Terms and Conditions
Bookings & Prices
We do our best to provide accurate and up-to-date information on our website, but errors may occur. Please confirm pricing and details with us prior to making a booking.
By making travel bookings on our website or with one of our agents, or otherwise purchasing any travel services offered by Friendly Planet, you warrant that 1) you are at least 18 years of age and have the legal authority to create a binding legal obligation; 2) you accept and agree to all the Terms presented herein; and 3) all information supplied by you for the purposes of that booking is true, accurate, current, and complete to the best of your knowledge.
BOOKING ON BEHALF OF OTHERS: If you make a booking for anyone other than yourself, you are considered the designated contact person for those other travelers. You represent and warrant that you are legally authorized to act on their behalf; that you have obtained all required consents; and that you will inform them of these Terms and warrant that they accept and agree to them. You are also responsible for making all payments due for your booking; notifying us if any changes or cancellations are required; and keeping the other travelers informed of all information relevant to your trip.
REGISTRATION: After you complete your booking, we'll send you an email containing a link to a secure traveler registration form. For most packages, you must complete this form within 5 days of booking. Let us know if you are unable to complete it within this timeframe, or your booking may be subject to cancellation.
CONFIRMATION: After we receive your booking and deposit, we will confirm availability of all components and send you a confirmation email within 1–2 business days. If any option or component you selected is not available, we will alert you and give you the option to modify your booking or to cancel and receive a refund of your deposit.
From the time of your booking confirmation until your final payment; your price may only be changed if: 1) you request Changes or Customizations to your booking; 2) new or increased government taxes or fees are implemented that apply to your package or its components; 3) vendor costs applicable to your package or its components increase. Under any of these circumstances, we will inform you how your package price will be affected.
Once your booking is fully paid the package price will not change, unless: 1) you request Changes or Customizations to your booking; 2) new or increased government taxes or fees are implemented that apply to your package or its components. In either case, we will inform you how your package price will be affected.
SPECIAL MEAL REQUESTS OR DIETS: You may enter special meal requests or dietary restrictions for each traveler when you complete your registration. We will relay your requests to the airlines and our partners in destination. Please confirm meal requests with the airlines by 72 hours before departure. We cannot guarantee that your requests will be honored, and some requests or restrictions may be difficult to accommodate in some destinations.
PRICES: Advertised package prices are based on double occupancy rooms or cabins and the least expensive travel dates, departure city, hotels, and other options available, and do not include Optional Excursions or other optional items, unless otherwise noted. Your total price will vary based upon the dates, flights, hotels, and other options you select when you book.
Advertised package prices may reflect an "Instant Savings" discount. On occasion, we may also offer price reductions, sale discounts, coupon discounts, or other promotional discounts on certain packages, departures, or services. Such discounts are valid for a limited time, only apply to new bookings, and may have other conditions or limitations. Existing bookings for which a deposit has been received are not entitled to price reductions or discounts that were not valid at the time of booking.
Prices and availability are subject to change until you make a booking and that booking is confirmed. After that, your package price will not change, with some exceptions listed under Confirmation.
All advertised prices and costs are in U.S. currency, unless noted otherwise.
Payments, Refunds & Credits
DEPOSITS: A deposit, paid via one of our accepted payment methods, is required to secure your Tour Only booking, which will be applied toward the cost of your package. Selected tours will now require an increased deposit when airfare to and from your destination is included. Deposits vary by package, and some departure dates and/or departure cities may require a different deposit. Please check the package page, start a booking, or contact us to find out the required deposit. Changes or customizations you request to our packages may require an increased or additional deposit. Deposits are generally nonrefundable after we confirm your booking, unless covered by our Carefree Booking policy or we cancel your departure.
If you add Travel Protection coverage when you book, the premium will be added to your deposit amount.
FINAL PAYMENT: If any balance is due after making your booking, you must pay this balance via one of our accepted payment methods by your final payment due date. This date varies by package but is most often 60 days prior to departure. The due date for your booking will be listed in the booking process, in your booking receipt email, under Your Booking, and on your invoice. You may make as many payments as you like in any amount until the due date. If you have not paid in full by your due date, your booking will be subject to a $50 late fee. If you have not paid in full 15 days after your due date, your booking will be cancelled, and your deposit will be forfeited. If you make payments in excess of your balance due, you can choose to receive a refund of the excess amount or to convert it to a Travel Credit with no expiration date.
