Parent Guide.Key information and FAQ's

  • Key information FAQ's

Holiday checklist - essential information

We've put together the key information you need to know and most commonly asked questions in one handy list!

Do you have to have experience?

Our holidays provide challenge and enjoyment for everyone. Guests don’t need any previous experience to enjoy our activities and our staff are able and ready to instruct children of all standards of competence. A reasonable level of fitness is required for our Surfing, Wet and Wild, Xtreme Adventure and Skiing and Snowboarding holidays.

What activities can you do?

We aim to ensure that your child takes part in as wide a range of activities as possible. Therefore for 7–10’s and 10–13’s the programme is planned in advance by the Centre Manager. We recognise that older teenagers enjoy the flexibility to choose their activities, and therefore in the summer our Multi Activity holidays for 13–16’s offer an element of choice. Please note the programme at other times of the year, and for all Multi Activity Mini Breaks, is planned in advance. Details of the activities are on the centre pages, but if you have any questions at all, please call and speak to one of our team. As there are large numbers of different activities available at each centre, we cannot guarantee to fit every activity into each holiday – there just isn’t time! This is particularly the case with shorter breaks.

What age do you have to be to go on a PGL Adventure holiday?

We have three main age groups in the UK:

  • 7-10 year olds
  • 10-13 year olds
  • 13-16 year olds

In France, we have two age groups:

  • 9–13 year olds
  • 13–17 year olds

The ‘overlap’ between these age ranges allows flexibility when there are a few years difference between brothers and sisters. It also means that, for example, a mature 10 year old may join a holiday for 10–13 year olds, whilst a ‘young’ 10 year old may be much happier on a holiday for the 7–10 age group. You know your own child best but please feel free to discuss the options with our Holiday Consultants. Within these separate age bands, our practice is to group children of a similar age together for accommodation and activity arrangements, whenever this is feasible.

This may not be possible on some holidays when numbers are small, but this is rarely a problem because the interest in activities provides a common bond. Siblings or friends of the same sex can (where space permits) be roomed together. Please ensure you request this at the time of booking. Siblings or friends from different age groups requesting to be roomed together will not usually share with other guests and will usually be roomed close to other children’s rooms in the youngest child’s age group to ensure that the younger child can be correctly supervised from their earlier bed-time.

Where possible we will endeavour to honour any rooming request however, this is not a guarantee.

Please note: we can only attempt to honour rooming requests where children are the same gender, in the same age group and on the same holiday, so if your request is to be with a child who is booked separately we advise that you check what holiday they are booked on prior to making a reservation and making the room request. Any rooming requests that cannot be honoured will not be communicated prior to arrival and we are unable to refund any holidays cancelled due to not being able to meet room requests.

As always, our Holiday Consultants will be pleased to advise you on any aspect of our accommodation groupings. Please note that our sleeping arrangements both in the UK and on Overseas holidays are single sex. It is not possible for brothers and sisters to share accommodation.

What to bring

It’s important that you read your welcome pack which you can download from your MyPGL account online. It contains lots of useful information, including what to bring. All essential activity and safety equipment is provided but your children will need to bring personal clothing, footwear, wash kit, towels, a swim suit and extra towels (if applicable) and pocket money. You'll finding a suggested packing list in etc section below.

Please bear in mind that outdoor adventure centres whilst fun, can also be wet and muddy and with the best will in world, where groups of active boisterous children are involved, property can sometimes get lost or damaged by accident so please ensure you consider this when deciding what to bring and please do make sure you are adequately insured.

Please also take note of our guidance on mobile phones/ devices below in the section below.

Do I have to bring any special equipment?

We provide all the specialist equipment that is essential for our activities, although children do need to bring personal items such as a good waterproof anorak or cagoule, footwear and casual clothes. We ensure that children are kitted out with activity equipment that conforms to British or European standards. Approved buoyancy aids or lifejackets are provided and must be worn during watersports sessions, and safety craft are always on patrol or standing by. Strict range disciplines are enforced for archery and rifle shooting. Abseilers and climbers are always protected by safety ropes, and our motorsports vehicles have all had their speeds regulated. Please note that we are continually updating our equipment to reflect current best practices, and therefore equipment used may differ from that shown in photographs in our printed material or online.

