Booking Terms & Conditions

Bhutan is still an emerging destination and, along with its neighbors India & Nepal, experiences occasional disruptions due to unforeseen circumstances affecting travel arrangements.

It is important you are both aware, and accept, that pre-planned arrangements may occasionally need to be amended at late notice due to events beyond the control of any operator involved in the provision of your travel related services.

It is essential you carefully read and agree to the following Booking Terms & Conditions. These form a component of the contract you enter into when making travel reservations to Bhutan, India or Nepal (and incl other regional areas such as Bangladesh and Tibet) with Rab-Zhe Bhutan Tours and our overseas partner suppliers.

1. Booking Form & Passport Scan:

Please ensure you fully complete our tour booking form on-line and submit this in order we can hold a reservation on your behalf. At the same time, or as soon after as possible, we require  a quality scan of your passport photo page which we use to issue your visa. We appreciate you limiting this to less than 1 MB in file size.

2. Deposits And Final Payments:

Usually we require a deposit of not less than A$1500.00 per person within 14-21 days of your Drukair flights to/from Bhutan being confirmed. In some higher season periods we may be required to collect your deposits within 3 days of your Drukair bookings being confirmed. In the case of India and Nepal tours, and/or when Drukair flights are not a requirement for your Bhutan tour, a lesser deposit of approx A$500.00 per person is required.

Final balance of tour funds are due no later than 50 days prior to your arrival in Bhutan, India or Nepal.  Please note your bookings could risk cancellation should payments not be received by the due date.

3. Cancellation & Voluntary Amendments:

After deposits have been paid they become totally non-refundable and it is essential you have your travel insurance in place for your protection. Voluntary amendments between time of deposit payment and final balance payment deadline will generally be handled with no additional  service fees where possible & subject to space availability.

After final balance has been received cancellations will incur fees as follows. Unless advised otherwise similar fees will apply to our Nepal, India & other regional tours. Ex Australia airfares and stopover accommodation will be subject to the cancellation and amendment fees set by the specific airlines/hotels concerned.

Deposit date until 60 days prior arrival in Bhutan  Deposit is forfeited
60 days-45 days prior arrival in Bhutan 100% of Drukair/Bhutan Airlines fares.
75% loss of tour cost
45 days or less prior to arrival in Bhutan No Refund  Permitted

4. Your Health & Travel Insurance:

You are personally responsible for ensuring your general health & fitness is sufficient for your planned journey and it is mandatory you hold adequate comprehensive travel insurance before you pay your final balance. We strongly recommend you consult your personal doctor or nearest Travel Medical Alliance (TMA) centre at least 6 weeks before departure for advice on vaccinations and medications. TMA can be contacted in Australia toll free on T: 1300 421142.

**IMPORTANT NOTE RE TRAVEL INSURANCE**
Some travel insurance providers (ie. American Express) no longer offer any cover at all for a range of adventure activities such as trekking, white-water rafting and even holiday activities such as bungy jumping. It is essential you ensure your chosen insurance policy covers you for all the activities you intend to undertake whilst on your journey.

5. Itinerary Changes:

Bhutan, Nepal & India are sometimes challenging regions to travel in for a wide variety of reasons. Rab-Zhe Bhutan, along with our partner operators in each region, reserve the right to make necessary changes to your pre-arranged and prepaid itinerary structure where unforeseen circumstances dictate such changes. Depending on circumstances a refund may not be offered for such late changes and your travel insurance will, in most cases, cover for any financial loss.

 6. Flight Delays & Cancellations:

Rab-ZHe Bhutan Tours and our partner ground operators take no responsibility for airlines amending flight times at short notice and/or cancelling and/or rerouting flights for operational reasons. We urge all travelers to this region to ensure they have at least 5 hours connection time between air flights where possible.

7. Trip Costs:

Our travel package costs are always quoted in US Dollars and are subject to exchange rate fluctuation until converted into Australian dollars on the day you choose to pay your final balance due. Occasionally we  reserve the right to increase prices after a trip has been quoted on however this is only in instances beyond our control. An example of this is a foreign Government imposing higher tourism taxes before travel has been undertaken or an airline increasing fuel surcharges prior to ticketing.

Unless advised otherwise your trip pricing does NOT include items of a personal nature, medications, travel insurance, telephone calls, laundry, visa charges (except Bhutan where visa fees are always included), excess baggage charges, daily incidental expenses or drinks.

In Bhutan all meals are included in the package costs whereas in India and Nepal generally breakfasts only are included with a few rare exceptions such as wildlife lodges.

8. Minimum Trip Participants For Small Group Tours:

All our standard small group ‘cultural tours’, which have set dates, are guaranteed to depart even if only one person is booked. There is no cost surcharge either so please book with absolute confidence on these tours. The maximum tour size will be 8 persons and the average tour size is 4-6 persons. We like to keep our tours small. Less is best in Bhutan!

For our small group motorcycle tours, trekking tours and other special interest tours a minimum of 3 persons is required to avoid a small cost surcharge of US$30 per person per night. There may be other conditions with these tours from time to time.

9. Motorcycle Insurance & Mandatory Bond Requirements:

On our motorcycle tours your Royal Enfield 500cc motorcycle comes with comprehensive travel insurance cover included with the exception of a US$500 excess. This excess must be paid directly to Bhutan Motorcycles in the event of an accident or damage to your motorcycle or for any 3rd party damage. However this excess is covered using our specially negotiated insurance policy from QBE and can be claimed for on your return. It is therefore mandatory that all motorcycle tour participants purchase their main comprehensive travel insurance from QBE via Rab-Zhe Bhutan Tours to guarantee full protection while riding.

It is also mandatory to hold a ‘full motorcycle’ license allowing the rider to use an ‘over 250cc’ motorcycle legally.

Furthermore an additional motorcycle BOND of US$500 must be made available to Bhutan Motorcycles in cash prior to commencing your journey after arrival in Bhutan. This will be refunded at the end of your trip should no damage have occurred during your journey.

10. Your Acceptance Of Risk.

You acknowledge your journey to/from and through this region of South Asia comes with the usual risks of travel and, in some cases, additional risks that are associated with adventure activities and the specific nature of your chosen journey. You accept these risks and the possibility personal injury, death, property damage or loss may result from your deciusion to participate in such a journey.

You agree that should you be affected by any sickness, serious injury or other unforseen circumstance that Rab-Zhe Bhutan Tours, and/or any of our overseas partner operators, can arrange any urgent medical treatment or emergency evacuation as deemed necessary for your safety and that all such costs will be borne by you and/or your travel insurer.

You also agree that upon completion of our tour booking form and payment of your deposit that you release all claims of liability against Rab-Zhe Bhutan Tours (and all staff) and any and all of our partner operators overseas , including all their staff, for any personal injury, death , property damage, loss or inconvenience sustained by you as a result of this tour, be it a private journey or as part of a small group tour.

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