terms & conditions


Please read carefully, print and keep with your travel documents. These conditions, together with your specific booking form conditions, set out the terms and conditions of the contract between you and Big Wide World Travel Ltd.

By making a booking, the first named person agrees on behalf of themselves and all persons shown within the booking that:

  1. He/she has read and agreed to these booking conditions and has authority to and does agree to be bound by them.
  2. He/she consents to our use of information in accordance with our Privacy Policy (link to PP)
  3. He/she is over 18 years of age.
  4. He/she accepts responsibility for payment of the booking on behalf of all persons shown within the booking confirmation invoice.

Big Wide World Travel Ltd is a company registered in Scotland with a company number SC498568 and has its registered office at 10 Abbey Park Place, Dunfermline, KY12 7NZ. VAT No: 287 5155 68

  1. Your holiday booking

A booking will exist as soon as we issue our confirmation invoice. This booking is made on the terms of these booking conditions. We will make you aware of any further terms and conditions set out in your Booking Form that are relative to your specific booking. When you make a booking you guarantee that you have the authority to accept and do accept on behalf of your party the terms of these booking conditions.

  1. Paying for Your Holiday

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 if this is the case. 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. If the deposit and/or balance is not paid in time, we reserve the right to treat the booking as cancelled by you and you will be liable to pay our cancellation charges set out below.

2.1 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

2.2 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.

  1. If You Change or Cancel Your Holiday

3.1 Changes

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 £30 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.

3.2 Transfers

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 £30 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.

  1. Cancellations

4.1 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.

4.2 Cancellation charges

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

Weeks prior to departure Percentage of Holiday price
Over 12 weeks Deposit
Between 9-12 weeks 60%
Between 4-8 weeks 90%
Less than 4 weeks 100%

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.

5.Changes or cancellation by us.

5.1 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 you Amount 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

5.2 If we Change your booking

5.2.1 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.

5.2.2 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 you Amount 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

6.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

  1. 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.

8. Claims

In the unlikely event of Insolvency, you must Inform Towergate Chapman Stevens immediately on +44 (0) 1932 334140 or by email at tcs@towergate.co.uk . Please ensure you retain the booking confirmation form as evidence of cover and value. 

Policy exclusions: This policy will not cover any monies paid for Travel Insurance

9. Complaints

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 information 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 64a Cumberland Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6RE 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. Please also see clause 9 above on ABTA.

10. Additional assistance

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. You must pay any costs we incur, if the difficulty is your fault.

11. Passport, Visa and Immigration Requirements

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.

12. Insurance

You must be fully insured for your holiday and must 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. This can be taken out as an add-on to some travel insurance policies or as stand-alone cover.

13. Excursions

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.

14. Law and jurisdiction

This booking is governed by Scottish Law, and the jurisdiction of the Scottish. You may however choose the law and jurisdiction of England, Wales or Northern Ireland if you live there and wish to do so.

When is it best to travel to.....?

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