Frequently Asked Questions
Using our firsthand experience of our destinations and our many years in the travel industry we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help our guests with some of things we know are important to you and your family. In the section below we cover some general travel questions, you will also find more FAQs within our sun holidays section and our snow holidays section which cover questions relating to that style of holiday and the destinations.
We invest a great deal in sending our staff to our destinations and so if your question is not answered below or in the Sun FAQs or Snow FAQs then please do not hesitate to contact one of our travel experts. We all love discussing our holidays and experiences with our guests and so if we don't cover your question below please call us and we'll get the answer for you as quickly as possible.
How fit do we need to be?
Our family holidays are all designed with beginners in mind and the activities are there to be enjoyed rather than endured. In terms of fitness level, this does vary based on the holiday that you are considering. None of the holiday we feature for families require anything other than a reasonable level of fitness, so there is no need to get into a training plan just yet!
We have endeavored to provide you with as much detail as possible regarding the activities we feature and information you need to know on our website and on the individual activity pages, but don’t forget that the best thing to do, is to have a chat with one of our Travel Experts. We visit all of our destinations and our suppliers are our friends so we have a great understanding of how the various destinations and activities work as we have firsthand experience. We promise that there is no one in this office that is super fit and we all do the activities.
We will always try and accommodate special requests for families and we also provide a suggested minimum age for participation in the complete itineraries we feature (this does not necessarily preclude younger children so please contact us to discuss). These have been discussed with our suppliers at length based on their years of experience. It may be that one or more activity in the programme is suitable for a younger child so it is always worth speaking to one of our travel experts about your own family’s circumstances.
We are more than happy to discuss destinations and fitness in relation to climate; as the heat of the Mediterranean or tropics and the cold climates of the Arctic can impact on people’s levels of fatigue.
We do find that it is as much about having a positive approach and mental attitude as much as it is about physical fitness, inevitably though some of the activities are a little easier if you are a little fitter.
Will we have a guide?
For all of our activities we always use local activity providers and guides. The reasons are twofold. Firstly, nobody knows the terrain, rivers, mountains and countryside better than local suppliers. From a safety point of view we believe such local knowledge is imperative. Secondly, we believe that tourism should contribute to local economies and by employing local people we help to generate employment in regions where there are often few opportunities.
We always ensure that our guides are fully qualified and that they comply with all safety regulations.
The majority of our holidays are not fully escorted as our families do like to have some time to simply relax and enjoy themselves but you will always have a 24 hour contact for someone locally as well as our operations team should you need any assistance.
In some of our winter destinations you will meet our dedicated overseas representatives who work for us during the winter and in all destinations you will be provided with information on the schedule for the week and there will always be someone you can ask if you have any questions.
Will we have to make a local payment?
In short, the answer is no. We never hide the cost of our holidays behind a local payment. On each of the holiday pages you will see a clear outline of exactly what is included in the holiday price and a clear outline of the activities, meals, transport, clothing and equipment which are included in the holiday, alongside any additional services.
Please do bear this mind if you are comparing our holidays with other operators. Many operators show lead in rates which include far less than they may seem to do or which jump up in price when you get the final quote through. We are more than happy to provide you with a free comparison service, with no obligation, where one of our experts will happily compare our holiday with another for you in order to highlight the differences, as often they can be well hidden.
The only costs you will have to make locally may relate to National Park entrance fees and these must be paid directly on arrival. This is rare and will be clearly detailed.
We try to be as clear as possible with our pricing and our Travel Experts will provide you with a detailed written quotation for any of our holidays if you wish.
How do we choose a suitable holiday for our family?
We endeavor to provide as much information as possible regarding the itineraries and activities we feature on our website as we know that they are not all every day experiences. We include our own opinion of the locations and activities, based on our own firsthand experience of a destination. Our Travel Experts are always on hand to discuss the suitability of a holiday with you, based on their own experience, if you have any questions.
We provide a minimum age for each itinerary and this is a good place to start to narrow the field. The minimum age does not necessarily preclude younger children from participating in every activity included in a holiday so please do let us know if you have any questions.
Our holidays are designed with beginners in mind as full tuition is provided for activities, some do however offer more full on levels of activity and this will be described in the holiday overviews and the activity low downs.
You do not need to have anything other than an average level of fitness to take part in our holidays but a positive mental attitude is an excellent addition.
Will we get tuition?
For any activity that you book through us you will be provided with the technical equipment and tuition required to take part.
If you have any questions regarding a safety briefing or need a guide to clarify something further then do not hesitate to talk to them immediately. They are there to ensure your safety, comfort and enjoyment.
