Alert – Ryanair Brexit sale

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Ryanair, very much the Piers Morgan of the airline industry, has just jumped on the Brexit bandwagon by offering 50 routes to Europe “from £2.99”.

Now of course, most of the flights aren’t actually £2.99, and most touch down in the middle of nowhere, but we’ve scanned the list with a beady eye and discovered four bargains for any opportune adventurers out there keen to celebrate pay day with an Epic Weekend.

Hike the Lakes and Mountains of Bulgaria

Explore the rugged Pirin and Rila mountains on this guided hiking trip, with nights spent in comfortable family-owned hotels.

£464pp including flights, 2 ½ days off work.

  • Friday, 16 June, 16:25: Stansted → Tuesday, 20 June 22:00 Sofia.
  • Flights: £26.99 each way = £54pp.
  • Experience: £410pp.

Book now

Raft the Tara River in Montenegro

Paddle the entire navigable length of the mighty Tara River in Durmitor National Park.

£406pp including flights, 2 days off work.

Book now

Hiking the Montenegro Highlands

Spend 4 days hiking through dramatic mountains and relaxing at glacial lakes in the highlands of northern Montenegro.

£520pp including flights, 2 days off work. 

Book now

Hike the highest Mountains of Ireland

Head to Killarney for a weekend of hiking the region’s most beautiful mountains and enjoying the town while unwinding with live music in traditional Irish pubs.

£446.98 including flights, ½ day off work.

  • Thursday, 27 April, LTN 16:10 → Sunday, 30 April, Kerry 18:10.
  • Flights: £29.99pp there, £36.99pp back = £66.98pp
  • Experience: £380pp.

Book now

These Ryanair flight deals will expire today before returning to their usual erratic prices.

There’s plenty more where these came from with more on the way.

…to adventure!

New – Behind-the-scenes weekend @ Freeride World Tour

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We’ve teamed up with Faction skis, FATMAP and the Swatch Freeride World Tour to bring you perhaps the most unique ski weekend there has ever been.

Join us in Verbier to ski with pro skiers, enjoy VIP event viewing, meet the riders, go to the after party, enjoy a luxury chalet, demo the latest Faction skis and unique 3D terrain visualisations with FATMAP, and have a pro photographer with you.

This one-off experience runs 31st March – 3rd April, and is limited to 10 spaces.

Interested? You’ll need to register by 11.59pm, Sat 11th Feb for chance of a space.

View details and register now.

Not sure where to go? Check out this handy ski resort comparison guide.

Ski ResortCountryAreaSummit (m)Altitude Range (m)Resort height (m)Ski Area (km)Closest airport transfer (hours)% of Beginner runs% of intermediate runs% of advanced runsOff PisteApres SkiResort CharmFamiliesOff the SlopesNumber of MBA properties
Alpe D'HuezFranceAuris33301130 - 333018602501 h 30 (Grenoble)583012*******************68
BanskoBulgariaPirin National Park2600990 - 2600930681 h 45 (Sofia)36577***********17
ChamonixFranceMont Blanc38421035 - 384210351081 h 5 min (Geneva)206614*********************176
ChamperySwitzerlandPortes Du Soleil32101000 - 246610501001 h 30 (Geneva)47485*****************0
ChâtelFrancePortes Du Soleil24661000 - 246612006501 h 30 (Geneva)444511*************27
CourchevelFranceThree Valleys32301100 - 323018506001 h 10 (Chambery)454312********************130
GrimentzSwitzerlandAnniviers Valais30011571 - 30011570702 h 15 (Geneva)255025***************4
KronplatzItalyDolomiti Superski2275835 - 22759351161 h 25 (Innsbruck)572815*************1
La PlagneFranceParadiski32501250 - 325019702252 h 30 (Geneva)612514******************110
La RosiereFranceEspace San Bernado26411176 - 264118501601 h 45 (Geneva)414019***************22
La TaniaFranceThree Valleys32301100 - 323013506001h 30 (Chambery)454312*************54
La ThuileItalyAosta Valley26411176 - 264114411602 h (Turin)414019***********4
Les ArcsFranceParadiski32251200 - 322518002002 h 30 (Geneva)562915***************47
Les Deux AlpesFranceLes Deux Alpes35681300 - 356816502031 h 50 (Chambery)652312****************1
Les GetsFrancePortes Du Soleil20101000 - 246611721201 h (Geneva)444214******************80
Les MenuiresFranceThree Valleys32301100 - 323018006001 h 20 (Champery)454312******************12
Maria AlmAustriaZell Am See1950750 - 19508001.5 (Salzberg)423820*****************4
MegeveFranceHaute Savoie235511003251 h 30 (Geneva)196813****************9
MeribelFranceThree Valleys32301100 - 323014506001 h 20 (Chambery)454312*****************144
MonterosaItalyAosta Valley24701149 - 24701587501 h 30 (Turin)247519
MorzineFrancePortes Du Soleil24661000 - 246610006501 h 15 (Geneva)444511*******************265
NassfeldAustriaHermagor2200610 - 2200140211001 h 30 (Klagenfurt)276310******************1
ObergurglAustriaInnsbruck30801795 - 30801907 1101 h 20 (Innsbruck)325018***********1
Saint GervaisFranceEvasion Mont Blanc11501150 - 252511504451 h (Geneva)206515****************4
SamoënsFranceGrand Massif2665690 - 266516002651 h 15 (Geneva)513811****************40
Serre ChevallierFranceSerre Chevallier27351200 - 273513502502 h (Turin)513613******************20
SoldenAustriaTyrol33401350 - 325013801471 h 10 (Innsbruck)523117*********************8
SoldeuAndorraSoldeu-El Tarter26401710 - 264017502.5 (Barcelona)512920***********1
St AntonAustriaArlberg28111292 - 281113042801 h 10 (St. Gallen-Altenrhein)404812*********************69
St Foy TarantaiseFranceSaint Foy Tarentaise26201550 - 26201550351 h 20 (Champery)454510******************118
St Martin De BellevilleFranceThree Valleys32301100 - 323014001601 h 20 (Chambery)63307**************16
TignesFranceEspace Killy34561500 - 345621003001 h 30 (Chambery)582517****************63
Val d'IsereFranceEspace Killy34561500 - 345618503001 h 30 (Chambery)582517********************33
VerbierSwitzerland4 valleys33281400–332815004101 h 50 (Geneva)344719*******************208
ZermattSwitzerlandSunnegga-Rothorn38991524 - 389916203603 h (Sion)216118********************119

