Terms and Conditions
1. PRICE AND PAYMENT TERMS
Traveler certifies that the traveler is an authorized user of the credit card or financial institution, and will not dispute the payment with the credit card company or financial institution; so long as the payment corresponds to the terms indicated in these terms and conditions.
Payments made by other individuals or organizations on traveler’s behalf are governed by the same terms and conditions as individual traveler payments.
Payments are non-refundable. Only if applicable, any refunds or returned payments are usually issued using the original form of payment on the account.
Prices are shown in U.S. dollars, and are based on a number of factors including current currency rates, minimum number of travelers, tour inclusions, and the date of registration. EFFY reserves the right to alter prices at any time prior to final payment and without prior notice if circumstances so warrant. Any devaluation or revaluation of currencies may affect the published price.
Additional factors that could affect prices include, but are not limited to, increases in government-imposed fees and taxes (which can be adjusted even after the final payment), tariffs and fuel costs, as well as transportation or vendor-related increases due to group-imposed schedule changes or delays.
If a traveler chooses to cancel due to the increase in price, all cancellation fees will apply as outlined in the tour documents.
EFFY reserves the right to cancel a traveler for non-payment. Additionally, EFFY reserves the right to charge service fees for late payments, attempted payments made with insufficient funds, reinstated reservations, and late registrations.
2. CANCELLATION TERMS
Payments are non-refundable. Check tour documents for any specific schedule or exclusions.
All cancellations are subject to cancellation fees. Once a deposit or partial/full payment has been made, cancellations will only be accepted in writing. Cancellation terms will be applied based on the date the written cancellation is received.
All non-refundable amounts are non-transferrable, and replacements cannot be made. A name change is considered a cancellation and is subject to additional fees.
If a traveler is removed from the tour by the group leader (if applicable) for any reason, all cancellation fees will apply.
State Department, CDC & Other Agencies Travel Advisories and Warnings
From time to time the State Department of the United States, the Center for Disease Control, and other government agencies and departments issue travel advisories or warnings for one or more of the destinations that may be included on tour. We encourage you to contact these agencies directly to obtain the most current information. EFFY cannot change the cancellation terms and conditions based on the issuance of any such warning or advisory or the occurrence of any act of terror, health, or other incident, in one or more of the places this tour is scheduled to visit. All cancellation fees remain in full force and effect, regardless of the issuance of any travel advisory or warning.
Notwithstanding, EFFY may cancel or reschedule a tour by reason of any event or occurrence which it deems to create a concern for travel safety, or if any major component of a tour (i.e., transportation or accommodation) shall be canceled as a result of such event. These events can include, but are not limited to, war, threat of war, civil strife, terrorist activity and its consequences or the threat of such activity, riot, health and safety concerns including but not limited to a pandemic or epidemic, the act of any government or other national or local authority including port or river authorities, industrial dispute, lock closure, natural or nuclear disaster, fire, chemical or biological disaster and adverse weather, sea, ice and river conditions, and all similar events outside of EFFY’ or the supplier(s) control. All cancellation fees remain in full force and effect, regardless of the occurrence of any of the above-referenced. At its sole discretion, EFFY may refund traveler payments less non-refundable vendor deposits, and less an EFFY fee of 20% of the tour price.
3. TRAVEL PROTECTION
EFFY strongly recommends the purchase of travel protection from third party insurers to help protect the traveler’s investment in the tour, and to help provide certain medical coverage while traveling. Protection plans help provide coverage for unexpected circumstances. Terms vary, depending on the travel protection carrier chosen, and the terms of the plan purchased. Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage is available for purchase.* Certain plan benefits are available only if the plan is purchased by a certain date after booking. We strongly encourage travelers to purchase a plan at the time of the initial tour deposit for maximum coverage options. Travel protection premiums are non-refundable 10 days after purchase. Premium will not be refunded within the 10 days if the tour has already departed or a claim is filed.
