NEXT STEPS - HOW TO BOOK
Although it seems like a pretty basic question, inquiring about how to actually book a tour is a really good move. Knowing the specific steps simplifies all tasks. In a nutshell, here are the steps required to book your trip with Hammock Expeditions:
STEP 1: Write or call in and ask us for more information.
If you see a marketing flyer that catches your eye or a destination and program that you are interested in, simply let us know. We can then send you more information and also have someone personally contact you to see how we may assist you. We can help by answering questions you may have, giving you guidance on destinations, processes, the works. If you don’t want to speak to someone, no problem. We can email you everything you need for consideration.
A note on pricing: Many times we hear feedback that we don’t put pricing in our marketing materials so you have no idea whether you may want to consider a potential tour. Yes, this is correct. Pricing usually varies and is dependent upon dates of travel, where you would like to depart from, the number of participants, mode of transport (flight or motorcoach), etc. You tell us what you want, and we will happily give you a quote based on your needs and your preferences.
STEP 2: Ask us for a quote.
Are your ready to move forward? If so, your next step is to ask us for a personal quote. Your quote will be just for your group, on the dates you need and to your specifications. To request a quote, you will need to supply the following information: the number of guests you wish to bring, the rooming required for your hotel stay (i.e. will guests all sleep double occupancy or do you need different kinds of lodging for extended families?), the dates of your proposed travel, airline or motorcoach if traveling domestically, and your budget. We know that numbers will change and that’s okay. The initial quote is just to give you a really good idea on what costs to expect for planning purposes. A ‘Quote’ is valid for 30-days while you consider your options.
STEP 3: Ask us for a Provisional Booking.
A ‘Provisional Booking’ is a non-binding agreement that states you are moving forward with your trip and that we will hold space and quoted rates for you while you gather the initial deposits required to confirm your booking. The paperwork issued will confirm everything agreed and will act as an initial contract between you and Hammock Expeditions. If, after going to Provisional Booking status, you do not get the interest you had hoped, the option may be cancelled at no penalty.
After a Provisional Booking has been issued, this is when you will write to your participants with all details required so they may register for the tour. A Provisional Booking is valid for 21-days, however it may be extended with prior agreement. During this period, it also allows us to double check with our suppliers to ensure space and programming is on track. After the provisional period is over, your tour may be required to be re-costed if deposits have not yet been received.
If traveling internationally, this is the time period in which you want to alert participants to ensure they have registered for a passport or that they have checked to ensure their passport expiration date will not expire within 6 months of your proposed return date. Sometimes applying for a new passport takes longer than expected. When communicating with your guests, we cannot stress enough how important it is to have an information cut-off and passport confirmation date well in advance of when the items are due.
STEP 4: Confirm your booking.
Each participant will submit their registration, waivers and deposits to us online. Once deposits are received we will send you a confirmation and keep you in the loop with any tardy responses from your guests. You will also be assigned a specific contact in our Operations department to work with so you know that every question can be answered. Deposits schedules are as follows:
An initial deposit of $300 per paying passenger is due when confirming the trip. Please know we cannot confirm air seats nor hotels until we are in receipt of this payment. Please also realize that if traveling domestically, airlines now require full payment before they will block seats. In this case, your deposit amount may be higher than the standard deposits shown.
Your second deposit of $300 per paying passenger will be due approximately 2 months after your initial deposits have been received. The specific due date for this deposit and remaining payment will be sent to you by our finance team. If you need a date change, please ensure you are requesting it far enough in advance to be effective.
Your final balance will be due approximately 12-weeks prior to departure.
Important to know: Please remember that all deposits are non-refundable as they are immediately sent out to hold specific elements of your tour. This is one of the reasons why we mandate travel protection which will generally cover independent cancellations for appropriate causes. Secondly, please know that due dates and payment amounts may vary dependent upon your departure date. And finally, if you have a situation that requires a change in payment terms, please contact us directly for all requests. We are happy to assist if we are aware and able.
STEP 5: Confirm your Travel Protection.
Travel Insurance is mandated and required for every passenger traveling with your group. This is not to be confused with health insurance, although a health component is also included. We highly recommend purchasing a 'cancel for any reason' or 'enhanced' policy. Travel protection is easily booked direct from our registration site, or you may use whichever provider you prefer. The key is, if traveling as a group, you will want everyone on the same policy in case of need. Due to this, most groups mandate that all passengers add on the standard travel protection plan (paid at the time of initial registration), then if they prefer an enhanced policy, they may upgrade to this benefit. Unfortunately, the travel protection offered during our trip registration only applies to groups departing from the USA. If you are departing from an international location, please ask us and we will be happy to refer you to a provider if needed.
STEP 6: Talk to your Ambassador prior to departure.
After you receive your full itinerary and about 2 weeks prior to departure, your group will be assigned an Ambassador. They will contact you, usually via email, and ask for you to set up a call with them. WhatsApp is totally free to use, you just need a good internet connection and then to download the app to your phone. Your Ambassador may then review general items, take your suggestions as to anything extra that your group might want to participate in, and even do things like start to set up birthday celebrations which may be happening. They are here to serve your group.
Your Ambassador will meet you in your destination and will be there to ensure you are set up for success. Your Ambassador is not a local guide, but instead is an expert at making sure everything is just right on your tour so you, the trip leader, can enjoy your travels along with your passengers. Your Ambassador is also highly trained from an emergency management standpoint. You just need to let them know what you need and they will ensure it is taken care of.
STEP 7: Ready, set, go!
Let us know how we may serve you!