Terms & Conditions

North America and Canada

Your contract is with Hamster cottage travel LTD


1. Your holiday contract
When you make a booking you guarantee that you have the authority to accept and do accept on behalf of your party the terms of this contract. A contract will exist as soon as we issue our confirmation invoice. This contract is made on the terms of this booking agreement together with the essential information, which are governed by English Law, and the jurisdiction of the English Courts. You may however, choose the law and jurisdiction of Scotland or Northern Ireland if you wish to do so.


2. Your financial protection
The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 require us to provide security for the monies that you pay for the package holidays and for your repatriation in the event of our insolvency. We provide this security by way of an ATOL (131132) administered by the Civil Aviation Authority for air inclusive holidays.
When you buy an ATOL protected air holiday from us, you will receive a confirmation invoice from us (or via our authorised agent through which you booked) confirming your arrangements and your protection under our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence number 131132. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking. The price of our air holiday packages includes the amount of £2.50 per person as part of the ATOL Protection Contribution (APC) we pay to the CAA. This charge is included in our advertised prices. For further information, visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk.

 

All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it.Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to:

 

www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate"

 

4. Your holiday price
a) We reserve the right to alter the prices of any of the holidays shown in our website. You will be advised of the current price of the holiday that you wish to book before your contract is confirmed.
b) When you make your booking you must pay a deposit of up to 30% of the total holiday cost depending on your travel arrangements. On occasions, higher deposits may be required and you will be advised of any additional deposits relevant to your holiday at the time of booking. The balance of the price of your travel arrangements must be paid at least 10 weeks before your departure date. If the deposit and/or balance are not paid in time, we shall cancel your travel arrangements. If the balance is not paid in time we shall retain your deposit. All monies you pay to the travel agent are held by him on our behalf at all times. The price of your travel arrangements may fluctuate until paid in full due. We calculate balances on the exchange rate provided by TBA on the day they are paid.
c) Changes in transportation costs, including the cost of fuel, dues, taxes or fees chargeable for services such as landing taxes or embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports and airports and exchange rates mean that the price of your travel arrangements may change after you have booked. .


5. If you change your booking
If, after our confirmation invoice has been issued, you wish to change your travel arrangements in any way, for example your accommodation, we will do our utmost to make these changes but it may not always be possible. Any request for changes to be made must be in writing from the person who made the booking or your travel agent. You will be asked to pay an administration charge of £30 at least per person, and any further cost we incur in making this alteration.
Note: Certain travel arrangements (e.g. some types of airline ticket) may not be changeable after a reservation has been made and any alteration request could incur a cancellation charge of up to 100% of that part of the arrangements.
A ‘change’ is deemed to be a correction or an enhancement to the existing holiday. If you request major alterations to your holiday (this includes, for example, changing dates of travel, substituting destinations or any other changes which significantly alter the original holiday) this will be termed a cancellation and charges, as per clause 6, will apply.
If you alter any arrangements during your holiday (for example, checking-out of the hotel early or returning a hire car early) no refund for unused accommodation or services will be made. Where flights are not used, this is likely to result in all other flights on your itinerary being automatically cancelled by the airlines and we will not be liable for any losses or expenses you incur as a result of this.


6. If you cancel your holiday
a) You, or any member of your party, may cancel your travel arrangements at any time. Written notification from the person who made the booking or your travel agent on your behalf must be received at our offices. Since we incur costs in cancelling your travel arrangements, you will have to pay the applicable cancellation charges up to the maximum shown.
Note: If the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges.
b) If one member of the party wishes to cancel, this may mean that the accommodation booked will be under occupied and will result in the remaining passengers having to pay any applicable supplements to retain the booking e.g. changing a twin room to a single room. The person who cancels will still remain liable to pay cancellation charges as per the scale below.

No of days before departure when we receive your cancellation    Amount of cancellation  charges expressed as  a percentage of the holiday  price (excluding insurance)
More than 56 days    Deposit only
56-43 days    50%
42-29 days    70%
28-22 days    80%
21-8 days    90%
7 days or less    100%
c) If you are prevented from taking your holiday you may transfer your booking to someone who could have booked the holiday originally, subject to the approval of all interested suppliers. You must give us reasonable notice before the departure date to enable us to change airline bookings, etc - this normally requires 21 days notice. A transfer fee of £30 per person will be charged plus any additional costs we incur. If you transfer the booking before paying the balance of the price, you will remain liable to pay it (and our transfer fees) if the transfer fee fails to do so. Some airlines restrict or do not permit the facility to change names on bookings and it may therefore not be possible to transfer your booking. In this case, your booking will be treated as a cancellation and you will be liable to pay cancellation charges as detailed above.


