We believe that you should be able to book with a tour operator and then relax. There are some things that are just fundamental and you will assume that every operator has got it covered, but for your own peace of mind, there are things you should check before booking.
Is my money protected?
In accordance with Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992, the money you pay in advance should be protected, either by it being held in a trust account, or insured, or bonded. This is a legal requirement when your company operates in the UK / EU. If you book directly with companies that are outside this region, you do not get this protection.
GlobeBusters is a member of the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) which provides financial protection under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 for GlobeBusters Limited, and in the event of our insolvency, protection is provided for the following:
1) non-flight packages commencing in and returning to the UK;
2) non-flight packages commencing and returning to a country other than the UK; and
3) flight inclusive packages that commence outside of the UK, which are sold to customers outside of the UK.
1), 2) and 3) provides for a refund in the event you have not yet travelled. 1) and 3) provides for repatriation. Please note that bookings made outside the UK are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with GlobeBusters Limited.
Is the operator insured?
Another thing you would just assume. It’s not daft to ask the question. GlobeBusters is insured through Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance and we have £10 million public liability cover in place.
Has the operator been there before? Has the guide ridden there before?
You would think it is inconceivable that you are going on a tour where the answer to either of these questions is “no”. Of course, we all operate tours on routes for the first time – that’s great, interesting, pioneering, but you’d assume that the proper “on the road” research has been done before you go. Don’t make that assumption. Ask the questions! (There is the obvious exception – where an operator describes the tour as “scouting” or “recce”). As a clue, why not look carefully at the pictures on a website. If you don’t find many group shots or the pictures are all of generic scenery, then this can be a warning sign!
Before you book a motorcycle tour, be curious about it. Check the daily itinerary. Check the daily mileages and rest days. Check the standard of accommodation you are getting. Check the style of the tour – it’s your touring experience, so take the time to ask the right questions.