Trekkers at Skogafoss, Iceland

FAQs

The Exodus Challenge

Please note that Exodus adventure holidays are by nature active and some travel to remote destinations. It is therefore imperative that you understand exactly what is involved and are confident that you can fully participate in all activities included in the trip. If having read the literature, you are unsure about a trips suitability please contact Exodus on the above number for your region, or your agent, and speak to one of our travel experts.

Whether you are first-time Exodus traveller or an old hand, you never know what piece of information you might require and when, so here is our comprehensive guide to anything you might need to know in the months and weeks before your departure. There is no need to read it all, just follow the links to the sections of interest.  

We’ll help you work out all the things you need to know for you trip, but it’s useful to know that you can always get the latest travel advice from the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, by checking www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

About My Booking

Already booked, but have a question about your booking?

If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. Flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not. All requests for changes should be referred to Customer Operations.

If you need to cancel your booking, please let us know as soon as possible. This is required in writing and you should refer to the booking conditions with regards to any cancellation charges that may apply. Normally, if you cancel before the final balance is due, the deposit and insurance premium are non refundable but we can usually hold your balance for you to use on a future trip. Please contact Exodus for further details. Once your final balance has been paid, there is a sliding scale of charges, outlined in the booking conditions.

If you wish to transfer your booking to a different holiday or traveller, you should contact us before the final balance is due for your existing holiday, and there are no fees charged by Exodus to do so. Any changes are, however, subject to any additional fees charged by local suppliers or airlines. Transfers after the final balance is due are classed as a cancellation and re-booking. For cancellations or transfers, please contact Customer Operations.

Click here for full details on transferring deposits.

How can I pay my balance?

The balance of your payment is due 56 days (133 days for Polar trips) before departure. Your invoice shows the date your final balance is due and, if you have booked directly with Exodus and we have an email address for you, a reminder will be sent out 1 to 2 weeks before this date. To pay, you can use any of the following methods, quoting your booking reference in all cases:

  • Call the Accounts team on 020 8772 3743; we accept all major Credit Cards and UK Debit Cards. Please note that we do not accept payment by Amex. There will be no fee applied to payments made on any other card types.
  • Pay us by Bank Transfer – payments in £ Sterling should be made to Exodus Travels Ltd. Sort Code 20-65-63, Account No. 53813509. For payment in other currencies, please contact us directly.
  • Send a cheque, made payable to 'Exodus Travels Limited', to The Accounts Department, Exodus Travels, Grange Mills, Weir Road, London, SW12 0NE.

For queries, assistance or to pay by card, you can contact the accounts team as follows: telephone 020 8772 3743, email [email protected] or fax 020 8675 5276.

A receipt of payment will be emailed out to the lead booker within one working day of payment being received. If you have not received a receipt and would like one, please contact the accounts team on the above number. If payment is not made on time you may lose your place on the trip, although we will always do our best to contact you before we cancel your booking.

If you've travelled on two or more trips with Exodus, you will receive a 5% discount on your next Exodus booking. Dedicated travellers who have been on nine or more trips with Exodus will receive a 10% discount on all subsequent bookings. Please note that for online bookings, loyalty discounts will be applied on your invoice and not at the booking stage.

For many holidays we need your passport details and sometimes other personal information. This might be for registration with the local authorities or for border crossings. A number of airlines now also require full passport information, known as Advanced Passenger Information, or APIS. If your passport details change before travel, you must provide us with the new details.

Joining the tour
When you purchase a tour on a land only basis (i.e. without international flights from Exodus), you take the responsibility of reaching the start point of the tour yourself. In most cases, the start point of the tour is the first night’s accommodation; the exact start point is referred to in the brochure, website or trip notes for that trip. Our final joining instructions contain detailed advice on how to reach the start point from the main airport for that destination. Meeting times with the tour leader and group will vary from tour to tour, normally depending on the arrival time of the group flight from London. However, instructions for land only clients should be displayed in the hotel or left with reception confirming what to do next.

Making use of Exodus transfers
If you have booked land only and your flight arrangements allow you to make use of the Exodus group transfers, then we can arrange for you to join these at no charge. You must request this in advance and provide us with your flight arrival details. You should be aware that if your flight is delayed, the Exodus group transfer will not wait for you indefinitely (we usually set a maximum waiting period of 30 minutes beyond the scheduled arrival time) and you will be responsible for the cost of your onward travel arrangements to catch up with the group.

