Galapagos Family holiday
Frequently Asked Questions
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Please read through the trip notes fully, these have been written to include all information for your trip
Questions related to Ecuador
Do I need to take malaria tablets?
Malaria is endemic in rainforest areas. Consult a doctor or travel clinic four to six weeks prior to departure for the most up to date information. While on the trip, take precautions against getting bitten. Use mosquito repellent containing ‘Deet’ on exposed skin, wear light-coloured clothing etc. Mosquito nets can be difficult to set up in hotel rooms and are, in reality, not that practical nor necessary.
How long is the flight between Ecuador and the Galapagos and what is the luggage allowance?
The flight takes approximately three hours, passengers may carry a luggage allowance of up to 20kg.
What money should I take?
The local currency in Ecuador is the US Dollar. The most convenient and flexible way of carrying money is as cash US dollars.
Do I need a visa?
Holders of UK & IRL passports do not require a visa to travel to Ecuador. Other EU nationals should contact us for information. Nationals of all other countries should contact their local embassy or consulate. If you are travelling via the US you are required to travel under the US Visa Waiver Programme, however to do this you must register for an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) no later than 72 hours before departure. The on line application is available at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov
What will the weather be like?
The temperature in Equator is related to altitude. Quito (2850m) is generally pleasantly warm with daytime temperatures averaging around 20°C and dropping to around 7°C at night. In the rainy season (October to May), afternoon showers are common. The Galapagos (sea level): daytime temperatures average around 30°C year round, moderated by sea breezes, falling to around 20°C at night. The garua season from July to December is somewhat cooler and drier, and the sea can be choppy. In the warm/wet season (January to June) it can be very hot and showers are common, but the sea tends to be calmer. Between the seasons weather can be unpredictable, and the seasons may shift by as much as a couple of months in any year.
Are mosquito nets provided at accommodation?
We can not guarantee mosquito nets in all hotels. We advise you take precautions against getting bitten, use mosquito repellent containing 'Deet' on exposed skin, wear light-coloured clothing etc. Mosquito nets can be difficult to set up in hotel rooms and are, in reality, not that practical nor necessary.
Questions related to General Information
What's not included in the price?
Generally anything not listed in the itinerary. This includes optional tours and excursions, some meals, visas, vaccinations, excess baggage charges, porterage at hotels, insurance, international and entry/departure taxes overseas, and things of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, room service charges, phone calls, etc. As well as any new government taxes or price increases for hotels, transportation and airfares implemented after the tour programme for this brochure was costed.
What's included within the trip price?
Everything listed within the itinerary is included; accommodation, on-tour transport, the services of a group leader and local guides, entrance fees, excursions and activities, as well as a number of meals. See your Trip Notes for full details. Transfers to and from the airport in-country are also included for those on Group Flights, as well as a mandatory ATOL Protection Charge of £2.50 which protects your booking.
What do I take with me?
See your Trip Notes, these have a detailed packing list. On most international flights you're restricted to twenty kilograms baggage and we recommend you always pack light. Generally hard suitcases are not suitable.
If I book late is it cheaper?
No, it is not a package with charter flights and accommodation, whereas if there is spare capacity the price is reduced to ensure it fills up.
With small group adventures flights and ground arrangements are reserved separately, due to the flexibility involved. On most trips we have a contract with a preferred airline and an allocation of flights at a special rate. However from between 1-3 months before departure, depending on the airline, we have to hand back our unused allocation. Therefore we have to buy airline tickets on the open market, which can result in flight supplements.
This point is even more prevalent for family trips, where demand for flights is high during the school holidays. Therefore reserving places late is likely to include high flight supplements.
Speak to a Travel Consultant for more information, but the rule of thumb is it’s best to reserve your place earlier.
Can I book a trip without flights?
Yes you can do this on every trip.
Can I organise a trip with just my friends or family?
Yes, just let us know your chosen trip and we can organise a private departure. Prices may vary from those given on the website, depending on the size of the group and date of departure.
What is a group adventure?
The average group size is between 6-12, although groups can be larger or smaller than this. Generally they will be of all ages and from all walks of life. However, you will have similar interests and the shared experiences on the itinerary soon bring everyone together.
What is the accommodation going to be like?
Accommodation is clean, simple and choosen for its value for money, location and atmosphere. You'll mainly stay in twin rooms which have private facilities within small, locally-run, 2-3 star hotels and guesthouses, which reflect the character of the area. Sometimes though you'll stay in larger, more comfortable hotels or occasionally rustic accommodation with basic facilities. In such we also try and incorporate unique accommodation experiences, such as a night with a local tribe, or sleeping under the stars in the desert.
There are also camping options on several of our trekking and wildlife trips, for which all equipment is provided, but it might be necessary to bring personal gear such as sleeping bags.
Accommodation commences on the first night of the "without flights" itinerary until check-out on the day of departure. Please note accommodation on all trips are subject to change.
How knowledgeable and experienced is the Group Leader in general?
The local guides undergo extensive training in all aspects of travel in the region. They are full-time professionals and are selected for their empathy and knowledge of the area you are visiting.
Is there a maximum age?
All of our trips are designed to be accessible to anyone with a good level of fitness. If you are travelling on one of our southern Africa tours and are aged 65 or over, you will need to provide a medical certificate signed by your doctor.
Questions related to Family holidays
Is there a maximum age?
No, our trips are designed to be accessible to any family with a good level of fitness. But, if you have any children sixteen years or older it's worth looking at our worldwide brochure, where trips are open to any one fourteen years and over as long as the're accompanied by someone over eighteen. If you are travelling on one of our Southern Africa tours and are aged sixty five or over you will need to provide us with a medical certificate signed by your doctor.
Who are the group Leaders on Family trips?
Our leaders are all local, speak exceptionally good English and are selected for their ability to entertain the kids as well as make sure your trip runs smoothly and take the hassle of organization away from you, the parents.
Our feedback from customers often praises the leaders more than any aspect of the tour and they really do transform your holiday from a good to an unforgettable one
What is the minimum age I can go on a family trip?
The minimum age is listed on the trip pages on our website.
Many trips start for children at five years, some at six, seven or eight years. There are also dedicated teenage trips (minimum age eleven). In all cases we'll look at taking younger siblings, just let us know the ages.
Is it only parents and children who are allowed on your family trips?
The more the merrier, we like to say. We welcome all parents (including single parents) and children and you’re free to bring along any aunties, uncles and family friends too. Our only rule is that there is at least one child under 18 years travelling with you. Older families should check out our worldwide trips.
At what age does the child discount stop?
Child prices apply to children who are 14 or under at the time of travel. From 15 years you are classed as an adult.