Frequently Asked Questions

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General Questions

   Do I need to obtain a Visa before I travel?
British citizens do not require any visas for travel in Western Europe (for visits of up to 90 days in any 180 day period). For other holidays, if British citizens require a visa this will generally be mentioned on the web page for that destination (in the Dates and Prices section) but please note that it is your responsibility to make sure you carry valid travel documents and visas. If you are not a British citizen, please contact the consulates of the countries we will be travelling through to check the current visa and entry requirements.
 
   Do I need vaccinations for my holiday?
It's best to contact your GP to see if you will need any vaccinations. They will have records of your previous vaccinations and also have access to the latest World Health Organisation advice on vaccinations for each country. If they need to know which part of the country you will be travelling to, you should find this information in the Detailed Information for your holiday (which will be sent at least two months before departure) or you can contact us.
 
A useful website for travel-related health advice is www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk.
 
   Do you offer single rooms?
On some holidays it is possible to pay a supplement for a single room. However, we encourage solo travellers to share with others on our holidays in general. We allocate rooms on a single-sex basis and try to room people of a similar age together. Most people find that sharing a room helps them make friends quickly on a group holiday and the vast majority of people really enjoy the experience! If it is possible to book a single room on a particular trip, you will see this option when you click on the dates for the holiday. Any supplements must be paid at the time of booking. Room supplements are non-refundable and non-transferable.
 
   How does Brexit affect the holidays?
The holidays themselves are continuing to run in the same way after Brexit. It’s worth just bearing in mind a few paperwork changes. The main differences are: the EHIC has been replaced by the GHIC (see here for details), your passport may now need additional validity (see 'How much time do I need left on my passport?' below) and you can now stay in the EU for up to 90 days (in any 180 day period) without a visa.
 
In the future, those living in the UK will also need to fill in a form to obtain a visa waiver (known as ETIAS) but this isn't expected to be required until mid-2025 at the earliest.
 
   How does Oak Hall handle lost property?
Oak Hall Team will do their best to return lost property to guests. Any property remaining at the end of a holiday or an event at Otford Manor will be logged and retained for at least 4 weeks. If you think you may have lost something then please get in touch. We would ask that guests cover any postage costs incurred in returning items to them.
 
   How much time do I need left on my passport?
Israel requires you to have at least 6 months remaining on the last day of the tour.
 
For Europe, following Brexit, rules have changed for British citizens visiting Schengen countries (which includes most countries in Europe). Your passport may not be valid even if it has a few months remaining. Please check your passport as shown below:
  • Check the issue date of your passport. It needs to be less than 10 years before the start of your holiday.
  • Check the expiry date of your passport. It needs to be at least 3 months after the end of your holiday.
 
For all countries, British citizens can visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to check the latest rules.
 
   How old are guests on the trip?
Whatever age you are, you will most probably find like-minded, similar aged people on your trip. When we created Oak Hall Expeditions (est. 1961!) we tailored our trips with twenties and thirties in mind - those ready for making new friendships and ready for adventures! While continuing with that original style, we now invite anyone aged seven and upwards to join us and enjoy a wide range of ages on all of our trips. Each year, we have one or two events exclusively for twenties and thirties, as well as a couple of trips for families with children as young as 3. On all trips, those under 18 should be accompanied by an adult.
   How will rooms be allocated on my holiday?
Bedrooms are normally allocated by the office before departure. Please let us know if you require a family room or if you would like to share with a friend. Mixed accommodation is only available for married couples or families.
 
It is our policy that under 18’s cannot share with people they do not know. We therefore ask that under 18s are either roomed with other under 18s who are known to them or with members of their own family or their guardian.
 
On some holidays it is possible to pay a supplement for a single room or a particular type of room. These supplements will be detailed on the website and must be paid at the time of booking. Room supplements are non-refundable and non-transferable.
 
