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 says it is for a double room for sole use - what if I just 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?
Which payment methods do you accept?
Why is my deposit non-refundable? If I change my mind about this tour, can I transfer my deposit to another tour?
What happens after I confirm my booking?
How do I cancel my booking?
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?
Is there a minimum and maximum 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?
You can telephone us or you can book online. To confirm your booking you will need to send us a completed booking form and deposit.
Inside the UK: 020 8742 3355
From outside the UK: +44 20 8742 3355
From the USA and Canada: 1-800-988-6168
From Australia: 1300 55 95 95
From New Zealand: 0061–7–3377 0141
We hold provisional bookings for 7 days.
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.
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.
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 and in our experience, tend to result in lower levels of client satisfaction.
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.
Yes. If you don’t want to pay by bank transfer, you can pay over the phone using a debit or credit card. We do need a completed booking form before we can take any money, though.
No. All payments must be received in pounds.
We prefer payment by bank transfer or debit card; we also accept credit cards (AMEX, MasterCard, Visa). We regret that we are temporarily unable to accept payments by cheque. All money paid to us is fully protected regardless of payment method.
A confirmation e-mail is sent within 48 hours (it will take longer if you book over the weekend and/or have selected to receive documents by post).
Your final balance is due eight weeks before the tour departs. A reminder is sent a few weeks in advance of this, along with Joining Instructions – an itinerary for the first day of the tour.
Final Documents are sent two to three weeks before the tour departs – the full itinerary, a participant list and background notes from the Lecturer. These will be posted to you (unless you have informed us otherwise). If you live outside Europe, they will be given to you on the first day of the 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.
For legal reasons, we need to receive your cancellation either in writing or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much of the total cost of the tour is forfeit?
Up to 57 days before the tour, only the deposit is forfeit. Thereafter a percentage of the total cost of the tour will be due:
– 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.
If MRT cancels, you will be fully refunded.
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.
We monitor the travel alerts from the Foreign and Commonwealth 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.
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.
We always pass on any dietary requirements in advance of every meal. The lecturer or tour manager will also be aware of them.
As long as such rooms exist in the hotel, we can ensure requests like this are met.
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.
Sadly not. We can extend existing hotel bookings but we cannot make new ones, even in hotels we use for other tours.
We cannot, but we can recommend a booking agent, www.holidayextras.co.uk, tel. 0871 360 2603. Please quote our booking code, HX174, in correspondence with them.
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.
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.
Yes, assuming there is a higher class available on that particular route. We can usually get a quote within three working days.
There is not. Please inform us if you are intending not to use one of your flights, though, so we can forewarn the airline.
No. We regret that we do not offer tailor-made itineraries.
No. No-one need feel at a disadvantage for not having done some homework.
We do not impose lower or upper age limits. Our tours are unlikely to be suitable for younger children, however.
The mean age is around 65. The age range varies, but the majority would be between 55 and 75. Few of our clients are under 40.
No, you must arrange your own insurance. Private medical insurance is one of our conditions of booking.
Experience tells us that free travel insurance offered by some credit card companies may not always be reliable in the event of an emergency. You should advise them of pre-existing conditions, which they may cover for a surcharge. Your cover may not be valid if they can establish from your medical records a link to anything pre-existing. Please take with you copies of your bank statements detailing the relevant travel you have pre-paid with that credit card, as these would be required to confirm your cover.
For more information about medical treatment abroad and staying healthy while travelling we refer you to www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk or a document entitled Live Well: travel health online at www.nhs.uk/healthcareabroad/. There is also country specific advice on this webpage.
It is a requirement of booking that you have adequate holiday insurance. Full cover for medical treatment, including for your medical conditions, repatriation, loss of property and cancellation charges must be included.
It is highly unlikely that you would be. On average at least a third of the people on each tour are traveling alone.
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.
In the vast majority of cases, no. Some of our clients like to ‘dress up’ for dinner. We neither encourage nor discourage this. Occasionally at opera houses or a particularly grand restaurant will require a certain level of smartness, but we will advise about this well in advance.
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.
The whole process of designing, writing, and laying out the brochure is done in-house by Martin Randall and the MRT staff.
The great majority are from Martin Randall’s own collection.
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.
No. We sell directly to clients.
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.
We can also offer you ABTA’s scheme for the resolution of disputes which is approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. If we can’t resolve your complaint, go to www.abta.com to use ABTA’s simple procedure. Further information on the Code and ABTA’s assistance in resolving disputes can be found on www.abta.com. You can also access the European Commission Online Dispute (ODR) Resolution platform at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/. This ODR platform is a means of registering your complaint with us; it will not determine how your complaint should be resolved.
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