What to wear

In response to requests from parents/guardians/carers we have included some detailed guidance on what to wear and what not to wear for the activities we are most often asked about along with some helpful notes that others have found useful. Please note, activities vary at each centre and final activity itineraries are planned by each centre.

What to wear
Activity To wear Not to wear Notes
All Rope Sessions

(inc. Abseiling, Climbing, Zip Wire, High Ropes, Trapeze, Jacob's Ladder, Giant Swing, Tree Top Trail, Powerfan, Vertical Challenge, Crate Challenge) 

Sturdy footwear

Tops that cover the shoulders

Shorts that cover the thighs

Flip flops

Crocs

Open toed shoes/ sandals

Bring some warm clothing layers in case of bad weather

Archery

Flat shoes

Close fitting long sleeves or short sleeves

 

Flip flops

Crocs

Avoid loose clothing

Tunnel Trail

Long-sleeved tops

Long trousers/leggings

Flip flops

Crocs

Possibility of getting dirty
Low Level Ropes/ Challenge Course and Sensory Trail

Sturdy footwear

Long Trousers/leggings

Shorts

Long hair tied back

Possibility of getting dirty

Fencing

Sturdy footwear

Long trousers

Shorts

Flip flops

Crocs

Long hair tied back

Water Based Activities

Warm clothing

Fleeces

Layers

Closed toe shoes

Old clothes

Swimwear (not essential)

Glasses retainer

Flip flops

Wellingtons

Crocs

Jeans

Heavy slow drying clothes

Bring a bag containing dry shoes, jumper, T-shirt, towel, wash kit, trousers and underwear for after the activity session

Mountain Biking and BMX

Sturdy footwear

Long shorts

Tops that cover the shoulders

Flip flops

Crocs

Open toed shoes

Avoid loose clothing

Long hair tied up

Quad Biking

Long trousers

Long sleeves

Long socks that cover the ankles

Open toed shoes

Loose clothing

Any removable mouth braces must be taken out
Problem Solving, Orienteering, Survivor

Walking boots/ trainers

Long sleeved tops

Long trousers

Sandals

 
Aeroball

Long loose-fitting trousers

Long loose-fitting sleeves

Shorts may be worn but must cover the thighs

Socks

Bare feet

Long hair tied up

Pony riding/ trekking

Waterproof jacket

Riding boots or similar

Long trousers, long sleeves and socks that cover the ankles

Shorts

Waterproof jacket required at all times due to changeable British climate

Pocket money

All PGL holidays in the UK are fully inclusive and there is little need for children to bring large sums of money. However, there are sometimes excursion days, and all centres feature a shop selling sweets and small souvenirs. Some centres for older children also have a pool table or similar in the chill out room at a cost of around 50p per game, and 13–16 year olds may have the opportunity to take part in evening activities off site, such as bowling. A small charge will be made for these to cover transport and entrance fees. There is no obligation for any guest to take part in these optional extras, and a free alternative activity will always be available on centre. The amount of pocket money required obviously varies with the age of the child. On our UK holidays we recommend pocket money (on a sliding scale) from an average of £2 per day for seven year olds, £4 per day for 12 year olds and £5 per day for older teenagers for purchasing drinks, sweets and ice creams; plus between £5 and £20 to purchase gifts which will be on sale all week. We operate a secure system for holding and issuing pocket money in accordance with parents’ wishes.

Bedding

The majority of our holiday centres do not automatically supply bedding. If for any reason your child is not able to bring a sleeping bag/duvet from home, it is possible to hire bedding for UK holidays at a cost of £22 per child per week. Depending upon the centre, bedding consists of pillow and pillowcase and either a duvet, duvet cover and sheet or sleeping bag and sheet inner.

Mobile phones

We recognise that most parents value their children having a mobile phone with them on their holiday.

We are happy for children to have a phone and use them in situations where practical and safe to do so. They can also be handed in to our staff for safe keeping. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage to such devices and we advise that you have adequate mobile phone in surname cover in place. Misuse of mobile devices, viewing or sharing inappropriate material, abuse of social media and any conduct that could be deemed as bullying (including theft or damage to others property) could result in your child being sent home from their holiday.

