Frequently Asked Questions

Here at Arena Rail Holidays, we make booking your holiday as straightforward and stress-free as possible by providing you with all the information you need to plan your perfect trip. Below, we have listed some of the most frequently asked questions about our range of holidays by rail. Take a look and see if the answer to your query has been included. If not, feel free to get in touch.

ABOUT YOUR HOLIDAY

Why travel by train? Enjoy the journey as much as the destination when you travel by rail. You can travel in comfort, you can stretch your legs and have a walk to the buffet car or sit back and relax as you admire the ever changing picturesque scenery as it glides past. There is no need to arrived hours before the train departs, its only an hour before your departure time.

How many people will be on our holiday? The number will vary between each holiday, we would normally require a minimum of 15 people of operate the holiday and have a maximum of 49 people.

Will there be optional excursions? From time to time your tour manager may suggest extra trips or excursions, which are payable locally. These are not always available all the time on every tour, but may be offered on an ad hoc basis if the tour manager thinks they will add to our customers overall holiday enjoyment. It is entirely up to you if you wish to take part as they are not compulsory.

What is the difference between premier class and standard class? All of our Eurostar rail journeys include standard class travel. You can upgrade for a little extra which will be able to enjoy a dedicated coach with spacious seats, power sockets, complimentary magazines as well as receiving a light meal with hot and cold drink.

What is the dress code? Casual clothing is acceptable on all of our holidays. We recommend layers and sturdy shoes for the train journeys and during the excursions. Some people like to dress more formally in the evenings.

What facilities will my hotel have? All of our hotels are carefully selected and conveniently located with amenities close by. Most of our hotels will be of a three or four star standard and will have en suite facilities, television and a telephone. With many of our hotels also having hairdryers, minibar, safe and tea and coffee facilities. A description of the hotel you will be staying at will be found on the on the itinerary tab for the holiday.

Will there be a Tour Manager? Your Tour Manager will normally be waiting in the departure area of the train station. From time to time our Tour Manager may have to be called away - please check in as normal and your Tour Manager will meet you in the departure lounge or on the train.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Special requests and dietary requirements All special requests (which we have been told about and are detailed on your invoice) will be passed to our suppliers, who will endeavour to comply with them. However, these cannot be guaranteed.

Mobility and suitability? We want all our customers to enjoy their holiday with us, and are keen to make our holidays as accessible to as many people as possible. However, some of our holidays are physically demanding and may not be suitable for everyone. Our reservations team will ask you questions at the point of booking, to see if anyone travelling on the holiday has any mobility issues or limitations. We ask that you are honest with us so we can ensure you enjoy your holiday. You must tell us if anyone in your party has any mobility issues which will affect their ability to fully undertake the holiday being booked. We cannot accept any liability if we are not told about any mobility issues before travel. Please advise us of any changes to your level of mobility between the point of booking and when you travel.

Luggage We recommend one suitcase of no more than 15 kgs per person, and one small item of hand luggage per person. Please ensure all important medication is in your hand luggage and not in your main suitcase (which you may not have access to at all times). Remember it is your responsibility to carry your luggage at all times, so please only take as much as you can comfortably carry. Less really is more on our holidays, which can be physically demanding and require a certain degree of personal mobility. In our experience people take more than they need, it really will make your holiday more enjoyable if you don’t take unnecessary items with you. Please keep all your belongings with you at all times except when stored for transit as they are your responsibility and we cannot accept any responsibility for lost or stolen items. Alternatively you can have your luggage sent ahead of you (and returned home as well) using our Baggage Man concierge service – for an additional fee you can add this to your booking at any time up to 4 weeks before you go, just call us on 01858 438 494.

Do I need travel insurance? It is compulsory for all our customers travelling abroad to have adequate travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive travel insurance policy which can easily be added to your booking. It is your responsibility to ensure your insurance is suitable for your needs. If you are taking any medication or have any pre-existing medical conditions then you must declare these to your travel insurers prior to travel.

What is a European Health Insurance Card and why do I need one? A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) replaces the old E111 form and entitles you to free or discounted medical care in some European countries. However, it is not accepted everywhere, and it is no substitute for travel insurance. The EHIC card is free and can be applied for online. More information can be found at www.gov.uk/european-health-insurance-card.

