0. Pre-booking

Yes… Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our international adventures. We recommend you take out your insurance at the time of booking, we will ask to see a copy ahead of travel.

As a minimum, your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses, emergency repatriation and personal liability. We also strongly recommend it covers cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

It is your responsibility to ensure your insurance policy covers the activities listed in the itinerary. Please note that some insurance policies define trekking above 4,000m, 6,000m, on snow or requiring the use of ropes or additional equipment as separate activities and you must check these are covered if included in your itinerary.

If booking on to an open group adventure we have a minimum age of 18. We do not have a maximum age limit on our trips, but please be aware if over 65 years old you may be required to supply additional medical information for some of our trips. If you have any questions please get in touch and we’ll be happy to talk you through this.

If booking a private departure, the minimum age is reduced to 16 if accompanied by a guardian over 18.

Most travel companies have realised that consumers want a higher level of ethics and sustainability when they go on holiday. From environmental conservation to fair pay for local people. Companies commitments range from not much more than lip service to some truly great sustainable tourism initiatives. In a world of PR and clever marketing, it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference!

Our mission is to contribute positively to communities we travel through and support conservation projects in the destinations we operate. We do this by subscribing to high environmental and welfare standards and pro-actively taking steps to make improvements to both our working practices and contributing to raising standards across the industry.

We subscribe to external standards and join organisations with strict codes of conduct and ethics to be held accountable for our claims.

As members of 1% for the Planet, we donate at least 1% of our sales to environmental causes in the destinations we operate. You can see our conservation project partners here.

Having taken the Travellers Against Plastic Pledge, we work with our suppliers and customers to reduce, and eventually eliminate, single-use plastics from our trips.

For more information on our commitments to the environment and communities we interact with please see our ethos page.

1. Booking

Yes, absolutely! Around half of our customers book individually onto our open-group departures. You’ll join like-minded solo-travellers, couples and small groups of friends.

Small group travel is a great way to make new friends with the added benefits of security, company and cost savings compared to going it alone.

We take the protection of your money seriously. As a member of the Travel Trust Association, all your payments are fully protected. Payments are made into a customer account and independently managed. This ensures your funds can only be used to pay for your holiday. To provide a double-layer of protection these funds are also insured up to £11,000 per passenger. For more information on how your funds are protected and managed please visit www.traveltrust.co.uk.

We are also able to offer ATOL protection for flight inclusive packages through our Travel Trust Association membership. Upon booking a flight inclusive product you will be issued an ATOL certificate, meaning you can book with total confidence, for more information on ATOL protection see https://www.caa.co.uk/ATOL-protection/Consumers/ATOL-certificate/.

We understand life can sometimes get in the way of adventure! We offer a 48 hour cooling-off period on all bookings made over 90 days ahead of departure. If you can’t get the time off work, or something else comes up, we will refund your deposit or move your dates/adventure free of charge.

All prices are based on sharing a twin room. If booking on your own, you will be paired with someone from the group of the same gender.

If you prefer your own space, you can upgrade to a single room for a small supplement. Note that in the more remote teahouses and mountain huts it is not always possible to have your own room. You will be informed of which nights single rooms are available prior to booking.

Yes! If you would like to add extra nights before or after our trip please select the box during the booking process and we will be in touch to discuss options and cost.

3. Payment

The full balance is due 90 days prior to the start of the trip. If booking within 90 days of departure you will need to pay the full balance up front.

If we are booking your flights, we will need your flight payment made up front to secure your tickets.

Some trips also require interim payments to secure permits, internal flights and other non-refundable items. You will be informed of any required interim payments prior to booking. These payments will be deducted from the final balance due.

Sure thing, as long as the full balance is paid 90 days ahead of departure and the initial deposit is paid at booking you may pay in instalments.

We require the booking deposit to start making arrangements in-country. For some trips, we require a further interim deposit to book non-refundable items such as permits, internal flights and accommodations.

We accept the following credit and debit cards:

You can pay through the website when booking or by requesting a payment link for an interim or deposit payment. All payments are handled securely through our WorldPay system.

 

4. Preparation

All trip dossiers include a trip-specific kit list for you to refer to when packing.

