Part of the ethos of our organization is to treat everyone fairly. For you, our customer, this means that we are committed to dealing honestly and openly with you every step of the way, from the moment you book with us, to the time you return home from your trip.
To start with we want to ensure that you fully understand the terms and conditions of your booking. We know that you are often presented with long detailed legal terms and conditions when you purchase items online and many people simply tick the box agreeing to the terms without bothering to read them, but you really do need to read and understand our terms.
We have done our best to make these booking terms easy to understand, and they are very important as they are the basis for your booking with Real Gap Experience. As part of the booking process, you must acknowledge in writing that you agree to them and the trip is sold to you subject to these terms and conditions.
Real Gap Experience is owned by Gap 360 Ltd, a UK Limited Liability company whose registered office is at 30 City Rd, London, EC1Y 2AB, and whose trading office is at 121/123 Mt Pleasant Rd, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 1QR. All correspondence should be directed to the Tunbridge Wells booking office.
In the following booking terms and conditions, "we", "us" and "our" refer to Real Gap Experience. "You" and "your" refer to the customer whose name appears on the booking and for whom the trip is being arranged; "trip" includes all the arrangements we put in place for you overseas.
Real Gap Experience is abbreviated to RGE in the terms below.
You can book with RGE fully confident that the monies you pay to us are secure.
RGE (as part of Gap 360 Ltd) is a member of The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) who provides financial protection under The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 for Gap 360 Ltd (membership number 5183), and in the event of their insolvency, protection is provided for:
• Non-flight packages
ABTOT cover provides for a refund in the event you have not yet travelled or repatriation if transportation was included in your package. Please note that bookings made outside the UK are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with Gap 360 Ltd.
In the unlikely event that you require assistance whilst abroad due to our financial failure, please call our 24/7 helpline on 01702 811397 and advise you are a customer of an ABTOT protected travel company.
You can access The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 here.
Travelling without insurance is a huge risk. It is a requirement of booking with Real Gap Experience that you have adequate travel insurance.
We recommend that you purchase insurance when you book your trip because you are then covered for trip cancellation. You must give us proof that you are insured no later than 30 days before departure. We cannot allow uninsured customers to travel with us, so if you do not provide proof of insurance we will cancel your trip and the cancellation charges will apply.
It is a requirement of travelling with Real Gap Experience that whichever insurance policy you choose, it must cover you for evacuation and repatriation.
In the event that you do not book travel insurance with us, and fail to provide us with adequate proof of insurance (a policy name, number and details from a recognized insurance provider) before your departure, we will regard your trip as cancelled and you will not be eligible for a refund.
It is essential that you understand what risks your policy covers. Some policies do not include deep sea diving, bungee jumping, horse riding or extreme sports. Some policies do not cover paid work or volunteering. Others require you to pay medical services locally and claim back when you return to the UK. Still more policies cease if you return to the UK unexpectedly, interrupting your trip. It is your responsibility to know what your policy covers. We cannot be held responsible if you are un-insured for an activity or event despite you believing that your policy covered you.
You are responsible for ensuring that your possessions are safe at all times. You should include baggage insurance with your health insurance and make sure that you are adequately covered.
We cannot be held responsible for your baggage and possessions except when they are specifically in our care or the care of our suppliers. When your baggage is stored on vehicles or in accommodations it is at your risk and it is your responsibility to see that it is correctly and safely stored. We strongly recommend that you obtain appropriate baggage insurance for all your possessions and most good travel insurers will supply this at a reasonable price.
BOOKINGS AND PAYMENTS
CHANGES TO BOOKINGS
CANCELLATIONS BY YOU
CHANGES OR CANCELLATIONS BY US
If we have to cancel your booking for operational reasons, for example if the minimum number of passengers required on the trip does not materialise, we will make a full refund of monies you have paid us for the programme, or offer you a suitable alternative trip. RGE cannot be held liable for any flight refunds or change fees. We will not cancel a trip for minimum numbers reasons within 28 days of departure.
