Terms & Conditions

 

PLEASE READ THIS.   IT CONSTITUTES PART OF YOUR CONTRACT FOR YOUR TRIP AND ANY RELATED SERVICES.  PLEASE CALL US IMMEDIATELY IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.

Stephanie Howard is a licensed travel agent and an accredited member of International Vacations, LLC.

These Booking Conditions apply to the person making the booking and all other persons on whose behalf the booking is made.

Please read these Booking Conditions carefully. They apply to all bookings made through Step N2 Paradise (“Travel Counselors”), who are acting as agents on behalf of all of the suppliers (including airlines, tour and cruise operators, car hires and accommodation providers) in your booking.

You are contracting with the suppliers, whose terms and conditions apply to your booking. Copies of those terms and conditions are available upon request.

These booking conditions govern your relationship with Travel Counselors.

The person making the booking must be at least 18 years of age and must be authorized to make the booking on behalf of the members of the party. The person making the booking must also provide a copy of these booking conditions to the other members of the party.

THE CONTRACT & PAYMENTS: After we have received your deposit or full payment (if applicable) and we have issued a confirmation invoice, a contract will exist between you and each of the suppliers, effective from the date printed on your invoice. You are required to make monthly deposits or your booking may be cancelled for abandonment of reservation. All previous payments will be forfeited. Step N2 Paradise accepts Visa, American Express, Discover, and Mastercard.  Step N2 Paradise holds reservations until “Full Payment Due Date” 60-90 days from trip date indicated on your confirmation. If deposit/payment is not received by Step N2 Paradise on or before the Full Payment Due Date, reservations are automatically cancelled. Failure to remit payments on a timely basis will automatically put your booking at risk of cancellation. Please contact us immediately, and in advance of your payment due date, if you will be unable to meet this obligation. Without limitation, Passenger(s) voluntarily hold Step N2 Paradise harmless for cancellation of any booking for either late payment or declination of a credit card. All payments to Step N2 Paradise are non-refundable and non-transferable. Please be sure you will attend event before submitting payment. This is because Step N2 Paradise has contractual agreements with hotels, airlines and other vendors that will not allow us to obtain any refunds. This way we can keep our package prices low and allow you to make monthly payments on your vacation. All final payment dates are clearly noted on the website of the event you have selected. It is your responsibility to be sure payments arrive to us on or before that date. All late payments will require a late fee of $50. If you are paying late, you must send your request by email 72 hours before due date and give us the date you will make your late payment.

AGENCY: Travel Counselors acts as a travel agent. We arrange travel services and sell travel related products on behalf of suppliers such as airlines, tour and cruise operators, car hires and accommodation providers. In doing so Travel Counselors gives no warranty nor makes any representation regarding the services to be supplied or the products purchased by you. Your booking will be subject to the terms and conditions applied by the provider of the service or products. You agree that if the travel services or products are not supplied in accordance with your booking your remedy lies with the service provider and not Travel Counselors.

PRICES: Every effort is made to ensure that the prices quoted to you are correct; however Travel Counselors acts only as an agent and relies on information provided to us from the suppliers of the travel services and products. We will bring to your attention any change in price made prior to you completing your booking and paying the balance of the price. Please note some tour operators and travel service providers reserve the right to increase the price of your travel arrangements due to increases in airfares, hotel accommodation charges and currency fluctuations. Prices and availability quoted by Step N2 Paradise are not guaranteed until deposit is fully paid. Pricing and availability may change without notice. Passenger agrees that Step N2 Paradise is not responsible for any errors or omissions in any quotes, advertisements, including on our website, resulting in inventory, content, or pricing discrepancies nor is Step N2 Paradise responsible for any errors or omissions that may occur as a result of incorrect information from third parties. Suppliers reserve the right not to honor any published prices that it determines were erroneous due to electronic, printing, or clerical error. You acknowledge this right and agree to hold Step N2 Paradise harmless for any actions or damages arising from Supplier pricing.