PAYMENT METHODS: We accept payments towards your deposit or balance due by the following methods:
- Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express: You can use one of these cards when booking or making a payment via our website or with an agent by phone. To pay your deposit with multiple credit cards, please call us. You may also pay by credit card by printing our credit card authorization form, completing and signing it, then emailing, faxing, or mailing it to our office.
- PayPal account: You can use your PayPal account to make payments via our website only. You will be redirected to the PayPal site and required to log into your account during the process.
We do not accept any other forms of payment. Payments must be made in U.S. currency or a conversion fee may apply.
RETURNED PAYMENTS: If a check payment made to us is returned due to insufficient funds, stop payment, a closed account, or any other reason, we will notify you, and a returned check fee of $50 will be added to your balance due. You are responsible for making alternate payments to pay your balance due by the final payment due date. If we notify you after your final payment due date that a check has been returned, we must receive a replacement payment within 48 hours, or your booking may be subject to cancellation.
Refunds will be processed and paid as promptly as possible. If we need to recover funds already paid to our partners for your services, your refund will be issued after those funds have been recovered. Most refunds are processed within six weeks of being requested. Refunds for payments by credit card will be credited to that card, provided your refund does not exceed the amount paid on the card. Otherwise, your refund will be issued by check.
In many cases, we may issue you credits for trip cancellations, referring new travelers to Friendly Planet, promotions, or other reasons. In some cases, these credits have a stated expiration date, while other credits may have no expiration. To redeem credits, they must be used towards a booking that is made before the credits expire, but the travel need not be complete before the expiration. Expired credits are void and may not be redeemed. In most cases, credits used toward a booking which you later cancel are forfeited, unless the cancelled booking is covered by our Carefree Booking policy or otherwise stated.
Credits are issued to individuals, who must be over the age of 18. In the case of credits awarded to a former traveler who referred a new traveler to us, they are issued to the person who made the referral. In most other cases, including those where a credit is related to a booking, the credits are issued to the person who made the booking. Credits may be transferred to another individual, provided you notify us first in writing.
Credits are issued in U.S. dollar amounts and may be redeemed towards a balance due to Friendly Planet on a future trip. Credits may not be used towards visa fees, airport, port & border crossing fees, optional excursions, or any other items purchased on tour and/or not payable to Friendly Planet. You may redeem as many credits as you like towards a new booking. If the new booking totals more than the value of your redeemed credits, you are responsible for paying the difference by the final payment due date. Credits are not redeemable for cash, and any credits not redeemed for a new booking will carry over and be used towards another future booking, provided they have not expired.
The Carefree Booking policy only applies to a new booking—defined as booking without the use of funds on file from a previous cancellation.
The Carefree Booking policy only applies to your original booking—limiting rebooking to one. Subsequent bookings will be subject to standard cancellation penalties. Additionally, any coupon or discount (other than our Instant Savings) does not transfer from the cancelled booking and therefore will not be applied to the new booking.
Under this policy, should you:
- Decide not to travel for any reason
- Your booking was not made using a previously cancelled booking's funds
- You let us know before your final payment due date
You may cancel your booking and choose one of the following:
- Select another available departure on the same or a different package. We will credit all payments you have made, including any travel insurance premiums, towards a booking for that departure for the same or a greater number of travelers.
- Receive future Travel Credits worth everything you have paid, excluding any travel insurance premiums. These credits will be issued to the booking customer and may be redeemed towards any future trip but must be used or transferred within 5 years of your booking.
- Receive a refund equal to all payments made, You will not be charged any fees or penalties, except:
- If you requested special flight arrangements and you paid for and asked that we issue tickets for those flights, airline change or cancellation fees may apply and will be deducted from your credit or refund.