Taking bookings with online payments

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We have recently started taking payments for bookings on behalf of our hosts, and are introducing financial protection on bookings too.

We’ve done it to make booking and payment more secure and streamlined for customers, and to make life easier for hosts.

Where hosts are concerned, there are no changes to the way the rest of the platform works. They still receive enquiries and bookings in the same way, and receive the customers contact details once the booking is confirmed.

Instead of the time, cost and admin involved in collecting multiple payments from overseas customers, we simply send them instant alerts when payments are made, and transfer the money to their nominated bank account on a regular basis.

Here’s how it all works:

1. Host sets up the rules

To set up online payments, hosts first set rules for the deposit amounts required to secure a booking, and due dates for balance payments to be made by. They also decide if a trip is available ‘on request’ or is instantly bookable.

If it is instantly bookable, this means the price and availability is guaranteed, and no manual confirmation is needed by the host before the customer’s card is charged for the deposit.

2. Customer requests a booking/card approved

To make a booking the customer will either have made an enquiry and received a personal quote , or will click ‘book’ to proceed immediately according to the listed prices and dates for the trip in question.
screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-13-28-18

To proceed the customer confirms their contact details, inserts card details, approves the deposit payment and agrees to the booking terms provided by the host. Their card is not charged at this point.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-13-35-06

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-13-38-50

If Financial Protection is available on the booking, details will be confirmed with the customer here too.

3. Host accepts the booking/card charged

The host is immediately alerted to this ‘Booking Request’ and can check the details, dates and prices are correct. As soon as they accept the booking request, the customer’s card is charged (the deposit payment is ‘pending’ in the screenshot below until the booking is accepted).

If the host has set the trip to be ‘instantly bookable’, this step is missed – the booking is automatically confirmed and the customers card will be charged.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-13-39-49

If the host needs to change the price or other details of the booking for any reason, they click ‘decline’ and edit the quote. The customer is alerted and is asked to make a new payment to confirm the booking again (step 3).

4. Introductions are made

The customer and host are sent instant emails to confirm that the deposit has been paid, and giving each other their direct contact details.

The host may enter these into their own booking system for ongoing management, and can communicate directly with the customer about the booking from then on.
screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-13-49-01

5. Customer pays balance before travel

The customer has a private payment page, from where they can pay the balance in multiple stages anytime before the balance is due, and split payments with their group. The customer is automatically reminded of payment deadlines by email, and we will chase on behalf of hosts to ensure all payments are collected on time.

We send the host an instant update by email each time a payment is made by a customer, so they can update their records elsewhere.

6. Host can make changes and add extras to the total

The host can add things to the booking and change the total balance payment required at any time if the customer requests it, or wants to arranges additional extras like equipment hire or transfers.

If there are changes or cancellations, we will process any payments due back to the customer.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-13-52-36

7. Money passed to the host

All customer payments are held securely in a separate account and passed to the host by bank transfer for free. The timing for this transfer depends on the host agreement with us, and the financial protection arrangements in place for that trip.