7. If we change or cancel your holiday
It is unlikely that we will have to make any changes to your travel arrangements, but we do plan the arrangements many months in advance. Occasionally, we may have to make changes and we reserve the right to do so at any time. Most of these changes will be minor and we will advise you or your travel agent of them at the earliest possible date.
We also reserve the right in any circumstances to cancel your travel arrangements. For example, if the minimum number of clients required for a particular travel arrangement is not reached, we may have to cancel it. However, we will not cancel your travel arrangements less than 8 weeks before your departure date, except for reasons of force majeure or failure by you to pay the final balance. If we are unable to provide the booked travel arrangements, you can either have a refund of all monies paid or accept an offer of alternative travel arrangements of comparable standard from us; if available (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value). If it is necessary to cancel your travel arrangements, we will pay to you compensation as set out in this clause.
In accordance with EU Regulation 2111/2005 we are required to advise you of the actual carrier operating your flight/connecting flight/transfer. We do this by providing details on your confirmation invoice.
Any changes to the actual airline after you have received your tickets will be notified to you as soon as possible and in all cases at check-in or at the boarding gate. Such a change is deemed to be a minor change. Other examples of minor changes include alteration of your outward/return flights by less than 12 hours, changes to aircraft type, change of accommodation to another of the same standard.
If we make a major change to your holiday, we will inform you or your travel agent as soon as reasonably possible if there is time before your departure. Examples of "major changes" include changes to your UK or end destination airport, alteration to the times of outward or return flights by more than 12 hours, changes to your resort area or an offer of accommodation of a lower official classification. You will have the choice of either accepting the change of arrangements, accepting an offer of alternative travel arrangements of comparable standard from us if available (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value), or cancelling your booked holiday and receiving a full refund of all monies paid. In all cases, except where the major change arises due to reasons of force majeure, we will pay compensation as detailed below:
No of days before departure    Amount per person you will receive in addition to refund of monies paid
56 - 43 days    £10
42 - 29 days    £20
28 - 15 days    £30
14 - 0 days    £40
The compensation that we offer does not exclude you from claiming more if you are entitled to do so.
Force Majeure: This means that we will not pay you compensation if we have to cancel or change your travel arrangements in any way because of unusual or unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control. These can include, for example, war, riot, industrial dispute, terrorist activity and its consequences, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, adverse weather conditions.


8. Travel delays
It is our policy that once you have checked in you are the responsibility of the carrier. Transport may be cancelled due to bad weather, technical problems or force majeure. Except where this leads to a significant alteration to contracted services, we will not be liable for any loss or expense incurred in such cases, nor obliged to refund any payment for unused accommodation or services at your destination. However, if you have purchased holiday insurance, you may find that it will pay certain benefits in the event of delays.


9. Your travel arrangements
When you book your holiday we will give you the best information we have then about your travel dates, time, routing, carrier and aircraft type. However carriers can and do change dates, times and routing at very short notice and we cannot control these changes. When such changes are made, we will do our best to help you make arrangements to minimise inconvenience to you.

If we are notified, in advance, by the airline of schedule changes affecting your itinerary, we will notify you (if there is time to do so before departure). If the timing change is two hours or less, this will be advised to you on your travel documentation when issued. If the schedule change is more than 12 hours, you may choose to cancel your holiday and receive a full refund and, save where the change is for reasons of force majeure, you will have a right to compensation.
We cannot accept responsibility if you miss your departure because you check in late. Whilst we cannot guarantee specific seat allocation, some airlines do accept requests which we will be pleased to pass on. The vast majority of flights are now non-smoking services.


10. If you have a complaint
Every effort is made to ensure that the accommodation and resort descriptions we use are fair and accurate in order that you can select the best possible holiday to suit your own personal requirements and tastes. However, if you find on arrival that the accommodation reserved for you or the resort area are not to your personal liking, then we will endeavour to arrange a suitable alternative. Naturally, this will be subject to availability and any extra cost will have to be paid by you at the time of your request to change. Please note, this may be in addition to any cancellation fees levied by the original accommodation booked, and subject to any applicable administration fees.
If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of your holiday, please inform the relevant supplier (e.g. your hotelier) and our resort representative immediately who will endeavour to put things right. If your complaint is not resolved locally, please follow this up within 28 days of your return home by writing to us outlining all relevant information.
It is strongly recommended that you communicate any complaint to the supplier of the services in question. If you fail to follow this simple procedure we will have been deprived of the opportunity to investigate and rectify your complaint whilst you were on holiday and this may affect your rights under this contract.