Please also read the ‘Safety’ document which is uploaded into your online account at the time of booking as this includes additional information.
What kind of accommodation do you use?
We always try and use locally owned accommodation wherever we can in our destinations (this is not possible or practical on some occasions). Our holidays are not accommodation led in general as they focus on exceptional family experiences and activities and in some cases this does not match with luxury accommodation.
We ensure that the accommodation we provide is welcoming, safe, clean and suited to families.
Hotel standards are typically 3 or 4 star however in some destinations it is almost impossible to provide a rating as the accommodation is lodge style or completely unique. We have everything from log cabins, Aurora bubbles and snow rooms through to 5 star resorts in tropical destinations and small family owned hotels in the mountains of Europe.
Full details giving our honest appraisal of the accommodation can be found on each holiday page, in many cases there may be a choice available or upgrades may be possible. Please ask our Travel Experts for their advice based on their first hand knowledge of the destinations.
Are there age restrictions on your holidays?
Each holiday will be given an age which the itinerary is deemed to be suitable for, starting at four years old. This is clearly visible in the holiday pages.
In some cases the minimum age specified will not preclude younger children but the itinerary may need to be adjusted for them. We know that some people have a range of ages in their families and so we will always aim to accommodate you.
We also know that many families now enjoy a multi generational holiday in order to share the exceptional experiences with the grandparents too. We have no set upper age limit but we do need to know if there are any conditions, disabilities or illnesses which could affect someone’s ability to participate and full details will be required at the time of booking.
How many people will be on our holiday?
On each holiday page you will see a minimum and maximum group size. The minimum group size is the number required for the holiday to be guaranteed to run and the maximum group size is an approximate upper limit on the size of the groups. This can vary a little but will always be maintained in relation to guide to client ratios and relates to activities rather than transfers and accommodation capacity.
We do not operate large groups and an average summer holiday group will be between 8 and 20 people (but can be as low as 4 and as high as 28 - where you may be split into smaller groups for some activities). If a holiday can operate for just one family then please do bear this in mind as it will operate regardless of whether other families book. In winter the group sizes vary between 4 and 40 people depending on the holiday but large groups will be split for activities to ensure the best possible experience for clients.
We do also operate some holidays which can be run on a private departure basis for just your family and will always try and meet any requests for tailored groups. During these holidays your itinerary will operate for your family but you may join other people for some transfers and activities.
We always try, especially during the summer holidays to match families with children of a similar age as this does often help to build friendships. Please speak to our Travel Experts for the ages of any families already booked onto a departure date.
How is my family’s money protected?
We know how vital it is that you know the money you invest on your family holiday is safe and in line with EU regulations we ensure that you are fully protected financially. Please read below for more information:
Fully bonded members of ABTA and AITO
Sorry for all of the abbreviations but we will explain what they all mean.....
ABTA is the UK’s largest travel association and your family may book with confidence as we are a fully bonded member of ABTA (ABTA number Y6261) which means that you have the benefit of ABTA's code of conduct and your money is fully protected regardless of whether we are arranging your flights for you or not.
We are also members of Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) which means that we are also governed by a strict quality charter.
We hold an Air Travel Organiser's License issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL number 6865). When you buy an ATOL protected flight or flight inclusive holiday from us, you will receive and ATOL Certificate
This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information from and who to contact if things go wrong. We, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL Certificate, will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable alternative).
In some cases, where neither we nor the supplier are able to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder may provide you with services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable). If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL certificate, are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit, you assign absolutely to those Trustees any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us, the travel agent or your credit card issuer where applicable. You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ATOL scheme.
*The flights and flight- inclusive holidays we arrange are ATOL protected providing they are made available in the UK. For further information visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk.
If you have any questions relating to financial protection, please do not hesitate to contact us as two of members of our management team used to work within the CAA. They will be more than happy to take you through any concerns that you may have.
As a company we also go above and beyond for our families and have created our own Peace of Mind Promise, more details can be found by clicking here : INSERT LINK
Do you offer a repeat client discount scheme?
Yes, we do!
As a little thank you for choosing The Artisan Travel Company for your adventure we offer a rewards scheme.
Repeat Clients – Save 5%
Save 5% on your next holiday when you book with one of our three brands; The Aurora Zone, Artisan Travel and Activities Abroad!
Refer a friend -
Refer a friend to travel with any one of our three brands and they’ll receive £50pp off their booking!
For every booking that quotes your name and address, you'll also receive £50 towards your next holiday with us!
