Frequently Asked Questions - Lost Beaches Travel Co.

FAQs

1. Can I do what I want each day? Or is there a schedule of activities?

The majority of days will have an activity itinerary that is completely up to you whether or not you want to participate. Our tour honchos will always recommend and have something planned, but this is your time – and you can do what you want with it. If that includes sitting on a beach all day – so be it! There is never any pressure to do anything.

2. How are your tour guides qualified?

We ensure our tour honchos are experts in each country and have knowledge of all the important locations such as: Airport locations, Hospital/First Aid locations and Passport/Embassy locations. Furthermore, each tour guide is very friendly, can help with any problem openly at your discretion and fun.

 

3. Talk to me about what is included in the full trip cost?

All of our trips include

-International round trip flight from chosen departure city to Bangkok Airport, including reception by LBT team upon arrival and transport to the trips first hotel (NOTE: Purchasers of ‘Land Only’ package are responsible for their own flight and transport to the trips first hotel by the required date. Depending on arrival time, ‘Land Only’ purchasers may be able to piggy-back on the LBTco airport mini-bus. Reach out to us for more details!)

-Experienced and fun Lost Beaches tour leaders (The Honchos!) that’ll ensure the group has an amazing, hassle-free experience

-Unreal visits to the must-see destinations across exotic Thailand, including Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Khao Sok, Railay, Koh Phi Phi, and Koh Phangan

-Amazing, comfortable, and safe accomodations each and every night of your epic Thai tour.

-Transportation to each of our breathtaking destinations including one-in-a-lifetime moments on mini-buses, trains, island ferries, power-boats, and long-tail boats

-Access and accommodations for the famous Thailand FULL MOON PARTY* (glow in the dark paint included!) *Select 16 day trips

-Riding and washing exotic Indian ELEPHANTS through the lucious Thai jungle

-An unreal ISLAND HOPPING party cruise around pristine tropical islands (Voted Best Trip Moconment 2013!)

-Mind-awakening Buddhist temples and sanctuaries

-World-famous Thailand TIGER temples

-Activities all trip long including wonderous waterfall treks, gorgeous viewpoint hikes, authentic Thai cooking lessons, adventurous oceanside rock-climbing, and lazy river tubing.

4. What is the average tour group size?

The group size for most trips ranges from 10 to 18 people, with an average of 12 adventurers and two tour leaders per group. Ideally we like to keep each trip below 18 people – we shy away from this being a traditional “bus” type tour. It is part of our company makeup to offer something completely unique in contrast to some “big name” companies that offer tours. Think of it as a hassle-free adventure where the focus is on being as immersive as possible within the local culture – and have an amazing time while doing it. Our tour honchos make any activities you can think of happen while providing some of the best accommodations, activities and trip flexibility possible – you won’t find this experience on a a big name tour company.

5. Tell me about the accommodations for the trip? Are they comfortable as well as safe?

We’ve done our research and chosen some of the coolest, safest and most memorable accomodations you can imagine! These range from hillside ocean-view guesthouses to beachside huts to floating bungalows on Khao Sok lake. We purposely stay at places that provide comfort and safety, but also expose the group to authentic Thailand. And do not fret: each accomodation has working toilets and showers! (NOTE: Upon trip registration, a schedule with exact accomodations locations with contact information will be sent out.)

6. How many destinations do we visit on our trip?

The number of destinations varies by trip-length and time of year. Reach out to a member of the Lost Beaches Travel Co. team to find out the where, when, and how for your planned travel period!

7. Who are the Honchos? (Tour Guides)

They are our amazing Tour Leaders.

By definition they are:

Hon·cho/hänCH/ , Noun: A super-awesome, crazy-reliable group tour extraordinaire!

Our Lost Beaches Travel Co tour leaders started out just like many of our travellers – adventure-seeking Westerners hoping to discover the world beyond the horizon! They have walked all the right paths and passed all the right tests, and have demonstrated that they are reliable, confident, and capable. And most importantly they know how to have a good time – and how to get everyone involved!

Our Trip Honcho’s have a strong working knowledge of Thailand and the countrys customs, especially the locations and transpotation routes that LBTco trips frequent. They are also trained in first-aid and emergency response, and are knowledgable about the locations of passport offices, airports, embassies, and hospitals.

8. Are Lost Beaches Travel Co. tours just one big party?

All Lost Beaches tours have been carefully planned out to ensure that our travellers are exposed to as wide a range of experiences as possible. While Thailand offers plenty of opportunities for travellers to get lost in the biggest party of their lives, it also provides endless opportunities to kick back and relax in some of the most amazing locations on earth. We arrange for plenty of cultural sight seeing including local temples, cuisine, and landmarks, to ensure the group flies home in love with the Thai way of doing things.

