Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our Guided Vacations, Short Breaks and Day Tours. Whether you want to know how to book, what to bring or what to expect, you’ll find the answer here.

 

PREPARE FOR YOUR TRIP - ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

Before you go on your holiday we recommend you download and read this AAT Kings’ All You Need To Know booklet. This is a step-by-step guide with useful information to help you prepare for your holiday.

Download Document Icon Download Document

 

About AAT Kings

What do the letters "AAT" stand for in AAT Kings name?

They stand for 'Australian Accommodated Tours'. 

Will I be travelling with a reliable company?

Yes, absolutely. We are a multi-award winning company with more than 30 years’ experience in Australian sightseeing and Day Tours. We are a company that places the highest value on quality and service and boast a 96% satisfaction rating from past travellers, many of whom choose to travel with us again and again. We're also a bonded global member of Tour Operator Associations, with a worldwide reputation for reliability, all of which adds up to complete peace of mind when you book with us. 

Will the coach be comfortable and modern?

Yes, we have one of the newest coach fleets in Australia. Our modern and luxurious Scania coaches are equipped with air conditioning, reclining seats, seatbelts, restrooms, two door access, ample legroom and large panoramic windows, so you won't miss a thing. Most of our coaches are also equipped with phone chargers and free WiFi to keep you in touch with the outside world.

Before your AAT Kings Holiday

How do I make a reservation?

You can book online or contact our friendly reservations staff on 1-866-240-1659 or with your preferred travel agent.

For further information visit our Contact Us page.

What are AAT Kings' booking terms and conditions?

Please visit our AAT Kings Booking Conditions and our Privacy Policy pages for full details.

When do I need to pay for my holiday?

If you are booking a Guided Holiday, Short Breaks or small group experience a non-refundable deposit per holiday per person is required within 7 days of booking, with full payment due 6 weeks prior to your departure date.  For bookings made within 45 days of departure, full payment is required at the time of booking.

Full payment is required for Day Tours at the time of booking.

For further information, please see AAT Kings Booking Conditions

Can I book my airfares through AAT Kings?

Yes!  We can book and ticket Australian domestic flights and flights to and from New Zealand for you.  The relevant airline’s booking and payment conditions will apply to any flights booked through AAT Kings. Some airfares are ‘instant purchase’ and need to be paid at the time of booking; others are 7-day fares, so you have a little more time to make payment. Your consultant will discuss the relevant conditions and payment requirements with you at the time of booking.

What are Definite and Non-Definite Departures?

We have a selection of Definite Departures on offer to guarantee that your guided holiday will operate as scheduled.

If you book on a Non-Definite Departure we will determine if the tour will operate no later than 6 weeks prior to departure. If the departure is withdrawn we will work with you to offer a suitable alternative. If you aren't happy with the options offered any money paid on your booking will be refunded.

Is there a surcharge if I pay by credit card?

There is a 1% surcharge on all bookings paid by credit card per transaction. 

Can I make changes to my reservation?

Yes; for a small fee per person changes may be made to previously confirmed reservations.  This fee will be waived if the change increases the value of the booking. A change of tour date and/or itinerary within 45 days of tour departure is considered to be a cancellation and normal cancellation fees will apply.  If you are changing to an earlier departure date of equivalent or greater value, the cancellation fee will be waived and only the amendment fee will be charged.

For further information, please see AAT Kings Booking Conditions

If you have booked airfares with us tickets are issued on receipt of full payment, and once ticketed, airfares are non-refundable as per airline conditions. Any amendments to these flights will incur a fee.

Please contact your AAT Kings Direct Consultant or travel agent to make changes to your reservation.

What are your cancellation fees? 

Cancellation fees are dependent on the amount of notice given.

For further information, please see AAT Kings Booking Conditions

Do I need to advise AAT Kings of any special needs e.g. medication, mobility issues or serious medical conditions?

Yes; it’s essential that we know of any mobility, medical conditions, special or dietary needs you may have at the time of booking so that we can ensure, as much as possible, your needs are met on tour.

Guests requiring special assistance are welcome on-board AAT Kings Holidays providing they are accompanied by an able-bodied companion capable of providing all necessary assistance and do not require special assistance from AAT Kings personnel, or anyone else on the tour. Due to space considerations we are unable to accommodate motorised scooters and non-collapsible wheel chairs.

To help you decide if a Guided Holiday will be suitable take a look at our Special Assistance Page. Prior to your booking being confirmed you will need to complete a Special Assistance Form and return it to AAT Kings so that we can request confirmation of travel.

