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Author: kristenc

Joined: 4/26/2012
Posts: 65
Traveler Since: 2012

February 13, 2014

 I would love to hear some feedback from someone who has pre-booked a trip before dates are publicly announced. How is a date selected? What payments apply? Prs and cons? Thanks!

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 486
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

February 13, 2014

 I have not been able to find this in writing,so verify it with an agent. A friend of ours wanted to do Heart of India with us, and as she would be going as a solo she wanted to prebook to be assured of getting one of the hard to get solo slots. I believe that she had to make a 10% deposit and just specify approximate date, February or March for example. When the dates were announced, they contacted her and we all made firm booking. We all paid via EFT at booking. Our discount was based on the date that we had booked and paid, but hers was based on the date that she made the deposit, giving her the maximum 10% discount. The only minor con was that, if you shose not to go, you just got your money back with no interest paid on it, The major pro was that, in addition to locking in a slot, you got a 10% discount on the trip, by paying in cash at the time of the booking, even though it would normally have been about 6%, based on the date.. If we plan a trip tht  far ahead, we would definitely make use of this.

Author: kristenc

Joined: 4/26/2012
Posts: 65
Traveler Since: 2012

February 14, 2014

 Thanks so much, just the information I was wondering about! I always appreciate your comments in this forum! kristen

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Traveler Since: 2007

February 14, 2014

We recently pre-booked a trip which we have since converted to the actual booking.  When we pre-booked, we were charged $200pp, which was less than 10% of the trip cost.  Regardless, as nanandpapa have said, if you change your mind and do not book the trip when the dates become available and you are notified, you do get your pre-booking deposit back, but, with no interest.

We have used pre-booking before, however, we only use it when we know that we need specific dates, either because of local events or availability of trips.  We pre-booked our OAT trip to Nepal over a year and a half in advance, because we wanted to go in November( which were were told from a number of sources was the clearest month ), plus we wanted both the pre- and post-trips.  since there was only one trip in November which qualified, pre-booking was in order.  similarly, we pre-booked out Holland and Belgium river cruise, again, because there is a limited time when the tulips are in full bloom, and we wanted to be sure we got the dates for that( we were told later that our trip was nearly 25% pre-booked ).

We believe pre-booking is a no loss way of making sure you get the trip you want, when you want it and also, with the maximum discounts for early booking.  As we usually plan our trips a year in advance, this is convenient for us, however, we usually don't pre-book unless we need specific dates, or if we're unsure as to exactly what we're going to be doing a year or more from now.

Author: kristenc

Joined: 4/26/2012
Posts: 65
Traveler Since: 2012

February 14, 2014

 Great info, just what I'm curious about! Thanks a bunch!  Kristen

Author: dgevry

Joined: 9/4/2010
Posts: 57
Traveler Since: 2010

February 14, 2014

Kristen, we used the pre-booking process last year to book our Best of Eastern Europe Trip for this June. We wanted to get the 10% discount for booking a year in advance, and at the time the dates for the GCT Land trips were scheduled to be announced some time in June and we didn't want to miss the deadline.  We also wanted to take the pre- and post-trips which limited the dates available.  We simply called GCT in April last year and told them what we wanted.  We put down a small deposit ($300or 350) per person, by EFT (Be sure to pay the deposit by EFT or check, so you can get the 10% discount). We were told that someone would call us when the dates became available, and that if we decided not to take the trip, we would be refunded the deposit. We received a call in May and booked the trip.  We found the GCT representative very helpful and flexible.  When we made the initial call, we had planned to go in September, but the only date that included both pre- and post-trips was September 29th, and I thought it might be rather cool in the Tatar Mountains, so we opted for June. You are not locked into the specific trip or month when you make the initial call and you can always decide not to go.  It just means that you will get to book your trip before the dates are posted on the website and the catalogs are mailed.  The deposit is quite small in comparison to cost of the trip, and is worth it to assure that you will get one of the single spots, especially on and popular trip in ideal weather.

Diane

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 486
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

February 14, 2014

 I may have been mistaken on the amount of the deposit. A smaller deposit makes it an even better deal.

Author: kristenc

Joined: 4/26/2012
Posts: 65
Traveler Since: 2012

February 14, 2014

 Thanks, everyone. I have now prebooked the trip with a $350 deposit. I wanted to get a single slot and the extension, so I look forward to picking the date when they are established.

Author: jl.anderson

Joined: 3/17/2010
Posts: 64
Countries Visited:

OAT/GCT: China, Peru, Ecuador, Ukraine, Russia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda; 35+ more countries

Traveler Since: 2007

February 16, 2014

One thing I've learned about pre-booking, is that when the representative calls you when the dates are available, BE READY to take his call and talk right then.  There are a lot of people that pre-book on limited availability trips and they can slip away from you even as you are speaking on the phone to the rep.  If there is a date that interests you, ask the rep to put a hold on it as you explore your options.

