We provide a range of tours to suit the need of every trail runner from first timer to super experienced. All tours are ‘at your own pace’ which means the guides work around the group, there’s no pressure to go fast or slow, and no guilt either way! We accommodate everyone.
What we do require is a frothy attitude (you are amped to be out there with us). We’ll look after the rest.
Here’s a few Answers to common questions that arise to help you feel on song. And remember:there are no stupid questions when it comes to being prepared to be out on the trails. You can ask us anything - use the Contact Us page, email or give us a call.
How fit do you have to be to come on a run tour?
Well, you need to be able to run at least some! But our runs are NOT races. So you never ‘red line’ like you do in a race or event. Most of the time you are cruising at 60-70% of what you would if under the pump of a competitive environment. We encourage you to stop as often as you like, take as many photos as you can, eat en route, enjoy the views! Therefore, our approach is about everyone moving at a pace that they enjoy. And yes, you get to walk when you need to and run just whenever you can.
As a guide, given most of our tours have days ranging from 10km through to full marathons, we suggest that you should be able to run in training – at a slow pace – a half marathon one day and back up with a half marathon the next. If you can do that, pretty much we’ll get you through any of our tours.
You should of course be in general good health and be moderately fit in order to undertake 4-10 days of consecutive running. Training and preparation are recommended prior to your trip – even if just for the sake of you will enjoy the running holiday way more with some conditioning in the legs and lungs.
Again, you don’t have to be super fit or a pointy front of pack runner. We’ve had everyone from 14 year-olds through to 70 year olds (in the high altitude Himalayas) on tour, and they have all had a blast in safety.
I’ve never run trails - do I need to have lots of trail experience?
NO! We welcome all skill levels from beginner to experienced, and indeed we pride ourselves in introducing the addictive nature of running in Mother Nature to those fresh off the bitumen! We can teach you skills and tips and tricks to off road running that will make you a more than competent trail runner by tour’s end, and again, there is never any pressure to keep up with more experienced trail runners on tour. You do you at your pace. And our guides will always be there to assist and encourage confidence in the wilderness.
What kind of training do you expect guests to undertake before coming on tour?
As mentioned, we believe if you can do a slow 21km one day, and back up with another 15-21km the next, you can do ANY of our tours. We do suggest regular running for the 3 months prior to the tour – if only because that conditioning will make your experience so much more enjoyable, and you will get better value for your money.
We won’t suggest specific training plans here, as they are different for every individual, but we can after discussing your context, suggest plans and/or we have a network of awesome coaches who can devise specific training plans to you and the tour should you wish.
Can I walk some?
Absolutely. Walking is part of trail running. Even the best of the best (Hi Kilian), walk on trail at some point. Especially when the going gets steep! As one of our regular and best clients, Rob, says: Run when you can, walk when you have to. No dramas.
What if I don’t want to run on a particular day or section – are there flexibilities in terms of judging daily what I can/want to run or not?
In general, yes, although it depends on the tour logistics. For instance, in England, you are never really that far from a village, and so we can organise a taxi if mid route (your cost), or if you want to skip a day or two for a rest, we can arrange for you to go on the luggage bus (no charge). However in the Himalayas of Bhutan, there are no taxis or luggage buses. So, it’d be a rather uncomfortable day on a bony mule’s back! Better to just take your time for the day and walk! All tours are different, but we do make it possible where possible to skip a section or day on trail. Again, no guilt – go and enjoy the next village or camp. Just remember to cheer the runners in at the end of the day. Maybe shout a pint?
What are your terms of booking – can I get a refund if I have to cancel?
Yes you can, although there is a cancellation admin fee. Terms are:
Cancellation by Guest
If the cancellation is made more than 90 days from departure, a fee equivalent to the booking fee (usually 10% of tour price) per person will be charged, the remainder of any fees collected by Tour de Trails at that time will be refunded.
