American Photo Tours

General Information and Policies

Reservations: Made on a first-come, first-served basis. A deposit is required on our tours and can be paid by certified or cashier’s check, or through PayPal. You do not need to have a PayPal account; you can pay through our PayPal account at this site. Just go to our Book A Tour page. The balance is due 90 days prior to the date of departure for your specific tour. We have the right to cancel your reservation if we have not received your unpaid balance by the 90 day deadline. If your reservation is cancelled due to an unpaid balance, you will not receive a refund of your deposit.

Refer-A-Friend: For past participants only: refer someone who has never been on one of our tours before and-if you both sign up for a tour together you each receive $150 off the tour price;

A refund check will be issued at the beginning of the trip. Only one discount per trip for returning tour participants is offered even if more than one friend is referred for the trip.

Customized Tours: It is possible for us to customize a trip just for you and/or your party, provided our tour leader, Greg Smith, is available on your chosen dates. A small fee of $75-100 will be required for preparation of an itinerary and quote to cover our time and costs, which will be deducted from your final payment if the trip is accepted. Same rules concerning deposits and other matters apply to custom tours.

Cancellation: Any cancellation must be done in writing (letter in the mail or email), and the cancellation is effective on the date the letter is received.
Tours: A cancellation fee of $250 per person will be charged if cancellation is received at least 91 days prior to the start of the tour.

  • From 90 days to 61 days prior to a tour start date, a cancellation fee of 25% of the tour price will be retained.
  • From 60 days to 31 days prior to a tour start date, a cancellation fee of 50% of the tour price will be retained.
  • From 30 days or less prior to a tour start date, a cancellation fee of 100% of the tour price will be retained.

All PayPal fees are the responsibility of the tour participant and will not be refunded at any time once they have been paid. This is simply their policy.

Cancelled Tours: In the event any tour has to be cancelled due to insufficient participation or other reason outside our control, all fees paid will be refunded. American Photo Tours has a minimum tour size of 3-4 participants for the tour to run. However, we decline any responsibility for any expenses incurred by the traveler in conjunction with the tour such as airfare or other non-refundable arrangements, and we strongly recommend that our tour participants purchase travel insurance to cover themselves when booking a tour (see Insurance paragraph).

Age Requirement: We encourage families and people with small children to travel with us. All we require is that participants below the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Accommodations: Based on double occupancy, with private bath. Accommodations are typically in 2-3 star motels on the tours.All prices quoted in the itineraries are for double occupancy, and single supplements are specified for each tour (see tour itinerary for single supplement cost).

Included in Tour Cost: General entrance fees to all parks, botanical gardens and specified activities such as the boat tours in Grand Teton Park and on Lake Powell; all meals not listed as a-la-carte in the itineraries. Private or public coach/shuttle costs where required on the tours are also covered. A personalized tour book.

Not Included in Tour Cost: Airfare to and from home city; passport and visa fees; meal beverages other than tea, coffee or water; items of a personal nature; room service or other services beyond the basic night’s stay at motels; food outside of included meals and provided snacks; laundry service; telephone or other charged communication services; luggage and travel insurance; optional excursion fees; any costs related to cameras or recording devices; tips or gratuities to guides or tour leaders. Also expenses incurred due to inclement weather, or other acts of God, altered river, road or trail conditions, sickness, flight delays, or unforeseen security issues are not included.

Meals: Included as indicated in itinerary. In some locations cash will be provided to each tour participant to purchase a meal, especially when the restaurant facilities are in remote locations or there is a choice available in a given location. At other planned locations the meals will be paid for at the time they are taken, by the tour guide, or prepaid by the tour company strictly at our option. This is to maximize the comfort and convenience of the tour participants.

Bottles of water and very limited snacks will be available in the tour vehicle.

Transportation: From the time we leave from our designated motel at the beginning of a tour, until we return, all transportation is provided or arranged for all participants. Exceptions would only be for non-tour excursions on helicopters, planes or other side trips not specified in the itinerary. We do use private coaches in Victoria Canada and park shuttles where mandated in national parks. The primary tours are conducted in rental coaches occupied by only our tour participants.

Tour Leader: All tours are led by photographer and guide, Greg Smith from beginning to end.

