Receive updates on our range of cultural tours and music festivals via email:
• How do I book?
• How long can you hold a space for me?
• I need longer than seven days to make up my mind, is that a problem?
• Why is there a supplement for solo travellers?
• The single supplement is for a double room for sole use - what if I want a single room?
• Where can I find the booking form?
• Can I pay the deposit over the phone?
• Can I pay in a currency other than pounds sterling?
• Why is my deposit non-refundable?
If I change my mind about this tour, can I transfer my deposit to another tour?
• How do I cancel my booking?
• How much of the total cost of the tour is forfeit?
• What if Martin Randall Travel cancels the tour?
• How soon before departure might Martin Randall Travel cancel a tour?
• Is it safe to go to...?
• I need an aisle seat on the plane. Can I book this through you?
• I am a vegetarian. Will this be a problem?
• I must have a bath in my room. Can you guarantee that?
• I’d like to prolong my holiday. Can I extend my hotel booking?
• I’d like to move on to a different hotel at the end of the tour. Can I do this through you?
• I’m flying into London before the tour. Can you book my hotel at the airport?
• Can you book my connecting flights?
• Can I change the date of my flights?
• Can I upgrade my flights?
• Is there a discount for flying one-way only?
• Can you arrange an itinerary for my extended holiday?
• Is the reading list compulsory?
• Why can you not accept bookings from people aged 81 or over on your small-group tours?
• Why should music festivals and cruises be different?
• Is there a minimum age for your tours?
• What is the average age of participants on an MRT holiday?
• Does MRT arrange insurance?
• What does my insurance need to cover?
• I am a solo traveller, will I be the only one in a sea of couples?
• Why don't you include all meals? I don't want to have to find a restaurant on your ‘independent’ evenings.
• Is there a dress code on your tours?
• How do you choose your lecturers?
• Who designs your brochure?
• Where do you find the images in your brochure?
• Do you work with incoming tour operators?
• Do you work with travel agents?
I need longer than seven days to make up my mind, is that a problem?
We cannot promise to hold anything for longer than a week, but if there are plenty of spaces it may be possible. If there is a waiting list behind you, or if the date of departure is less than two months away, it may not be.
Why is there a supplement for solo travellers?
In the traveller’s perfect world, everyone would be charged the same amount for their room, whether they were alone or sharing with a partner. In the hotelier’s perfect world, all rooms would cost the same, whether they had one, two, three or ten people sleeping there. The world we live in is closer to the hotelier’s vision, where rooms cost the same regardless of occupancy. Two people can split the cost of a £100 room, paying £50 each, or one person can pay the full £100. When expressed as a per person cost, this looks like a £50 supplement.
We negotiate hard with hotels, to keep single-occupancy prices as low as possible, but as long as hoteliers charge per room and not per person, this iniquitous situation will endure. The only obvious alternative—having couples subsidise solo travellers—strikes us as even more unfair.
Martin Randall Travel makes no profit from the single supplement.
The single supplement says it is for a double room for sole use - what if I just want a single room?
You can request a single room which, if available, will reduce the single supplement payable. We prefer to offer doubles for sole use as much as possible though, as single rooms even in high-end hotels tend to be poky.
Where can I find the booking form?
You can download one here. There is also a copy in the back of our brochure. To request a brochure, or a spare booking form, contact us.
Can I pay the deposit over the phone?
Yes. If you don’t want to send a cheque or write down your credit card details, you can pay over the phone. We do need a completed booking form before we can take any money, though.
Why is my deposit non-refundable? If I change my mind about this tour, can I transfer my deposit to another tour?
Deposits cannot be refunded or transferred because there are set costs that we incur on each tour: flight and hotel deposits, for example, have to be paid up to a year in advance of every departure.
How do I cancel my booking?
For legal reasons, we need to receive your cancellation either in writing or by email to email@example.com.
between 56 and 29 days: 40%
between 28 and 15 days: 60%
between 14 days and 3 days: 80%
within 48 hours: 100%
We take as the day of cancellation that on which we receive your written or emailed confirmation.
How soon before departure might Martin Randall Travel cancel a tour?
