, will be subject to re-packing or refusal of carriage and applicable excess baggage charges will be levied.

Airline contact information :

Airline Calling in the UK Calling when abroad
BA 0844 930 787 (www.ba.com) Please refer to ba.com for local numbers
Easyjet 0330 365 5000 (www.easyjet.com) Refer to easyjet.com for local numbers
Jet2 0800 408 1350 (www.jet2.com) +44 203 059 8336
Monarch 0333 003 0700 (www.monarch.co.uk) +44 8719 405040
Norwegian 0330 828 0854 (www.norwegian.com) Refer to norwegian.com for local numbers
Swiss 0345 601 0956 (www.swiss.com) Call UK number

Flight schedule changes : Flight schedule changes are now very commonplace and it is likely your flight timings will change between booking your flights and when you travel. However, the vast majority of these changes are very minor and will not affect your itinerary. It is advisable to check your airline’s website the morning of your departure to ensure your flight is on time.

Flight delays and cancellations : The EU Denied Boarding Regulations 2004 require airlines in certain circumstances to provide assistance to passengers and/or compensate in the event of denied boarding, cancellation or long flight delay. Where your flight is delayed or cancelled, please contact the relevant airline. For further information on this regulation visit www.dft.gov.uk.

Advance Passenger Information : Airlines request Advance Passenger Information (API) before departure. This is the collection of specific information from every passenger travelling and it is increasingly being requested by airlines for travel within Europe. This information is required for the purposes of ensuring aviation safety and security. Although you can provide API details at check-in if necessary, we strongly recommend that you provide it on-line in advance of travel to minimise hassle and speed up your check-in. If your airline does not accept API details online you may be able to call them to submit your details. Adding API details to your booking in advance is necessary if you wish to use the self-check-in kiosks or to check-in on-line.

You will need your flight booking reference to allow you to retrieve your booking, this is usually provided on the flight itinerary that you receive when you book your flights. The following is a list of information required (most of this is displayed on your machine-readable passport):

  • Full name (last name, first name, middle name if applicable)
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • Country of residence
  • Travel document type (normally passport)
  • Travel document number (expiry date and country of issue for passport)

SECTION 4 - TRAVELLING WITH MINORS and HONEYMOON TRAVELLERS

Travelling with minors : If you are travelling with your own child/children but the other parent is not travelling with you it is essential to obtain a letter from the non-travelling parent giving their consent for the child/children to travel, as this may be requested at immigration. This applies whether the child/children share your surname or not. In addition, if your child/children do not share your surname it is advisable to take their birth certificate/s with you to prove that you are a legal guardian. If you are travelling with minors who are not your own children then a letter signed by both parents giving their consent should be obtained and taken with you.

Honeymoon travellers : We find that newly married couples often wish to travel under their married name on honeymoon. Unless you have enough time to get a full passport in your new married name before travelling we do not recommend this. It is easier and less stressful, albeit not as romantic, to book flights in a maiden name and stick with an existing passport and then make the necessary changes when you return home.

SECTION 5 - PASSPORT, VISA AND HEALTH INFORMATION and FOREIGN & COMMONWEALTH OFFICE TRAVEL ADVICE

It is important to verify you and your party can satisfy the entry requirements to match your intended travel arrangements. Be aware that with the introduction of machine-readable and biometric passport requirements to some countries, having incorrect documentation can prevent travel.

Some countries require that passengers’ passports be valid for at least 90 days after completion of their journey and have at least two blank pages for any entry/exit stamps that may be required. Whilst this is not the case everywhere, it’s as well to be sure. For more information on ordering a new passport and how long it takes visit www.direct.gov.uk/passports.

The passport, visa and other entry requirements for full British citizens, residing in the UK and visiting the countries featured in our program for short tourism related stays are listed below. Please check the relevant country/countries to ensure you can satisfy the requirements of destinations you will be visiting during your trip. Foreign nationals should make their own enquiries to ensure they can satisfy all relevant entry requirements.