Changes to group flight arrangements
Occasionally we are forced to change the group flight, and re-arrange the group transfer accordingly. If you are relying on taking the group transfer, you may need to make alternative arrangements if the transfer no longer coincides with your flight arrangements

Each Exodus holiday has a designated group flight. This is the recommended flight for use in conjunction with this trip and will be the one the tour leader meets at the start of the holiday. It is possible, due to limited availability or higher costs, that clients may travel on flights other than the designated group flights in order to make the trip, even when booking through Exodus. Some clients also choose alternative flights if they prefer a different airline or route.

Transfers
Arrival and departure transfers are included in the price of any trip booked with group flights, and these are booked for you automatically. If you are travelling on alternative flights, then separate transfer arrangements may be required; this may involve waiting for the group transfer, booking a private transfer or deciding to make your own way at your own cost. Any alternative arrangements will be discussed at the time of booking and your confirmation invoice will show what transfer type has been confirmed for you. 

Regional flights
If you would like Exodus to arrange flights from your local UK airport, our sales team are happy to look into this for you at the time of booking. If you have already booked and would like to discuss the possibility of changing your flights to depart from a regional airport, please contact the Customer Operations team.

Changing my flights
Once booked, your flight may be changeable depending on the airline conditions of contract and if you wish to change your flight details, you should contact Exodus as soon as possible. Any changes are subject to availability and may involve additional costs. There is also a standard flight ammendment fee of GBP25. Once your ticket has been issued (usually 4 to 8 weeks in advance of travel), changes are generally more costly and sometimes not possible at all.

Dietary requirements on flights
If you advise us of any dietary requirements at the time of booking or in sufficient time before you travel, these will be automatically passed on to the airline concerned. Please note meals are not included in the ticket cost for many European and shorthaul flights these days.

Seat requests
With most airlines, specific seat requests can be made from the time of booking up until a few days before departure and the sales or customer operations teams will be happy to look into this for you. Many clients ask about emergency exit seats (for the extra leg-room) but very few airlines will allocate these in advance of travel and they will only be given out at airport check-in. Some airlines do offer the option to pre book and pay extra for them, usually starting at about GBP50 per person.

Online check-in
Online check-in is becoming more and more popular these days and almost all airlines offer this service. The airline reference we provide with your final joining instructions is usually all you need, although sometimes they will ask for a full ticket number, which we can provide. However, if we have booked your flights as part of a block allocation of seats then you will not be able to check-in online, even if the airline offers this service. Please check with the customer operations team for further details.

Baggage allowance
We recommend that you don't travel with more than 20 kilograms of luggage. Some international flights may have higher allowances for checked baggage, and exact allowances are available from our customer operations team. On certain holidays that include domestic flights, there may be lower allowances; this is mentioned in the trip notes if applicable.

Lost luggage
In the event of missing luggage, you must immediately file a Passenger Irregularity Report with the airline concerned. If the baggage is damaged, you must write to the airline within seven days and, in the case of delay, you should write within 21 days from the date on which the baggage was returned to you (in accordance with the Montreal Convention). The liability for baggage loss, delay or damage is up to a maximum of GBP800.

Missed connections and flight delays

When you buy your international flights through Exodus, we guarantee to get you to your destination at no extra cost to yourself and as quickly as possible. If your flight is delayed, cancelled or you miss a connection, we will do what we can to reroute or rebook you as required, but sometimes this is handled directly by the airline. If you miss your flight through your own fault, the airline will normally assist you with rebooking your travel but you may incur additional costs. If you are due to arrive on different flights to those originally booked, you must contact Exodus immediately (or our out of hours service) to inform us of your new flight details, so that we can pass them to the leader locally.

Please note that if, for any reason, you don’t show up for your original outbound flight (if you decide to buy a new ticket to reach your destination, for example) that airlines will usually then class you as a no-show and also cancel your inbound flight home. If you are considering buying a new ticket for any reason and have your flights booked with Exodus, please contact us before doing so, as we will need to confirm whether or not your original inbound flight will still be valid.

