Neighborhood/Brooklyn tour rates: base price for up to 2.5 hours
These fees cover my services, not transportation or food, for my listed tours, not custom tours. 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):
Sorry, I cannot combine your private tour request with another group.
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 may get a further discount.
My rates are not inexpensive, but they are competitive: For a 3-hour tour for 4 people, my fee is $230. 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 rarely. (See Schedule.) Yes, other tour companies offer public tours regularly, but those groups can be large and thus slow.
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 the time needed for my preparation), but may be used another time.
For a deposit, to pay via credit card, I invoice clients via Square. (Checks? Let's discuss.) With Square, I do not see or store your credit card number. I do not want you to tell me credit card number over the phone, either!
The remainder due is payable at the end of the tour.
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 me. 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.
I can modify any listed tour for your interests, and I can also develop custom tours. Just ask. But please read this web site first!
For those new to Brooklyn, I recommend Brooklyn 101 or Brooklyn 202 (which combines Brooklyn 101 with other adjacent neighborhoods). Others might start in Williamsburg or the Lower East Side or Jackson Heights. I can often extend tours on request.
Please see the FAQ for some unusual custom tours I've given.
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 sometimes exceed 12 people. (A larger group moves more slowly, of course.) I sometimes can be flexible on pricing, but I cannot 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. See more here.
Please contact me to discuss. I always like seeing a syllabus, which helps me understand how my tour might complement it.
For vehicle tours that aim to cover the neighborhoods in my listed tours, my fee for small groups, assuming no extensive pre-planning, is roughly similar to the rates on this page, but will include a small surcharge for planning, given that I typically must devise a custom driving route.
The cost for large groups depends on the size of the group, the amount of time, 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. (I don't drive and guide.)
Custom tours/special tours
Some tours, including family reunion/return-to-Brooklyn tours, require far more preparation, such as custom research, extensive pre-planning, and neighborhood scouting.
Because of that, I typically request a tour planning surcharge (can be $60-$120, but also 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 would 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!)
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 by public transit to the start of the tour for a modest fee, depending on my travel time. I can also accompany you on a trip back to your hotel if helpful.
I can modify/adapt my Coney Island webinars, as well as other Brooklyn topics, including Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park. Fees based on scope and customization--please inquire.