   I don’t have a Christian faith, is it OK to come?
YES! You are warmly welcome. We are delighted that many join us from all kinds of backgrounds. One of the most important elements of these tours are the short evening events where one of the team will read and explain a short part of the Bible to the group - these are interesting sessions as they take us to consider some of the biggest themes… All parts of an Oak Hall trip are optional but we do tend to find that just about everyone comes along to everything!
   I have a dietary requirement, please can I have some further information?
For each season we put together a helpful list of the resorts and how they are able to cater, please visit this link to read further: www.oakhall.co.uk/catering/
   I would like to serve with the Oak Hall team
We find that serving with us works best for those who have first travelled with Oak Hall as a guest. There are a number of opportunities... read more here.
   Is the EHIC card still valid after Brexit?
The EHIC card has been replaced by the GHIC card. A GHIC is free (if you are resident in the UK), and it could save you a lot of money and hassle if you need medical help while you are travelling in Europe. You can still use your EHIC (European Health Insurance card) if it hasn’t expired. Some travel insurance companies require you to have a GHIC (or valid EHIC). For more details and to apply: www.ghic.org.uk
 
 
   What is the minimum age to travel?
We take anyone aged 7 and older on most of our holidays. Any guests under 18 need to be accompanied by an adult. We usually run a Family week each Summer and Winter where children over 3 are also welcome.
   What should I look for in travel insurance?
We have a separate page about travel insurance. Please click here for more details.
   When will the next season’s programme be published?
Our summer programme is usually published at the end of November and our winter programme during the first half of June.

Accounts & Site Login

   How do I log in to my account?
Click here and enter your email address and password. If you have not set up a password with us, but you have given us your email address, please use the 'forgotten password' box on this page and we will send you a new password. If you have made a booking with Oak Hall before but not given an email address, please contact the office and ask us to add your email address to your records. You will then be able to request a password as detailed above.
 
   What are "cookies"?
In computer jargon, "cookies" are very short text files that are saved on a user's computer when visiting a website.
 
Our site, like most websites, needs to use cookies to work properly. This means, for example, that when you return to our Oak Hall site, you don't need to re-enter your booking number every time - it's as though our website remembers you. Actually, our site has not remembered - it was the cookie saved on your computer that told our site where your booking was when you revisited.
 
We assume - as explained on the front page of our site - that a person's use of our site indicates that they are happy with this arrangement.
 
You can learn more about cookies at this site: https://cookiesandyou.com/
 
   What do I do if I have forgotten my password / How do I get a password?
See above – 'How do I log in to my account?'
 

Booking & Payments

   After booking, when will I get my final details?
For all holidays, a link will be included in your booking confirmation e-mail giving details about the accommodation, what to bring etc. This will be updated with additional details as we get closer to departure but should show all the key information at least two months before the departure date.
   Are journeys by Oak Hall coach protected?
Yes. All your payments for coach holidays are kept in a Trust Account until after your holiday is completed. This provides your security for protection against the unlikely event of insolvency and ensures a full refund and repatriation.
 
   Are Oak Hall expeditions ATOL protected?
Yes, all the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: atol.org.uk
Our ATOL license number is 3207.
 
   Can I pay in instalments?
Yes, after you've paid your deposit you can make additional payments at any time. However, full payment is required two months before the trip departure date. Log into your account, open your booking, click 'Pay Outstanding'. On the next screen, scroll to the bottom right and click 'Pay Partial Amount' to enter the amount you'd like to pay.
   How do I add another guest to my booking?
During the booking process, when you have added your own details an 'Add new Guest' button appears. Click on this to add another person to your booking. You will need to select this option for each new person you wish to add. You are not able to add another person to your booking once you have made a payment, so in this case it is best for your travel companion to make their own booking (using a separate e-mail address) and mention your name in the room share as necessary.
 
   How do I put myself on the waiting list for a trip?
If a particular trip or room option is fully booked, you can put yourself on the waiting list by clicking "book" as though you were booking on to the trip. The system will take your details and put you on the waiting list. It will not charge you anything at this stage. The office team will get in touch with you if a place becomes available to ask if you are still able to join us.
   How much is the deposit?
If you are booking more than two months in advance you can just pay a deposit (plus any room supplements). For all winter holidays, Otford Manor events and most summer holidays this is £50. For long haul summer holidays, the deposit is generally £150 due to higher airline and hotel deposits. The balance is due two months before departure for summer and winter holidays (or one month before for Manor events).
   What if my holiday cannot go ahead?
If, in the highly unlikely event, it were not possible for an Oak Hall trip to go ahead due to new regulations or unforeseen circumstances outside of Oak Hall's control, we would return your money to your bank account, including your deposit, in full.
 