* CFAR coverage is 75% of the non-refundable tour cost. Tour cancellation must be made 48 hours or more prior to scheduled departure. CFAR coverage must be purchased at the time of standard plan purchase and within 10 days of your initial tour deposit. This benefit is only available to US Residents but is not available to residents of New York State.
If travel protection is not included in the price of your package or offered as an option, information on travel protection can be obtained by contacting Travel Insured International, toll-free at 1.800.243.3174. Specifically, ask for one of their retail plans and provide the Customer Care Rep with #47907.
Travel protection disclaimer: This document contains only highlights of the plans. The plans contain insurance benefits underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company. The plans also contain non-insurance Travel Assistance Services that are provided by an independent organization. Coverages may vary and not all coverage is available in all jurisdictions. Travel protection plans are only available to United States residents.
4. IDENTIFICATION, PASSPORTS AND VISAS
When traveling within the United States of America: REAL ID Required
Travelers must travel with REAL ID compliant driver licenses. For a comprehensive list of all states and their compliance status, refer to the homeland security website: https://www.dhs.gov/real-id.
- Travelers who have driver’s licenses issued by a state that is not yet compliant with REAL ID and that has not received an extension will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel. Please see TSA’s website for a list of acceptable forms of identification.
- Travelers who have licenses issued by a state that is compliant or that has an extension to become compliant with REAL ID requirements may continue to use their licenses as usual.
- TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the U.S. (however it is still preferable to have a birth certificate copy, school ID or driver’s license.) The companion will need acceptable identification.
When traveling outside of the United States of America
- A valid U.S. passport book is required of all travelers. Passports must be valid for six months following the return date of the tour otherwise boarding or entry into the destination may be denied. Travelers should allow for sufficient processing time when applying for a passport.
- Traveler must provide EFFY with a copy of the inside page of your passport (showing your name and photo) as soon as possible.
- Visas: are required for certain International destinations. Travelers are responsible to understand visa requirements and pay associated costs. EFFY is not responsible to advise traveler on passport or Visa requirements or any consequences of not having proper identification for travel.
- Non-U.S. passport holders are responsible to research and obtain proper passports, visas, permits and related documentation in order to travel. There are no refunds for travelers who do not have proper documentation.
- Minors (under the age of 18) traveling with only one parent may need notarized written consent from the absent parent. Minors interested in traveling without their parents should contact the embassy to address admissibility questions. A list of embassies and entry requirements can be obtained at the Department of State website, or by calling the particular embassy by phone.
- When crossing to Canada by land: Minors must present evidence of citizenship, such as a government-issued birth certificate, a passport book, or passport card. An enhanced driver’s license is also accepted. The child’s parent or guardian should also have proof of the child’s identity. In most cases, the same document, a birth certificate or passport, can be used to establish both citizenship and identity. Adults must have a US passport book, passport card, or Enhanced driver’s license. Note that entry will be denied for anyone with a criminal record (including misdemeanors or alcohol-related driving offenses).
The itinerary, as presented in EFFY brochures, marketing materials, and/or during presentations, is tentative and represents the intended tour. Itineraries are subject to confirmations from many organizations. EFFY may need to alter specified events, dates and/or venues to better fit the confirmed itinerary. EFFY, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to alter or cancel the itinerary as it deems necessary or advisable, and is not responsible for reimbursement of any excursions or tours.
Travel Documents: EFFY sends final travel documents approximately 10 – 14 days prior to departure.
Partial Package: Tour packages are offered only as described at the stated price. It is not possible to book a portion of the tour and there is no right to a refund for any unused services.
Gratuities: Please refer to tour offer to ascertain whether gratuities are included, and pre-departure documents for tipping guidelines by destination.
- International Group Tours: gratuities for the tour manager, drivers and guides are generally not included unless otherwise stated in tour inclusions.
- Educational Domestic Tours: gratuities to the tour manager, drivers and guides are generally included.
- Cruise travel: Policies for staff tips vary by cruise line. See the tour offer for specific details.
- Independent travel: Gratuities are generally not included.
