Your burning questions, answered

It’s only natural to have some burning questions before you book your trip. We’ve answered the most commonly asked ones below. This way, you can understand more about who we are, what we do and what we stand for.

I'm not sure where to go, can you help me narrow down options?

We certainly can. In fact, that’s exactly what our Global Travel Advisors are here for. They know a lot about a lot of places – and they’ll help you narrow things down according to the type of trip you’d like to take, the time of year you’d like to go, how you want to feel, you as a traveller – before pairing you with the right Travel Expert. Et voilà.

Can the experiences featured on your website be adapted or are they fixed as they are?

Just as every traveller is different, every trip we plan is different. Your travel experience will be built from the ground up by your Travel Expert. Those on our website are simply a springboard for ideas – there to provide inspiration and to give you a taste of what we can do.

As soon as you’ve had your initial conversation, your Travel Expert will begin curating a tailor-made trip based entirely around your wants, needs and dreams. It’s all about you, when you come with us.

How does the pricing on your website work?

The pricing you see on our website is based on two or more people sharing the cost of all elements of that trip – including hotels, drivers, guides, and experiences. This is just to give you a rough indication of price, and once you get in touch, we’ll quote you a more accurate costing based on your travel dates, group size, and ideal preferences. After all, everything on our website is indicative, and you can change every aspect of an example trip – or nothing, if you like what you see.

When it comes to travelling on your own, the cost for a solo trip is typically more than the amount that you see online, as you are unable to split the cost with one or more others travelling with you. Whilst there are of course some experiences and tours that are charged per person, for which you’d only be charged for yourself, some of the largest costs of an itinerary (like hotel room rates) are charged in full.

Can any type of traveller book with Black Tomato? We're a family, can you help?

Our trips are for every kind of traveller. Whether you’re planning a getaway for two, perhaps your honeymoon, a solo adventure or your annual family trip. We’ll always have you covered.

When it comes to planning travel for families specifically, our Travel Experts – many of whom are parents themselves – are as well-versed as it gets. Every family is different, and we know it can be a lot of work pleasing everyone. But rest assured, from the youngest of newborns to parents and grandparents – we’ll show you and your family the world in a way that works for you, and for you alone. We’ll even factor in your little one’s nap times and make sure their must-have snacks are waiting in your hotel room. Just ask.

Explore our family trips here or explore our Family Rider here.

Will I be joining a group?

Your Black Tomato trip is just that – yours. We’re all about delivering a truly bespoke service, where every moment of your itinerary is personalised to what you want to experience. As such, all our experiences are privately guided – you’ll never join an en masse, scheduled group trip when you come with us.

Do you offer group trips for solo travellers?

Since everything we do is tailored to the individual, we do not offer group, scheduled departures for solo (or any) travellers to join. Accommodating for a range of individuals with different requirements within the confines of a single trip, would mean compromising on our ability to deliver a truly personalised experience – which is at the heart of everything we do.

Does Black Tomato offer private rental homes or do you work with hotels only?

We do work with a small portfolio of villas and unique homes in specific destinations. That said, we’re not villa specialists and have a wider variety of preferred hotels – many of which will offer their own rooms or hotel villas set up as stand-alone abodes. If you’re flexible with your accommodation style, we’d be happy to look into these, as well as any suitable private rental homes we trust, as part of a wider itinerary including experiences and privately guided excursions; this is where we are most able to add value.

Can you plan short breaks as well as longer trips?

We arrange trips of any length or intensity, but we generally find trips of at least 4 to 5 nights allow us to deliver the value and creativity we pride ourselves on. This is just a guidance, though, and we will help as much as we can with any enquiry – so please feel free to drop us a line with what you’ve got in mind, and we can have a conversation.

Do you book my flights?

We’re always happy to handle booking your flights for you. Should you wish to book your own flights, that’s totally fine too. Your Travel Expert will be on hand to advise on the best flights to align with your trip. If you’d like to use airmiles, however, you will need to book these flights independently.

And fear not – if your itinerary involves moving between countries (like a Vietnam and Cambodia pairing) or requires any domestic flights or short flight hops (like a seaplane to a secluded island in The Maldives or a light aircraft over rolling plains to your safari camp) we’ll always cover these for you and discuss them as part of the planning process. We can also book private jets if you require them.

How do I enquire and what happens after?

If you’re ready to start planning your next trip, you can call us, email us, or submit an enquiry online. The cogs start turning as soon as you get in touch. Once you’ve decided on your destination and been paired with the right Travel Expert, we’ll begin working on an initial trip proposal that will be refined until it’s perfect.

