Organised tours

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by BobT, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. BobT

    BobT Trader - Tour Operator

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    With more and more motorhomers choosing organised tours as a way of visiting Europe, it is perhaps worthwhile for them to be aware of the law regarding companies who organise such tours.
    The snappily named “EC directive on Passenger Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours (90/314/EEC)” obliges European companies involved in the supply of package holidays to safeguard their customers’ money. This can be done in two ways; either by being bonded with the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), or their national equivalent, or by placing all customers’ payments into a trust fund operated by a firm of solicitors who only release that money to the tour operator after the tour has been completed. This prevents repeats of instances in the 1960s when a few tour operators “did a runner” with their customers’ payments and were never seen again.
    To the best of my knowledge the tour companies operating in the motorhome sector in the U.K. are all trading legally by using one of these schemes to safeguard their customers. However I know of at least one company operating within the EEC, but outside the U.K., who offer no such safeguard to their customers – while selling their tours to British motorhomers.
    If you are considering buying an organised tour from anybody it would be worth your while to ask the tour operator what safeguards they have in place to protect your hard-earned cash.
     
  2. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Personaly I couldnt think of anything worse than an organised motorhome tour,even if it was free,cant imagine anyone wanting to pay for one.
    But then again thats me.:Rofl1:
     
  3. sedge

    sedge Funster

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    That's what I've always thought too! LOL

    I was a bit tempted with a certain club who went to Keukenhoff, because they did lots of side trips etc that you would prolly not have time to organise yourself if you only stayed a week or whatever it was. Then I discovered that you had to be on the same ferry as everyone else and it appears - travel in convoy all the way from the channel port to Holland.

    If you can't find your way from a channel port to Holland, then really there isn't much hope for you, is there? LOL

    Same as motorbikes really. Pete only likes riding with people who ride the same as he does which does narrow it down ......

    :Rofl1:
     
  4. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Not for me.. :Blush:

    Like to come and go as I please..

    Thats the idea of a Motorhome,, freedom of travel where and when.. :thumb:
     
  5. bobandjanie

    bobandjanie Funster Life Member

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    Same for us, we never put a lot of effort into planning or booking anything.:Smile: Blimey it all gets a bit like a package holiday and when you get there you don't like it.:Doh:
    The reason we got a motorhome was we can stop when we want and where we want, and if we like it for as long as we want.:Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1:

    We have a 9 week trip coming up, and all that's booked is the ferry, at the moment we are going to be in Germany, but who knows it might be :rain::rain::rain::rain::rain: and we will go somewhere else.:Rofl1::Rofl1::Rofl1: Bob.
     
  6. BobT

    BobT Trader - Tour Operator

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    Live and let live

    We are all different, for example some people would not be comfortable travelling independently in Argentina, Turkey or Albania, while for others that limit is Dover.
    There is no need to make disparaging remarks about those who are less adventurous than yourself - as I said we are all different.
    My original post was aimed at those people who choose to travel with a group, sometimes for security and sometimes because they enjoy the company. I was merely trying to ensure they didn't lose their money.
     
  7. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Your thoughts are the thoughts of a tour operator...my thoughts are the thoughts of an individual traveler,and am entitled to my thoughts just the same as you.Regarding disparaging remarks....please reread my post.
     
  8. Detourer

    Detourer Trader - Tour Operator

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    Potential clients comments are to be welcomed, are valued and helpful. ALL tour operators should take note [we are NOT perfect] and should be working together to promote the industry and making it more secure.

    But the issue here is not whether to go on a motorhome/caravan holiday with or without a tour operator or its value, content etc etc., but as BobT presents, is that company safe and secure. Given that the relatively high UK based holiday company failure rates are very high, 27 in 2008 alone with the AA quoting “Over the past year more than 50 holiday firms have collapsed dashing travel plans etc etc……..” it’s a good and fair point.


    “With more and more motorhomers choosing organised tours as a way of visiting Europe, it is perhaps worthwhile for them to be aware of the law regarding companies who organise such tours…..”

