Terms & conditions

Important to note

Please read these booking conditions carefully, they form an important part of the contract for your holiday.
All holidays advertised in our brochures and on our website are operated by Blue Plum Escapes Ltd. Registered number 07474106 (hereinafter called 'the Company' or 'we'). Registered UK office: International House, 221 Bow Road, Bow, London E3 2SJ, and are sold subject to the following conditions:

Insurance

Please Note: Adequate and valid travel insurance is compulsory for all our travellers and it is a condition of accepting your booking that you agree you will have obtained adequate and valid travel insurance for your booking by the date of departure.

Financial Protection

Blue Plum Escapes Ltd are members of Protected Travel Services (member number: 5018).

The Package Travel Regulations 1992 require us to provide security for the monies that you pay for the packages booked with us and for your repatriation in the unlikely event of our insolvency.

This is provided by placing any monies paid by you, the customer, into the Protected Travel Services Client Account which is then administered by independent Trustees. This money is fully protected and as a result no money is paid to us until all the suppliers for your trip have been paid and you have completed your tour.

Only after the above conditions have been met is your payment then released to Blue Plum Escapes Ltd.

This means that you can enjoy your trip knowing that any money you have paid to us is fully protected at all times by Protected Travel Services.

For full information about PTS and further details of the scheme, please visit Protected Travel Services.

1. How to Book

To make a booking you can contact us directly over the telephone or via our Website. The person making the booking (the ‘lead name’) must be 18 years old or over and possess the legal capacity and authority to make the booking and accepts these booking conditions on behalf of everyone in their party.

You will need to pay a deposit of £150. We will then invoice you for the remainder of the cost due before you travel, which you must pay not later than 56 days before departure. If you book less than 56 days before departure, full payment must be made on booking. If you do not pay the balance by the due date your booking will be cancelled and you will forfeit your deposit.

Please note that all payments made on a credit card (whether deposits, part payments or final balances) will be subject to a levy of 3.5%.

If we accept your booking, we will issue a Confirmation Invoice. A contract will exist between us from the date we issue the Confirmation Invoice or if you book within 7 days of departure the contract will exist when we accept your payment. When you receive the Confirmation Invoice please check the details carefully and inform us immediately if anything is incorrect. Names on travel documents must exactly match those in your passports.

Your personal safety is of paramount importance to us and therefore it is imperative that you advise us at the time of booking of any condition, medical or otherwise, that might affect your or other people’s enjoyment of the trip.

2. Prices

All prices we advertise are accurate at the date published, but we reserve the right to change any of those prices. Before you make a booking we will give you the up-to-date price of your chosen holiday.

Changes in transportation costs, including the cost of fuel, and exchange rates mean that the price of your travel arrangements may change after you have booked.

However, there will be no change within 30 days of your departure.

3. If you change or cancel your booking

If, after our confirmation has been issued, you wish to change to another of our tours or change departure date, we will try to make the changes subject to availability, provided that notification is received in writing at our offices from the lead name at least 56 days before departure and you pay £50 per person to cover our administration costs. In addition to the fee we charge, any alteration, whether a change to an existing booking or a change to another tour or departure date, will also be subject to payment by you of any costs imposed by any of the suppliers providing the component parts of the tour. If the holiday to which you transfer is more expensive than the one you originally booked, a further deposit will also be payable. Any alteration by you within 56 days of departure will be treated as a cancellation of the original booking and will be subject to cancellation charges.

Where you are unable to travel you can transfer your booking to another person, subject to the following:
a) you must notify us in writing at least 56 days before departure; and
b) your request is accompanied by the full name and address of the transferee; and
c) the transferee must fulfil any conditions that apply to the booking; and
d) payment by you of an administrative charge of a minimum of £50 per person plus payment of all costs charged or levied by those supplying your travel arrangements.
Both the transferor and transferee will be jointly and severally liable for payment of the holiday price and other associated expenses.

You, or any member of your party, may cancel your tour at any time providing that the cancellation is made by the lead name in writing. Notice of cancellation will be effective upon receipt of your written communication. As we start to incur costs from the time the contract is confirmed we will retain your deposit and in addition will apply other cancellation charges as shown below.
Where written notification of the cancellation is received:

  • more than 56 days before departure: loss of deposit
  • between 42 and 56 days before departure: 50% of the holiday cost
  • between 28 and 41 days before departure: 60% of the holiday cost
  • between 15 and 27 days before departure: 80% of the holiday cost
  • 14 days or less before departure (or failure to join the holiday): 100% of the holiday cost.
Please note: We strongly recommend you to take out insurance that includes cover against irrecoverable cancellation costs.

