You need to be aware of the following before you go ahead and book an Explore tour. At the time of booking, whether by phone or online, you will be asked if you have read and understood these pages as well as the booking conditions.
Please take the time to read the detail through.
The maximum group size varies from tour to tour and can be anything from 10 to 24, depending on the type of tour, the transport and accommodation used and activities included. The number of travellers who travel on any given departure date depends on the popularity of the tour, but rarely drops below 6 or 7. Most average 12 to 14 plus the Tour Leader. A few trips are self guided non-group tours with no minimum or maximum group size.
Who travels on our tours?
Your travel companions could be from anywhere in the world and from any background or walk of life. As we only offer English-speaking tours, the majority of them are likely to be from the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada or the US. One thing is certain – you will be travelling with some well-travelled, interesting and like-minded people who are bound to share your love for travel and desire to explore a different part of the world.
Age limits for adult tours
The minimum age on all non family tours is normally 14 years and persons under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or adult. The maximum age is usually 79, at the time of travel, unless travelling with a companion under the maximum age. However most our travellers are aged between 25 and 55.
Party size for Family Adventures
All our Family Adventures tours are family group tours, with fixed departure dates, as outlined on the individual tour pages. We define a family as having a minimum of 2 people, with at least one adult over the age of 18 and one child under 18. Families who book on a tour will typically be travelling with a few (generally 3 to 5) other families who have booked on that same departure date
Age limits for Family Adventures
Due to the active nature of Family Adventures, we do have a minimum age set for each tour. This varies from 2 to 11 years, depending on the level of activity involved and overall suitability for younger children. Please check individual tour pages for specific information on this. Our dedicated Teenage departures cater for families with children aged 11 to 17 only. On certain tours the minimum age limits are strictly applied, on others there may be some flexibility. Please contact us to discuss if, for example, one sibling is below the age threshold. The maximum age is 79 unless travelling with another adult who is under the minimum age.
Parental consent for Family Adventures
Any child under the age of 16 wishing to participate in the advertised activities can do so only with full consent of their parent or guardian.
Responsibility for your children on Family Adventures
Please note that Tour Leaders are not expected to be child-minders. Parents and guardians booking on Explore Family Adventures agree to take responsibility for any children booked with them for the duration of the tour at all times.
Explore Tour Leaders
Explore Adventures are led by a Tour Leader who will accompany you throughout. It is the Tour Leader’s responsibility to ensure that the tour runs smoothly and that all the logistics are in place; also to oversee the health and safety aspects of the tour. It may well be your Tour Leader who meets you at the airport on arrival, and he/she will provide you with a comprehensive briefing at the start of the tour. The ultimate aim for any Tour Leader is to ensure that all members of the group are well looked after for the duration of the tour and return home having had a wonderful holiday with some fantastic memories. Some Explore leaders are UK based and some are from overseas. A few tours are accompanied by local representatives only. Where this is the case, it is outlined clearly in the individual Trip Notes. Those that accompany our tours are carefully selected and have undergone thorough training in the UK and/or overseas – generally accepted to be some of the best in the industry. They are chosen for their travel experience, their people skills and usually for their experience in working with groups.
Explore itineraries offer a wide variety of experiences and activities which allow those who travel on them to really get to know the area and to get beyond the normal tourist facade. Whilst we tend to include the better known sights, a number of excursions and activities are usually left optional. This gives everyone enough flexibility to do their own thing. We also build free time for personal exploration into all our itineraries – this is an important part of any Explore tour.
Because the vast majority of our tours are journeys, most include a number of different night-stop locations. Wherever possible we try to include accommodation which best reflects the local area in which we are travelling. It could be The Icehotel in Lapland, Berber village houses in Morocco, a Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum in Jordan or a safari lodge in Botswana.
Where we use hotels, we tend to aim for mid-range properties, with the key ingredients being cleanliness, safety, comfort and location. The type of room provided and the level of facilities may well vary from place to place.In some locations where there is no alternative we may use simple hotels with basic and sometimes unreliable amenities, but these are the exception not the norm.
A number of our tours include camping. Where this is the case, we provide all the necessary camping equipment which usually includes 2 person tents. You are likely to need your own sleeping mats and sleeping bags for camping trips. You will not have to cook. Many tours are fully supported, on others you may be asked to get involved in some of the camp chores. See individual tour Trip Notes for details.
All our accommodation is given a rating in the individual tour Trip Notes, to indicate the standards and facilities that can be expected for each night-stop.
Rooming for adult tours
Most tours are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book as an individual, you will be roomed with someone of the same sex. However, on many tours we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room. On some of these tours a single room will be provided at some of the night-stops but for logistical reasons not all. Individual Trip Notes clarify this. If, for whatever reason, we are unable to provide a single room as outlined in the Trip Notes, we will refund a proportion of the supplement paid to us for the Single Room Option.
Rooming for Family Adventures
Your family will normally be accommodated in twin, double or single rooms on most tours. If you are a family of 2, 4 or 6 then the relevant number of twin rooms will be provided wherever possible, and for families of 3, 5 or 7 the relevant number of twin and single rooms will be provided wherever possible. Sometimes we are able to provide triple rooms on request, or twin/double rooms with an extra bed, though we cannot always guarantee these. We leave it up to you to decide who shares with who within your family group. We’ll do our very best to give you rooms next door to each other, or failing that nearby, but we can’t promise this. In exceptional cases, where accommodation is limited (on some boat based tours for example), one or more of you may need to share with members of another family – if this is the case it will be outlined clearly in the tour Trip Notes. On some tours a night or two may be spent in communal sleeping areas, for example a village house or a hacienda in Cuba. Please notify us if you would like a triple room or if you have any other preferences when booking, and will do our best to accommodate your request, however, we can’t always guarantee this.
Most trips include breakfasts, but other meals are often not included, allowing you to sample the cuisine in local restaurants, and also to choose what, where and how much to eat. We thus try to keep all-inclusive accommodation to a minimum. Where there is no option, such as whilst camping, on safari or on some boat based tours, meals tend to be included. Whilst we endeavour to cater for customers with special dietary requirements we do ask people to have realistic expectations. In some countries there is a limited choice of food available and it may be difficult to cater for all special meal requirements. Please check the position before booking if you have such requirements.
The variety of transport used is another important aspect of any Explore Family Adventure. We use everything from buses, boats and trains to camels and donkeys. You may even find all these on one tour!
Life on tour
Everyone that travels with Explore has slightly different expectations when they arrive on tour. A vital part of the Tour Leader’s role is to try to understand individual expectations, and to run the tour in such a way that everyone gets the most out of their holiday.
Group adventure tours do have to stick to some sort of schedule, to ensure that they work logistically and everyone needs to be prompt and agree to certain timings.
However, our Tour Leaders are asked to be as flexible as possible within the confines of the itinerary. They may well arrange a number of group meals for those that would like to eat with their travel companions. Invariably some are keen on this and others would rather do their own thing. They may offer some optional excursions that are not mentioned on the Tour Trip Notes (a one-off festival visit for example or a visit to a local house to try on saris). They will endeavour to ensure that everyone has as much (or as little) free time during the tour as they wish. In order to keep the tour running effectively, Tour Leaders tend to give regular briefings to talk about what is happening in the next few days, to brief people on timings and what they need to bring for excursions, sightseeing and activities. Often this will be reiterated on notices put up in hotel receptions or other appropriate places. They will also brief the group on safety and general health issues.