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Know Before You Book

We can tailor-make any holiday for you - longer or shorter durations, different hotels, alternative airlines, upgraded rooms and flights... all are possible. Part of the enjoyment of planning a holiday is the ease of mixing and match your destinations. Whilst we show a number of itinerary ideas in all our destination countries, these can all be easily adapted to your individual requirements. Our experienced team will be delighted to assist you further. We can also offer you an exciting range of small group tours, many of which will  depart with a minimum of two.
 

Travel in Africa
Africa is very different from Europe. Vast distances, tough physical conditions, and cultural differences mean that things do not always happen as scheduled. You must be prepared to adapt your plans if necessary and accept that there is a degree of uncertainty in African travel. This is especially relevant to travel in countries such as Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Madagascar, which are very poor countries with an undeveloped tourism infrastructure. Hotel standards can be inconsistent. Flights can be cancelled at short notice. Should this occur, we will do our best to minimize the inconvenience, but travel in these countries, and indeed throughout Africa, requires a flexible attitude.

What’s included in our price
The guide prices and our tailor-made quotations, are per person in pounds sterling, unless otherwise stated. Generally they include return flights from the UK, accommodation on the occupancy and board basis stated and return transfers to the resort. Rainbow Tours offers you the flexibility to create your own holiday from a wide range of accommodation and services available. Because of the choice we can offer you, it is not possible to list every price on every date.

A ‘from’ price is indicative of the lowest price available for the hotel or itinerary featured and is based on a shoulder season departure. These prices may also vary depending on a number of factors, such as your exact date of travel and choice of accommodation. In general we don't show peak season prices. All our quotations are personalised to your exact requirements and each quote will utilise the very best rates available at the time, and can often be cheaper than the prices shown in our brochures.

What’s not included in the price
Prices do not include:

-       Holiday insurance
-       Transportation between your home and UK departure airport
-       UK regional flights
-       Expenditure of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, room service etc.
-       Tips and gratuities

Website accuracy
Although we have made every effort to ensure that the content of this website is correct, it is inevitable that circumstances may change. Facilities may be withdrawn due to maintenance - eg the pool is closed as it needs a tile replaced and so on. Public and religious festivals may also impact on the availability of facilities both in the hotel and resort. We will endeavour to advise of changes we are aware of prior to travel.

UK Foreign Office Advice
To make the most of your holiday, and to be aware of the information supplied by the UK government, we recommend you check with the Foreign Office (FCO) ‘Know Before You Go’ website at www.fco.gov. uk/knowbeforeyougo. This is based on information provided to the Foreign Office from the UK government representatives based in each country, and is updated on a regular basis. In addition to advice and warnings about possible acts of terrorism, this also carries relevant information that can be of interest to travellers, particularly relating to health and safety. For more information visit www.fco.gov.uk or call 0845 850 2829.

Consumer Protection
The air holidays we sell are ATOL protected; we hold Air Travel Organiser’s Licences granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 10417. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking. For further information visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk.

We are a member of ABTA, membership number Y1152.

Passport & visas
All customers must be in possession of a valid 10 year passport. This should have a minimum validity of six months from your scheduled return date. UK passport holders do not currently require visas to visit any country in Latin America. However, should you travel or transit via the US, then you will have to obtain an ESTA (the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) before travelling. It is your responsibility to check that you have all valid documents in advance of booking your holiday. It is important that your passport has at least one clean page for entry stamps to be inserted. Other nationalities should enquire at the relevant embassy.

Your passport and air ticket must be in the same name. Again it is your responsibility to inform us of the correct spelling of your surname and first name. Even if you are commonly known by your middle name, this will not satisfy airlines who have become very strict in recent years on changing named bookings.

Health & Vaccinations
We strongly suggest consulting your GP about vaccination issues at least six weeks before travel. This is particularly important if you are visiting areas. General advice is also available from the Department of Health website, www.doh.gov.uk/traveladvice

Yellow Fever Certificates are required if visiting the Amazon region in Ecuador. Also, the Brazilian authorities require Yellow Fever Certificates to be shown upon arrival by those who have recently visited Peru, Bolivia or Venezuela.  Some African countries require you to have a certificate showing immunisation against yellow fever if you enter via East Africa. We will advise you of this at time of booking. 

