TRAVEL AGREEMENT – TERMS & CONDITIONS
It is important we have an understanding of our relationship and obligations. For this reason, we have written this agreement for which you are bound to all Terms and Conditions if you wish to do business with us. If you do not agree to the Terms and Conditions, then you must stop now and not purchase anything from us. Please read these Terms and Conditions carefully. They constitute the legal agreement that governs the contract between us. These conditions apply to any and all travel related purchases you do with us. This includes, and not limited to, sample itineraries and custom itineraries we prepare, travel products, trips we organize and you join us on, trips that you take us on, and trips you book through any of our travel vendors. Any and all trips and itineraries are organized on a best efforts basis and we do not guarantee any particular outcome. The outcome is your obligation to be sure your trip occurs as you would like it to occur. This agreement is between you (and anyone traveling with you), and the International Exploration Society, a United States nonprofit organization. When we use the words “we” “us” or “our”, we mean International Exploration Society. When we use the words “you” or “your”, we mean the person who purchased some type of travel from us. In consideration of the mutual covenants herein contained, and in exchange for other consideration, the receipt and adequacy of which are hereby acknowledged, you agree to the following terms and conditions:
ACCURACY OF INFORMATION & PRICES
Information: We have to prepare our materials a long time before they are published. This means information sometimes have changed by the time they are published. And, changes can also occur after materials are published (or after website content is published). For example, hotels might withdraw facilities due to maintenance or bad weather, room availability may change, building work might start, or some services/activities might not be available at the start or end of the season. Activities may be canceled or changed, and this does happen. Flexibility is required, as we are not obligated to you for anything when things change. If we are made aware of any significant changes, we will update you. Also, some information is generic and not specific to your trip.
Prices: Prices can change at any time, and international currencies are always fluctuating. If costs increase by more than 4%, then you will be responsible to pay us an increase. Mistakes or computer errors occasionally occur, so if any price is incorrect, then that price will not be valid, and we will be entitled to charge the correct price. You are responsible for local charges made in hotels and resorts for certain facilities and activities such as watersports, sun loungers, umbrellas, safety deposit boxes, laundry services, mini bars, resort fees, city taxes, unscheduled food and beverages, items of a personal nature, internet, telephone, etc. You are also responsible for anything not specifically identified on the itinerary, such as international and domestic flights, private air charters, airport departure taxes, gratuities, alcoholic beverages (except for wine included with included dinners and lunches), luggage charges, travel insurance, tours indicated as optional or not specified in the itinerary, cost of passports, visas, reciprocity taxes or fees, foreign or domestic airport departure taxes, excess baggage, meals not indicated, bottles of wine and gifts, gratuity for tour escorts, tour guides and motor coach drivers when customary and appropriate.
BOOKING AND PAYING
When you purchase any of our sample itineraries or custom itineraries we have prepared, that is a one-time purchase and our obligation ends there. You then proceed with your bookings on your own. When you purchase any products from us, that completes the transaction. Any product warrantee is between you and the manufacturer of the product. When you purchase a trip we have organized for which you join us, take us on a trip you have organized, or you book trips through any of our travel vendors, then you agree that everything is prepared on a best efforts basis and you are responsible to confirm and check that all aspects of the trip fulfills your individual needs. Trips tend to go well, and include modifications along the way; however, it is important that you are aware of what you are expecting so you can be proactive and responsible for your trip.
The “Lead Name” is the person who is entering into the contract with us and is making all arrangements and payments on behalf of themselves and all other people traveling with them. By making a booking, the Lead Name is agreeing to these Terms & Conditions.
The Lead Name is the person responsible for paying the total booking price, including any cancellation or amendment charges that may be payable, even if any of the other people traveling on the booking fail to pay their share of the price. The Lead Name agrees to provide all those who are named as passengers on the booking with accurate and full information regarding the travel arrangements booked, including any changes made to those arrangements by us or the Lead Name, and confirms that all those named passengers, including any that may be added at a later date, agree to be named on the booking and agree to be bound by these Terms & Conditions. Only the Lead Name can change the booking.
