TERMS & CONDITIONS
When you make a booking you enter into a contract with Ramblers Holidays Ltd trading as Load Off Your Back (registered office: Lemsford Mill, Lemsford Village, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire AL8 7TR). These booking conditions, together with the information set out on our website, www.loadoffyourback.co.uk, form the basis of your contract.
1 Holiday Contract
When you make a booking you guarantee that you have the authority to accept and do accept on behalf of your party the terms of these booking conditions and to supply personal details for you and your party. A contract will exist as soon as we issue our confirmation invoice. To avoid possible confusion any variation of this agreement should be confirmed in writing either by you or by us. This contract is made on the terms of these booking conditions, which are governed by English law, and the jurisdiction of the English Courts. You may choose the law and jurisdiction of Scotland or Northern Ireland if you wish to do so.
2 Financial Protection
We provide full financial protection for our package holidays; protection is provided by way of a bond held by ABTA.
3 Holiday Price
All holiday bookings made more than six weeks before the intended departure must be accompanied by the appropriate deposit. In these cases the balance of the holiday charge is payable not later than six weeks before the intended date of departure.
All payments must be made in Sterling unless by prior arrangement with us.
We shall be entitled to treat any failure to pay such balance by the due date as a cancellation of the booking by you and we will notify you if we intend to do so and in such circumstances your deposit and any insurance premium will be forfeited.
Where bookings are six weeks or less before the intended date of departure the whole of the holiday charge is payable at the time of booking.
In some cases a late booking fee may be charged to cover excess communication costs.
If you book through a travel agent all monies paid to the agent for your holiday with us are at all times held by the agent on behalf of Ramblers Holidays Ltd.
Please note that a charge of up to 1.75% is made for all payments including deposits paid by credit card.
We reserve the right to alter the prices of any of the holidays shown in our website. You will be advised of the current price of the holiday that you wish to book before your contract is confirmed.
Changes in transportation costs, taxes or fees chargeable for services mean that the price of your holiday may change after you have booked. However there will be no change within 30 days of your departure.
However, we will absorb an amount equivalent to 2% of the holiday price (excluding insurance premiums and any amendment charges) before implementing such an increase, therefore only amounts in excess of this 2% will be surcharged. If the additional charges result in your holiday price increasing by more than 10% you will have the choice of accepting the new price, accepting the offer of an alternative holiday from us if available or cancelling your booked holiday and receiving a full refund of all monies paid. Should you decide to cancel because of this you must exercise your right to do so within 14 days from the issue date printed on the final invoice. Should the price of your holiday go down due to the changes mentioned above by more than 2% of your holiday cost, then any refund due will be paid to you. However, please note that some apparent changes have no impact on the price of your holiday due to contractual and other protection in place.
Participants in our holidays are accepted on condition that they are physically and mentally fit, adequately experienced, suitably equipped for a walking holiday, and aware of the risks involved in walking in the country and able to cope reasonably with the demands of the holiday without assistance from a third party. You must accept that sole responsibility for your personal safety throughout the holiday remains with you. In the interests of safety you must reasonably follow the advice in the guidebook and other holiday information provided, heed warning notices encountered on the walk and take reasonable precautions to ensure your own safety.
Bookings can only be accepted from persons under eighteen years of age when accompanied by an adult who will be responsible for them.
We reserve the right to refuse any booking for a holiday where we are not satisfied that the applicant’s fitness and experience are appropriate to the holiday selected.
5 If You Make Changes
If, after our confirmation invoice has been issued, you wish to change your travel arrangements in any way, for example your chosen departure date or accommodation, we will do our utmost to make these changes, but it may not always be possible. You will have to pay a per person administration charge of £20 (or £40 if less than 42 days to booked departure) and any further cost we incur in making this alteration. This charge is not refundable if you cancel your holiday subsequently. You should be aware that the costs can increase the closer to the departure date that changes are made and you should contact us as soon as possible.
Please note: Certain arrangements cannot be changed after a reservation has been made and any alteration request will incur 100% cancellation charges.
Also if you, or any member of your party, are prevented from proceeding with the holiday you may request to transfer your booking, having first given us notice of your intentions before departure, to a person who satisfies all the conditions applicable to the holiday. The transferor and transferee shall be jointly responsible for payment of the balance due and for any additional costs arising from such transfer.
6 If You Cancel Your Holiday
You, or any member of your party, may cancel your travel arrangements at any time. Written notification from you or your travel agent on your behalf must be received at our offices. Since we incur costs in cancelling your travel arrangements, you will have to pay the applicable cancellation charges up to the maximum shown in Table 1 below.