9. Is there something planned everyday of the trip or can make my own plans without the group?

The great thing about tours through Lost Beaches is the safety net of structure without any of the pitfalls of obligation. There are plenty of group activities that we don’t think should be missed (Full Moon Party: Check), but travellers are welcome to make their own day inside the structure of the LBTco trip locations. Whether it is joining the arranged group activity, hanging water-side in a hammock, or slipping away to the bar for an early start, your Lost Beaches trip is yours to explore.

10. Are the travel days going to be long?

The length of travel days varies, though usually these days start early enough to get to the next location (read: the next spectacular beach!) in time for some afternoon or evening play. Luckily, beautiful Thailand is pretty much the perfect backdrop for the means by which we cruise across the country.

11. How on earth does the group get around Thailand?

Tons of variety! Mini-busses, ferries, speed-boats, rafts, and of course, trains! Honestly, the travel days often produce some of the most memorable trip moments.

12. How is the food in Thailand?

Thailand is home to some of the world’s most interesting and delicious cuisine. Most dishes are prepared using fresh ingredients and authentic methods, and are typically inexpensive. While the food is very inexpensive, it is still of VERY high quality. There is also access to western food at most locations, though recommend every travellers jump out of their comfort zone at least once or twice. Trust us, you will eat VERY well throughout your time in country.

13. Can I bring my cell phone? Can I call anyone? Skype?

Please check with your service provider to see if they offer an international plan. These plans are typically expensive with limited options so beware! If you have an unlocked mobile device, Thai SIM cards are widely available and inexpensive – just ask your tour Honcho. Alternatively, there are internet cafes at the majority of our locations, so you can Skype, Facebook, or Instagram all your family and friends to tell them what an amazing time you’re having. Also, all LBT Honchos carry a phone at all times, and you can share this number with your family at home in case of an emergency.

14. Whats the weather like? When is rainy season?

Thailand is home to an amazing tropical climate that, despite some short-lived seasonal rain storms, provides beautiful travel weather all year round. Though the country experiences a cooler season between December and March, it is still warm and humid all twelve months of the year. Potential travellers often fear the so-called ‘rainy season’ during June and July, but there is no reason to do so. The heavy but short rainfalls are often a pleasant cool break – Weather has NEVER been an issue on any of our trips!

 

15. What type of accommodations do I stay at?

All of our accommodations are purely awesome. They are well-researched, unique and convenient locations. We do NOT stay in cheap hostels, or run down hotels. All of our accomodations were chosen with the traveler in mind, in an effort to make their experience as memorable as possible. It can vary from floating river bungalows, to beach side guest houses to unique hotels with a pool. A list of the accommodations and contact numbers will be given out upon registration. Still have questions before booking? check with a representative for specific details on each location.

16. I want to a join a travel group as a solo, is that cool?

ABSOLUTELY! It is common for each group to be half comprised of travellers joining the group as solo’s. Our tour Honchos specialize in making sure every adventurer – whether travelling as a solo, with a friend, or with a group of friends – has an amazing experience. Any Lost Beaches travel adventure is a great opportunity to meet all types of people and make new friends – ones that you’ll connect with forever! We  specialize in solo travelers in making sure they feel welcome, secure and part of the group. It is not uncommon for travellers who meet on a tour to continue travelling together at the conclusion of their time with LBT.

17. What is the average age of an Lost Beaches traveler?

There is no age limit on having an awesome travel experience, though the average LBT traveller is aged 18 to early 30s. Do not fret, age has never been and never will be a problem on a Lost Beaches travel tour.

18. How does money work in Thailand? How much money am I going to be spending daily? Should I bring a credit card?

On average our travellers spend between $15 and $30 (CAN$) dollars per day. The approximate currency exchange rate is 30 (Thai Baht) to 1 (CDN$). There are ATM’s at all of our locations and you are able to withdrawal Baht from your North American bank accounts. There is, however, a fee associated with withdrawals that ranges from $2 to $4 CDN. Please check with your financial services provider to confirm their processes and fees. Credit cards can also be used internationally in Thailand as well. Lost Beaches recommends you bring two forms of withdrawing money to avoid loss of connection or shortfalls.

