FAQs about Backroads Reservations
Before reserving your Backroads trip, please review these important answers to frequently asked questions about deposits and payments, our cancellation/transfer policy, travel insurance, passports and guest responsibilities.
Sign up with no risk! Your deposit is fully refundable up to 15 days after you book when you sign up 15 days or more before final payment due date (does not apply to Private or Custom Trips). To sign up, call 800-GO-ACTIVE (800-462-2848) or 510-527-1555 from 6 am to 6 pm Pacific time. You can also reserve your trip with our secure online reservation form, as explained below. The deposit per person is $600 except Custom Trips, which varies (please see the Deposit & Payment Terms below). Deposits may be made by check, money order or a major credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Diner's Club, American Express). The balance of your trip cost is due according to the terms outlined in the Deposit & Payment Terms below. Balances may be paid by check or money order in US dollars or by credit card. We automatically bill your credit card when the balance is due unless otherwise instructed. If final payment is not received when due, Backroads reserves the right to cancel your reservation.
No, after making your initial deposit we offer guests one opportunity to make one cancellation within 15 days of booking on that trip. While we understand there can be quite a bit of coordination with your pre/post trip planning, we are unable to allow repeated cancellations within the 15-day period after booking.
You can access our secure online reservation form by clicking on the "Reserve This Trip" button available on every trip page.
After you book your trip, you will receive a Travel Planner, which includes a descriptive itinerary and detailed information about arrival and departure, pre- and post-trip hotels, public transportation, clothing and gear, passports and visa requirements and the travel protection plan.
We offer a 72-hour courtesy hold for all trips, during which time your price is locked in and your spot is not available to anyone else. For this reason, we cannot hold any reservation indefinitely because it could potentially result in others missing out on a spot that is not eventually booked. If you need more time to check on all the details for your reservation, please let your Trip Consultant know.
Your trip will run even for one or two people (or a family of three or four) for just $500 more per guest.† And if just one more guest signs up, we will refund you the $500.
If you'd prefer the company of more guests, you can choose to transfer to any trip and we're happy to extend a $300 credit per guest.
We'll contact you well in advance and give you the option.
Your choice—your advantage!
† Applies to scheduled trips. Does not apply to River & Ocean Cruises, Peru Trekking and possibly other Special Departures. The following trips need 5 guests to run: Camping, Two-Night, Asia, Latin America, Caribbean, New Zealand, Amalfi Coast Premiere, Canadian Rockies Heli-Hiking, Dalmatian Coast, Israel, Martha's Vineyard & Nantucket, Yellowstone & Tetons Snow Adventure and trips with Internal Air. We reserve the right to cancel departures in cases of force majeure or the failure of third parties—such as hotels, river ships or campgrounds—to honor their reservations, in which case all payments received to date will be refunded, which constitutes full settlement. Backroads is not responsible for expenses that are incurred in preparation for any canceled trips, such as airline tickets, or for costs that are incurred due to travel delays, flight cancellations or illness. In the event that you choose to stay on a smaller trip, if you book outside of 125 days, your final payment and additional $500 will be due at 125 days before departure and Special Departure cancellation fees will apply.
Once you book your Backroads trip, your price is guaranteed. The best prices are available for those guests who sign up early. It's our way of rewarding early bookers who get the momentum going for a given date. If it weren't for these first bookers, we might cancel a departure due to lack of interest. If you're able to, booking first for your next trip is a sure way to guarantee the best price.
Trip Cancellation & Transfer Policy: If you must cancel your reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the terms outlined in the chart below. Transfers to another trip or to a holding account for a future trip are only allowed before final payment, after which time our cancellation policy applies. If the trip costs more than your original trip, you must pay the difference. Transfer policy does not apply to Private or Custom Trips. Exceptions to our cancellation policy cannot be made for any reason, including weather, terrorism, civil unrest or personal emergencies. There is no refund for arriving late or leaving a trip early. Private rooms and staterooms, bike rentals and internal air charges are considered part of the total trip cost and are subject to cancellation fees. Percentage charges are calculated on total trip cost.
|Cancellation Fees (Per Person)|
|Days Prior to Trip Start||Scheduled Trips||Special Departures*||Private Trips||Custom Trips|
|156+ days||$200**||$200**||$600||$600 + Custom Trip Group Deposit|
|Deposit & Payment Terms (Per Person)|
|155 days||$600||Final payment||Final payment||Final payment|
|95 days||Final payment||-||-||-|
* View our Special Departures.
