Booking Terms and Conditions
Caledonia – Languages, Culture, Adventure is the trading name of Caledonia Languages Abroad Ltd.
The ‘client’ is the person in whose name the booking is made or on whose behalf the booking is made.
A ‘ground package’ is services booked for you which include language or activity courses, volunteer work, work experience, accommodation, transfers and any other services provided in the destination.
An ’air holiday package’ is services booked for you which include any of the elements of the ground package and flights.
When booking a ground package, air holiday package or flights, the contract is between Caledonia Languages Abroad Ltd and the client. Caledonia Languages Abroad Ltd will be referred to as Caledonia from this point on. Please ensure you read our booking conditions carefully before making a booking.
To make a booking, please register your details with us by phone, email or post along with a non-refundable deposit of:
- £150 per person, if booking a language course and accommodation or
- £300 per person, if booking one of our group holidays, a tailormade trip, language course + work experience placement / volunteer work placement
- Where flights have been booked, full payment of the fare is due at the time of booking
Your agreement with Caledonia starts when the deposit for your booking is received. The deposit will be deducted from the balance of your fees.
An administration fee, as stated below, is applicable to all bookings
£35 + VAT is applicable to all bookings and is included in fees, except where flights are included or for any bookings that include Cuba as the destination
- £250 + VAT is applicable to all bookings which include a work experience/volunteer work placement
In accordance with the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992, your fees are held in a trust account controlled by Mr D Anderson of 4 Stirling Road, Edinburgh EH5 3HY, thus providing financial protection and security for your payments. When you buy an ATOL protected air holiday package or flights from us, you will receive a confirmation invoice from us confirming your arrangements and your protection under our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence, number 6387. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the Civil Aviation Authority will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking. For further information, please visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk.
Not all holiday or travel services offered and sold by us will be protected by the ATOL scheme. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking.
If you do not pay your balance of fees in full by the due date, indicated on your confirmation invoice, we reserve the right to cancel your booking and to retain your deposit.
If you have any disability, allergy or medical condition, you should tell us at the time of booking so that due advice can be given on the suitability of your trip.
All clients must have comprehensive travel and medical insurance before departure. Whilst every effort is made to ensure your well-being, Caledonia Languages Abroad Ltd does not accept responsibility for illness, personal loss, lack of punctuality or injury. Adequate insurance cover should be taken out to cover fees paid should your booking have to be cancelled due to personal circumstances such as illness or injury.
Methods of payment
Payments may be made by cheque, bank transfer, and credit or debit card.
- Cheques should be made payable to Caledonia Languages Abroad Ltd and sent to our office address (noted at the foot of this document)
- For credit/debit card payments, please call us with your details. Please note that credit card payments incur a surcharge of 2.3%. We do not accept American Express cards
- For bank transfers direct to our Bank of Scotland Trust Account, the sort code is 80-02-33 and our account number is 10030665
- For international bank transfers, our IBAN no. is GB67 BOFS 8002 3310 0306 65. SWIFT BIC: BOFSGB21223.
Please ensure that transfers to our account are sent free of charges, and that you inform Caledonia by email, telephone or letter once the transfer has been made.
At the time of writing, any amount received into our account by bank transfer from an international account is subject to the following charges: £2 for transactions of up to £100 / £7 for transactions of over £100
Please note: If you have booked a trip to Cuba and are paying by bank transfer from a bank with US connections (e.g. Citibank), please DO NOT make any mention of Cuba in the reference or your payment instruction will be refused. This is due to the current US embargo.
If you cancel your booking, you must inform Caledonia in writing. The following cancellation charges will apply from the day that written notification has been received:
If you cancel your flights / flights included within your air package holiday:
If flights have been booked and confirmed for you by Caledonia, you will forfeit the full amount of the payment made
If you cancel your ground package which includes any courses, accommodation, volunteer work, work experience and tailormade trips:
- Cancellations up to 45 days before departure: forfeit deposit
- Cancellations from 44–21 days before departure: forfeit deposit and 50% of balance of total booking fees
- Cancellations from 20–8 days before departure: forfeit deposit and 75% of balance of total booking fees
- Cancellations in the 7 days before departure and during the period booked: forfeit deposit and 100% of balance of total booking fees.
Amendments to your booking
Once a booking has been confirmed, dates and itineraries may be changed on request and are subject to availability. A booking amendment fee of £50 + VAT will apply. Caledonia may waive this charge at their discretion if the changes result in an extension or upgrade of the package already booked.
If places on the course or trip of your choice are not available, or the minimum number of participants for a course is not met, Caledonia will endeavour to find you a comparable course or trip for similar dates and at a similar price. If this is not to your satisfaction, we will return your deposit in full.