   What is Oak Hall's Guest Cancellation Policy?
If you book more than two months before departure, a deposit is payable to reserve your place with us (for most holidays this is £50, for long-haul destinations it is generally £150). Any room-supplement is paid at the time of making this initial reservation. This deposit and room-supplement is non-returnable. It is also non-transferrable but if you contact us more than two months before departure and want to transfer to an alternative holiday in the same season (i.e. summer or winter), we will do our best to help you where possible. In the case of a name substitution, the deposit is non-transferable and is therefore payable by your nominee.
 
The balance of your holiday payment is due two calendar months before departure. Please make a note of when the payment is due. We do send an automated reminder but it may get caught in your e-mail filters. We often have a waiting list of those wanting to come, so please let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to travel. Also, we may cancel unpaid places and release them to others.
 
After the two month payment deadline, the full cost is non-returnable. Please ensure that you have travel insurance cover from the time that you pay for your holiday, as you may be able to make a claim through your travel insurance company if your reason for cancellation falls within the terms of their policy.
 
   Where can I get booking forms to print?
Please click on the link below. Please note that we recommend that guests book via the website rather than by post!
Oak Hall Expeditions Printable Booking Form
 
   Where can I read through the booking terms and conditions again?
Please click here to read the terms and conditions.
 

Transport & Travel

   Can I arrange my own flights?
On many of the holidays you can meet us at the overseas airport (for a flight trip) or at the destination itself. For winter holidays, this will be shown as a separate option in the Dates and Prices section and the cost of the optional airport transfer will be given. The trip code will usually contain an 'X' to indicate own travel. For summer holidays, it will be shown as a discount from the basic cost of the trip (click 'View/Book' next to the relevant dates to see the discount). During the booking process you will see the cost for the optional airport transfer. If you wish to meet at the airport we would suggest booking a flight that arrives at least 2 hours before the group flight to allow for any delays.
 
   Can I use my Oak Hall flights to get frequent flyer points?
Generally airlines do not allow us to submit frequent flyer numbers in advance for group bookings but you can normally add them by asking at the airport or by contacting the airline's reward programme after travelling (e.g. BA Executive club).
   Electric car charge points - do you have them at Otford Manor?
At this point we do not have facilities for recharging electric cars at Otford Manor. There are many points available within a couple of miles though - please click here for a map to show the nearest locations.
   How do I find out flight or coach times?
If they are already available, you can find the flight/coach details for your trip by locating the relevant resort on the website and selecting 'Book/view' for the correct trip code. Please scroll to the bottom of that page where you will find the timings and meeting information.
 
   How much luggage can I take with me?
As a group we dress casually and our hotels and mountain centres are cosy, so whether travelling by coach or air, please keep your luggage light and to a minimum. Please make sure your case is robust and weatherproof, as we cannot accept responsibility for any damage.
 
On The Coach
With legal weight limits for our coaches that cannot be exceeded, we are unable to accept luggage in excess of 20kg. Overweight luggage can result in delays at borders and crossings. Please also ensure that your suitcase is no larger than 75 litres and 150cm total dimensions (length + height+ depth).
 
For winter trips, boots may be brought in a separate bag as part of your 20kg allowance. One set of skis or a snowboard can also be carried on our coach at an extra cost of £20, provided we have space available and it has been pre-booked when you make your initial reservation.
 
On The Plane
The checked baggage allowance varies between airlines but generally it is either 20kg or 23kg, with one additional piece of hand baggage weighing up to 8kg. Each airline treats winter sporting equipment differently and charges sometimes apply. Please check the website of the relevant airline for detailed information.
 
   What happens at the airport?
One of our team members will meet you at your designated meet point at the time specified online and in your Detailed Information document. Please make sure you speak to them before you check in for your flight. There are no paper tickets (everything is done electronically and our team member will have any information you require for this). For groups, check-in is done at the airport (i.e. the airlines generally don't offer online check-in for groups ). All you need to check in is your passport.
 