19. Tell me about your accommodation, activity and food providers.

We put great value on collaboration between our people, because we know that creating exceptional travel experiences is more like an orchestra creating a symphony than a single genius making a painting. Our travel experiences come from  genuine and enduring relationships with locally owned accommodations, activity and food providers. Throughout our partnerships with locals and our travellers, we always take the time to make sure your experience is as unique, spontaneous and as awesome as you are.

20. How do flights work?

OPTION A (Flight and Land Included)

Under this option the Lost Beaches team is responsible for arranging the flight reservations of the traveller. Option A bookings must be completed no later than 30 days in advance of a travellers intended departure debate. When you arrive at Bangkok airport, you will be greeted by your LBT Tour Honcho (group leader), along with the other travellers within your group (more often than not travellers arrive on the same flight!). Please Note: Departure dates are subject to a possible 1 to 2 day change after booking. Flights will be sent to travellers within 20 days of the departure date.

OPTION B (Land Only)

Under this option the traveller is responsible for arranging his or her own flight reservations. This is the best option for travellers who might already be abroad, or want to book their flights using reward points. It is possible to make arrangements to meet the LBT group at Bangkok airport, if your flight alligns with arrival times of other group members – please speak to your LBT representative during booking about these arrangements. If not, Land Only travellers are provided the location of our Welcome Hotel in Bangkok, and are expected to meet the group there by the required date.

21. Is it possible to extend my stay?

Often travellers will wish to extend their stay in Thailand – either preplanned before the trip, or during the trip after seeing how amazing Southeast Asia is! Yes, it is possible to change your Thailand departure date, though its much easier to arrange before your trip. In the event of a desired flight change, the traveller accepts responsibility for all related airline change fees.

22. Do I need travel/medical insurance?

Travel insurance is mandatory for any traveller joining an LBT travel group. There are many options for international travel insurance, and while Lost Beaches recommends Blue Cross, but it is best to choose the coverage provider that you’re most comfortable with.

http://www.bluecross.ca/en/products/travel-coverage.html

For more information, see our travel insurance page here: http://www.lostbeachestravel.com/insurance-details/

23. Can I meet Lost Beaches Travel Co. in Thailand, even if I have plans to travel elsewhere before or after?

This is definitely something that can be done! Just please mention your plans to an LBT representative during the booking process so we can push the plans in the right direction! It is often best to choose Travel Option B (Ground Portion Only) if you have a pre-planned early arrival or late departure from Thailand or Southeast Asia.

 

24. Can I fly into Thailand with the group and depart from another city/country?

If you plan to depart from an airport other than Suvarnabhumi International (Bangkok) then please make these arrangements with the Lost Beaches team at least 60 days prior to your departure. As with any special itinerary there may be additional fees that you are responsible for.

25. I'm totally into this, what do I need to start packing?

Upon registration an e-mail with a list of what to bring on your travel adventure will be sent to you. Also, check out our blog for some packing tips!

26. How exactly do I book my trip? And how do I reserve a spot?

We’ve tried really hard to make the booking process as hassle-free as possible;

1.  First fill out our registration form here:

LostBeachesTravel.com/BookNow

2.  On the next page you will have a choice of available departure dates. At this point you will have the option of reserving your spot with a $200 deposit if you do not wish to pay in full immediately.

3.  Choose your payment method. If you are having any issues with this, please do not hesitate to call us at 1 877 373 1199

4.  A confirmation e-mail with trip information (what to bring) will be sent to you following the online booking process. If Option A (Flight Included) was chosen, then your flight information will be forwarded to you as soon as its available!

5.  Get ready to hit the beach – THAI STYLE!

27. Now that I'm ALL IN on my Thailand adventure, how do I pay Lost Beaches?

There are several payment options available to travellers:

Upon registering and after choosing a trip start date, you will be given payment details:

How to Pay: Our preferred options are:

  1. PayPal, simply send payments to Payments@LostBeachesTravel.com
  2. Interac E-Transfer, login to your online banking and look for “Interac” or “E transfer” or “Email money transfer” (EMT), again payments can be emailed to Payments@LostBeachesTravel.com
  3. By Post, not the quickest method anymore, but if you’re stuck you may send a Cashier’s Cheque, Money Order, or Personal Cheque (note a bank holding time will apply for Personal Cheques, so be sure to send them at least 14 days before your payment deadline)

Contact a Lost Beaches Travel Co representative to discuss our payment options.

There are a couple payment structures available to travellers:

1. Pay In Full At Booking – Under this option the traveller pays their total booking fee at the time of booking. This is the easiest way to secure your spot and start the countdown to your days in paradise!

