Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Answer Your Questions With Our FAQ’s

Please see our below frequently asked questions. Contact us for further information, included booking processes and trip information. We are always happy and here to help!

Our aim is to have all your questions answered so that you’ll have the confidence to proceed forward and embark on your dream vacation. If you can’t find the answer you are looking for, please contact one of our agents and we will be able to assist you further.

General Information

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I select my seat?

Many airlines are charging their early seat selection requirements to a nominal charge. If requested, we will pre-assign your seat on your behalf. We are not responsible for seat changes done by the airline. All pre-assigned seats are subject to change without notice by the airline.

What is the difference between Economy and Premium Economy Class?

Premium Economy is a class of service on long-haul flights between the west coast of North America to the South Pacific. Premium Economy offers a spacious, comfortable experience with many of the luxuries of Business Class, without paying the full Business Class price. Extra seat width, legroom and recline, video and audio on demand and in-seat power for your laptop, are some of the features offered in Premium Economy. Some airlines will provide Business Class meals in the Premium Economy cabin.

Why book with a Travel Agent or Destination Specialist?

Our level of experience.  We make it our business to know all airline and operator options as well as the best time of year to go for what will suit your interests and budget.  With endless amounts of information online, it is easy to get lost in the sea of options and online reviews.

Something can go wrong.  Of course you don’t want to think about something going wrong on your trip but the reality is, misadventures can occur.  Having an agent readily available to help you navigate a cancellation, process a refund on a particular excursion, and so on, is not only convenient but time-saving as we can be the main contact point of all aspects of your vacation.  Plus, we can help inform you which insurance plan can best suit you to help cover various costs associated with cancellations and interruptions.

Planning a trip takes a lot of time. Why waste time searching for the best deals, reviews, airfares, hotels, tours, train reservations and travel insurance? We’re happy to take a load of off your shoulders and do the dirty work for you! We’ll keep you in the loop during the entire process and ensure that the options we send your way meet all of your needs.

We work for you, not the travel companies. Our specialists do not sell you anything you don’t need. We are here to assist you in booking your dream holiday and will go to great lengths to ensure your trip is as memorable as can be. Nothing is more satisfying for us than having a happy client who has nothing but good things to say about their trip and their specialist!

Destination Specialists have the inside scoop on the deals within the travel industry. If you’re looking to get the best bang for your buck, we are the way to go. We work within the parameters of your budget and will be on the lookout for savings in any way possible for you. We can inform you when the best time to travel is – because sometimes switching your dates by one day can save you hundreds of dollars!

When is the Best Time to Travel?

Best time to travel to Australia

Australia has many regions that are best at different times of the year.

The Northern regions such as the Top End (Darwin, Kakadu), Tropical Queensland, Broome, and the Red Centre (Ayers Rock, Alice Springs) are most pleasant to visit between April through September when daytime temperatures are on average between 19°C-31°C and it rarely rains. June, July, and August are the busiest months in these parts; book accommodations and tours well in advance.

Australia’s summer (December through February) is a good time to visit the southern states of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and southern parts of Western Australia. Even in winter, these areas rarely fall below zero degrees and snow can only be found in the ski fields of the Snowy Mountains, NSW, Mount Feathertop, Victoria, Mount Hotham, Victoria, and perhaps the mountainous areas of Tasmania.

If you wish to see all the regions of Australia in one trip, the shoulder months of September, October, March and April are best as it’s still warm enough to visit the beach in the southern states, cool enough to tour the Ayers Rock and avoid the humidity and rains of the Top End and Tropical North Queensland. Wildflowers are in bloom in Western Australia during September to October as well.

Best time to travel to Tahiti

Tahiti is warm year round. July, August and September are the best times to visit Tahiti as the temperature is in the mid-20s and there’s little rain.

Best time to travel to Fiji

The best time to visit is during the 'Fijian winter' or 'dry season', from May to October. This time of year is more pleasant with lower rainfall and humidity, milder temperatures and less risk of meteorological hazards such as cyclones.

Best time to travel to the Cook Islands

The Cook Islands is a great destination all year round; seasonal variations are slight, with temperatures ranging between 18°C and 28°C in the winter months (May to October) and 21°C and 29°C during the summer (November to April).

Is there departure tax?

For most South Pacific countries, the departure tax is included in your airline ticket. There is no need to pay for this when leaving the country. For the most up to date information, please ask one of our Destination Specialists.

When do I get my tickets?

Tickets are normally sent two weeks prior to departure through standard postal delivery.  If your departure date is very last minute there is the option to have your travel documents sent electronically.

Why do I need to give the ages of my children whilst booking?

Each hotel has its own pricing according to the ages of the children.  When the ages are put into the system, we will get the correct price and policy for the holiday.

How long should my passport be valid for?