A deposit is required to secure any trip that you wish to participate with us. This deposit is non-refundable. You must adhere to the described payment schedule or your trip may be canceled and deposit not refunded. At the very latest, full payment must reach us by twelve weeks before your travel date. PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU DO NOT PAY ON TIME, WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO CANCEL YOUR BOOKING AND TO RETAIN ANY PAYMENT ALREADY MADE. With your credit card, you authorize us to charge your card for the incremental payments, final payments, adjustments, etc. as they become due. We strongly recommend you purchase a travel insurance program as there are many programs available which offer coverage for trip cancellation and interruptions.
We highly recommend that you, and each person traveling on your booking, have adequate travel insurance suitable for the type of trip you have booked. In particular, you should consider coverage for emergencies such as illness or injury that might arise while you are away, and for your own peace of mind, have coverage in case you have to cancel your trip. We cannot be responsible for any costs you incur as a result of failing to take out adequate travel insurance. We strongly recommend you purchase a travel insurance program to cover trip cancellation, trip interruptions, baggage loss, medical expenses, personal accidents, theft, etc.
TRAVEL DOCUMENTS AND HEALTH ADVICE
It is your responsibility to make sure you and anyone traveling with you has valid travel documents (e.g. Passport, Visa, Reciprocity) and has obtained and followed health advice. We cannot accept any liability for your failure to do this. If we or your carrier are fined because anyone on your booking did not have the correct documents/vaccinations, etc., you will have to reimburse us. Be advised, without proper documents, you may not be allowed to board an aircraft or enter the country. We are not responsible for actual or consequential losses as a result, including any loss of a trip with us.
You will obtain health advice about your specific needs as early as possible. When traveling to worldwide destinations, we recommended you seek professional advice and consult with your doctor or other medical advisors. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Also check any medication you are taking is permitted in the country you are visiting.
ADVANCE PASSENGER INFORMATION
Before travel, you must provide passport and certain other information, for each person traveling to us and the airline that is going to carry you. Please check your booking documents for details of how and when to submit this information. Failure to provide all information by the deadlines stated (which may be several weeks before travel), could mean you cannot travel or, if the airline allows you to submit the information at the airport, you may be charged for this.
Special Requests: If you have a special request (for example: low floor room, dietary restrictions, physical limitations, etc.), please advise us and we will pass your request on to the relevant supplier to ask if they can provide what you want. Special requests are not guaranteed to be met, even if we have made a note of your request. We will not pay compensation for failing to meet a request.
CANCELING A TRIP
Only the Lead Name on the booking can ask to cancel a trip or to remove any of the named passengers from the trip. You must put your instructions to cancel, or to cancel any passenger, in writing, and send it to us with confirmation of receipt. Cancellation charges apply. All deposits are forfeited. Additional fees may be added to cover losses as a result of your cancellation. If any member of the booking cancels and you cannot fill that person’s place, you may have to pay extra for the accommodations. For example, you may have to pay single supplement.
Sometimes we have to make changes to your booking arrangements. We will try tell you of any significant changes; however, this is not guaranteed and there will be no compensation for the changes or the lack of communication. During the trip, changes are normal, and we ask that you must be flexible. Opportunities come up and changes happen. For example: a previous wine region trip was during harvest. At one winery, it was not yet time to pick the grapes, so our scheduled time in the vineyard was not possible. On the same trip, there was a grape crush in the middle of the night at a winery, and those who were interested were escorted to the winery at 2:00 am to have an amazing experience in a working winery, everyone in hotel bathrobes. We appreciate flexibility along the trip and look forward to an unforgettable journey with you.
CANCELATION BY US
On rare occasions, we may need to cancel a trip, for example, if there is insufficient demand for the trip. If we have to cancel your trip, we will tell you as soon as reasonably possible. We will not cancel your trip within twelve weeks of departure, except if we are forced to do so because of unusual circumstances we could not have foreseen. No compensation will be payable in any circumstances, and our total financial responsibility to you if we cancel a trip is to return any amounts you have paid to us.
