Updated February 1, 2024
1. GENERAL STATEMENT
2. CONDITIONS OF CARRIAGE
Carriage by road, air or sea is subject to the conditions of each individual carrier used. Our liability for death, personal injury, and/or loss of/damage to property may be limited by such conditions, these Terms, the Contract Documents, international conventions, treaties, or any applicable law (including, the Athens, Warsaw or Montreal Conventions).
Client acknowledges and understands that its trip may be to a destination that is remote, isolated and far removed from medical care facilities. The quality of medical facilities varies from country to country and we make no representations or warranties related to the availability of effective medical treatment. Client agrees to assume the risks and dangers associated with travel and the limited availability or lack of medical treatment. Client further agrees to absolve us, pursuant to these Terms and the Contract Documents, of any liability for such risks and dangers.
Client understands that accurate completion of the Medical Information and Release Form is required. In the event there is a dispute regarding Client’s physical or mental suitability for a trip (or any activity taking place during a trip), the matter will be decided in our sole and absolute discretion. We must be notified in writing at the time of booking, or as soon as the condition occurs, of any physical or mental health conditions, pregnancy, physically or mentally challenged conditions or disabilities which may affect fitness to travel, or which may affect the participation or experience of others on the trip. We shall not be held liable for Client’s failure to notify us of any such conditions, and Client assumes all risk for failure to disclose such medical conditions. Client’s failure to notify us of such conditions may result in Client being refused travel, and 100% of the cancellation fees shall be the responsibility of Client. Some activities during the trip may be unsuitable for Clients due to age, mobility, pregnancy, or physical or mental conditions. It is Client’s responsibility to inquire about trip activities prior to booking. We reserve the right to refuse service to Client for any or no reason, within our sole and absolute discretion. We may be able to meet requests for special facilities or accommodate any special requests (including, without limitation, dietary restriction requests), but such requests do not form part of the Terms and we are not required to provide such requests nor are we liable for failing to provide these requests unless we agree otherwise in writing.
The prices for our services are listed in United States Dollars (USD) currency.
5. BOOKING DEPOSIT
At time of booking, a non-refundable deposit is required per person per trip. Our booking deposit schedules are as follows:
• All bookings made prior to departure shall require a deposit as indicated on our website.
• Bookings made less than 3 months prior to departure shall require full payment of the trip price with the deposit included.
Unless we direct otherwise, the non-refundable deposit must be received by us in accordance with the above schedules. Some trips may require a higher deposit or full payment at the time of booking. Such requirements will be communicated at the time of booking and detailed on our website.
6. FINAL PAYMENT AND ACCEPTANCE OF BOOKING
a. Final Payment: Acceptance of Client’s booking shall be confirmed in writing via a confirmation invoice and/or email. Unless we direct otherwise, payment of the balance of the trip is due 3 months prior to the start date of the trip. If full payment is not received by the due date, then rates and trip space cannot be guaranteed and we have the right to cancel the trip and keep any and all Client payments. If a booking is made 3 months or less before the departure date of the first service booked, then the full payment amount is payable at the time of application and booking; failure to remit the full payment amount shall deem the trip voidable by us, within our sole and absolute discretion.
b. Client Details: In order for us to confirm Client’s travel arrangements, Client must provide all Client details as per the dates specified in the Contract Documents. If Client does not provide all details 3 months or more before departure, a fee of $250 USD will be charged to Client. In the event Client details have not been received by us 3 months prior to Client’s trip departure, we shall have the right to treat the trip as cancelled and full penalties will apply. Client detail requirements may vary by trip.
c. Credit Card Charges: We shall not be responsible for any charges applied to credit card transactions and shall not under any circumstances refund or return any fees by third-party supplier as incurred during Client’s payment for the trip (including any deposit, add-on’s and modifiers). If client requests a refund that falls within our refund policy, and client had paid for the trip using a credit card, a refund will be granted less any and all applicable transaction fees and costs.
7. CANCELLATION / TERMINATION OF TRIP BY CLIENT
Our cancellation/refund policy is as follows:
• Cancellation more than 3 months before departure: Loss of non-refundable deposit. The remaining trip balance is refundable, less any and all applicable transaction fees and costs, 3 months or more before departure.
