Your burning questions, answered

It’s only natural to have some burning questions before you book your once in a lifetime Black Tomato 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.

Pre-travel
Payment
Service
Post-travel

PRE-TRAVEL

How does the Black Tomato website work?

Our website allows you to search for your dream vacation via destination and experience, as well as look for inspiration for that ever-changing bucket list. Our featured itineraries are there to build a picture of where to stay and the possible experiences to do within your chosen destination, but at the end of the day, your trip will be entirely tailormade by our knowledgable Travel Experts to suit your every wish.

Whether you have a destination in mind or don’t quite know where to begin, our trip finder tool lets you filter down to specifics, from duration and price to time of year and occasion, providing you with an array of exciting experiences to choose from. Once you’ve found an itinerary you love the look of, or just fancy a chat with one of the team to find out more about how we work, you can make an online inquiry using this easy form, or get in touch via phone call or email.

How long does it take to plan a trip?

We’ll first set up an initial call to get to know you and your family, friends or partner. We’ll ask about your interests and how you like to travel, as well as discussing ideas in your chosen destination. From here we’ll curate a tailor-made itinerary and send it over within a few days. You can then fine-tune your trip as much as you like and speak to the other people in your party before confirming once it’s all perfect.

What happens after I book?

After you’re happy with your final itinerary and booked your trip, we will confirm everything with our local suppliers and start the countdown. We will give you access to your personalized app which contains additional information about your destination and a countdown to your trip. As you get closer to the departure date and have made your final payment, we’ll introduce you to our Restaurant Planner who can help with restaurant recommendations and make any, or all, of your reservations for you. We’ll then send through your final travel documents before setting up a pre-departure call to answer any last-minute questions.

 

Can I book extra services once I’ve booked and paid?

Yes absolutely. We’re super flexible and understand that new ideas might come to mind as the weeks go on, so depending on availability, we are always happy to add in new experiences for you.

Do you book my flights?

Yes, we can absolutely book your flights and save you the stress – just let us know what you’d prefer to do.

Can the itineraries featured on your website be adapted or are they set in stone?

The itineraries on our website are mainly for inspirational purposes. They are there to give you an idea of the hotels and experiences we can offer so you can start to get a flavor of our offerings, and an idea for the things that you might like to include in your trip. All of our itineraries are completely tailor-made from scratch as soon as we’ve had the initial phone conversation to chat through everything, from your likes and dislikes to your travel styles and ideal spend.

Can you plan short breaks or do you only specialise in big trips?

We understand not everyone has ten days or two weeks to take off at a time, so whether you’re after a short but experience-filled vacation or a long relaxing break – and anything in between – you’ve come to the right place. Take a minute to read 11 reasons to book your trip with us

 

Do I need a visa?

Please be aware that entry visa requirements are considered your own responsibility and without the correct visa, e-visa or entry permits you may be refused entry to any given destination. It is essential that you check whether a visa is needed in order for you to travel – please do check with your Travel Expert if you are in any way unsure. Please also note that most countries require that your passport has at least six months remaining until expiry after your date of return home. It is also suggested that you have at least two consecutive blank pages available in your passport for entry stamps and visas granted on arrival.

For any additional advice or information we recommend the following links – UK Foreign Office and US State Department prior to departure.

Do I need travel insurance?

We highly recommend everyone who books with us takes out travel insurance to cover you before, during and after your trip. Please note it is your responsibility to organize travel insurance for your trip and Black Tomato will not be responsible for any costs incurred by you or members of your party as a consequence of insufficient travel insurance being purchased. The sale of travel insurance is considered a sale of financial services and as such is regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the United Kingdom, where we are a registered business.

In light of this we cannot give any recommendations about which insurance providers to choose, but if you have any general questions please do not hesitate to ask your Travel Expert as we’ll be happy to help you as much as we possibly can.

Do I need to get vaccines for my trip?

Please be aware it’s your responsibility to ensure you’re covered for all possible vaccinations or medications needed for your trip. We pride ourselves on being able to do many things but sadly we are not qualified physicians, so please speak with your doctor to ensure you are up to date on your recommended vaccinations. Often vaccinations need to be given well over a month prior to departure to have reached full efficacy.

For any further information we recommend you either refer directly to your doctor and physician or look at the following websites: National Travel Health Network and Center or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

PAYMENT

When will I need to make full payment for my trip?

The balance payment is due 12 weeks in advance of the intended departure date. If the booking is made less than 12 weeks before departure, the full price of the trip will be payable on booking. Prices quoted are GBP sterling prices based on daily currency exchange rates current at the time of quotation. Payments must be made in the currency of the invoice and can be paid by bank transfer, debit or credit card. View full booking conditions here.

How does payment work with Black Tomato based in the UK?

You can pay by credit card or bank transfer to our UK account. We don’t charge any fees to pay by credit card, however your bank may charge individual fees to pay to a UK account, so make sure you check with them how best to transfer the money.

Is it cheaper booking through a travel agent than doing it myself?

Of course you can book a trip to Italy, Chile or New Zealand yourself and it may work out cheaper, but by entrusting experts like us who have been and stayed in the places you wish to visit will ensure you have the most unforgettable trip and saves the hours you’d typically spend on researching. Working with our network of on-the-ground contacts, we create bespoke experiences you simply can’t stumble upon, from night-time access in museums to drivers who know the untouched paths like the back of their hand. 

