TERMS and CONDITIONS
This is a long read.
But I promise you it’s worth your time.
By booking a tour and any related products or services (a “Tour”) with PrivatePhotoTours.com (“PRIVATE PHOTO TOURS” or “Tour Operator”), you (“you”) acknowledge that you have read, understand and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions (the “Terms”). If you make a booking on behalf of other participants, you guarantee that you have the authority to accept and do accept these Terms and Conditions on behalf of the other participants in your party.
Participants in a PRIVATE PHOTO TOURS guided travel tour must be 18 years of age or older. Minors are welcome if they are included as travelling companions, with or without cameras.
What is Included
With any PRIVATE PHOTO TOURS guided travel tour, most expenses incurred during the Tour are included. This includes, but is not limited to, airport transfers, hotels, flights during the itinerary, all ground transportation, most meals, guide fees, taxes, entry fees, and instructional teaching.
The objective of PRIVATE PHOTO TOURS is to manage the costs of your travel as much as possible. Having to plan for additional expenses is no fun. But that’s our area of expertise. If it’s a predictable expense, we’ll likely cover it (see the few exceptions below). Besides – – who wants to deal with all those currency exchange calculations? Ugh. Keep your wallet in your cargo shorts. We’ve got it.
What is Not Included
Expenses that are considered personal in nature are not generally included, unless negotiated in advance with PRIVATE PHOTO TOURS. These expenses include, but are not limited to, alcohol, personal hotel expenses (Spa treatments, minibar, room service, etc.), Guide Tips, flights to and from your home at the start and end of the Tour, immigration Visas, travel insurance, medical insurance, vaccinations, or meals where you choose to dine in private. Chances are pretty good that we’d buy you a drink though. We’re not that strict. Who doesn’t like a glass of wine with dinner? Or a celebratory beer after a great day of photography?
If you wish to participate in risky non-photographic activities, such as river rafting, bungee jumping, skydiving, bull riding, running with the bulls, or anything bull-related – – you’re on your own. But we may take photos. We suggest that you have emergency evacuation as part of your medical insurance. We can make travel insurance recommendations, if you need some.
With regard to meals, normally we would dine together, in hand-picked restaurants that we know and love. Part of visiting a new destination is learning about the cuisine native to the area, and it’s as much a part of the experience as anything you’d see in front of your camera. But if you need some alone time, or wish to explore the restaurant scene on your own, that is perfectly fine. On occasions such as these, the cost of those meals would be borne by you.
If you want us to provide you with photographic equipment that you don’t want to lug from home, this can be arranged at an additional cost. Perhaps you don’t want to bring your tripod, or you want to try out some portable lighting, or you know you’ll need backdrops, but don’t own any. No matter — just let us know what you think you’d need for your photographic vision, and we will arrange for it. Sometimes it’s not practical to bring everything with you, but also can’t imagine not having it available, right?
If you are travelling with your spouse, or any other travel companion, we can provide daily activities for them as well, for an additional cost. Please let us know if this is something you’d like to include as part of the price quote.
We will select hotels that fit into your defined preference and budget range. The cost of those hotels are included as part of the total cost of the Tour. Our knowledge of, and connections to, the local markets provide us with an advantage in booking hotels suitable for your Tour. We usually avoid large chain hotel brands, and have a preference for smaller boutique brands, or small luxury hotels. But in some destinations, we may have fewer choices, so it may be impossible to avoid the common brands.
We can arrange hotels in all price ranges, from hostels or motels, right up to ultra luxury, depending on your budget. Since you’re the only traveller, you get to decide on what level of comfort is suitable for you, and you alone. In most cases, we will stay in the same hotel as you, but not always. In situations like those, we would stay as close by as we can.
Rooms are always booked for one person – for you only. If you are bringing a travel companion or a spouse, please let us know if they will be sharing your room, or if they will need a room of their own, so we can arrange for it properly. Costs incurred by you at the hotel that are personal in nature (Spa treatments, room service, minibar, or you really like that bath robe, etc.) are to be covered by you, and are not included in the price of the Tour.