Please contact our friendly reservations team on 1-866-240-1659 if you have any questions or if we can help you decide which holiday is right for you!

Do you cater for special dietary requirements?

Yes; please advise of special meal requests at the time of booking, or no later than 14 days prior to departure. Please note that while all efforts are made to accommodate special dietary requirements, due to the remote locations visited, these cannot be guaranteed.  Kosher and Halal meals are not available on our holidays.

How and when will I receive travel documents?
Guided Holiday and Inspiring Journeys:

We will post a travel wallet containing your documents and luggage tags to you approximately four weeks before your departure date. If you’ve booked through a travel agent, your documents will be sent directly to your agent.

Short Breaks, Aussie Adventures and Day Tours:

E-documents will be emailed to you within 24 hours of full payment being made.

Do I need to reconfirm my reservation?

Yes, we recommend that you do reconfirm Short Breaks, Aussie Adventure’s and Day Tours 24 hours prior to departure, just in case your departure or pickup time has changed and we’ve been unable to get in touch with you.

There is no need to reconfirm your Guided Holiday or Inspiring Journey. Please refer to your documentation for meeting instructions or pick-up information, or give us a call.

To reconfirm your reservation in Australia, or to ask us any last minute questions, please call 1300 228 546 (Opening hours: 6:30am to Midnight 7 days a week).

Are there any discounts available?

Yes!

Guided Vacations and Inspiring Journeys: we have a range of discounts available including Early Payment Discount, Kings Club Past Guest Discount, last minute deals, and concession rates.  Please visit our Ways to Save page for full details.

Day Tours:  we offer a discount to Australian pension and concession card holders, as well as multi-tour savings on select tours in Sydney, Melbourne, and Ayers Rock (conditions apply).

Can I reserve a seat at the front of the coach?

To allow everyone the opportunity to enjoy seats at the front of the coach AAT Kings has a seat rotation policy on all Guided Vacations and Inspiring Journeys.  This means that everyone changes seats daily during the course of the tour, and also means that you have the opportunity to meet new people throughout your journey.

It is not possible to reserve seats on Aussie Adventures, Short Breaks and Day Tours.

What is the difference between our various holiday options?

We have a range of different holiday styles to suit your needs:

  • Guided Vacations – Our fully guided touring experiences.
    From 4 to 22 days, an AAT Kings Guided Holiday lets you fully explore a destination and immerse yourself in its landscape, history and culture. Our friendly guides will enhance your experience with their stories, local knowledge and sense of fun.
  • First Choice Guided Vacations offer premium accommodation in central locations, more meals and sightseeing inclusions plus unique ‘You’re invited’ dining experiences, wine with dinner, and Included Choice optional excursions.
  • Best Buys Guided Vacations offer great value, comfortable accommodation with easy access to city centres and more free time
  • Inspiring Journeys – Immersive and boutique small group journeys.
    On an Inspiring Journey we’ll introduce you to rich and immersive experiences in an intimate small group setting (maximum 20 guests). You’ll travel in luxury coaches or 4WD vehicles and stay in boutique retreats, lodges and resorts with cuisine to match.
  • Short Breaks – 2 to 9 day breaks with your choice of accommodation.
    Short Breaks combine the must see highlights of a destination with your choice of accommodation along with selected meals. You’ll travel with a different Driver Guide each day, so you’ll benefit from the breadth of their combined knowledge and experience. Plus, you’ll meet a different group of like-minded travellers each day.
  • Aussie Adventures – Affordable, easy-going small group adventures.
    Aussie Adventures actively explore the great outdoors in a small group of fun and friendly travellers. You’ll experience the real Australia with our authentic and down-to-earth guides, and uncover hidden places and experiences that you’d miss if travelling on your own. We keep things simple, with a focus on real value for money, but don’t skimp on the must see highlights and excitement of travelling in Australia.  In some locations a higher than average fitness level may be required for full enjoyment of the tour.
  • Day Tours – Full Day and Half Day tours
    With Day Tours across Australia including Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns, Darwin, Uluru, Alice Springs, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, leave the stress of driving in an unknown city to a friendly local expert as we show you the must-see sights of the region and share our knowledge of its history and culture.

Look for these symbols when choosing your holiday.

What's included in the price of my AAT Kings Holiday?

