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Spirit Trails - insightful encounters with people and planet - travel
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT OUR TRIPS
ALTERNATIVE DATES
The itineraries listed are "set group departures" which operate on the fixed dates mentioned. We may be able to run these trips on other dates, so please enquire. Also we will shortly be adding more tour options to our website so check again soon!
CHECK WITH US BEFORE YOU BOOK
As we are constantly working with our Native American friends, guides and tour operators to refine and improve our tours, it is normally a good idea to contact us before booking to make sure you have the most up-to-date itinerary, dates and prices for the trip you are interested in.
SPECIAL ARRANGEMENTS
We are always happy to endeavour to meet any special requests you may have in terms of adapted/extended itineraries, dates, budgets, visits to particular tribes, special places or events. The "set group departure" itineraries on this website give some good indications of what are desirable and effective combinations of locations and activities. We also work with a tour operator in the USA who can make arrangements for city stays and other locations and activities while you are in the States.
POSITIVE ATTITUDE
A positive attitude, adaptability and a sense of humour are essential for travelling off the beaten track and with people of a different culture, and of course, help to make the trip even more enjoyable, stimulating and rewarding. Especially on the more adventurous trips, it is important to be prepared for the occasional discomfort or change in the itinerary. If you are unsure about any aspect of a tour please give us a ring and we will be delighted to discuss it in more detail.
GROUP SIZE
Our groups are kept small due to the special nature of our itineraries, and because we place special importance on the personal attention that small group size makes possible. Group size is normally limited to six or eight guests for horse-riding trips, and eight or ten guests on other adventure and cultural itineraries. Some of the retreats have a maximum size of 12 or 14 guests.
AGE AND FITNESS
Our trips are designed to be within the ability and comfort zone of virtually anyone who enjoys good health, is moderately fit, and above all adaptable. Please contact us before booking for any special fitness requirements for specific itineraries. As long as you are young at heart there are no age restrictions, although a doctor's certificate may be required in some cases. All travel involves some physical exertion, even non-hiking/adventure tours, especially in summer heat. If the trip you have picked involves hiking, river-rafting or horseback riding as an integral element, it is always best to exercise regularly to prepare yourself physically and mentally for an active outdoor experience. You are advised against booking if you suffer from any disability that would prohibit your full participation in your chosen trip. Please enquire if you are unsure.
HORSE-RIDING
Short horse-riding excursions in the itineraries are usually open to those with limited experience, but you will probably enjoy the trip more and feel more comfortable in the saddle if you have had some riding lessons or hacks near home first; this is therefore highly recommended. Riding in Indian country is generally not the nose-to-tail trail riding offered on most ranches in the USA, and offers a much greater sense of freedom on horseback.

The multi-day horse-riding trips are generally advisable for those with more riding experience, who are comfortable riding at all paces. Also, it is important that you have experience of comfortably managing five to six or more hours in the saddle per day, for trips involving full days of riding. Please see individual itineraries or contact us for more details.

TO BRING
For luggage we recommend that you travel light and bring one medium-sized suitcase or rucksack (max 20kg), sleeping bag and mat for tours involving camping and/or tipi or hogan stays (these can be supplied on some trips, please check with us), personal gear and a day pack. Tents and camping equipment will be provided. The climate varies, but temperatures will generally be hot during late June, July, August and early September. For early and late season tours, and at higher elevation, we strongly recommend that you bring a warmer sleeping bag and blanket. Please bear in mind that temperatures fall at night - especially in high/desert areas and in the north. It is a good idea to bring a warm sweater and perhaps other cool weather gear.
NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE
All tour prices are GROUND ONLY: exclusive of the cost of flights, flight taxes, and also personal travel insurance. We shall be glad to advise you about suitable flights and ticketing agents, and also insurance policies. Also not included are items of a personal nature such as souvenirs, alcohol & soft drinks, room service, telephone calls, laundry, gratuities and sightseeing activities not included in the itineraries.
PRICES
The prices are PER PERSON and relate to two people sharing double/twin accommodation. The prices are based on available rates at time of printing, and may be subject to change: please enquire for up-to-date prices and any single supplements (if available) before completing the booking form. When considering our prices, please note tour quality, length, logistics, guiding, transfers and meals included, and number of locations visited in our tours.
FLIGHTS
Please note: at the present time we do not organise or sell flights in connection with the tours described on this website. If asked, we can refer our customers to companies with whom they can book such arrangements.
INSURANCE
It is a condition of participation on our tours that you have valid and adequate travel and health insurance to cover you for medical expenses, repatriation, personal liability, tour cancellation etc; and it must cover you for any adventure activities you will be taking part in. It is important that you arrange your insurance cover as soon as you have received your booking confirmation, and that you send us details of your cover (photocopy of certificate). Also bring a copy of your insurance details when you travel, for consultation in case of emergency. We shall be glad to help you find a quotation for insurance cover if requested.
VISAS, PASSPORTS AND HEALTH

A Visa Waiver Programme means visas are not needed by UK or EC passport holders to travel to the USA, but you must have the correct type of passport for this scheme. Please check that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your planned return home, and bring it with you when you travel.

Since January 2009, if you are travelling under the Visa Waiver
Programme, you must apply for an ESTA (Travel Authorisation to the
United States) before you travel, which can be obtained by applying
online at least 72 hours before your departure to the USA. Also,
airlines are required to collect Advance Passenger Information
from passengers prior to travel to the USA.

There are no special health formalities required for visitors to the USA.

FINANCIAL SECURITY
The Spirit Trails booking conditions and financial security arrangements comply with the Package Travel Regulations 1992. We have set up a special "client account" which secures your money. Only after you have completed your holiday with us is the money you have paid transferred from this account, so in the unlikely event of our insolvency, the money owed to you can be returned.
MAKING A BOOKING
To make a booking for one of the trips as detailed on this website, simply download our booking form (please click here to download a copy), and send it duly completed and signed to us with a cheque for 200 deposit for each person (non-returnable). Please ensure you read the Terms and Conditions of booking first.

It is a good idea to contact us on 020 8428 7623 or e-mail us at info@spirit-trails.com before booking to check availability (and to check you have the most up-to-date departure dates and prices) for the trip you are interested in.

The balance of payment must be made at least six weeks prior to departure. We may be able to take bookings shortly before the start of a tour, but early booking is recommended, especially for the summer when flight availability for late bookings may be a problem. If you are booking less than six weeks prior to departure full payment will be required immediately after booking.