• Cancellation 3 months or less prior to departure: No Refund
• Cancellation at or after trip departure: No Refund
8. CANCELLATION / TERMINATION OF TRIP BY US
For purposes of this paragraph, cancellation shall mean a complete termination of the entire trip and location offering. We reserve the right to cancel any trip for any reason at any time. We will make a commercially reasonable effort to provide Client with notice the cancellation of a trip by email. When a trip is cancelled by us, Client may choose between: (i) a full refund of all monies paid less the non-refundable deposit, any non-refundable monies paid (including, without limitation, accommodations, local transportation, third party bookings, and permits) and any applicable transaction fees and/or costs; and (ii) if permitted in our sole and absolute discretion, a credit for all monies paid that may be applied to a booking for any alternative trip offered by us. We are not responsible for any direct, incidental or consequential damages, expenses or losses that Client may incur as a result of a booking or cancellation including, but not limited to, visas, vaccinations, non-refundable flights or rail, non-refundable car parking or other fees, loss of earnings, or loss of enjoyment and opportunity.
9. UNUSED SERVICES
a. Unused services due to terminations: There will be no discounts or monies refunded for missed or unused services due to Client’s voluntary or involuntary termination/early departure from an ongoing trip for any reason (including, without limitation, for reasons such as sickness, death of a family member or family emergency).
b. Late arrivals: There will be no discounts or monies refunded for missed or unused services due to late arrival on behalf of the Client both on the trip departure date or on any trip activities while the trip is ongoing. We reserve the right to depart on time for all events without late Clients, and it is the responsibility of the Client to meet up with the group at their designated location at the sole cost of the Client. We shall not be responsible for making these additional arrangements.
10. PRICES AND SURCHARGES
No price increases will be made to a booking less than 30 days before departure. We reserve the right to impose surcharges and/or price increases up to 30 days before departure due to unfavorable changes in exchange rates, increases in air fares or other transportation/fuel costs, increases in local operator costs, taxes, or if government action should require us to do so. We will absorb 15% of any such surcharges and/or price increases and Client shall be responsible for the remainder. If any surcharge/price increase results in an increase of more than 30% of the total trip cost, excluding insurance premiums, then Client may cancel the booking and exercise its rights under section 8. To be effective, all cancellation requests pursuant to this paragraph must be received by us in writing within 14 days after notification of the surcharge/price increase.
11. BROCHURE AND WEBSITE VALIDITY / WARRANTY OF STATEMENTS
We reserve the right, in our sole and absolute discretion, to change any prices appearing on our website, marketing materials, or otherwise prior to booking.
a. Changes made by us: While we will endeavor to operate all trips as advertised, reasonable changes in the itinerary may be made where deemed necessary or advisable by us, in our sole and absolute discretion. This includes alterations to the itinerary due to weather, closures, or other unforeseen events. If we make a change that materially alters the trip as a whole, we will make commercially reasonable efforts to inform Client of the change and Client may cancel the booking and exercise its rights under section 8. To be effective, all cancellation requests pursuant to this paragraph must be received by us in writing within 14 days after notification of the change. A change shall only be deemed to materially alter the trip as a whole if the change substantially affects at least one in three full days of the trip itinerary. Client shall not be permitted to cancel a booking pursuant to this paragraph for any change due to force majeure or unforeseen circumstances. Some changes to the itinerary may happen on a trip as a result of unforeseen circumstances or local situations. Any changes to the itinerary will be made in our sole and absolute discretion and any direct or indirect costs incurred as a result will be the sole responsibility of the Client. The Client shall be solely
responsible for, and we shall have no liability for, any direct or indirect
costs and/or damages associated with changes to the trip (either
during or before the trip).
b. Transfer to another departure by Client: A transfer from one trip to another by Client can only be made more than 3 months before departure date of the current trip and only if approved in writing by us in our sole and absolute discretion. Any request to transfer received less than 3 months before departure of the current trip will not be accepted. If such a request is accepted by us, in our sole and absolute discretion, the following shall apply: (1) we reserve the right to increase the non-refundable deposit due from Client; (2) if the requested trip is more expensive than the current trip, Client shall be responsible for paying the full price of the requested trip less any monies previously paid; and (3) if the requested trip is less expensive than the current trip, any refunds will be subject to the terms of Section 6.c above.
d. Amendments: Any requested changes to Client’s file will be made within our sole and absolute discretion. Client shall be solely responsible for any extra costs incurred for making any approved changes to Client’s file.