Hiking: Our walks and hikes are on an easy to moderate level of activity. No special skill is required, but all tour participants should be in good physical condition and able to walk/hike 1-3 miles at a reasonable, non-competitive pace. We make casual photography and rest stops along trails and paths wherever we go. Also be aware that most of the tours are set in drier climates than you may be used to, and the drinking of water is key to remaining alert and feeling well. Please note that many of the park sites are located at or above 7,000 to 8,000 feet and often require some acclimation. Drink water regularly from the time you arrive at the start of your tour, and use whatever you require from the cooler in the tour van as well.

Traveler Responsibility: Trip members are responsible for choosing tours that are consistent with their ability, fitness, and overall health. All travelers are required to complete and return their trip enrollment form and consent to these Terms and Conditions prior to the commencement of their travel with American Photo Tours. Travelers are also responsible for reading and understanding all pre-departure materials, bringing appropriate clothing and gear as suggested by American Photo Tours, and acting in a manner that is considerate of other people with whom they come in contact.

Luggage: There is limited space in our vans, and since we will be on the move much of the time traveling from park to park, it is requested that you limit your luggage to one checked bag, a carry on, a small hiking day pack for your camera and personal items, and a small tripod if you choose. Digital photographers who opt to bring a laptop do so at their own risk. All personal luggage is the owner’s responsibility and we assume no responsibility for any wear and tear, damage, breakage or loss.

Smoking/Illegal Drugs/Alcohol: Smoking is not permitted in non-smoking rooms, at meals, reunions or in our vehicles. Because of the dryness and high risk of forest fires in parks and along rural routes, it is necessary that you refrain from smoking on hikes and when the van stops at pullouts. Smoking is permitted at rest stops where local ordinances permit and if other tour participants are not bothered. Illegal drugs are not permitted at any time. Alcohol is not permitted during our excursions, sightseeing or on hikes. You may order alcoholic beverages at meals and pay for them.

Travel Insurance: We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance for any tour listed on our site, covering medical and cancellation expenses. This is for your peace of mind as well as ours! Insurance companies such as Travelex, Travel Insured, Travel Guard or Mondial-Assistance are known to be reliable, but we do not specifically recommend any company.

Documentation: Upon receipt of your deposit, we will email you an acknowledgement, a responsibility disclaimer to be signed, and a questionnaire to be filled out and returned to us. A detailed itinerary, tour check list and clothing suggestions will be provided 30 days prior to departure.

Limitations of Liability: American Photo Tours, its owners, agents, employees, and affiliated companies hereby give notice that they only act as agents for motels, transportation companies, land operators, and suppliers of travel services, and assume no responsibility or liability whatsoever in connection with the operation, safety, condition or service of any motor vehicle, boat or other conveyance, inn, lodge, or hotel which may be used wholly or in part, for services to American Photo Tours participants. American Photo Tours, its operators and agents will not be responsible for any act, error or omission, nor for any injury, loss, accident, delay, inconvenience, irregularity, or damage that may be occasioned by any cause whatsoever, including acts of nature, civil disturbance, government restrictions, or failure of any means of conveyance to adhere to public schedule.

American Photo Tours reserves the right, either prior to or after departure, in its good faith and discretion and in circumstances that warrant it, to change or reprice any tour, trip or expedition. This includes, but is not limited to, the right of American Photo Tours in such circumstances to alter or omit any part of the itinerary, to substitute hotel or trip leaders, or to change any means of conveyance without notice and without allowance of refund, with the liability for increased costs – if any – to be borne by the traveler.

If American Photo Tours decides to cancel any travel due to acts of insurrection, strikes, acts of God, or any other cause beyond the control of American Photo Tours, refunds will be based on the difference between the original trip price and the cost of services already provided. American Photo Tours reserves the right to accept or reject any person as a trip member at any time.

Trip members grant American Photo Tours express permission to take photographic records of its trips for promotional and commercial use.

Payment: You may pay with a credit card through PayPal, or via certified check, cashier’s check or money order (US dollars only). If you use your own PayPal account you may have to give our business e-mail address which is Checks should be made payable to Grand Canyon Publishing.

Any other payment option should be discussed with American Photo Tours in advance.

To register for a tour and make a payment, go to Book A Tour.

If you wish to pay by check, please send remittance by mail to our address:

American Photo Tours
P.O. Box 8581
Mesa, AZ 85214

Or Contact Us with questions

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