Once you have checked in for your flight you will be issued with a boarding pass and you then need to go straight through security to departures. For up-to-date information about restricted items in your hand luggage please click here. Sizing restrictions vary between airlines.
 
Once you are in the departures area, please keep an eye on the departure boards for your gate number and make your way to the gate to board the plane. When you reach your destination airport, follow signs through passport control to baggage reclaim.
 
The group will meet by the baggage carousel, once everyone has reclaimed their bags, to go through arrivals together.
 
   What happens if my flight is cancelled before our holiday leaves?
For flights booked through Oak Hall, the airline are usually able to offer us an alternative so that the holiday can still go ahead. If an appropriate alternative could not be found, we would offer a full refund.
 
   What happens on an Oak Hall coach - how does a coach journey work?
Travelling by coach means we soon get to know each other. With free hot drinks and warm conversations, the Oak Hall coach is our favourite way to travel!
 
Having met up with everyone and following an introduction from our Oak Hall holiday leader, we proceed to the Eurotunnel complex. Here we normally have a short break and enjoy light refreshments before the 35 minute train shuttle to Calais. The train, which is brightly lit and air conditioned, offers toilet facilities and an opportunity to get off the coach. As well as Eurotunnel, we sometimes use ferry crossings - these are spacious and welcoming with restaurants and comfortable facilities on board.
 
Following the channel crossing, for most holidays we travel overnight to our destination. The coach seats recline and are spaced generously to allow plenty of legroom. The climate is well controlled with fresh, warmed air circulating through the large cabin. There are toilet facilities on board.
 
We recommend bringing layered clothing, a small pillow and your wash kit in your hand luggage. You may wish to bring packed food with you for the journey, we do also make regular stops at motorway service areas if you prefer to buy food en route.
 
Smoking is not permitted on our coaches and we are unable to carry alcohol on board or in our baggage trailers.
 
   What time do I need to arrive at Otford Manor to park my car before my trip departure?
Please arrive at Otford Manor 45 minutes before the Sainsbury's meet time. Please drop any passengers and their hand luggage at Sainsbury's before coming to the Manor car park to park and load all your main luggage on to the trailer.
 
   Where is the Folkestone meet point?
The Folkestone meet point is at the Stop24 motorway service station. This is at junction 11 of the M20 in Kent. If you are parking, please park in the allocated bays in the car park and make payment as directed by the signs. The coach will meet you in the coach park area. There is a waiting room here.
 

Winter Holiday Questions

   Can you tell me more about Lift Passes?
Yes! We've made a section of the website dedicated to this theme: please click here for more info.
   For holidays that do not include the price of the lift pass, when can I pay for it?
Lift passes come in great variety, depending on age, duration, time of the season and your chosen resort. On the specific winter trip page, you will find details of the ski passes available and you will be able to choose the right one. For holidays that do not include a lift pass in the holiday price, prices will be updated one week before departure (in the evening of that day), in line with the current exchange rate on the Post Office website. We ask you to pay for your pass online before your holiday departs so that it can be ready for you from the first morning of your holiday. Any discount given to Oak Hall on the passes is used to buy lift passes for our volunteer team.
 
   For winter accommodation, what linen do I need to bring?
When staying in our hotels, all linen is provided for you. If you are staying in our mountain centres / chalets you will need to bring some linen. Here are the specific details (organised by trip code):
 
C – Chalet Souvenir, Champéry - Bed linen is provided. Please bring a towel.
 
F - Gasthof Steinabad, Feldberg - Bed linen is provided. Please bring a towel.
   What does a typical day look like on a ski/board holiday?
A daily schedule might look like this:
 
07:00 - Prayer gathering
07:30 - Breakfast & make a packed lunch
08:10 - Head off to the slopes
09:00 - Morning ski/board lessons
11:30 - Meet for lunch
12:30 - Afternoon ski/board lessons
15:30 to 17:00 - Head back to the accommodation
18:00 - Evening meal
20:00 - Evening meeting
(A time of music, prayer, a personal story from one of the Oak Hall team, and a Bible talk)
21:15 - Evening activities
(eg games, quizzes, walks, curling/ice skating, fondues)
 
If you've never been on a snowsports holiday, it might sound a bit busy. But trust us, these holidays are lots of fun and include plenty of time for hot chocolates and relaxation! Activities are optional and you can choose to rest or ski/board more, depending on your personal preference.
 