A number of destinations in the Andes are located at altitudes between 2,400 and 4,300 metres above sea-level. Such heights may not be suitable for those suffering from heart problems or very high blood pressure, and you are recommended to check with your doctor if you have these conditions. Our experienced team will advise you if your itinerary travels to high altitudes.

Air Travel in Latin America
We will advise you on the approximate flying time to destinations in Latin America. Currently, the only mainland destinations in Latin America with non-stop flights from London are Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. For all other countries, it will be necessary to change aircraft en route. We only use scheduled flights for international travel. We cannot be held responsible for specific seat requests and allocated seat numbers.

Upgrading your flight
With Economy Class seats, please anticipate flights will be full, particularly at peak demand periods, and your choice of seats may not be available. In many cases we are able to offer flight upgrades to the extra comfort of enhanced economy on certain routes, as well as Business Class and First Class. Upgrades can be booked on a one way or return basis.

Hotel services
Even in the best of hotels, occasional hiccups can occur, although these are usually very quickly resolved. Minor problems can usually be resolved by reception, whilst others may need a prompt but discreet word with senior management. It is in everyone’s interest that problems are given the opportunity to be resolved whilst you are in the hotel/resort. This can particularly apply to items such as air conditioning, plumbing and hotel service. Please do not wait until you have returned to the UK to register your complaint. Hotels are much more receptive to dealing with such problems whilst you are there.

Always acquaint yourself with the safety precautions such as the fire drill shown in your room, taking particular note of the fire exits. Most hotels will display this on the door or in your room information kit. If you are not certain please ask the hotel to explain. Please be vigilant with the safety of your children, particularly the younger ones, and ensure they do not play in unsafe areas (such as near a lift). Some of the hotel swimming pools may have lifeguards; however in most cases you will be responsible for your own safety, so please do familiarise yourself with the depth of the pool before you dive in.

Meals
When meals have been included in the price, these will always be arranged on a table d’hôte (set meal) menu. Supplements will apply should you decide on à la carte items. This could particularly apply on all inclusive options. For those with specific diets of any kind, we suggest you choose a room only or breakfast only option and discuss your requirements locally. If alcoholic beverages are included, these tend to be house wine or locally bottled beer and spirits and supplements will apply to more premium brands.

Dress requirements
There are no specific dress codes on our itineraries. For itineraries that involve trekking, or visits to regions with extreme weather, you should dress appropriately. For other itineraries, if you are unsure about what clothing to take, our Travel Specialists will be able to offer advice.

Building work
If we receive prior advice we will inform you of any building work that we think will affect your holiday. Please note we have little or no control over building work taking place on a private residential property that may be adjacent to one of our featured hotels.

Unlike Europe, much of Latin America and Africa does not have stringent laws on building works. Whilst many hoteliers will act responsibly on this, the same would probably not apply to a private residence next to a hotel. Unfortunately we have no control over these works or the notice given. We will endeavour to notify you as soon as we become aware of any such building work within or nearby a hotel that will impact on your holiday enjoyment.

Personal safety
Many of the countries featured are part of the developing world and financial extremes do apply. We suggest that where possible you leave valuables at home. Most hotels will provide security safes for the storage of valuables. Please do check your insurance policy to ensure all items of value are adequately covered and take note of the hotel’s comments on resort safety.

Take sensible precautions and avoid walking in unlit areas at night - always adhere to local advice. Be particularly vigilant in crowded areas, such as markets, railway stations and airports. In short be sensible in your security, just as you would at home.

Eco adventure tours / water sports / safaris
Eco adventure tours are increasingly popular. As the name suggests, there could be an element of risk, indeed for some that is very definitely part of the appeal. Some of these tours involve travel over unmade roads (for example) or at sea. You need to satisfy yourself that you are able to cope with such tours, particularly if you do not partake in regular exercise.

Always do ring or email us for advice as we are here to help you.