Denied boarding
EU regulations are in force to protect clients who are denied boarding or who are delayed by an airline. These apply to all flights originating in the EU or flying into the EU using an EU carrier. If you are ‘bumped’ or have your flight cancelled without at least 14 days notice you are entitled to compensation unless the airline can prove that it was due to circumstances beyond their control. If as a result of being denied boarding, you are delayed by more than 12 hours, you have the right to cancel your booking and receive a full refund. The airline must also supply suitable meals and refreshments. Complimentary refreshments are also an entitlement if your flight is delayed beyond a certain number of hours. For full details please visit www.ec.europa.eu/transport/air_portal. If you are at the airport you can also ask the airline representative for written details of your rights.

Assistance while travelling to your destination
Exodus offers a 24-hour assistance service to all our passengers. Anyone who has trouble or major delays on their flights should call Exodus (or our out-of-hours service) to advise us of the latest situation and to see what assistance we can offer. However, in many cases the airline handling your booking will be your point of contact for rearranging flights, providing overnight accommodation and general airport assistance. Exodus does not have representation at any UK airports or any overseas transit airports, and has limited contact with UK airline offices over weekends.

Once you have paid the deposit for your holiday, our sales team will immediately email you your booking confirmation and invoice. If you would prefer these by post, please let them know and it will go out first class within 24 hours (if you have booked through an agent, they will provide you with the necessary paperwork and you should check with them directly).

Once you have received your confirmation, please check the information carefully to make sure that we have booked the arrangements you requested. If there are any inaccuracies, please contact us so that we can make the necessary corrections.

We can send your documents either by post or email. Our sales team will normally ask at the time of booking how you would like to receive them, and you can also request posted documents on the web booking form. If you have received your documents by email but would prefer post (or vice versa), please contact the Customer Operations Team by email or on 0845 863 9643 and they will be happy to resend it.

Once you have paid your deposit and booked on that trip of a lifetime, you will be looked after by our Customer Operations team, who are responsible for all your travel arrangements until you depart. One of our experienced operations executives will be assigned to assist you in any way they can, and their name and contact details can be found at the bottom of your confirmation letter. With nine nationalities and years of experience behind them, there isn’t much they won’t be able to answer for you!

The balance of your payment is due 56 days (133 days for Polar trips) before departure. Your invoice shows the date your final balance is due and, if you have booked directly with Exodus and we have an email address for you, a reminder will be sent out 1 to 2 weeks before this date.

You can also now get in touch with fellow travellers through the Compass Cafe forum on the Exodus website and share tips and ideas. Don’t worry if you don’t see your trip on there yet, just start a thread and this should inspire the rest of the group to start chatting!

You’ve done the hard part and paid the final balance, now you can start looking forward to going! If you have booked direct and as long as we have an email address for you, your Customer Operations Executive will be in touch with you 8 weeks before travel. They will include the latest copy of the trip notes and if there are any last minute arrangements you need to make or questions you might have, just let them know and they'll be happy to look into it for you.

Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time. Around this time, we’ll also be sending out our sturdy and durable luggage label 4 life, which will come separately in the post. If they haven’t arrived a week before travel, let us know and we can send some more. Please note that we normally only send labels to clients booked directly with Exodus. If you have booked through an agent and would like us to send you some, please let us know and we will be happy to post them directly to your address.

If you are on the group flight, you may see some of your group at check-in or on the plane, but your leader normally meets the group at the destination airport. There may be people on other flights, or joining at the hotel.

We really value getting feedback from our clients about their holiday. If we have a current email address for you, we will send you a link to an online holiday evaluation form whilst you are away; please look out for it on your return. If you have booked through an agent, or have not given us your email address, please request a form by sending us your name and trip to [email protected].

Within one month of your return from the trip, we will send you an email offering you the chance to post a review on our website – a valuable service for all potential Exodus travellers!

Preparing For My Trip

Getting prepared for your travels

British nationals require a full passport for all holidays with Exodus and this should be valid for at least six months after the date of your scheduled return home. If you are not a British national, other regulations may apply to you and you should check with the nearest embassy of the country you intend to visit.

Please note that for certain trips, we will require your passport details prior to accepting your booking. Furthermore, if you renew your passport after you have booked, it is important you advise us of the new details as soon as possible and you may be required to take your old passport with you to maintain the validity of the trip.

Full details of current visa requirements for British passport holders are given in the trip notes and in the confirmation documents that are sent to you on booking. Other nationalities should check with the embassy of the country they are due to visit, or with our visa service, Travcour. Obtaining any visas that are required is your own responsibility. Be aware that visa regulations can change, and may do so at short notice and sometimes without announcement.