   What is an Advanced Ski Course?
We only run a handful of these courses each year. They are an excellent way to develop your winter sports skills if you are an experienced intermediate/advanced skier wanting to improve even further. Click here for more information.
 
   What is Family Week?
Each winter we run a Family Week where we welcome children as young as three to join us. We will have additional evening activities in the hotel especially for them. Our speaker will also be carefully selected to provide family teaching during our evening meetings.
   What is the minimum age for instruction?
Our minimum age for ski instruction is 7 years and for snowboard instruction is 12 years. On Family Week our minimum age for ski instruction is reduced to 4 years.

Summer Holiday Questions

   Can I bring my own bike for a cycling trip?
With our space restrictions, we regret that we are unable to carry anyone’s own bike on our coach or in the trailer.
   Can I do just one of the excursions?
Many of the summer holidays have a separate, optional excursion package. If you would like to join these excursions, please book the package in advance. To ensure we can keep the cost low for everyone, the excursions are offered as a package, rather than being available separately.
 
   How big will my tent be on a camping trip?
The tents are provided by Oak Hall. They are generally used to accommodate two people but there is enough space for three people if you would prefer. The Oak Hall team will show you how to put up/take down your tent.
 
   Is there a guide for the excursions?
On some excursions in Europe we hire a local guide (if so, this will generally be mentioned in the resort description) but in most locations people tend to prefer to explore at their own pace in smaller groups. The Oak Hall team members will come with the group on the excursions and be available to give suggestions of things to see etc.
For the tours outside Europe we often have a guide with the group for some/all of the time, as well as the Oak Hall team.
   What do I need to bring on a camping trip?
We would recommend the following items:
  • Sunglasses and high-factor sun cream
  • Waterproof coat
  • Camping cutlery & crockery (including water bottle)
  • Backpack and drink bottle
  • Tea towel (for washing up your cutlery/crockery)
  • A continental adaptor (to operate electrical items). NB - there is a very limited number of power points available.
  • Towel, airbed (with foot pump) or roll mat, pillow and a warm sleeping bag.
  • Swimwear (there is often a local swimming pool).
  • Hand washing soap (on most campsites this is not provided in the toilets)
  • Small first aid kit
  • Torch
  • Bible
  • Cycle helmet
  • Padded cycling shorts / a gel seat cover if you find standard bike seats uncomfortable
 
   What happens on the free days for summer holidays?
Non-excursion days will be free days, giving you the chance to simply relax, or explore other things of interest in the local area. The leader will suggest things you may wish to do. Often people head off with others from the group that they have met who have similar interests.

Manor Questions

   How do I book the Manor for my group event?
Click here to see details about using the Manor for group events. You will find an enquiry form to complete towards the bottom of the page.
 
   Is bedding provided at Otford Manor?
For Manor and WORD weekends that have been arranged by Oak Hall we will provide bedding and a towel at no extra cost. If you are coming as part of a church or conference group, please check with the person dealing with your group booking about bedding arrangements.
   What size is a standard room at Otford Manor?
Our standard rooms in the Manor contain bunk beds and sleep four, six or eight people. We also have a limited number of single rooms, twin rooms (two single beds) and twin bunk rooms (one set of bunk beds) available with an additional room supplement.
   What time does a Manor Weekend start?
Unless otherwise stated, our Manor Weekends start between 8 pm and 9 pm on the Friday evening. Please do not arrive before this time - we will be busy preparing the Manor and we will unfortunately not be able to welcome you at that point. Unless otherwise stated, please eat before you arrive, as the first meal provided is breakfast the following morning. We run a complimentary shuttle service from Otford Station at 8:35pm. We will be there and will pick up anyone who is waiting. There is no need to book this service.
 
   Where can I find directions to Otford Manor?
Directions to the Manor can be found here.