AIRLINE DELAYS AND CANCELATIONS
It has become more frequent that airlines have flight delays and sometime flight cancellations. This is completely out of our control and we cannot be responsible for this in a way whatsoever. Flight delays and cancelations can cause your trip with us to start later and you may miss part of the trip. We will welcome you when you arrive, however we cannot make up for the lost time or provide any compensation, discount or refund. This is the nature of travel. If you want to be extra careful, travel a day earlier. Departing home can have the same delays and cancellations. Again, we are not responsible for any costs or inconvenience associated.
NO SUPPLIER LIABILITY
We do not have any responsibility or liability whatsoever for anything which may go wrong with any of our suppliers. This includes, airlines, hotels, resorts, restaurants, wineries, activities, entertainment, guides, excursions, etc. We are acting as booking agents only, and we are not responsible in any way for a supplier’s delivery of their good and services. We are not responsible for lost or damage luggage, lost or damaged personal items, under any circumstances, including theft or negligence.
We want everyone to have an enjoyable carefree trip. For this to happen, everyone must be courteous and civilized at all times. You must remember that you are responsible for your actions and the effect they may have on others. If we believe your actions upset, annoy or disturb other people in the group, our suppliers or our own staff, or put them in any risk or danger, or could cause damage to property; or you are unfit to travel; we may end your trip and terminate your contract. You and your traveling party will then be prevented from using your booked accommodation, transportation, and any other arrangements forming part of your trip and we will not be liable for any refund, compensation or any other costs you have to pay. Alternatively, at our discretion, you may be allowed to continue with your trip but may have to comply with specific conditions. If your behavior or the behavior of any members of your party causes any aircraft or other transportation to be diverted we and/or the carrier will hold you and those members jointly and individually liable for all costs incurred as a result of that diversion. We cannot accept liability for the behavior of other people staying at your accommodation or traveling on your flight, or for any facilities/services being withdrawn as a result of their actions. We are not responsible, and we will have no liability, for accidents or injuries, loss or damage which may have been caused as a result of your inappropriate or irresponsible behavior; any broken glass/china or the like which you have broken and/or left in a way from which injury can result, or; your judgment being impaired by alcohol.
Property Damage: If you or any member of your party causes any damage or breaks anything at your accommodation, you must report it promptly to a member of our staff and to the staff at the accommodation. We and/or the accommodation owner will hold you and the members of your traveling party jointly and individually liable for paying for any damage you cause to the accommodation, furniture, fixtures, fittings or any other items within or around the accommodation. If you fail to pay, you will also be liable for any legal costs incurred in pursuing a claim against you.
YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF RISK
Some of the activities you might choose to do during your trip may involve a degree of personal risk. The natural environment can, at times, be hazardous and many activities, such as flying, horseback riding, hiking, rappelling, zip-line, watersports, snow-sports, mountain-sports, outdoor vehicles, etc. are activities with a risk of personal injury or death. If you decide to take part in such activities, you accept these risks and you are responsible for your own actions. Although we or our suppliers may provide instructions to you as part of the arrangements, any safety information/notices must be observed which will minimize these risks. Your booking is accepted by us on the basis that you understand and accept the risks involved in such activities. If at any time you or a member of your party feels uncomfortable or unsure about taking part in an activity, you are under no obligation to take part in or complete activities if you do not feel you want to for any reason. You must ensure you have suitable travel insurance for the activities you plan to take part in as well. Furthermore, if you do not participate in any activity, there is no refund for such activity.
OUR LIABILITY TO YOU
Our responsibility is to make arrangements for the provision of the components of your trip with relevant suppliers (hotels/resorts, transportation, wineries, activities, entertainment, attractions, etc.); however, you agree we do not have any responsibility whatsoever for the operation of the component itself. We have no liability to you for any dissatisfaction, loss of enjoyment, loss, injury or damage which results from your use of the trip or any component of the trip. In addition, we have no liability to you in any event for any consequential loss which you may suffer in relation to any trip or any arrangement. In the event that we have any liability to you, our liability shall be limited to the cost of that particular individual component. Arrangements for trips are made by us acting as agents only for participants of the trip in relevant hotels, wineries, restaurants, tour and transportation companies. The trip participants agree that neither the International Exploration Society, nor our employees, associates, partners, affiliates, shall be liable for any damage, loss (including personal injury, death, or property loss), or expenses occasioned by any act or omission of any supplier providing services or any other person. If the International Exploration Society cancels a trip, we bear none of the responsibility beyond refunding monies paid to us.