2. Pay A $200 US Non-Refundable Deposit At Booking – The $200 deposit reserves the travellers spot on the trip. The remaining balance is paid in full over two to three future installments, 3, 4, or 5 months, 2 months, and 1 month before the trip departure date. Reminder notices/invoices will be sent via email to make sure payments are received on time. Note at any time you may pay the remaining balance on your account for those who find it more convenient to have one less deadline to worry about!

Trip Pricing

Our trips may vary in price slightly throughout the year, but generally for the ground-only portion of our 35 day “Paradise Found” trip we charge $2,669, our 26 day “Beaches & Beyond” from $2,339, and our 16 day “Island Bliss” tour from $1,729. We also offer to organize the airfare portion of your trip, which often gets you on the same plane and stopovers as fellow Lost Beaches Adventurers, and guarantees that our team members will be able to pick you up at Bangkok International Airport and includes private transport to our hotel.  Prices for this vary depending on city of departure. For up to date pricing, visit Our Trips page and select your city and date of travel.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations at least 60 days before the trip departure date will receive a full refund minus a $200 US administration fee. For cancellations over 30 days and under 30 days before departure, the fees are $300 and $500 respectively. These fees are due to accommodation, activities, and transportation tickets being prebooked, as well as the displacement of other adventurers seeking the same travel dates. For bookings with airfare, additional fees may apply as per airline policy. These fees will be passed on to the the cancelling party, note that some airlines may not offer refunds at all, in which the price of the airline ticket must still be charged. Cancellations within 60 days of the departure date will be allowed to reschedule their trip to a later date, but are still subject to the forfeiting of the $200 US administration fee, and availability is not guaranteed. Lost Beaches Travel Co. cancellation policies are in accordance with our terms and conditions. Pre-bookings/deposits are transferrable and non-refundable.

28. Do I need vaccinations before my trip?

While we have never had a serious medical issue on an Lost Beaches Travel Co. trip, Lost Beaches recommends that travellers consult their family physician or travel clinic for an official recommendation.

For a list of recommended travel clinics close to you, check this Government of Canada travel health site for a comprehensive list;

http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/

29. Can I drink tap water in Thailand?

Sadly no, but fresh bottled water is readily available and inexpensive throughout Thailand.

30. Should I be worried about bug bites in Thailand?

No more than you would be at home!

31. How long is my Thai Visa? Where do I get one?

All North American travellers are eligible for a free 30-day travel visa upon entering Thailand – this is applicable if the term of your stay in Thailand is LESS THAN 30 DAYS. If for any reason you are planning to stay longer than 30 days, please apply for the 60-day Tourist visa. Shoot us a message or call if you have anymore concerns or questions about this.

Here is a list of all the Thailand consulates where you can register for a Thailand visa;

http://www.thaiembassy.ca/en/visiting-thailand/visas/obtaining-visa-canada

And here is a VISA F.A.Q. from the Canadian embassy website:

http://www.thaiembassy.ca/en/visiting-thailand/visas/general-visa-info

List of Thai Consulates in Canada

Royal Thai Embassy in Ottawa

180 Island Park Drive

Ottawa, Ontario,K1Y 0A2

Tel. (613) 722-4444

Fax (613) 722-6624

E-mail: consular@thaiembassy.ca

Website: www.thaiembassy.ca

Royal Thai Consulate General in Vancouver

1040 Burrard St,

Vancouver, B.C. V6Z 2R9

Tel. (604) 687-1143

Fax (604) 687-4434

E-mail: info@thaicongenvancouver.org

Website: www.thaicongenvancouver.org

Royal Thai Consulate in Toronto

17 Isabella St, Suite 100

Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1M7

Tel. (416) 850-0110

Fax (416) 850-1431

E-mail: info@thaiconsulatetoronto.com

Website: www.thaiconsulatetoronto.com

Royal Thai Consulate in Calgary

Lacey Court

344-12 Avenue S.W,

Calgary, Alberta T2R OH2

Tel. (403) 266-6995

Fax: (403) 294-0667

E-mail: thaical@jrlacey.com

Royal Thai Consulate in Edmonton

Suite 202, 10544 -114 Street,

Edmonton, Alberta T5H 3J7

Tel. (780) 439-3576

Fax. (780) 452-1610

E-mail: rtcgen@gmail.com

Royal Thai Consulate in Montreal

1155 Boulevard Rene-Levesque Quest

Suite 2500, Quebec H3B 2K4

Tel. (514) 878-4466

Fax. (514) 878-2446

E-mail: info@thaiconmtl.com