Essential Information

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PASSPORTS

For all overseas tours (also for all cruises within the UK) participants must be in possession of a valid passport. Ensure that your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 months after the end of your holiday.

Certain countries require that passports contain at least one blank page, while participants travelling on tours to - or transiting via - the USA should also be aware of the latest visa waiver, ESTA and immigration requirements. Please note that the onus is on you to check that you comply fully with all entry requirements - we recommend you attend to this at least one month prior to travel.

Wherever you are travelling, be sure to check the latest Entry Requirement details within the Travel Advice pages on the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office website. Alternatively, contact the appropriate embassy or consulate.

VISAS

Some destinations we visit require visas - you will find outline details in our Tour Info Pack for your chosen tour.

Should a visa be required, for UK passport holders, our office will send you the necessary application forms and instructions how to complete them (usually about 8 weeks prior to departure). We regret that we are unable to apply or obtain visas for you.

Holders of non-UK passports are responsible for checking locally and organising their own visa and other entry requirements.

The rules for travelling in Europe will change if there’s a no-deal Brexit, but you should not need a visa for short trips. The European Commission has proposed that British Citizens would be able to visit countries in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa.

You can check the latest update by visiting the Gov.UK website here: https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-brexit

BREXIT

The UK is leaving the EU. If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, the rules on travel will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

If there’s no deal, the rules for travel to most countries in Europe will change when the UK has left. If your passport was issued over 9 years ago, you may be affected:

Passports should have at least 6 months’ validity remaining on your date of travel. If you renewed your passport early, extra months would have been added to your new passport. Any extra months on a passport will not count towards the validity requirement, so some passport holders will need to have more than 6 months remaining in order to travel.

You’ll need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport. The new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

You can check your passport is still valid for your trip before booking travel by visiting the Gov.UK website here: https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-brexit

Note: The UK and EU have agreed the full legal text of the draft Withdrawal Agreement in principle. This sets out that there will be no change to entry requirements for British Citizens travelling to the EU or for EU citizens travelling to the UK during the Implementation Period, which runs until 31 December 2020.

In the event of changes to entry requirements after the UK leaves the EU, this information will be updated as soon as confirmation is available.

HEALTH & VACCINATIONS

As tour operators, we cannot give health advice. It is very important that you are well-informed about health risks and issues in your chosen destination country before making your booking. The information given here and within our predeparture information is intended for guidance only - and is only for certain diseases - and you must consult your doctor in good time prior to travel as to what immunisations and other precautions are needed for your chosen holiday.

  • Have a medical and dental check-up before you go. For travel everywhere (even within the UK), we recommend you check you are up-to-date with protection against tetanus, polio and hepatitis A.
  • For some tours protection against typhoid, TB, yellow fever and diphtheria is also advised, and you may need to take anti-malarial tablets. Our Travel Info sheets (sent to all who book) will outline the main health requirements specific to that tour.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

Be aware that the legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

YOUR SAFETY & TRAVEL ADVICE

Risks to your safety and security are an unavoidable aspect of all travel. The best advice on current risks is provided by the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Travel Advice unit. We strongly recommended that you refer to the relevant FCO Travel Advice - both prior to booking and regularly before you travel. Go to: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

It is standard Limosa policy for us to send a copy of the relevant FCO Travel Advice to all participants along with their Final Letter.

‘Travel Aware’ - staying safe and healthy abroad - is a travel safety campaign run by the FCO, and another useful resource well worth checking out if you travel abroad. Go to: https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/


TRAVEL INSURANCE

Good travel insurance is ESSENTIAL before setting off on any overseas trip - and is to be much recommended for UK holidays as well. In common with all responsible tour operators, it is a condition of booking that all clients are fully and adequately insured before travelling overseas with us.

Be aware that some destinations may require you to produce proof of comprehensive travel insurance (e.g. valid insurance certificate) at immigration on arrival in the country, so you should carry your documentation with you.

Your travel insurance should cover against cancellation, curtailment, missed departure, delay, personal accident, death, medical and repatriation expenses (including the cost of emergency evacuation by helicopter or air ambulance should this be necessary), loss of baggage and valuables (see note below), personal liability and legal expenses. Note that passenger liability insurance covering the transportation that we hire, particularly in Third World countries, may be inadequate; it is therefore important that your insurance cover includes sufficient provision for your dependents in the event of an accident.