    The more discerning motorhome owner is now discovering that there are more choices, with some very long standing, highly successful and reputable Motorhome Touring companies based and operating outside of the UK. They are of course open and marketing to UK based clients. Most of these companies not only offer tours throughout mainland Europe but also into North Africa and more recently the UK., in fact, world-wide. Their failure rate is comparatively low with, in any case, compensation swifter and exceeding the basics. Now that some of these companies are looking at and entering the UK sector some of the UK based companies will need to get their own act together and are perhaps a little worried……

    “The snappily named “EC directive on Passenger Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours (90/314/EEC)” obliges European companies involved in the supply of package holidays to safeguard their customers’ money. This can be done in two ways; either by being bonded with the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), or their national equivalent, or by placing all customers’ payments into a trust fund operated by a firm of solicitors who only release that money to the tour operator after the tour has been completed. This prevents repeats of instances in the 1960s when a few tour operators “did a runner” with their customers’ payments and were never seen again….”


    The “National Equivalent” i.e. in France, Germany and Spain for example, offers far greater client protection and demands a much greater business control/penalties. i.e. Spain demands monthly accounts/audits in many cases. Google and find out the number of solicitors who have “done a runner” with clients money. Yes, it’s protected, but a hell of a haul to secure recovery! Of course there is, not mentioned here, a much far better third option…… For example, do as Desert Detours does and don’t take the clients money [other than a secured deposit] until the moment a tour actually starts.

    “To the best of my knowledge the tour companies operating in the motorhome sector in the U.K. are all trading legally by using one of these schemes to safeguard their customers…..”

    Not true, taking BobT’s criteria. Take a look at the official ABTA website and you may be surprised as to whom [UK based Motorhome/Caravan Touring Company] is NOT listed.

    “However I know of at least one company operating within the EEC, but outside the U.K., who offer no such safeguard to their customers – while selling their tours to British motorhomers….”

    No safeguards or established background?…….Who?

    “If you are considering buying an organised tour from anybody it would be worth your while to ask the tour operator what safeguards they have in place to protect your hard-earned cash….”

    After you, the client, has established when you will be asked to hand over your hard-earned cash it would also be a good idea to check, for example, how long they have been continuously operating, do they hide behind other names and just as important….. check and compare their Terms and Conditions, are their tours run by themselves, their own in-house staff, are they full or part time [paid even] staff and to what extent do they use third party providers who probably have their own and separate rules-regulations-terms.

    Anyway…..Cheap shot BobT [Bob Thornton – GBPrivilege Tours], but good luck with your newly issued Moroccan tour.


    ..
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
  9. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    We are all different:Smile:

    • Package Holiday - Not for me , but millions do
    • Coach Tour - Yuk, not me but millions do
    • All Inclusive Holiday Hotel in Costa Little. Double Yuk, But millions do
    • Guided Tour in a Motorhome, Not for me, but then I have travelled extensively, lived in a number of different countries and prefer my own company.
    That said I have met plenty of Funsters that are too worried to even cross the channel, never having done anything like it before. They worry about security, getting lost, driving on the wrong side, not speaking the lingo etc. Foreign solo travel is way out of the comfort zone for more travelers than we might imagine.

    IMO An organised tour can go a long way to acclimatising people to future foreign solo travel. The social aspects of a tour can be good as well. Guided tours definitely have a place, no they are not for all, but for some, a well organised tour can prove invaluable.
     
  10. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Well there ya go.....Always somone wanting to stab somone else in the back.:Blush:
     
  11. Detourer

    Detourer Trader - Tour Operator

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    Hi Jim...and good mornin'/afternoon from a far too hot Southern Spain.....

    Like I say ALL client views are valid and should be most welcomed.....even the complaints :cry:

    You may remember Jim the Funsters Tour to Morocco, two years ago I think..... Geo, Forestboy, Lynden etc etc.........The truth! It was one of the best, fun-filled, good natured, spot-on clients tour we have ever done........:Rofl1:

    Take care.....

