Frequently Asked Questions
Can I book online?
No, we do not have an online booking form, however you can download a booking form from the website and fax or post to us. Click here. There is also a booking form in the back of our tour brochure if you prefer.
Can I book through a travel agent?
Yes, the choice is yours. If you have a preferred travel agent by all means book with them. Travel Directors’ tours are always inclusive of flights and visas, which means our tours do not usually require additional arrangements to be made. However, should you wish to extend your tour at the beginning or the end, Travel Directors can easily assist you with additional arrangements, whether it is extra accommodation, car hire, or additional tours provided by other operators. We can assist with all aspects of your travel, including travel insurance.
How far in advance do I need to book?
Generally speaking we advise you to book as soon as you have definitely decided which tour you would like to do. Some tours fill very quickly, others less so. Many of our tours require visas, which can take some time to process, especially if you are restricted as to when you can provide us with your passport. As a general rule we would suggest booking your tour as soon as possible and no later than two months prior to departure.
Is it possible to do just part of the tour?
Yes, it is possible to join the tour part of the way through, or leave before it has concluded. Our friendly consultants will work out the adjusted costs and assist with alternative flight arrangements.
Is it possible to add extensions to the tour?
Yes it is usually possible to extend your stay at the beginning or end of the tour. Our consultants will be happy to provide details. If you wish to take up this option, all arrangements must be confirmed before leaving Australia.
Does the tour cost include international flights?
Yes, all of our tours include return economy international flights and taxes.
When is the deposit due?
In order to confirm your booking, we require a deposit within 14 days of making the booking.
When is the final payment due?
Full payment is required three months prior to departure, or at the time of booking if it is less than three months to the tour start date. However, if you pay for your tour in full, six months prior to departure, you will receive a $500pp early-bird discount.
What is the maximum group size?
Our maximum group size is generally 24 people, with an average group being 16 – 20 people. On our Africa tours the maximum is 20.
I am a single traveller: do I have to pay a single supplement?
If you do not want to share a room with another person in the group, you will have to pay the single supplement. However, if you are willing to share we will team you up with another passenger of the same sex and similar age. If a match-up is not possible, we will upgrade you at our expense.
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes, you must have adequate cover before undertaking any Travel Directors’ tour. We suggest taking out travel insurance at the time of booking and paying the deposit, or making the full payment, to cover you in the event of unforeseen circumstances which may result in cancellation. Our consultants will be happy to help you organise appropriate cover.
How fit do I need to be?
All of our tours carry one of three fitness ratings: Easy, Moderate or Active. Easy tours are just that – a gently-paced relaxing holiday with minimal walking. Moderate tours are suitable for anyone leading a normal, reasonably active life. They will generally involve more walking, climbing of stairs and some longer travel days. Active tours may involve considerable walking and stair-climbing, and some long travel days, sometimes with early starts. This category also includes tours which go to altitudes above 3,000m, and tours which go to more remote areas.
Do I need to apply for a visa for the tour?
All visas are included in the cost of the tour. Our office lodges all of the visa applications which requires having your passport for two or three weeks a few months prior to travel, together with a couple of passport sized photographs. Your consultant will advise when you need to provide these.
What immunisations, if any, do I need?
This varies from country to country. We strongly recommend you consult your GP for advice. A yellow fever vaccination is mandatory if you’re travelling to certain countries in Africa, South America and Central America, and you must carry the vaccination certificate with you as it is required by Australian authorities on re-entry. More information on yellow fever and the Australian Government list of declared places can be found at http://www.health.gov.au/yellowfever#7. We suggest you have an up-to-date tetanus vaccination, and seek advice from your GP regarding other vaccinations.
Do I need to take any medications?
We recommend you carry medications for colds and flu, sore throat, diarrhoea etc, as well as bandaids. If you take regular prescription medications it is important to ensure you have an adequate supply for the entire journey.
What do I need to pack?
The packing list varies a little from tour to tour, but a detailed pre-departure booklet will be sent to you prior to your tour which will contain a suggested packing list. This information can also be found on the specific tour page of the website.
How much luggage can I take?
As a general rule we advise keeping your luggage to within a 20kg limit, or less. Although we will have porters much of the time, sometimes you may be required to handle your own luggage, for instance, on our rail tours.
Will there be laundry facilities at the hotels?
Most of the hotels we use on tour have a laundry service, so it is generally more convenient to travel light and have your clothes laundered en-route. If you do not wish to incur additional expense having your clothes laundered, you could consider bringing some travel wash and a travel clothesline.