For cancellations within 60-90 days of departure, 50% of the overall fee will be charged, with 50% refunded. You will also be credited a 15% discount on your next booking with Tour de Trails to help soften the blow should you want to re-book with us.
For cancellations within 30 of departure, no refund is available as all costs have been incurred on the ground by us.
The date of cancellation is the date that Tour de Trails receives written notice of the cancellation.
Cancellation will also take effect if you fail to arrive at the pre-arranged meeting place at the time stipulated.
No refund will be paid if you voluntarily leave your tour after it has commenced.
No refund will be paid if you need to leave the tour for reasons of bereavement, injury or illness.
Guests are responsible for any costs incurred in leaving a tour (i.e. extra accommodation, activities, meals, transport). Again, for this reason we strongly recommend travel insurance including coverage of needing to cancel prior or during a trip. Travel insurance and medical insurance are strongly recommended.
Cancellation by Tour de Trails
Should Tour de Trails cancel a trip prior to departure for any reason (i.e. insufficient numbers to run the trip), your will be fully refunded.
Under no circumstance will Tour de Trails ever place guests and guides at risk. In the case of natural threats (e.g. bushfires, natural disasters, storms and other unsafe weather conditions) we may need to cancel or modify a Tour with little notice including after a Tour has commenced. No refund will be applied for this eventuality, however we will always attempt to modify the itinerary and re-design the trip at the time to ensure you receive an experience worthy of the fee paid. That said, nature can be a brutal and unpredictable beast and in severe cases, a tour may be wholly cancelled or we may need to divert to an entirely different destination.
Any costs associated with diverted travel, unforeseen overnight accommodation, meals, etc will not be covered by us and therefore we strongly recommend travel insurance be taken out prior to travel.
Tour de Trails reserves the right to cancel any tour 60 days prior to departure in which event a full refund will be made but all Tours are guaranteed to depart once a minimum of 6-8 guests (pending which tour) are confirmed.
Do I need to pay a deposit and is it refundable?
Yes. The deposit is different for each tour but in general 10% will reserve your spot for a tour and that is non-refundable.
Full payments are due 3 months out from departure dates. Payment plans are possible. If you cancel, you forfeit your deposit.
What happens if I get injured while running on tour?
It depends on context, but injuries on tour do not result in refunds in general. We will do our best to reschedule the tour and find other appropriate activities for you to do (at your cost). We strongly urge you to take out travel insurance for this very reason.
In the event of an injury that forces you off trail, we will discuss with you at the time what the options are and what your preferences are.
Should I get any special insurance?
YES. Travel insurance that covers activities in the wilderness, and if we are going to altitude (above 3000m) check that your insurance covers evacuation including heli. We urge travel cancellation insurance taken out prior to the trip, also, should you need to cancel your trip for reasons on your end.
I have a non-running partner who wants to come – can you accommodate?
YES. Although it depends on context. In general we can work around a non-running partner and suggest activities and visits for them to undertake while we are on trail. For trips like the Coast to Coast, this means travelling ahead each day, but staying with you each night. For somewhere like Bhutan where the trail is remote, it means seeing us off at the trailhead, engaging in activities for our time on trail and travelling alone to then meet us at the trail exit at the end of the running component of the trip. But in somewhere like Bhutan, there is plenty of things to keep your non-running partner amused and engaged for a fabulous trip.
Your tours seem pricey, why is that?
We like to do things properly. We like good food. The odd wine. Good accommodation. And a bit of indulgence. We cut no corners. And we deliver exceptional experiences in exotic locales. We also like safety. The magic sauce in some of that is that these things cost. But we guarantee that you’ll be impressed. You get what you pay for and all that…
I’m a bit picky with my food and/or I have certain intolerances – do you cater?