Where you are required to apply for a passport, travel authorisation, visa or other permit to travel, we strongly recommend that you apply as soon as possible. That is particularly important if you are concerned that your application might not be straightforward. Police reports or other supporting documents may have to be obtained and submitted and occasionally an interview may be required.

Customers who arrive at the airport and do not have correct documentation will be refused travel.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice : The FCO issues travel advice, which is regularly updated and which relates to political, economic and other circumstances prevailing in countries throughout the world. You are strongly advised to check this advice before you book and again before you travel. Their telephone number is 020 7008 1500 and details are also available online at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

EU COUNTRIES – AUSTRIA, BELGIUM, CROATIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, DENMARK, FINLAND, FRANCE, GERMANY, HOLLAND, HUNGARY, ITALY, POLAND, PORTUGAL, ROMANIA, SLOVENIA, SPAIN, SWEDEN – together with NORWAY and SWITZERLAND

Passport: For British passport holders, a passport is required to be valid for at least one day beyond the intended departure date from the foreign country. For other nationalities please contact the relevant embassy. Please ensure that your passport has at least two blank pages for any entry/exit stamps that may be required.

Visa: There are no visa requirements for British citizens. For other nationalities please consult the relevant embassy.

Health: Please visit the NHS travel websites at www.travelhealthpro.org.uk and at www.nhs.uk./Livewell/TravelHealth for up to date advice on the vaccination requirements and recommendations for the country/countries you are visiting. Recommendations do change from time to time and it is important to discuss your personal requirements with your doctor.

It is recommended that you obtain a European Health Insurance Card from your local post office or apply online at www.ehic.org.uk. This is not a substitute for medical or travel insurance but it entitles you to emergency treatment and immediately necessary healthcare at reduced cost.

JAPAN

Passport: All foreign visitors to Japan must be in possession of a passport that will remain valid for the duration of their stay.

Visa: UK citizens are exempt from applying for a visa for Japan providing their stay is for less than 90 days. For other nationalities, please contact the Japanese embassy at www.uk.emb-japan.go.jp/

Health: There are no required vaccinations for Japan.

Taking medication into Japan: The use or possession of some common prescription and overthe- counter medicines are banned under Japan’s strictly enforced anti-stimulant drugs law. This includes Vicks inhalers, medicines for allergies and sinus problems that contain stimulants such as pseudoephedrine, e.g. Sudafed, and even some mild painkillers like those containing codeine. Customs officials may not be sympathetic if you claim ignorance. If in any doubt, check with the Japanese Embassy before you travel.

Taking prescribed medication into Japan for personal use: To treat an established and ongoing medical condition. Drugs, syringes, cosmetics and medical devices for personal use can be imported up to the limit of one month’s supply, without any special permission. For amounts over the limit, or for certain substances, a special authorisation is required (Yakkan Shoumei – the Import Report of Medication). This must be applied for and obtained before travel, and taken with you to Japan – allow at least one month.

Full details from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare: www.mhlw.go.jp/english/policy/health-medical/pharmaceuticals/01.html

CAMBODIA

Passport : Your passport should be valid for a minimum of 6 months on the date you enter Cambodia. Entry is normally refused if you have a damaged passport or pages missing. It is recommended that your passport has several blank pages.

Visa : Tourist visas are available on arrival at the Phnom Penh or Siem Reap international airports, for $30. If you wish to get a visa on arrival you should arrive with a passport photograph. Visa fees, conditions and photograph requirements are subject to change. Check with The Royal Cambodian Embassy, or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Co-operation website.for the latest information.

Tourist visas issued by a Royal Cambodian Embassy abroad may appear to have a longer validity than 1 month. The validity of the visa refers to time you have to enter Cambodia. The visa is valid for 30 days from the actual date of entry into Cambodia. Make sure your passport is stamped on arrival, and keep the departure form. If you lose your departure form, you’ll need to contact immigration officials before you leave the country to make alternative arrangements.