EFFY reserves the right to decline, accept, or retain any participant on any of its tours at any time before or during a tour if, in its sole discretion, it deems accepting or retaining any such participant as being detrimental to the tour. In the event any participant is removed from a tour, EFFY’ only obligation is to refund that person the portion of the payment allocable to unused services.
Travelers must be medically and physically fit for the tour. Group tours often require extensive walking over long distances and uneven terrain, climbing steps over multiple levels, and long periods of standing. International tours are often not wheelchair accessible and are not suitable for motorized scooters, walkers, and canes. For domestic tours, EFFY will make reasonable attempts to accommodate special needs. At the time of booking, the traveler must notify EFFY in writing of any medical conditions or equipment for EFFY’ evaluation of feasibility.
Should any special assistance be required, the traveler agrees to bring a companion capable and willing to assist the traveler.
EFFY cannot be responsible for accommodating any food allergies, or dietary requirements and restrictions, and is not responsible for any problems associated with the same. All such matters are the sole responsibility of the traveler and must be discussed with food and drink vendors while on tour.
7. AIR TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION
The number of connections, length of layovers, preference for particular seat assignments, and all conditions surrounding air travel cannot be guaranteed and may change before departure. Accordingly, if you require specific air travel needs and are not flexible concerning group air travel, you should consider purchasing a land only package and securing your own air arrangements.
- Deviations: are not allowed on group air tickets. If you want to travel on different dates, you must travel land only (see topic below) and purchase your own airfare.
- Seat assignments: please note that group seats are assigned “at the discretion of the airline,” Specific seat assignments cannot be guaranteed (including seating next to your travel companions.) Seat numbers will not be advised until check-in at the airport. If you require specific seats, EFFY suggests you book the tour package as land only and arrange your own airfare. Note that ’bulkhead’ and ’exit row’ seats are assigned by the carrier at the airport.
- Mileage Credit: it is common for carriers to give partial or no credit on group flights. Please confirm your frequent flyer number when checking in at the airport to ensure any eligible miles will be recorded. EFFY will be unable to add frequent flyer numbers after tour departure.
- Group air not upgradable: group air is usually economy class and is not upgradable to first class, business, or economy plus. (See land only topic.)
- Group air may not operate: if a minimum number of passengers is not reached, EFFY may drop the group flights and passengers will be refunded and instructed to purchase flights on their own.
Domestic Air to gateway city: Some International packages are sold with air to and from a Gateway City, such as New York. In those instances, it is the responsibility of the traveler to purchase domestic air to the Gateway City. Travelers will be notified of the name of the exact Gateway City about 60 days prior to departure. Please do not buy domestic flights beforehand.
Those electing to make their own airfare arrangements will travel “LAND ONLY.” In this case, traveler must notify EFFY no less than 120 days before departure, be responsible for meeting the group at a specified location and time on the tour and agree to the Land Only Terms. Land only travelers are responsible for the arrangement and cost of transfers to and from the airports. Do not purchase independent airfare tickets until notified in writing that the minimum group size has been met and the tour will definitely operate. This will be provided no later than 60 days prior to departure.
When group airfare is not included, airport transfers at destination are not included in the package. The traveler is responsible to arrange such a transfer to meet the rest of the group. Transfers can be very costly, in excess of $500 USD one way for certain destinations.
Flight cancellations and delays: EFFY is not be responsible for any loss incurred by travelers due to a canceled flight or other means of transportation. Please investigate purchasing a travel protection plan to potentially cover any type of loss associated with cancelled airfare or other transportation.
Luggage & Personal Property
Luggage is the traveler’s responsibility throughout the tour. EFFY is not responsible for any of the traveler’s personal property while on the tour, whether lost, stolen, or damaged. Costs associated with retrieving and/or fixing personal items is the traveler’s responsibility.
Checked baggage: most airlines charge one-way fees ranging from free to $75 per bag or more. Each traveler is limited to one checked bag. There can be no exceptions. For most airlines, the one checked bag is limited to 50 lbs. and 62 inches (length + width + height). If these specifications are exceeded, additional charges may be collected by the airline at the airport. Please refer to the carrier for exact charges and baggage dimensions. When traveling within Europe, it is common for the weight limit to be 20 kilograms, which is 44 US pounds.
