Travel Group - Leader Simon Appel

Beaumaris Probus Travel Group Meeting – 18 September 2019 Venue: Da Giacomo Caffe, Beaumaris Concourse

The meeting began at 2.00 pm.

Stuart Ingram (Destination HQ) introduced guest speaker Hannah Taylor from Wendy Wu Tours. Hannah described the various specialty tours offered by Wendy Wu who specialises in Asia tours, and has dome so for over 25 years.

Hannah showed videos covering tours in Japan, India and Vietnam.

The company has options for groups up to 28 people with deluxe tours restricted to 18 people, which is 5 stars. They also cover Mongolia and Tibet. Each tour includes a national expert who remains with the party throughout. Prices include all flights, meals, visa requirements with travellers responsible for drinks and personal expenses.

The “classic” tours stay in 41/2-star accommodation.

There is also “solo” travel options and specific “solo” tours.

The China tours includes the Great Wall, cruise on the Yangtse River with visits to the Terracotta Warriors and the Forbidden City.

Hannah showed beautiful videos of the pandas in Chengdu.

There is a new Silk Road tour including Russia.

Flights are economy based but can easily be upgraded by Wendy Wu.

Hannah conducted and excellent presentation which was followed by much interest in details of the various tours and collections of brochures.

The meeting concluded with questions, and delicious cake provided by Da Giacomo Caffe.

Simon Appel

Travel Group Convenor

Beaumaris Probus Travel Group Meeting – 19 June 2019 Venue: Best Western Buckingham Hotel, 1135 Nepean Highway, HIGHETT

The meeting began at 2.00 pm.
Stuart Ingram (Destination HQ) had prearranged for APT to address the Travel Group at this meeting.
APT provided afternoon tea and refreshments.
Assembling at the Best Western Buckingham Motel in Nepean Highway, the Travel Group enjoyed a presentation from Tenniel Lawson of APT.

Tenniel delivered a comprehensive coverage of Travel Marvel and APT travel options. Travel Marvel is an added development from APT with a focus on 4-star travel with APT remaining as 5-star.

The presentation covered the culture and heritage focus of Travel Marvel featuring “gourmet delights” and “Signature Experiences”.

Tenniel illustrated the attractions of river cruising, including the “unpack once” benefit.

She advised of a 150,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer Point offer with Travel Marvel and APT Travel, depending on the date of signing-up for the 2020 Tours.

Other competitive discount and bonus offers are also currently on offer from both divisions.

Tenniel then described the numerous APT travel options available.

These included Amsterdam-Budapest, Lower Danube, Balkans and Serbia-Rumania, Portugal and France with Rhone River in France, including exquisite food and truffle hunting, frogs’ legs (taste like chicken), snails (need lots of garlic), and the Paul Bocuse restaurant in Lyon.

Next was a coverage of the Western Front journey options, including the Dawn Service.

“Small ship” travel journeys have a 100 people limit and cover the Northern Lights, Scotland and Cornwall (together with a dinner at Rick Stein’s restaurant).

Small ship cruising includes the heart of both Italy and Morocco.

Then to Japan, with options of rail and/or cruise (including South Korea), and then on to India.

The coverage of APT tours in Canada and Alaska were then highlighted with “Signature” options (including close ups to bears in the National Park!).

 Tenniel’s coverage then moved to Eastern USA and Canada.

And then to Vietnam and Cambodia with options including dining with Luke Nguyen, and choices of tours to include Halon Bay and Angkor Wat (12th Century and Monks continue tradition).

Finally, Australia. We viewed Kimberley “glamping” and new options for land and coastal water journeys.

Question time included valuable prizes from APT for those Probus members who responded accurately to questions from Tenniel.

Tenniel described that APT is Australian owned, established 90 years ago.

Members questioned insurance options (as you would!).
The meeting expressed thanks to Tenniel, acknowledging that she had delivered an excellent and entertaining overview of APT and Travel Marvel travel options.

The next Travel Group Meeting date and time is to be advised.

Simon Appel
Travel Group Convenor

Meeting Report 6 march 2019

The Travel Group enjoyed an outstanding presentation from Mr Tom Beadle, Group Commercial Manager Intrepid Travel.
Tom was introduced to the Group by his father, ex- Probus Club President Ken Beadle, who described some of Tom’s past.