Exact details vary depending on the holiday style you choose however, all our Guided Vacations include luxury air-conditioned coach transport, an expert Travel Director and/or Driver Guide or local Guides, as well as many meals, sightseeing and entry fees as specified in your itinerary.

Our Short Breaks include air-conditioned coach transport, a different expert Driver Guide on each day’s tour, sightseeing and entry fees as specified in your itinerary, your selected level of accommodation, and limited meals as specified in your itinerary.

Our Day Tours include complimentary pick up at selected hotels, air-conditioned coach transport and expert local Driver Guides. We are all about choice, which is why we offer Day Tour options that include lunch or certain activities and those that don’t. Sightseeing and entry fees are included as specified in your itinerary.

If you have any questions about exactly what's included on your tour contact your travel agent or call our friendly reservations staff on 1-866-240-1659

Do you organise airport transfers?

If you are travelling on a Guided Holiday or Short Breaks, AAT Kings offers an airport transfer at the start and end of your tour, or in-conjunction with pre or post accommodation booked with AAT Kings. Details on airport transfers are noted in our brochures or online under each itinerary’s holiday inclusions. We ask you advise your travel agent or our reservations team of your flight details at least 6 weeks prior to departure so airport transfers can be booked. Conditions do apply, please speak to your travel agent or call our friendly reservations team on 1-866-240-1659 if you have any questions.

We do not offer airport transfers for our Day tours or Aussie Adventures Holidays.

Who travels on an AAT Kings Holiday?

With such a diverse range of destinations and touring styles there is no set age or type who travel with us, you can expect a wide-range of like-minded travellers. Families with children, young couples, baby boomers, solo travellers, small groups and more can be found on our Guided Vacations.

As AAT Kings is sold internationally you will also find that there are people from all over the world on our tours, particularly North Americans, British, Europeans and many Asian nations.

Do you operate in languages other than English?

Yes, we have a dedicated Special Language Department who operate selected tours departing Ayers Rock in Japanese, German and Italian.

We also offer language audio devices for selected Short Breaks and Day Tours in Mandarin, Japanese, Italian, German and French.  

If you would like more information on our language devices please contact us on 1-866-240-1659.

What options do I have if I am travelling alone?

The beauty of travelling with AAT Kings is that you won't be travelling alone. You'll be travelling with a group of like-minded travellers and soon to be friends to share in the experience with.

AAT Kings operated Guided Vacations have competitive single supplement rates available if you prefer to confirm your own room; or we can match you to share with a guest of the same gender at no extra cost.  If we fail to match you, we will accommodate you in a single room at no extra cost. 

This feature is not available on Inspiring Journeys, Aussie Adventures, Short Breaks, and Guided Vacations operated by our third party partners.

Can I travel with children?

Yes, we are more than happy to accommodate children however some restrictions may apply.

Children are welcome on our Guided Vacations but are required to be a minimum age of 5 years or older.

On our Short Breaks and Day Tours we offer special infant and children’s rates – infants under 2 travel free of charge and children 2 – 15 years are entitled to travel at the child rate (some restrictions apply).

Please note that some Aussie Adventures may have age restrictions on individual itineraries.

We do recommend that people travelling with children consider whether the itinerary is suitable, in particular the activities involved and the duration of the tour to ensure the comfort of small children. For all tour types children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

Are your tours suited to elderly passengers?

Yes, with such a diverse range of holidays and tours we offer sightseeing options to suit everyone. However, some will require more walking or a higher fitness level than others. If you are unsure, please check with our expert reservations team for advice before booking.

Do I need travel insurance?

We strongly advise all travellers take out travel insurance to cover any unforeseen circumstances.

As extra security we also offer Gold Seal Additional Protection on our Guided Vacations and Inspiring Journeys. AAT Kings Gold Seal Additional Protection can be purchased at the time of booking. Click here for full details.

On your AAT Kings Holiday

How many other people will I be travelling with?

Depending on the holiday you choose and the time of year you are travelling our group sizes will vary. Guided Vacations will be a maximum of 50 guests; Inspiring Journeys and Aussie Adventures will be a maximum of 20 guests; Day Tours and Short Breaks will be a maximum of 58 guests.

So whichever holiday you choose there is a great opportunity to mingle and make new friends.

Are the recommended arrival and departure times strict?

Yes.  It is important to adhere to departure times while on tour for the comfort of everyone on-board, and to make sure no one misses out on the planned experiences.  The coach will not be able to wait for you, and in some instances, if you miss a departure time you will need to make your own way to the next destination to re-join the tour.

