We often get asked why a potential cricket tourist should opt for an organised tour over booking independently and why in particular choose Barmy Travel. Here are some commonly asked questions:
Q: “Why should I book with Barmy Travel? I’ve priced up my tour independently on the internet and there is a difference in price.”
Of course the same applies to any package holiday booked via an official travel agent whether it be a Mediterranean holiday or a cricket tour. The most obvious benefit is peace of mind. Our travel partners Gullivers Sports Travel are part of the Travelopia Group of companies, and of course fully ABTA and ATOL bonded. In the unlikely event of anything going awry with your travel arrangements, you can be certain that you will be covered and looked after.
Q: “But I have travel insurance. What can go wrong?”
Experience has shown us that for a variety of reasons the Cricket Authorities in countries such as India can change venues at the drop of the hat leaving many tourists high and dry, having to suffer great inconvenience and incur extra expense changing their arrangements. It is unlikely your travel insurance will cover this.
On the Sri Lanka tour in 2011, a group of cricket fans were sold non-existent cheap flights by an unscrupulous unofficial travel agent and though an arrest was later made and criminal charges resulted, they are still awaiting compensation.
Q: “What else am I paying for?”
Most people search the web and come up with a figure for flights and accommodation without factoring in other essentials. As well as airport transfers, our prices include return transport from the ground (unless walkable). If you’ve ever arrived in a strange destination and felt overwhelmed by an onslaught of porters and taxi drivers (official or unlicensed), you can appreciate the reassurance that being met by your own representative in airport arrivals gives. Similarly, being able to climb aboard your own door-to-door transport before and after a hard day at the cricket can be just as comforting.
All our packages include breakfast at your hotel. You also receive the services of a Tour Manager who is constantly on hand to ensure the tour runs smoothly. He or she is your first point of contact for any issues with hotels; liaising with the local operator providing airport and stadium transfers, arranging welcome drinks and exclusive functions and many other duties such as checking reservations, arranging exclusive discounts in hotel bars and restaurants, complimentary wifi etc.
Your package will also feature an exclusive Barmy Travel event that includes a couple of complimentary drinks and snacks to accompany an evening of cricket chat with our regular guest, BBC Chief Cricket Correspondent and TMS Commentator Jonathan Agnew.
Finally, you will also receive 12 months' First Class Barmy Army membership with all the related benefits that brings and a tour specific Barmy Army shirt.
Q: “I’m not yet convinced. Anything else?”
Another factor rarely considered is the sheer amount of time it takes to conduct your own research via the internet, and once you make a decision you are unlikely to have any comebacks. One of our regular clients, a self employed Financial Adviser, has worked out that he can use his time more profitably by merely doing his job rather than spending hours on the web. With one phone call or click on our website you can book one of our ‘off the shelf’ packages. We can also tailor-make your own package to your own requirements if the main package does not suit you.
Q: “I’m a single traveller and don’t know anyone else on the tour. I’m thinking of booking but what can I expect?”
Coming as part of an organised tour is perfect for single travellers! You will find that it wont take long for you to realise you are amongst like-minded friends. We find that if you travel in your Barmy Travel shirt, you will soon be encountering other members of the group in the airport bar and hit the ground running. Many firm friendships are made on tour, though we haven’t had a Barmy Travel wedding yet! If you are looking to save on single supplements (standard in the travel industry) we can always match you up on a twin sharing basis. On larger tours like the Ashes, we often hold pre-tour get-togethers so that you can meet up even earlier.
Q: “Why choose Barmy Travel as opposed to one of your competitors?”
This one is easy. Barmy Travel is an integral part of the Barmy Army and with that brings the knowledge that you are part of one of the most famous and admired supporters’ organisations in the world. We are often referred to as ‘England’s Twelfth Man’ and have a great relationship with the team which no other company can command. In addition to our exclusive events, you will receive priority access to all our regular charity events. Have a look at the review of the last tour to South Africa for an example of what you can expect when you come with us.
Of course when we are in the ground we strive to get everyone together to make some noise and get behind the team, especially when they are up against it in the field. We cant always guarantee this, especially in sold out stadiums, and it’s always an organic thing but we try very hard to make it happen. It helps when between his many orchestral commitments, we can get our trumpeter Billy Cooper on hand to get the singing going.
Regardless of whether you are a new or regular customer, after your booking has been taken care of by my colleagues at Gullivers Sports Travel, we contact all our clients personally for a pre-tour chat to introduce ourselves and address any queries or concerns you may have. You'll receive a service and a unique but fantastic time that you won't get with anyone else!
Barmy Travel Tour Manager
23 August 2016