Once you’re completely happy, we’ll take a deposit so we can confirm everything with our partners and set your plans in motion. You’ll then receive access to our personalised app which contains all the information about your booking, as well as important and helpful documentation. As you get closer to the departure date, the full balance of your trip will become payable, and upon receipt we’ll send through your final travel documents. To ensure the trip runs smoothly, we will set up a pre-departure call to answer any last-minute questions.

What is a travel expert? How do they know the inside track?

Our Travel Experts know their destinations inside and out. Like the backs of their hands. Many have lived in the places they specialise in. Some were even born there. Put it this way – when we’re planning trips of our own, our Travel Experts are the first people we talk to. They’re passionate, in-the-know and up to date. What’s more, we make sure all our Travel Experts regularly conduct research trips to their specialist countries, speak with the locals, and explore the bounds of possibility. If something’s hot, they’ll be the first to know.

Click here to meet our friendly and inspiring Black Tomato team – all of whom operate across the US or the UK.

What is the added value of having Black Tomato handle my trip?

If you feel your precious time off should work as hard as you do, and be truly remarkable, you need a right-hand person with insight and expertise. That’s where we come in.

We’ll take the time you haven’t got – using our knowledge from around the world and working closely with our brilliant partners on the ground – to design and deliver a remarkable travel experience that ticks your every box and speaks to exactly how you want to feel – whether that’s to escape, indulge, challenge, learn, or absolutely anything else.

Every step of your experience will have been quality assured, tried, tested, validated by our team – taking away the risk of the unknown, going it alone or navigating that infinite range of (often) dubious review websites. And we’re always on hand in the background in case of questions or emergencies. From ideation, planning, booking, and logistics to client care – it might be why Condé Nast Traveler said, ‘now is the time to rely on Black Tomato’. Totally hassle-free travel, put together by our team of experts.

Do you charge a fee for your services?

We don’t charge any fees. This has been the case since the very beginning of Black Tomato.

Firstly, this is because we’ve always believed that inspiration itself is priceless. We want to show you how we think and what we can do first – without any obligation. We’re confident you’ll love your itinerary. And that, for us, is enough.

Secondly, owing to our long-standing relationships with the hotels we work with and our partners on the ground, we have negotiated specially contracted rates. These rates are lower than the published rates that you could find directly, which allows us to add a small margin to the overall price. This is how we are able to make our money whilst, crucially, remaining competitive. So, you get all the expertise and knowledge of our team for a price comparable to if you booked it yourself.

How is Black Tomato different to other tour operators or travel agencies?

Good question. So good, we’ve answered it in more detail already. Here are five reasons to book with us.

I'm trying to be an eco-friendly traveller. What is Black Tomato doing for regenerative travel?

We believe travel is a genuine force for good, and we’re always looking for ways to give back to the communities that host our travellers. Our carefully selected partners around the globe similarly support sustainable travel and actively work to improve the communities in which they operate.

We also support UN Gold Standard certified carbon offset projects every year, working with our carbon auditors to calculate our corporate emissions, and select an offset project to support. In the past we’ve offset our carbon emissions through purchasing fuel-efficient cookstoves in Kenya, funding a wind project in India, and supporting water purification in Cambodia.

Please do speak to us about your itinerary so that we can share details of what positive impacts your trip will have – and visit our regenerative travel page to find out more about what we’re doing.

Why the name?

We get asked this one a lot. And it all goes back to when our co-founders, Tom, James and Matt, were traveling in Eastern Europe. One evening, somewhere in the backstreets, they encountered the black tomato on a restaurant menu. When they asked about it, they were told they should never pass up the chance to enjoy this ‘rare and remarkable’ ingredient. From that point, they set out to become the black tomato of travel – offering rare and remarkable experiences to curious travellers.

What does Black Tomato stand for? What are your values?

Whatever we do, and wherever in the world we’re going, there are three things that keep us grounded and keep us going: be curious, be thoughtful, be humble.

In this film, our co-founders say it best – sharing more about these values and how we put them into action.


Machu Pichu, Peru


Trusting someone to take care of your travel plans isn’t a light decision. This is why you can feel rest assured with us.

The Travel Tapes, Black Tomato


We sat the team down in front of our film crew to talk about what makes us tick and what inspires our trips.

Palm tree, Caribbean


From the name to the journey that got us here today. This is our story and the individuals that make up who we are today.