All communications relating to this contract (in particular any requests to cancel or amend your holiday arrangements) must be from the Lead Name in writing and in English and delivered by email or sent by recorded delivery post to Blue Plum Escapes Ltd, International House, 221 Bow Road, Bow, London E3 2SJ, UK

4. If we change or cancel your booking

We reserve the right to cancel your booking or change any of the facilities, services or prices described in our brochures or website. We will endeavour to advise you of any changes known at the time of booking. We plan the arrangements for your tour many months in advance and may occasionally have to make changes, most of which are minor.

Operation of all tours is dependent on a minimum number of persons booking the tour. If that number is not achieved, we reserve the right to cancel the tour. In no circumstances will we cancel your tour less than 4 weeks before the scheduled departure date except for reasons of late cancellations from other passengers on your departure, force majeure (as defined below) or failure on your part to pay the final balance.

Circumstances amounting to "force majeure" include any event which we or the supplier of the service(s) in question could not even with all due care, foresee or forestall such as (by way of example and not by way of limitation) war, threat of war, riot, civil strife, industrial dispute, terrorist activity, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, acts of God, adverse weather conditions, and all similar events.

In February 2005 a new Europe-wide law relating to denied boarding, delays and cancellation of flights came into force, applicable to all EU carriers. This law granted rights to passengers including in certain circumstances the right to cancel their flight and receive reimbursement of the cost of the flight from their airline. Full details of these rights are publicised at EU airports and are also available from affected airlines. However, you should note that reimbursement of the cost of a flight that forms part of your holiday is the responsibility of your holiday airline and will not automatically entitle you to reimbursement of the cost of your holiday from us. If your airline does not comply with these rules you should complain to the Air Transport Users' Council on 020 7240 6061 www.auc.org.uk

5. Our liability, conditions of carriage and limitations

Our obligations, and those of our suppliers providing any service or facility included in your holiday, are to take reasonable skill and care to arrange for the provision of such services and facilities. You must show that reasonable skill and care has not been used if you wish to make any claim. Standards of, for example, safety, hygiene and quality vary throughout the transport and destinations that your holiday may involve. Sometimes these standards will be lower than those which would be expected in the UK. The services and facilities included in your holiday will be deemed to be provided with reasonable skill and care if they comply with any local regulations which apply.

We shall have no liability where the cause of the failure to provide, or failure in, your holiday or any death or personal injury you may suffer is not due to any fault on our part or that of our agents or suppliers, because it is either attributable to you, or attributable to someone unconnected with your holiday and is unforeseeable or unavoidable, or is due to unusual or unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised, or an event which neither we, nor our agents or suppliers could have foreseen or forestalled.

If you purchase any optional activities that are not part of your pre-booked itinerary, the contract for the provision of that activity will be between you and the activity provider. The decision to partake in any such activity is entirely at your own discretion and risk. If you do have any complaint about, or problem with, any optional activity purchased overseas your claim should be directed to the activity provider and not to us.

We may operate trips in regions where standards of accommodation, transport, safety, hygiene, medical facilities and other infrastructure may, at times, be lower than those you normally expect. Your booking is accepted on the understanding that you realise the hazards involved in this kind of holiday, including injury, disease, loss or damage to property, inconvenience and discomfort. The whole philosophy of this type of travel is one that allows alternatives and a substantial degree of on-trip flexibility. The outline itineraries given for each holiday must therefore be taken as an indication of what each group should accomplish, and not as a contractual obligation on our part. Changes in itinerary may be caused by local political conditions, flight cancellations, mechanical breakdown, weather, border restrictions, sickness, or other unforeseeable circumstances.

6. Complaints process

If you have cause for complaint whilst on holiday, you must bring it to the attention of our tour leader immediately. They will do their best to rectify the situation. It is unreasonable to take no action whilst on holiday, but then to write a letter of complaint upon return. If you do not raise concerns immediately, this may affect our ability to investigate and take remedial action and it may impact on the way your complaint is dealt with.

If a problem remains unresolved during your holiday, you should make a complaint in writing to Blue Plum Escapes Ltd, International House, 221 Bow Road, Bow, London E3 2SJ, UK, within 28 days of the completion of the holiday. Please remember to quote your holiday booking number and daytime telephone number. We will reply to you within 28 days of receipt of your letter.

