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Booking excursions independent of holiday company?

Leyland, United...
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Booking excursions independent of holiday company?

Hi

My family and I are travelling to Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda in August with Thomas Cook (an English travel agent). They obviously have the welcome meeting the morning after arrival which is where they sell the excursions. Do we have to book our excursions through Thomas Cook Rep or can we book with whomever we want?

I only ask as someone mentioned you are not insured if you go on a non-travel company trip? Also another poster mentioned it is cheaper to book yourself as long as the chaps are in the lobby as these folk are genuine as apposed to others who may be based on the beach etc.

Another thing that bothers me is that the tours get the money I have paid instead of a small percentage and Thomas Cook getting a large chunk.

Any help?

Chester, United...
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1. Re: Booking excursions independent of holiday company?

Hi

You can book with anyone you wish

Who is your travel insurance with and if TC do they impose any restrictions???

The people TC use should have been vetted / check out by them but then again you will find that other companies will sell the same excursions

Punta Cana...
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2. Re: Booking excursions independent of holiday company?

and booking with the representative does not guarantee that everything of a tour runs full legally anyways, they sell to the highest commsision bidder and nothing else matters.

where ever a excursion/activity, which you are interested in, is available to be booked by the touroutfitter itself, book it with the outfitter himself, as you could never get the better rate nor any better service than with the owner of an activity/excursion etc.

happy travels

Mike

coventry,england
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3. Re: Booking excursions independent of holiday company?

Hi,we have travelled a lot and started by booking excursions through our travel agents mainly because we thought they would already be vetted.We never had any problems but we have met some people on holidays that encountered problems with tour operater excurssions.They try their best to make sure all their operaters are well insured but some bad ones do get through.My advice is to make sure that who ever you are insured with covers you for any and all situations,it might be a bit more expensive but its best to be safe than sorry.I see you are from the uk,i always book now with Tesco insurance, they are really good,i have in the past claimed once with them which was for a flight delay,i went shopping to Tesco the day I got back and just went into the Tesco bank section told them my problem,they got on the phone and my money went into my account then and there,excellant service.In comparison I went to st lucia last year with Virgin,i took their insurance and we were delayed on this flight (24hrs),however after about 5 letters and phone calls,and even quoting the eu ruling on flight delays virgin wont pay out,giving up with them now.So off to Riu palace bavaro in oct and yes took out my travel insurance with Tesco.Hope this helps.

Mags

Punta Cana...
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4. Re: Booking excursions independent of holiday company?

"bd operators" Never get thru, you ask for the apropriate papers, get them, check their vaildity and find out they are legally by the rules/legit or not. no one can "get thru" on such.

it is simple, it simply goes to the highest profit variation, Always, nothing else matters.

happy travels

Mike

Leyland, United...
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5. Re: Booking excursions independent of holiday company?

Thanks everyone.

My policy is through my bank, just checked the documents and we are covered for everything from safari to war games with eye protection! ha ha.

So I think we are going to take Mike's advice and book independently.

Mike, any advice on where we will find these outfitters and what to ask for, (papers etc) before we book?

coventry,england
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624 posts
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6. Re: Booking excursions independent of holiday company?

Hi,i hope your bank is not Lloyds I have banked with them for over 40yrs i had the platinum account which gave me free travel insurance,credit card cover,AA cover ect.ect,.However I had a bad stomach infection in Margarita and had to call out a doctor who charged me £150 in total.I put a claim in with Lloyds and the hassle they gave me I just cancelled the claim and also the account,Lloyds are well known for not paying out claims,sorry to scare monger, its so easy to go with banks because they are big institutes,but that's how they make their money.I find going on sites like Martin Lewis who is excellent for the consumer is the best way to go,he knows everything.Go onto his site and you will see what he thinks about these bank deals.However saying that go with what you feel comfortable.

Mags

MTL
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7. Re: Booking excursions independent of holiday company?

@ Hevaleva

Which excursions were you considering to go on so TA members can provide you with websites or contacts to book directly with the outfitter?

If it is simply a "standard large group tour" for instance Saona Island 1 way speedboat 1 way catamaran they literally sell those trips everywhere from online, to tour reps, to pool/nautical/beach area and all for different prices. I've seen different websites vary from 75$ to 105$.

For "specific" trips as Mike said above it is always best to book directly with the outfitter as you would get the best price as well as know "exactly" what your getting.

So if you can let us know the excursions you were considering the many helpful TA members will be glad to assist you.

coventry,england
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624 posts
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8. Re: Booking excursions independent of holiday company?

Hi,again,

Further to my last post,should have added this, I agree with mike, the big operators abide by the rules and regulations and stick to the law.The operaters I am on about are the ones that just pull up on the beach ( you get them everywhere ) ie,the jetski guys.These are the guys who have their own jetskis and just patrol the beaches plugging for tourists to have a ride,they charge cheaper than the legal operaters but are not insured.And I cant believe you wont get them in DR,i have travelled all over the carribean and they are local lads just out to make a buck,so just be aware.You will also get drivers that will take you on tours cheaper than legal ones,yet again beware they are not insured.Mags

MTL
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9. Re: Booking excursions independent of holiday company?

@mags,

Where did you see jetskis (seadoos) in Punta Cana? They're banned in PUJ

coventry,england
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624 posts
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10. Re: Booking excursions independent of holiday company?

Hi Jim,

I have never been to DR yet I am generalizing on my experience of many Caribbean trips,we are visiting DR in October staying at the Riu Palace Bavaro.I value posts by locals such as yourself and Mike and guys like yourselfs are invaluable to forums,i am just making people aware of locals that MAY flaunt the rules and put people in uncompromising positions i.e, illegal operators.I have encountered them all over the carribean especially local lads on jetskis,if this dosent happen in DR then I am impressed.

Mags