- If you originally booked prior to Mar 19, 2020 and then cancelled and rebooked (defined as transferring all deposits and payments from a cancelled booking to a new booking), and we had already issued airline tickets for the original booking, airline change or cancellation fees may apply, which we will deduct from your credit or refund.
Changes or cancellations requested after your final payment due date are subject to our standard change and cancellation fees and policies. Carefree Booking may not be available for all packages, including private and custom group departures and Biblical Journeys. See the package page for eligibility.
Changes & Customizations
CHANGING YOUR PACKAGE OR DEPARTURE: Requests to modify an existing booking to change your package or to change your departure (to another scheduled departure date for the same package) are subject to availability of the new package or departure. When not covered by our Carefree Booking policy, such changes are subject to fees, which will be added to your balance due. When such requests are received on or before your final payment due date, the change fees schedule below applies. When such requests are received after your final payment due date, they are considered cancellations and are subject to cancellation fees, but any refund due to you after such fees may be applied as a credit towards the new package or departure. In either case, and regardless of our Carefree Booking policy, if the total price of the new package or departure you select (including all selected options and any applicable fees payable to Friendly Planet) is more than your previous total, you are responsible for paying the difference, which will be added to your balance due. If the total price of the new package or departure you select is less than your previous total, we will apply the difference as a credit to your balance due, or if you have already paid in full, refund you the difference.
Cancellations by You
If you elect to cancel your booking for any reason, you must notify us in writing. Except when covered by our Carefree Booking policy, cancellations are subject to fees which vary by your date of booking, your date of cancellation, and by package; select a package for details. Cancellation fees may change at any time, and your booking is subject to the schedule in effect at the time of booking. A copy of the Terms and fee schedule that govern your booking should be available under Your Booking or attached to your booking receipt email.
When you cancel, we will refund all monies paid, minus:
- your deposit or the applicable cancellation fee, whichever is greater
- the cost of any issued flight tickets if nonrefundable, or any cancellation fee assessed by the airline if refundable
When you request cancellation, we will advise you of the total of these fees and your total refund, if any. In some cases, as indicated in the fee schedule, some or all of the cancellation fee we withhold may be applied as a Travel Credit, which does not expire and can be used toward any future booking.
If you make a booking for two or more travelers, it is possible for one or more travelers on that booking to cancel while allowing the remaining traveler(s) to continue. Cancellation fees will only be assessed on the cancelling travelers. If such a change requires any double occupancy rooms or cabin to be converted to single occupancy, the remaining traveler(s) are responsible for any applicable single occupancy rates, which will be added to their balance due. In some cases, it may be possible for a new traveler to be added to a booking replacing another traveler. If so, a name change fee will apply, as well as any applicable airline & other vendor fees, particularly for any issued flight tickets.
Cancellations by Us
Most of our advertised packages require a minimum number of travelers to operate. We reserve the right to cancel or reschedule any departure due to insufficient demand, unsafe conditions, events beyond our control, or any other reason. If we cancel a departure, we will notify you prior to the final payment due date (unless the cancellation is due to an unforeseen situation that arises after that) and offer alternate dates of travel or a full refund. We also reserve the right to cancel a specific booking or remove a specific traveler prior to departure, at our own discretion, and refund all monies paid to Friendly Planet.
We are not responsible for any incidental expenses or consequential losses that you incur as a result of a cancelled booking, including but not limited to loss of earnings, loss of enjoyment, or the cost of any connecting flights, accommodations, airport transportation, visas, document fees, vaccinations, or other services you may purchase that are dependent upon the operation of your trip. Where possible, we recommend that you wait until after your final payment due date to purchase any such services.
INCLUDED SERVICES: Varies by package; see the "included features" list on the package page.
NOT INCLUDED: For most of our packages, unless otherwise noted, the following items are not included in the advertised package price:
- excess baggage fees
- advance seat reservations
- optional extensions & excursions
- personal, baggage & travel insurance
- items not specifically mentioned in the itinerary or "included features" list
- any items of a personal nature
UNUSED SERVICES: Unused services cannot be refunded once the trip has begun. No refund can be made for absence by travelers from any part of the itinerary.