Step N2 Paradise reserves the right to charge Passenger(s) for any increase in taxes, fees or surcharges (i.e. fuel). Passenger(s) acknowledge this right and agree to pay any such additional taxes, fees, and surcharge.

AIRFARE CONDITIONS

a. General Conditions Governing Air Transport

Airline tickets are highly restrictive, non-refundable, and non-transferable. Modification of passenger names, dates, times, routings, or departure/arrival airports is at the sole discretion of the airline and, if permitted, will likely be subject to a substantial change fee between $100-400 based upon destination of travel.  Passenger is responsible for any such fees.  With regard to the purchase of air tickets, Step N2 Paradise acts simply as an intermediary between you and the airline.  Once you book a reservation, your credit card or debit card will be charged for the amount shown – regardless of whether or not the reservation is used. Credit will not be given for any unused airline tickets and cannot be used toward any future bookings.

All tickets will be issued for economy class unless otherwise specified.  All travel will be round-trip unless otherwise specified.  Seat assignments are subject to the airlines policies and may not be able to be made until you are at the airport on the day of departure.  Airline tickets booked through Step N2 Paradise may not eligible to earn frequent flyer miles. You agree to confirm all bookings and check-ins with the airline prior to the stated date of departure (Step N2 Paradise recommends confirming 72 hours prior).

Direct flights may be “non-stop” or may involve one or more stop-overs (in the latter case this means the same flight by the airline, because the flight number remains the same).  The same applies to connecting flights that may be subject to crew changes.  When you reserve a scheduled or charter flight involving a stop-over in a town, and the second flight takes off from a different airport to the airport of arrival, ensure that you have sufficient time for reaching the second airport.  The journey to the other airport is at your own expense unless otherwise specified.  Step N2 Paradise will not be able to reimburse you for these costs, nor will it be liable if you miss the second flight. The airline on which you are booked may change its departure time. It is your responsibility to contact the airline to check there has been no change to the time of departure. International and domestic airlines are replacing paper tickets with electronic tickets called e-tickets. All passengers traveling on an e-ticket will be required to produce photo identification at check in.

Step N2 Paradise’s responsibilities in respect to air travel are limited by the relevant airline’s conditions of carriage.  The airline fulfilling your contract for carriage may change from the airline mentioned by Step N2 Paradise.  Step N2 Paradise is not able to specify the type of aircraft to be used by any airline.  If an airline cancels or delays a flight, you must work directly with the airline to ensure you arrive at your destination on or ahead of time. Step N2 Paradise will not provide any refund for Trips missed, in part or full.

b.  Prohibited Practices

You agree that you will not deviate from your booking by making any unscheduled stopovers.  Tickets may not be purchased and used at fare(s) from an initial departure point on the ticket which is before the your actual point of origin of travel, or to a more distant point(s) than your actual destination being traveled even when the purchase and use of such tickets would produce a lower fare. This practice is known as “Hidden City Ticketing” or “Point Beyond Ticketing” and is prohibited.  The purchase and use of round-trip tickets for the purpose of one-way travel only, known as “Throwaway Ticketing” is prohibited.  The use two or more different tickets issued at round trip fares for the purpose of circumventing applicable rules (such as advance purchase/minimum stay requirements) commonly referred to as “Back-to-Back Ticketing” is prohibited.

Where a ticket is purchased and used in violation of these rules, the applicable air carrier have the right in their sole discretion to take all actions permitted by law, including but not limited to, the following:

1) Invalidate the ticket(s);

2) Cancel any remaining portion of your itinerary;

3) Confiscate any unused Flight Coupons;

4) Refuse to board you and to carry the your baggage;

5) Assess you for the actual value of the Ticket which shall be the difference between the lowest fare applicable to your actual itinerary and the fare actually paid;

6) Delete miles in your frequent flyer account and/or terminate your participation in the frequent flyer program;

7) Take legal action against you.

c. Loss of air tickets

You agree to safeguard your tickets and bear any and all costs related to loss of theft.  If you lose your air ticket or if your ticket is stolen, Step N2 Paradise advises that you immediately report it to the police and to the airline.

d. Luggage

Baggage fees of the airlines are not included in our package prices. If you decide to check baggage you must pay this fee directly to the airline. Each airline has its own policy regarding luggage.  We recommend that you check with your airline ahead of time for any weight restrictions and additional charges relating to checked baggage. You will be responsible for paying to the airline any additional charges for checked or overweight baggage, including, but not limited to, golf bags and oversized luggage.  If you exceed the weight limit set by your airline, and excess weight is permitted, you must pay a supplement directly to the airline at the airport.

