Policies

Explore Up Close – Booking Terms and Conditions

The following information outlines what Explore Up Close, LLC (“Explore Up Close”, “we”, and “us”) provides when you the Traveler (“you” or “your”) sign up for an Explore Up Close trip, and your agreement and understanding of the terms and conditions for participation on an Explore Up Close trip (“Booking Terms and Conditions”). These booking terms and conditions are valid for all Explore Up Close trips, and are subject to change. The most current terms and conditions at the time of your departure apply. By registering for an Explore Up Close trip, you accept and agree to these Booking Terms and Conditions on behalf of yourself and anyone listed on your booking. Please read this carefully before you submit your registration.

Registering for a Trip

We offer two ways to register for a trip: online and by mail.

1) Online payment

To register for a trip online, visit our website: www.exploreupclose.com/book-now.  Select a trip, choose your room type (either a shared room with a travel partner, or a room for one person), complete the electronic registration form, and pay your trip deposit with a credit card. You’ll receive a confirmation email, as well as a reminder email when it’s time to pay for the balance of your trip.

2) By mail

Print a trip registration form from our website (click here), and mail in your completed registration form with your deposit payment in the form of a check, made out to Explore Up Close, to:

Explore Up Close
PO Box 9537
Greenville, SC 29604

We will confirm receipt of your payment by email (or by phone, if you do not provide an email address), and send a reminder when it’s time to pay for the balance of your trip.

Trip Insurance

Trip insurance safeguards your travel investment, your belongings, and most importantly, you.  Though trip insurance is optional, we strongly encourage travelers to purchase trip insurance in the event you have to cancel or leave a trip for any reason. Please note, Explore Up Close is not responsible for any personal expenses incurred due to changes in itineraries or trip cancellations, such as airline tickets. We strongly recommend confirming your trip with Explore Up Close before making any additional travel arrangements.

We recommend contacting the following travel insurance providers directly to request a quote and compare pricing and features. You can also find other providers that may fit your needs at www.insuremytrip.com.

Travel Guard: www.travelguard.com | 1-800-826-5248

Allianz Travel Insurance: www.allianztravelinsurance.com | 1-866-884-3556

Participation

The safety and enjoyment of our travelers is our top priority. Explore Up Close reserves the right and discretion to refuse service during a trip to anyone whose health or behavior could impede the safety, comfort, or enjoyment of their fellow travelers. An individual may be asked to leave a trip if the leader determines that the person’s continued participation may be detrimental to the individual or the group’s travel experience.

All Travelers must be 18 years of age or older to travel with Explore Up Close, unless they are accompanied by an adult.

Liability

By registering for a trip, participants assume the standard risks of travel, including highway and traffic dangers; navigating uneven surfaces, steps and stairs; the necessities of maneuvering into and out of vans, mini-vans, and buses; weather-related hazards; risks inherent in an urban or natural setting; and risks unique to private property visits. Each participant assumes full liability for the standard risks of travel when he or she registers for a trip.

Passports and Visas

When traveling internationally, a valid passport is required. Make sure that your passport will be valid for at least six months after your scheduled return date to the U.S.  If necessary, it is your responsibility to renew your passport or to obtain any applicable visas.

Non-U.S. citizens should contact the embassy or consulate of their destination countries to ensure they meet specific entry requirements. Visit the U.S. Department of State for further information. If a traveler is unable to obtain travel documents or is prohibited from entering the destination country, our standard cancellation policy will apply.

Trip Activity Levels

The activity level of each trip varies depending on the trip’s itinerary. Many of our trips to Europe, within cities, or in U.S. National Parks often involve a moderate amount of walking, standing, and moving around— sometimes, in high temperatures, on uneven roads and terrains, or in busy cities. While we work to accommodate all travelers, sometimes other modes of transportation are not available. Depending on the trip, travelers should be willing and able to walk up to 1 mile or more each day, up and down stairs and hills, and be able to stand for short to extended periods of time. Due to the historic nature of some of the properties and hotels that we visit, elevators may not always be available. We are always available and happy to assist with your luggage, and to accommodate you to the degree possible.

If you have any concerns or questions about the activity or accessibility levels of a certain trip, please reach out to us before booking—we want to ensure that everyone on our trips is safe and will be able to travel at a comfortable level. By registering for a trip, you understand and accept that a certain level of physical fitness is required to participate.

Pricing 

Prices on Explore Up Close’s website are displayed in USD per person, are based on double occupancy, and include taxes. Guests who wish to have their own room will be charged a Single Supplement. This supplement varies depending on the tour and can be found on each individual trip page on our website and Travel Catalog.