CURRENCY AND MONEY
In addition to bringing major credit cards, we recommend you bring local currency of the countries you are visiting, as some businesses do not accept credit cards. In some cases, local currencies may have to be purchased after arrival as there may be restrictions on the amount you are permitted to buy in advance.
You agree to using electronic records, including faxes, scanned copies, emails and texts, of this document and any other documents with us, and that these electronic records will have the same legal force and effect as an original.
By booking a trip with us, you agree we may use and disclose the personal information you provide about you and the other people traveling with you to enable us to process your booking (which will include passing your information to third party suppliers, such as hoteliers and airlines, and may involve sending your information to countries that don’t have an equal level of privacy to that in your country); for our own market research and analysis purposes; for improving customer service; for the detection and prevention of fraud or other crime (which may include providing your information to organizations such as Banks and credit card companies); for compliance with legal requirements (which will include passing your information to public authorities such as customs and immigration) and for marketing contact by means of email, post, SMS and/or telephone to provide you with offers and information on similar products and services to those you have purchased (unless you have opted out of such marketing).
WEATHER AND NATURAL DISASTERS
Destinations visiting may be affected by weather patterns such as tropical storms, monsoons, hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons, flooding and also seismic activity causing earthquakes and tidal waves. An example of which is the ‘hurricane season,‘ which affects the Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico and is generally considered to be between June and November. As weather advice can frequently change, we recommend you check the latest information for your destination. When a storm or natural disaster occurs, travel and accommodation arrangements may be significantly disrupted. It is extremely difficult to accurately predict the actual path, duration or effect severe weather patterns and seismic activity may have. The effects of actual or threatened bad weather and natural disasters are beyond our control. It may be that an evacuation, or a delay or cancellation of your flight, hotel and other plans may be necessary. In the event of changes to your trip due to actual or threatened bad weather, we are not liable to offer any compensation for any loss of the trip or otherwise.
Our information and activities have a lot to do with travel and you hereby understand that we do not promise any results whatsoever from any information or advice you receive from us. Everything you choose to do, you chose to do at your own risk, and you agree we are not responsible for the outcome, nor your safety. This includes working with any third-party providers. Any issues or problems you have with providers you agree to take up with them exclusively, and you agree that we are not liable in any manner whatsoever for any third-party providers. If we help you create an itinerary or if you join us on any of our travel trips, or we join you on one of your trips, you agree that anything we provide is only on a best effort basis, with no guarantees whatsoever, and that you fully understand that travel plans and itineraries can change and that we are not responsible for any such changes or losses you may incur. You also agree that you take full responsibility for all hotels, airlines, rental cars, restaurants, activities, events, etc., even if we advised you or were part of the booking. We highly encourage you to purchase travel insurance. In any and all cases, you agree that we will not be liable for any injury, loss, claim, damage, or any special, exemplary, punitive, indirect, incidental or consequential damages of any kind (including, but not limited to lost profits or lost savings), whether based in contract, tort, strict liability, or otherwise, which arises out of or is in any way connected with the performance or non-performance of any travel booking or service provider, including, but not limited to, non-performance resulting from bankruptcy, reorganization, insolvency, dissolution or liquidation, even if we have been advised of the possibility of any such damages. In the event of nonperformance resulting from bankruptcy, reorganization, insolvency, dissolution or liquidation of a travel service provider, you agree that your sole recourse shall be toward such service provider and not toward us.
