terms & conditions


Thank you for visiting www.bigwideworldtravel.com.  This site is owned and operated by Big Wide World Travel Ltd, a company registered in Scotland (SC498568) and has its registered office at 10 Abbey Place Park, Dunfermline, KY12 7NZ (“Big Wide World”).  Big Wide World is a member of Hemisphere Travel Group (“Hempisphere”), a limited company registered in England (09324199) which has its registered office address at 5 East St Helen Street, Abingdon, OX14 5EG.

When you make a booking for a Big Wide World travel adventure, your contract is with Hemisphere trading as Big Wide World.  In these terms and conditions “we”, “us” or “our” mean Hemisphere trading as Big Wide World and they form the basis of your contract with us.  Please read these booking conditions carefully as they are legally binding.

We are a travel agent and tour operator (as defined below).

We act as a Travel Agent when we facilitate bookings with UK companies (“ Principals “) that provide or arrange travel products. For many bookings including travel services for villas, private yachts and hotels, then the principals or supplier(s) Terms & Conditions will apply to your booking and we advise you to read these carefully as they do contain important information about your booking.

We act as a Tour Operator when we book directly with accommodation, transport or tour suppliers (“ Suppliers “) in the UK or abroad that form a package.

Where we refer to “ Package “ in these Booking Conditions, we refer to a package “within the meaning of the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2O18 (the“Package Travel Regulations “). In general terms, a Package Holiday is a combination of at least two of the following travel services:

(a)  public transport (such as flights, ferries, train and coach journeys);
(b)  accommodation; 
(c)  motor vehicle hire; and 
(d) other tourist service(s) which are not intrinsically a part of (a) – (c).

If the combination is of (d) and only one of (a) and (c), then a Package Holiday will only be formed if (d) either:

(i)  forms an essential part of the booking; or 
(ii) accounts for a significant proportion (at least 25%) of the total value of the booking.


When we act in the capacity of Tour Operator, any booking is subject to our terms and conditions herein.  A binding contract between us comes into existence when we have received your deposit.  The price payable by you for your holiday and what this price includes will be confirmed to you by us at the time of booking and set out in our booking confirmation.


In order to secure a booking you should complete and sign our booking form and return it to us together with a non-refundable deposit, typically 30% of the quoted holiday price.  The balance of the price of your travel arrangements must be paid at least twelve weeks before your departure date.  In certain circumstances (depending on the nature of the booking) we will require a non-refundable deposit in excess of the usual 30% but we will let you know at the time of booking. On occasions, our suppliers require additional amounts up to full payment in advance (for example on Christmas bookings). On these occasions we will require additional payment in advance.  The balance of the holiday cost must be received by us not less than 12 weeks prior to departure, unless stated otherwise on the confirmation invoice. This date will be shown on the confirmation invoice. We are under no obligation to remind you of this date.  If we do not receive all payments due (including any surcharge where applicable) in full and on time, we are entitled to assume that you wish to cancel your booking. In this case, we will be entitled to keep all deposits paid or due at that date.  If we do not cancel straight away because you have promised to make payment, you must pay the cancellation charges shown below depending on the date we reasonably treat your booking as cancelled.

Non-cancellable Booking Conditions: For Peak date bookings (Christmas, New Year, special events etc) we will inform you of any elements of your booking which will be non-cancellable and non-refundable from the date of booking. Full payment will be required in relation to those costs at the time of booking

Set departure booking conditions: Because set-departures are subject to minimum numbers and can be booked so far in advance of the departure dates, we reserve the right to cancel the set departure if the minimum numbers have not been achieved up to 30 days before departure.

Therefore, bookings taken for set departures will be regarded as registrations and the deposit as a registration fee. Final arrangements will be confirmed subject to minimum numbers on or before the ‘notified date’ when the balance of your holiday cost will be payable. In the unlikely event that your selected holiday fails to achieve minimum numbers, you will be refunded your registration fee in full. We will endeavour to offer you a suitable alternative which will be available to you at the published price.

If, after our confirmation invoice has been issued and your booking has been confirmed, you wish to change your travel arrangements in any way, for example your chosen departure date or accommodation, we will do our utmost to make these changes but it may not always be possible. Any request for changes must be in writing from the person who made the booking. You will be asked to pay an administration charge of £50 per person, and any further cost we incur in making this alteration. You should be aware that these costs could increase the closer to the departure date that changes are made and you should contact us as soon as possible. Please note that certain travel arrangements may not be changeable after a reservation has been made and any alteration request could incur a cancellation charge of up to 100% of that part of the arrangements.