Can you give price breakdowns so I know where my money is going?

Unfortunately, we are not able to give price breakdowns as we receive contracted rates from our suppliers and these are therefore confidential. However, we will always endeavour to give you the clarity you need so you feel comfortable confirming your trip with us. 

Is there a fee for your service?

There are no hidden fees at Black Tomato, you only pay for your actual vacation – and you only pay when you’re completely satisfied with your itinerary.

SERVICE

What are the benefits of having local partners on the ground?

While we know each destination like the back of our hand, unfortunately we can’t be everywhere at one time. For that reason, we have partners in each country who we’ve spent over a decade nurturing relationships with, in order to develop a strong connection, trust and mutual ethos. Having a team in-country who are on hand to offer support and local insight in real-time is comforting for our clients, as well as for us. And rest assured, we’re always in tight communication with our partners throughout your trip to make sure everything is as seamless as it should be.

What is a Travel Expert? How do they know the inside track?

Our Travel Experts know the destination inside and out by either having lived there or traveled extensively. We make sure all of our Travel Experts are regularly conducting research trips to stay on top of the new trends, new openings of hotels, finding out about new experiences and what places to avoid. Click here to meet our friendly and inspiring Black Tomato team who operate across our London, New York and Newcastle offices.

If I have some elements of my trip already booked can you add in experiences?

Unfortunately, we can only add in certain experiences if we are also booking the majority of your trip, as this is where we can add the most value for you and make it as smooth a booking process as possible. 

 

What are the benefits of having Black Tomato handle my trip? How are you different to other tour operators?

We have no set departures or cookie-cutter itineraries, we remain a small company committed to creating something completely unique. On the hunt for stylish hotels, extraordinary experiences and tasty eateries, our team of Tomatoes are constantly traveling to corners of the world in order to bring you bespoke itineraries matched to every age, occasion and month.  If you want to combine Switzerland skiing with beach laying on the Maldives, you have come to the right company. The sky is the limit.

Who do I contact in case of an emergency?

If you are traveling and require to contact us or one of our partners in an emergency, please find their details in your travel documents or in your Black Tomato app located under emergency contacts. If the query is itinerary related our partners should be called first, whilst keeping us updated along the way if any changes are made. For anything that goes beyond these parameters, we have a 24/7 emergency line manned by our team at Black Tomato. 

I’m trying to be an eco-friendly traveller, what is Black Tomato doing for responsible travel?

We support UN Gold Standard certified carbon offset projects. Every quarter we work with our carbon auditors to calculate our corporate emissions, and we select an offset project to support. In previous quarters we have offset our carbon emissions through purchasing fuel-efficient cookstoves in Kenya, funding a wind project in India, and supporting water purification in Cambodia.

Our carefully selected partners around the globe support sustainable travel and actively work to improve the communities in which they operate – this includes supporting micro-economies in Cambodia, the protection of the endangered rhino population in Kenya, and supporting sustainable tourism in the Indian Subcontinent.  Please speak to us about your specific itinerary so that we can share details of how your visit will have a positive impact, and visit our sustainability page to find out more about what we’re doing.

POST-TRAVEL

I’ve just come back from my trip, how do I send feedback?

We love hearing about our clients’ adventures, so upon your return we’ll be in touch with an online form with questions and ratings about your recent trip. If you’d like to discuss any aspect of your trip, or just tell us all about it, our Client Experience Executive will arrange a suitable time to call you. We always appreciate it when our clients leave their thoughts on our Trust Pilot or Google review page, as it’s a great way for our clients to share experiences and recommendations with each other. 

My trip was great and I’m ready to book another. Will I keep the same Travel Expert?

If you’re ready to book another trip then simply get in touch with your Travel Expert (if you haven’t caught up already). Depending on the destination, they’ll either work with you directly or hand you over to one of their friendly colleagues. You’re in good hands either way. Specialising in countries all over the world, our knowledgeable team love nothing more than sharing their travel experiences with you, giving recommendations you wouldn’t find online and creating out-of-the-ordinary experiences. It’s what we do best.

Can I do something completely different for my next trip?

Absolutely. Just get in touch with your Travel Expert and we’ll start planning something special. From honeymoons to family travel, solo adventures to milestone memories, foodie-focussed excursions to well-routed road trips, and conservation projects to balmy beachside retreats, we love the challenge of creating something bespoke. Tell us your wishes and we’ll get planning.

I’m not ready to book another trip yet, but how do I stay in touch?

Not to worry, we know it takes time to choose your next destination andmore importantlyto get the time off work. Just let us know when you’re ready to have a chat and we’ll be waiting on the other end. In the meantime, of course, we won’t leave you in the dark. Now that you’re part of the Black Tomato family and we know your every interest, we’ll send you as much, or little, travel inspiration as you’d like and our team will be in touch with relevant content. If you want to grab a coffee to chat about ideas, we’ll arrange it. If you want a phone call, we’ll pick a convenient time for you. Or if you want fresh content, travel trends and destination ideas delivered straight to your inbox, just sign up to our emails here. 

I took some great photos on my trip. How can I share them with you?

We don’t just want to hear you had a great time, we want to see it too. Whether it’s video footage of wildebeest crossing the Mara River or a snap of your private plunge pool in Bali, we’d love for you to share your memories with us during your trip or once you’re home. Either send your pictures to your Travel Expert or if you’re on social, upload your photo with the hashtag #BTtravels and we’ll see it that way.

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