** Rather than paying the cancellation fee, you may choose to keep your trip deposit ($600) in a holding account to use on a future Backroads trip with no expiration date.
Bike Cancellation Policies: If you are renting a Specialized Roubaix, Ruby or Co-Motion Tandem, a full cancellation fee will apply in the event you cancel your trip reservation inside 30 days.
Release of Liability: Guests are required to provide a signed Release of Liability, Assumption of All Risks, and Arbitration Agreement and a completed Personal Information Form prior to trip departure; you will receive these materials shortly after reserving your trip. You may also complete your forms online. We are unable to allow guests to participate in any aspect of a Backroads trip without a signed release form.
We recommend that you purchase the Backroads Travel Protection Plan which includes benefits designed to cover your travel investment, your belongings and most importantly you while traveling. When we receive your plan payment on or before your final payment due date for your Backroads trip, the plan exclusion for Pre-Existing Conditions will be waived provided you are not disabled from travel at the time you make your plan payment. Our Travel Protection Plan provides coverage for trips booked directly with Backroads and pre-paid, non-refundable airfare to and from a Backroads trip as long as the air travel dates are within 14 total days of Your Backroads scheduled trip dates.
If you have specific questions, you can call Trip Mate at 800-888-7292 or you can view/print the Plan Documents.
If you reside in the State of New York:
We recommend that you purchase the MH Ross Travel Protection Plan designed for Backroads travelers, which includes benefits to cover your travel investment, your belongings and most importantly you while traveling. To get your quote and enroll in this important protection, click the link below. Be sure to use the total Backroads per person trip cost indicated above. When you purchase the MH Ross Travel Protection Plan on or before your final payment due date for your Backroads trip, the plan exclusion for Pre-Existing Conditions will be waived provided you are not disabled from travel at the time you make your plan payment. The MH Ross Travel Protection Plan provides coverage for trips booked directly with Backroads and pre-paid, non-refundable airfare to and from a Backroads trip as long as the air travel dates are within 14 total days of Your Backroads scheduled trip dates.
If you have specific questions, you can call MH Ross at 800-423-3632. You must provide your Plan Number - RF413B. To get a quote, purchase the plan or view the Plan Documents see here.
Transfers to another trip or to your Backroads account are always allowed before final payment without penalty. After your final payment due date we are unable to allow transfers and any cancellation will follow the Trip Cancellation Policy below. When transferring to a different date or trip, if the trip costs more than your original trip, you must pay the difference. Exceptions to the Transfer Policy include our Private and Custom Trips.
International travel requires a passport. This includes travel to Canada and Mexico. Visas are required for travel to Bali, Cambodia, China, India and Vietnam and must be arranged far in advance of departure. Backroads will arrange group visas for Bhutan guests. Your Travel Planner contains details about required documents, and the consulate number, if applicable, for your particular trip. Guests who are citizens of countries other than the U.S. should contact the closest consulate for the country to which they're planning to travel to determine if a visa is required.
Detailed information about starting and ending times and locations, airport and hotel van transfer locations and transportation options are included in the Travel Planner. If you wish to make airline reservations before receiving your Travel Planner, please contact your Trip Consultant for times and locations of your trip start and end.
Each trip begins and ends in or near a town accessible by plane, train, bus or Backroads shuttle as noted in individual trip descriptions. If you wish to drive to the trip start, please see the Travel Planner or ask a Trip Consultant about parking options.
For help arranging air transportation, pre- and post-trip hotels, rental cars or rail tickets in conjunction with your Backroads trip, contact the Backroads Travel Desk Monday - Friday from 9 am to 5 pm PT at 800-462-2848 or call your travel agent. Backroads does not recommend the purchase of nonrefundable advance-purchase airline tickets. If you wish to make airline reservations before receiving your Travel Planner, please contact your Trip Consultant for times and locations of your trip start and end.
