Cymraeg | Log in

Home Trips Safety Booking Contact About us

Frequently Asked Questions

We bet you've got loads of questions to ask us, and you're quite right to do so. Please give us a call and we'll be happy to help. However, you might be able to save yourself the phone call by reading these frequently asked questions. Please do take a moment to read these notes, even if you are an experienced Group Leader.

Either click on the questions below or scroll down to read through all the helpful information.

What is included in my tour or day trip price?

For a tour (two or more days) this price includes coach travel to your destination, use of the coach while at your destination (subject to drivers' hours regulations), ferry crossings, accommodation, full itinerary planning service and fully comprehensive travel insurance. The day trip price includes coach travel to your destination, use of the coach while at your destination (subject to drivers' hours regulations), ferry crossings and the full itinerary planning service. Standard coaches are included in our basic price on all tours. If you wish to upgrade your coach to an executive coach (with toilet, PA system, television etc), this can be done at an additional cost per paying passenger. Coaches with air conditioning can also be booked at an additional cost, subject to availability. Please note that all tours to long distance destinations such as Berlin, Barcelona and destinations in Italy include an executive coach as standard, however, air conditioning is not always fitted as standard.

How many free staff places do we get?

We offer free places on a ratio of 1:8 on all coach tours, and 1:10 on day trips. Please note, free places are for supervising adults only. They may not be used as free places for students or staff children and you must ensure that you have sufficient adult supervision.

Do family members of supervising staff get a discount?

Yes. The party organiser's partner and up to two children can each travel with the group at 50% of the paying passenger cost.

Why does the price go up if the number of travellers decreases?

It's to do with the price of your travel. The coach and ferry cost the same, regardless of how many or how few people are travelling, so the price per payer needs to cover this. The more paying travellers, the lower the individual cost.

I have to organise a parents' evening to advertise the trip. Can you help me?

We will send you as much information as you need to advertise the benefits of the trip and ensure parents have confidence in the running of the trip. Where possible, we will be glad to attend your parent's evening and answer any questions they have directly.

When do I need to send in deposits?

In order to secure your preferred dates, a deposit is needed as soon as is practically possible so that any provisional bookings made for your group can be confirmed. As soon as you've collected the initial deposit from the pupils, it's a good idea to confirm the booking with us. However, please let us know if you are having difficulty collecting them in and we'll do our best to help you.

I haven't got many positive responses. I think I might have to cancel the trip. What do I do?

Give us a call. There may be a reason why you are not getting many takers. There may be something we can change. We may even be able to organise a joint visit with another school to keep the cost down. Please don't cancel the trip before speaking to us first.

Once the deposits are sent in, can I add others?

The more, the merrier! If your coach isn't full, it will reduce the price per paying passenger if you add more people. Just send in another cheque with a note of your tour details and we'll confirm the outstanding balance.

Do I need to appoint a deputy Group Leader?

Yes, please! And please keep them informed during your planning process. If for any reason you are unable to travel or complete the planning of the trip it is essential that we have an alternative contact number for someone who knows about the trip. Likewise, if your deputy leader cannot travel, please inform us. However, we would like to deal with one person only and this is usually the Group Leader. This limits the possibility of misunderstandings.

If the children's parents have any questions, can they contact you directly?

Please do not give our contact details to your students and parents. We are not shirking our responsibility, but you are our customer and we would like to deal solely with you. Again, this limits the possibility of misunderstandings and prevents us from having to answer the same questions forty-four times for each trip!

I have students with special requirements. What do I do?

Please let us know as soon as possible, particularly if you have passengers with mobility difficulties. We need to know if these passengers require a coach or bedrooms with disabled access, or whether the party requires extra adult supervisors. That way we can endeavour to make the journey and accommodation suitable for everyone. It would be helpful to know if any of the group have medical problems that require medicines to be kept refrigerated, or if allergies are so severe that some attractions (particularly bakeries and chocolate shops) should be avoided. For less serious dietary requirements, you will receive a form nearer your departure so we can inform the accommodation or restaurants of these.

Do all the passengers need to have an EHIC (the new E111)?

