FAQ and General Conditions of Tours – TOURSBYBASQUES, 2024
- Who will join my tour?
All my tours are private, for your party alone. You are not part of a larger group and no strangers will be joining your tour. However, if you wish to share the tour cost with other people you may organize your own “private group” using popular travel sites such as the Tripadvisor Forums, Fodor´s or Cruisecritic. It’s your choice, for I don’t arrange such groups.
I also work for solo travellers, however note that my fees are per tour, not per person: a solo traveller must still pay for the full tour amount, or find someone to share costs – I cannot help you finding tour companions nor add you to one of our existing groups.
- On tour duration, tour start, meeting place, cruise passengers
Basic city tour takes up to 4 hours. Basic daytrip around 7 to 8 hours. This schedule can be modified to suit your needs.
Tour start time: to be arranged beforehand. I am very flexible.
Meeting and ending point is to be agreed with the client upon reservation, in order to be able to offer a tailor made service.
My fees include pick-up/drop-off points anywhere if previously agreed: your hotel or address in town will often work as meeting point, but you can also choose to join me in front of a site that is more convenient for our itinerary. I can finish at your hotel/apartment, or in some restaurant, or in the last site we visit. Again, I am flexible!
Pick-up/Drop-off in suburbs may not be included: fees may apply and they will be calculated depending on the location where you need to be picked up.
If your lodging is in a pedestrian area forbidden to vehicles, I will indicate the closest meeting point.
Cruise pier terminal: pick-up/drop-off is included on chauffeured city tours if needed. I am aware that cruise passengers are usually required to be back on board no later than +1 hour before departure, so I’ll never schedule a tour with you that ends too late.
Airport and/or airport hotel pick-up/drop-off is not included in the standard fees. The transfer to/from the airport into Bilbao city center takes around 20 min.
- Do I cancel tours because of weather?
I don´t cancel tours except for unavoidable reasons. Tours don´t depend on weather conditions, except on general alerts.
- External services
Occasionally I may need to refer you to an external guide if I am not able to provide a tour for you by force majeure. If so, you’d be dealing directly with them and their guides fees and you’d be paying them directly according to their own conditions.
- Tickets to sites and monuments, skip the lines
Entrance fees are not included, except otherwise indicated. I am entitled to skip lines in most museums and monuments: You will be taken to the group entrance, buy the tickets and go in right away.
- Walking issues, gift shops
Walking distances depends greatly on each itinerary: check the tour description for details and please consider that walking/mobility issues and use of wheelchair can force us to reduce a bit the itinerary. Note that you are booking a tour guide service for a certain number of hours, not an itinerary to be completed no matter what: if you or someone in the party slows down the pace of the group up to the point that there is no time to see everything in the plan, the service still has to finish at the agreed tour ending time and you will not be entitled to any sort of compensation. Please consider booking extra time if you feel your pace is slower than the average healthy visitor.
I don’t plan for gift-shop stops during our tours (I encourage you to shop after the tour is over), nevertheless it’s usually easy to improvise a short coffee stop at some point. Please note that too many stops or too long ones will definitely affect the pace and timing of the itinerary, causing your guide to speed up or to shorten the itinerary.
- About food
Your lunch (for city tours and day trips) and pintxos and drinks (on food tours) are NOT included, except otherwise indicated.
During full day tours, the client can choose if they want to stop for lunch at some point, or if they’d rather keep touring for the whole time. In 7 to 8h-tours, a stop for lunch will be scheduled around 2pm, lunch time still counting as touring time (not as a break).
My goal is to TAILOR the perfect tour for you, not to take you on a closed itinerary that is the same for everyone, but may not be a match for you. I don´t get any commissions from any establishments -not my way of working-, and I prefer instead to recommend the places I like.
Food is not included in my tours unless otherwise indicated, which allows me to cater for special needs but that may not always be easy. Please notify in advance if you or anyone in your party has special dietary needs, so I can plan in advance.
In the Basque Country it is customary for the guide to eat with you and for you to pay for his/her meal, but if this represents a problem for you, please inform him/her beforehand so that he/she can accompany you to your restaurant and meet you at the end of your meal.
- Payment and currency, tips, fees.
A 40% deposit is necessary to book the tour exclusively for you, via either PayPal, a secure credit card link, bank transfer or any other valid means. No tour will be accepted without this deposit.
- Option 1, 40% deposit via credit card or wire transfer on acceptance of the tour, rest in cash at the end of the tour(s). No extra charge for card payment.