Carry-on baggage: a small carry-on that will fit under an airline seat and/or on the small parcel racks of the motor coach (8”x18”) is allowed. For air tours, only small amounts of liquid, gels, lotions, aerosols or similar are allowed. Powder-like substances need to be packed in containers smaller than 12oz (350ml) and may be subject to additional screening. Larger amounts of powder need to be placed in checked luggage. Refer to the carrier for exact regulations.
Porterage: unless specified otherwise, porterage is not included in the tour package.
Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the motor coach, aircraft, in traveler’s luggage, or on your person. A violation can result in five years imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 USD or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives, and radioactive materials.
EFFY reserves the right to substitute a similar category hotel without prior notice.
Rooms: tour prices are per person according to a room type:
- “Single” occupancy is one person in a room and a “Double” is two persons in one room.
- “Triple” and “Quad” occupancy are three and four persons in one room respectively.
Room share: if a traveler elects to share a room, but a roommate cannot be arranged or a roommate cancels, the traveler agrees to pay the higher price associated with the reduced occupancy.
Educational tour room assignment: the group leader is responsible for finalizing all rooming assignments, and the traveler agrees to pay the occupancy rate associated with such assignment.
Cruise ship staterooms: The cabin prices advertised are “cruise only” and are based upon double occupancy, except for “singles.” Unless otherwise stated, the price does not include airfare, ground transportation, onboard purchases, purchased drinks onboard or excursions. The cost of 3rd and 4th travelers in a stateroom varies depending on cabin category.
Swimming: Some hotels utilized on the tour may have swimming pools. Not all hotels provide a lifeguard. EFFY strongly recommends there be no swimming when a lifeguard is not physically present at the pool. Any such swimming is at the sole risk of the traveler. EFFY is not responsible for death or injury occasioned while someone is utilizing a hotel pool or pool facilities, whether or not a lifeguard is present.
9. ADDITIONAL KEY TERMS
EFFY may take photographs or videos of its tours and tour participants. The participant grants EFFY permission to do so, and for EFFY to use such for promotional or commercial use, without payment of any fees or royalties.
Errors and Omissions
While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information in our brochures, on our reservation forms, on the EFFY website or communicated by EFFY personnel, errors or omissions are possible. If a mistake is made in billing, EFFY reserves the right to correct the invoice and travelers will be responsible for proper payment.
Changes in any of the terms and conditions can be made only in writing signed by an officer of EFFY.
Traveler agrees that any dispute concerning, relating or referring to this Agreement, the brochure or any other literature concerning my tour, or the tour itself, shall be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§1-16, either according to the then existing Commercial Rules of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or pursuant to the Comprehensive Arbitration Rules & Procedures of the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (JAMS). Such proceedings will be governed by substantive (but not procedural) Michigan law and will take place in Detroit, MI. The arbitrator and not any federal, state, or local court or agency, shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, conscionability, or formation of this contract, including but not limited to, any claim that all or any part of this contract is void or voidable. Traveler understands that by agreeing to these terms and conditions, traveler waives right to a trial by jury.
10. LIABILITY RELEASE
- EFFY and its employees, shareholders, officers and directors, and the sponsoring Organization(s) and Group Leaders (collectively, EFFY) do not own or operate any entity which provides goods or services for your tour, including lodging facilities, transportation companies, local ground operators, including, without limitation, various entities which may utilize the EFFY name, guides, sightseeing companies, entertainment, food or drink service providers, equipment suppliers. As a result, EFFY is not responsible for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of such person or entity. In addition, EFFY is not responsible for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any other person or entity it does not own or control.
