Special Journeys

Home
Who We Are
Our Trips
Trip Forms
Policies & Procedures
Contact Us
POLICIES & PROCEDURES

TRIP FEES INCLUDE

Staff supervision, transportation, attractions, lodging, taxes and some meals are included in the trip fee. The suggested amount of spending money is listed each trip’s detailed itinerary. Travelers will also receive a complimentary Photo CD after the trip is completed.

On most trips all breakfasts and suppers included. The description for each tour indicates how many meals are included in the trip fee. Meals not included will be paid for with the Traveler’s personal spending money. Our staff will assist Travelers with their spending money as needed.

SIGNING UP FOR TRIPS!

SIGNING UP FOR TRIPS!

Contact us by phone, e-mail or postal mail to sign up for a trip. Let us know which trips you are interested in and we will send a detailed itinerary and a trip application form.

HOLDING A SPOT ON A TRIP
Phone and e-mail reservations will be “held” for 10 working days (as long as this period does not overlap listed deadlines). By the 10th day we require a $100 or $200 deposit to permanently hold a spot. Trips are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis and many vacations sell out. It is important to sign-up as soon as possible to ensure space is available.

Methods of Payment

When you sign up for a trip please remit, or designate the remission of Special Journeys Vacation Voucher(s) (“Vacation Voucher”) sufficient to cover at least ˝ of the indicated trip cost. In the event you do not have sufficient Vacation Vouchers to send in or which may appear on your account you will need to purchase the additional minimum number of required Vacation Vouchers before you can reserve your spot on any given trip. Remember, while Vacation Vouchers may be used on any Special Journeys trip they are neither refundable or transferrable and will expire if not used within five years from the date of purchase. Furthermore , once you have registered for a specific trip any Vacation Vouchers so designated will be applied to the cost of such trip subject to our Cancellation and No-Show/Late Traveler Policy. Vacation Vouchers may be purchased via a check (either personal or corporate from a payee / guardian / conservator / agency), cashier’s check, or money order. We do not accept credit or debit cards.

Processing Your Payment

All payments received by Special Journeys shall be applied to the purchase of one or more Special Journeys Vacation Vouchers. Each Special Journeys Vacation Voucher costs $100. Each Vacation Voucher can be applied to a single vacation that you select at any time prior to the fifth anniversary of said voucher’s purchase. . Each Vacation Voucher is solely redeemable for a fractional share of a vacation that you attend. The quantity of Vacation Vouchers required for each trip is listed separately for each trip. Vacation Vouchers are non-refundable, non-transferrable to another person and they expire after five years. For additional information about the Vacation Vouchers, refer to the next section herein. Once a selected trip’s deadline date passes all designated or tendered Vacation Vouchers become subject to our Cancellation and No-Show/Late Traveler Policy.

Special Journeys Vacation Voucher

What is the Special Journeys Vacation Voucher?

Most of our travelers need to save funds in advance for a vacation. Let’s face it; everyone deserves (and often really needs) a vacation! It is something to look forward to – a goal and a break from everyday life and routines! If our travelers were unable to save funds for a trip (like any other individual who goes on vacation), their only option would be to take a no-money-down vacation and pay the entire balance off upon return. Unfortunately, this type of program does not exist!

Can Vacation Voucher Purchases be Refunded?

No, Vacation Vouchers cannot be refunded. Vacation Vouchers are non-refundable and non-transferrable (they cannot be sold or given to another person). Vacation Vouchers also expire after five years. All Vacation Vouchers are processed in accordance with First In – First Out (FIFO) accounting rules. As an example, let’s say you purchased Vacation Vouchers on two occasions - one year ago and yesterday. When you attend a trip the first Vacation Voucher(s) you purchased (a year ago in the example) would be applied towards your trip.

Expired Vacation Vouchers

In our 16 years of operations we have found that only a very small number of Vacation Vouchers expire unused after five years. In the event a Vacation Voucher would expire unused after 5 years, Special Journeys will utilize those funds to makes trips safer for both travelers and Travel Companions. Examples of past safety investments include travel-friendly, anti-slip shower matting; collapsible (bus-friendly) luggage carts which allow us to offer VIP luggage delivery/reloading service at each hotel; our custom food software that tracks detailed food components and allergens for each menu item at over 20 restaurants so that travelers with allergies or food restrictions have an additional, automated safety check. We believe that safety-related investments are the most respectful use of these occasional funds, and they also allow us to keep over overhead expenses as low as possible so that our trips are priced as reasonably as possible.

Funds From Vacation Voucher Purchases

The funds from the sale of Vacation Vouchers are supervised and audited by Thomas Mann, a licensed Nebraska attorney with 25 years of legal experience. Tom is married to Lexi and together they have served as tour leaders for Special Journeys, LLC for the past sixteen years.