If traveling through Asia or any country without Canadian Passport Office Representation, on a Canadian passport, your passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months after your return date to Canada.

Should you be traveling on anything other than a Canadian passport, please make sure you talk to one of our Destination Specialists well in advance of your departure date.

All passports must be machine readable if traveling through the USA.

Passengers traveling to South Africa must have at least one clear page in their passport for stamping purposes. If you do not have this, you will not be allowed entry to South Africa. A new passport will be required before departure to adhere to this rule.

How do I apply for an ESTA US Transit Authority?

For non-U.S. and Canadian travellers, you can apply for your US Travel Authority from the following link: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

Do I need a Visa to enter countries in the South Pacific?

All Canadian and U.S. passport holders require a tourist entry visa to visit Australia, Asia and most African countries.

Canadian and U.S. passport holders do not require a tourist entry visa to enter New Zealand, French Polynesia, Fiji, Samoa or the Cook Islands.

However, if you plan to work or stay longer than 3 months in any of these countries, a different visa may be required.

What currency should I use and will they accept US dollars?

Each country has their own currency and generally won’t accept U.S. dollars. To avoid exchanging your money too many times, it's best to exchange directly from your home country's dollars directly to the currency of the destination you plan to visit.

For travel to some African countries, U.S. Dollars are more widely accepted, along with local currency.

Why do I need travel insurance?

Travel insurance is optional but strongly recommended.

Illness or accidents can happen anywhere without warning. Unexpected emergency travel expenses can be very expensive and government health plans may cover very little, if anything. Having the proper coverage will save you a lot of money and provide assistance with possible hassles. If traveling to a destination where there is a language difference, emergency travel staff will be there to translate and communicate with overseas hospital staff.

Some insurance policies will even cover lost or delayed luggage.

Travel insurance will relieve the stress to get you home safe or back on track with your onward travels.

Talk to one of our knowledgable travel advisors to ensure you are properly covered for your trip.

What if I have coverage with my credit card?

Not all credit cards offer sufficient coverage or any coverage at all. If unsure, check your card's policy and discuss with one of our travel specialists.

Do I need any medical shots before traveling?

It is important to seek medical advice with regards to vaccinations and malaria medications with your General Practitioner.

We recommend the MEDISYS Travel Health Clinic. You will need to call a few weeks in advance of your departure to schedule an appointment. http://www.medisys.ca

What if I need to change my ticket?

Each airline ticket comes with its own specific rules and policies. Airline change fees, fare increases and an agency change fee will apply.

Should you have any questions about the policies for your airline ticket(s), our Destination Specialists are able to go over any rules associated with your ticket.

Why do I need to reconfirm my flights and tours?

Arrangement s can change between purchasing your flight or tour and when you actually travel. Reconfirming your arrangements will help ensure that everything runs according to plan.

Please confirm your arrangements 24-48 hours prior to departure or on arrival if your stopover is less than 24 hours.

How early do I need to be at the airport when travelling to Australia or New Zealand?

Normal check in time is 1.5 hours for domestic connecting flights and 2 hours for international connecting flights. Arriving early is always best in the event of unexpected airport delays.

What is my luggage allowance?

Most airlines have now switched to one piece of checked luggage per person. Should you need to take two or more pieces of checked luggage, please discuss with one of our agents before tickets are purchased so you are aware of your best options.

Please note that some domestic flights within North America as well as Australia and New Zealand, charge for any number of checked luggage. Please ask us if you have any specific requirements.

In today's ever changing airline world, it is important you are aware of the most up to date information. We recommend you look at the following website shortly prior to departure to ensure you have followed the correct protocol with your packing. http://www.catsa.gc.ca/

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Speak directly with one our of adventure specialists today! At Downunder Travel you are not restricted to our ready-made packages.

We can customize and build a trip for you!

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Southern Africa 25 Day Tour

“Heard about this place through a friend and decided to inquire about a trip to Southern Africa. Jason did a fantastic job with very little time and set up a 25 day trip, flights included. Was excellent at every stage and everything went off without a hitch. Would absolutely recommend, and will most definitely be a repeat customer.”

J. Szoo

Australia, Africa, and more!

“A group of 9 travelers wanted to do a tour of Australia. 4 of us have been using Jason at Downunder Travel since 2005. We are a group with agricultural interests so we were hoping to see the diversity of Australia with as many ag components as possible. We met with Jason and he compiled an itinerary for us which gave us another trip of a lifetime. Jason’s attention to detail is truly amazing. Everything happened without a glitch which makes for a worry-free holiday. He also allowed for some free days if anything needed rearranged. We are already planning our next holiday with his company. Kudos to Jason!”