Our packages include carefully selected hotels and/or cruise ships. Advertised prices are for standard double occupancy rooms or cabins. You can enter your preferred number of beds (one or two) per room or cabin when you book, and we will do our best to honor your request but cannot guarantee it. Single or triple occupancy rooms or cabins may be available upon request, but availability cannot be guaranteed. Special requests (bedding, smoking preference, etc.) are subject to availability and confirmation by the hotel or cruise line.
At least 14 days prior to departure, we will send you a detailed list of all accommodations on your package, including hotel addresses, telephone, and fax numbers. Sometimes it is necessary to change the hotels or cruise ship used on your package. In that event, we will make every effort to ensure that substitutes meet or exceed the quality and location of the original.
While we do our best to select upscale accommodations, some hotels may not have air-conditioning, especially in rustic or remote locations. In such cases, other types of climate control are generally available.
Any activity, transportation, meal, product, or service listed as optional and not expressly included in the itinerary or price of a package is considered an Optional Excursion. In most cases, these Optional Excursions are offered by Third Party Suppliers. Some may be purchased from us with your booking, while others must be selected and paid for in destination, sometimes in local currency. We cannot guarantee availability of Optional Excursions, and for those paid for in destination, we cannot guarantee the price. If an Optional Excursion you paid for with your booking is not available, we will refund your payment for that excursion. We make no warranties and expressly deny any claims or liability whatsoever, including loss of enjoyment, arising from participation in, or the lack of availability of, Optional Excursions or any information provided by us or our representatives about these Optional Excursions.
We recommend you carry travel insurance or equivalent coverage.
ITINERARIES: We make every effort to ensure our tours & packages run smoothly and according to the posted itineraries. However, international travel is complex, and we reserve the right to modify our itineraries as we deem necessary to keep everything running comfortably. Please refer to the latest version of your itinerary on our website prior to travel, which we will also send you at least 14 days prior to departure. The planned itinerary is representative of the types of accommodations, transport and activities planned, but the actual itinerary, including routes, schedules, amenities, modes of transport, and other items, may still be subject to alteration or substitution without prior notice due to circumstances on the ground or upon recommendation of our partners in destination. In these cases, we will make every effort to ensure the changes result in an equivalent or better experience for our travelers. We will not be held liable for any damages related to these alterations.
FORCE MAJEURE: Certain unexpected circumstances may arise, such as (but not limited to) weather events, pandemics, quarantines, border closures, acts of governments or authorities, wars, hostilities, political uprisings or civil disturbances, riots, strikes, terrorist activities or the threat of terrorist activities, criminal acts committed by third parties, defects of vehicles or breakdown in equipment, or an Act of God, that are beyond anyone's control, which force a cancellation or disruption of services. These circumstances are considered a force majeure. We will not be held responsible or liable in any way for such events, including death, bodily injury, illness, damage, delay, or other losses caused by such events. While we will always strive to assist our travelers wherever they are in the world when such circumstances occur, any losses or costs resulting from these events will be the responsibility of the traveler.
THIRD PARTY SUPPLIERS: Friendly Planet makes arrangements with airlines, cruise lines, hotels and other accommodation providers, coach companies, transfer operators, shore excursion operators, tour and local guides, activity providers, and other independent parties ("Third Party Suppliers") to provide you with some or all of the components of your booking. Third Party Suppliers may also engage the services of local operators and sub-contractors. We take great care in selecting Third Party Suppliers, but we do not supervise or control these suppliers and cannot be responsible for their acts or omissions.
In the absence of our own negligence, we shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitution of equipment; loss or damage to baggage or property; injury, illness, or death; or any claims, losses, damages, costs or expenses arising out of inconvenience, loss of enjoyment, upset, disappointment, distress or frustration, whether physical or mental, resulting from the any act, omission, error or negligence whatsoever by air carriers, rail, coach & ship cruise companies, hotels, transportation companies, other persons providing any of the services and accommodations to travelers, or any other person not our direct employee or under our exclusive control. Air carriers, rail, coach & ship cruise companies are not to be held responsible for any act, omissions, or events during the times that passengers are not aboard their aircraft or conveyances. We are not responsible for any criminal conduct by third parties.
