This article was written by Jan Jones – Fethiye Times Travel Club Coordinator
So here it is, after the many enquiries, requests and experimental excursions, Fethiye Times has at last taken the opportunity to bring together our community to offer the chance to meet and make friends through the common interest of travel and to experience this amazing country in which we have all come to live and love! Some of us are here all the time and some of us just visit for extended periods, but everyone is welcome to consider joining us on what we hope will be a successful enterprise. The possibilities of great adventure beckon!
One thing needs to made clear from the start – we are NOT a travel agency but a facilitator of travel within Turkey.
Each trip organised will be through accredited TURSAB agents and all guides, transport and hotels will be officially sourced. The safety and security of those who put their trust in us will be at the heartbeat of what we do. Likewise, wherever we go and whatever we do will be value for money. No-one involved in the organisation of our trips is being paid but there will always be a representative of Fethiye Times on the trip so you can come along knowing that someone is there to smooth the way when things may get confused (as they invariably do) in this wonderful place we call home.
How it will work
We are starting small to begin with so this year we plan to run just two trips which I am thoroughly enjoying researching as I write. The first will be an early summer trip to the Urla Wine Trail in the Izmir Region and the second will take place during the early part of December to the Whirling Dervish Festival in Konya over in Cappadoccia.
Any planned trip will firstly be advertised on Fethiye Times website and Facebook Page to guage general interest. We will then plan and put an itinerary together with local TURSAB travel partners and the full itinerary will then be published in Fethiye Times. It is at this point that bookings may be made.
Depending on the excursion, there may be limited or optimum numbers that will be dictated by the itinerary so a deposit will be required at the time of booking and places allocated on a first come, first served basis. Once your deposit is paid it will be non-refundable BUT we all know that life takes over our best laid plans and if anyone can be found to take your place then that deposit can be refunded.
When you make your deposit, it will be necessary to provide an email address and telephone number where you can be reached for further information about any specific trip and all further communication will be carried out via email.
Turkish Law dictates that everyone travelling and staying in hotels is registered and your passport number or kimlik number will be required for the travel agency records. This will be passed on to the travel agent or tour company and not kept on any database by Fethiye Times.
The travel company has to be paid and the hotels confirmed so, five weeks before travel you will receive a reminder by email that the balance is payable. Anyone who has not paid their balance within 7 days will forfeit their deposit and be deemed to have opted out of the trip. Naturally, if we run day trips which do not require such disciplined financial outlay – things will be more casual and you will be advised on booking what the payment arrangements will be.
INSURANCE – all service providers will be TURSAB registered and carry the required insurance for their business but just as in any travel adventure, all participants should have basic health cover for Turkey in place.
Finally – the fun and shared experience will take place and we very much hope that as we complete each event, the word will spread that Fethiye Times Travel Club is the place to go for a trouble free excursion to somewhere that you just don’t want to go on your own!
A final point
Which brings me on to a final point regarding the way forward. This is an enterprise which everyone can contribute to, so if you have been somewhere independently and think it would make a great experience for your community, be it far or near, then please email me at email@example.com and we will happily investigate whether this is do-able.
Equally, if you have already experienced somewhere that we are going and know of a great stop off point for refreshments or it has an amazing view then, once again, let me know.
We are starting small, to iron out the inevitable glitches but I am already looking for potential adventures in 2021. Maybe the Tulip Festival in Istanbul or the Almond Blossom Festival in Datça?
Even some local events may be catered for by taking a coach to the event to save our carbon footprint and the hassle of parking.
Come on Readers – send us your thoughts.
Come back on Tuesday for full details of our Urla Wine Tasting Tour.
A mid-life crisis in 2003 caused me to re-think my highly stressed existence as a senior Diversity Manager with a major international bank in London. The upshot was that I ended up in Ovacık, running the Yakamoz Hotel for five years. It was a move that changed my life and was the start of travel adventures both near and far in Turkey. I headed back to the UK (via Canada, USA and New Zealand) in 2010 and took up a post with Saga Holidays, cutting my teeth in Malta, followed by Turkish Gulets, Spain and Greece before establishing myself as tour leader in Devon and eventually Dorset.
Coming back to Turkey last year was a dream come true and my husband Mike and I explore whenever we can. Our latest trip to Kars in January was amazing. Travel is in my blood and thanks to my time with Saga and constant contact with customers I am attuned to what turns a planned trip into a memorable experience. I am delighted to be associated with the Fethiye Times Travel Club and look forward to working with TURSAB partners to ensure that our travel adventures are the ones you want to be on!
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