    Ray
     
  12. chatter

    chatter Read Only Funster

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    Actually jim theres an idea for you
    Motorhome FUN guided tours for newbies to the joys of europe
    if it was anything like the meets
    we all would enjoy it :thumb:

    but would all have to travel on ferry or tunnel together due to preferental rates for group booking :thumb:
    preferental rates for sites and admission into places of interest for group bookings:thumb:
    .
    .
    :Doh: but what a headache to organise
     
  13. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

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    Now thats one organised tour I may consider....organised being the operative word:Rofl1:
    If any of the organised meets are anything to go by...it should be interesting:Eeek:
    Good idea Maggi,somthing for you to think about during your holls:BigGrin:
     
  14. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

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    I have to be honest, once situation changes and I can go abroad, then I would DEFINITELY consider an organised tour... I wouldn't have a clue how to get from Dover to Holland in a motorhome on my own and knowing my luck would probably end up on a slow boat to China selling bananas.

    As well as the security aspect of travelling alone, I wouldn't have a clue about all the little things like triangles, yellow vest, and whilst going the wrong way round a roundabout wouldn't worry me in the least if I had even the dog sat next to me, when I am alone everything seems a lot more hazardous. I even shout at roadworkers who do silly things in front of me in the van when the dog is there, and I just tut to myself when alone. It is all about confidence and for the first trip I think these are ideal.

    On the enjoyment side of it, Carol and Eddie thoroughly loved their trip last year to Greece and I could have sat for hours (or did I) listening to their tales of cameraderie (sorry can't spell it:RollEyes:) Brilliant!:thumb:
     
  15. marrod23

    marrod23 Funster

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    why would you want to go on an organized tour sort of defeats the object of owning a mh or am i missing the point
     
  16. BobT

    BobT Trader - Tour Operator

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    Hi Detourer,
    My original post was not a "cheap shot" at anybody, it was just to inform anybody who buys an organised tour to check that their money is safe.
     
  17. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

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    Marrod, in answer to your question, see my first post ..... safety for a lone woman, security for a lone woman if something goes wrong with the van, learning from others and from the experience so that in future I might have the confidence to go it alone.:thumb:
     
  18. motorhomelover

    motorhomelover

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    It is nice to meet up with fellow motorhome people for a set weekend or a few days but traveling in convoy and being told when and where to go is not for us

    the best part of getting away is being away from all that try to ruel us in the first place

    i would like to meet up with some one at a point in time but most of all to be free to go where and when we want too

    allways welcome to knock on our door and have a coffee or tea a warm welcome to all so long as you go after wards i got rid of my kids so do not want any suragat`s LOL

    :RollEyes:
     
  19. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

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    NOT IN EVERY CASE, but in a lot, I would think that lone people and those in couples or families may have a different opinion on tours.:Smile: especially for first time abroad in motorhome.
     
  20. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    Read this thread with interest haveing been on a brilliant tour with Ray from Desert Detours and also a excellent tour of Greece with GB Privilige and as any one who knows us will tell you we have no problem at all with touring on our own in fact have motorcaravanned & tugged for the last 40 years. It is just a matter of choice, I am totally sure no matter how experienced a motorhomer you are you would never have, seen the things or visited the places we did with Ray, sitting in on a school lesson in a village school, swimming in a oasis in the desert, we did things only Rays years of experience could do even staying at his house high in the Spanish mountains amongst the lemon and orange trees.

    G.B. Privlige's tour of Greece last year excellent, I know we could have just been exceptionally lucky but we had one of the best 3 weeks we have ever had with the people we met I think we laughed and had so much fun we needed another holiday to get over it. Which we did by touring Italy for a month on our own then France for a month on our own. The group we were with have all met up again and we have arranged to meet again just so much fun.

    So we know there are a lot of motorhomers who would not like to go on a organised tour, and thats fine but equally a lot do for many varied reasons some for security, some for company and some just because they are willing to try something different then judge what they think.
     

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