If we have to make a serious change to your trip, and you do not accept the changes, we will refund your monies in full. A serious change could be a change in departure date of longer than 3 days or a change in trip destination or duration. In the event we make a serious change, which you accept, unless the change is necessary because of events beyond our control we will compensate you as follows:
a. Serious change arising less than 15 days before departure: we will pay you £50
b. Serious change arising less than 50 days before departure: we will pay you £30
c. Serious change arising 84 days or less before departure: we will pay you £15
d. Serious change arising more than 84 days before departure: no payment
EVENTS BEYOND OUR CONTROL
In these uncertain times following Brexit we can no longer guarantee that your trip price will not increase. We will absorb the first 2% of any price increase, but we may have to increase the price of your trip. If we increase the price by more than 10% you are entitled to cancel and receive a full refund. We will not increase the price within 30 days of your departure.
If you book more than 12 months ahead of your programme start date, or book an open-dated/unknown trip with no confirmed start date, we cannot guarantee that the price of your trip will not increase. But if you pay for your trip in full at time of booking, we will guarantee that you will receive no increase in price with the exception of visas.
OTHER INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR BOOKING
- If Real Gap Experience (or a supplier on Real Gap Experience's behalf) cancels a trip departure due to Covid-19 travel restrictions relating to the trip destination(s), by way of the destination country(s) imposing restrictions not allowing the trip to go ahead, or by the FCO advising against all but essential travel to the destination(s), then the customer will be entitled to a voucher worth 100% of their trip to use on a future booking, a free date change to a future departure for the same trip (subject to any price difference), or a full refund to a nominated bank account within 14 working days. If the customer's trip has not been paid in full at the time of Real Gap Experience cancelling the trip, the voucher or refund will only be for the amount paid thus far.
- Local or national lockdowns in the UK (or the customer's point of origin) restricting outbound travel would not be eligible for a voucher or refund, unless the customer's travel destination(s) or trip also had Covid-19 travel restrictions in place, preventing the trip from going ahead. A customer no longer wanting to travel, self-isolating, contracting Covid-19, or not wanting to travel due to quarantine restrictions and/or government policies, would not be deemed as a travel restriction.
- If a customer is unable to travel due to contracting Covid-19 they should contact their travel insurance provider in the first instance.
- This policy does not apply to airfare, insurance or visas. Any airline change or cancellation fees are solely the responsibility of the customer and are subject to airline policies. No refunds will be provided in respect to any visas, travel insurance, which are solely the responsibility of the customer.
- Any trips that include an Inca Trail permit are subject to a non-refundable fee of £100 for any cancellations and re-bookings.
RGE complies with the General Data Protection Regulations which form part of the UK 2018 Data Protection Act.
In order to process your booking and to ensure that your travel arrangements run smoothly and meet your requirements, we need to use the personal information that you provide. We take responsibility for ensuring that proper security measures are in place to protect your information.
We must pass your information on to the relevant suppliers of your travel arrangements such as airlines, hotels, and transport companies. The information may also be provided to public authorities such as customs/immigration if required by them or as required by law.
Controls on data protection may not be as stringent outside Europe as the legal requirement in the UK, or your country of residence. We will only pass information to any person responsible for part of your travel arrangements. Where you provide us with personal details, you consent to this information being passed on to such organizations, or companies responsible for your travel arrangements. If we cannot pass on this information, we cannot provide your travel arrangements.
RGE complies with relevant data protection requirements and has in place an effective policy for protecting your privacy. The policy is available for you to see. The main points are:
To request what information we hold about you, or to request your data be deleted at any time, please email [email protected] and our Data Protection Officer will deal with your request.
Our website pages use HTTPS security encryption.
RGE is part of Gap 360 Ltd, which is an agent for CT Travel Group who hold ATOL license 5158. If you book flights with us your booking will be handled by Real Flights, also part of Gap 360 Ltd, acting as an agent for CT Travel Group. Payment for flights will be to CT Travel Group and they will issue the tickets and ATOL confirmation invoice. Your contract for these flights is with the ATOL holder CT Travel Group.
