Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


How many people will be on the trip?

We keep our group size down to 4-7 people. 

HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO BOOK?

The sooner the better. We have no way of knowing when other people will book, so it’s hard to know if and when the tour will fill up. Our advice is to book as soon as you’ve made the decision to travel, that way your spot is secured.

How Do I Register for a Tour?

Click HERE to register.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO DO ONLY A PORTION OF THE TOUR?

The short answer is, no. However if you must leave early, that will be up to you but there will be no refund for the missed portion of the tour. 

IS IT POSSIBLE TO CREATE MY OWN ITINERARY FOR A TOUR?

Yes. If you send us where you wish to go, how many people will be participating in the adventure and the dates you are looking to do the trip, we can build an itinerary based on those items and let you know what the costs would be. 

ARE THERE ANY AGE LIMITS?

Minors between the ages of 13-17 will need to be accompanied by at least one parent or guardian. As for top age, if you are physically fit, then your ability will be self determined and hopefully you will be able to handle the rigors of the tour. Children under 13 are not permitted.  

WHEN IS THE FINAL PAYMENT DUE?

Final payments are due in full 90 days before the beginning of the tour. If the tour was booked within 90 days of the departure date then full payment is required at the time of booking. 

What luggage should I bring?

Bring one camera bag, preferably a backpack and one bag for clothes.  Remember that you will be carrying all your own bags on and off planes, trains and other transport. Pack as light as possible. 

Can you help arrange my travel visas?

Unfortunately, there are too many different requirements for international travelers. If you find yourself in a bind, let us know and we can try to find answers for your particular situation. Not all countries require a visa to visit them just as the US doesn’t require visa from travelers from all countries. The countries that do require visas may take a while getting them to you so it is best to sort it all out as soon as you can. 

DO YOUR TOURS INCLUDE INTERNATIONAL AIRFARE?

No. 

WHAT IS REQUIRED IN MY MEDICAL AND TRAVEL INSURANCE?

If a policy is required, then your policy must cover medical costs in case of hospitalization, emergency travel and repatriation. The policy must protect you should you have to cancel the tour. A copy of the policy MUST be forwarded to us showing us the policy number and the emergency contact phone number.

Required Coverage:

  • Accident & Sickness Medical Expense Coverage (minimum $100,000 USD)
  • Emergency Evacuation & Repatriation of Remains (minimum $200,000 USD)
  • Accidental Death / Dismemberment
  • Trip Cancellation Coverage

Suggested Additional Coverage:

  • Hospital Room and Board
  • Baggage and Personal Effects Coverage
  • Trip Delay / Interruption
  • Visitor to Bedside

Neither Exotic Photo Adventures, nor its employees, agents or assigns are responsible for any expense incurred by you for trip cancellation, loss or theft of baggage or equipment, medical care or emergency evacuation or repatriation. Is it therefore up to you to evaluate your risk and to take out the appropriate insurance coverage. Should you arrive to the trip late, have to depart early or have to cancel entirely for any reason whatsoever, you will lose part or all of the sum of moneys paid. 

DO I NEED TO GET TRAVEL AND MEDICAL INSURANCE?

That depends. If the workshop is taking place within the US and you are a US resident, you will not be required to acquire any travel or additional medical insurance. However, you will still be responsible for any cancellation or medical condition that may arise. It is highly recommended that you get a policy that covers you in case you have to cancel at the last moment. If the tour takes place outside the US then, yes,  Travel and Medical insurance will be required and proof of such insurance will need to be forwarded to us prior to departure. If the trip is to Cuba and you are traveling direct from the U.S. the price of your flight includes a Cuban health insurance policy. The last thing you want is to get sick overseas and not have a way to get medical attention. Make sure that you check the terms of the policy, particularly the limits of coverage for  items such as baggage loss or replacement of photographic equipment, and the procedure for making claims Most policies require that claims be made within a certain time after completion of your journey. Some require police reports for stolen items. There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance policy. We highly recommend that you read the fine print to determine what is and what is not covered.

WHAT IS THE BAGGAGE POLICY?