13. AUTHORITY ON TRIP
By booking a trip with us, Client agrees to abide by our authority and the authority of our trip representative during the trip. If Client is affected by any condition, medical or otherwise, that might affect Client’s or other people’s enjoyment of the trip or safety, Client must advise us at the time of booking or as soon as the condition occurs. It is the responsibility of Client to notify us if such a condition arises, and Client is aware that the existence of such condition will forfeit their spot on the trip, as well as forfeit the non-refundable deposit and additional payments if within 3 months of the departure. Should Client fail to comply with the above or if we determine, in our sole and absolute discretion, that Client’s behavior is causing or is likely to cause danger, distress, or annoyance to others, we may terminate Client’s travel arrangements and Client will not be entitled to any refund for unused or missed services or costs incurred resulting from such termination. Client shall be solely responsible for all travel and other arrangements after termination pursuant to this paragraph.
14. TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
a. Client must be in possession of a valid passport required for entry, departure, and travel through each destination point along the itinerary of the trip (passport must be valid 6 months past the return date). Client is solely responsible for obtaining and possessing at all times during the trip all necessary visas, permits, medical documentation, certificates, and insurance policies. Client accepts full responsibility for obtaining all such items prior to the start of the trip and is solely responsible for any adverse consequences resulting from missing or defective documentation. Any information or advice given by us regarding visas, vaccinations, climate, clothing, baggage, special equipment, or otherwise is purely advisory and is provided as a courtesy to Client. We are not responsible for any errors or omissions as to such information or advice.
b. All trip related travel documents such as vouchers, itineraries and invoices will be sent to Client via email once available (provided full payment has been received by us). We reserve the right to impose a fee for those Clients who wish to receive paper documents.
15. FORCE MAJEURE
We shall not be liable in any way to Client for death, bodily injury, illness, damage, delay or other loss or detriment to person or property, or financial costs both direct and indirect incurred, or for our failure to commence, perform and/or complete any duty owed to Client if such death, delay, bodily injury (including emotional distress or injury), illness, damage or other loss or detriment to person or property is caused by a Force Majeure Event. A Force Majeure Event shall mean any event that was not reasonably foreseeable at the time of the booking and which is beyond our reasonable control. Such events include, but are not limited to, an Act of God, pandemics, epidemics and viral outbreaks, war or war like operations, terrorist activities or threat thereof, civil commotions, labor difficulties, whether or not Great Minds Abroad is a party thereto, interference by authorities, political disturbance, howsoever and wheresoever any of the same may arise or be caused, riot, insurrection and acts of government authority or restraint of any kind including those that affect domestic and/or international travel, border closings, border limitations, border restrictions, fire, extreme weather or any other cause whatsoever beyond our reasonable control.
We strongly encourage travel insurance with a minimum medical coverage of $100,000 USD covering personal injury and medical expenses. It is strongly recommended the coverage be extended to include cancellation, curtailment, and all other expenses that might arise as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay or inconvenience occurring to Client. We shall have no liability for loss, theft of or damage to baggage or personal effects. We do not accept responsibility for and in no event shall we be liable for loss or damage of valuables or other articles left in or on facilities used by us or our representatives including, but not limited to, hotels, campsites, homestays, vessels, expedition vehicles, or any other mode of transportation. When obtaining travel insurance, the Client is solely responsible for informing the insurer of the type of travel to be undertaken.
17. STANDARDS ON TRIP
Client acknowledges that we cannot guarantee the quality of the services, including accommodations, transport, and all other services related to the trip, organized by us. Further, Client understands, appreciates and accepts any variance in quality or level of service as a part of the travel experience.
18. RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR TRIP
Notice is hereby given that all arrangements made for or on behalf of Client are made by us on the sole condition that we shall not be held responsible for any injury, death, accident, delay, loss, damage or irregularity which may be occasioned through acts or omissions by us, our representatives and/or any persons engaged in carrying out the arrangements. We shall not be held liable for any injury, damage, loss, delay or irregularity that may occur, including, but not limited to, any defect in a vehicle or any other form of conveying a traveler, acts of God, detention, delays or expenses arising from quarantine, strike, riots, theft, Force majeure events, civil disturbance, government restriction or regulation, accident by aircraft, boat, train, bicycle, motor bike, motor vehicle or any other form of transport or in any hotel or guest house, pension, or other form of accommodation. Client acknowledges that the quality of the services organized by us, including accommodations and all other services related to the trip, are not within our control and that in any event the quality of such services may be compromised by local conditions. Client hereby releases us from all claims and causes of action arising from any damage, loss of enjoyment, inconvenience, or injuries related to the quality of such services. The information contained on our website and in related marketing materials is, to the best of our knowledge, correct in all material respects. We shall not be liable for any inaccuracies contained herein. We reserve the right to alter any itinerary in progress or service at any time without penalty to us and any additional expense or cancellation shall be borne by Client. We reserve the right to withdraw or refuse any service to any Client, in our sole and absolute discretion.
All discounts and reduced pricing are applied at our sole and absolute discretion.
20. CLAIMS AND COMPLAINTS
If Client has a complaint against a third-party supplier while on the trip, Client must notify that supplier at the earliest opportunity to allow the grievance to be rectified. If satisfaction is not reached, Client must contact us while on the trip to ensure that we have an opportunity to rectify the matter. If Client has a complaint against us, Client must first inform us while on the trip to ensure that we have the opportunity to rectify the matter. If satisfaction is still not reached through these means while on a trip, then any further complaint must be put in writing to us via email at email@example.com no later than three days after the final day of Client’s trip. It is the responsibility of Client to be familiar with and follow our claims and complaints process.
21. SUPPLIERS CONDITIONS
Airlines, railways, coach and shipping companies and other suppliers have their own booking conditions or conditions of carriage, and Client will be bound by these as far as the relevant transport provider or supplier is concerned. Some of these conditions may limit or exclude liability on the part of the relevant transport provider or other supplier, and they are often also subject to various international conventions. Our liability will be limited to and shall not exceed that of its suppliers or as set forth in these Terms (whichever is less). Client is precluded from making a double recovery by making the same claims and seeking the same recovery against us and our suppliers.
22. LOCAL CONDITIONS
Client acknowledges that they will be visiting places where the political, cultural, and geographical attributes present certain risks, dangers, and physical challenges greater than those present in its daily life. By booking a trip with us, Client agrees that they shall expressly assume the risks, dangers, and challenges attendant to such travel conditions. Client is solely responsible for acquainting themselves with customs, weather conditions, physical challenges, and laws in effect at each stop along the itinerary, and is encouraged to locate or make contact prior to embarkation with his/her local embassy or consulate in each destination.
23. OPTIONAL EXTRAS
Optional extras do not form part of the trip. It is understood and accepted by Client that any assistance given by us in arranging optional extras does not impose liabilities of any kind on us. Accordingly, Client hereby releases us from all claims and causes of action arising from any damages, loss of enjoyment, inconvenience, or injuries related to the quality of such optional extras. Optional extras include, as example, but are not limited to, continuing education certificates, sightseeing excursions, accommodation such as single room arrangements or additional nights stay, and other extras that are not included in the trip price.
If any of the provisions of these Terms shall be determined to be invalid or unenforceable, the remaining provisions shall remain in full force and effect. In the event that a provision of these Terms is determined to be invalid or unenforceable, said provision shall be modified to the minimum extent necessary to render it valid and enforceable. Said modified provision shall be in full force and effect as if it were originally part of these terms.