- Without limitation, EFFY is not liable for any financial, physical or other direct, indirect, consequential, or incidental damage, injury, death, loss, accident, delay, inconvenience or irregularity of any kind which may be occasioned by reason of any act or omission beyond its control, including, without limitation any negligent or willful act, failure to act, breach of contract or violation of local law or regulation of any third party such as a cruise line, airline, train, hotel, bus, taxi, van, restaurant, attraction, local ground handler or guide, whether or not it uses the EFFY name, financial default or insolvency of any supplier which is to, or does supply any goods or services for this tour. You agree that the stated cancellation terms will be binding upon you in the event of any of the above circumstances.
- Similarly, EFFY is not responsible for any financial, physical or other loss, injury, death or inconvenience due to delay or changes in schedule, overbooking of accommodation, default of any third party, attacks or bites by animals, insects or pests, injury or death while on activities sponsored by lodging facilities or by any third party, sickness, the lack of appropriate medical care, evacuation to same, if necessary, weather, labor activities or strikes, acts of God or government, acts of terrorism, or the threat thereof, force majeure, war, quarantine, pandemic, epidemic, or the threat thereof, criminal activity, or any other cause beyond its control. In addition, EFFY is released from its own negligence for participants over 18 years old. EFFY is not responsible for any loss incurred by the traveler, including without limitation lost days of the scheduled cruise/tour, due to strikes, acts of God, cancelled flights or other means and modes of transportation. You agree that the stated cancellation terms will be binding upon you in the event of any of the above circumstances.
- Should sponsoring organization(s), any group leader, speaker or special guest be unable to participate as scheduled or at all, reasonable commercial efforts will be made to secure a substitute. Regardless of the participation of any group leader, speaker or special guest the tour will proceed. By signing this form, you agree the stated cancellation fees will be binding upon you regardless of whether any group leader, speaker or special guest is able to participate.
11. COVID RELEASE
I understand that EFFY is not liable for any exposure to the COVID-19 virus caused by misinformation or the health history provided by each client. I agree, on behalf of myself and any minor child/children for whom I have the capacity to contract, to the following:
- I understand the hazards of the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”) and am familiar with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) symptoms and guidelines regarding COVID-19. I acknowledge and understand that the circumstances regarding COVID-19 are changing rapidly and that, accordingly, the CDC guidelines are regularly modified and updated, and I accept full responsibility for familiarizing myself with the most recent updates.
- Notwithstanding the risks associated with COVID-19, I willingly choose to participate on this tour.
- I agree to answer and fully comply with any health questionnaires as required before and during the tour.
- I understand that if I or any household member: (a) experience COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days of departure or while on the tour, or (b) are diagnosed with COVID-19, are knowingly exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have traveled to an area considered a “hot-spot” for COVID-19 infections within 30 days of departure, I will need to withdraw my participation on the tour, at my own expense and that there will be no refund for the tour or any unused services and that there will be no reimbursement for any additional costs that I incur to withdraw from the tour.
- I acknowledge and agree to fully assume the risk of illness or death related to COVID-19, any other illness, arising from my participating in the tour and hereby RELEASE, WAIVE, DISCHARGE, AND COVENANT NOT TO SUE (on behalf of myself and any minor children for whom I have the capacity contract) EFFY, and tour sponsoring organizations, their owners and directors and assigns from any liability (physical or financial) related to exposure or resulting illness of COVID-19, or any illness, which might occur as a result of my participating in the tour.
- I recognize, acknowledge and agree that I and/or my family members maybe subject to mandatory or recommended quarantines for a period of time; be prevented from being present at school, place of employment or from working for a period of time or be unable to return home for a period of time due to travel restrictions and I will be solely responsible for any additional costs associated therewith.
IN SIGNING THIS AGREEMENT, I ACKNOWLEDGE AND REPRESENT THAT I have read the foregoing Wavier of Liability and Hold Harmless Agreement, understand it and sign it voluntarily as my own free act and deed; no oral representations, statements, or inducements, apart from the foregoing written agreement, have been made; I am at least eighteen (18) years of age and fully competent; and I execute this Agreement for full, adequate and complete consideration fully intending to be bound by same.