You agree to indemnify and hold us (including our officers, directors, owners, agents, authors, photographers, employees, information providers, affiliates, licensors and licensees) harmless against any direct or indirect damages, losses, liabilities, obligations, costs, claims, claims of any kind, interest, penalties, legal proceedings and expenses (including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses) actually paid, suffered or incurred by us as a result of any action or inaction you take. In the event of a third-party claim, you agree to act in good faith and to use reasonable efforts to consult, cooperate and assist in the defense and/or settlement of such claim.
You must be 18 years of age or older to travel with us, and for any wine or alcohol related trips, you must be the legal drinking age of the country of the trip.
WAIVER OF CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES
In no event shall we be liable to you for any consequential damages as a result of your using our itineraries, participation in our trips, purchasing products, or the use of suppliers’ services or products found on our website… including any direct, indirect, special, punitive, incidental or consequential damages or losses whether such damages are (alleged as) a result of a breach of contract, tort or otherwise. All such damages and losses are hereby expressly waived and disclaimed.
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTEES AND DAMAGES; LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
Our trips and itineraries are provided on a best efforts basis, without any promise, guarantee or liability whatsoever. We make no representation or warranties of any kind whatsoever; and shall not be liable, including without limitation, the content and any errors under any direct or indirect circumstances, including but not limited, to our negligence. In no event shall making trips and itineraries available make us liable to any person or entity whatsoever for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, compensatory, consequential, or punitive damages or an damages whatsoever… including but not limited to: (I) loss of goodwill, profits, business interruption, data or other intangible losses; (II) your inability to use, unauthorized use of, performance or non-performance; (III) unauthorized access to or tampering with your personal information or transmissions; (IV) the provision or failure to provide any service; (V) errors or inaccuracies contained on our website, brochures or other marketing materials, or any information, software, products, services, obtained through us; (VI) any transactions entered into with or through us; or (VII) any property damage including damage to your personal or business property. Further, the travel service providers are independent contractors and are not our agents or employees. We do not assume liability for any injury, damage, death, loss, accident or delay due to an act or omission of a travel service provider, including, without limitation, an act of negligence or the default of a travel service provider, or an act of god. Further, no responsibilities are accepted for any damage and/or delay due to sickness, pilferage, labor disputes, bankruptcy, machinery breakdown, quarantine, government restraints, weather, terrorism, or other causes. No responsibility is accepted for any additional expense, omission, delays, failure to make connections, re-routing or acts of any governmental authority. Under no circumstances shall we be liable for any special or consequential damages that are directly or indirectly related to the use of, or the inability to use, the content, materials and functions of itineraries, trips, providers, etc., even if we have been advised of the possibility of such damages. In no event shall our liability to you for all damages, losses, and causes of action (whether in contract or tort, including, but not limited to, negligence or otherwise) exceed $100.00
These terms and conditions constitute the entire agreement between us and shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California. Any cause of action you may have with us must commence within one year of the date the problem initially occurred. You first must notify us of any claim, in writing, with receipt of our receiving your notice. If such claim is not resolved between us, then the matter will be decided by small claims court or binding arbitration. The place of any arbitration or court hearing shall be Los Angeles County, California, USA. Any proceedings shall include full discovery opportunities for the parties. Nothing in this clause shall prevent a party from seeking, in any court of competent jurisdiction, any equitable relief pending settlement of any final decision. If for any reason any provision, or portion thereof, is found to be unenforceable, that provision shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to effect the intent, and the remainder of these terms and conditions shall continue in full force and effect. SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION FOR ANY ACTION OR PROCEEDING ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THIS AGREEMENT SHALL BE BY BIDING ARBITRATION IN THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, STATE OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTRY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
CHANGES TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS
We reserves the right, at our sole discretion, to change, modify, add or remove any portion of the Terms and Conditions, in whole or in part, at any time, and without any notice to you. Changes will be effective when posted on our website, and your continued use of our itineraries, joining our trips, buying travel products, after any changes are posted will be considered acceptance of those changes. We recommend that you review these terms and conditions periodically.
NOTICES AND CONTACTING US
Any and all notices, legal or not, must be sent to the following address with a proof of receipt. General inquiries and contact are at this same address.
International Exploration Society
Box 93613, Pasadena, CA 91109-3613