11. Our liability to you
We accept responsibility for the proper performance of the services we have contracted to provide and if they are not provided to a reasonable standard (in compliance with local authority minimum standards) due to the fault of our employees, agents or suppliers, we will pay you appropriate compensation, if this has affected the enjoyment of your travel arrangements. However we will not be liable where any failure in the performance of the contract is due to: you; or a third party unconnected with the provision of the travel arrangements and where the failure is unforeseeable or unavoidable; or unusual and 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 we or our suppliers, even with all due care, could not foresee or forestall.
Our liability, except in cases involving death, injury or illness, shall be limited to a maximum of twice the cost of your travel arrangements. Our liability will also be limited in accordance with and/or in an identical manner to:
(a) The contractual terms of the companies that provides the transportation for your travel arrangements. These terms are incorporated into this contract; and
(b) Any relevant international convention, for example the Montreal Convention in respect of travel by air, the Athens Convention in respect of travel by sea, the Berne Convention in respect of travel by rail and the Paris Convention in respect of the provision of accommodation, which limit the amount of compensation that you can claim for death, injury, delay to passengers and loss, damage and delay to luggage. We are to be regarded as having all benefit of any limitation of compensation contained in these or any conventions.
Under EU law (Regulation 261/2004) you have rights in some circumstances to refunds and/or compensation from your airline in cases of denied boarding, cancellation or delay to flights. Full details of these rights will be publicised at EU airports and will also be available from airlines. However reimbursement in such cases will not automatically entitle you to a refund of your holiday cost from us. Your right to a refund and/or compensation from us is set out in clause 7. If any payments to you are due from us, any payment made to you by the airline will be deducted from this amount. 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


12. Prompt assistance whilst on holiday.
If the contract we have with you is not performed or is improperly performed as a result of failures attributable to a third party unconnected with the provision of the services, or as a result of failures due to unusual and 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 we or our suppliers, even with all due care, could not foresee or forestall, and you suffer an injury or other material loss, we will offer you such prompt assistance as is reasonable in the circumstances.


13. Passport, visa & immigration requirements
Your specific passport and visa requirements, and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. Everyone, including infants and children, must in possession of their own passport, which must be valid for six months beyond the date of return. The names shown on your confirmation must match your passports.
We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements and we will not be liable for any costs incurred or for any changes to arrangements or loss for cancellation.


14. Excursions
Excursions or other tours that you may choose to book or pay for whilst you are on holiday are not part of your package holiday provided by us. For any excursion or other tour that you book, your contract will be with the operator of the excursion or tour and not with us. We are not responsible for the provision of the excursion or tour or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by the operator.


15. Insurance

It is advisable to take out an insurance policy at the time of booking as you are at risk as soon as your deposit is paid to us. If you fail to make appropriate insurance arrangements in a timely manner, we will not be liable for any losses or expenses which you may incur for claims which might normally have been covered by insurance in respect of circumstances for which we are not responsible. Where you take out our insurance, the premium must be paid at the time of booking and is not refundable under any circumstances.


Essential Information

Website accuracy
Every care has been taken to try and ensure that all information detailed in this website was accurate at the time it was published. However, due to circumstances beyond our control some details may change. It is possible that an advertised facility may be withdrawn or temporarily unavailable according to season, or due to weather conditions, lack of demand, a private function, for maintenance, renovation etc. For example, swimming pools are sometimes emptied, lifts serviced, air-conditioning restricted, local amenities such as water, electricity and waste disposal facilities may be limited by Local Government Authorities. Even a beach and its facilities can be affected by bad weather and stormy conditions may result in debris being washed ashore at certain times of the year. We will advise you of any significant changes to facilities at the time of booking or as soon as practical if information is received after your booking has been confirmed and if time permits. Weather information, mileage and maps given in this website are guidelines only.


Building and development work
Some locations may unavoidably have work underway to public areas and facilities. Whilst we will endeavour to advise you of any building or refurbishment work underway at any properties you have booked, we cannot anticipate where work will take place outside of the hotel grounds. All the hotels featured strive to maintain high standards, and as such there may be the necessity for some ad-hoc and unforeseeable maintenance work.
Room descriptions
Accommodation in all hotels, whatever the grading, is based on the ‘standard room’ category unless otherwise stated and a supplement is payable for alternative room categories.


