Frequently asked questions
We hope this Q&A clears up any queries you may have but if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team who would be delighted to help: +44 (0)207 819 9770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Ampersand Travel?
Ampersand Travel is a luxury tour operator created to provide a unique and fresh approach to tailor-made travel to the Indian Subcontinent, the Far East, South East Asia and the UK & Ireland. Our ethos is to provide luxury bespoke holidays with high attention to detail and firsthand local knowledge. Each destination has been extensively researched and personally inspected, ensuring that we have an intimate understanding of the accommodations and activities in the locations we specialise in.
What services do we provide?
We create fully tailor-made holidays ranging from out-of-this-world honeymoons, special celebrations and parties abroad, multi-stop trips, train and boat journeys, spa, beach holidays, city breaks and family getaways. Our services include:
- Travel advice, inspiration and planning – over the telephone, via email and, if desired, in person.
- Booking of flights, accommodation, guides and activities.
- Prior to travel we send clients their personalised day-by-day itinerary. We also provide a document with personalised tips and suggestions, including Ampersand’s favourite restaurants, shops and markets – with specific tips on jewellery, clothes and textiles where appropriate.
- We provide 24-7 support throughout your holiday and are on call in the case of an emergency.
Which destinations do we go to?
Too many travel companies try to cover too much of the world and end up as a Jack of all trades, master of none. We focus solely on the Indian Subcontinent, the Far East, South East Asia and our home turf, the UK and Ireland. This allows us to keep our finger on the pulse of what is happening on the ground and provide our clients with the best quality holidays. These are the countries in our portfolio:
North India | South India | Sri Lanka | Bhutan | Nepal | Tibet | Cambodia | Laos | Vietnam | Thailand | Maldives | Indonesia | Burma | China | Singapore | Japan | The UK & Ireland
Why travel with Ampersand Travel?
- We are a small, boutique company offering expertise, ease and attention to detail that can’t be found elsewhere. We focus on quality of service rather than quantity of customers.
- Whilst we love luxury, we are not blinded by it or slaves to in at the expense of the “experience”. We believe that striking a balance between culture and luxury is key. We also understand that one person’s heaven is another person’s hell and we design itineraries accordingly. Everyone is unique, therefore every holiday has to be unique and tailored to our clients’ specific needs.
- We are region experts: we specialise exclusively on the Indian Subcontinent, South East Asia and our home turf, the UK & Ireland, and we pride ourselves on providing thoroughly researched and beautifully delivered trips to these destinations.
- We only recommend properties we have personally experienced and would wish to stay in ourselves. The Ampersand Travel team have lived, worked and travelled extensively throughout our region and have a well trusted network of contacts. We guarantee an intimate knowledge of the accommodation and activities in our portfolio – be it the most opulent suite in a palace hotel, the best wedding venue or private house for entertaining one’s friends, the most knowledgeable guides or where exactly to buy those wonderfully exotic purchases.
- Above all we offer a personalised, passionate service not found in other larger agencies or when booking online.
What vaccinations do I need?
For information on vaccinations and health requirements for your journey we suggest you contact your GP or a travel clinic preferably at least 2 months before departure for advice and to arrange immunisations.
Detailed health advice regarding specific countries is available at the links below:
What visas do I need?
Travel visas are the official authorisation that allow an individual to enter, exit and travel in a particular country or region for a particular period of time. Without a valid visa where required, you will not be permitted to travel, so it is essential that you obtain the necessary visas prior to your trip.
Applying for visas can be a complicated and time-consuming process, and this is why we work in partnership with CIBT Visas. They have expert knowledge in visa requirements, and are dedicated to ensuring that obtaining your visas is as efficient and hassle-free as possible.
CIBT provide various levels of visa service, including detailed information about which visas and documentation you and your party require, clear and user-friendly application forms, and a full concierge service to manage your application from start to finish. There is a team of experts on hand to offer advice, and liaise with embassies on your behalf.
Ampersand can personally endorse the services CIBT provides, and our partnership secures a 20% discount on all CIBT services fees for our clients. We would highly recommend speaking to a specialist at CIBT to determine which service would best suit your needs.
You can begin the process of finding out which visas you require and how to apply by following this link provided. This will log you in to the Ampersand CIBT account, securing your dedicated discount.
For more information, please contact the CIBT visa team on 020 7593 6100 or email@example.com, or discuss with your Ampersand consultant.
Do we add cost to your holiday?
As we get hotels at discounted rates, the total cost you pay will only be marginally more than if you booked directly yourself. We feel that taking into account our expert advice, local knowledge, contacts and exceptional customer care, the value of a booking through Ampersand Travel is very reasonable. Although we are a luxury operator providing luxury holidays, we actively seek out special offers and discounts which even the very best hotels in the world provide from time to time.
Will I have the same guides throughout my trip?
As a general rule of thumb, in South East Asia you have the same guide until you fly to your next destination (if you drive, you keep the same guide and driver). The exception is Burma where you will have the same guide throughout your stay. In India you will have same driver throughout but a different guide for each city. That being said, if you like the idea of having the same guide this can be arranged for any of our destinations.
Is my holiday financially protected?
All of our air holiday packages are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6065. Please see our booking conditions for more information. The price of our air holiday packages includes the amount of £2.50 per person as part of the ATOL Protection Contribution (APC) we pay to the CAA. This charge is included in our advertised prices. For more information about the protection offered by the CAA, please visit www.caa.co.uk
Is my destination safe?
We strongly advise you to check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice concerning travel to the country/countries you plan to visit before booking your holiday. For more info please visit www.gov.uk/knowbeforeyougo
Do I need travel insurance?
It is a condition of booking our tailor-made holidays that all clients take out comprehensive travel insurance. Due to a new legislation as of 1st January 2009, we can no longer sell travel insurance directly to clients. However we are pleased to recommend Campbell Irvine Insurance who offer some of the best and most competitive coverage available. Underwritten by AXA Insurance UK Plc, it has been specifically designed to cater for all types of traveller. If you want to purchase travel insurance through them, please go to their website www.campbellirvine.com, or alternatively you can call 020 7937 6981.
How do I book with Ampersand Travel?
Nothing compares to a chat. Please start by calling us on +44 (0)20 7819 9770 to speak to one of our destination specialists who will design your tailor-made itinerary. A conversation at the start of the planning process allows us to immediately understand your preferred style of hotel and suggest destinations and experiences to suit you. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you would like to meet up in person we would be delighted to do so.
You will receive a quote and a suggested tour from your personal consultant within a couple of days, which can be tweaked and restructured as required until we have created your perfect itinerary. Once you are satisfied with your tailor-made itinerary and want to confirm the arrangements we will require a signed copy of our booking form together with your deposit payment. Our booking form will be sent together with our booking conditions and these should be carefully read.
To book offline please download the PDF booking form below and fill in the details.
Do we have a minimum spend?
Yes, £3,000 per person is our minimum spend, which includes accommodation, flights, transfers, guides, activities and sightseeing outlined in your itinerary.