Check with your travel agent or our reservations staff for the starting time of your tour to ensure you allow time to connect into the city where your tour commences.

Short Breaks, Aussie Adventure and Day Tours must also be reconfirmed at least 24 hours prior to departure with our reservations team on 1-866-240-1659.

Where can I join my tour?

All Guided Vacations and Inspiring Journeys depart from one starting hotel. Please refer to your documentation or contact our reservations team on 1-866-240-1659 for further information.  If you are considering spending extra nights in the starting city, we would recommend that you book into the starting hotel for your own convenience.

For Day Tours and Short Breaks – in some regions a central joining location is available; we also offer complementary pick up at selected hotels. Please enquire at time of booking for your nearest joining location; we do need to know in advance where you will be joining the tour.  Please be waiting at your confirmed pickup/joining location 10 minutes prior to scheduled time.

Do you offer hotel pick-ups?

We do offer a courtesy hotel pickup on Short Breaks and Day Tours.  Please enquire at time of booking for your nearest pickup hotel; we do need to know in advance where you will be joining the tour.  Please be waiting at your confirmed pickup/joining location 10 minutes prior to scheduled time.

Can I join or leave a tour part way through?

Yes, you are free to join and leave the tour as you like. However we request that you advise us at the time of booking or let your Travel Director or Driver Guide know if you plan on doing so, and any transport required from your departure location is wholly your responsibility.  Please note: we cannot provide refunds for unused portions of your tour. 

Will I have time on my own?

Yes, we pride ourselves on offering the perfect mix of sightseeing and free time. While many amazing must-see experiences are included, there is also time to shop, explore, relax in a local café or take a walk.

How often do we stop?

On travelling days you will stop every 2 to 3 hours either at a rest stop where you will have access to food and facilities or for sightseeing, activities or free time.

Can I stay on the coach when we stop if I am feeling tired?

For security reasons the coach must be empty and locked at every stop.  Please see your Travel Director or Driver Guide if any assistance is required to locate a rest spot.

What meals will be served?

On our Guided Vacations and Inspiring Journeys many meals such as breakfasts and dinners are included. There are some meals we intentionally don’t include, like lunches and some dinners, to give you the flexibility to explore in your free time and try all kinds of local cuisine.

Breakfast is included daily on our Guided Vacations and generally comprises of cereals, fruit juices and a selection of cooked dishes such as eggs, bacon and sausages, plus, toast, preserves, tea and coffee. Many dinners are also included and always provide choice with either quality buffet or a la carte menu to choose from. Dinner is accompanied by dessert options and tea and coffee.

On Guided Vacations we also include special Highlight Dinners that are an experience in their own right, like a BBQ dinner under the stars at Uluru or a traditional Maori Hangi feast. Our ‘You're invited’ dining experiences give travellers unique meal experiences, with the opportunity to feel the true essence of a destination through its history, its locals and its produce; whether it’s a chance to meet Margaret River winemakers over a delicious lunch or being welcomed into a historic family home for a home cooked meal.

Lunch is provided on some Day Tours, and is an optional extra on others.  Please refer to the tour listing on our website for full details on your selected tours.

To allow for maximum flexibility and choice, our Short Breaks packages do not include meals unless specified in your itinerary.

What do I need to bring?

A hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, weatherproof jacket and good walking shoes are a good starting point for all our tours.

If you are travelling on a Guided Holiday or Inspiring Journey; casual, drip-dry lightweight clothes are perfect. Other items, depending on your tour require a swimming costume and towel, small portable umbrella, travel alarm clock, medications and of course your camera to capture all those wonderful sights (don’t forget your spare batteries or charger!). There is no need for lots of formal clothes, however you might like to include a few options to wear out for dinner, but above all you want to be comfortable.

It is also important to consider the region you will be visiting and the season you will be travelling. Take a look at our All You Need To Know guide for more information on average temperatures to help you pack for your holiday. Other things to think about are the activities you will be taking part in. For example the Australian outback can be quite dusty so we recommend you avoid packing light coloured clothing, Mosquitoes and sand-flies can also be a nuisance during the wet season and all year around at sunset and dusk in Northern Queensland and the Northern Territory, so we also advise you bring insect repellent if you are travelling to these regions.

On certain Day Tours you may also want to consider these items:

Blue Mountains Day Tours – the Blue Mountains can be cooler than the city centre so it is recommended you pack a warm jacket, particularly during winter. If you are doing adventure caving please wear clothes that can get dirty as well as sturdy footwear like joggers or trainers.