7. Details of insurance

Insurance for medical emergency, including repatriation in any such event, is not included in the cost of the tour. It is a condition of booking that all travellers be covered by comprehensive travel insurance and do not travel against medical advice. You should organise it immediately you book so as to be covered in case of the ill health of yourself, a close relative or your travelling companion.

Valid travel insurance is mandatory for all clients while on one of our tours. You are strongly advised to insure yourself against possible risks that may occur and in particular to ensure that you have sufficient pre-departure cancellation cover which includes dependent relatives upon whom your trip may depend. You are required to carry proof of insurance with you and produce it if requested by company employees or suppliers, as failure to do so may result in your being prevented from participating in certain activities without the right to any refund.

8. Visa, Health, Passport, Travel documentation

Nationals of EU, USA, Australia, New Zealand and some other countries do NOT need visa for a stay of up to 90 days. You will need a valid passport or an ID card depending on the country. Please check whether you need visa on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia www.mfa.rs/Consularaffairs.htm

The lead name is entirely responsible for ensuring that all members of the group have the correct and valid documentation for travel. We cannot accept responsibility for any failure to comply resulting in any costs or fines being incurred and we advise you to check with your passport office or the consulate in question if you have any queries.

We are able to advise on mandatory health requirements; however, we are not medical experts. It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain proper and detailed medical advice at least two months prior to travel for the latest health requirements, recommendations for your destination and any costs. Where you do not do so and either are not allowed to enter any country, or suffer personal injury or death as a result, we have no liability to you for any cost, loss or damage which you suffer nor will we refund you the cost of any unused portion of your travel arrangements. Clients with existing medical problems, pregnant women and anyone who has recently visited other countries should check requirements with their general practitioner.

9. Leader Authority and Behaviour

On an active group holiday it is necessary that you abide by the authority of the tour leader, who represents the company. If you commit any illegal act when on the holiday or if in the reasonable opinion of the leader your behaviour is disruptive, threatening or abusive or is causing or likely to cause danger, distress or annoyance to others we may terminate your travel arrangements without any liability on our part. If the Captain of your flight or ferry or our overseas staff believe that you could be disruptive, they can also refuse to let you proceed with your travel arrangements. If this means you are not allowed to board the flight outbound from the UK, we will treat your booking as cancelled by you from that moment, and you will have to pay full cancellation charges. If this occurs overseas then you will become responsible for your own return home and any other members of your group who cannot or will not travel without you. In any of these circumstances no refunds or compensation will be paid to you and we may make a claim against you for any costs and expenses incurred as a result of your behaviour e.g. the cost of diverting an aircraft or ferry to remove you. Criminal proceedings may also be instigated.

The accommodation we arrange for you must only be used by those people named on your Confirmation Invoice (or on any Amendment Invoice issued). You are not allowed to share the accommodation or let anyone else stay there. You are responsible for the cost of any damage caused to your accommodation or its contents during your stay, except damage caused by persons not known to you. These charges must be met by you and may have to be paid locally.

10. Special Requests

We will consider special requests such as special dietary requests or, specific rooming requirements, when you book. We will tell you whether there is a charge for the request. We can only guarantee requests for which there is a charge, or those that are confirmed in writing.

11. Participation requirements

All Clients are expected to satisfy themselves prior to booking that they are fit and able to complete the itinerary of their chosen holiday as described in the brochure. No unaccompanied minors (those under 18 years of age) can be accepted however (a) minors aged between 3 and 17 years may accompany their parents on designated tours, (b) older teenagers (those aged 14 and over) may be allowed to join group tours provided they are accompanied by a parent or guardian who accepts full responsibility for them.

Anyone suffering from mobility impairment, illness or disability or undergoing treatment for any physical or medical condition must declare the true nature of such condition at the time of booking and make arrangements for the provision of any medication or other treatment which may be required during the holiday. Failure to make such disclosure will constitute a breach of these booking conditions and may result in such persons being excluded from the holiday in which case all monies paid will be forfeit. If you are affected by any condition, medical or otherwise, that might affect your or other people’s enjoyment of the holiday, you must advise us of this at the time of booking.

12. Photography and Testimonial

Any likeness or image of you secured or taken on any of our holidays may be used by the Company without charge in all media (whether now existing or in the future invented) for bona fide promotional or marketing purposes, including without limitation promotional materials of any kind such as brochures, slides, video shows or the internet. Any written feedback supplied to the company may also be used for promotional purposes as detailed above.

13. Law and Jurisdiction

If you booked your holiday in any jurisdiction (including any booking via the Internet), this contract, and any other claim or dispute arising from or related to this contract, will be governed by English law and the courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction over any claim arising out of it.