We provide most of the necessary specialist equipment for our trips, including tents and camping equipment on camping treks. Sleeping bags and camping mats are counted as personal equipment but we can arrange for these to be hired in-country.

Most of our trips require a fairly standard ‘multi-day trekking’ kit list, with adjustments for the temperatures and climates you will expect to encounter, so if you have kit for hiking in the UK you will likely only need a few additions – usually compromising of a winter sleeping bag, Thermarest/camping mat and insulated jacket.

 

 

You trip dossier will indicate if you need a visa as a British Citizen and point you in the direction of where and how to apply. The ‘extra costs’ tab of the booking page will also indicate if there is likely to be a cost for your visa.

Visa requirements change regularly so it’s always best to check directly with the FCO travel advice or relevant embassy.

If a country requires an invitation letter or other special visa requirements we will make these necessary arrangements for you.

For our trekking itineraries, it is best to pack your main luggage into either a backpack (60 litre) or duffel bag. As they will be carried by either porter or yak/mule. We do not recommend suitcases!

A day pack (30 litre) will be needed to carry your personal items (water, snacks, spare layer) throughout the day.

 

5. During My Adventure

 

Most of our trips are accessible to new travellers with a positive attitude as well as exciting enough to capture the interest of experienced trekkers. For our more challenging adventures, we discuss the difficulty and fitness requirements with all participants to ensure everyone knows what they are signing up for and that everyone is at the required level to complete the route.

 

We believe the best way to travel is in small groups. It allows us to gain access and offer experiences that wouldn’t otherwise be available to solo-travellers, whilst remaining small enough not to impose on local communities. These close-knit groups offer a great sense of camaraderie as you all work towards the same goal.

Our maximum group size is 12, but most groups are around 6-8 people.

Once booked you can sit back knowing that the main aspects of your trip are all covered. We want to keep things hassle free whilst still allowing you to make your own choices during any downtime. Accommodation, permits, meals on trek, transport and all of the logistics will always be taken care of.

The only things you will need a little extra cash for in-country are usually: lunch and dinner when in cities (we book you B&B accommodations in cities so you can explore the local food scene)), extra drinks, snacks above meals, visas, tips, optional activities and souvenirs.

We want you to be able to budget for your whole trip so estimates of these costs are always found on the trip booking page under ‘extra costs’.

Most of our trekking itineraries up to difficulty level 3/5 are within the reach of anyone who has done a little hill walking, has a reasonable level of fitness and a positive attitude. That said, you are likely to enjoy your trip much more if you are able to do some preparation ahead of travel.

You don’t need to train as if you’re entering the Olympics, but the main goal is to get your body used to being on your feet most of the day, for several days in a row. Having experience of walking up and downhill will also help your calfs and quads on the longer days in the mountains.

Preparation will be different depending on your starting point, but regular light exercise (3-5+ times a week) with some weekends hiking in the hills would be a good start.

If you are unsure how you might get on a good test is heading to the UK mountains. If you can walk 2-3 long days in a row with plenty of total ascent (1000m+) without feeling too stiff afterwards then you are well on your way to being ready. In the spring we run preparation weekends in the Lake District to give you an idea of what to expect on your trek.

For trips of 4 & 5 difficulty rating, a commitment to this training becomes more important.

All of our trekking routes are designed and led in a way that allows you to trek at your own pace, without holding up the group. If you have any questions or worries about fitness requirements please get in touch and we’ll be happy to talk through what to expect or how you can best prepare for your adventure.

 

 

The answer, in most cases, is yes. Our cook teams, even in remote locations, prepare fresh food from scratch. So any requirements we are informed of in advance can usually be catered for.

In some destinations, where there is a strong regional preference for a meat-based or vegetarian diet, the alternatives can sometimes be quite basic.

If we are unable to meet a particular requirement on a particular trip we will be in touch to discuss options.

We aim to choose accommodation that soaks up the character of the destination and adds to the sense of adventure of your trip! This varies depending on where in the world we are and how remote we are travelling. We might end up in a boutique hotel or remote luxurious eco-lodge, or equally likely we may find ourselves in a basic teahouse, shared mountain hut or camping under the stars! We always aim for smaller, locally owned properties with great customer service offering value at the standard they are offering.

