Vacation travel can be complicated to arrange. There are the travel schedules, accommodations and day trips to consider. You cannot be sure that everything will go as you planned. This is why a tour company that has mapped out all the details is worth considering. ElderTreks is a company with 30+ years of experience. It takes care of all the details so you can enjoy your vacation.
Can you accommodate special diets?
|There is no mention of special diet accommodation in ElderTreks’ literature, but you can always call the company and ask.|
How easy is it to sign up?
|You can sign up online or call the number listed on the website.|
Are international travel and ground transportation included?
|Tours are based on “land-only” or “ship-only” costs and do not include international travel. The company will book international travel if requested.|
What kinds of accommodations are provided?
|Selected accommodations are based on comfort, location and charm with private washrooms. Shared facilities are chosen when there is no alternative.|
How much do the trips cost and what is included?
|Trips range in price from around $2,800 to $14,000. For a land-based trip, all meals, accommodations, domestic transportation and day trips, entrance fees and gratuities for hotels are included.|
How long are the trips you offer?
|Tours range in length from one week to 25 days.|
What if I am unhappy with my experience?
|Unfortunately, if you have a bad experience, all you can do is complain to the company. You can bring a claim within 30 days, but any legal proceeding is subject to jurisdiction in Canada.|
Cost and difficulty to cancel?
|ElderTreks trips must be canceled in writing. The fee for cancellation depends on how long before the departure you are canceling and whether you were planning to take a land or sea trip.|
Ease of access to customer service
|You can call the main office 9 AM-5 PM EST Mon-Fri, or you can send an email.|
What if I have a medical emergency while I’m on the trip?
|Many trips require all participants to have medical insurance, and you are strongly encouraged to obtain full travel insurance (travel, cancellation, evacuation and other emergency coverage) prior to the trip.|
Where can I go on these trips?
|Across the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands, Europe, and the Middle East. Hikes and Polar Tours are also available.|
What is the activity level on the trips?
|Tours are rated from 1 (easy) to 5 (challenging).|
ElderTreks offers trips specifically designed for people ages 50 and older. Younger travelers must be accompanied by a senior. The tours are rated by activity level. Requirements for each level are explained on the website. For example, for an easy tour, you must be able to hike up to one or two hours, sometimes at various grades that can be slippery. For a challenging tour, you must be able to hike for five or more hours, sometimes on rugged terrain. Each participant must complete medical forms prior to the tour. A traveler aged 80 or over must have a doctor’s approval before traveling.
Company materials make it very clear that the participant is solely responsible for their tour choice. The fine print also states that the company reserves the right to remove any participant from any activity or any trip at any time, if there is a material risk to the health and safety of the participant or the company in the company’s judgment.
ElderTreks’ adventures are designed for those who are fit enough to participate. Before booking, it is advisable to speak with your physician and to contact the company office to discuss any health issues you may have. The trip costs are not insignificant; it would be a shame to plan on the adventure of a lifetime only to discover you cannot participate due to health concerns. Seniors who are in excellent or good health and want to maintain their active lifestyles should not be afraid to try ElderTreks. Individuals in a fair state of health might be able to participate in certain tours of a suitable length and appropriate rating. Those in poor health are not advised to book a tour with ElderTreks.
ElderTreks has been in business almost 30 years. As its trademark states, “ElderTreks offers active, off-the-beaten-path small group adventures by both land and sea.” This company offers an excellent array of trips specifically designed for those who are 50 and older. ElderTreks was the first company to offer tours to Cuba. The sailing tours are held on yachts or expedition ships, not cruise ships. The company has a devoted following thanks to the fact that it covers all expenses incurred on a trip. Any exceptions are clearly noted. The itineraries are carefully crafted to take you on a unique adventure.
Furthermore, the guides are people who have been on the trip before and have the experience necessary to make it special. They are not local guides. ElderTreks features trip guide bios on its website, so you will know who will be leading your tour before you go. If you are looking for something unique, this is definitely the company to consider. Be advised, however, that if you are not in excellent health, it would be advisable not to book with ElderTreks. If you are on a special diet, you may want to talk to the company about your options before you book. As it is a Canadian company, it is not subject to certain U.S. laws that require businesses to accommodate special needs.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I add extra days before or after my trip?
Some trips do have extension options. In most cases, these extensions are part of another tour company’s trip, so they will not adhere to the size restrictions of your ElderTreks tour.
What happens if world events might impact a trip?
ElderTreks reserves the right to cancel, postpone or change the itinerary of any trip where a participant’s safety and security is at risk.
Do you make provisions for disabilities?
It is the responsibility of each participant to ensure that ElderTreks is advised of any medical problems before the trip. The company may remove a participant from any trip or activity if their participation poses a risk to the client, to others or to the company. If the participant is 80 or older, a doctor’s signature is required on the medical form. Most trips involve travel to foreign countries where standards, practices and provisions of services and accommodations are different than in the U.S. Therefore, participants are exclusively responsible for choosing a trip that best suits their interests, abilities, fitness and health.
Overview: ElderTreks offers over 70 adventures worldwide and can take you to every continent, including the two polar regions of our Earth. Trips are either land-based or ship-based and vary from one week to 25 days in length.
Package Details: Land-based itineraries include all accommodations, most transportation (air, train, bus, auto, boat, elephants, etc.), meals, planned day trips, guide services and most gratuities. Transportation does not include international flights.
Ship-based itineraries include cabin accommodations, pre-cruise accommodations (shared), all meals, all shore excursions and activities outlined in the itinerary, and in some cases, rubber boots (loaned) for wet passages. International travel, and gratuities are not included.
ElderTreks offers a loyalty program called ClubTrek (5% savings) for clients who have traveled with the company and book again. The website provides a lot of detail for each trip. You can find links to monthly e-newsletters and information about contests.
Other Services: None.
Contract Details: When you make your reservation, you must pay a $500 USD non-refundable deposit for land-based trips. Certain tours require a larger deposit. For ship-based trips, the deposit is at least $750 USD, depending on the tour. Final payment is due no later than 100 days prior to departure for land-based trips, and 120 days prior for ship-based trips. If you wish to cancel a land-based trip, you will receive a full refund if you cancel more than 100 days before departure. The fee for canceling within 30 days of the tour is 100% of the tour price.
The cancellation fee for dropping the tour 31-99 days prior to departure is 50% of the tour price. If you are scheduled for a ship-based tour and cancel more than 120 days prior to departure, your deposit will be refunded. However, if you cancel within 120 days of the trip, the fee is 100% of the tour price. Participants booked on land trips may transfer to another trip (with a $150 administrative fee) if a written request is provided no later than 100 days prior to departure. The new trip must be booked no later than 6 months after the date of departure of the original trip.
Warranty: See above for details of cancellation. All participants are urged to purchase full insurance coverage for travel, including cancellation, medical and evacuation coverage, prior to departure.
Accreditations: ElderTreks is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau and is not rated.
Company Details: ElderTreks, established in 1987, was developed specifically for people 50 and over. ElderTreks’ founder and CEO, Gary Murtagh, has always been considered a ‘world explorer,’ as he has traveled to more than 120 countries. He has a strong ethic for sustainable travel and supporting worthy charities. This philosophy carries over to ElderTreks. The company often bring tours to the schools and orphanages it supports.
23 Clinton St.
M6J 2N9 Canada
Email: Email form available on website