•We are responsible for the general logistics of the trip including, but not limited to, the choice of team support, routes, lodging, and any change of activities. During the trip, we may assist Client with certain aspects of trip activities, or may delegate such provision of assistance to staff members, agents, or third-party support. We may demonstrate reasonable procedures and/or safety information required for activities during the trip. Client is expected to fully understand such information and procedures and comply with them at all times during any given trip activity. It is Client’s responsibility to immediately notify us, or the applicable support staff, if Client does not fully understand any and all instructions and procedures.
• Neither we nor our agents nor our third-party support shall be responsible for carrying or transporting any personal equipment of Client. In the
instance that the Client willfully hands over and/or is incapable of carrying
their personal equipment, neither we nor our agents nor our third-party
support shall be responsible or liable for any loss of or damage to any of
the Client’s personal equipment.
• Client understands that they may have to deal with hostile environments including, but not limited to, changes in temperature, weather, terrain, government action, or culture. Dangers and medical problems may occur which are linked with the risks associated with Client’s trip. The trip environment and living closely in a small group may generate stress, conflict, and other social or medical problems for Client. We shall not be held liable or responsible for any instances described in the foregoing paragraph.
• We, or any person we appoint to do so on our behalf, may in the interest of safety or group satisfaction request Client to stop any trip activity, or in such circumstances as deemed necessary in our sole and absolute discretion, terminate such activity or the entirety of the trip at any time.
• Client agrees to fill out all relevant forms and documents truthfully (including the Contract Documents).
• Client shall be solely responsible for making all travel arrangements to the originating city and from the ending city (i.e., Client shall be solely responsible for all costs, bookings, and other transportation-related arrangements to and from the city or location from which the trip begins and ends). We shall bear no costs and incur no liability (damage or otherwise) associated with arranging travel that is not within the scope and costs of the advertised trip.
• Client hereby gives us permission to use any photographs or video footage taken during the trip in our marketing materials or website.
26. LIMITATION ON LIABILITY
OUR SERVICES ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” AND WE PROVIDE NO GUARANTIES OR WARRANTIES. TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, WE DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. OUR LIABILITY SHALL BE LIMITED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, AND UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE WILL WE BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY LOST PROFITS, REVENUES, INFORMATION, OR DATA, OR CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, INDIRECT, EXEMPLARY, PUNITIVE, OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THESE TERMS OR OUR SERVICES, EVEN IF WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OTHER LIABILITY PROTECTION AFFORDED TO US HEREIN OR OTHERWISE, OUR MAXIMUM AGGREGATE LIABILITY ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THESE TERMS OR OUR SERVICES SHALL NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT CLIENT HAS PAID US IN THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS. CLIENT SPECIFICALLY ACKNOWLEDGES THAT OUR LIABILITY FOR DAMAGES SUFFERED BY THEM ARE LIMITED AND LIQUIDATED AS SET FORTH HEREIN. CLIENT AGREES TO WAIVE ANY AND ALL PROTECTIONS AVAILABLE TO THEM UNDER APPLICABLE LAW, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, GENERAL RELEASE PROTECTIONS.
27. LEGAL ACTIONS
EXCEPT WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW, NO CLAIM OR LEGAL ACTION THAT EITHER PARTY MAY HAVE ARISING OUT OF THESE TERMS OR OUR SERVICES (WHETHER BASED ON AGREEMENT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) MAY BE BROUGHT MORE THAN ONE YEAR AFTER THE DATE THE CAUSE OF ACTION FOR SUCH CLAIM ACCRUED. IF, UPON CLIENT’S VIOLATION OF ANY PROVISION OF THESE TERMS, WE RETAIN AN ATTORNEY FOR LEGAL ACTION, CLIENT AGREES TO PAY ALL REASONABLE FEES AND COSTS (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, REASONABLE ATTORNEYS’ FEES).
28. SUCCESSORS AND ASSIGNS
These Terms shall inure to the benefit of and be binding upon us, Client and the parties’ respective affiliates, heirs, personal representatives, successors and assigns.
29. ERRORS AND OMISSIONS
We shall not be held responsible or liable for any error, omission, or unintentional misrepresentation that may appear in any travel brochure, travel documents, on our website, or herein.