Most of our camping treks are done by ‘Serviced camping’, where your tents are set up for you by local staff and meals are prepared by a cook team and served in a communal mess tent. On our more remote adventures, you may need to get more involved in the camp set up and food preparation as part of the team, but this will be detailed in your Trip Dossier.

The planned accommodation for your trip can be found on the trip page on our website and in the Trip Dossier document. Occasionally for late bookings, we may have to make small changes to the planned accommodation due to availability. In these rare cases, we will substitute in another accommodation of a similar standard. Your accommodation will be confirmed in your final trip notes sent out ahead of departure.

Final confirmation or your hotel will be sent out in your pre-departure trip packet, 6 weeks ahead of travel. If you require this information in advance of this we can often confirm this if you get in touch.

As standard, we use a high quality of hotel – usually in the 3 to 4-star range when in cities. We aim for small, family-owned boutique hotels and guesthouses with heaps of local character.

For these days, it is possible to upgrade to different accommodation, either selected by us or your own choice if preferred.

If there are any accommodation upgrade options during the itinerary these will be listed as optional extras on the booking form.

Tipping, although discretionary, is commonplace around the world and it is usual to tip your guide and trek support teams (porters, cooks, muleteers, guides etc.).

As an operator, we ensure all of our support teams are fairly paid. Yet in the destinations we operate, tipping has become part of the accepted culture.

Who and how much to tip can be a confusing affair! Our trip notes provide detailed tipping guidance, but it is usual to pool tips and let the lead guide distribute them amongst the support team. If all of this is still too confusing, in our ‘extra costs’ section of the trip notes we suggest an amount to bring to contribute to the team tip pot.

 

Luckily for you, you don’t have to carry it! Porters or mules/yaks/vehicles, depending on the destination, will carry your main luggage from point to point as you trek, but there are limits on how much they can carry. Any excess baggage can be left securely in your hotel at the trip start point. It’s best to pack only the things you need!

Our local leaders and ground teams are trained to deal with these situations. We have 24-hour support both in the UK and our host countries to get you to help as quickly as possible.

If injured on trek and evacuation is required, your group leader will work with our local resources in-country, as well as the UK office, to coordinate an evacuation to the nearest medical facility. Evacuation may be by land or air, depending on local availability. It is important to understand that in developing world destinations evacuation, ambulance services and medical facilities may not be up to the standard you are used to at home.

For all our trips we conduct an assessment of evacuation methods and summarise any major differences you may not be aware of in our ‘Significant Risk Summary’ as part of our trip dossier. For most of the remote destinations we operate in the main difference is the time it takes to travel to a comprehensive medical facility in the event of an emergency, which in some cases may exceed 24 hours.

We will not be liable for the costs of evacuation or medical expenses and it is important that your travel insurance covers search and rescue, evacuation and medical expenses for the activities and regions you are taking part in.

What if I can’t continue for another reason?

If you find that you are not coping on the planned route, or otherwise need to discontinue your trek there are a few different options available depending on the specific scenario.

If you are finding the route too challenging then it may be that you can still meet the team at each night stop without completing the full route each day (e.g. missing out peaks and extensions). Or shorten your route, accompanied by a member of the support team, and meet the team at the end of the trek.

If you need to abort the trek completely, in most cases there are enough support team members that you will be able to be accompanied back to a roadhead, where travel can be arranged back to the nearest city. Any transport or accommodation used outside of the main group itinerary will be at you own expense, but we will do all that we can to ensure this is a smooth as possible using our ground teams to assist.

Either way, your group leader will be able to come up with the best plan based on where you are and your needs.

We love trying new foods when travelling and assume you will too. However, if trekking we also need to know we are going to get enough food to keep us going over several days! To strike a balance all meals are provided during any trekking or activity phase of your itinerary. Sample meal plans can be found on the FAQ page of each trip, but generally, include a mix or local and western food. When in cities we generally include ‘Bed & Breakfast’, this is to allow you to explore the local food scene and choose what you like. Our local guides will be able to provide you recommendations on interesting and exciting places to eat!

Most dietary requirements can be met if we are given enough notice to find alternatives. Please provide any dietary requirements at time of booking.