We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Enlightened Traveller

Which Avignon hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Staunton, Virginia
posts: 9
reviews: 1
Enlightened Traveller

We are getting cold feet regarding sending in a balance to Enlightened Traveller for a walking tour in May. Do tour operators typically ask for the entire balance before-hand? We've already sent 400.00 deposit. Any info about Enlightened Traveller would be great!!

thanks.

Bedoin, France
posts: 4,913
reviews: 10
1. Re: Enlightened Traveller

I take it you chose tour #3 Walking Provence West?

When I first read your post, I was thinking day walking tour, so it through me a bit when you noted the deposit amount.

Now, I see their walking tours are a week or more (the 'moderate' tours) and include accommodations, meals and transfers. I can see why they might want everything up front.

Still, I wouldn't feel good about paying everything up front unless frequent T/A posters could confirm their own experiences in a positive way.

That might make me feel better. Do you know anyone who has used this tour service?

Why not check with the Avignon tourist office to see if they have ever heard of them?

http://www.ot-avignon.fr/

UK
posts: 10,192
2. Re: Enlightened Traveller

We do walking holidays and always have to pay everything upfront. However, the companies we use are generally well-known and ABTA bonded, so the money is safe. Enlightened Traveller advertise 'Bond Plus Protection' that I don't know, but that could be something available for smaller companies:

enlightened-traveller.co.uk/pages/pages.aspx…

I've just found this reference:

independent.co.uk/travel/europe/travellers-g…

The Independent is a well-respected national daily paper in the UK, if that helps.

Staunton, Virginia
posts: 9
reviews: 1
3. Re: Enlightened Traveller

thanks for your response. We contacted a tour office in Avignon who has not heard of Enlightened Traveller but they said many tour companies land in the area that they don't know about--and i can understand that.

It's just wierd to me that there are virtually no reviews about Enlightened Traveller and I'm going all over the internet. I may be just paranoid and not used to paying money up front but maybe this is how things are done.. I'll certainly post our experience whatever it is if we go with Enlightened Traveller--

Staunton, Virginia
posts: 9
reviews: 1
4. Re: Enlightened Traveller

Thanks for your reply. The news article was really informative

UK
posts: 10,192
5. Re: Enlightened Traveller

If you're worried about the money, you could do more checking about the Bond Plus Protection, which appears to pay out if the company you've booked with goes bankrupt - as it's UK based, you could try posting on the London forum and see whether someone can help you with what to look for. With ABTA, company names and registration can be checked online.

Enlightened Traveller seems like a small operation, but there's no particular reason why they shouldn't do a good job - they've presumably been in business for a little while to be recommended in the press?

Staunton, Virginia
posts: 9
reviews: 1
6. Re: Enlightened Traveller

The article in the Independent does reference the company, which is a comfort but didn't give a specific recommendation. We'd love if someone, somewhere gave a favorable review or any review at all. If we go with Enlightened Traveler it looks like we will be the first to post reviews in the travel forums when we come back.

Our worry is of course, the money and we are checking into the Bond plus protection, but we have the immediate fear of arriving in Provence and not having our accomodations and tour in place. It feels like a leap of faith.

Tokyo, Japan
posts: 587
reviews: 2
7. Re: Enlightened Traveller

Perhaps this is a more in hindsight question, but how did you find this company in the first place? You may be able to contact the media source involved and ask for more info.

Staunton, Virginia
posts: 9
reviews: 1
8. Re: Enlightened Traveller

We found it by googling walking tours in Provence and Enlightened Traveller's website showed up. Our next step was researching the travel forums to look for comments about Enlightened Traveller. We just assumed we would find some reviews but there is next to nothing. I don't want to slander the company they have not done anything wrong.

We realized we are starting our trip of a lifetime with a nervous feeling, we have a couple of weeks before we leave and four days in Paris and It's not worth spending all that time being nervous about what's going to happen when we land in Provence. We've asked for our deposit back.

UK
posts: 10,192
9. Re: Enlightened Traveller

My reading of their terms and conditions is that if you cancel less than 30 days before the start of your holiday, you are liable for the FULL cost, not just loss of deposit. Those are fairly standard terms in my experience of this type of holiday - you are expected to take out travel insurance to cover your own losses if you can't go or change your mind:

enlightened-traveller.co.uk/pages/…

I did a bit more digging around after your last post, and there is nothing about them that rings alarm bells, just that they are fairly recent and presumably not savvy enough to get lots of mates to post admiring messages on travel websites.

Bedoin, France
posts: 4,913
reviews: 10
10. Re: Enlightened Traveller

Yes, as Diz linked (#8 on the PDF T&C's), those are stiff penalties. Are you sure you want to do that?

Could they provide you with some independent contacts who have taken the tours so you could call them and discuss their experience? This might put your mind at ease, and give you new inspiration for the tour you booked.

Otherwise, you could end up paying for a complete holiday you don't intend to take...

How did you pay the deposit? Credit Card?