Suggested packing list for UK holidays:

  • Bedding and pillow (if not pre-booked)
  • Nightwear (slippers may be useful particularly for younger guests)
  • Several changes of underwear
  • 2 sets of swimwear
  • Toiletries bag and contents
  • 2 large towels (for swimming and wet activities)
  • Bath/hand towel (for use in your room)
  • 3/4 old sweatshirts or fleeces
  • At least 6 t-shirts for 7-Night Holidays and up to 4 t-shirts for short breaks and weekends
  • At least 1 long sleeved t-shirt (required for some activities)
  • 2 pairs of shorts (knee-length essential)
  • At least 4 pairs of strong, loose fitting trousers/ tracksuit bottoms for 7-Night Holidays, 3 pairs for short breaks and weekends
  • At least 6 pairs of socks for 7-Night Holidays and up to 4 pairs for short breaks and weekends (inc. 1 thick pair for walking)
  • 2 pairs of non-designer trainers (only non-marking soles allowed in sports halls)
  • 1 pair of very old trainers for wet/muddy activities
  • Waterproof anorak (and waterproof trousers if possible)
  • 1 complete change of clothes for the evening
  • Small rucksack for packed lunch and change of clothes when off-site
  • Named bin liners (not black) for bringing any damp or wet clothes/towels home (black bin liners can be mistaken for rubbish bags!)
  • Plenty of appropriate factor suncream
  • A sunhat
  • Small torch and spare batteries (if staying in a canvas camp or lakeside cabins)
  • Packed lunch if travelling by Escorted Travel Medical/Contact form (fully completed and signed) and any medication required including spare asthma inhalers
  • Refillable drinking water bottle
  • Final Information Invoice

Suggested packing list for French holidays:

  • Nightwear
  • Sleeping Bag or Bedding and pillow (bedding is provided for Paris/Disneyland Holidays)
  • Several changes of underwear and socks
  • 2 sets of swimwear
  • 2 large towels (for swimming and wet activities)
  • Bath (for showering) and hand towels
  • Toiletries bag and contents (including sun-screen)
  • Up to 6 t-shirts
  • 3 pairs of shorts
  • 2 old sweatshirts/fleeces
  • 2 pairs of strong, loose fitting trousers/tracksuit bottoms
  • 2 pairs of trainers
  • Waterproof anorak
  • Complete change of clothes for the evenings
  • Bin liner (not black) for bringing any wet clothing home
  • Small rucksack for packed lunches and change of clothes when off site
  • Insect Repellent
  • Plastic water bottle
  • Pocket First Aid kit
  • Sun hat and sunglasses
  • Medical contact form (fully completed and signed)
  • Any personal medication
  • EHIC and insurance details
  • Valid PASSPORT!

For the Two Centre Adventure and Mediterranean Watersports holiday you will also need to bring:

  • Canvas/plastic shoes or old trainers for watersports
  • Torch and spare batteries

IMPORTANT:

The sun is very strong in all parts of France so please bring plenty of appropriate factor sunscreen.

Passport

Each person will need to have their own individual document as we do not provide guests with a group passport. The passport and any relevant visas are the responsibility of each guest to organise. Guests who are not British citizens must ensure that they have suitable documentation, which may include visas. Please note that 1-year passports are no longer available or valid.

Pocket Money

Based on past experience and comments from previous guests we recommend for one week’s holiday pocket money of about:

  • £100 for the Paris and Disneyland® holiday
  • £100 for Two Centre Adventure and Mediterranean Watersports

PGL provide full-board accommodation, but children will still need money for items such as drinks, ice-creams, postcards, stamps, souvenirs etc., and entrance fees to some places of interest (except excursions as advertised in brochure). Please give children the money in Euros as there are no exchange facilities at the centre. Pocket money can be kept in the centre safe if required.

Luggage

‘Soft’ type luggage is ideal for storing belongings during the holiday, as well as for carrying and loading. Holdalls are probably the best, but suitcases and rucksacks are fine. All specialist activity equipment is supplied by PGL. Clothes should be loose, casual and easily washable.

NB: Synthetic tracksuit trousers are warmer when wet, more comfortable and easier to dry than jeans.

