MAS Travel Policy rev 1 published 7th July 2017
Welcome to our Tour of ………
Congratulations, you have decided on joining your fellow members on a tour of discovery in astronomy. To maximise the enjoyment and experience for you and the other participants on the tour you are asked to please read and follow the practices set out here.
Meetings may be held of the members on the tour to plan and discuss the travel arrangements and necessary documents. The discussions can be a pleasurable and exciting time. They will assist you to obtain the essential documents set out below.
Your tour leader will determine the financial arrangements for the journey and present them to you at a review, or, direct to you in the absence of a meeting.
You shall obtain travel insurance for coverage in overseas medical expenses, overseas dental expenses, hospital expenses, 24-hour emergency assistance, baggage and personal effects, and delay expenses. These are the minimum, essential requirements.
For travel within Australia you need only arrange insurance for baggage and personal effects, and delay expenses. This is voluntary for travel in Australia.
You shall notify our tour organiser when you have arranged your travel insurance. You may be asked to provide a copy of the policy.
If you are unsure where to seek travel insurance you can ask a travel agent. They sell travel insurance.
Passport, Visas and Vaccine Inoculation.
There are many regulations that apply to different nationalities and you must ensure you are in possession of any necessary visas and vaccinations for the countries to be visited. You shall identify what documents are required to complete the journey and you shall obtain them. You shall also identify what vaccine(s) are required and shall obtain them. The Society does not undertake to identify or arrange these requirements.
When you have completed these tasks you shall notify the tour organiser.
Some countries may decline your entry upon arrival at their border if your passport has six months or less time remaining to its expiry from your date of exit from that country and/or has less than six blank pages remaining in the passport. Thus, you must ensure your passport meets these requirements before you depart from home and you shall notify our tour organiser of this.
If you are unsure where to seek the above information, then you can ask a travel agent. They may charge you for any actions they take for you, so do ask for their charges.
Documents on the Journey.
For international travel you must carry the name and contact of a person(s) at home to reach in an emergency, a summary of your travel insurance, any vital medical reports and prescriptions for medications.
For travel in Australia you should take your Medicare and private health care cards, and vital medical reports and prescriptions for medications for use in an emergency. You should also take your seniors card if you have one.
You shall arrange with our tour organiser for their easy access to the above information on the journey.
Documents for Home.
It is recommended you leave a copy of your itinerary at home with the international phone contacts and the country dialing codes, should folk at home wish to contact you on your travel.
Our tour organiser shall lodge a copy of the itinerary and phone contacts en route, with the Secretary and one other Committee member, prior to departure.
A deposit shall be made to the Society of $……..within 14 days of notifying your participation in the tour. Should you later withdraw from the tour the deposit shall be applied to any increase in travel cost to the other participants that arise from your withdrawal. The deposit will be refunded to you where you withdraw and there is no increase in cost to the other participants.
Withdrawal can arise from any one of these conditions: your decision not to proceed, you fail to obtain travel insurance, you do not obtain the essential travel documents such as a visa or vaccine inoculation, or, your passport does not have the term validity or blank pages set out here under Passport.
Additional costs to the tour may arise and should be budgeted for. Such items but not limited to single supplement rooms, diet requirements and changes to the itinerary after commencement of travel, may have arisen.
The travel group en route may agree to add a local tour to the itinerary and the service provider, such as a coach driver, can provide this. This can incur an extra cost.
Changes to Tour Costs
The Society makes every endeavour to keep the tour cost to the very minimum amount. But, prior to travel, especially with long lead times, it is prudent that you should budget for the projected cost of the tour to alter.
Whilst every endeavour shall be taken to notify you of changes, it is your responsibility to ensure you are informed of the current cost. You should therefore carefully read your emails and keep up to date with mail in your in-box and the full cost of the tour.
Expenses en Route.
The tour participants may agree their method for sharing group meal and other costs such as beverages that arise on the journey. In the absence of any prior agreement then all costs for an event such as a group meal shall be shared equally among the participants.
The Society’s Role.
In undertaking astronomy tours, the Society seeks to extend the pleasure and benefit of club membership to the members. The activity is undertaken without pecuniary interest whatsoever to the Society or the tour organiser, who offer their service in the best interest of the members. Where the organiser joins the tour they incur their share of the tour cost by the same formula as each participant in the tour.
By following these guidelines, the tour shall leave on the journey properly organised. This will add to the pleasure of the sites and experiences along the journey and make it a very memorable and happy time.
Bon Voyage from your Society.