Caledonia endeavours to ensure that our clients receive the services booked. We cannot however accept responsibility for situations outwith our control such as natural disasters (volcanic eruptions or hurricanes), workers’ strikes or any changes in arrangements provided by third parties.
We reserve the right to impose surcharges on any flight booking that has been affected by an increase in airport or fuel or other taxes at any time up to departure.
Caledonia makes every effort to ensure that accurate information is provided for courses, accommodation and other activities provided by our suppliers abroad. All information and prices are correct at the time of publishing.
Caledonia reserves the right to alter prices to accommodate fluctuations in currency exchange rates. However, no surcharges will be imposed in the 30 days before departure.
All Caledonia activities are governed by our high respect for the countries where we operate and the people who live in them. We aim to make a positive impact in the countries we work and travel in. We agree with the principals of sustainable development and specifically promote socially and culturally aware tourism overseas in order to preserve the heritage of the people who live there and to help protect their communities and culture.
We are in favour of working together with local people, paying them a fair price and putting money into the local economy. We do this by working with locally owned and managed language schools, experienced and qualified local dancers and musicians and, where available, local guides who have an in-depth knowledge of their own country. We also use locally owned services such as homestay accommodation, transport and restaurants wherever possible.
We have ongoing personal contact with the centres for volunteer work and professional artistes where we work in Cuba and Latin America and with local families in most areas. We maintain relationships with these centres and have supported them through donations of clothes and other items e.g. to a local orphanage in Santiago de Cuba, ACLIFIM (the Cuban national disability association) and a professional Cuban dance/music company. We also support UK based organisations, which promote responsible tourism and are a member of Tourism Concern and The Travel Foundation.
When overseas, we encourage learning about the countries our clients travel in. Our own experienced tour leaders hold briefing meetings with groups to inform about and discuss with them all aspects of local life. This helps newcomers to the place to understand the local culture and thus better appreciate the people who live there. We encourage communication between our clients and local people through homestay accommodation, our language courses and cultural exchanges facilitated through activities and personal contact.
When organising our own tours, group sizes are usually kept to a maximum of 15 people, and we encourage smaller groups where possible. This minimises the negative impact we may make on the local people and their community and increases the quality time spent in direct contact with local people and their environment.
In our Edinburgh office
We use recycled paper where possible, and try to limit the amount of paper used and rubbish produced. We recycle whenever possible. We also make available our Responsible Tourism advice to all our clients.
Our Recommendations: Local People & Customs
Start enjoying your trip before you leave by tapping into as many sources of information as you can. Learn about and appreciate the language and culture which you are going to encounter - it will enhance your overall experience.
Try to avoid behaviour that may be considered offensive. Think carefully about what is appropriate in terms of your clothes and the way you behave. You will earn respect and be more readily welcomed by local people.
Remember not to treat people as part of the landscape and always ask before taking their photograph. It could be that they do not want their picture taken. Put yourself in their shoes, ask first and respect their wishes. Do not expect any special privileges - remember that you are only one of many visitors.
Meeting and talking to local people will add to your enjoyment of the visit. If you are a beginner in the language, you will find that even trying to use your basic skills will be appreciated.
Make no promises to local people that you cannot keep - be realistic about what you will do when you return home.
Respect the laws of the country you are travelling in.
The Local Economy
Try to put money into local people’s hands: drink local beer or fruit juice rather than imported brands and buy and eat locally produced food.
Pay a fair price for the goods or services you buy - if you haggle for the lowest price your bargain may be at someone else’s expense. Haggle with humour, not aggression.
Do not encourage begging by offering money. There are charities that could use your money. Also, remember that there are few dentists in some Andean countries, so giving out sweets is not recommended.
Tipping is an accepted part of most economies. Ensure you are aware of when this is relevant, as some people rely on tips for much of their livelihood. Ask your guide or tour leader if you are not sure what amount is appropriate.
Natural Resources & Pollution
Minimise your environmental impact - help preserve local wildlife and habitats by respecting rules and regulations, such as sticking to footpaths if you are trekking or walking and not buying illegal products made from plants or animals.
Think about what happens to your rubbish – it is a good idea to remove extra packaging from anything you are taking with you so as not to add to the rubbish disposal problems in your destination country and to take biodegradable products.
Be sensitive to limited resources like water, fuel and electricity.
Slow down and enjoy the differences - you will be back with the familiar soon enough - and ensure that others can come after you to enjoy what you have experienced.
If in doubt, always ask us, your tour leader or our local representative for advice.
Have a great trip!