Medical, personal and emergency details

When you book, we need to know some important personal information about your children and we will always treat this sensitively and respect confidentiality. This includes(but is not limited to):

  • Personal details - age, date of birth etc.
  • Relevant medical history/issues, including disability and behavioural conditions
  • Dietary requirements/ preferences
  • Swimming ability
  • Any other factors that might impact on the success of the holiday, or the safety of your child and others whilst on holiday.

We are able to support children requiring regular medication that can be self-administered. We do need to know details of this and you will need to complete a form of instruction that will be provided and bring this along with you on arrival.

We use specific small group staff ratios and specialist equipment, to ensure all our care standards are upheld and to be as inclusive as possible, in the settings we operate in. Our holidays also require a minimum level of self-reliance. Therefore it's important to note that we are not able to accommodate children in all circumstances. This would typically be where  child's needs require a staffing level beyond those we work to, or the use of equipment, qualifications or facilities that our settings are not reasonably able to provide. 

We have staff with first aid qualifications and have pre-established links with local doctors, dentists and hospitals in case of emergency. On every centre, in case of minor accidents, each activity base is equipped with a first aid kit. Full records of treatment are kept, and parents are always alerted in a real emergency. For small accidents, such as bumps, scratches and grazes, we will not normally contact parents.

Passports and documentation

For overseas holidays, please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that your child has his/her own passport and (if necessary) visa documentation. Holders of non-UK passports should check with their embassy whether a visa will be required. All UK citizens travelling abroad need to be in possession of a valid passport. Please allow plenty of time for the application process, as we are unable to allow guests to travel without a valid passport. For further information on the country to be visited, please check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-andlivingabroad or visit ABTA’s website www.abta.com.

For holidays within Europe, it is essential that you obtain a European Health Insurance Card for your child. You can obtain an EHIC on line at www.ehic.org.uk, by calling 0845 605 0707 or from your local Post Office. Should medical attention be needed whilst within the European Community, an EHIC can save both time and money, avoiding the need to pay a minimum £50 excess charge for any medical treatment claimed from our insurers.

Swimming

Please clearly indicate your child’s swimming ability at the time of booking. Lifejackets or buoyancy aids are always worn for water sports, except for body-boarding, surfing and snorkelling sessions – where if participants are able to swim 50 metres or more, they are not required to wear them. For all water based activities participants must be water confident in a life jacket or buoyancy aid.

Water confidence is defined as:

  • Ability to duck head underwater
  • Confidently swim 15 metres in a life jacket or buoyancy aid without signs of panic

Alternative activities are arranged for non-water confident participants at all centres.

Catering

Fun may be important, but so is food. We want to inspire children into a healthier lifestyle that includes a tasty, balanced diet. To support this and in addition to our fantastic new dining halls, we work closely with leading catering organisations to ensure our food is the best it can be. We aim to provide three healthy, high energy meals per day, with plenty of variety, supporting the five-a-day campaign as well as reducing added salt, sugar and fat. A vegetarian alternative can always be provided on all our holidays, and we can accommodate most special diets required on medical or religious grounds. In all these cases we do require full details at time of booking.

Sensible bedtimes

Even the fittest children feel tired after a full day of activities followed by our evening entertainment programmes, so we try to insist on sensible bedtimes for children to ensure that everyone gets a good night’s rest. Exact times may vary from centre to centre but are typically 20.30 for 7–10 year olds, 21.30 for 10–13s and 22.30 for 13–17 year olds.

Night time supervision

It is part of our staff’s role to get everyone to bed reasonably on time – sometimes easier said than done! Once ‘lights out’ has been called at UK centres night duty staff take over. They reassure the anxious, encourage the high spirited to settle down and continue their vigil until all is quiet. At centres where children need to leave their tent or lodge to get to the toilet facilities, security staff patrol the campsite or accommodation area throughout the night. Elsewhere there is a night duty rota and a members of staff are accommodated close by so they quickly be contacted at any time should the need arise. Bedroom doors are locked, although these can be opened from the inside in case of emergency.

Discipline and responsibility

Living alongside and mixing with other children is a valuable part of the holiday experience and we try to ensure that no one feels left out. Every member of the group has an equal right to enjoy themselves and we keep a close check on teasing, bullying or any other antisocial behaviour that may spoil an individual’s enjoyment. Our experience over many years means that this rarely becomes a problem but please tell your children that if they feel they are being picked on, they should inform their group leader or any other member of staff immediately.

