About your quotation
Your quote offers one free member of staff for every ten paying children if travelling by air, or eight if travelling by coach. What if I wish to take more staff than this?
If you make us aware of this in your enquiry, we will adjust the price accordingly. If you decide at a later stage that you would like to take more staff than you initially planned, you will need to pay for the cost of adding an additional adult. This will often be slightly more than the price per person charged for the children, because the cost for adult accommodation, ferry crossings, lift passes, ski hire etc. is usually higher than that for children.
Does the price that you have quoted include a ski rep or courier?
Yes, it does. Your experienced Halsbury Ski rep will know the resort and will also be able to speak the local language. This means that he/she will be pleased to help you liaise with the centre regarding matters concerning accommodation, equipment, ski-passes, meals and evening activities. Please do not hesitate to contact your rep if you have any questions or require any assistance – it is what he/she is there for!
We already have insurance, so do not require this service from Halsbury Ski. Will I receive a discount?
Normally, our prices are calculated to include insurance but, of course, if you do not require this, please just let us know and we will adjust the price accordingly. Please note that we do require groups not arranging insurance through ourselves to sign a disclaimer confirming formally that no insurance is required. We do advise that, if you do already have insurance, you check that it will cover you for all planned activities.
About your booking
What deposit is required?
When you confirm your booking with us, we do require a deposit of £75 per passenger if travelling by coach, or £150 per passenger if travelling by air.
After 6 weeks, we will require a second deposit of £150 per passenger.
A third deposit, also of £150 per passenger, will be due at the midway point between the date of booking and the date of departure.
The balance will then be due 10 weeks before departure.
Is it possible to arrange a ski trip for 6 weeks’ time?
This depends on the time of year and availability. Certainly we will do our best to arrange something for you, although we would normally advise booking as far in advance as possible, to avoid any disappointment. If you are booking following a special offer advertised on our website, then there should be availability for this. We can be flexible about last-payment dates but the very latest we can accept the final payment is 2 weeks before travel.
If we take enough students to fill two coaches, can we have a discount?
The normal minimum number for two coaches is 80. If your group reaches this number, the price per person will be the same as for 44 paying. As you should really have 88 paying passengers to qualify for that price, you can see that you will effectively be receiving a discount. We are confident that you will find our prices competitive.
About your itinerary
Can we travel by Eurotunnel one way and return by ferry?
This really will depend on the dates you wish to travel, as the Eurotunnel have peak dates where they will not allocate crossings to tour operators. If your dates mean that this is possible, please note that it is very likely that there will be an additional cost (please enquire at time of making provisional booking).
Can we travel on North Sea Ferries?
This is possible, but there is usually quite a heavy supplement, which is typically around £12 per passenger each way for a reclining seat (so £24 per passenger for a return). Overnight cabins will, of course, cost more. Please contact us for the most up-to-date information regarding costs.
About our coaches
Do the coaches have toilets?
On ‘executive’ vehicles, there will be a toilet, but group members should be made aware that this really is for ‘emergency’ use only. This is because they only have limited capacity and excessive use will lead to the toilet overflowing and, of course, an unpleasant smell! It is quite difficult for the driver to empty the toilet as he can only do so at licensed ‘dropping points’, which are generally quite few and far between. However, the coach will make regular comfort stops at motorway service areas, so group members should be encouraged to use the toilets there.
Do all your coaches have seatbelts?
Of course! All coaches intended for use by school groups are required by law to have seatbelts. Please note that these are usually lapbelts, rather than the three point belts of the kind you would find in a car.
Are there drinks facilities on the coaches?
There are usually tea and coffee-making facilities on the coaches (payment to the driver). We do strongly recommend that these are used only by the adults in the party – for health and safety reasons). Some coach companies are able to sell soft drinks on-board, but not all, so if you do require this service, please inform us in advance.
Is there a first aid kit on the bus?
Yes, but we do recommend that you take your own. In fact, it is quite likely that your LEA or school will require that you take your own, regardless of whether the coach has one.
How many TV screens will our coach have?
This will really depend on which vehicle is allocated. Normally, though, there is just one TV monitor.