Room occupancy
In North America, the typical bed configuration is two queen beds or one king size bed (or occasionally one double bed). Room descriptions on your confirmation denote the number of adult occupants in the booked room e.g. single = 1 adult, twin = 2 adults, triple = 3 adults, quad = 4 adults and should not be taken as an indication that there will be a bed for each person. All occupants of the room (adults and children) are accommodated in the existing bedding regardless of the description. Whilst requests for double or twin beds will be forwarded to the hotel, they cannot be guaranteed.
Where three or more adults share a room, accommodation will be in a standard sized room with two queen beds or one king size bed. If a folding bed (rollaway) is required, this must be requested at the time of booking. An extra charge is normally made by the hotel which is payable locally. In some hotels, the design of the room may make it unsuitable for an extra bed and extra adults may only be accommodated in the existing bedding.
Early or late arrivals
Rooms are normally available on your arrival day from 1500 hours onwards and you will be required to vacate your room by mid-day on your departure day.


Local conditions
Please bear in mind that if your hotel is located within a town or city you are likely to experience some street and traffic noise within your hotel room even when the windows are closed. Cities the world-over have their less salubrious areas. These can sometimes be found in central locations and may be in close proximity to tourist areas.


Meals
Meals are not included unless otherwise stated and detailed by us on your holiday confirmation.


Child reductions
Children stay free at most hotels subject to maximum occupancy (see individual hotel for applicable ages) if they share existing bedding, which may include sharing a double bed with adults. If a folding bed is required for a child, this should be requested at the time of booking and a charge will be made locally for this. Whilst some rooms featured in our website are suitable for larger families (i.e. 5 or 6), the bedding may still only comprise two double beds. It may, therefore, be necessary to book and pay for folding beds (at an additional charge) in order to accommodate the whole party in one room. Prices for infants (under 2 years on date of return flight) are available on request. Baby cots can be requested at the time of booking. Some hotels do make a charge for the provision of a cot (crib) which will be payable locally. On flights, children aged 2-11 years may receive up to 33% discount on the airfare, although taxes and surcharges are payable in full. Infants pay a reduced rate.


Special requests
If you have any special requests relating to your holiday, you should advise us when you make your booking. Although we are happy to pass on any requests to our suppliers, we cannot guarantee that they will be fulfilled and any additional costs involved will be passed on to you. Special requests do not form part of your contract with us.


Special needs
We are delighted to offer advice for clients with special needs or disabilities. Some properties have specially adapted rooms whilst in others it may be necessary to “adapt” to what is available. Airlines are normally able to provide specialist assistance, which must be requested in advance. We require that you provide us with full details of any special needs in writing at the time of booking .


Healthcare and vaccinations
At the time of going to print no compulsory vaccinations were required for the destinations featured in this website. For further and up to date advice please contact your GP or visit the Department of Health website at www.doh.gov.uk.


Prices and payment
Payment can be made by cheque, debit or credit card. You may also find there is a local charge for car parking at hotels, hire of equipment, cots, porterage etc.


Your travel arrangements
When you book your holiday we will give you the best information we have then about your travel dates, time, routing, carrier and aircraft type. However carriers can and do change dates, times and routing at very short notice and we cannot control these changes. When such changes are made, we will do our best to help you make arrangements to minimise inconvenience to you.
If we are notified, in advance, by the airline of schedule changes affecting your itinerary, we will notify you (if there is time to do so before departure). If the timing change is two hours or less, this will be advised to you on your travel documentation when issued.We cannot accept responsibility if you miss your departure because you check in late. Whilst we cannot guarantee specific seat allocation, some airlines do accept requests which we will be pleased to pass on. The vast majority of flights are now non-smoking services.


Travel delays
It is our policy that once you have checked in you are the responsibility of the carrier. Transport may be cancelled due to bad weather, technical problems or force majeure. Except where this leads to a significant alteration to contracted services, we will not be liable for any loss or expense incurred in such cases, nor obliged to refund any payment for unused accommodation or services at your destination. Where we have a representative present, we will always try to help you to make appropriate arrangements for meals and/or accommodation if your transport is delayed; you will have to pay for any such services. However, if you have purchased holiday insurance, you may find that it will pay certain benefits in the event of delays.