If you or any member of your party is prevented from travelling for any reason (including death, illness or jury service) we will transfer your booking to any person subject to the following conditions:

  • That person is introduced by you and satisfies each and all of the conditions applicable to the booked holiday.
  • We are notified in writing of the request for transfer not later than 7 days before departure.
  • You pay the outstanding balance payment, and the amendment fee of £50 per person transferring, as well as any additional fees, charges and other costs arising from the transfer.
  • The ‘Transferee’ agrees to these booking conditions, and all of the terms of the Contract between us.
  • Charges amounting to the full cost of any transferred flight and replacement flight will be imposed in the event of any transfer.

You and the Transferee will remain jointly and severally liable for the payment of all sums. If you are unable to find a replacement, the cancellation charges set out in these terms will apply. Otherwise, no refunds will be given to passengers not travelling or for any unused service.


If you cancel your booking.

Following the issue to you by us of our booking confirmation, to cancel your booking or any part of it relating to any person, we will require your authority in writing or in the case of a group booking the authority in writing of the lead name to do so.

Our cancellation charges will apply (see table below). These are calculated with reference to the date on which we receive your authority in writing. We will not refund to you any deposits, administration charges, insurance premiums or any other fees or charges made by us and paid by you relating to your holiday in the event of cancellation by you.

We strongly recommend that you take out insurance cover for cancellation adequate to cover the value of your holiday. Big Wide World can pass on details of suitable insurers.

Cancellation charges

Depending on when notification of cancellation is received, cancellation charges will apply as follows:

Weeks prior to departurePercentage of Holiday price
Over 12 weeksDeposit
Between 9-12 weeks60%
Between 4-8 weeks90%
Less than 4 weeks100%

Note: If the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges.

You can cancel your booking without paying cancellation charges if the performance of your package, or the carriage of passengers to your destination, is significantly affected by ‘unavoidable and extraordinary’ circumstances. In such circumstances, we will arrange for your booking to be terminated and for you to receive a full refund. We will observe advice provided by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office.  For the purposes of this clause, examples of “unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances” include warfare, acts of terrorism, significant risks to human health such as the outbreak of serious disease at the destination or natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, or weather conditions which make it impossible to travel safely to your destination.

Changes or cancellation by us.

If we cancel

Once your booking has been confirmed we will make every effort to provide you with the booked holiday arrangements. Occasionally it may be necessary to amend or cancel the whole or part of your holiday and we reserve the right to do so at any time. We will not cancel less than 12 weeks before your departure date, except for unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, or failure by you to pay the final balance.

If your holiday is cancelled you can either have a refund of all monies paid or accept an alternative holiday of comparable standard from us if we offer one. We will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value.

In the event a refund is paid to you, we will:

  1. Provide a full refund of your travel insurance premiums if you paid them to us and can show that you are unable to transfer or reuse your policy.
  2. Pay compensation as detailed below except where the cancellation is due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances (see definition below)
Period before departure in which we notify youAmount of compensation you will receive from us.
More than 6 weeks£10
More than 4 weeks£25
More than 2 weeks£50
Under 2 weeks£75

Changes to the price

We can change your holiday price after you’ve booked, only in certain circumstances:

Changes in the price of the carriage of passengers resulting from changes to the cost of fuel or other power sources, the level of taxes or fees imposed by third parties including tourist taxes, landing taxes or embarkation or disembarkation fees at ports and airports or exchange rates mean that the price of your travel arrangements may change after you have booked. However, there will be no change within 20 days of your departure.

We will absorb, and you will not be charged for, any increase equivalent to 2% of the price of your travel arrangements, which excludes insurance premiums and any amendment charges. You will be charged for the amount over and above that. If this results in an increase equivalent to more than 8% of the price of your travel arrangements, you will have the option of accepting a change to another holiday if we are able to offer one (we will refund any price difference if the alternative is of a lower value), or cancelling and receiving a full refund of all monies paid, except for any amendment charges. Should you decide to cancel: 1) you must do so within the time period shown on your final invoice 2) We will provide a refund of insurance premiums paid to us if you can show that you are unable to transfer or reuse your policy.

Should the price of your holiday go down due to the cost changes mentioned above, then any refund due will be paid to you. We will deduct from this refund our administrative expenses incurred. Please note that travel arrangements are not always purchased in local currency and some apparent changes have no impact on the price of your travel due to contractual and other protection in place.

Changes other than the price

It is a term of your booking that we are able to make changes to any aspect of your booking. If the change is minor/insignificant, we will try and tell you as soon as reasonably possible prior to your due departure date, although we are not obliged to do so. Examples of insignificant changes include alteration of your outward/return flights by less than 12 hours, changes to aircraft type, change of accommodation to another of the same or higher standard, changes of carriers.