The airline is liable to you for the baggage you entrust to it only for the compensation contemplated in the international conventions and relevant statutes.  In the event of damage, late forwarding, theft or loss of luggage, you should contact the your airline and declare the damage, absence or loss of your personal effects before leaving the airport, and then submit a declaration, attaching the originals of the following documents: the travel ticket, the baggage check-in slip, and the declaration.  Step N2 Paradise strongly recommends that you obtain an insurance policy covering the value of your items.

e. Limitation of Liability for Air Transport

IN ADDITION TO THE LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY SET FORTH ABOVE, YOU AGREE THAT STEP N2 PARADISE IS NOT LIABLE  FOR ANY DAMAGES ARISING FROM OR RELATED TO ANY AIRLINE TIMETABLE CHANGES, DELAYS, CANCELLATIONS, MISSED CONNECTIONS, MECHANICAL PROBLEMS, INCLEMENT WEATHER, SEATING REASSIGNMENTS, LOST/DELAYED BAGGAGE, SCREENING AND SECURITY DELAYS, REFUSED BOARDING OR FAILURE TO CHECK-IN PROPERLY.

PASSPORT AND VISAS: It is your sole responsibility to ensure you have a valid passport at the time of travelling and that you hold all necessary visas and permits. All Australians must hold a valid passport for international travel. Some countries require you when entering to hold passport with at least six months validity. Australian permanent residents require a valid re-entry permit. Children are required to hold individual passports.

ACCOMMODATIONS AND ACTIVITIES:  “Accommodations” are defined as lodgings in a dwelling or similar living quarters afforded to travelers including, but not limited to, hotels, condos, quarters in cruise ships, motels, time shares, camp grounds, and resorts.

a. Accommodation classifications

The number of stars attributed to the hotels and other providers of accommodations quoted by Step N2 Paradise correspond to a classification established as a point of reference in accordance with local standards in the host country. Please be advised that accommodations and the “star” designations may vary from country to country.  The comments we make in our descriptions are based on our knowledge of the establishments and the comments we have received from customers. Step N2 Paradise makes no guarantee about the suitability or availability of accommodations, and if the particular accommodations sought are unavailable, we will do our best to reserve comparable accommodations, if possible.  You would bear any additional costs, i.e. upgrades, etc.  We reserve the right, for technical reasons, in cases of force majeure or actions by third parties, to replace the planned hotel with accommodation of the same category offering equivalent services.  This would only be in exceptional circumstances and in such cases we will inform you as soon as we are aware of this necessity.

b. Taking possession of and vacating your room

Policies regarding taking possession of and vacating rooms often vary by hotel and/or country, so it is your responsibility to check with the hotel ahead of time to verify the relevant policies and times. Step N2 Paradise is not responsible for any charges and damages resulting from your failure to timely take possession or vacate your room.

c. Types of room

Room classifications and amenities may vary by hotel and/or country, so it is your responsibility to check with the hotel ahead of time to verify the specific amenities offered at the time of your stay. Step N2 Paradise makes no guarantee that its descriptions and photographs are an exact representation of the particular rooms offered.

d. Meals

These depend on the meal plan chosen / applicable.

  •  All-inclusive.  This includes accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner and normal drinks (mineral water, fruit juice, sodas, wines, local alcohol). Some alcoholic drinks may not be included and will be billed separately.

  • Full board.  This includes accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner, but no drinks.