The international carriage of passengers is subject to international conventions and treaties, where applicable. These international agreements limit and, in some cases, exclude the carrier's liability to travelers. Where any claim or part of a claim (including those involving death or personal injury) concerns or involves any travel arrangements (including the process of getting on or off the transport concerned) provided by any air, sea, inland waterways, rail, or road carrier or any stay in a hotel, our maximum liability is the maximum which would be payable by the carrier, or the hotel keeper concerned under the applicable international convention, treaty, or regulation applicable to the travel arrangements or hotel stay (for example: the Warsaw Convention, the Montreal Convention for international travel by air etc.) in that situation.
JOINING A TOUR: If you purchase a package that includes flights and/or transfers, you are responsible for making all necessary arrangements and allowing sufficient time to embark on these flights or transfers. If you miss your flights or transfers, contact us without delay. If you purchase a package that does not include flights or transfers (see Tour Only Option), you are responsible for making your own way to the package starting point, usually the first hotel listed in the itinerary. We will provide instructions for how and where to meet your tour group, manager, or guide. If for any reason you are unable to make it to the starting point on time, contact us without delay. We will make all reasonable efforts to assist you in making alternate arrangements to join your tour, but you are responsible for any extra costs incurred, and no refunds will be issued for unused services.
TOUR MANAGERS: On our escorted group tours, you'll be accompanied by a professional tour manager who is an authority on the destination and is responsible for the safety and wellbeing of our travelers and for the smooth operation of the tour. The decisions of the tour manager are final on all matters likely to affect the safety or wellbeing of all travelers participating in the trip.
GROUP PARTICIPATION: On our group tours, you'll usually be traveling with a group of strangers, and this can sometimes be challenging, especially in a foreign country. To avoid any discord within our groups and to provide our travelers with a positive touring experience, we reserve the right to reject or remove any traveler whose behavior is determined to be incompatible with the group. If you fail to comply with a decision made by our tour manager, behave in a way that is judged to cause or likely to cause danger, distress, or material annoyance to others, interfere with the wellbeing or mobility of the group, are deemed to be fractious to the group, at the sole discretion of Friendly Planet and/or our tour managers and representatives, we may ask you to leave the tour. In this case, we will not refund any portion of the package cost, and all expenses incurred by the termination of the touring program are your responsibility. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips.
AGE REQUIREMENTS: For most of our tours & packages, you must be 18 or older to make a booking, and any other travelers on your booking must be 8 or older at the time of travel. Some packages have different requirements; see the package page or contact us for details. Travelers under 18 years at the time of travel are considered minors. Minors must be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older. One adult may accompany up to two minors. Each adult accompanying one or more minors is jointly and individually responsible for the behavior, wellbeing, supervision, and monitoring of such minors. If the consent of a parent, guardian, or any other person is required by applicable law for any minor to travel, the accompanying adult is responsible for securing all consents and documents and ensuring that they and the minor(s) meet all legal requirements to travel, to enter into and depart from applicable countries and regions. We will not be responsible for any fees, damages, or losses that may result from failure to secure necessary consents, permits, and approvals.
TRAVELERS WITH DISABILITIES OR DIFFICULTIES: Travelers requiring any type of special assistance must notify us of their requirements at the time of booking. We will make reasonable attempts to accommodate such special needs and to notify our airline and other partners of these requirements. However, we cannot guarantee that all disabilities or difficulties can be accommodated, especially in foreign countries and remote locales. Our coaches are generally not equipped to handle wheelchairs. Due to the nature of our itineraries, we cannot accept travelers who require service animals. We regret that we cannot provide individual assistance to travelers for walking, dining, entering and exiting motor coaches, ships, and other transportation vehicles, or to assist with other personal needs. Travelers who require such assistance must be accompanied by a qualified companion who is a paid traveler.
Our itineraries often feature sightseeing and other activities which may involve strenuous activities such as hiking moderate distances, walking up steps or over uneven surfaces, ascending to high elevations, or traveling in small boats. In general, travel conditions in some countries may be more difficult than what you are accustomed to. It is the responsibility of all travelers to consider their abilities, consult with appropriate medical personnel, and determine if they are in sufficient physical condition to comfortably undertake the requirements of each itinerary. If you are uncertain, please contact us to discuss.