Where we become aware of changes to regulations, we will notify you as soon as possible but providing we have made our best effort to advise you of requirements or to assist you in obtaining visas, we cannot be held responsible for mistakes by embassies, third parties, sudden changes to regulations or actions of border officials that are beyond our control.

Please note that not all nationalities have the same eligibility for travel to or via the USA, and you may not be covered by the visa waiver programme below. If you do not hold a British passport, please check the visa requirements with your local US embassy.

If you are travelling to or via the USA, the US authorities have introduced a requirement for passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) to register for Electronic Travel Authority or ESTA. For additional specifics, please consult the VWP information on the U.S. Embassy London website.

The US customs and border protection department have announced that from 8th September 2010, there will be a charge of USD14 to apply for an ESTA. All payments must be made by credit card.

Passengers who have not applied for and received travel authorisation via ESTA prior to travel may be denied boarding, experience delayed processing or be denied admission at the US port of entry. However, neither possession of a visa nor meeting the basic requirements for travelling visa-free on the VWP, guarantees admission to the United States. As with most countries, the final determination of admissibility is made by immigration officials at the port of entry.

Important reminder: If you are refused boarding or denied admission at the US port of entry you will still be subject to our cancellation charges in accordance with the terms of our contract with you.

We recommend that you carry your ESTA approval with you when you travel. All queries in relation to this requirement should be addressed via the US Embassy Consular department.

It is an essential condition of joining an Exodus holiday that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of any emergency medical treatment. You are strongly advised to take out your policy at the time of booking to protect your holiday payments in the event of cancellation. If you would like to purchase Adventure Travel insurance, details of the cover and costs are available here.

What to pack?
We do not produce a comprehensive individual packing list for each tour, as each person's needs and requirements vary, even for the same trip. But we do help you in the following ways:

  • We publish a Universal Packing List which will detail many of the items you should consider, as well as prompting consideration of items you may have forgotten.
  • The trip notes for your holiday include a What to Take section, which will mention items specific to your holiday. Please ensure you check the list carefully, as anything beyond normal travel and clothing requirements will be shown here.
  • The FAQ section for each trip on our website may well contain some advice about what to take. The Reviews section also often contains useful tips from clients who have been on the trip previously.
  • Finally, if you still have questions, you can contact the area expert in our Customer Operations Team, and they will be happy to offer advice and guidance on what is required.

Of course no list is foolproof. We may encourage you to take waterproofs, and it will turn out to be the driest year on record. But if we don’t suggest it, you can be sure its going to rain!

If you have a technical query about specialist equipment such as walking boots, sleeping bags or down jackets, then we recommend speaking to a specialist retailer. However, we are happy to offer general advice if you contact one of our experts.

From Exodus
Exodus offer a ‘local pick-up’ hire service for key items needed for altitude trekking in Peru, Tanzania (for Kilimanjaro) and Nepal. Normal hire items available for hire are down jackets and down sleeping bags, but other items may be mentioned in the trip notes. Prices vary, and are confirmed in the trip notes.

  Tanzania Nepal Peru
Down jacket Yes Yes No
Down sleeping bag Yes Yes Yes
Other items Yes No Yes (i.e. Walking poles)
For advice & booking Customer Operations Customer Operations Customer Operations
Pick-up place and time Arusha, day 2 Kathmandu, day 2 Day before trek

Equipment hire from TrekHire UK
If you wish to hire other equipment we recommend the services of TrekHire UK who offer a full range of equipment to hire from the UK before you travel. They offer a quick and efficient service and have good quality equipment available. They can be contacted on 01483 209559.

For our active trips, we are often asked ‘what kind of fitness levels are required?’ or ‘what kind of training do I need to do?’ Of course, if you have booked a trip that is at the upper end of your capabilities, you want to know that you have done all you can to prepare. Unfortunately however, these questions are often the most difficult to answer. Only you know your current fitness levels and capabilities, and can prepare according to the options available to you.

Where altitude is involved, your ability to acclimatise is going to have a much greater impact on your progress than your fitness. However, poor fitness and preparation is certainly not going to increase your chances.