The NHS advises that all travellers to other European countries are registered or have a European Health Insurance Card even if you have taken out travel insurance. All passengers should be registered on the NHS system, which can be done either by phone on 0845 606 2030, at the Post Office or online at the NHS website but travellers do not necessarily need to be in possession of the card to go on the trip.

Do I need a collective passport?

That is your decision; it is optional if you are confident your group will all be responsible for their own passports. Some people prefer to take the matter into their own hands so they can be absolutely sure everyone will be covered. Please note, the collective passport is only for travellers up to 17 years old.

Will Hwyl a Fflag organise the collective passport for me?

Unfortunately, no. This is one of the things only you can do. Applications have to be made online at the Passport Service website where you can download the form and also find general information on the collective passport and the application process. Handy hint: If passengers are travelling on individual passports, make sure you have photocopies of each one as this will make life much easier if a passport is lost. Please note, it is your responsibility to ensure all or your group have the correct passports/visas before you travel. This includes babies and young children. Hwyl a Fflag cannot be held responsible for anyone being refused access to transport or entry into any country.

I have international students in my party. Can they go on the collective passport?

Only British citizens can travel on the collective passport. The number for queries regarding visas for overseas students travelling in your party is 01633 473780. This is also the number for general enquiries. It is also recommended that you contact the relevant embassy of the country you are visiting or travelling through for advice.

How do we cross the channel?

The standard ferry crossing is Dover-Calais. On tours to Brittany, the standard price includes long-sea crossing but for all other tours (i.e. Normandy) there is a supplement to be paid if you choose a long-sea crossing. Alternatively you may opt for the Channel Tunnel, also at a small supplement.

How do I make a payment?

After collecting in as many deposits or other payments, it is best to send Hwyl a Fflag a single cheque from a school/trip account. Inform payers to make their cheques out to this account and not to Hwyl a Fflag directly. Please refer to our booking conditions for further payment details.

A passenger has pulled out of the trip after paying. Can we claim the money back?

If the person has only paid the deposit, we're sorry but we cannot offer a refund, regardless of the circumstances and this should be made clear when you are advertising the trip to your students. However, the passenger can always be replaced by another if you have other pupils who would like to go on the trip. After paying the full amount you may be covered by the insurance policy, particularly in the case of illness. If you have already received your policy details, please contact the insurance company quoting the reference number. A claim can be made after you have returned from your trip, but it is advisable to call before you travel to make sure the person is covered, as pre-existing conditions are not normally covered. It is unlikely that a refund will be given if the person simply decides they do not want to travel.

Someone has dropped out, but I have a student in reserve that could take their place. Is this possible?

On coach tours, names of passengers can be added or changed up until the day prior to departure. However, as the leader of the party, you must ensure that every passenger has a valid passport to travel as they may be denied travel by the ferry company without the appropriate documents.

What meals do I get included in the accommodation?

You should decide at the time of making a booking whether you require meals in the hotel. Half-board accommodation starts with the evening meal on the day of arrival and ends with breakfast on the day of departure. Full board also starts with the evening meal on the day of arrival and ends with lunch (most probably a packed lunch) on the day of departure. Please note that meals whilst you are travelling are not normally included, unless specified on your itinerary.

Will I need tickets or vouchers for anything?

We aim to pre-book everything for your group and wherever possible we will try and organise ticketless services for you. There may be some excursions, however, that require tickets and we will aim to send these to you with your final itinerary pack, which you will receive as soon as possible after your final payment is received.

How are rooms allocated?

Students are allocated rooms with 2,3,4,5 or 6 beds in a room. In some places this may include bunk beds. Hotels usually require from you the breakdown of the party, i.e. the number of girls, boys and male and female adults. The accommodation can then produce a list of the rooms allocated and from this you will be able to organise the sleeping arrangements for your party prior to arrival. Adults are usually accommodated in twin rooms. Where there is a single or odd number of teachers, there will be one single room. Married couples are entitled to a double room.

Do we need to bring towels or sleeping bags?

Not all accommodation centres supply towels. Normally, linen is provided and sleeping bags are not necessary, but it's a good idea to bring a towel each.

How much money should group members be advised to take?