Pricing includes in-country ground transportation, lodging, all tour activities and entrances as listed in the itinerary, and a specified number of group meals for each trip.

To allow our travelers greater flexibility and in an effort to provide more transparent trip costs, our Small Group Trip pricing does not include airfare or other related travel expenses, optional activities and excursions, personal expenditures, additional meals, alcohol, or trip insurance. We are not able to adjust prices for arriving late or departing early from a tour.

Deposits

For Small Group Trips, Explore Up Close requires a $500 per person deposit for domestic trips, and a $1,000 per person deposit for international trips.  The remaining balance is due no later than 30 days before departure for domestic trips, and 90 days before departure for international trips. Your deposit is refundable up to 30 days before departure for domestic trips, and 90 days for international trips, minus a $100 service fee and any non-refundable vendor monies paid by Explore Up Close.

For Private Trips, Explore Up Close requires a non-refundable $1,000 per person deposit. The remaining balance is due no later than 90 days before the departure date. If your booking is made within 90 days or less before trip departure, the entire trip cost must be paid at the time of confirmation.

Final Payment

Once a deposit has been received, and your reservation has been confirmed and accepted by Explore Up Close, we will send a final invoice. The remaining balance of the trip is due 30 days prior to the departure date for domestic trips, and 90 days prior to departure for international trips. For reservations made within the trip’s payment deadline, final payment is due at time of booking.

If final payment is not received by 30 days prior to departure, your reservation is subject to cancellation and applicable cancellation fees.

Payment Methods

Payment must be in USD, and can be made by debit or credit card, personal check, or wire.

Traveler Cancellations for Small Group Trips

Our cancellation policies take into consideration the costs that Explore Up Close incurs before travelers ever depart. Explore Up Close adheres to the following cancellation policies. Trip price is defined as everything purchased from Explore Up Close as part of your tour, including Single Supplements.

For small group trips, a $100 service fee is applied for any trip cancellations.  After your trip registration and deposit is received, your trip is refundable, minus any nonrefundable monies paid, up to 90 days before an international trip, and 30 days before a domestic trip.

For all Explore Up Close trips, 100% of payment is due if cancellation is received within 30 days of a domestic trip’s departure date, and within 90 days of an international trip’s departure date.

We strongly encourage travelers to purchase trip insurance in the event you have to cancel or leave a trip for any reason.

Private Trip Cancellations

If you decide to cancel your private trip, the following fees apply when we receive notice of your cancellation:

• 91+ days prior to departure: $1,000 (non-refundable deposit)

• 0 to 90 days prior to departure: 100% of the trip cost is non-refundable

Explore Up Close Itinerary Changes + Cancellations

Explore Up Close reserves the right to cancel, modify, or delay a tour at any time. This includes the details of itineraries as they appear on www.exploreupclose.com, as well as changes made in the event of typographical or printing errors. Every effort is made to keep changes to a minimum.

If Explore Up Close must cancel a tour for any reason, including for insufficient enrollment, travelers will receive a full refund of payments made to Explore Up Close.

Once a trip begins, no refunds will be provided, including, but not limited to, if you must leave a trip for any reason, miss a trip’s departure or an activity, or must to be removed from a trip. There are no exceptions to this cancellation and refund policy, including for reasons related to weather, civil strife, personal, family or medical emergencies or any other circumstances beyond our control.  For this reason, we highly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance.

Health and Safety

Explore Up Close strongly recommends that you check with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or similar entity in your country, for up-to-date, destination-specific information related to food and water safety, infectious diseases, and other concerns. At your own cost and expense, you are responsible for obtaining any vaccinations, inoculations, or prescribed medications as directed by your doctor and/or travel clinic for the areas visited, and provide written documentation thereof upon request and as needed for travel documentation.

In the event any medical care is administered to you during the trip, Explore Up Close assumes no responsibility for any such medical care provided to you. You are solely responsible for any and all costs of medical care and related transportation, if any, that are provided to you during the trip. Explore Up Close recognizes that some guests may have severe food allergies. We make every effort to ensure that our suppliers are notified and prepared, but cannot guarantee that all requests will be accommodated.

Photography and Video

By registering for a tour, you grant Explore Up Close permission to take photographs or film recordings of trips for promotional and commercial use, without remuneration now or in the future. The guest agrees to assign all right, title, and interest they may have in or to any media in which their name or likeness might be used to Explore Up Close. Guests agree that Explore Up Close may use any testimonials regarding services rendered for promotional and/or commercial purposes without any remuneration now or in the future. If you do not wish to appear in Explore Up Close photography or videography, please inform us in writing prior to our trip departure.