Some of our group tours require a separate local payment, which goes directly to the local economies that we visit while on tour.
• ALL Adventures for 20s & 30s apart from North America
• Worldwide Adventures in Africa & Patagonia
• A tipping kitty for tours in China & Morocco
• A food kitty for some North America Adventures for 20s & 30s
The total price of all of our Adventures for 20s & 30s apart from those in North America, is divided into a set amount paid before departure and a compulsory local payment which is made to your tour leader in US$ cash at the group meeting on the first day of your tour. This is also the case for our Worldwide Adventures in Africa and Patagonia. On our North America Adventures for 20s & 30s you will be required to pay a Food Kitty on all tours that include camping. This is to be given to your tour leader on Day 2 of the tour. Similarly a Tipping Kitty is required for tours in China, Morocco and some of North America, which is paid on the first day of the tour. Structuring the tour price in this way means that we can benefit as many remote, local economies as possible, by injecting cash into communities that do not have access to banking facilities, and thereby do not normally benefit from tourism in their region.
Why do we have a local payment?
The Local Payment helps us to keep your tour price as low as possible. It is a non-refundable, fixed amount which is paid to your Tour Leader in US dollars on the first day of your tour and goes towards its smooth running (high denomination bills only -100s, 50s and 20s). . The money is put straight back into the local economy, often to small suppliers in remote locations without banking facilities. Having this flexibility means we can stay in out-of-the-way places which benefit you as well as the local community.
The local payment amount is found on the tour price page and will be printed on your invoice and tour voucher. You are required to pay the local payment that is current at the time of your tour’s departure. This amount may change throughout the year and we advise clients to check your specific tour page on our website for the current amount if you are unsure about this. It can be very difficult to obtain US$ in some countries and virtually impossible in others, so we recommend organising your local payment before you arrive for your tour.
There are several reasons why we structure the payments in this way
The total price of an Adventures for 20s & 30s tour or a truck-based tour in Africa and Patagonia comprises of two payments: the tour price and the local payment. The tour price is paid before you depart, and the local payment is paid directly to your tour leader on the first day of the tour, in US Dollars cash (high denomination bills only -100s, 50s and 20s). There are several reasons why we structure the payments in this way:
1) Cheaper tour prices
The local payment helps us keep your tour price as low as possible. In many of the regions in which Tucan Travel operates, transferring foreign currency can be unreliable and expensive, so the local payment helps your tour leader pay for some of the day-to-day expenses of your trip without encountering problems or transaction fees. This helps reduce the overall price of the trip, meaning we can keep our costs down and pass these savings on to our passengers.
2) Benefiting local economies
The local payment means cash can be injected directly into the local community, by using smaller suppliers or shopping in local markets in remote locations without banking facilities. Having this flexibility means we can stay in out of the way places, benefitting as many small, local communities as possible. A local payment helps to keeps money in the country, going to those most in need.
3) A more genuine travel experience
Going directly to local communities and suppliers in this way means our travellers interact with local people in an authentic way. We don’t just go to the big attractions that all visitors can book in advance online; we can visit the smaller sites, use independent suppliers and shop in local markets that most tourists won't get to experience. The local payment helps us to get off the beaten track.
4) Better customer service
As the tour leader has a supply of cash available for the day-to-day expenses of the tour, they do not need to spend so much time searching for banking facilities and exchange services, so they can spend more time assisting the group with their enquiries about a new destination. The local payment also means your tour will continue to run smoothly even in countries where banking facilities are limited or unreliable.
5) More time to save up
As the local payment does not need to be paid until the first day of the tour, it gives you extra time to save up for your trip. Without a local payment, the whole trip would need to be paid in full two months prior to departure.
Tucan Travel's tour prices are excellent value for money. We arrange the framework for your tour and take care of the hassle of organising things like transport and accommodation, giving you more freedom to plan your adventure holiday according to your budget and personal interests.
All of our tours are led by an expert tour leader. On some of our tours you will travel on custom-built overland expedition vehicles, driven by an experienced, qualified driver, with all the essentials such as massive storage space, plenty of leg room and large windows. On our Adventures for 20s & 30s where camping in required, we provide everything apart from the sleeping bag and mat.
Your tour leader has a range of services he or she must pay for using the Local Payment. It is budgeted tightly for each tour to ensure the cost is kept low, and forms an additional and important part of the local cash funds available to tour crew in order to aid the smooth running of the tour. Consequently, no refunds will be available at the end of the tour. The Local Payment goes towards meals which are included when camping and on travel days, and some accommodation which is a combination of camping and inexpensive hotels and hostels as specified on each tour page. It also covers fuel for the truck and other services which in some places can only be paid for in cash.
Please note: You are required to pay the local payment that is current at the time of your tour’s departure. This amount may change throughout the year and we advice clients to check your specific tour page on our website for the current amount if you are unsure about this.
International flights and departure taxes, visas and vaccinations, travel insurance (this is compulsory and a copy of your policy will be collected by your tour leader), sleeping bag, camping mattress, tips for local guides, excursions and restaurants.
For tours to Morocco and China only.
A small tipping kitty may be operated by the tour leader in accordance with local customs. The tipping kitty will be collected at the pre-departure meeting at the start of the tour, and will be managed by the tour leader. This takes the hassle out of searching for change and worrying about how much is the norm in a country where tips make up a large and important part of someone's wages. Please note that this tipping kitty does note include a tip for your tour leader, however this is completely at your own discretion.
North America Adventures for 20s & 30s
On tours that include camping, your tour will operate a Food Kitty. Your tour leader will collect a payment of $10 per day on tour in cash on the first day of the tour. This money will go towards all food on camping days.
We provide all cooking equipment and everyone will take turns buying, preparing and cooking the meals. Meals are not included when you are staying in cities and we encourage you to go out and feast on all the local foods.