Cancellation and Refund Policy

PAYMENT SCHEDULE FOR NEW BOOKING:  Most AFS trips have one deposit and final payment.  Some have a second deposit or 2 payment points before final payment:

  • INITIAL DEPOSIT– Due at registration. You will create an account on our booking service WeTravel.  You will have the option of paying digitally by check for no fee or pay by nominal processing credit card fee displayed in the upper right corner.
    • FINAL PAYMENT: Usually due 90 days prior to Trip Departure Date, unless stated otherwise in Trip Tips or the itinerary. This pays the trip in full – Land Price.
    • Final payments not made when due may be considered a cancellation subject to forfeiture of the Initial Deposit(s) paid. Dishonored checks voids will be redeposited 3 and assessed a fee of $25.
  • CANCELLATIONS: On land packages, AFS will refund your deposit less 50%. At FIVE WEEKS prior to the trip’s Final Payment Due Date no refunds are paid.  AFS reserves the right to resell or otherwise use the canceled space at its discretion.
    • Airlines may impose added penalties after you are ticketed. Should your cancellation in full or in part cause any airline, cruise line, land supplier or any third-party service provider to impose a fee on AFS, these fees will be added to the above cancellation fee schedule. In case of cancellation where the party is occupying a shared room, the cost of a single supplement for the roommate may be added to the cancellation fee.
  • MOVING INITIAL DEPOSIT TO A DIFFERENT TRIP: One time per year we will move a deposit less $50 to another trip within the same calendar year provided the request is not within 5 weeks of final payment.
  • CRUISE CANCELLATION: Please note cruise terms and cancellation penalties may be different depending on the cruise line. This information will be distributed on a per cruise basis.

 

  • GROUP AIR RESERVATION & CANCELLATION: We are offering group air less often now due to customer preference.  Any changes or cancellations carry strict penalties. New airline ticket rules require middle name (if on passport), gender and date of birth.   Airfare can be subject to change until the entire group is ticketed (i.e., fuel surcharge, taxes, etc.). We block group air seats 10 months ahead of departure. This holds our reservation, but even deposits in advance are not legal barriers to possible increases. The total ticket cost is not confirmed until we ticket the group – usually 45 days out. Seat Assignments for groups are usually done at check-in.

Once ticketed, airlines state that international group ticket is non-refundable after issued in the participant’s name. You will be provided reservation/confirmation/ticket information about 3 weeks prior to departure as airlines use e-tickets now, this information and your passport are what is required to board. (If different, you will be notified.) International air requires check-in 3-hours prior departure. If you miss your departure, it is your responsibility to reach the destination by working with the airline directly. Schedules can change.  We are not responsible for flight delays, cancellations, price and schedule changes.  Check airline 2 weeks prior departure for their latest COVID rules.  We urge you to re-check the exact flight times 24 hours prior to departure.  Should AFS not have enough people wanting group air, we will cancel the group air reservation and apply your air deposit towards land balance. You will be notified by email to secure your own air.

 

  • TRIP POSTPONEMENT DUE TO PANDEMIC:  All vacations of all tour operators have been affected over the past years by Covid restrictions. We are working hard to accommodate all who may need to cancel a trip. Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, refund options may be limited when we already paid the vendors abroad and aren’t able to receive refunds from them.

On a postponed trip rescheduled and no final payment made, you can carry over your booking deposit to next year’s trip or elect to receive a coupon for your deposit that you may use on any future trip valid for four years.

On a postponed trip rescheduled that has been paid in full and with funds wired internationally, and AFS cannot get refunded:   If you elect not to go then, your booking goes into “Find Replacement” status.  If YOU find your replacement, we will refund 100% of your funds after they pay AFS in full.  If AFS must endeavor to fill your space, we will return your funds less your initial deposit paid after your replacement has paid AFS in full.   Although rare, if a replacement booking cannot be found, your trip investment is forfeited. This is why at initial booking; we always suggest purchasing travel insurance to cover such. The hotels and ground services need your space filled, so we urge you to go on the postponed trip.

 

  • TRAVEL INSURANCE:  There are countless travel insurance companies you can search.  When you visit the site, click around to determine the best policy for you. Before you buy, I highly recommend you phone an agent and ask them to verify the coverage you think you’re getting. For example, if you expect to be covered in the event you’re quarantined, who’s going to pay for that?  Call 888-885-7233.

Choose the best plan for you.  It’s best to buy insurance within 2 to 3 weeks of the initial deposit. It’s OK to estimate the costs you have yet to incur such as air.  You simply make an educated guess on the amount. After all your costs are settled, you can call the company to adjust your policy accordingly.  Click here to learn more –> Travel Insurance 101