In this section, I like to give some answers on questions.
If you think to know anything or maybe you miss something which can help others,
just let me know so I can put it in below.
How to make a booking:
After you are satisfied with the proposed itinerary, then you can decide to book. Upon your booking, I need the following details: Full passport names, date of birth, passport number and nationality.
Best is when you repeat exactly, what you want me to book (you can copy/paste the costing from my proposal).
What happens after I do a booking?
A few days after I received your booking, you will get a notification with the progress. By that time I can inform you that all went smooth, or that we have to discuss some options. A few days after that, I will confirm your booking with 2 separate emails. First email with flight e-tickets (when ordered) and the second email with all the vouchers, itinerary and your Invoice.
When do I have to pay?
After you received the invoice, I will ask for the following payments: If you already received your flight e-tickets, then I like to have the payment for those tickets, since I already have paid in full. Also I ask for a 30% non-refundable deposit for the rest of the tours.
Why do I have to pay a deposit?
Deposit is needed to hold your reservations.
Some companies are not holding reservations when they did not receive a deposit.
Can we trust this company?
Very nice question and not so many times asked. I am not in the position to answer this question, others are. But consider, that I normally pay flight tickets in advance.
It is my risk if my guests are going to pay and show up, or not. So who has to trust who?
Of course if you like to have credentials from previous guests or maybe from the company’s I have booked your tours with, I can put you in contact with them. On the vouchers, you have from all tours the contact details, what let you to contact them directly, and ask, if they know me, and your booking?
What happens in case of a cancellation?
Many companies have cancellations procedures, which I also have to adhere to.
Basic standard rules are:
(a) Confirm date to 30 days before arrival in Sabah – 30% of the trip’s full cost will be forfeited
(b) 29 to 15 days before arrival in Sabah – 50% of the trip’s full cost will be forfeited
(c) 14 days to arrival date in Sabah – 75% of the trip’s full cost will be forfeited
(d) No show – 100% of the trip’s cost will be forfeited
If I can escape above rules, then I will, but of course you have to understand that if I have to pay bills, you have to settle them as well. Normally I try to settle this in a good matter. I do not want to earn anything on a tour which is not done. So I try to pay back in 100%, but depends on the operators policy. If I have to pay, then you have to pay as well.
Who is actually doing the tours?
As an agent, I bring your excursions under with a local tour operator. This tour operator is the one who is going to conduct your tours. I personally will stand in for the quality of these operators. In your Travel Itinerary will stand if I personally conduct your tour or not. Normally I concentrate my tours around Kota Kinabalu. The city KK is my home base from which I do my work. Therefore I do not conduct tours in Sandakan or Sarawak, only on very special request.
Why do we book through an agent?
That’s because we know the market. We easily can shift from operators when they are neglecting their services. We constantly monitor what’s going on, new lodges, hotels but also new packages. Also as an agent I know personally the offices from the operators I use. This is useful sometimes because knowing the people behind the telephone helps when you need some special arrangements done. You will not be ‘a’ guest, but you are ‘my’ guest.
How to make payments:
You can pay me directly to my HSBC account in Malaysia, or to my Dutch account in the Netherlands. Details in the Invoice. Remember, you buy directly services in Borneo, so the total amount is always in Local Currency (MYR = Malaysian Ringit, or RM = Ringit Malaysia).
Any currency converter you find, will always give you a better rate, then what my bank is giving me. However, the amount received in my account, will be deducted from your Invoice.
When do we pay the balance?
That is up to you. You can pay me in Kota Kinabalu, or in Sandakan, but only in cash. Normally I see, that a few weeks before arrival, my guest will do a second transfer, in order to lower the balance. But I will not ask for it. However, if you cancel last minute, please do understand that payments still have to be paid, since I also pay my local operators on time.
Is Borneo safe to travel?
Yes it is. Borneo is very pleasant to travel, people are very friendly, and do not look with dollar signs if they see a ‘white-man’. This said, I need to tell, about some problems we experienced in Sabah. These problems are at the Lahad Datu coast, and also the islands around Semporna and Sipadan. All other parts, like the land excursions in Lahad Datu, and Sandakan are totally safe, in these places, nothing have ever happened.
In Semporna, it is very close to the islands of the Sulu Archipello, and.. this brings terrorists from the Philippines, who kidnap tourist for ransom. This year (2014), it happened 3 times already. Allthough Malaysian government has increased their presence on all islands and resorts, I can not honestly say, that it is safe. However, it is business as usual in these areas. As for adult travelers, chance to get problems are very slim. It is or diving on the most beautiful spots in the world, or.. staying at home to be real safe. But.. for families with children, I do not encourage to book any dive package in the Semporna region. Only time can tell, if it is really safe or not.
I do not agree, with the Travel Advisory’s, since the given area, is really large, and places like Kudat, Sandakan or Lahad Datu, are 100% safe to travel.