It is always best to make your preparation as close to the real thing as possible. There is no point in relying on your weekly squash game (short bursts of explosive energy) to prepare for several consecutive days walking with major ascents and descents. Of course, its tough to replicate the major mountain ranges in the UK, but make sure you include ups and downs if you are preparing for a mountain trek. If you are still unsure about your fitness, or the difficulty of the trek or ride, we suggest you refer again to our grading system or talk it through with one of our experts.

Health advice
Exodus does not give specific health advice, but our trip notes do mention any compulsory or suggested vaccinations, and will recommend our clients take malarial prophylaxis for known malarial areas. Exodus recommends all clients contact their GP or Nomad Travel Health for all up to date advice on all vaccination and malarial issues for the country they are due to visit. Please note there is a wide range of advice available and you may find conflicting information for the same areas, but we always advise you seek qualified medical advice.

Water purification
Plentiful clean drinking water is of course a requirement to stay healthy in any country. For the vast majority of our trips, we arrange for treated, boiled or bottled water to be available at all times. Certain trips in remote areas may require our clients to provide a system of water purification themselves; if this is the case, it will be clearly explained in the trip notes.

Travel in the developing world or into remote locations exposes all travellers to an increased risk of low level stomach infections. Your tour leader will outline the basic precautions, but even the most careful travellers can still pick up bugs. Personal hygiene and sensible eating and drinking are the best precautions, but you may wish to take rehydration salts to aid your recovery should you become unwell.

Your own first aid or medical kit
For all remote or active trips, your tour leader will be first aid trained, and will carry an adequate first aid kit or medical kit. However, we recommend that clients carry a small first aid kit for personal use.

For some items you may need to consult your doctor for a prescription. If you are travelling to remote areas in developing countries, you may also like to consider taking a sterile needle kit (please be careful to pack this in your hold luggage for airport security).

The following list is intended as a guide only:
Plasters (including blister plasters for walking trips); sterile dressings and bandages; simple pain killers e.g. paracetamol or ibuprofen; antiseptic cream; antihistamine cream (for insect bites); sunburn cream; anti-diarrhoea pills e.g. Imodium or Lomotil; rehydration salts e.g. Dioralyte.
Please ensure you carry any essential personal medication in your hand luggage rather than checked in bags.

European health insurance card or EHIC (formerly known as E111)
If you are a UK citizen and are travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).You can apply for this card, free of charge, by:

1. Calling 0845 606 2030
2. Picking up an application form from your local post office
3. Online at www.ehic.org.uk

Each member of the family or individual requires their own card. For more information, a copy of ‘Health Advice forTravellers’ is also available at the post office. Please be aware that this cover operates with only certain member countries of the EU. EHIC cover should not be considered a substitute for travel insurance.

You will need to take enough money to cover the cost of meals not included in the trip cost and of drinks, tipping and other incidentals including shopping and optional activities. Advice on the amounts required and the best currency to take is given in the trip notes.

Many countries have ATM machines, particularly in major cities, and this can be an ideal way to access cash abroad, although bank charges are sometimes quite high. In addition, credit cards are now very widely accepted, particularly in larger cities. Travellers cheques can also be useful in certain destinations, but are often time consuming and costly to exchange.

For the latest information on world currencies, visit the International Currency Exchange (ICE) website to order commission-free foreign currencies with next working day delivery.

Advice for Travellers

A reference point for useful information and links for Exodus Travellers

Ready to be inspired? Head over to the Exodus Experts blog to read more about brand new adventures, top tips for your upcoming travels and exciting trip reports from people who have travelled there already.

Exodus invites all recent travellers to review their trip for the benefit of others and publishes their comments unedited on our website. Each trip shows the most recent reviews in the right hand column. Have a look at the full reviews for the trip you have booked, you never know what useful piece of information or advice you might find!

Why not join in the discussion on our Exodus Compass Café forum. The popular departure lounge is a great place for travellers to get to know each other before their trip and to share information, views and advice.

Exodus policy on FCO travel advice

Exodus monitors the FCO travel advice closely for every country we visit, and we follow their advice to the letter.

Please read our Travel Safety Advice page for full details.

Any country specific travel advice, or current situations we feel clients should be aware of, will always be listed on the respective country in the shape of a banner alert notice on our website. 

Please see the Zika Virus page for the latest information.

 For more details about our holidays, please see our Customer Charter page, or if the above doesn't contain what you are looking for, see our Essential Information page.

That was the detail so now for the important bit… Happy Travels!

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