Please note: If the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges.
7 If We Change or Cancel Your Holiday
In the unlikely event of accommodation not being available on arrival at the accommodation described in the brochure and confirmed to you, we undertake to provide alternative accommodation of categories at least as high as those contracted or to refund any difference in price where the available accommodation is of an inferior standard.
It is unlikely that we will have to make any changes to your travel arrangements, but we do plan the arrangements many months in advance. Occasionally we may have to make changes to your holiday arrangements and we reserve the right to do so at any time. Most of these changes will be minor and we will advise you or your travel agent of them at the earliest possible date. We also reserve the right in any circumstances to cancel your holiday arrangements. However, we will not cancel your travel arrangements less than six weeks before your departure date except for reasons of force majeure, or failure by you to pay the final balance.
If we make a major change to or are forced to cancel your holiday, we will inform you or your travel agent as soon as reasonably possible if there is time before your departure. You will have the choice of either accepting the change of arrangements, accepting an offer of alternative travel arrangements of comparable standard from us if available (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value), or cancelling your booked holiday and receiving a full refund of all monies paid. In all cases, except where the major change or cancellation arises due to reasons of force majeure, we will pay compensation as detailed in table 1 below.
An example of a minor change includes a change of accommodation to another of the same standard.
Force Majeure: We will not pay you compensation if we have to cancel or change your travel arrangements in any way because of unusual or unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control. These can include, for example, war or threat of war, riot, civil strife, industrial dispute, terrorist activity and its consequences, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, epidemic or adverse weather conditions or unavoidable technical problems with transport.
TABLE1: Compensation (per client)
|Period before departure within which cancellation or major change is received||If we make a major change to your holiday||If we cancel your holiday||If you cancel your holiday we charge|
|More than 42 days||£ nil||Full Refund||Deposit only|
|42 to 29 days||£10||Full Refund plus £10||30% of holiday cost|
|28 to 15 days||£20||Full Refund plus £20||45% of holiday cost|
|14 to 8 days||£20||Full Refund plus £20||70% of holiday cost|
|Within 7 days or after departure||£20||Full Refund plus £20||100% of holiday cost|
If the contract we have with you is not performed or is improperly performed by us or our suppliers we will pay you appropriate compensation if this has affected the enjoyment of your holiday. However we will not be liable where any failure in the performance of the contract is due to: you; or a third party unconnected with the provision of the travel arrangements and where the failure is unforeseeable or unavoidable; or unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised; or an event which we or our suppliers, even with all due care, could not foresee or forestall.
Our liability, except in cases involving death, injury or illness, shall be limited to a maximum of two times the cost of your travel arrangements.
Our liability will also be limited in accordance with and/or in an identical manner to (a) The contractual terms of the companies that provide the transportation for your travel arrangements. These terms are incorporated into this contract; and (b) Any relevant international convention, for example the Montreal Convention in respect of travel by air, the Athens Convention in respect of travel by sea, the Berne Convention in respect of travel by rail and the Paris Convention in respect of the provision of accommodation, which limit the amount of compensation that you can claim for death, injury, delay to passengers and loss, damage and delay to luggage. We are to be regarded as having all benefit of any limitation of compensation contained in these or any conventions. You can ask for copies of the transport companies’ contractual terms, or the international conventions, from our office Lemsford Mill, Lemsford Village, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire AL8 7TR.
We aim to provide you with the best possible holiday but, if a problem should arise, please inform the relevant suppliers (e.g. the hotelier or baggage carriers) immediately and, on guided holidays, our tour leader who will endeavour to put things right. You should also advise us as soon as reasonably possible during your holiday. If you fail to follow this simple procedure, we will have been deprived of the opportunity to investigate and rectify the complaint whilst you were on the holiday and this may affect your rights under this contract. If your complaint is not resolved locally, please follow this up within 28 days of your return home by writing to our Customer Service Department at our registered office giving your booking reference and all other relevant information. Please keep your letter concise and to the point. This will assist us to quickly identify your concerns and speed up our response to you. Your claim will still be accepted later than 28 days but this impedes our success in its investigation.
We are members of ABTA, membership number V5094. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct. We can also offer you an arbitration scheme for the resolution of disputes arising out of, or in connection with this contract. The arbitration scheme is arranged by ABTA and administered independently by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. It provides for a simple and inexpensive method of arbitration on documents alone with restricted liability on you in respect of costs.