When necessary, we will be firm with children who are jeopardising the enjoyment of others and will not tolerate any such behaviour. If problem behaviour is persistent or serious, we will contact the parent or guardian to decide on further action. Please note it may on occasion be necessary to contact parents/ guardians during unsociable hours.

We reserve the right to send any child home immediately at parent/guardians’ expense and to charge for any additional costs incurred. No refunds will be considered for any children sent home for behavioural reasons and parents/ guardians will be asked to pay for any damage caused by wilful behaviour to any PGL owned or leased property. Please ensure you have read our booking conditions, in particular the section 'your responsibility' 

Smoking and alcohol

Consumption of alcohol by guests is banned at all PGL centres in the UK and France. In France and Austria, please note that even those guests who are 16 and over who legally speaking may consume beer and wine in Europe, are subject to this ban. This also applies to the consumption of alcohol off-site and the purchase of alcohol offsite. Please note that guests who break this rule will be excluded from the holiday and collection will be at the expense of parents/guardians.

We strongly discourage smoking but full smoking bans in the past have led to unauthorised smoking in areas likely to be a fire risk – tents dormitories etc. As safety is our number one priority we therefore operate a system using ‘official’ supervised smoking areas set away from other guests or any fire risk. Smoking is only allowed strictly for 16 or 17 year olds where parental consent has been given. Interestingly, a side effect of this approach tends to be that a number of smokers choose not to smoke at all rather than be forced to adopt the rigours of our strict safety policy. Smoking in contravention of our policy is a serious offence for which guests will be sent home.

Please note that the above rules covering smoking also extend to E-cigarettes.

Fire safety drills

All children are made aware of safety procedures and shown exits and assembly points before they go to bed on their first night at the centre. There is a weekly fire drill at all centres.

Off-site activities and excursions

The majority of our activities take place on centre, apart from a small selection our Specialist Holidays with booked excursions or very occasionally when we take older children off site for evening 'ents'. Where settings allow, the group will remain together with an accompanying adult but where this is not possible, children will be in small groups of no less than three and our staff will remain in designated contact/ meeting points.

Good personal hygiene

Our team will encourage and reinforce good hygiene practices at all times, including the regular use of soap and toothpaste. However all children are expected to be able to accept sensible, personal responsibility for showering, changing clothes, hand washing and cleaning their teeth during their holiday.

Lost property

Help us to help you! PGL staff will do their best to return named lost property to owners. However, if lost clothing is not clearly marked, it is unlikely that we will be able to trace it. We strongly recommend woven type name tapes, which should be firmly stitched into an obvious place in each garment. We reserve the right to charge postage and packing for those items returned after your holiday. We retain lost property for two weeks after the end of your child’s holiday.

Birthdays

If your child has a birthday during their PGL holiday, please advise us prior to travel and we will endeavour to make their day one to remember! In the UK this may include a birthday cake with our compliments, to share with their friends.

Staying for an extra week?

If your child is staying for more than one week, we recommend that they either book onto a different holiday or try a different centre for the second week. Inter-centre transfers can be arranged between most centres. We can provide one machine wash at UK centres, but there may be a small charge. On the second Saturday of their holiday, guests will participate in activities on centre that are suitable for all age ranges and abilities whilst the centre prepares for new arrivals. There is no charge for this.

Can I contact my child?

Of course, for some children, being away from home may initially be disconcerting. This is natural and only to be expected – even adults can experience ‘homesickness’! Our staff are fully trained in the sensitive skills of identifying and dealing with children’s concerns and worries. In the vast majority of cases, a day or two of getting to know new friends and being involved in exciting activities will dispel all but the most persistent worries. You will, of course, be kept informed if there are any persistent problems.

You will be able to call the centre directly during your child's holiday and arrange to speak to them or we will pass on any messages. We do ask you to try not to telephone the centre too excessively to speak to your child as particularly during the day they will be out an about enjoying activities for most of the time, making it difficult to arrange contact quickly or relay messages. Centre contact details are included in your welcome pack, which can be downloaded from your MyPGL account.

Any other questions?

If you have a query that isn't listed here, or you would like more information on any of the topics mentioned, please call us on 0333 321 2114 and we'd be happy to discuss it with you.