Pack as little as possible!  Airlines change for additional baggage but more than that, some of the transportation we use has limited space and so beside one camera bag, your personal clothing and items should also be limited to one piece of luggage. 

DO I NEED TO BRING ANY FIRST AID OR MEDICAL SUPPLIES?

If you require regular medication, make certain you bring an appropriate supply to cover you for the entire trip plus a couple of days extra. If you suffer from asthma or allergies, be certain to bring medication that works for you. Some areas we visit have high levels or pollen or smog. As for other supplies for common ailments, you should bring items for managing blisters, headaches, colds, diarrhea, heartburn, and sore throats etc. 

WHAT SHOULD I CARRY ONTO THE PLANE?

Items that you cannot replace easily, such as your camera equipment, your medication, glasses/ contacts, identification (passport), travel documents should all go on the plane with you. 

What will I need to clear customs?

You will need to have a passport with your name and it must match your airline ticket. Your passport must be good for at least 6 months after your return date. If it is not, renew your passport as soon as possible. 

SHOULD I BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE POLITICAL STABILITY OF THE COUNTRY WE ARE GOING TO?

If a “Do Not Travel” advisory has been been put in place by the US Department of State, then we shall either cancel the tour or reroute the itinerary to avoid those areas. 

HOW DO I GET TO WHERE THE TOUR STARTS?

That depends on the location. In your welcome package that you will receive after your final payments, you will get information on where we will meet and whether there will be a local driver to pick you up at the airport or whether a short taxi  should be used instead. 

WHAT TIME CAN I CHECK IN AT MY ARRIVAL HOTEL?

Check-in times vary depending on the hotel. If you arrive prior to their official check in time, you can ask them to store your luggage while you explore. Check in time is usually between 1-4pm. 

WHAT IF I ARRIVE LATE AND MISS PART OF THE TRIP?

Let us know if you believe you will be arriving late. If you are arriving just a few hours late, we will leave information with the hotel for where you can expect to meet with us. If you miss a flight or are substantially delayed, again, let us know as soon as possible. We will do our best to get you to us but remember that we cannot reimburse you for any missed portion of the tour and it may cost more for to come to us if we have already left that particular city.

WILL REFRIGERATION BE AVAILABLE FOR MEDICINES?

When we are in a large city or town, generally refrigeration will be available but it cannot be guaranteed.  When we are in small villages, adequate refrigeration cannot be relied upon. Please be sure to advise us if you are have medication that requires refrigeration. We’ll see have we can do to help out.

How physically challenging will the trip be?

Most of our trips can be done by anybody in moderate physical condition. None of our trips are currently ADA compliant. (If you are disabled and have a desire to seek out places where a photographic adventure is possible, let us know. We can create a trip for you.) Some trips have far more hiking than others. Some portions of a trip may be more difficult and that section will be called out. We do visit remote areas so keep that in mind. In most places, you will have to carry your own bags.

How safe are my belongings on the trip?

We can offer not guarantees regarding your belongings. Some areas we travel to might include slippery rocks that could cause water damage to your camera if it falls in. Other areas might be known to have a higher percentage of pick-pockets. It is for this reason that travel insurance is required outside the US and recommended even in the US. Leave expensive jewelry and watches at home as well as designer bags or cloths. Use common sense and do not flash large amounts of money or leave your equipment unattended. 

How much spending money do I need?

Cash for your incidentals will differ according to the location you are going. Some areas have plenty of ATMs that will allow you to take out cash on demand. Other areas are remote and do not take credit of any sort. After you have confirmed your trip, you will receive an additional email that pertains to your particular adventure. Having local currency is always a good idea for souvenirs, tipping and snacks. In many areas where no ATMs are available and where credit cards are not accepted, having SMALL denominations is usually far better. Also, make sure you let your credit card company know if you are traveling overseas so they do not put a block on your account.

Do I need to tip the local guide?

Tipping the local guide is always up to you. They are getting paid but if you feel they have done a wonderful job, an extra tip is always appreciated.

Do I need to tip the local talent?

