ElCamino with Macs Adventures
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Mar 15, 2013 2:48 PM Last Post By: travelinstyle46
Mar 9, 2013 12:46 AM
ElCamino with Macs AdventuresI'm wanting to walk the el camino and the only company that I can find that offers this as a package where your accommodation is arranged in advance and your luggage taken to the next destination is through Macs Adventures.
I asked my travel agent about Macs Adventures and she has said that they don’t use Mac’s as they have no affiliate company in Australia so they are not covered by national licensing laws. Also they do not contribute and are not covered under the Australian Travel Compensation Fund.
Can anyone explain what this means please OR offer any other relevant advise.
Mar 9, 2013 2:00 AM
1I don't know the details of the Australian Travel Compensation Fund. However, assuming that fund is similar to the one we have here, what your travel agent is trying to tell you is that, should Macs Adventures go bankrupt or otherwise not deliver the services you paid for, the ATCF won't compensate you for any money you lost. If ATCF affiliates are bound to certain regulations concerning refunds for cancelled trips (i.e should you cancel your trip x weeks before departure, you are entitle to a refund of y % of the amount you paid), this cancellation policy will not apply to Macs Adventures.
I cannot tell you anything specific about Macs Adventures, but the fact that they are not covered under the ATCF does not necessarily mean they are not legitimate. It does mean, however, that you need to check Macs' terms and conditions carefully before you hand over any money; and if you want to protect yourself from losing money in the event you need to cancel the trip, it is wise to take out travel insurance (which is a must anyway) with cancellation insurance included.
Mar 9, 2013 8:34 AM
Mar 9, 2013 1:55 PM
Mar 10, 2013 3:39 AM
4Celeste - have a search through the SMH Travellers pages - there was a story about a woman who did are of the Frances Camino - she and friend carried day packs with their other bags transported from night stop to night stop. I think she took around 15 days. As from Macs Adventure - what type of travel insurance are you carrying?? Provided the company does not have a recent history of cancelling tours most insurance should cover any out of pocket losses not covered by the refund from the company.
Mar 10, 2013 10:16 AM
5Here's the thing I find hard to answer (besides the issue of cost). How do you know that the places they pre-book for you each night are a distance you will want to walk that day?
Really, we need a lot more info to consider. For example, is there a physical reason why you couldn't carry your own pack? Which Camino are you thinking of walking on? How much of it are you thinking of walking? Just part for a week or all of the Way of St. James over a month?
Regarding the insurance issue I find that a bit of a red herring. Book and pay anything with your credit card and Visa/MC insure you. That is a plus of using a credit card that a lot of people don't realize exists. I have twice had an airline go bust before I took the flight I had booked. In both cases I had paid by credit card and made a claim through Visa/MC which was simple and got me a full refund in a couple of months. You don't need travel insurance or the Australian Travel Compensation Fund to cover that.
If what you get is not as advertised however that is another story altogether and no travel insurance or fund will answer that. Only a court case will.
Mar 10, 2013 2:51 PM
6Hi T46 - I am aware of the credit card insurance - but from information received it does not apply to all cards - usually you have to be a "Gold" card or higher. Additionally the credit card only covers the services purchased via the card BEFORE you commence your travel. For those of us who travel "freelance" travel insurance is an absolute necessity.
As for "how far do they walk" - if I recall correctly the maximum daily walk was 15 km. I do agree with your point about the particular camino etc. Definitely require more information from our OP before you can offer better or more complete advice.
Mar 10, 2013 3:54 PM
7I was not suggesting that anyone go without travel insurance. Only that if the product/service is not delivered. ie. they go bust in the meantime, you are covered for the cost. That's why I mentioned that if what you get is not what you expected, ie. the accommodation is lousy or they fail to deliver your bag etc. then you are looking at a court case. Travel insurance won't cover that any more than Visa/MC will. In fact, travel insurance may well not cover it if the provider goes bust before you get there.
Your comment re the 15k per day is a fine example of my question. I don't consider 15k on relatively flat terrain as much of a walk. More of an afternoon stroll unless there is a heck of a lot of big hills. Given that the majority of the Caminos are relatively flat most of the time, that distance per day would not be to my liking. On the other hand someone who never walks much (I know plenty of such people) do a 5km charity walk and need a week to recuperate. LOL
Mar 10, 2013 11:36 PM
8Hi Celeste, I'm not sure what the insurance side of things means, unless it refers to problems travel agents might have booking through the company, rather than a direct effect on the traveller. There are several companies that do prebooked Camino walks, but they are very expensive. An Australian company is Outdoors Travel, another non-Australian company is Camino Ways.
But I'm wondering why you don't walk by yourself. The downside of having everything booked is that sometimes you may want to stop walking earlier than the suggested stop, or even walk further. You also miss out on the pilgrim camaraderie that exists in the pilgrim albergues. Have to say that when I walk the Camino I make a point of stopping an an hotel every five or six nights, just for a bit of peace and quiet. You might want to consider doing this.
I also suggest you have a look at a couple of Camino websites. One, which has a forum, also has advertisements for both Camino tour companies and companies that will transport your bags from one town to the next. Have a look at Camino de Santiago.
EDIT: Have just found a link to the Travel Compensation Fund so your travel agent might have a legitimate concern.
Edited by: Germander
Mar 15, 2013 12:48 PM
Mar 15, 2013 2:48 PM
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