BTSA trip prices are based on group rates reserved in advance, thus a cancellation affects all the trip expenses. If the trip is canceled by BTSA for any reason, the refund is 100%, including your deposit.
If you need to cancel, your non-refundable $500 deposit may be applied to another tour at any time, at a later date. Unused deposits are donated to community projects in the countries where BTSA operates.
- Cancellation 74 or more days before departure, refund is 50%, minus $500 non-refundable deposit.
- Cancellation 30-73 days before departure, refund is 25%, minus $500 non-refundable deposit.
- No refund for cancellation less than 30 days before departure.
Participants in the Tour are not required to purchase travel and trip cancellation insurance but it is highly encouraged, based upon the full cost of the Tour and additional international travel costs, such as that offered by Allianz (available online and also through AAA), TravelGuard, or World Nomads. We recommend that you consult the website at Aardy.com for a discussion of travel insurance options, coverage, and limitations, and exclusions, including the impact of COVID-19.
Trip Deposit and Payments
BTSA is now using a secure payment system called Stripe. When you decide to sign up for a trip, we will send by email a detailed invoice stating the deposit amount and balance deadline/date and payment guidelines. You may pay the invoice easily with a credit card, or you may send a personal check to BTSA at the address at the bottom of this contract. Either payment method is acceptable.
BTSA reserves the right to decline to retain in-country any person who it determines detracts from the enjoyment of the experience by others (including the local population). The person will return home at his or her own expense and without any refund.
BTSA reserves the right to make route, hotel, itinerary or leader changes, and trip modifications, as necessary or desirable to improve the trip quality, to accommodate the comfort and well-being of travelers, and/or to respond to local conditions and governmental restrictions (including but not limited to COVID-19 developments).
COVID-19 and Other Health Issues:
Important: Trips to Peru, Bolivia, and Central Asia may involve short periods at high altitudes, for instance spending a night in a yurt in Kyrgyzstan; see the detailed itinerary for place names and corresponding altitudes. Trips to West Africa, India, and Asia may involve the risk of malaria, and other maladies. We request that everyone who signs up to join BTSA tours talk to his or her Travel Clinic or health practitioner about these and other health issues.
All tour participants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in accordance with current CDC recommendations at the time of departure. All international travel continues to involve the risk of COVID-19 and variants, which is a risk that you agree to accept. Any COVID-19 testing that is required anywhere including at airport(s) and border crossing(s) involved in the Tour is at your own expense.
You may also consult the US Government website at www.cdc.gov for current health information for your destination.
Your Trip Information, to be emailed as downloadable .pdf documents once the deposit is paid, contains further suggestions for keeping healthy and safe. These documents also contain general tour information, including information about travel visas, current COVID-19 testing, and quarantine requirements. These documents also include a detailed itinerary, lists of what to take, information about foods and cuisine, textiles, local culture, and destinations to be visited.
Marijuana possession, including medical marijuana and CBD oils, and possession or use of any illegal drugs are strictly prohibited in the countries we will visit on the tour, regardless of the fact that they might be legal in your home state or country.
Prior to departure from the US, please submit a signed Pre-Departure Checklist, to confirm that you understand and will meet all pre-departure requirements for the tour. We will send you the form to complete and send back by USPS mail. Paper copies sound antiquated, but there have been many times in foreign countries where the internet has been down at the airport, and a paper copy of the plane tickets saved the day! This will help you too if you were to lose these important documents.
We should have the following items from you before departure:
- Paper Xerox copy of your passport
- Paper copies of all required visas
- Paper printout of your international plane ticket
- Proof of COVID-19 vaccination(s)
- Agreement with compliance for luggage size and number limits
While we at Behind the Scenes Adventures take the utmost care to assure the trip participants’ safety and well-being, the responsibility of BTSA and operator Cynthia LeCount Samaké and others directly employed is limited. BTSA acts only as agents for the trip participant in regard to all travel of all varieties, whether by bus, van, train, taxi, boat, aircraft, pirogue, canoe, camel, or other conveyance, and as such, assumes no liability for direct or indirect or incidental damage, bodily injury, death, delay, inconvenience, or other problems which may be caused either through acts of nature, or fire, breakdown of machinery or equipment, or acts of government or other authorities, wars, declared or undeclared; hostilities, riots, civil unrest or disturbances, strikes, theft, acts of terrorism, sickness or epidemics, allergic reactions, rabid animals, Customs regulations, changes in public transportation schedules, or from any other causes beyond the control of BTSA.
Travel Insurance and Your Credit Card
Behind the Scenes Adventures shall not be liable for extra expenses such as additional hotel nights and meals not specified in the trip itinerary, but which may be required to get to or from a trip starting or ending point; expenses due to the delay of a trip for any reason (e.g., canceled flights, inclement weather, landslides, flooding, sickness, etc.); expenses involved in recovering luggage lost by airlines, nor belongings stolen or left behind on a trip. That is why you have travel insurance!
As mentioned before, BTSA does not require but strongly encourages travel and trip cancellation insurance for everyone. You may already have it through a credit card! Many credit cards include travel insurance. Several Chase cards have points or miles included with travel insurance. Logically, the more expensive the annual card fee, the more benefits your travel insurance policy includes.
Some cards include auto insurance for your rental car. Some include medical insurance, emergency evacuation, and repatriation of remains, etc. Be sure it includes pandemics or epidemics.
Check what your cards include before paying for your trips with BTSA or the airlines, etc. Once you have paid your BTSA trip deposit and balance with one card, it is not possible for us to credit the payment back to the card so you can use a different credit card. Check carefully before you pay for anything with a card!
Release of Liability
I hereby release Behind the Scenes Adventures (BTSA), Walkathon Tours, India; EIT Travel LLC, Jeff Wilson, Cappadocia Tours, Suleyman Çakir, Cynthia LeCount Samaké, Cheick Oumar Samaké, Ulan Ermek of Kyrgyz Journeys, Zahid Toshnazarov, Mirzabek Ruzmetov, Gerardo Guzman, Nilda Callañaupa, Paulino Alvarez, Mrinal Bengia, and/or any other employees/agents of BTSA from any liability arising from my participation in any segment of the above-listed trip.
I understand that the nature of foreign travel may involve numerous risks and dangers including but not limited to those listed above.
I hereby agree to be responsible for my own welfare and to accept any and all risks.
I agree to follow all written and verbal rules of safety or otherwise presented to me by BTSA or the trip leaders and drivers.
I have carefully read and fully understand the contents and legal ramifications of this legally binding contract.