Dolphin Watching – bring your swimming costume and towel to ride the boom-net on the back of the boat on the way to see the Bottlenose Dolphins, and don’t forget sunscreen and a hat.

Melbourne and surrounds Day Tours – temperatures in Australia’s south can be much cooler than the north of the country so a warm jacket is required in winter. In the summer months please bring sunscreen and a hat.

Northern Territory Day Tours – plenty of drinking water is essential on all Northern Territory tours, especially in the summer months. On some Day Tours there is a specific minimum amount of water that you are required to carry for your safety and comfort (but bottles can be refilled on board the coach as needed). It is also important to bring a hat and sunscreen. Mosquitoes and other insects can be a nuisance all year round so we also advise you to bring insect repellent.

While the temperature in the Northern Territory can get very hot during the day in summer, evenings and winter can be quite cool, so remember to bring a warm jacket if you are travelling during the winter or will be out at night.

Many of our Day Tours in the Northern Territory also present the opportunity to enjoy a swim in some of the amazing waterholes during summer, so a swimming costume and towel are essential!

Are the luggage restrictions really strict? What happens if I go over?

Yes! Owing to strict Government vehicle weight restrictions you are allowed one medium size suitcase per person, the sum of its length/width not to exceed 140cm (56”). The maximum weight of all luggage must not exceed 23kg (50lbs). We suggest you have wheels on your suitcase, as there are certain places where assistance is not available (e.g. airports, railway stations and cruise terminals).

You are also allowed one piece of hand luggage on-board the coach: please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartments and cannot be accepted as hand luggage. Alternative arrangements should be made for forwarding excess baggage to the final destination prior to commencing your AAT Kings Holiday.

Passengers booked on a small group tour operated by Wilderness Challenge are only permitted to carry a small soft carry bag (30x30x70cm) with a maximum weight of 10kg, plus a small day pack.

Passengers booked on an Aussie Adventures tour of 2 days or more are only permitted a medium soft bag to a maximum of 12kg.

If you are travelling on a Day Tour we may be able to accommodate some luggage depending on the tour, but this is not guaranteed.

Please check with our reservations team on 1-866-240-1659 if you have any questions regarding luggage restrictions.

Do I need to bring water with me?

It is recommended you carry plenty of drinking water, particularly in warmer climates. Some Northern Territory tours require you to carry a minimum quantity of drinking water for your safety and comfort, and you will not be able to participate in some tour activities if this minimum requirement is not met. Drinking water quality can also vary in remote regions so please check if water is suitable for consumption with our crew.  We have drinking water available on our coaches so we suggest you pack a refillable water bottle, so you always have one on hand plus you’re helping the environment at the same time.

Is smoking allowed?

Government regulations prohibit smoking on-board all tourist coaches in Australia. Please restrict smoking to the ample stops on your Holiday or Day Tour. Smoking is also not permitted in hotels, restaurants and public spaces such as shops, museums and art galleries in Australia.

What are Optional Experiences?

We've included the must-see and must-do experiences in all our tours but also offer you the ability to customise your tour with a selection of Optional Experiences.

Details of Optional Experiences available on your Guided Holiday or Inspiring Journey will be sent with your final documents approximately four weeks before departure, and are also available on each individual tour page at aatkings.com. There is no need to pre-book; Optional Experiences are organised by your Travel Director or Driver Guide whilst on tour.  Payment is accepted in local currency or by credit card.

Please note: AAT Kings operates some of the optional activities offered, but most are run by independent third party operators. AAT Kings accepts no liability where optional activities are operated by a third party.

How can I pay for the Optional Experiences?

Optional Experiences are organised by your Travel Director or Driver Guide while on tour. Payment is accepted in local currency or by credit card.

Are tours affected by Easter, Christmas or other Public Holidays?

Our tours operate during public holidays and festivals around Australia and New Zealand, but occasionally minor changes to the standard itinerary may be required.  Retail shops, banks, museums and other commercial businesses could be closed for business but your Travel Director will ensure you are well advised in case of special holidays or public holiday trading. Hotels will operate normally.

Do I need to tip my Travel Director or Driver Guide?

While it’s not compulsory in Australia or New Zealand, tipping is becoming an increasingly accepted practice in all areas of the service industry, but particularly in restaurants, bars and taxis.  Please feel free to tip your Travel Director or Driver Guide if you would like to.