Neighborhood/Brooklyn tour rates: base price for up to 2.5 hours
These fees cover my services, not transportation or food. Most neighborhood tours are 2.5 hours, but can be extended. The Brooklyn 101 tour is 3 hours minimum.
Basic rates, per group, for private versions of my listed tours, which rely on walking (and sometimes public transit and/or taxi):
Please note: I do not create groups from disparate requests for a tour.
Additional time for walking tours that last more than 2.5 hours is pro-rated, up to a 5-hour total:
If a tour goes beyond 5 hours (and some do!), that additional time gets a further discount.
My rates are not inexpensive, but they are competitive: For a 3-hour tour for 4 people, my fee is $225. Some companies charge far more (say, $275 or $300 or $450), or keep their pricing opaque.
What about public tours, with a larger group and a smaller per person charge? I lead them only rarely. (See Schedule.) Yes, other tour companies offer public tours regularly, but those groups can be large.
Tour deposit / cancellation / payment
I ask for a small deposit (minimum $60) to hold a tour date. The deposit is nonrefundable unless I cancel (which I've never done) or bad weather (moderate-to-severe rain/snow).
However, deposits for custom tours or tours that require particular preparation may be nonrefundable even in case of bad weather (given my prep time), but can be used another time.
For a deposit, to pay via credit card, I invoice US-based clients via Square, and international clients via PayPal. (Checks? Let's discuss.) Note that, with Square, I do not see your credit card number, nor is it stored.
The remainder due is payable at the end of the tour either in cash or using a credit card via Square (OK for international clients). I can also simply email you an invoice for the remainder. Zelle also works.
What about tips?
I'm an owner-operator, not an employee, so tips are neither solicited nor expected. Then again, they're appreciated, and common in the tourism business. (Here's a general guide to tipping in NYC, which mentions guides who are employees rather than company owners.)
Some people, especially from countries where tipping is uncommon, don't tip. That's fine. (Please do tip servers and drivers!) Some clients treat me to a snack/lunch, write a review, and/or recommend me to their friends. (Some do that, and also tip.) I especially appreciate the referrals and repeat visitors I get.
Webinar tour pricing
I can modify/adapt my Coney Island webinars, as well as (perhaps) other Brooklyn topics. Fees based on scope and customization--please inquire.
I can modify any listed tour for your interests, and I can also develop custom tours. Just ask. But please spend time reading this web site.
For those new to Brooklyn, I recommend Brooklyn 101 or Brooklyn 202 (which combines Brooklyn 101 with other adjacent neighborhoods). Others might want to start in Williamsburg. If inspired, you're welcome to add another leg to the tour that day, assuming I'm still free.
Please see the FAQ for some unusual custom tours I've given.
Yes, gift cards for private tours are available here, please calculate the fee based on the number of people and/or contact me for more info. Tours are scheduled at mutually acceptable times.
I've led many tours (2 hours is OK) for college/university classes and groups, which often exceed 12 people. (A larger groups moves more slowly.) I sometimes can be flexible on pricing, but I can't donate a tour.
I can shape the tour content to meet your curriculum needs: in other words, more discussion of history, urban planning, or other issues.
Please contact me to discuss. I always like looking at a syllabus and trying to understand how my tour might complement it.
For vehicle tours, my fee for small groups, assuming no extensive pre-planning, is similar to the rates above, but may include a small surcharge for planning, given that I typically have devise a custom route and figure out places to turn.
The cost for large groups depends on the size of the group, the amount of time (2 hours is OK, but my minimum fee is still based on up to 2.5 hours), and the nature of the tour.
Vehicle tours can combine several neighborhoods, depending on the number of stops and how much we walk. You can provide a vehicle, but if you hire one, the cost is extra, of course, and can be significant.
Custom tours/special tours
Some tours, including family reunion/return-to-Brooklyn tours, require more preparation, such as custom research, extensive pre-planning, and neighborhood scouting.
Because of that requirement, I often request a tour planning surcharge (usually $40-$120, but it can be considerably more for larger groups and complex plans) to compensate me for the extra time. The surcharge is nonrefundable, even if weather cancels the tour (though I hope you'll reschedule!).
Also, I sometimes price custom tours in a range, for example $500 minimum to $700 maximum. The minimum indicates what I'd charge if the tour does not involve significant complications, changes, or research.
The maximum indicates the potential cost if things get more complicated. (Sometimes they do, especially when the plan gets changed at the last minute!) So you'd agree to pay the maximum, or some cost over the minimum, at my request.
Additional services & fees
Typically I meet groups in the neighborhood where the tour starts, and you arrive by public transit, vehicle, or on foot.
I can meet you at your hotel/location and accompany you to the start of the tour for an additional fee, usually $20 to $50, depending on my travel time. I can also accompany you on a trip back to your hotel, again with the fee depending on travel time.
Please note: I do not have a car. I would meet you and then we'd take public transit or a taxi. Same for returning.