Tom then added a journey of his past. As a student at St Leonards College, he was appointed a Rotary exchange student in Brazil. After leaving school he studied law for five years at Melbourne University. Following graduation Tom worked with a major law firm, Mallesons’s,

At a 10-year School reunion, Tom met up with a school girl friend who was leading trips to Thailand. Tom started in the travel industry. He joined Intrepid Travel – 25 years ago!

Tom showed slides and videos of his experiences with groups and family over a range of journeys with Intrepid and Peregrine and explained the marketing to young and older travellers, with Peregrine targeted to older groups.

He described the standards for both Peregrine (4 Star accommodation) and Intrepid (2-3 star) with examples world-wide.

Tom’s notable travels have been Kokoda, North Kore and, Kilimanjaro (with his son). He recently returned from Antarctica.

Group members enthusiastically endorsed Tom’s presentation with much follow up conversation.

The Group then considered options for future meetings. APT have invited the Group to visit their premises for a presentation of their travel options, and the Group agreed that this option should be pursued.

The Group agreed to meet three or four time a year with next meeting planned for early June, to be confirmed.

Simon Appel

Travel Group facilitator

Meeting Report August 2018

Travel Insurance was the first item for discussion for the new Travel Group.

Members described their experiences with insurance with an amazing variety of companies. Some members relied on Credit Card options while others included RACV, Covermore, BUPA, Medibank and Probus.
Emphasis was made on adequate medical insurance when travelling to the USA, and the fact that some European countries reciprocate with Australia’s Medicare.

The meeting also heard the benefits of Mastercard 28 degrees’ card.

Mobile phones were another discussion topic with agreement that wi-fi enabled applications (apps) remove the need for costly phone connections

Cash access options were discussed with emphasis on never changing monies at airports.

Air travel options were next discussed with airlines options (including Moorabbin based airline – Kirkhope Aviation), costing options, seating options and planning for unexpected delays (and associated costs). China Southern was highly commended as a good European operator.

Comment from Norm Griffiths regarding Travel Insurance

I have had some experience with hunting for travel insurance, so this information may be of some use. Everyone should Google ‘Travel Insurance’ and check out the myriad of policies and the cover that is available and not just rely on the information that I have put in this email.

The major problem for Probus members is in getting cover for pre-existing illnesses and most of us at our age have many things wrong with them. A lot of the insurers have a list of illnesses which they happily cover but if you have something that is not on the list there may be difficulties, particularly if it is a heart condition.  

I have found that the Probus Australia cover has the least hurdles to jump. The Probus Plan A (single trip) cover picks up all pre-existing conditions provided that your doctor will sign a ‘Fit to Travel’ form and, provided you have been paying your doctor’s bills and have a regular doctor, you should not experience any problems in getting the form signed. Probus premiums are not the cheapest but at least you have the cover. The Plan A gives the cover up to age 100 and requires the “Fit to Travel’ form to get pre-existing illness cover, and the Plan B (single trip), with a list of acceptable pre-existing illnesses works if you don’t want special pre-existing illness cover and are under age 90. With the Probus Plan A cover there are different limitations if the traveller is over 81 or 91 (roughly that the over age 81 cover does not pick up cancellation due to illness or if over 91 there is no cover for cancellation, but this should be checked for other exclusions.) The Probus Plan B has some exclusions if you are aged 75.

The Probus policy can cover the Probus member and a travelling companion and quotations can be obtained using the Internet. For Plan A the companion also needs a ‘Fit to Travel’ form but one of the travellers could be on Plan A and the other on Plan B.

Typical of other policies covering pre-existing illnesses is the Suncorp/Vero requirement regarding cardiac conditions that the applicant provides ‘Copies of specialist reviews and relevant cardiac test results from the past 2 years’ accompanied by a lot of ‘Medical Information’ on all conditions and a very searching declaration by your doctor – they don’t make it easy.

I recently got a Probus quote of $522 for my wife and me both on Plan A to visit Fiji for 8 days – or for one of us to be on Plan A and one on Plan B the cost would be $400.

The Probus web page is easy to follow and they have a very helpful telephone service based in Parramatta.