When models, talent or local people are in a photo, it is generally expected that they will receive some sort of payment. The talent that we use and call out in our itinerary is always compensated by us. Tipping them extra helps them greatly if you feel they did a good job. In very rural areas, paying a small amount to photograph a local villager is expected. Generally the amount is very small and we can let you know what the going rate is depending on the location. 

Will my credit card work?

In Europe and other major cities across the world, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express will be accepted in major shops, restaurants and hotels. Cards with chips should be used in Europe and may require a 4 digit pin. Ask your bank to change your pin if you do not have one or do not remember what it might be. We do travel to locations that will require cash only for any purchase. We will let you know if you should expect that on your journey. Make sure you notify your credit card companies that you will be traveling abroad so they do not put any blocks on your account.

Will there be ATMs?

Maybe. It depends on where you are. While ATM’s may be a good source of cash while overseas, they may not be located in the smaller, more rural areas that we go to. Expect your bank to charge you a fee of approximately 3% for dispensing local currency. You will need a 4 digit pin to get cash from either your ATM or credit card. 

Will my phone work overseas?

When traveling outside the US, it is often possible to pick up a SIM card after landing in the airport. Using a local SIM card is the best way to let your phone work in a foreign country but just in case, still let your carrier know that you will be using your phone outside of normal coverage areas so that they can unlock it. In some countries, public WiFi might be the only way to get your phone to work. You may even notice large groups of people hanging out in a park all using their phone. Most likely there is a public WiFi in that location. The other way to make call can be from an internet cafe. 

Will I get internet coverage?

Depends. If you get a local SIM card, you have a better chance of being able to get online through your phone. Some locations we travel to have no coverage at all, even in the US. 

Is this a typical group tour?

Absolutely not. This is a trip designed for photographers by photographers. It might mean unseemly early mornings to catch a sunrise shot or getting back to our lodging way after most of the restaurants have closed. The trip is designed to not just take you to great locations but to get you there at a great time for the best possible light.

Do you use local guides?

In some locations we use local guides who know the areas far better than anybody else. Some location demand that you use a local guide (Monument Valley and Bhutan come immediately to mind where you cannot enter their location without an indigenous person accompanying you.) In all instances where a local guide is used, they are highly knowledgeable about the local environment and can enrich your journey by bringing a perspective to the adventure that you would not find otherwise. 

Is there any free time?

That depends on the day and the location. Sometimes after a sunrise shot, you will get time to rest or explore on your own. In other locations, during the day, when the light isn’t the best, you may have an afternoon off to wander about. If you decide you don’t want to accompany us to all the locations, that is fine as long as you are able to meet us when we need to travel to our next location. 

Will I be able to do my laundry?

Generally at the larger hotels, laundry service is available. In very remote areas, it is not uncommon for locals to be paid to do your laundry for you. Ask. 

What will we eat?

At each of our locations, we try to plan our meals so that you can get the taste of the region. Fast food is not on the menu but we may encounter times when we get back from a sunset shot and all the restaurants have closed. Depending on location, we may pay a restaurant to have them stay open late just for us. If you are a vegetarian, that is generally not a problem though in some locals your offerings might be slightly thin. If you have any food allergies, let us know. Again, depending on the location, you may need to bring transportable food that you know you can tolerate with you. 

Will there be electricity to charge my batteries?

Yes, in most places you will be able to charge your batteries in the hotel. There are some locations (like in Tikal National Park, Guatemala) where the electricity is supplied only by generator and has strict hours when it can be used.  Bring a travel adaptor with you. You may also want to consider a small travel sized power strip if you have lots of batteries to charge. In some lodges in remote areas there may be only one working outlet. 

CAN I GET TO THE TOUR EARLY OR STAY LONGER AFTER THE TOUR ENDS?

If you wish to explore the start or end locations more on your own then you will need to make arrangements for your accommodations. Our trips contain a pretty packed agenda but we have people all the time who wish to remain longer. Let us know and we’ll see what we can do to assist you. When you register for a tour, there is an option there to let us know about arriving early or staying longer.