Recently when I was nailing down a date on an Antarctica trip I had pre-reserved, the choice dates were all gone the end of the day the calls were made to those who had pre-reserved.

Judy

Author: ginirn

Joined: 5/2/2012
Posts: 15
Countries Visited:

US including Hawaii. Ireland twice.

Traveler Since: 2013

February 17, 2014
This is valuable information of which I was completely unaware. Everyone who has taken advantage of pre-booking seems to have paid for the entire trip at the time of booking to get the discount. Is this required? Thanks so much.

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 263
Trips Taken: 0

February 17, 2014

Hello Everyone,

Great conversation and tips for pre booking our trips. 

Just want to clear up one comment - There is no need to pay in full at the time of pre booking to hold your spot or to be eligible for the Good Buy Plan.  

To be eligible for the maximum amount on the Good Buy Plan all you need is the appropriate deposit (based on your trip)  made by ACH and to make full payment by ACH within 14 days of confirming your date.  

For specific questions, please call our Sales Team at 1-800-221-2610 Or Traveler Support for existing reservations at 1-800-321-2835

All the Best,

Annmarie

Forum Moderator

Author: kristenc

Joined: 4/26/2012
Posts: 65
Traveler Since: 2012

February 17, 2014

 Since I made my pre booking deposit by credit card and not bank account, can I still get the full good buy plan discount if I pay in full by ach within the twelve month time frame? The GCT rep did not mention otherwise.

Author: dgevry

Joined: 9/4/2010
Posts: 57
Traveler Since: 2010

February 18, 2014

I would call soon and ask them specifically.  If  not, you still have time to make the deposit by check or EFT before the dates are available. When we pre-booked last year, we paid the deposit by EFT to be sure.  I know if you buy the travel insurance from GCT, it can be paid by credit card, and you will still get the 10% discount as long as the cost of the trip is paid by check or EFT.  I would be sure because 10% is a lot to lose, especially if you are counting on it. 

Author: garyrr

Joined: 8/25/2012
Posts: 116
Countries Visited:

Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, S Africa, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Belize, Panama, Peru, New Zealand, Greece, Turkey, Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, India, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy, Ireland, Great Britain, Netherlands, Belgium, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia

Traveler Since: 2000

February 18, 2014

I've always paid my deposit and insurance by credit card.   The balance by EFT -  the early pay discount in that case only applies to the portion paid by EFT, not to the deposit.  At least that's how my trips have always computed the discount.

I'm not sure why I've done it that way - but always have.

Author: kristenc

Joined: 4/26/2012
Posts: 65
Traveler Since: 2012

February 18, 2014

 Thanks, all. I hope the GCT forum moderator will also reply!

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 232
Traveler Since: 1995

February 18, 2014

I don't know if pre-book and pre-reservation are the same thing. Twice we "pre-reserved" a certain river cruise and cabin.  The dates for the next year had not been published yet, but the cruise was advertised.  When the dates were published, before that day, we had a call from GCT that our reservation was confirmed and did I want to pay then; they told us that by pre-reserving we had first choice of cabins before others.  If we changed our mind, we got the whole deposit back.  We pre-reserved because certain areas of a river ship are not to our liking, so by pre-reserving, we were just about guaranteed our cabin, and place on the ship. 

 

At time of finalizing the reservation, we were given the total and I transferred my money to checking, then called them back the next day to pay by EFT from checking.  I was given the 10% good buy discount valid on that day. 

 

Hope this helps.

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 263
Trips Taken: 0

February 18, 2014

Kristenc-

Yes, you are still eligible for the Good Buy but not the full amount as you ask. Since you paid your deposit by credit card that deposit amount will be deducted from the eligible discount on the Good Buy Plan. 

Please call our Traveler Support for any specifics on your reservation, we are happy to talk to you about it.  1.800.321.2835

Annmarie

Forum Moderator

Author: jannsegal

Joined: 1/26/2014
Posts: 5
Trips Taken: 0
Countries Visited:

Been to 70 countries and 40 states so far in 4 decades of travel.


March 06, 2014

I pre-booked the OAT Sarengeti Safari by putting the $350 down and no date yet establisehd. I never got an emai OR a phone call. So if you dont hear from them, better follow up .The coveted single spots can be hard to get on the popular trips and the reps can make mistakes.Am now booked on two OAT trips and will likely book a third w GCT..but will not pre-book this time.

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