Tours that fall short of the minimum number of participants may be cancelled any time up to 8 weeks before departure, but in practice it is rare for anything to be cancelled less than 3 months beforehand. We may decide to cancel a tour at any point up to the moment of departure, if going ahead would constitute an unjustifiable risk to safety.
Is it safe to go to...?
We monitor the travel alerts from the Foreign and Comnmonwealth Office (UK) and the State Department (USA), but we base our travel advice on the recommendations of the former. If the FCO advises against travel to a particular place within a territory, we will adjust the itinerary to avoid that place. If this would not be possible—say, if the FCO advised against travel to Rome on a tour based entirely in that city—we would have no choice but to cancel the tour. Safety, always, is the concern that overrides all others.
I need an aisle seat on the plane. Can I book this through you?
We can request this through the airline, and so long as our ‘seating block’ includes enough aisle seats for everyone who wants one, it is usually fine.
I’d like to prolong my holiday. Can I extend my hotel booking?
Yes. At least, we can get a quote from the hotel. Bear in mind though that it is not unusual for hotels to offer a price better to individuals than to tour companies, especially close to departure, so you may be better off booking independently.
I’d like to move on to a different hotel at the end of the tour. Can I do this through you?
Sadly not. We can extend existing hotel bookings but we cannot make new ones, even in hotels we use for other tours.
I’m flying into London before the tour. Can you book my hotel at the airport?
We cannot, but we can recommend a booking agent, www.holidayextras.co.uk, tel. 0800 093 5478. Please quote our booking code, HX174, in correspondence with them.
Can you book my connecting flights?
If the flights are offered by the same airline we are using for the group flights, we can request a quote on your behalf. We cannot however make new bookings (i.e, book connecting flights with BMI if our group flights are with BA). We can usually get a quote within three working days.
Can I change the date of my flights?
Yes, to a point. Airlines allow us to change the date and departure airport of either your inbound or outbound flight, but not both. We can usually get a quote within three working days.
Why can you not accept bookings from people aged 81 or over on your small-group tours?
We know this rule is harsh and arbitrary, but it is also effective. Our itineraries are constructed with immense care, and their timings rely on all participants moving at the same, sometimes quite brisk, pace. Yes, many people over 81 would have no problem with the speed of our tours, just as some people under 61 would struggle. But to make exceptions in certain cases would lead to more resentment and be even more arbitrary and harsh.
Why should music festivals and cruises be different?
Individuals tend to have more independent time on our large-scale events, which rarely depend on the entire group moving as one, so participants with reduced mobility are more easily accommodated.
What does my insurance need to cover?
We recommend that your insurance should cover, as a minimum, cancellation before the tour, hospitalisation while on tour, and repatriation in the case of severe illness or injury.
Why don't you include all meals? I don't want to have to find a restaurant on your ‘independent’ evenings.
We find that the majority of our clients prefer to have some independent dinners. However the lecturer or tour manager will be able to assist in finding a suitable restaurant and most are more than happy to get an (optional) party together to dine on independent evenings.
Is there a dress code on your tours?
In the vast majority of cases, no. Some of our clients like to ‘dress up’ for dinner. We neither encourage nor discourage this. Occasionally an opera houses or a particularly grand restaurant will require a certain level of smartness, but we will advise about this well in advance.
How do you choose your lecturers?
We insist on meeting and interviewing all prospective lecturers and ask each one to give a 20-minute talk to a small panel of staff. Around half the speakers we audition in this way are accepted.
Do you work with incoming tour operators?
Rarely and very reluctantly. We collaborate with incoming operators only when we do not have an in-depth knowledge of a country or region and cannot commit our own resources to discover it better. All our collaborators are thoroughly vetted and comprehensively briefed to ensure our standards and styles are understood and followed.
I have a complaint.
If any aspect of our tours has failed to reach the standards we set ourselves, we would like to know about it. Please contact us.
How can I provide feedback about my experience with Martin Randall Travel?
Please complete our online feedback form.
You may also provide feedback to AITO, who enter each review in to a free prize draw to win £2,000 of AITO holiday vouchers. Winners will be selected annually.