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Jan 21st
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Tour Operators

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Money Saving Ideas
...buying a tour


When buying a tour...

•  Is the company accredited?   U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA) http://www.ustoa.com; National Tour Association http://www.ntaonline.com/; or American Society of Travel Agents http://www.asta.org/.  How long has it been in business?
 
•  Do staff have hands-on involvement in the organization of the tours, or do they act as brokers for overseas companies?
 
•  Are the tours organized with interests and activities specific to families and priced accordingly?

•  Do the guides work well with children?  Do they speak English?  How much experience/knowledge of the country and specific tour do they have?

•  What size is the specific tour; maximum number of families (# of parents/# of children).

•  What are the appropriate ages for the trip?  Range of difficulty and physical requirements?  Request actual lodging descriptions, excursion times, distances, weather/temperatures, elevation gains.
 
•  Is the price of the tour based on family’s size and season of travel?  What is included in the tour price (airfare, hotel, meals, airport transfers, airport taxes, park fees, activity charges, medical insurance)?

•  Ask for references.
 
•  Does the tour operator maintain an escrow account, where trip deposits are held until travel has been completed?
 
•  Pay by credit card to ensure recourse and check your card’s travel-related benefits and insurance provisions.

•  Travelers Insurance can protect you against trip cancellation, due to a variety of causes and provide medical/accident coverage, with optional lost luggage, trip delay, and various other add-ons.  Purchase through an independent agent.

 

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