We recommend that you obtain travel insurance as soon as possible after booking your holiday to ensure you are protected right from the word go in the event of unexpected cancellation prior to departure due to accident or illness. You must inform your insurers of any pre-existing medical conditions (including those of persons not necessarily travelling but upon whom your holiday may depend) that may require treatment during a period of overseas travel or might cause you to cancel the trip.

Once you have arranged your insurance, please be sure to send us the following essential details: name and contact details of your insurance provider, your policy number, expiry date and your insurers 24hr Emergency Assistance number.

Important Things to Note about Travel Insurance

  • Travel Insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover for valuable optical equipment, which is often best protected under your own household insurance policy. If in doubt ask your insurers for advice prior to travel.
  • Most travel insurance policies limit the amount of cover, typically up to a maximum tour cost of £5000 per person. If the tour you are booking exceeds this amount, additional cover can usually be provided upon payment of additional premium. We recommend all travellers check their individual policy limit to ensure the full cost of their holiday is covered.

Arranging Your Insurance

Due to UK Government legislation, under Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulations, we are not allowed to offer or recommend travel related insurance to customers. Premiums can vary widely according to your age, needs, health, choice of destination and other factors, while many people nowadays have Annual Travel Insurance cover. For these reasons, we leave you free to shop around and pick your own policy, one that's best suited to your own individual needs. See also item 30 of our Booking Conditions.


SPECIAL DIETS & OTHER REQUESTS

We pass on all such requests to the airlines, hotels and other suppliers, and do our best to ensure (but of course cannot guarantee) that your needs will be met. Please be sure to tell us about these (in as much detail as possible) at the time of booking, to allow good time to make the necessary arrangements.


BAGGAGE AND PACKING

Baggage rules and regulations vary between airlines. Most airlines have some restriction on the maximum amount of free checked (or hold) baggage allowance per person, typically one item per person with a weight limit of 20kgs-23kgs.

On a few tours, due to limited space in the vehicle or small aircraft used on domestic flights, there are further restrictions and the baggage allowance is lower. Our Travel Info sheets and Final Letter will contain further details, but if you would like to know about these before booking, please contact us.

Our Final Letter will also include details (or an Information Bulletin) summarising the hand baggage guidelines for your tour. To keep abreast of any changes we recommend you visit the airline's own website prior to travel.

BINOCULARS, TELESCOPES & TRIPODS

We're frequently asked for advice about the best way to pack binoculars, telescopes and tripods on tour. Unless airline security demands otherwise, we recommend that you always pack optics in your hand luggage; (some people prefer to wear their binoculars around their neck).

Tripods however must be packed within your checked (hold) luggage. If it won't fit within your case or main bag (where it can be protected from damage by wrapping within clothing), rugged tripod cases can now be bought from specialist suppliers and are another way of solving the problem. However, keep in mind that some airlines/routes allow only one piece of free checked (hold) luggage per passenger; additional items of luggage may incur an excess baggage charge payable to the airline at check-in and at passengers' own expense.

WHAT TO TAKE

Our Travel Info sheets will include advice on what clothing and equipment to bring with you on tour.

We are often asked whether tea- and coffee-making facilities are available at the hotels (usually yes in the UK, North America, Australia and New Zealand; usually no elsewhere in the world), and the presence or absence of hairdryers (usually yes in city and resort-based hotels, usually no elsewhere). Generally, we suggest bringing your own if you feel you need these on tour - but remember to also pack an appropriate plug adaptor!

ANY QUESTIONS?

If you have any questions at any time, you’ll find our office staff friendly, efficient, approachable - and just a phone call away, eager to assist you in every way.

Our office is open 09.00-17.00 hrs Mon-Fri, and can also be reached by email. In the event we are unable to take your call, please leave a message on our answerphone (24 hrs) and our office will contact you as soon as we can.

Our website contains a wealth of useful information - and is of course available 24hrs a day!


THE NEW LIMOSA WEBSITE

The all-new Limosa website has been designed to be straightforward and easy-to-use.

  • Here you can view or download Tour Info Packs and Trip Reports. You will also find a wealth of additional information, including our latest Tour Calendar plus Galleries of images for most Limosa tours.
  • Our Home page features Late Availability Tours - and is well worth checking daily for the latest Limosa News! Topics include recent tour sightings, money saving offers and other announcements as well as details of our programme of guided BirdWalks in East Anglia.
  • Also on the Home page, you'll find our eNewsletter Sign Up. It's FREE of course, and a great way to keep in touch with all things Limosa. [If you no longer wish to receive our eNews, you can unsubscribe via the link at the foot of every eNewsletter.]