- Option 2, 40% deposit via credit card or wire transfer on acceptance of the tour, rest via credit card or wire transfer one month prior to date of first tour (+5% extra on total price if full credit card payment)
The only valid currency in Spain and most countries of the European Union are Euro, which is the currency I use to calculate my fees. Make sure you depart your country with enough EUR to pay for your first expenses (taxi from the airport, petty expenses,…) although credit card payment is widely available). You will be able to change your currency when you get to the Basque Country. Money can be exchanged in banks (mornings Mon-Fri only!), ATM´s (fully reliable banks) and hotels (commissions charged). Credit cards are widely accepted almost everywhere in Spain, in some cases American Express may not be accepted.
Tips and gratuities are not included. Guides, drivers, restaurants and more, appreciate them: BUT it’s understood that they have to deserve it!
In Spain, every company is free to set the prices and fees that they consider the adequate for the services they offer. In my case, I have chosen not to compete in price but in quality. Taxes in Spain are high, and fees must include by law a 21% VAT (except certain cases of B2B).
An increase of +10% on gas price of 1.70EUR/liter (taking the average of the month prior to the tour) will imply a 3% increase on total price of tour.
- Cancellation and refund policy
Any cancellation must be initiated by e-mail contacting me by email, and will be also acknowledged by me via e-mail/Whatsapp. Cancellation notifications by phone will not be accepted. Weather conditions: Tours are carried rain or shine. Bad weather is not a valid reason to cancel a tour.
TOUR CANCELLATION POLICY (for whatever reason): Up to 45 days prior to date of tour, full return of the deposit. Between 30 and 45 days prior to date of tour, 50% return of the deposit. Less than 30 days prior to date of tour, there´ll be no return of the deposit. In case I can´t honor the tour, full return of deposit is guaranteed. In the event of a no-show by the customer, payment of full amount of tour is obligatory.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
By booking tours or services through ToursByBasques you agree to the FOLLOWING terms and conditions.
CLIENTS are responsible for travel arrangements to or from tours organized by ToursByBasques and to inform on meeting point.
Clients are responsible for their own safety in all walking and interior tours: crossing roads, steps, etc.
Clients are responsible for themselves and children wearing a seat belt in tour vehicles. No food or drink may consumed in tour vehicles except under permission of the driver.
The guide, driver or operator reserves the right to terminate any tour for unreasonable behavior.
ToursByBasques is insured for public liability in touring environments only.
ToursByBasques is not liable for reduced itineraries owing to late start or delays by the client.
ToursByBasques is not liable for reduced itineraries owing to unscheduled closures by attractions.
ToursByBasques is not liable for reduced itineraries owing to extreme weather conditions, or delays or diversions caused by circumstances beyond our control.
The vehicle used for the tours is subject to potential punctures that need time to be repaired. This is an unavoidable situation and the car is conveniently insured to cover this circumstance.
Clients should acquire adequate insurance to cover any loss because of flight cancellations, personal illness, or circumstances causing the tour to be cancelled beyond the control of ToursByBasques or partners. Please notice that your driver or guide will not assume automatic responsibility for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity and he is not responsible for any resulting additional expenses. Baggage and personal effects are carried entirely at the owner’s risk.
COVID19 might affect some parts of the itinerary or availability of establishment or attractions (current pandemic situation as per Dec 2023 shows a very low incidence and no further issues are expected).
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Entrance fees and sites reservations.
- Taxi, subway and bus rides.
- Travel arrangements to or from tours organized by ToursByBasques are not included either.
- Drinks and food in Pintxos Tours, if not clearly stated in the quote.
- Paypal fees, if the client requests to pay via Paypal. Credit card commissions.
- Personal expenses: souvenirs, personal beverages and snacks, other items…
- Medical expenses and personal insurance, IT´S ADVISABLE TO CARRY YOUR OWN INSURANCE.
- Tips/Gratuities. In Spain, tips may not be expected but appreciated and they are considered a sign that you enjoyed a service. Giving a tip or not at the end of the service remains your personal choice.
- Other incidental expenses, incurred because of your booking: visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, non-refundable flights/transportation tickets, loss of enjoyment, phone calls, etc.
And please, feel absolutely free to ask anything before, during and after your visit!!
TOURS BY BASQUES, Bilbao, conditions valid from Jan 1 to Dec 31, 2024.