C O S T & R E S E R V A T I O N — A Sacred Sojourn 1 — (Feb 2024)
[See our Covid-19 Updates for more information about Flexible Bookings, Credit Redemptions & other ways to protect your investment in Offbeat Photography Workshops & Tours.]
Sustainable Tourism —
Off Beat Photography Workshops & Tours is totally committed to providing a professional photographic education and a culturally enriching tour that benefits both the traveller and the local people of the host country. The tourism we promote is designed to lessen the ecological impact on an environment and maximize sustainable human development and social equality within it.
Every tour fee is for direct costs, without a tour broker’s fee. All financial arrangements are personally transacted by us, ensuring that the fees you pay for a tour service goes directly to the people who provide that service. Since all tour arrangements are made through Mick’s personal contacts, there are no intermediary brokerage charges added to the tour cost. The Nepali provider receives the full remuneration for the services they provide. Your cost for a tour service is exactly the cost for the provided services. The local people receive exactly the cost you are charged. It is this type of tourism model that we adhere to for two reasons: not only does it reduce the overall costs of the tour, but it also enhances the welfare of the local people and helps to protect their natural and cultural heritage.
The total cost for this tour is $2,750 for a standard room (single room) or $2,920 for a deluxe room (single room). [Note that all participants during the village “homestay” segment will have the same accommodations.]
To book your place, you are required to pay a reservation/deposit fee of $500 US, by credit card or Paypal. The tour fee balance is payable 21 days before the start of the tour (Day 1). If you want to sign up for a tour within 21 days of the departure day (Day 1), then the full amount will be due at that time.
Fees are payable in US dollars and will be automatically converted to your local currency by your credit card company or PayPal.
The tour requires a minimum of five (5) participants (a maximum of 7) to be signed up in order to go ahead. We will let you know immediately when the tour has received the minimum reservations. However, please make sure that the tour has reached the minimum number of participants before you purchase any flights that require cancellations fees.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE?
- All accommodation;
- All breakfasts during the tour & all meals during the village homestay;
- 3 dinners & 1 lunch (in transit to Pohkara)
- Transportation from Kathmandu airport to Bhaktapur and back;
- Bhaktapur historical city pass;
- Overland transport for all travel during the tour, including Kathmandu to Pohkara and back;
- A chartered minivan with driver (and lots of luggage space) to transport us safely and comfortably around the Kathmandu Valley & Pohkara for the entire trip;
- Cultural tour guides throughout the tour to provide historical background information, enabling Mick to give full attention to the photographical needs and queries of the group.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE?
- Any international flights or travel costs to the meeting points in Kathmandu or back home after the tour;
- Most lunches & dinners during the tour (except in Lumle & 3 other dinners & 1 lunch as noted in the Itinerary);
- Hotels while traveling prior to or following the tour;
- Beverages or additional items ordered during meals.
If for some reason beyond your control you have to cancel a tour reservation, you will have the option to re-book your trip to a time that suits you. As long as you notify us at least 21 days before Day 1 of the photography tour, you can choose new travel dates or a totally different tour without any change-fee penalties. You are only required to pay the deposit until 21 days before your tour is scheduled to depart.
If it is necessary for you to cancel your tour completely and not re-schedule it, you can do this by notifying us in writing of the reason for your cancellation. When we receive this letter, we will refund your money according to the schedule below. Since this type of cancellation is usually for extreme circumstances (health issues, family responsibilities, etc.) we will try to re-sell your spot. If your place on the tour can be re-sold, then you can expect a full refund. However, since most people book their reservations several months in advance, cancelling your reservation near the departure date (Day 1) will make re-selling it very difficult. For this reason, we recommend that you get trip cancellation insurance (see Insurance below).
Reservation / Deposit Fee – If you have to cancel before 21 days of when the tour begins (Day 1), your reservation/deposit fee will be held as a credit towards a future booking. If you cancel within 20 days or less before the start of the tour (Day 1), we will refund your money according to the schedule below:
Tour Fees / Balance –
- If you cancel more than 21 days before the start of the tour (Day 1), your deposit/tour balance will be held as a credit towards a future tour;
- From 20 to 4 days before the start of the tour, cancellation fees are 50% of your paid balance (excluding the deposit); you will get 50% of your paid balance;
- From 3 days, or within 72 hours, before the start of the tour (Day 1), cancellation fees are 75% of your paid balance (excluding the deposit); you will get 25% of your paid balance;
- If the cancellation is due to you having Covid-19 or "flu-like symptoms," and it is supported by a medical certificate, we will hold 100% of the money you paid for this tour as a credit towards a future tour.
If you cancel less than 72 hours before the start of the tour (Day 1), you will not receive a refund. However, at any time before 3 days (72 hours) you can choose for us to hold all the money you paid as credit for a future tour. In order to exercise this option, you will need to notify us in writing prior to 3 days.
Notes on Cancellation Fees and Notification Timing
- Any transfer charges and transaction fees incurred on accepting and/or refunding any payments will be deducted from any refund amounts due;
- The number of days to tour start are calculated from 9am Japan Standard Time (JST). Email received after 6pm JST on the previous day will be calculated from 9am JST the following day.
Travel Insurance — If you fall sick or have an accident during the course of the trip, you will miss part of your tour, and possibly incur hospital fees and other expenses that can mount up. We strongly advise you to take out travel insurance for yourself for the entire length of the trip in advance of departure. (Try Squaremouth.com for comparing prices.)
Cancellation Insurance — This is often included in your Travel Insurance, but if for any reason you have to cancel your tour, cancellation insurance can help you recover your costs. Note that travel and cancellation insurance usually has to be bought within 10 days of booking the tour or less. Please check on this as soon as you book.
Camera Equipment Insurance — We also suggest that you insure your photography equipment and belongings if not included in your home or travel insurance. If you already have your gear insured, double check that you are also covered for international travel.
If you are interested in coming along, but want more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We look forward to seeing you in Nepal, for this unique cultural photography tour!