31. WAIVER OF LIABILITY AGREEMENT
We will provide a Waiver of Liability Agreement to Client as a condition of booking. It is the responsibility of Client to complete, execute, and deliver this Waiver of Liability Agreement within one week of receipt. Client’s participation on the trip will be contingent upon our timely receipt of this Waiver of Liability Agreement. Failure to complete, execute, and deliver the Waiver of Liability Agreement within one week of receipt shall be cause for cancellation of Client’s reservation and will result in forfeiture of the deposit.
32. APPLICABLE LAW AND CHOICE OF FORUM
The headings in these Terms are for convenience of reference only and do not control or affect the contents of any provision contained herein.
34. UPDATING OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS
It may be necessary for us to amend or make revisions to these Terms. We have the right to amend/revise these Terms from time to time, within our sole and absolute discretion, and the revised version will be posted on our website. If these Terms are changed we will make commercially reasonable efforts to notify you and give you an opportunity to review the Terms, as amended and/or revised. Failure to object to any amended/revised Terms within three (3) calendar days after receiving notice shall constitute your full and complete acceptance of any changes.
INFORMATION WE COLLECT ABOUT YOU
For the purpose of providing travel services to you, we collect the following types of information from you:
HOW WE COLLECT YOUR INFORMATION
You directly provide us with the data we collect. We collect information from you when you:
HOW WE USE YOUR INFORMATION
We collect, use, and disclose your information (including Personal Identification Information) either directly or through our third-party booking/travel partners, for the purposes of offering or booking travel services on your behalf. For example, information such as your name, age, address, phone number, e-mail address, emergency contact information, passport information, medical information (where required), insurance details, nationality, residency, nutrition preferences, professional licensure information, trip evaluations, travel and accommodation preferences, comments you provide us, trip destination information, and payment-related information may be collected, used and disclosed by us to provide you with trip information, book flights and accommodations, process payments, and provide similar travel services.
If you book a trip with us, we may rely on local third-party providers. Please be aware that we may be required to provide certain information (including Personal Identification Information) to such third-party providers for the purposes of delivering your travel experience. This may include providing certain personal information to third-party providers for the purposes of securing your permits, obtaining food to accommodate dietary restrictions, ensuring the safety and security of passengers and products, complying with laws, regulations, and immigration requirements, etc.
We may also use your information (including Personal Identification Information), such as your name, address, phone number and email address, to send you newsletters, advertisements, marketing materials, surveys and other information related to our products and services, or the products and services of our third-party partners.
HOW YOUR INFORMATION IS PROTECTED
We maintain reasonable administrative, technical and physical safeguards in an effort to protect against unauthorized access, use, modification and disclosure of your information while it is in our custody and control. You have the right to access the information we have collected from you. You can restrict the use of your information and request its deletion from our records by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EUROPEAN RESIDENTS: TRANSFERS OF DATA OUTSIDE EUROPE
Please note that if you are resident in the UK, European Union or European Economic Area (“EEA”) we may hold information we collect from you (including Personal Identity Information) outside of the EEA. For instance, your information may be held by us in the United States (which has been recognized by the European Commission as having an adequate level of privacy protection).
We may also need to transfer your information (including Personal Identity Information) to travel suppliers and other third-parties outside of the EEA. You hereby consent to such transfer despite knowledge that countries outside of the EEA may not have the same level of privacy laws as exist in the UK, Canada and the EEA.
LEGAL REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION
In response to a legal request (like a search warrant, court order or subpoena) we will share your information (including Personal Identity Information) with the requesting party if we have a good faith belief that the law requires us to do so. This may include responding to legal requests from jurisdictions outside of the United States or EEA when we have a good-faith belief that the response is required by law in that jurisdiction, affects citizens in that jurisdiction, and is consistent with internationally recognized standards. We will also share your personal information when we have a good-faith belief it is necessary to: detect, prevent and address fraud, violations of our terms or policies, or other harmful or illegal activity; to protect ourselves (including our rights and property), you or others, including as part of investigations or regulatory inquiries; or to prevent death or imminent bodily harm.