There may be occasions where you would prefer to book your own hotels. This is fine, but not encouraged, for a few reasons. Our intimate knowledge of the areas, along with the relationships we maintain with the hotels are part of what we bring to the table. Plus, we also have to book hotels for ourselves, and we’d want to match up in locations as best as possible. However, if you prefer to book your own hotels, because you have personal connections to specific hotels, go ahead, but please let us know in advance.
If you wish to spend an extra day or two before or after the Tour, please let us know, and we will factor that in to the pricing quote. These days could be used to acclimate yourself to a wildly different time zone, or to spend time enjoying non-photographic activities like museums, shopping, or romantic quiet time with your loving and very patient spouse. Or maybe you’re on a personal project of riding rollercoasters in every country you visit. We don’t need to know. It doesn’t always have to be photography, photography, photography 24/7. We get that.
After a rough estimate for the guided travel plan is provided to you, a Planning Fee will be requested from you. The Planning Fee will be approximately 20% of the estimated tour costs, but may vary a little at our discretion. All prices will be quoted in USD. Final detailed planning will begin after the Planning Fee is received by us. This Planning Fee is non-refundable. We recommend that you obtain travel insurance to protect your investment, should you need to cancel.
The Planning Fee will be used to cover the costs incurred in the preparation of the detailed itinerary, such as time, initial deposits, and third-party disbursements. The Planning Fee will be itemized in the Full Tour Plan invoice when that is finalized.
Once you have been presented with, and agree to, the costs shown in the Full Tour Plan, the balance will become due. The outstanding amount will be the cost of the Full Tour Plan, minus the Planning Fee received previously. Payment for the balance is due 90 days before the first day of the Tour. If a Tour is booked with less than 90 days before the departure date, payment in full must be made upon receipt of the Full Tour Plan.
If payment is not received from you within the specified time, it will inhibit us from preparing the tour as scheduled. We cannot guarantee that the scope of the Full Tour Plan can be carried out as detailed in the itinerary, until payment is received in full.
Cancellation by You
Any cancellations by you must be done by email. You have the right to cancel the Tour for any reason. Cancellation will be in effect after we acknowledge and reply to your email. If Full Payment has been received, it will be refunded to you, minus the Planning Fee.
If you prefer to reschedule the Tour instead of completely cancelling, that would be preferred. The monies you paid to us would remain in your account and applied to a newly scheduled Tour in the future. Some costs would likely require adjustment, like hotels and transportation, and a new quote would be issued and agreed upon before proceeding.
Cancellation or Alterations by Us
PRIVATE PHOTO TOURS reserves the right to cancel or alter any Tour at its discretion. In the unlikely event of a significant alteration, or a cancellation by us, you have three choices:
1. Accept the alteration, and proceed with the new plan;
2. Accept the renegotiated dates, and proceed with the new dates;
3. Withdraw from the contract between us.
If you choose to withdraw from the contract, and our cancellation is not due to force majeure (see below), we will refund all the money you’ve paid to us, less any unrecoverable expenses.
PRIVATE PHOTO TOURS will not be held liable for delay in, alteration to, or cancellation of any TOUR due to force majeure. This is defined as a circumstance beyond the reasonable control of PRIVATE PHOTO TOURS and includes, but is not limited to, war or threat of war, riot, civil strife, terrorist activity, industrial dispute, disease or pandemic, industrial or nuclear disaster, adverse weather conditions, fire, floods, and strikes.
Infectious Disease Outbreak
Any Tour adversely affected by an infectious disease outbreak, such as a novel coronavirus, or any other epidemic or pandemic declared by the World Health Organization, may be postponed and rescheduled.
If your Tour is rescheduled for this reason, you will have two options:
1. Reschedule the exact Tour for a future date;
2. Work with us to create a new and different Tour for a time in the future. Your payments will be applied to this new tour. If it’s determined that there is a price difference between the original Tour and the new Tour, your account will be reconciled with either a credit or an additional balance due.
