10 Tips to Travel Fine and Save Time

With our new brochure coming out this month, there is sure to be some tours that will peak your interest – so we’ve put together some ways to save you time and make you feel more relaxed about booking and travelling on your journey. We’re also introducing an early bird offer, if you pay in full well before departure, so look out for that in your brochure!

Things to Think About Before You Call the Office to Book

Step 1 – Have a look at the pricing provided and save yourself some time by deciding if you would like single supplement (a room for yourself, usually with an extra fee advertised in the brochure)? Or are you willing to share in a twin room with another passenger of the same gender and pay the twin price only? If you are sharing with another friend or relative, your options are a double or twin room (separate beds).

Step 2 – The next question to ask yourself is, will you take the travellers refund guarantee (see the brochure itinerary to see if it applies to your tour and read the terms and conditions)? Or would you like to take out travel insurance? If you choose neither, you can sign a waiver to say that you’re comfortable travelling without these options – it’s completely up to you.

Step 3 – Will you be flying with the group or making your own own arrangements separately? Making your own arrangements could include staying a pre or post night to the tour and flying on another day. This is what we call a variation and please let the office know as soon as you can to have this all arranged with us and save some time – if this is something you’d like to consider. Please keep in mind that these arrangements will be an additional cost to the tour itself.

Step 4 – Where would you like to be picked up from and returned to? We now provide a service called ‘Home Pickup’ which means that if you live in a certain zone surrounding our pickup points, you can receive a home pickup and set down by a taxi at your address; to start and end your tour from home. If you live outside this zone, you will have to pay an additional fee, depending on the distance. Or alternatively you can meet our coach at one of our designated pickup points, however you’ll have to make arrangements for your car while you’re away or have a friend drop you off and pick you up from here. If you would like to be picked up at one address and return to another, we will also need to organise this for you.

Now it’s Time to Book!

Step 5 – After you’ve told us the arrangements above, it’s also best to tell us your medical related dietary (not preferences), mobility or flight requirements. The sooner you do this, the more likely we can accommodate these changes for you and make your holiday more comfortable. Please also let us know if you require ground floor accommodation. We can’t always guarantee this, but we can request it. Due to health and safety reasons regarding our crew, they also cannot help you on or off the coach, carry your luggage or move your wheelchair through the airport during the tour. If you have a wheelchair with you regularly as well, you will need a carer to travel with you to assist during the journey and you will need to be able to get on and off the coach yourself.

Step 6 – Don’t forget to apply your Loyalty Points! You currently receive $1 for every $50 you spend with us. You can ask us how many you have to use at any time – however we can’t apply loyalty points after you’ve made full payment on your booking. You can also begin to use them the day after you return from a tour or day trip and they expire 12 months from this date. Please note this only applies if you have your own profile with us and aren’t booked under a friend or relative.

Step 7 – Fill out the Booking Form in Your Brochure or Request One. Yes, you do need to fill these in, even if you’re a regular passenger, as circumstances can change between tours. We need this form filled out for every holiday tour you do with us. If you’re booking multiple holidays at once, save time by filling out one booking form, but if you book them separately or are travelling with different people – you’ll need to fill in a new one each time. In regards to flights, we need to know your full name as per your identification, or passport if travelling internationally. We also need your passport details and in some cases, licence details for security, depending on where you’re travelling. Don’t forget to again put your medical dietary requirements and everything else that we need to know on this form as well. Don’t forget any flight loyalty/membership numbers: we can’t add these once we’ve booked and paid for the flight. Make sure you also add your emergency contacts and if you’re travelling as a couple – sorry but you can’t choose each other! Make sure you send this back to your nearest office as soon as you can.

Step 8 – After we’ve talked through your travel arrangements, read the information below about what to expect from your catering and seat selection requests on flights. Generally speaking, our company mainly prefers to travel with Qantas and Virgin across Australia, unless the flights don’t align with the tour. Qantas and Virgin mainly cater to vegetarians, gluten free and dairy free passengers only. Unfortunately preferences will not be catered for and meals are only available on lengthy flights. In regards to seating, if you are travelling with the group you can request a type of seating, however we can’t guarantee this due to the set area of seats we are allocated on the plane. With separate flights to the group, seating allocation is a case by case basis and usually involves an additional cost; but we’re happy to at least request this for you.

Travelling to Lord Howe or Norfolk Island

Step 9: Arrange your ID for Norfolk or Lord Howe Island. Please note both locations are treated as domestic tours. However, flights to Norfolk Island leave from international airports and flights to Lord Howe Island leave from domestic airports. Confusing, right? At the time of publication of this article, since both of these locations are viewed as domestic, you don’t require a passport. You only need to provide to the office a copy of a valid form of photo ID and take this with you on tour. For all other international tours, save time by checking that your passport expires a minimum of six months after your return date.