If during travel, our representatives become concerned that your physical health or mental condition may make it unsafe for you to continue to participate in the planned itinerary, they may ask you to avoid certain activities. In extreme cases, we or our representatives may ask you to leave the tour. In this case, we will make reasonable attempts to transport you to the appropriate airport or other departure point, but otherwise, you will be responsible for all costs incurred. In either case, there will be no refund of unused services. You grant us and our representatives permission to discuss your situation, including your physical health or mental condition, and share any information we deem relevant with any travel companion, family member, medical professional, designated emergency contact, or other person we believe would be necessary or appropriate to deal with such concerns, at our sole discretion.
ACCEPTANCE OF RISK: You acknowledge that travel, especially to foreign and remote destinations, may involve some risk to your health and safety. The degree and nature of personal risk involved depends on the products or services booked and the location(s) in which a product or service operates. There may be a significant degree of personal risk involved in participating in physical and/or high-risk activities (such as ziplining, snorkeling, or hot air balloon rides), carriage by watercraft, or traveling to high altitudes, remote locations, or countries with developing infrastructure. Standards of hygiene, accommodation, and transport in certain destinations we visit are often lower than the standards you may expect in your home country, and there may be a risk of food poisoning, disease, or injury.
By booking with us, you acknowledge that you have considered the potential risks, dangers and challenges, and your own personal capabilities and needs, and you assume responsibility for all such risks. You agree to take all prudent measures in relation to your own safety while traveling, including but not limited to the proper use of safety devices (including seatbelts, harnesses, flotation devices, and helmets) and obeying all posted signs and oral or written warnings regarding health and safety. Absent any negligence on our part, Friendly Planet and our representatives will not be held liable for any claims or causes of action arising from any losses, damages, injuries, or death resulting from failure to comply with safety instructions or warnings or the risks inherent in travel and participating in adventurous activities included in our itineraries or otherwise offered by us or our representatives.
LOCAL PURCHASES: We make every effort to give you an opportunity to browse local markets, shops and stores, time permitting. Some itineraries include scheduled stops at specialty stores or factories where you can view a demonstration of a local craft or purchase merchandise. If you decide to purchase these or any other items while on tour, you are responsible for those purchases. We are not responsible for the quality or authenticity of these items. It is always a good idea to comparison-shop and to thoroughly inspect all merchandise before leaving the store or shop, as most stores will not permit you to return or exchange purchased items. Prices may not include shipping/handling fees or customs charges. We are not responsible for the delivery or receipt of any item you purchase while traveling.
LOCAL LAWS: During travel, you must always comply with the laws and regulations of all places visited. Committing any illegal act may result in your removal from a tour and put you at risk of fines or punishment by local authorities, for which we cannot be held responsible.
Passports, Visas & Entry Requirements
Travelers with passports from any countries should determine the passport, visa, identification, and entry requirements that apply to them. Requirements are subject to change, often without notice, and we suggest you verify requirements with the relevant embassy or consulate. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of each traveler to understand and comply with all entry requirements, including acquiring and carrying the proper travel documents and paying any Entry & Exit Fees. We will not be held responsible for any trip interruptions, cancellations, or costs incurred by failure to comply with these requirements.
PASSPORTS: In general, passports are required for all citizens traveling abroad. Your passport should be valid for at least six months after your date of return (longer for some destinations), or you may be denied entry. Some countries also require a specific number of blank visa pages in your passport.
The names of all travelers must be provided to us exactly as they appear on their passport, including titles such as Jr. or Sr. and any multiple first, middle, or last names, when you complete our Registration form. Any errors that are not corrected prior to travel could prevent you from boarding your flights or your entry to some countries and may require the purchase of new airfare.
For some packages, you must send us color copies of each travelers' passport photo/signature page within 5 days of booking or with your final payment, whichever is sooner. If we do not receive this promptly, your booking may be subject to cancellation.