Major/significant changes include:

  • Price
  • Your departure airport (unless between Heathrow and Gatwick or vice versa)
  • Your city/resort/place of destination
  • Your accommodation (except on tours/safaris) to a lower star grading
  • Your scheduled departure time by more than 12 hours (excluding delays outside of our control following check-in)

If, before the start of your holiday we are constrained by circumstances beyond our control to significantly alter any of the major characteristics to your holiday, we will offer you the choice of either:

  1. Accepting the changed arrangements.
  2. Accepting an offer for an alternative holiday with comparable facilities from us (we will refund any price difference if the alternative offer is of lower value)
  3. Cancel your booking completely and have all monies returned to you.

If you choose to accept a refund:

  1. we will provide a full refund of your travel insurance premiums if you paid them to us and can show that you are unable to transfer or reuse your policy.
  2. we will pay compensation as detailed below except where the significant change is due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, which means a situation beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.
Period before departure in which we notify youAmount of compensation you will receive from us.
More than 6 weeks£10
More than 4 weeks£25
More than 2 weeks£50
Under 2 weeks£75

Circumstances beyond our control

We will not pay compensation or accept any liability where any change is due to circumstances outside of our reasonable control. These circumstances will usually include but are not limited to, strikes, lock-outs or other industrial action; acts of God; war; threat of war; riots; civil commotion; terrorist activity and its consequences; failure to secure flying rights; natural and nuclear disaster; fire; epidemics, health risks and pandemics; unavoidable and unforeseeable technical problems with transport reasons beyond our control or that of our suppliers; malicious damage; compliance with any law or governmental order, rule regulation or direction; closed or congested airports or ports; hurricanes and other actual or potential severe weather conditions; and any other similar events: or

Our Liability to You

You must inform us without undue delay of any failure to perform or improper performance of the travel services included in this package. If any of the travel services included in your package are not performed in accordance with the contract, or are improperly performed, by us or the travel service suppliers, and this has affected the enjoyment of your travel arrangements, you may be entitled to an appropriate price reduction or compensation or both. We will not be liable where any failure to perform or improper performance of the travel services is due to: you or another member of your party; or a third party unconnected with the provision of the travel services in the package and is unforeseeable or unavoidable; or unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, which means a situation beyond our control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken.

Our liability, except in cases involving death, injury or illness, shall be limited to a maximum of two times the cost of your travel arrangements. Our liability will also be limited in accordance with and/or in an identical manner to

  1. a) The contractual terms of the companies that provide the travel services that make up your package. These terms are incorporated into this booking; and
  2. b) Any relevant international convention, for example the Montreal Convention in respect of travel by air, the Athens Convention in respect of travel by sea, the Berne Convention in respect of travel by rail and the Paris Convention in respect of the provision of accommodation, which limit the amount of and conditions under which compensation can be claimed for death, injury, delay to passengers and loss, damage and delay to luggage. We are to be regarded as having all benefit of any limitation of the extent of or the conditions under which compensation is to be paid under these or any conventions.

You can ask for copies of the travel service contractual terms, or the international conventions, from Big Wide World Travel Ltd Under EU law (Regulation 261/2004) you have rights in some circumstances to refunds and/or compensation from your airline in cases of denied boarding, cancellation or delay to flights. Full details will be publicised at EU airports and available from airlines. However reimbursement in such cases will not automatically entitle you to a refund of your holiday cost from us. Your right to a refund and/or compensation from us is set out in these booking conditions. If any payments to you are due from us, any payment made to you by the airline or any other service provider will be deducted.

If it is impossible to ensure your return as scheduled due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, we will bear the cost of necessary accommodation, if possible of equivalent category, for a maximum of three nights. The limit doesn’t apply to persons with reduced mobility and any person accompanying them, pregnant women and unaccompanied minors, or persons in need of specific medical assistance, provided that you notified us of these needs at least 48 hours before the start of your holiday.

NB this entire clause does not apply to any separate contracts that you may enter into for excursions or activities whilst on holiday.


If you have a problem during your holiday, please immediately inform the relevant supplier whose service is involved (e.g. your hotelier) and our local representative who’s details we will have passed to you in your travel pack (or if none Big Wide World on +44 131 353 0168 or email hello@bigwideworldtravel.com),who will endeavour to put things right. It is unreasonable and in breach of your contractual obligations to us to take no action whilst on holiday.