Health : Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhoid vaccines recommended. Yellow Fever certificate requirement may apply. Visit www.travelhealthpro.org.uk for up to date advice and more information.

THAILAND

Passport : Your passport should be valid for a minimum of 6 months on the date you enter Thailand. Entry is normally refused if you have a damaged passport or pages missing. It is recommended that your passport has several blank pages.

Visa : British passport holders arriving by air or land can enter Thailand for 30 days without a visa - this is known as a visa exemption. If you need to stay longer, it’s possible to extend your stay once, from the expiry date of the original visa, for up to 30 days.

If you’re using the 30 day visa exemption you can only enter Thailand through a land border twice per calendar year. To cross more frequently, you’ll need to get a visa in advance of travelling. This doesn’t apply to entry by air into Thailand. You should contact the nearest Thai embassy or consulate for more information.

If you plan to stay in Thailand for longer than 30 days, intend to work, or use land borders regularly you must get a visa before you travel. If you’ve entered Thailand on a visa, it’s possible to apply for an extension of stay but you must do this before your permission to stay expires.

Health: Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhoid vaccines recommended. Yellow Fever certificate requirement may apply. Visit www.travelhealthpro.org.uk for up to date advice and more information.

VIETNAM

Passport : Your passport should be valid for a minimum of 6 months on the date you enter Vietnam for you to be eligible for the 15 day visa exemption. For periods of stay longer than 15 days, entry into Vietnam may be refused if your passport has less than 1 month validity from the date your Vietnamese visa expires. It is recommended that your passport has several blank pages.

Visa : Until 30 June 2017, ‘British Citizen’ passport holders travelling for tourism or business can enter Vietnam for up to a maximum of 15 days without a visa. It’s not yet clear whether this arrangement will remain in place from 1 July 2017 onwards. If you have a different type of British nationality - for example ‘British national (overseas)’- you’ll need to get a visa or an e-visa before entering Vietnam.

For visits of up to 30 days, you can get an e-visa online before you travel at https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/. Use of the e-visa is limited to certain entry/exit points which you must select at the time of application. If you don’t have fixed travel plans, consider applying for a regular single entry visa from the nearest Vietnamese Embassy, which allows more flexibility.

For visits of longer than 30 days you must get a visa from the nearest Vietnamese embassy before travelling to Vietnam.

Health : Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhoid vaccines recommended. Yellow Fever certificate requirement may apply. Visit www.travelhealthpro.org.uk for up to date advice and more information.

GENERAL HEALTH INFORMATION

Health : All travellers are advised to ensure that MMR, tetanus and polio vaccinations are kept up to date. Vaccination requirements and recommendations do change from time to time and it is important to discuss your personal requirements with your doctor. More information can be found at www.nhs.uk./Livewell/TravelHealth and www.travelhealthpro.org.uk.

In-flight health : For comprehensive information including DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) see www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk.

Helmets : Helmets are strongly recommended on all Freedom Treks holidays and are a legal requirement in some countries. Some suppliers require that you wear a helmet on tours they operate. Please bring your own helmets. Helmets may be available to hire on some tours but we cannot guarantee availability or that helmets provided will be of the same standard as those available in the UK.

Injury : There is an inherent risk of injury attached to cycling. The risk can be minimised by making sure that you are fit to cycle before you travel and ensuring that you cycle in a controlled fashion. If you suffer from any pre-existing injuries that may affect your ability to cycle, please consult your doctor before you travel.

Sun protection and appropriate clothing : We advise that you use a high factor sunscreen and wear UV protective sunglasses for protection from the high levels of UV in the mountains and southern European countries.

SECTION 6 - GENERAL INFORMATION ON TRAVEL

Electrical items : Most European countries use plugs with two round pins and you will need a plug adaptor.

Towels and linens : The hotels and boats that we feature include towels and linens - you do not need to take your own.

All information contained in the document correct as at 15 November 2017.