Payment Errors and Bounced Check

We recognize that many of our travelers have their funds managed by a payee and/or guardian. Obviously processing errors and human mistakes occasionally occur. In the event this occurs the individual who has made the error needs to contact Special Journeys, LLC within thirty (30) days and certify that an error was made. In this event, the transaction will be cancelled and the funds will be returned to the same account name of record that the check was issued from. If payment is made via a check that cannot be cleared (bounces), the entire transaction shall be declared null and void. In the event of a bounced check, the party sending the check will be responsible for any bank fees or costs incurred by Special Journeys, LLC.

Interest-Free Payment Plans

We recognize that many of our travelers may not be able to manage the cost of a vacation before the start date of the trip they wish to attend. Subject to the discretion of Special Journeys, LLC Travelers are eligible to attend a vacation if they have designated or tendered at least half of the total numbers of Vacation Vouchers required to attend the vacation. All travelers who travel on a trip have one year from their return to then pay the balance of the cost of their vacation via purchase of the remaining necessary Vacation Vouchers. . As long as payment is received in full within one year there will be no interest due on remaining balances paid within one year of the trip’s return. If the full payment has not been received one year after the trip’s departure date then interest will be retroactively applied from the date of the trip’s original departure at the rate of 14% compounded monthly. Further any delinquent traveler agrees to pay for all cost of collection including court filing and reasonable attorney fees. Special Journeys, LLC reserves the right to in its sole discretion, refuse extension of this or any payment plan to travelers who have previously failed to pay in full for a previous vacation within one year of their return, as well as the right to require full pre-payment in advance for travelers who have cancelled multiple vacations, or are otherwise deemed to be a credit risk.

Cancellation and No-Show/Late Traveler Policy

Travelers can change trips at any point before the posted trip deadline date. In the event a traveler changes trips any Vacation Vouchers which have been designated or tendered by or on behalf of the traveler will be applied in full towards another vacation. After the deadline date we will credit or reissue towards another trip any Vacation Vouchers which have been designated or tendered by or on behalf of the traveler less that number of Vacation Vouchers representing funds which have been paid over by Special Journeys , to its suppliers on a nonrefundable basis along with any cancelation or restocking fee incurred by Special Journeys. Please note that airfare and cruise cabins are non-refundable costs. In addition, Special Journeys reserves the right to either hold back up to 20% of the designated or tendered Vacation Vouchers as a cancellation fee or hold back a single Vacation Voucher to cover internal cost associated with cancelations . Multiple cancellations, especially cancellations after the deadline date, may cause a custom cancellation policy to apply to a specific traveler.

No-Show & Late Traveler Policy

Travelers who are “no shows” on the day of departure receive no refund whatsoever. Travelers who are late on the day of departure are considered no shows. This specifically means that all tendered or designated Vacation Vouchers are forfeit and will not be refunded or re-issued

CONFIRMATION OF VACATIONS
Once your application and deposit are received you will receive confirmation within two weeks. Approximately one month prior to the trip a Final Itinerary will be sent reconfirming all details and requesting any additional information necessary.

IMPORTANT DATES

Some trips have longer deadlines or larger deposit amounts, please check the specific details on each trip to verify deadlines and deposits.

BUS VACATIONS

Deposit - $100
Reservations - 40 days in advance recommended
Sign-up Deadline - 21 days in advance
Payment Deadline - 21 days in advance

AIR, CRUISE, RAIL AND INTERNATIONAL VACATIONS

Deposit - $200 (unless otherwise posted in the trip description)
Reservations - 60 days in advance recommended (4 to 6 months for cruises)
Sign-up Deadline - 45 days in advance (95 days in advance for cruises)
Payment Deadline - 45 days in advance(95 days in advance for cruises)

OPTIONAL INSURANCE COVERAGE

For international vacations and cruises you may want to consider purchasing trip insurance (cost ranges from 5% to 15% of the total trip cost). We recommend contacting Travel Safe Insurance and selecting their Cancel For Any Reason option (www.travelsafe.com or 888-885-7233). To waive pre-existing conditions with Travel Safe you must purchase trip insurance within 14 days of trip signup. Please note that as part of Your Guaranteed Cost Trip™ we cover costs associated with weather and travel delays and missed flight connections for all travelers.

WEATHER/VEHICLE DELAYS

In the event of severe weather, vehicle breakdown, airline delays, or other unforeseen events that alter our departure or return time, we will do our best to contact the caregiver listed on the Traveler’s application. All our motor coaches are equipped with cell phones. These numbers will be indicated on the Final Itineraries. It is rare that we are late for any pick-up and return times.

ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

Overnight accommodations are at clean, well known hotel chains. All travelers have their own, regular bed with two people per room.

Please contact us for single room pricing details.

We attempt to place one staff per every two rooms whenever possible. This means that if a staff member is not in a particular room they should be next door. Our staff monitor and assist as much as possible but direct 24-hour supervision is not possible. We reserve the right to place a staff member in any room deemed necessary.

