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What Are The Booking Fees For?

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Updated: November 13, 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic and the regulations limiting group sizes imposed by local authorities have meant that spaces on our tours are more limited than before the pandemic.

Due to the nature of the pay-what-you-like tour model, it is often very difficult for operators to know how many people with bookings will in actuality show up to a tour.

As a result, we have set up an optional booking fee of $2.50/person on our tours for bookings of 1-5 participants.  

NOTE: This fee is mandatory on a few of our tours, mostly due to costs imposed on us or extremely limited spaces. 

We use the number of guests who have paid the booking fee to gauge the number of independent, free-lance tour guides to offer to lead any one particular tour, and in order to maintain small group sizes.

The booking fee is used to guarantee a spot on the tour.

While our intention is to accommodate all guests, those with a guaranteed booking will be given priority, in the event of a tour guide shortage or other unforeseen occurrences.

The booking fee is used by the organization to offset the costs of organizing the tours, including reservation system fees, city taxes, the costs of providing general customer service, and other miscellaneous costs associated with doing business.

The fee is partially refundable (minus transaction fees) if you cancel within 24 hours of the start of a tour. 

About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: November 13th, 2022
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