In summary:

Classic partners 

  • No additional fees or commission are charged to hosts for the service.
  • All payments are held securely and transferred for free to the hosts nominated bank account (less commission) on the 5th of every month, regardless of the date the customer is traveling.
  • Any extras added to bookings later (passes, kit hire, transfers etc) will not be commissionable, we will collect payment of them for a 2% processing fee to cover costs, and payout monthly with other payments.
  • It is possible for hosts to receive payouts weekly instead of monthly, but for an additional 2% processing fee to cover costs.  Contact us to arrange.

Exclusive partners
(and those offering financial protection through us – coming soon)

  • No additional fees or commission are charged to hosts for the service.
  • All payments are held securely and transferred for free to the hosts nominated bank account (less commission) on the 5th of the month, for all customers arriving before the end of the following month, (e.g. receive payment on 5th Dec for customers arriving before end of January, and on 5th Jan for all customers arriving before end of Feb, plus any last minute bookings taken since the last payment in Dec).
  • Any extras added to bookings later (passes, kit hire, transfers etc) will not be commissionable, we will collect payment of them for a 2% processing fee to cover costs, and payout monthly with other payments.
  • It is possible for hosts to request one off payouts (e.g. for a last minute booking) for a fee of £10 per payout. Contact us to arrange.

See terms for full details.

How to get more bookings?

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We recently circulated some handy booking stats to our members, and a look at what’s next for us.

Want to take advantage of more bookings? Who wouldn’t?! We’ve looked at the trends and spoken to all the best performers. Here are the top tips:

Invest in photography

It makes a huge impact. More on that here.

Reply fast

Even if it is to decline the enquiry. Customers are always impressed, and often come back with new requirements you can help with.

But not too fast!

Customers love Much Better Adventures for finding friendly, personal and expert local operators. Quick, rushed, officious replies can do more harm than good!

Follow up

Once you have sent a quote, pop the customer a message a day later to see if they have any questions. You can quickly find out their hesitations, and often turn it around.

Keep availability up to date

It pushes you higher up search results, and means less wasted enquiries. How to manage availability.

Check your prices

How do they compare to others in the area? Undercutting isn’t necessary, but being a few £ higher than others for no obvious reason can be a killer. Don’t forget our Best Price Guarantee either (see terms).

Check your products

Are they detailed, accurate and do they cover all the little details about your service, pricing, the accommodation and local area? Customers will prioritise the ones that don’t leave them with doubts or uncertainties. See ‘How to manage your products.’

Game the system!

Our reputation relies on the customer experience, so our matching algorithms are set to prioritise those that reply quickly to customers (even when it is a no), have up to date availability, and convert enquiries into bookings at a higher rate.

We hope that helps. Do you have a top tip or suggestion for us that would help you? Email support@muchbetteradventures.com or pop it in comments below 🙂

We’re Hiring! Full stack Django developers

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Update: Role is now filled. Get in touch by email with your CV to be considered for future opportunities.  


We are seeking  talented Senior Full Stack Django developers to join our team on a full time basis.


This is an opportunity for great developers to join a fast-growing and award-winning travel tech startup en route to becoming the global marketplace for booking specialist holidays and experiences with awesome local hosts.

We’re passionate about making it easier to book tailor-made, unique experiences (don’t just take our word for it!), whilst helping micro-entrepreneurs around the world make a great living doing what they love.

If that resonates with you, please get in touch.

Requirements:

We are seeking full stack web developers to help implement new features and designs for the existing Django web site.

Must have experience of:

  • Python/Django (+extras: celery, restframework, etc)
  • Postgres/postgis
  • HTML
  • LESS or similar e.g. SASS
  • jQuery / Backbone / Underscore

Experience with UX design and the ability to test different options quantitatively would be a plus.

You should have numerous years of experience. Start up experience is a big plus.

You’ll be joining the CTO as the first full time dev hire and will be expected to work independently and come up with your own solutions to problems. This is very much a senior position so you shouldn’t require any handholding!

Experience managing a remote team a bonus. Fluent English speakers required.

Perks:

  • Competitive salary with performance-based bonuses
  • Work with a fast-growing entrepreneurial team in an environment where great ideas are actively encouraged
  • Flexible working environment
  • Trips to experience and review our amazing suppliers

Location:

London or remote (+/- 2 hrs time difference and with easy train/plane ride to London for frequent visits)

No agencies please. Your emails will be ignored!

25% off brand new luxury lodge

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£638pp for a week’s stay at a newly launched stunning lodge in Morzine – with full catering and drinks. Luxury resort transfers in the two 4×4’s giving you full access to the all ski lifts across Morzine, Avoriaz, Let Gets.

Available 11th to 18th of January. Normal weekly rate of £850pp.

Deal Code: MBD412. Enquire now to get the best deals for you.

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