The Scheme does not apply to claims for an amount greater than £5,000 per person. There is also a limit of £25,000 per booking. Neither does it apply to claims which are solely in respect of physical injury or illness or their consequences. The Scheme can however deal with compensation claims which include an element of minor injury or illness subject to a limit of £1,500 on the amount the arbitrator can award per person in respect of this element.
Your request for arbitration must be received by ABTA within eighteen months of the date of return from the holiday. Outside this time limit arbitration under the Scheme may still be available if we agree, but the ABTA Code does not require such agreement. For illness and injury claims, you can request the ABTA Mediation Procedure and we have the option to agree to mediation. Further information on the Code and ABTA’s assistance in resolving disputes can be found on www.abta.com
Excursions or other tours that you may choose to book or pay for whilst on holiday are not part of your package holiday provided by us. For any excursion or other tour that you book your contract will be with the operator of the excursion or tour and not with us. We are not responsible for the provision of the excursion or tour or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by the operator.
12 Prompt assistance
If the contract we have with you is not performed or is improperly performed as a result of failures attributable to a third party unconnected with the provision of the services or as a result of failures due to unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised or an event which we or our suppliers even with all due care could not foresee or forestall and you suffer an injury or other material loss, we will offer you such prompt assistance as is reasonable in the circumstances or you being unable to demonstrate that you are insured.
We recommend that you have adequate holiday insurance to undertake the holiday. If you do not purchase our insurance it is your responsibility to check that your policy is adequate. We are unable to arrange our insurance cover for you after your holiday has started. Adequate travel insurance is essential for non UK nationals.
When you book your holiday with us, you accept responsibility for the proper conduct of all members of your party during your holiday. We reserve the right at any time to terminate the stay of any party member(s) whose behaviour is such, in the reasonable opinion of the accommodation provider or us, as to cause or likely to cause danger, upset or distress to anyone else or damage to property. Full cancellation charges will then apply and no refund will be given.
Furthermore, we shall be under no obligation whatsoever to pay compensation or meet any costs or expenses (including but not limited to alternative accommodation) you may incur as a result of your stay being terminated. If you cause damage to the accommodation in which you are staying, you must fully reimburse the accommodation supplier concerned for the cost of the damage before the end of your stay if the cost has been established by then or as soon as it has been established if later. You must indemnify us for the full amount of any claim (including legal costs) made against us by the accommodation supplier or any third party as a result.
15 Safety on holiday
You should be aware of potential hazards on holiday as walking amongst mountains, hills and even in cities does involve an element of risk. For example, weather can deteriorate unexpectedly and may cause paths to become slippery. Terrain underfoot can also vary and be different from what you’re used to. Walking poles can be a great aid to mobility over uneven ground, and they take some strain off the knees.
You should expect to walk on icy or snowy terrain if the weather is cold, in wind and rain and on muddy paths if it’s wet. Please ensure that you bring proper outdoor clothing appropriate to the nature of the holiday and likely weather conditions.
You should be prepared to make a reasonable assessment of the safety of the trail ahead and be prepared to make deviations from the route indicated on your map or described in the guidebook if you are in any doubt as to the prudence of proceeding along the described route. We cannot be held liable for disruption to your itinerary due to adverse weather or other situations beyond our control.
16 Passports and visas
Holders of non-EU passports may well be subject to varying visa requirements to enter the UK and you should check either with your travel agent or with the British embassy or consulate to ascertain any visa requirements
accept any images of you taken whilst on any of our holidays may be used by us for marketing in any format current or yet to be invented.
All the facts on our website about hotels and resorts are checked for accuracy by our staff and, wherever possible, by hoteliers. However, it is still possible – in early and late season in particular – that hoteliers etc may decide to change their facilities (e.g. a pool is empty for cleaning) which will then be temporarily or permanently unavailable. Such events are regrettably beyond our control. However, when we are notified of these or other significant changes, we will inform you at the time of booking or, if you have already booked your holiday, you will be contacted as soon as reasonably possible if there is time before your departure. If such events constitute a major change to your holiday then clause 7 of these booking conditions will apply.
Changes may be made to the particulars contained in this brochure at any time before a contract between you and Ramblers Holidays Ltd is concluded. In such circumstances we will advise you of any such changes before accepting your booking and completing the contract. Prices shown on our brochure are based on all known costs at the time of publication and may be subject to change at any time prior to the issue of our confirmation of your booking.
Our website is produced on the sole responsibility of the tour operator. It is not issued on behalf of and does not commit the accommodation providers, transport operators or other suppliers whose services are used in the course of the holiday.
These terms & conditions, published April 2015, supersede all previous versions.