No; please note that Backroads does not block rooms and does not offer special rates for pre- and post-trip stays. If you plan on extending your stay at our first night's hotel before the trip starts or our last night's hotel when the trip ends, let the hotel reservations agent know that you're traveling with Backroads—you may be able to avoid changing rooms. We recommend booking your rooms as early as possible, especially during peak travel season.
Yes. In most cases, private rooms are available for a private room charge.
Our prices are based on double occupancy (two people per room). Backroads will endeavor to find a roommate (of the same gender) for guests wishing to share a room. If you sign up more than 95 days in advance of your trip and no roommate is available, 50 percent of the private room charge will be due at final payment. Should a roommate be found before your trip departs, the private room charge will be refunded. If you sign up less than 95 days in advance of departure and no roommate is available, the full private room charge will apply. Should a roommate be found within 95 days, the private room charge will be refunded. On some trips, twin rooms are limited or unavailable; a private room charge applies if a shared twin room is not available, regardless of the number of days before departure. Please be sure to speak with your Trip Consultant to confirm your room arrangements. Note that in Europe, single rooms are often smaller than double rooms.
Our prices are based on the assumption that all rooms will be occupied by two guests. This can mean two guests traveling together or two solo travelers paired as roommates. When occupancy is not double, a room becomes "private," which results in a private room charge to account for the difference in price.
Since our pricing is based on double occupancy (two people per room), solo travelers will incur an additional charge when occupying a room alone.
Children under 16 must share a room with an adult family member or adult family friend. When such a roommate is not available, children 15 and 16 years may have a single room and the single supplement will apply.
Youth Rates on Designated Family and Family Breakaway Trips: On Inn Trips, when a child shares a room with one adult or two children share a room, youths (4 to 17 years old) receive a 10% savings. When a youth is the third or fourth person in a room, they receive 20% savings. When one youth is in a separate room, a 10% savings is applied to the trip price but the full private room charge applies.
On Family and Family Breakaway Camping Trips, youths 11 to 17 years old receive a 10% savings and youths 4 to 10 years old receive a 20% savings. Backroads normally provides one tent per two guests.
Youth Rates on Classic Trips: 10% off for children 17 and younger on Camping Trips and on Inn Trips when sharing a room with two adults. All minors (under 18 years) must be accompanied by at least one adult. When one youth is in a single room, the full private room charge will apply.
Guests are responsible for: choosing a trip that suits their abilities, fitness level and state of health (for assistance, refer to Activity Level Options); providing the Backroads office with a signed "Release of Liability, Assumption of All Risks and Arbitration Agreement" and Personal Information form prior to trip departure (guests will not be permitted to join a trip without this information on file); arriving at the trip start with the clothing and gear recommended in the Travel Planner; respecting the laws and customs of countries visited; following environmental guidelines and regulations while on the trip in accordance with leader direction; and respecting the rights and privacy of other trip members. An individual may be asked to leave a trip if the leader feels that the person's continuing participation may prove detrimental to the individual or to the well-being and enjoyment of other guests.
Backroads is not liable for bodily injury or property damage as a result of (but not limited to): physical exertion for which a guest is not prepared; forces of nature; travel by plane, train, auto, boat or other conveyance, or by bicycle, ski, horseback, foot or other form of active or adventure travel; consumption of alcoholic beverages; civil unrest; terrorism; breakdown of equipment; high altitude; lack of or limited access to medical attention in remote locations; and the adequacy of medical attention once provided. Backroads is also not liable for: expenses (e.g., meals, transportation or hotel costs) not specified as included in the trip cost but which may be required to get to or from a trip start or end. Backroads reserves the right to make route and hotel modifications as necessary to improve the trip's quality or to accommodate the comfort and well-being of guests. Guests grant Backroads express permission to take photographs or make film records of its trips for promotional and commercial use, as well as approving such use by third parties with whom Backroads may engage in joint marketing, without financial remuneration.
Backroads is open 7 days a week from 6 am to 6 pm, Pacific time with the following exceptions when we are closed: New Years Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Trips to Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, New Mexico, New York and Utah are subject to state tax; River Cruise Trips are subject to port fees. These additional charges are not included in the trip price.
If paying by credit card, your card will be charged in USD at the exchange rate applicable on the day your bank processes the charge.