Will there be a microphone on the coach?
Normally, yes, but if this is essential please do let us know so that we can inform the coach company.
Do you have any coaches with trailers to carry the ski equipment?
Yes, a few. However, as you can imagine, these are always very much in demand, so if you do require this, we strongly recommend that you inform us at least 3 months before you travel (and, ideally, at the time of enquiring/booking). Please note that this does carry a supplement, please contact us for further information.
Where can I find more information about your coaches?
We actually have more passengers than our quotation allows for, can we squeeze a few more on to the trip?
We will certainly do all that we can to allow you to take all who wish to travel. However, as ever, this really will depend on the time of year and availability, as well as the number of additional passengers. Please telephone the office (0115 9404 303) immediately in this case.
What happens if we don’t get 40 passengers?
We really will do everything that we can to help you and do try very hard to be as flexible as possible with groups regarding the numbers travelling. Again, it will depend on the dates and availability as to what we are able to do. It may be possible for you to share a coach with another school, to keep costs down. However, if this is not possible and you do need to have your own coach, the cost will increase. Please note that the price does increase significantly for less than 25 paying passengers.
Do the 49 seats include the driver’s seat?
No, there are 49 seats for passengers, excluding the driver.
We have 50 passengers, can one of them sit in the courier seat?
The courier seat is reserved for drivers or official couriers/guides and is not intended for passenger use. If it is vacant, it may be used by the group leader or another accompanying adult but should never be used by a child.
We have 137 passengers, how many coaches will we have?
This will depend on which vehicles are available for the dates of your trip. Potentially, you could have two 71 seaters (i.e. DDs) or three 49 seaters. We will try to let you know as soon as we do, but this will generally be closer to your departure date.
Will our driver speak French/German/Spanish/Polish…?
It is very unlikely that your driver will speak the language of the country you are visiting. In our experience, this does not cause problems for our groups.
Use of the coach
When and where will we have stops on the journey?
This cannot be confirmed in advance as this really will depend on the prevailing traffic conditions on the day.
Can we use the coach in the evenings?
This will depend, but is not normally possible on the first night, as the driver will have been driving all day and needs to rest in order to be safe. On other nights it is normally possible, as long as we are informed in advance and this is shown on the itinerary. It is imperative that the driver have an eleven hour break overnight, so please bear this in mind for evening activities if you do use the coach, as it will postpone the time from which you are able to use the coach in the morning.
Can we eat on the coach?
This really depends on the driver/coach company policy, as some prefer that food is not consumed on their vehicle. Of course, if the driver is kind enough to permit this, please encourage all group members to dispose of their rubbish in the rubbish bags, to keep the coach clean and pleasant for all who use it.
Can we leave things on the coach?
Yes, you can, but please be aware that this is at your own risk, so please do not leave any valuables on there. Before you get off the bus, please encourage your group to check that they have everything that they will need, because they will not be able to return to the coach to fetch it if the driver is on a statutory rest break.
Can I have the coach company’s telephone number?
If you have a problem or the coach is delayed we urge you to call the 24 hour emergency numbers that are in the final information pack that we sent out to you. We recommend this because we have all of the out-of-hours numbers for the coach companies and drivers and so will be able to provide assistance quicker.
Health and Safety
Have your drivers been police and Criminal Records Bureau checked?
In most cases, yes. We ask all of the coach companies that we work with to take all reasonable precautions to ensure that the drivers allocated to school tours are ‘child-friendly’ and have been appropriately vetted.
Does your company have a Safety Management System?
Absolutely and we would welcome you to read through it. We are very proud to be a member of the School Travel Forum, which is a group of leading tour operators who work to promote good practice and safety in school tours. If you have any questions about our Safety Management System, please do not hesitate to contact us.
How often does your company conduct inspections of hotels and coach companies?
Please read our very detailed Safety Management System, which states the frequency and scope of vetting that we subject all our hotel and coach company partners to.
Do you provide risk assessments for all of the places we will visit on our itinerary?
We do have complete risk assessments for many of the places that you will visit, but we also encourage group leaders to complete their own risk assessments, considering the specific requirements of their group.