Independent accommodation arrangements
If, during part of your itinerary, you make your own accommodation arrangements, we ask that you provide us with contact details for this period. This is so we can contact you should there be any changes to your onward arrangements, e.g. a flight schedule change or other changes to your itinerary or a need to pass on any other important information to you. If you fail to provide contact details we cannot accept any responsibility for missed connections or costs incurred as a result. As part of our agreements with airlines, some of them require that you book accommodation with us for the entire duration of your holiday and we may, therefore, be unable to confirm bookings where you have made your own arrangements for any part of the itinerary.


Representation services
Please note that, as our holidays are designed for the independent traveller, we do not employ representatives in any destination .


Passports
It is your responsibility to ensure that you carry the correct documentation; including being in posession of a valid passport as well as any necessary visas and vaccination certificates. The name shown on your confirmation must match your passport. All travellers, including infants and children, must in possession of their own passport, which must be valid for six months beyond your date of return. For entry to the USA (including transit passengers), all passports must be machine-readable. Passports issued from 26 October 2006 onwards must contain a biometric identifier.


Visas
Full British passport holders in possession of return tickets to the USA may enter the country under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP). All visitors wishing to enter the US under the VWP scheme need to obtain an electronic travel authorisation prior to travel by completing an online application at: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. However holders of non machine readable passports will require a visa and holders of passports issued after 26 October 2006 which do not contain a biometric identifier will also require a visa. British passport holders born outside the UK may need to register with US immigration services prior to travel and are advised to contact the nearest US Embassy for further information. If you were born in the USA, you must travel using a US passport.
Any person who has ever been arrested (even if this did not result in a conviction) or convicted of any offence (even if the conviction is "spent") is required to obtain a visa.
If you are in any doubt as to your eligibility to enter the USA under the visa waiver programme, you should check with the Embassy before you make your booking, as we will not be liable for any costs incurred for amendments or cancellation if a visa application is refused. Passengers without correct documentation may be refused boarding at check in. Any expenses or losses incurred will be your responsibility.
Visitors to Canada, who are British passport holders do not require a visa for stays of less than six months. However, if you are travelling to Canada with a transit stop in the USA, you must comply with the USA entry requirements pertaining to passports and visas. Non- British passport holders or those who are British "subjects" rather that "citizens" should check with the relevant embassy regarding entry requirements.


Safety and security
You can obtain current travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Travel Advice Unit on 0845 850 2829 or from their website www.fco.gov.uk. If the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against travel to a destination, then we would take appropriateaction and seek to arrange an alternative holiday, subject to availability. In such an event, your holiday cost would be adjusted to reflect the revised arrangements. In some cases it may be necessary to cancel your holiday completely, in which case you will receive a full refund of all monies paid to us.


Minors
Some countries have special requirements relating to entry for children under 18 years, which may involve you obtaining particular documentation. For example, you may be required to obtain an affidavit from a notary if a child is not being accompanied by both parents. You should check this information with the relevant consulate or embassy.


Data protection policy
In order to process your booking and to ensure that your travel arrangements run smoothly and meet your requirements we, and your travel agent, need to use the information you provide such as name, address, any special needs/dietary requirements, etc. We take full responsibility for ensuring that proper measures are in place to protect your information. We must pass the information on to the relevant suppliers of your travel arrangements such as airlines, hotels, transport companies, etc. The information may also be supplied to security or credit checking companies, public authorities such as customs/immigration if required by them, or as required by law.
Additionally, where your holiday is outside the European Economic Areas (EEA), controls on data protection in your destination may not be as strong as the legal requirements in this country. We will not, however, pass any information on to any person not responsible for part of your travel arrangements. This applies to any sensitive information that you give to us such as details of any disabilities or dietary/religious requirements. (If we cannot pass this information to the relevant suppliers, whether in the EEA or not, we cannot provide your booking. In making this booking, you consent to this information being passed on to the relevant persons). Please note that where information is held by your travel agent, this is subject to your agents own data protection policy. .

"Your Financial Protection

When you buy an ATOL protected flight or flight inclusive holiday from us you

will receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where

you can get information on what this means for you and who to contact if things

go wrong."

 

 

 We, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL Certificate, will provide you with the

services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable alternative). In some cases,

where neither we nor the supplier are able to do so for reasons of insolvency, an

alternative ATOL holder may provide you with the services you have bought or a

suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those

circumstances the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and you

agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that

alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be

possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to

make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable).” 

 

 

 “If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL certificate, are unable to provide

the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or

otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may

make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You

agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to those

Trustees any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the

non-provision of the services, including any claim against us, the travel agent (or

your credit card issuer where applicable). You also agree that any such claims may

be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed

under the ATOL scheme.”