Where can I get more tour-specific information?
Each tour page on the website has tour-specific information and detailed trip notes. You can also talk to our travel consultants at any time should you have any questions relating to the tour. Six weeks prior to departure we will send out a pre-departure booklet with detailed information about your trip.
What is included in the tour cost?
Travel Directors’ tours are virtually fully-inclusive. Every tour is inclusive of return economy international flights, all internal flights on tour, all visas and courier fees, ground transportation, accommodation (twin-share), most meals (see note below), extensive sightseeing and entrance fees as specified in the itinerary, expert local guides, experienced Travel Directors’ tour leader, and all tips and gratuities. In addition, our tours are renowned for the many extras and ‘surprises’ which are included along the way.
Note: Almost all of our tours include three meals a day, except when flying (usually an airline meal is provided), or travelling by train, when it is easier for people to eat what and when they like. Occasionally there will be days where just two meals are provided, giving people the opportunity to explore and try local cuisine.
How much spending money should I take?
As Travel Directors’ tours are virtually all-inclusive, if you’re not into shopping, you could just about leave your wallet at home! However, if you like to buy a few souvenirs or gifts, and enjoy the occasional might-cap at a local bar, you’ll need a few dollars in your pocket. More tour-specific guidelines on spending money can be found on each individual tour page.
What is the best way to take money with me?
We suggest a mix of cash (USD or Euro), an ATM card and a credit card. Where ATMs are freely available you can usually withdraw local currency using your Australian debit card. In the few countries where ATMs are not found, you can change your USD or Euros into local currency. Credit cards can be useful if you wish to make a large purchase, although some countries charge a service fee for using them. We do not recommend travellers cheques as these can be difficult and time-consuming to cash.
Do I need money for tips and gratuities?
No. All tips and gratuities are included in the tour cost.
What is the standard of the hotels?
We choose our hotels for their central locations, which we believe is very important. They are generally 3-4 star quality (or better), comfortable, clean and all with en-suites. In remote locations where accommodation options may be limited, we use the best available.
Are there internet facilities en-route?
Most of the hotels we use on our tours have internet facilities, and there are often internet cafes in the vicinity of the hotels we use, which generally offer cheaper access. Except in very remote areas it is usually possible to get on-line on a regular basis, although connectivity can be slow in some countries.
Will my mobile phone work?
Telstra and Optus mobiles work throughout most parts of the world, except in more remote areas. You should contact your service provider to ensure that you have global roaming. Be aware that mobile phone use overseas can be very expensive, but there are ways to minimise your bill. More information is available at https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/internet-phone/using-your-mobile-overseas
Is it safe to drink the water?
We err on the side of caution on all of our tours and advise travellers to drink only bottled water. Generally, we supply bottled water on the coach, and often it is provided free of charge in the hotel rooms. It is also easy and inexpensive to buy bottled water along the way, but it is important you buy it from a shop or supermarket and not from a street vendor.
What will the food be like?
Tasting different cuisines is an important part of travel and we pride ourselves on providing a variety of meals including local dishes. On any trip good food is vital to good health and, accordingly, all of the restaurants we use are tried and tested and adhere to strict hygiene standards.
I have special dietary needs, is this a problem?
No. Our booking form contains a section relating to dietary requirements and this information will be passed to our local operators well in advance to ensure that you are looked after at the local restaurants and offered suitable alternatives. Do bear in mind, however, that in some countries your diet may be slightly restricted if you are unable to eat a particular staple of that country.
Will there be free time during the tour?
Generally we build in some free time during the course of our tours, often a morning or afternoon, sometimes a few hours prior to dinner. We endeavour to provide a balanced mix of organised activities and sight-seeing, and free time to further explore places on your own.
What form of transport do we use?
On most of our tours we use spacious, air-conditioned coaches and private vehicles, for travel between locations, and also for some city tours. On our rail tours, we travel mostly by train throughout the tour, but use air-conditioned coaches for local sight-seeing. Generally speaking we provide 36 to 44 seater coaches for a full group of 24 people, and smaller coaches for groups of 12 to 18.
Are there any long travelling days?
Some tours do have long travelling days, although we endeavour to break these up with refreshment and comfort stops, and sight-seeing at towns en-route. Each tour itinerary outlines the travelling time and distance covered, and what highlights you will see along the way.