What are the passport requirements for my holidays? You must take a valid passport with you on holiday if travelling abroad, and this needs 6 months validity after your holiday return date. If you don’t hold a British Citizen passport then requirements may differ and you’ll need to check with the embassies of the countries you are visiting. At the time of going to print British Citizens do not need a visa to visit any of the countries we feature. It is your responsibility to ensure you have the right travel documents and we may require all passport information prior to your departure. Please see the passport information request leaflet enclosed with your invoice.

MAKING A BOOKING

How can I make a booking? Call our Holiday Advisors on 01858 438 450 to make a booking. We can hold provisional bookings for 48 hours. Lines are open Monday – Friday 9.00am to 5.30pm and Saturdays 9.00am to 1.00pm Alternatively book directly through our website

Can I book with my local agent? We accept booking through travel agents, simply pop down to your local brand and get them to book your holiday with us.

Booking Confirmation Once you have made and confirmed your booking we will send you a booking confirmation. Your confirmation will confirm all of your holiday details, hotel accommodation, amount paid, remaining balance and when its due.

How do I pay my balance? The balance due date for your holiday is shown on your confirmation invoice, and is 90 days before you depart. We won’t send you a reminder so please make a note of when your balance is due. Balances can be paid by cheque or card, and we don’t charge any card handling fees for debit or credit cards

What credit/ debit cards do you accept? We accept Debit – Visa Debit, Maestro and Mastercard Debit Credit – Visa and Mastercard Unfortunately we do not accept American Express

YOUR HOLIDAY DOCUMENTS

What information will I receive before I depart? We will usually just send you the first part of your outward travel train tickets. The tickets for the rest of your journey, including your return tickets home, will be with your Tour Manager.

When I will receive my travel documents? Your Travel Documents, including luggage labels, holiday itinerary and outward Eurostar train tickets will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure.

What currency will I need? All countries in Europe use the Euro, except Switzerland which uses the Swiss Franc, the Czech Republic (Czech Koruna), Hungary (Florint), Croatia (Kuna), Romania (Leu) and Bulgaria (Lev). The Post Office is a good source for the latest currency information.

Visa and passport requirements? You must take a valid passport with you on holiday, and this needs 6 months validity after your holiday return date. If you don’t hold a British Citizen passport then requirements may differ and you’ll need to check with the embassies of the countries you are visiting. At the time of going to print British Citizens do not need a visa to visit any of the countries we feature. It is your responsibility to ensure you have the right travel documents and we may require all passport information prior to your departure. Please see the passport information request leaflet enclosed with your invoice.

JOINING YOUR HOLIDAY

How do I get to London St Pancras? You can travel by regional train which will take you directly into a central station. Then just hop on a tube to London St Pancras which is served by the Northern, Victoria, Piccadilly, Circle, Hammersmith and the metropolitan line.

What time do I need to be at London St Pancras for? All rail timings will be confirmed to you with your Travel Documents which you’ll get around 10 days before you travel. You will need to be at the station one hour before the train departs.

Staying in London the night before We can book overnight hotel accommodation close to London St Pancras for the day before you are due to travel, leaving you fresh and already in centre of London on the day of departure. Speak to one of our Holiday Advisors for more information.

YOUR BOOKING

What if I or one of my companions can no longer travel on the holiday? You can call, write or email us to cancel your booking. This can be for either the whole party or individuals who cannot travel. You will be liable for cancellation charges so may not receive a refund of any monies you have paid – please refer to section 27 of our booking conditions for full details. If you are making an insurance claim this needs to be made directly with the insurance company.

Can I transfer someone’s place to another person? We are able to transfer places on our holidays to someone else if for any reason someone cannot travel. There will be an administration charge of up to £50 per person to do this. Any additional costs charged by our suppliers will also be due. Please note that this is not always guaranteed and may not be possible if requested at short notice or if the contracts with our suppliers don’t allow any changes (although this is unusual).

Will there be any alterations to my holiday? Our brochures are planned many months in advance, so from time to time it may be necessary for us to change part of your holiday. Changes are explained in more detail in section 26 of our booking conditions, but please rest assured that any changes are only made where we have to, or where we feel they will improve your holiday.