PASSPORT AND VISAS
It is your responsibility to ensure that your passport is up to date and not about to expire. You should have at least 6 months left on the passport past the date you plan to return to the UK or your home country, as some countries require this. We will offer you advice about whether or not you need a visa to enter any country on your trip, but we are not responsible for obtaining visas for you. We will provide you with the contact name and numbers of the consulate or embassy of the country for which you are required to obtain a visa and it is your responsibility to ensure that you receive a visa in your passport prior to travel. We cannot be held liable if the advice we have given you is superceded by very recent visa changes instituted by a country's embassy. You may choose to use a visa service to obtain visas for you at your own cost. We strongly advise you to regularly check with the relevant embassy to ensure that recent changes have not occurred. It is your responsibility to ensure that any visa granted to you does not expire while you are in that country, or even before you arrive if you are booking many months before travel. No matter where you are headed to, you must ensure that you have the correct entry documentation. Some countries require a yellow fever certificate or other inoculation. Your RGE trip advisor can help you with advice about this, but we cannot be held responsible for any omissions or changes that occur. We advise you to review the websites for the embassy or consulate of each country you plan to visit for the latest regulations. If you are travelling to or via the USA or Canada, there are special electronic travel requirements for all non citizens.
Due to the covid 19 pandemic, some countries have added further entry requirements for international travellers, including (but not limited to) proof of negative PCR corona virus test, proof of full covid vaccination and/or quarantine periods upon arrival. You must ensure you comply with all requirements and have all relevant documentation to show airline and immigration officials in order to gain entry. These regulations are subject to regular amendments as the pandemic changes over time and it is your responsibility to keep yourself updated with any new requirements. We recommend you continually check the relevant FCO advice and embassy websites as Real Gap Experience cannot be held responsible if you are unable to travel to your destination due you not adhering to the latest entry requirements.
HEALTH & SAFETY
We are not medically trained and your RGE travel advisor cannot issue advice about whether a trip should be booked or not due to medical issues. You are advised to see your GP before you travel and seek their advice about inoculations and medicines you might need.
We do issue you with a checklist for what you should be prepared to pack and take with you, but these are guidelines only and we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.
If you suffer from a pre-existing medical condition (including any mental health issues) that may affect your ability to participate fully in the trip as described in our brochure and on the website, you must advise us at the time of booking your trip so that we can pass this information on to the trip coordinator overseas.
We may ask for a medical form to be completed by your doctor if you have any medical conditions before we can confirm your place on the programme. As such you should not book any flights or make any other travel arrangements until you have returned your medical form to Real Gap Experience and your place has been approved by the local team.
Real Gap Experience must receive the completed medical form back which confirms that you are fit to travel on your programme within 3 weeks of the form being sent or 14 weeks before your first trip start date (whichever comes first) in order for your trip to be fully confirmed. Real Gap Experience are not responsible for any fees your doctor may charge you for completing the form.
If you fail to return the completed medical form to us within 3 weeks of being sent the form or 14 weeks before your first trip start date (whichever comes first), or if you only declare a medical condition to us after your booking as been confirmed, we reserve the right to cancel your place on the trip if we have concerns about your health and safety on the programme. In this case our standard cancellation terms and conditions will apply.
It is your responsibility to take any medicines you may need with you. In the event that you cannot participate in any part of the trip because of a medical condition or you fail to disclose a medical condition to us whilst on the trip, we will not be able to refund any portion of the trip fee.
At the time of booking, or before you depart for you trip, we will ask you to provide us with the name and number of someone who we can contact in case of emergency. We reserve the right to contact this person in the event that RGE or a member of the local staff are concerned about your welfare, or the welfare of others on your trip due to your actions or behaviour.
In response to the covid 19 pandemic, for the safety of our travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) against covid-19 and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the start date in order to join the programme.
We strongly recommend that you sign up for a safety awareness course before you leave the UK. Your RGE advisor can provide you with course details.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides excellent and up-to-date advice for UK citizens travelling abroad.
THE DISCLOSURE AND BARRING SERVICE DBS (Previously CRB) AND POLICE RECORD CHECKS
If your trip involves volunteering with, or teaching children or vulnerable adults we will ask you to complete a DBS (previously CRB) check. We will pass on your criminal record details to our in country partners prior to your arrival. This is necessary to ensure your suitability to work/volunteer with children and vulnerable people on our trips. In the event you are turned down by the DBS check for any reason, you will not be able to join the trip you have booked and have a choice of either switching to a trip that does not require a DBS check, or cancelling the trip altogether. Any refund to you will be based on the timing of your cancellation. You will receive a refund as outlined in our cancellation terms above. If you switch to another trip you may be charged a trip change fee.