  • Half board.  This includes accommodation, breakfast and either dinner or lunch, but no drinks.

In the case of full board or half board, drinks are not included, unless specifically mentioned in the description.  In some countries drinking water is not always available, and any bottles of drinking water bought are therefore at the customer’s expense.  It is necessary to comply with the all relevant rules, particularly with regard to the opening hours of the restaurant(s) or bar(s), and the places designated for the consumption of meals and drinks.

e. Activities offered during your stay

An activity may not be appropriate for all ages or for individuals with certain medical conditions. Step N2 Paradise may not be held liable in the event of an incident or accident which is due to a lack of vigilance on your part.

It may happen that certain activities referred to in the Trip description are no longer provided by our local provider for climatic reasons, in the event of force majeure, during a stay out of the tourist season, or when the minimum number of participants required for providing a given activity is not reached (examples:  group sports, children’s clubs). In the early or late season some activities may not be available, some of the facilities (restaurant, swimming pool, etc.) may be closed, or maintenance work may be in progress.  As a general rule, entertainment and sports activities may vary in frequency depending on how many people are staying at the time and on climatic conditions.  Particularly during the high season it is possible that the number of parasols, loungers, sports equipment, etc., are insufficient for the demand.  The opening hours of bars, restaurants, and clubs, etc., may be irregular and dependent on the management of the establishment in question.  You agree that Step N2 Paradise is not liable for activities unavailable due to any of the reasons listed above.

The sports activities offered for collective participation are often organized by outside providers. Any travel costs related to such activities are at the customer’s expense.  Similarly these activities may be withdrawn at the discretion of the organizer if there is insufficient demand.  This will not give rise to any entitlement to compensation.

YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE USE OR ENJOYMENT OF AN ACTIVITY MAY BE HAZARDOUS AND INHERENTLY RISKY, AND, TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, WTA SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY FOR ANY PERSONAL INJURY OR DEATH; LOST, STOLEN, DAMAGED OR DESTROYED PROPERTY; OR OTHER LIABILITY ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE AND OPERATION OF THE ACTIVITY, AND ALL ACTIONS OR EVENTS OCCURRING PRIOR TO, DURING, AT OR AFTER, THE ACTIVITY.

f. Infants

We ask parents traveling with infants to bring with them the appropriate food for their child, as they may not be able to find it at their destination.  You may be asked to pay a charge, for example for provision of a cot and/or for heating baby food and drinks. You should request this when making your reservation, though we cannot confirm the availability of such services.

g. Pregnant women

Step N2 Paradise advises pregnant women to consult their doctors before making any reservation, in order to confirm that it is appropriate for them participate in the Trip.   You agree that Step N2 Paradise will not be liable for any damages arising from inability to participate in any or all of the Trip due to pregnancy or related illness and no compensation will be payable under such circumstances.

h. Travelers with special needs or disabilities

If you have special needs or a disability you must call the provider of your accommodations ahead of time and verify that special needs can be met. Step N2 Paradise make no guarantee as to the ability of any accommodations, activity provider, or facilities advertised on its site to meet the special needs of disabled clients.  Step N2 Paradise has no special knowledge regarding the suitability for disabled persons of any portion of any tour or activity offered. For information concerning the suitability for disabled persons for any portion of any tour or other reservation, contact the supplier directly. Premier Travel One will make reasonable attempts

to accommodate the special needs of disabled travelers, but is not responsible in the event it is unable to do so nor is it responsible for any denial of services by carriers, hotels, restaurants, or other independent suppliers. The Americans with Disabilities Act is only applicable within the United States and facilities for disabled individuals are limited outside its borders. Most transportation services, including the touring motor coach, are not equipped with wheelchair ramps. We regret that we cannot provide individual assistance to a vacation participant for walking, dining, getting on and off motor coaches and other vehicles, or other personal needs. A qualified and physically able companion must accompany travelers who need such assistance and must assume full responsibility for their well-being. The passenger assumes the full risk of use and of any prohibitions imposed by vendors. Generally motorized scooters are not suitable on international tours.