Click here to start planning your next holiday.
Please note, both offers are subject to terms and conditions and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers. Discount will not apply when booking with third party sites or agents. Both offers are valid when used within 24 months of travel.
Are flights included?
The majority of our holidays do include flights however some of our long haul holidays do not and we also offer a range of self drive holidays which do not include air travel.
Flights are typically based on departures from London but regional and non-UK departures are available on request for some holidays (subject to availability and supplements in some cases). We will always be as flexible as we can to suit your family’s needs.
Details of exactly what is included in your holiday price can be found on the holiday page. We can also arrange flights around any extensions you would like to include.
If a flight is included and you would like to make your own arrangements then this can be possible on occasion so please contact our Travel Experts for a quotation excluding flights.
If you are booking your own travel then please ensure that you do not make any such arrangements until you have received confirmation from us of your booking and that the departure is guaranteed to run. We cannot be held responsible for change to any travel arrangements which fall outside of your booking with us.
Do we need insurance?
Travel insurance is a pre requisite to any booking with us and a vital part of any holiday. Travel insurance is not provided as part of any of our holidays and so you will need to ensure that you have cover for all of the activities that you will be participating in during your holiday and that all members of your family are covered.
Please ensure that any insurance provides adequate medical and cancellation cover. Please bear in mind that not all insurance policies may offer cover for the sort of activities you may be taking part in during your holiday. We recommend you run through every activity you will be taking part in with the company in detail to ensure you are fully covered.
Please read your policy details carefully and take them with you on holiday. It is your responsibility to ensure that the insurance cover you purchase is adequate for your particular needs. We do not check alternative insurance policies.
How do I book?
Simply complete our online booking request form and one of our Travel Experts will contact you to complete the booking process. Alternatively, you can call us on 01670 789 991.
How do I pay my balance?
You have three ways to pay your remaining balance. You can either give us a call and do this over the phone between 9 am - 5 pm, Monday to Friday, to provide us with your debit or credit card details (no charge for either) or you can make a bank transfer. All our bank details and information can be found in your online account in the ‘how to make a payment’ document. You can also check your outstanding balance on your holiday invoice in your online account. Finally, we also accept cheques which should be made payable to The Artisan Travel Company Ltd. Please write your reference number and surname on the back of the cheque.
Can my family’s dietary requirements be catered for?
If your family has any special dietary requirements then please let us know at the time of booking. We often have requests to cater for vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, fish free diets etc, and the accommodation providers and guides will always do all they can to cater for them accordingly. We can of course also cater for dietary requirements based on religion, food intolerances and allergies.
Due to the remote location of many of our destinations, the options can be a little limited for those with dietary needs. Please provide us with as much information, as far in advance as possible.
Where buffet food is included, there will be a vegetarian option available. Fresh fruit and vegetables can be a little hard to come by in the depths of the winter months in some of our destinations so they can be a little scarce.
Whilst it is increasingly rare for airlines to include any meals or snacks within their ticket prices if we are arranging your flights we will always aim to ensure that the airline is made aware of any dietary requirements should any food be included (we find this is predominantly only on long haul flights now) . Dietary requirements with the airline cannot always be guaranteed in our experience, you may wish to consider taking your own food as a backup plan - especially where there is 'buy on board' food as the options can be very limited.
What happens next?
An initial deposit per person is required to secure your holiday, which is payable by debit or credit card or by bank transfer. All of your holiday details will be confirmed to you in writing, all you need to do is confirm that your details are correct. Your final balance will be payable nine weeks before departure. If you are booking within 9 weeks of travelling your full balance will be due immediately.
How do I add additional activities and extras?
Once the activities have been confirmed, your final invoice will be updated. Any additions or changes requested less than nine weeks before departure, may incur administration charges.
I’m travelling for a special occasion; can I arrange something special?
When will I get my final travel information and tickets?
Your final travel documents, e-tickets and any holiday vouchers will be uploaded to your online account approximately one week prior to departure. If you require them earlier, we will do our best to assist.
Sadly, I need to cancel the holiday; how do I do this?
Where can I find my online account?
If you load the homepage of our website and look along the very top of the page on the right-hand side, you will see the words ‘login’. Click on this and you will be taken to the login page where you will be asked to enter your details to gain access to your online account
What are my login details to my online account?
What happens if I have forgotten my password?
If you follow the above steps, then you will find a link which says, ‘forgotten your password?’. Please click on this link and follow the steps to have a new password generated for you. For data protection reasons we do not have access to your password.