YES. As much as we can. As always, it’s all about context. General foodie requests (vegetarian, vegan, even to some degree gluten free) can be worked around in most instances. Talk to us and we will always do our best to accommodate, but of course can’t promise to have your half strength, almond milk, turmeric piccolo lukewarm only waiting at that 5000m pass in the Himalayas. We will, however, figure out how to supply donuts, wine and cheese WHEREVER WE ARE!
What are the styles of accommodation? Do I share?
It depends on the tour – sometimes it’s five-star, sometimes it’s a billion stars – as in camping in a tent! Sometimes it’s a B&B, sometimes it’s a luxe lodge. Where possible we tend to err on the side of comfort (it’s a holiday after all) – refer to question about things sometimes being on the pricey side!
Okay, I’m happy to socialise, but I still would like to have my own room – is that possible?
YES. Please advise us when booking. There is a single supplement in most instances, however.
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes. We highly recommend Travel Insurance and some tours it is mandatory (ie. Bhutan). When selecting a Travel Insurance product, please ensure that it provides cover against personal accidents or injury, medical expenses, emergency repatriation and personal liability, cancellation for any reason including bereavement, delayed flights, lost luggage and personal effects.
What if I have current medical conditions?
We need to know. If you have a pre-existing medical condition you are required to disclose it on your booking form and may be required to supply a doctor’s certificate or complete a confidential medical questionnaire.
Runners 69 years of age or older must supply a doctor’s certificate stating that you are in good physical condition and that there are no known ailments or pre-existing medical conditions likely to prevent them from completing the Tour.
How do I book a tour?
To book please contact us on email advising which tour you would like to come on, and how many are in your party. We will get back to you with questions including food preferences, medical history, twin share or single supplement and general trail and/or running experience.
Once your booking deposit has been received, your spot on the tour is guaranteed. Please note that tours are not ‘green lighted’ until the minimum guest number for that tour is reached. Should numbers not be reached you will receive a full refund. You will also need to sign an Indemnity Form within 2 weeks of departure.
Do you have a single supplement option?
Yes. Usually, accommodation is twin share (on some tours, room numbers may vary to suit the needs of a particular accommodation option). We will endeavour to ensure that single travellers will share with the same gender, however this cannot be guaranteed as it will be determined by the makeup of the group. Mixed gender sharing is deemed acceptable on our tours. If a single room is requested, a supplementary price will be required but this will vary depending on the Tour.
Do you have mandatory or recommended gear?
Yes, we require all participants to bring some mandatory gear, the list of which differs for each tour. You will be supplied a list soon after booking your place on the tour. We can advise on mandatory and suggested gear and point you in the right direction for where to source the kit.
Do I need to book my own flights?
Yes, Tour de Trails does not book flights. You will be required to make your own travel arrangements to the meeting point of each tour. We can advise best flight routes and our experience with airlines. One exception to this is our Bhutan tour. Guests need to make their own arrangements for flights to a ‘gateway city’ (usually Bangkok), however our in-country partner is required to make the bookings on Bhutan national airlines from the gateway cities onward (and return to gateway cities). This is charged as extra to the stated tour prices.
How far do you run each day?
As every tour and every day on tour is different, this can vary greatly from 10km through to 42km! Our tours tend to straddle the line between achievable by most and pushing for a little challenge. Hence most days on average are targeted at 15-25km.
Are there any extra costs above the listed tour prices?
Yes. You will need to account for the cost of flights and/or transit to the listed meeting place / city for your tour. Alcohol in general is not included. There are also variables between tours, always stated in the tour description and Inclusions / Exclusions listings. For instance, some tours are full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner), others like Coast to Coast are breakfast and lunch only. We do not charge any extra fees or fuel surcharges.
How many guests are in the group usually?
Each tour is usually between 8-14 guests, depending on accommodation, transport and logistical options available. Your tour will always be hosted by at least two experienced guides.
What deposit do I need to pay?
All bookings will require an initial 10% of the full tour price deposit to secure your place on our tour. The remaining amount will be required approximately 3 months prior to the trip’s departure.