Step 10 – The Most Important One – Sit back, relax and enjoy travelling with us, we can’t wait to hear from you to book your next Cross Country Tour or All Australian Journey. If you have any more questions go to the frequently asked questions section of our website here or contact the office. Both Sandgate (QLD) and Thornton (NSW) offices have the same booking systems and can answer any requests you may have about our upcoming tours.

Please note: the specials, offers, terms and conditions are also subject to change at any time after this article is published – so please call us to ask if these offers are still available.

Stay tuned for the March Edition coming soon and it’s all about Easter!

All Australian Journeys to Support Locals

As we transition into the new year of 2020, we recognise that there is a need to support locals, communities and towns that have been devastated by bush fires and drought across Australia. We understand these events present a challenge for our passengers, however it also creates an opportunity to visit and support local businesses, venues and accommodations; which now need our help more than ever. The safety of our passengers will always come first, but we ask you to continue to travel with us at this time and lend a hand in rebuilding our precious and historical local towns that have made Australia into what it is today. Whether it is through purchases from local shops and restaurants, visiting venues or simply filling a room, your presence will definitely be felt as we travel over the coming months.

Towns to Travel and Treasure

Throughout February and March we have a few upcoming tours that highlight a visit to some of Australia’s most beloved towns affected by the bushfires and drought and we’d love to have you on board to support each place we visit and speak to locals about their experiences.

We begin on February 1st by taking a trip to Gippsland in Victoria on our ‘Cruising Lakes, Rivers and Wetlands’ tour for seven days. We travel down through the Southern Highlands to Bateman’s Bay and Ulladulla and stay overnight at Batehaven before joining a cruise and observing natural wonders from Lakes Entrance to Sale, Victoria. The highlands in particular have been directly affected by fires and drought and needs passengers like you to bring tourism back to the area.

A boat cruising under the Bateman's Bay Bridge

From the 8th of February the ‘Great Ocean Road’ tour is departing for five days, travelling from Melbourne to Adelaide. We travel through Warrnambool to Mount Gambier, which few people realise is another area of Victoria being affected by the fires. As well as supporting the locals, this tour in general is full of bucket list attractions; such as the Twelve Apostles, London Bridge and Loch Ard Gorge and an interactive sound and light show at Flagstaff Hill. This tour also includes an optional extra for a helicopter flight over the Twelve Apostles; an experience that past passengers have said not to miss out on!

If you’ve done the Great Ocean Road before and are looking for a different kind of coastal getaway, the ‘Port Stephens’ tour based in New South Wales also departs on the 22nd of February for seven days. Nelson Bay and Salt Ash are unfortunately within the regional Port Stephens area that is frequently affected by bush fires at various times annually. Beyond the edge of the bush however, is where the land meets the sea.  Whether you relax on the beautiful beaches or would rather travel to local historical venues, such as Fighter World, there’s something for everyone on this tour.

Sunset on the beach at Port Stephens

An area highlighted in the local media, ‘Kangaroo Island and the Grampians’ need your help more than ever with 160,000 hectares burnt. Venues and our accommodation are still open, but over 160 homes of their staff and locals have been destroyed. This is the reason why we are proud to support tourism on Kangaroo Island and would love to have you on board from the 3rd of March for 11 days as we support locals in recovering their community. Plus the marine life and incredible views aren’t going anywhere, so you’ll be sure to make many memories on this tour.

If you’ve been thinking about going to Tasmania for a few years or even recently, now is the time to do it to support our “Tasmanians” and get them back on their feet. We also have four departures discovering Tasmania throughout February and March varying in the length from 5 days to 13 days with a variety of inclusions such as cruising the Tamar and Franklin Rivers, to visiting lavender farms and exploring historical Hobart, we can help you make the most out of your journey to Tasmania.

If you’re interested in any of the above tours, simply click on the tour heading within this article or you can call one of our offices located in Sandgate or Thornton to request an itinerary .

Outside photo of the Cascade Brewery in Tasmania

Support our Locals through Donation

To further support locals and communitites affected by drought and fires, at the end of 2019, we raised money for our charity of choice ‘Drought Angels’ to assist farming families in rural areas of Australia.

If you are currently unable to join a tour or would like to find more information about how to donate to support ‘Drought Angels’ and other bush fire and drought related charities, click on the headings below:

Drought Angels

Red Cross Bush Fire Appeal

NSW RFS Fire Service

Samaritans Purse

From all the staff and crew at Cross Country Tours and All Australian Journeys we thank you for travelling with us and look forward to welcoming you aboard in 2020.

Stay tuned for our next blog coming in February.