We advise students to take a small amount of spending money with them, but never to carry all of it with them. You might like to leave it to the parents' discretion or suggest a suitable amount per day.

How much can we use the coach whilst on our trip?

Please inform us as soon as possible before departure of any use of the coach you intend to make whilst on your trip. This will help us to plan a safe itinerary and ensure that the coach company has allowed for all the activities you wish to do whilst away. If your proposed itinerary is not possible because of the European drivers' regulations, we will do our utmost to find another way of making the visit possible.

Will the coach have a DVD/video/CD player?

If you have booked an executive coach, or an executive coach is included in your tour price, the coach company will endeavour to ensure the equipment is working. However, due to the delicate nature of this equipment, we cannot guarantee there will not be problems with it.

Can we make changes to our itinerary during the trip?

Drivers have to strictly adhere to their legal driver's hours. This is for the safety of everyone on board. You may consult your driver and make changes to your planned itinerary whilst on your tour and the driver should cooperate within the legal drivers hours. They will tell you what they can and can't do. Don't forget, it's better to be safe than sorry. If you try to fit in too much and leave no leeway for hold-ups on the road, your driver may run out of hours, leaving your party stranded!!

What do I do if something goes wrong on the trip?

Before you travel, we will give you our 24-hour emergency phone number. You will also be given the insurance policy details and a number for the insurance company. If an accident occurs in the EU, resulting in passengers needing to be taken to hospital, please do so immediately, ensuring you take the injured person's passport and EHIC card. Claims can be made after your return. If your party is affected by theft or criminal damage, you must obtain a crime reference number from the local police station. Staff at your accommodation should be able to assist you (unless you are in transit).

It's not an emergency, but I'm not completely satisfied with an aspect of my trip. What should I do?

Please call us during office hours if you are not entirely satisfied, even if it's just a small thing. There may be something we can do about it. We'd much rather you contact us and give us the opportunity to make things better, than have you return feeling unsatisfied with your experience. Our office hours are 9.00am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday. If you would like to talk to us outside these hours and you think we can help put the problem right straight away, please feel free to ring the emergency number until a reasonable hour. However, the number is best kept free for real emergencies at night-time. Please also be aware that standards abroad may vary from the UK, even though the venue complies with local and national standards, but please feel free to inform us of anything that concerns you.

What happens if my group is responsible for damaging the accommodation?

Your insurance does not cover you for damage to your accommodation carried out by members of your party, whether accidental or deliberate. Damages must be paid to the hotelier in full, or an arrangement needs to be made between you and them. Hwyl a Fflag will not be held responsible in this case. In some cases, the accommodation may ask for a deposit or credit card details on arrival, which will be the responsibility of the group leader.

Is there anything I need to make my passengers aware of?

1. Please note that it is not a legal requirement for French hotels to have maps on the back of each bedroom door showing the escape route in the event of fire. Please make sure that all members of your party are aware of the location of the nearest plan on the corridor and that they are all familiar with the nearest escape route to their bedroom.

2. It is always a good idea for each child to carry a business card or leaflet with the hotel details, just in case anyone gets lost and needs to find their own way back. Make sure all your passengers know the name of the hotel.

3. It is your responsibility to make sure that all pupils show respect towards all services provided to them during their tour. In particular, the group should be instructed to be quiet at night. We suggest you set a curfew for pupils to remain quiet and in their own rooms.

4. Food and drink purchased outside the accommodation is generally not permitted and may even be a breach of local regulations. Please ask your group members to be courteous to the hoteliers and not break this, or any other, house rule.

The Group leader's role:

We hope you will also gain something from this experience and that taking your students abroad or elsewhere within the UK need not be one long discipline exercise. We suggest you set out firm guidelines before, or at the beginning of the trip as to what is expected of the students' behaviour. In particular, we would be grateful if you made them aware that English is widely spoken in other countries and that bad language should not be used. Also, a strict smoking and alcohol policy should be decided upon and enforced by the supervising adults. We remind you that you are in loco parentis and we suggest you obtain a letter of permission from parents if older students are to be granted free time without supervision. It is the Group Leader's responsibility to make sure that children are otherwise supervised at all times.