CANCELLATION POLICIES: All cancellations or no-shows are subject to penalties imposed by the supplier. If you require a copy of these terms, please contact the supplier or your agent at Step N2 Paradise. Additionally, all booking cancellations, transfers to another Agency, or no-shows are considered cancellations and the amount of this charge will vary between $50-100 depending on when the cancellation is made and the terms and conditions of the supplier of travel services or product.

Upon making the booking, Passenger(s) hereby accept & acknowledge liability for all cancellation fees imposed by Step N2 Paradise and the supplier. If you are entitled to a refund please note Travel Counselors is unable to provide you with funds until they are received from the supplier. Travel Counselors will charge a cancellation fee per booking as set out in the attached schedule of fees.

TRAVEL PROTECTION: Travel insurance protection is Strongly Recommended. As your travel agent, we have a professional responsibility to recommend the purchase of travel protection to protect both you and your vacation. While we do offer coverage through certain carriers, we cannot compare all the policies or companies currently in the marketplace. This responsibility rests solely with you the customer and we advise you to do your research and find coverage that best fits your individual needs. Step N2 Paradise is limited to advising you of the need for such coverage.

By declining travel protection, you acknowledge and accept liability for any cancellation penalties, damages and/or out–of-pocket expenses incurred.  You also acknowledge and accept responsibility for arranging and paying for any treatment in case of a medical emergency while traveling. Please note that if you decline this type of coverage, you have waived your right to this important coverage and your confirmation will note “declined” next to the travel protection section of your confirmation. If you HAVE purchased travel protection, please remember to review your confirmation for accuracy and call us immediately if you believe you have travel protection and your confirmation indicates declined. Failure to contact us will be considered waiver of travel protection.

We urge you to read your policy when it arrives as it contains important information. This information includes, but is not limited to, details on the extent of coverage and procedures for making a claim.

All requests for service under the policy must be filed directly with the travel insurance provider, in accordance with the policy terms and conditions, which you the passenger are responsible for reviewing upon receipt of your travel protection policy. Step N2 Paradise is not able to give advice with regard to possible cancellations and any associated claims processing. All queries regarding cancellation, penalties, coverage should be directed to your particular travel insurance provider.  Please note that the travel insurance provider may not be allowed to discuss your claim with Step N2 Paradise due to privacy laws (e.g. HIPAA). Accordingly, you acknowledge that Step N2 Paradise cannot be involved in any aspect of your claim/request for service. Passenger(s) acknowledge and agree that Step N2 Paradise has no control over the travel insurance provider or its coverage decisions, and as a result Step N2 Paradise is not responsible for and shall not be liable for policy coverage, claims processing, or the denial of any claims.

AGENT/INTERMEDIARY: Step N2 Paradise is simply an intermediary between the Suppliers and the public. Step N2 Paradise does not own or operate any of, hotels, shore excursions, tours, transportation providers, cruise lines, vessels, airlines,  travel protection companies, attractions, or other travel-related Suppliers who provide goods or services for the Passenger(s)’ trip.  Passenger(s) acknowledge and agree that Step N2 Paradise shall not be responsible for any loss, damage, delay, inconvenience or injury to Passenger(s) or group members as a result of a breach of contract, act or omission whether willful or negligent, criminal or otherwise of any person other than Step N2 Paradise or its direct employees, including but not limited to these Suppliers, their employees, agents, servants, or representatives.

Suppliers reserve the right to deviate from the direct, customary and/or scheduled route or itinerary for any reason, without limitation and without notice. Passenger(s) acknowledge and agree that Step N2 Paradise is not responsible for Supplier deviations, delays, cancellations, mandated overnight stays, missed connections or any other condition beyond its control.  Step N2 Paradise is not liable for any loss due to Passenger’s gambling and is not responsible for any purchases made while on the trip.