If you have not received your DBS report before your trip is due to leave, we cannot allow you to depart, and you will have to postpone your departure in that event. Any costs involved in your postponement are at your expense.
OUR RESPONSIBILITIES AND LIABILITIES
Our responsibility to you is to provide you with the services that you have booked with us, whether provided by RGE directly, or our overseas suppliers and subcontractors. We coordinate with overseas suppliers and subcontractors to the best of our abilities to ensure that the information we give you is correct. We will not make misleading statements and we will use care and skill in making the arrangements for your trip. Once we have provided the information about your trip to you, and you have booked, we will provide you with further details, such as specifics about airport transfers, accommodations and other matters.
We check the information that we provide to you carefully, but things can change and any errors or omissions are inadvertent and we cannot be held responsible for them, other than to refund you for any services which you have not received as a direct result of our negligence. We cannot be held responsible for changes made to your trip as a result of weather, political or terrorist threats or other events beyond our control.
We will update the information on the RGE online account and it is your responsibility to check this for changes once we have notified you. We are not responsible where the failure to perform the services for your trip is neither due to us or our sub-contractors or suppliers but is attributable to you or a third party unconnected to us and is unforeseeable or unavoidable, or is due to circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even though we exercised all due care and attention. We are not responsible or liable for an event which we, our employees, agents, suppliers and subcontractor could not, even with all due care, have foreseen or forestalled.
In the event you suffer a serious emergency overseas which cannot be resolved locally, you should call our UK emergency hotline which will be given to you in your pre-departure information and is available 24/7.
IF YOU WANT TO COMPLAIN
If you are unhappy with the services we provide to you before you depart the UK please contact your RGE trip advisor by email or telephone. In the event the trip advisor cannot solve the problem or satisfy you, please email our Customer Service Manager outlining the problem and what you expect us to do about it. We will do our best to resolve the issue fairly.
We do not accept any complaints by an individual, or individuals which purport to be on behalf of the group. We need to receive any complaints from everyone who is complaining, individually.
When dealing with complaints RGE cannot accept online chats, Facebook messages, text messages etc as an appropriate means of communication. You must email our UK office on [email protected] or email your travel co-ordinator.
If you think we have failed in our services to you while you are overseas, you must first discuss the issue with the local staff who will do their best to solve the problem. If the problem is not solved, or if the local staff are part of the problem, please email our Customer Service Manager in the UK, or call the UK office on 01892 277040. Our office is open 09:00 - 17:30 Monday to Friday. We will do our best to resolve your problem fairly. Please do not use our 24/7 hotline for non emergencies.
You must give us an opportunity to fix any problem when it happens, so you must contact us within 48 hours of any problem if you would like us to take any action. We do not make any compensation payments or refunds if this procedure is not followed.
If you do not speak with our local staff, or email us in the UK office, we cannot be held responsible for any issues you complain about, because you will not have given us the opportunity to put the matter right.
If, despite our best efforts and having followed the above procedure for reporting and resolving your complaint, you feel that it has not been satisfactorily settled, we recommend that it is referred for arbitration under the ABTOT Travel Industry Arbitration Service. An Independent Arbitrator will review the documents relating to any complaint and deliver a binding decision to bring the matter to a close. A fee is payable by each party when an application for arbitration is submitted.
Details of this scheme are available from The Travel Industry Arbitration Service, administered by:
Dispute Settlement Services
9 Savill Road
E-mail: [email protected]
This scheme cannot however decide in cases where the sums claimed exceed £5,000 per person or £10,000 per booking form, or not solely or mainly in respect of physical injury or illness or the consequences of such injury or illness, or solely or mainly in respect of a
discrimination claim or any claim under the Equality Act.
Standards of accommodation, cleanliness, hygiene, health and safety and other services may be quite different from what you are accustomed to at home in the UK, and you should be prepared for this. We will do our best to prepare you for the likely standards you will encounter before you depart, but we cannot be held liable for any refunds as a result of complaints about standards which we have adequately described.
RGE CODE OF CONDUCT
ACCEPTANCE OF RISK
APPLICABLE LAWS AND JURISDICTION
No matter where you live, your booking with us is accepted under English law and the Courts of England and Wales shall have the exclusive jurisdiction to decide on any disputes between us.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS RELATING TO RGE PROMOTIONS