T. Evans

New Zealand Self-Drive

“We spent 6.5 wonderful weeks exploring both Islands in New Zealand. Jason met with us to understand our interests and a sense of where we hoped to travel while there. Accommodations, day trips, half day tours etc all ran without a hitch. At one point we thought we might be seeking medical assistance at a drop in clinic. Not sure about the process with Medical Insurance, we sent him a note to which he quickly responded and we really appreciated. We are very thankful for the arrangements and bookings that helped make the time there truly great. Thanks Jason.”

D. Nixon

We will be recommending you to anyone we know

We absolutely loved our vacation, Jason!  Kudos to you with your recommendations, bookings, etc.  Everything came off without a hitch –  excursion pickups, airport shuttles were always on time.  We made out great driving on the wrong side of the road, and steering wheel on wrong side of car lol.  Air New Zealand was a great choice for our main flights, flight attendants came to our seats and thanked us personally for flying with Air New Zealand.  Again, we have to thank you so much Jason for helping us plan such a fantastic vacation – such a great time.  Hopefully we will vacation in another area you sell and we’ll need your services again.  We will definitely be recommending you to anyone we know.

C. Hinks

A Phenomenal South Pacific Adventure

A special thanks for putting my phenomenal South Pacific Adventure of a lifetime together.  Much appreciation for all the hard work that you have endured to make my trip a most memorable adventure.  I have totally enjoyed every aspect of the trip.  I will definitely recommend this itinerary to anyone looking for a trip of a lifetime.

A. Millette

NZ and Cook Islands

“Jason planned our 3 week honeymoon to New Zealand and Cook Islands in October 2016. Jason was very knowledgeable and saved us so much time not trying to plan the trip details ourselves! We had an amazing time, with everything going smoothly. Overall, happy to recommend his service to anyone else planning to go “down under” 🙂 .”

L. Filipic

Melbourne, Cairns & Sydney!

The tours in Melbourne, Cairns and Sydney were exceptional.  The guides were all very informative and helpful when explaining the sites, sometimes throwing in their own personal stories too.  In Melbourne we enjoyed: the hop on/off bus tour, the Central Historical tram, the Treasury and ANZAC Memorial is is very worthwhile, The Great Ocean Road with our small group tour was fabulous and the Penguin Parade with underground viewing is definitely a must-see!  The Cairns tours are remarkable; I enjoyed our small personalized group travel to Frankland Island (including guided walk), the Kuranda Train, Skyrail and Hartley’s offered a great variety and St. Monica’s Cathedral with its stained glass windows are a hidden gem!  In Sydney, we enjoyed so much; the Ferry boat was easy to manage, The Sydney Opera House was definitely a highlight, our Harbour Cruise was fantastic and our Blue Mountains tour with hike was lovely, definitely another must-experience.

In addition to the terrific tours, our flights and connections were seamless and the personal touches and the variety of experienced offered on this trip was one of a kind!  I look forward to working with you again in the not too distant future!

W. MGee

African Safari

“Our group of 4 travelled to Africa, 4 different countries, many flights, hotels and tours under the guidance of Jason at Down Under Travel. The trip was amazing especially the safaris. Jason’s attention to detail made this trip outstanding. Truly a trip of a lifetime that was arranged perfectly. Don’t hesitate to book with this company, you will not be disappointed.”

M. O'Bryan

Best Vacation Ever

Jason created the Best Vacation Ever for us – a month long trip to Australia travelling the east coast, the Red Center and south. All arrangements, locations, excursions, transfers were well executed which resulted in a stress free vacation for us! Thanks so much for your attention to all the details. Would definitely recommend that others trust Jason to make their entire trip as spectacular as ours was.
Gregory’s and Short’s

L. Gregory

Wonderful Thailand and Myanmar!

Thanks for organizing and planning our recent trip to Thailand and Myanmar. We had a wonderful, magical month on some Thai islands, and tremendously enjoyed Mandalay and particularly, Bagan. The hot air balloon ride, is not to be missed.  Our next trip to that part of the world , we will certainly use your expertise Andree.

T. Baker

3 Week Australia Trip!

Our family would like to thank you for coordinating an amazing trip to Australia!  We only had 3 weeks but we were able to experience so much with an itinerary that was seamless and worry free!

Every spot was memorable, from the Grampians to Kangaroo Island, to a liveaboard on the GBR and the bright lights of Melbourne and Sydney  – a spectacular country and can’t wait to go back!

We definitely recommend Downunder Travel and are grateful to Andree for all her help and expertise in creating a wonderful adventure!

Maureen

Ghan Platinum Trip

Just to let you know we arrived safely back home late yesterday after a wonderful trip. Thank you for setting it all up. We saw almost no rain but the day that it did rain was when we arrived in Darwin. Having Platinum [The Ghan] meant our transfer bus was right beside the train whereas the Gold passengers had quite a walk to get to the station. The train is almost a kilometer long so it meant a walk in the rain for some.

G. Bernhardt