Step N2 Paradise recommends that all Passengers be in good physical and mental health and have medical approval to travel. Any physical disabilities must be reported to Step N2 Paradise at the time of reservation upon initial booking so Step N2 Paradise can contact the Suppliers to investigate amenities and/or special accommodations offered.  Passenger is required to provide his or her own personal or individually prescribed devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, or similar devices. If more than minor assistance is needed, Suppliers may require that the Passenger be accompanied by a companion who is capable of, and responsible for, providing such assistance. Suppliers often reserve the right to reject Passengers whose mental or physical condition may interfere with the itinerary. Passenger(s) acknowledge and agree that Step N2 Paradise shall be held harmless for any and all claims relating to Supplier rejection relating to mental or physical condition.

While Step N2 Paradise prides itself on selecting top quality Suppliers, no undertaking, guarantee or warranty is given or shall be implied as to the fitness or condition of the Supplier’s accommodations, transportation, or any food, drink, medicine, or provisions supplied.  Passenger(s) acknowledge and agree that Step N2 Paradise shall not be responsible for refunding, either fully or partially, any amounts paid due to unsatisfactory services from any supplier.  In no event shall Step N2 Paradise be liable for any accident which occurs in hotels, in resorts, on airplanes/in airports, on buses/in bus stations, on trains/in train stations, on board a cruise ship, on tenders, on shore excursions, or during any mode of transportation encountered during the trip, resulting from equipment or any other cause. The Passenger admits a full understanding of the nature and character of the mode of transport and assumes all risks of travel, transportation and handling of passengers and baggage.

COMPLAINTS:  We hope you will have no reason to complain but if you are unhappy with any aspect of the services provided you must report it immediately to the supplier, or contact Travel Counselors. We shall attempt to resolve the matter immediately but if you remain dissatisfied you must write to us within 28 days from the end of your trip or holiday. Failure to complain at your destination may mean we will be unable to resolve the dispute after you return home.

MODIFICATION OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS:  The Terms and Conditions may be amended or modified by Step N2 Paradise at any time without notice.  It is therefore essential that you consult the Terms and Conditions prior to making each and every booking, particularly in order to ensure what provisions are in operation in case they have changed since the last time an order was placed by you.

Only those who have accepted the Terms and Conditions and affirmatively indicated their consent to be bound by the Terms and Conditions may make a booking with Step N2 Paradise.  Without this acceptance any order is subject to cancellation at any time.

The failure of Step N2 Paradise to act with respect to a breach of these Terms and Conditions by you, or others, does not waive its right to act with respect to subsequent or similar breaches. Step N2 Paradise does not guarantee it will take action against all breaches of this these Terms and Conditions.

SEVERABILITY:  If any provision of this agreement shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.

HEADINGS:  Headings are for reference purposes only and do not limit the scope or extent of such section.

MANDATORY ARBITRATION / FORUM / CHOICE OF LAW:  The Parties hereby agree that any and all disputes arising out of or relating to this Agreement shall be submitted to final binding arbitration in accordance with the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association and shall be governed by the laws of the State of California.   The Parties agree that the arbitration shall take place in Marin County, California and will be conducted by a single mutually agreed upon arbitrator.  The arbitrator shall permit both sides to conduct reasonable discovery, in her/his sole discretion, and shall render a written award.  Payment of the cost of the arbitration, including the arbitrator’s fees and room rental, shall be split equally between the Parties.  Judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrator may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof.

The Parties acknowledge and agree that this arbitration is their sole recourse and that they may not file a lawsuit against Step N2 Paradise. If Passenger(s) fails to submit their claim to arbitration and instead files suit, Step N2 Paradise shall be entitled to recover its attorney’s fees and other costs incurred in the enforcement of the terms of this Agreement, including costs incurred seeking referral to arbitration. Passenger(s) and Step N2 Paradise agree that neither party shall be entitled to join or consolidate claims or arbitrate any claim as a representative or class action.


Rev. 1/13/2014 to fix updated link to Government page.  All other terms remain the same.

"When it comes to traveling, I specialize in budgets and adventure, both domestically and internationally."

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