If the problem is not resolved locally, please follow this up within 28 days of your return home by writing to our Customer Services Department at 36 Balhousie Street, Perth, PH1 5HW giving your booking reference and all other relevant information. Please keep your letter concise and to the point. If you fail to follow the requirement to report your complaint in resort we will have been deprived of the opportunity to investigate and rectify it and this may affect your rights under this booking. 


If you’re in difficulty whilst on holiday and ask us to help we will provide appropriate assistance, in particular by providing information on health services, local authorities and consular assistance; and helping you to find alternative arrangements and any necessary phone calls/emails. We may charge you a reasonable fee for such assistance if the difficulty is caused intentionally by you or through your negligence. You must pay any costs we incur, if the difficulty is your fault.


Your specific passport and visa requirements, and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements.  It is your responsibility to ensure that you and your party will be able to comply with all health formalities for the destination concerned.  We will not accept any liability if you or a member of your party is refused entry onto any transport or into any country due to failure on your/their part to carry correct documentation or to comply with relevant health formalities.

Not all trips and activities are appropriate for persons with a disability or medical conditions. If you or any member of your party have any disability or medical condition it is extremely important that you tell us before you book in order that we can ensure that the travel experience you are interested in is appropriate and safe and make all the necessary arrangements to make your experience safe.  All health and mobility information will only be used in order to advise you in relation to your booking and is in accordance with our privacy policy.


It is essential and a condition of booking with Big Wide World that you take out a comprehensive travel insurance policy to cover you before, during and after your trip. Make sure that all of the activities which you will be carrying out are covered by such insurance. This insurance must include adequate cancellation insurance to the value of your holiday, emergency evacuation and repatriation costs in respect of all of your activities. Please note that the travel insurance provided by some credit card providers often only offers the minimum coverage and, whoever your insurer, you should always check for any exclusion of activities that you might be undertaking. In response to public concern, some insurers now offer specific insurance against cancellation, delay and abandonment due to volcanic ash disruption or covid. This can be taken out as an add-on to some travel insurance policies or as stand-alone cover.

Hazardous activities: If your trip involves activities that are treated as hazardous by insurers (this can include but isn’t limited to, ski-ing, water sports, horse riding, mountain biking & climbing). It is your responsibility to check with your insurer and ensure all activities included in your itinerary are adequately covered.


Excursions or other tours that you may choose to book or pay for whilst you are on holiday are not part of your package holiday provided by us. We are not responsible for the provision of the excursion or tour or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by the operator.  Your contract for such excursions/activities will be made with the relevant supplier or third party and on that party’s terms and conditions and we have no liability whatsoever for the performance of that excursion or activity.



As a Travel Agent when making your booking we will arrange for you to enter into a contract with the Principal(s) named on your receipt(s). We can book you a package holiday, in which case you will have one contract with the Principle, or we can book the services that make up your holiday with different Principals, in which case you will have separate contracts with each of them.  The Principals Terms & Conditions (including their cancellation charges) will apply to your booking. Please ask us for copies of these if you do not have them. A binding contract between you and the Principal will come into existence once we have received a signed booking form or payment of the deposit sum shown on the invoice.  As an agent we accept no responsibility for the acts or omissions of Principal(s) or for the services provided by them


We provide full financial protection for all the packages that we sell.

We are members of the Travel Trust Association (TTA) (Q2174), and in the unlikely event of the company’s insolvency clients would be reimbursed by the TTA.  All client monies are paid into a trust account, which is supervised by an appointed trustee who is either a banker, chartered or certified accountant or a solicitor.  Both us and the trustee are required to authorise payments from the trust account.

We hold an Air Travel Organisers Licence issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL number T7550). When you buy an ATOL protected air inclusive holiday or flight from us you will receive a confirmation invoice and ATOL certificate from us.  For holidays that are not ATOL protected, for example if no flights have been provided by us, then financial protection is offered through the Travel Trust Association (TTA).

Many of the suppliers that we act for as an agent offer protection for your monies and when you are booking an air package or flight plus booking, ATOL protection will apply.  If you do not receive an ATOL certificate, then the booking will not be ATOL protected.  If you do receive an ATOL certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. For more information about financial protection and the ATOL certificate go to www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate.

All the air holidays we sell come with protection for your money. Travel agent package holidays are protected by the package organiser and we will provide you with their confirmation and ATOL certificate.


Please follow this link for all information on the Package Travel & Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018



With such little time together, we want our families to get the very most out of each adventure they choose to take.  So we’ve compiled a month by month guide on which destination is best to travel and at what time of year.

Enter your details below to download your copy.