Obtaining travel insurance is definitely a wise idea. This is a crazy world, and things happen. Travel is never perfect, despite the incredibly detailed work that we put into it. Countries suddenly close. Some people get suddenly ill. Other people miss flights. Luggage gets lost. Cameras get stolen. You get the idea.
When you’re considering insurance, make sure you’re covered for the standard medical expenses abroad. And ideally, get insurance that covers you for emergency evacuation. If you’ve suffered an injury on a Tour, you don’t want to be depending on a local clinic in the mountainous regions of Ladakh. Or have to “hope for the best” with a Laos village Shaman when you’ve contracted a colourfully-named infection after a visit to a remote hill tribe. Get the insurance, it’s cheap. Why take that chance?
We recommend that you acquire medical insurance covering all applicable dates of travel with PRIVATE PHOTO TOURS. It should cover personal injury and emergency medical expenses. You may also consider getting coverage to include CFAR (Cancel For Any Reason), although that can be quite expensive. In some cases, it’s worth it. Only you could know if you need this type of insurance.
You acknowledge that insurance coverage is not included in the cost of any Tour offered by PRIVATE PHOTO TOURS and you are recommended to obtain this coverage at your personal cost. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have sufficient coverage and comply with the terms of the applicable insurance plans. You are responsible for advising your insurer of the type of travel, destination(s) and activities included in your booking so that the insurer may provide appropriate coverage.
Weather happens. And as much as we want to, we don’t have much control over it. However, when we’re planning out the Tour, we take weather into account as much as we can. Historical weather patterns are well known, and we’ll caution you if you request travel to locations when we know the seasonal weather is not ideal. We certainly don’t want your Tour to be ruined by day after day of awful weather.
But despite all our best prognostications, sometimes bad weather happens to good Tours. There may be days where the weather doesn’t cooperate with our schedule. On occasions like these, we will do our best to shuffle plans around, or delay events to better days. We ask that you remain flexible and understand that some things are out of our control.
If specifically planned shoots or events are missed due to weather, we will attempt to reschedule them, if time allows. However, if some items detailed in the Tour schedule cannot be accomplished, despite our best efforts, there will be no refunds because of it. As Ansel Adams once said “Bad weather makes for good photography”, so let’s make the best of it.
It is important that you are healthy enough, both physically and mentally, to participate in a Tour with us. Please disclose any physical limitations, diets, medications, treatments, or anything else that would restrict your ability to fully participate in the Tour. Pregnancy is considered a medical condition, and must be disclosed to us. The inability to participate in any of the scheduled activities would not result in a refund for opportunities lost.
We are quite happy to work with all levels of mobility or physical limitations. We all have limits, just tell us what yours are. Photography and travel is for everyone, not just superhumans. Please just let us know in advance, so we can provide the best itinerary suitable for your needs.
Dietary restrictions are easy to work with, but please tell us in advance, so we can best plan for it ahead of our meals. If you have food allergies, please disclose this to us as well. Please also let us know if you require kosher or halal meals. While we will do our best to convey this information onwards to the restaurants we visit, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure your meals are prepared in such a way that you won’t be harmed. During the planning process, we will forward a medical questionnaire that will cover all of this.
It is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel vaccinations in advance of your Tour. Please consult your primary care physician or Travel Clinic for advice. Inoculating yourself from diseases that are not normally found in your home country is wise, and it will help to protect your health when abroad. We can provide you with a list of recommendations if you require it.
Many countries will require proof of vaccination from Covid-19, in order to enter. Please be prepared for this, and contact us if you have any questions or concerns about this.
If at any time one or more of the provisions of these Terms and Conditions becomes invalid, illegal or unenforceable in any respect, that provision shall be severed from the remainder and the validity, legality and enforceability of the remaining provisions of these Terms and Conditions shall not be affected or impaired in any way.
These Terms (including any non-contractual matters and obligations arising therefrom or associated therewith) and all documents, agreements and application forms into which these Terms are incorporated shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Ontario, Canada, and the Client (You) hereby agrees to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of Ontario courts in connection herewith (save where a document, agreement or application form provides otherwise).