WHAT TO PACK

Travelers are limited to two suitcases. We will provide a free dirty clothes bag for each traveler. However, you are also welcome to bring large plastic garbage bag to use for dirty clothes. The suggested amount of spending money is indicated with each Detailed Itinerary. Before each trip you will receive a detailed packing list for that trip. The following is a suggested general packing list:

GENERAL LIST

* Current Photo ID (Required—see below)
* Medications (must be packed separately and delivered to tour leader)
* Camera & film
* Sun glasses
* Addresses & stamps
* Suntan lotion

PERSONAL ITEMS

* One change of clothes and underwear for each day
* Pajamas
* Comfortable walking shoes
* One “dressier” outfit
* Jacket, sweatshirt or sweater
* Swim suit (with cover-up suggested)
* Tooth paste, toothbrush, comb, deodorant, shaving supplies, shampoo, soap, sanitary napkins, etc.

CURRENT PHOTO ID

For every trip, each Traveler MUST have a current, state government issued, photo ID that is valid for the entire duration of the trip.

For overseas trips Travelers must have a current U.S. Government issued passport that is valid for the entire duration of the trip. For cruises and trips to Canada & Mexico, Travelers must have a valid ID as well as (a) a passport or (b) a certified copy of their birth certificate.

Traveler’s who arrive at a pick-up point without the proper ID must be dismissed from the trip and no refund will be possible. If you have any questions about proper identification please contact our office.

TRAVEL WITH A FRIENDLY FACE

At times Travelers and caregivers simply do not feel comfortable attending a vacation without a familiar face along. We welcome, encourage, and will at times require that travel companions join us. In these situations there will be an additional, reduced fee involved. Please contact our office for further details.

SPECIAL JOURNEYS TRAVEL COMPANIONS

With the assistance of the Tour Leader, travel companions provide supervision to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for each Traveler. Our travel companions are assigned to a group of three to four Travelers. In exchange, travel companions go on the vacation for FREE with all expenses covered except snacks and souvenirs. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a travel companion for a trip please contact Special Journeys, LLC for information about our Travel Companion Program.

POLICIES & INFORMATION

SMOKING & ALCOHOL POLICY
Participants may smoke only on planned rest stops and during designated free times in allowable areas. The consumption of alcoholic beverages by participants is strictly prohibited, unless it states otherwise on the Traveler application. Only light consumption will be allowed in those cases.

ILLNESS / INJURY
On rare occasions a traveler may become ill or injured and be unable to continue with the group. In such circumstances the traveler is responsible for all medical expenses and any additional transportation costs. Special Journeys, LLC offers travel insurance to help cover these events, please contact us for details.

PROPERTY DAMAGE OR DESTRUCTION
Participants who intentionally or unintentionally lose, damage or destroy property are financially responsible for repair or replacement costs for their or others property. We accept no responsibility for lost, damaged or destroyed property.

MEDICATION DISPENSING
For all Travelers who are not self medicating the participant’s medications must be individually pre-packaged according to the time and date of each scheduled dispensation time and marked with the Traveler’s name. The guardian/parent/caregiver is responsible for making sure this is completed accurately. Medications should not be packed in a Traveler’s suitcase. An extra day’s supply of medications should be included in case of an emergency or trip delay. All medications will be surrendered to the Tour Leader or person responsible for check-in. Travelers who normally self-medicate can continue this practice on trips and can package their medications in the way or manner that they are familiar with.

APPLICATION PROCESS

All information provided to Special Journeys, LLC must be complete and accurate to the best knowledge of the person completing the Traveler’s application. Failure to provide accurate or complete information may result in immediate dismissal from any trip. Immediate transportation home, at your expense, will be required if inaccurate or false information results in safety concerns or risks (whether caused by behavioral, medical or ambulatory factors) for the Traveler, staff persons, other participants or persons in the community. No refund is available if the above is the case and additional transportation costs may be incurred which you will be liable for. By traveling with us you agree that all decisions regarding the above are in the sole discretion of our staff based on the best interests of everyone involved.

A Medical History form may be required for some travelers. Special Journeys will contact you if this is required. If requested, the form must be received by Special Journeys, LLC no later than 21 days prior to the trip. It must be completed and signed by a physician.

Consent and waver signatures must be those of the legal guardian. Participants should sign where indicated whether they are self-guardians or not. A deposit for each trip must accompany the application. Please do not mail applications without a deposit unless prior arrangements have been made.

Travelers will receive a CD containing digital photos from the trip taken by the Tour Leader and the volunteer staff. Travelers can also share their photos by notifying the tour leader. CDs will be sent out 2-4 weeks after the trip ends.

These exciting memories can be printed on your computer, uploaded to an Internet photo printing site or brought to a local store that prints digital photos. It all adds up to another exciting memory of your Special Journey!