Meopham

OUTINGS FAQs

Outings are an exciting venture for Meopham U3A & are open to all members, subject to availability. Over the course of a year your Outings Team aim to provide a good variety of outings including those close to home & much further afield using coaches.

1. How will I know which outings are planned?
Details of forthcoming outings will be advertised in the monthly bulletin, emailed to you, announced at our Monthly Meetings & Coffee Mornings & published on the website.

2. What do I need to do before I book?
We ask you please to read the information that follows; which can be downloaded from the link FAQs above if you would prefer a hard copy. These will give you most of the information you require. If you submit a booking to us, it is accepted on the understanding that you have read & understood them. This will save unnecessary questions, expectations, & misunderstandings & make the day more enjoyable for everyone.

3. I have limited mobility. Will the outings be suitable for me?
Some, but not necessarily all, of our outings will be suitable for members with manageable mobility restrictions. We will mention in our publicity & outing details any significant access or safety considerations of which we are aware. If you are at all concerned please ensure you contact the organiser to discuss the details of the arrangements before making a firm booking & paying for the event. You must contact us before booking if you wish to bring a mobility aid so that we can discuss your needs. YOU MUST BE ABLE TO GET ON & OFF THE COACH UNAIDED. Members with restricted mobility may be accompanied by a carer on any outing, but a SEPARATE place needs to be booked. The carer does not have to be a U3A member but will be required to pay the full cost.
4. How do I book?
Booking forms will be emailed to you along with the details of each outing. Alternatively, forms can usually be obtained at the Monthly Meetings or coffee mornings, by e-mail from members of the outings team or via the website. Please complete the forms carefully & provide all the information requested including your mobile number & brief details of any health conditions that may be relevant.
Bookings can be made by email, via this website, by post or at the Coffee Mornings & Monthly Meetings (after the talk). If made via the web site or by post a cheque for the full payment due must be sent by post & include a stamped addressed envelope. Bookings are confirmed on a “first come, first served” basis but once an event is full, your name can be added to a waiting list.
Please note that if booking is by email or via the web site your tickets will be held for 7 days to give you time to submit payment. If payment in full has not been received after 7 days your booking will be cancelled.
In the future we intend to offer the option of payment by direct, on-line bank transfer & you will be notified when this facility is in place.
Applications for each outing are dealt with individually. If booking for multiple trips, we require a cheque, booking slip & stamped addressed envelope for each one. If you request more than one place, we must have the name & Meopham U3A number of each person & a cheque for full payment for both.
Cheques should be made payable to “Meopham U3A (social account)” & in all cases please write on the back of the cheque the destination of the outing concerned.

5. How are costs calculated?
The cost per person for each outing is calculated based on the amount payable to the coach company, a driver gratuity, & any expenses incurred in arranging the visit. In some cases the fee for a guided tour is included. When that is the case it is made clear on each booking form.
Unless specified, all costs for entries, guides etc. are at concessionary rates. Please state on your booking form if you think you might not be eligible for that.

6. Do I have to pay a deposit?
No. As you will understand we often have to make financial commitments upfront when organising an outing. For this reason you will be asked to pay IN FULL by cheque at the time of booking (please make sure cheques are payable to “Meopham U3A Social account” & that you write the destination of the outing on the back of the cheque).
Sometimes venues introduce special offers for admission, refreshments etc. As we make a party booking we can only offer the reductions which are advertised by the venue itself at the time & under the terms on which we book. We cannot deal with any special offers or discounts you may personally have.
If you have currently valid membership of an organisation such as the National Trust, English Heritage or RHS you may have the option to take a guest into the venue free of charge. If you wish to nominate a particular person (who must be a member of Meopham U3A) to be that guest on the outing, please let us know, along with the name of your guest, at the time of booking. You will need to bring proof of your membership with you. We cannot deal with such requests on arrival at the venue.
There will be time limits on booking when coaches are involved. This means that if, by a certain date, usually one month before the trip, insufficient bookings have been received for the outing to be financially viable, full refunds will be given.

7. What happens if I subsequently find that I can’t go on the outing?
We cannot guarantee partial or full refunds but we will be as flexible as possible because we realise that for all sorts of very sound reasons members may need to cancel.
If you are not able to take up your place on a trip, please inform the organiser as soon as possible. This will maximise the chances of finding another member to take your place.
If you already know of another member who has agreed to take your place please give that person’s name to the organiser. However it will be up to the two of you to come to a private arrangement regarding reimbursing costs etc. Alternatively, if there is a reserve list, a refund will be payable provided we are able to resell your place.

8. Can I bring a guest?
No. Outings are for members of Meopham U3A only. IF YOU WANT TO BRING ALONG A NON-MEMBER, PLEASE ENCOURAGE THEM TO JOIN!

9. What do I need to do on the day?
For outings involving travel by coach the departure point or points for the coach will be specified on the booking confirmation. Please aim to arrive at the pick-up point 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time. If you will be driving please allow sufficient time for parking (which may be a short distance away) & arrange car sharing if possible.
On the day of an outing, if you have any problems joining the trip, please phone the mobile number on the booking confirmation.
To make contact at any other time please use either of the numbers on the booking form.
We ask that you carry your U3A membership card & your mobile phone (switched on at all times when away from the coach.)
Please ensure that the organiser has ticked off your name before you board the coach. If you are not intending to return with the group, it is essential that you let the organiser know.
You are asked to pay particular attention to the time of departure from the venue. If you are late back to rendezvous we may have to leave without you. In such an instance, you would have to arrange your own return home & you would not be entitled to any refund of costs incurred. If this situation does arise we would endeavour to contact you on your mobile phone and/or your emergency contact number before leaving the venue.
Please note that apart from the initial departure time, most other times are approximate. We cannot predict traffic, incidents or weather, all of which may affect our arrival & final departure times.
We try to schedule comfort stops at a convenient time & place on all coach journeys. We will be using executive coaches & these have loos on board. However, it is stressed that those facilities are for use ONLY in emergencies.

If you have any further questions or queries not covered here, please email them to the outings group by clicking the bluebird symbol on the OUTINGS page.