Frequently Asked Questions
Romanian Friend is an online booking website for tours lots of travel information about Romania, curated and run by natives. We verify and choose our guide-partners, review and create responsible tours and help independent travellers have a great experience when visiting Romania - read more about what we do and our customers reviews.
We want everyone (travellers, guides, host communities) to benefit from this global, inclusive and rewarding activity that tourism can be and have a mission to promote
local and responsible travel in Romania.
- Are you a travel agency? Do you organise any of the tours on the website?
No and no. Romanian Friend is a team of natives that uses their local knowledge to choose, filter and recommend tours and information tourists need when visiting our country.
We work with independently guide-partners (not travel agencies) or small businesses (guesthouses, workshops) to promote what they do and help them connect with travellers like you. While we know the details of their activity, we don’t organise any tours and we cannot control their availability. That is why we have created our booking request system and we help you when making a booking.
Our guide-partners are licensed professionals, authorised for tourism or hospitality activities so that you get quality services in a safe way. We did the local reserch for you and now have a network of 35+ guide-partners all over Romania specialising in different regions or travel types.
- How do I cancel a booking and get a refund?
Before canceling your booking, you should ask your guide if he or she can do the tour on another day.
If you're no longer able to do the tour and want to get a refund, please send an email to your guide and to firstname.lastname@example.org according to the following cancelation policies:
- easy: 3 full days before the booking date
- medium: 7 full days before the booking date
- custom: applicable only if expressly mentioned on tour page
for most tours and trips on Romanian Friend (unless otherwise mentioned on the tour page) is the easy cancelation policy. Please always check the ‘Additional information’ section of the tour page to see if a specific cancelation policy applies. You agree to this cancelation policy when making a booking request.
For example, a booking made on the 10th must be canceled on the 6th by 23:59 at the latest (Romanian local time), according to the easy cancelation policy.
If you cancel after more than 30 days when making your booking request, you will not be refunded the Romanian Friend finder's fee (service charge) but only the deposit payment of tour price. In case of no-shows no refunds are possible.
- Why should I book with you instead on finding guides on my own? How are you different?
We’re locals passionate about our country on a mission to extend tourism's positive impact to local communities in Romania through responsible travel. Booking a tour on Romanian Friend will give you a unique local experience which will also help the people and places you’ll visit.
Why choose us? Many reasons. We currently have 90+ tours all over the country for different interests (city, day trips, hiking, cycling, etc) offered by 35+ guide-partners - that gives you flexibility by having everything in the same place to choose from. And because of what we do and our mission, we save you time with travel planning and research, and stress or uncertainty with making a choice, because we promote only what we think is best and would do ourselves.
Finally, we make sure you get the best deal and value-for-money on your tour because we know the real costs behind them and don’t think ‘quality’ means ‘lowest price’ or mass tourism. In exchange for all this, we charge you a fixed fee of only 10% on your booking (not included, for transparency reasons) as opposed to 10-20% which is the market standard.
- How do you find and verify guide-partners and tours?
Since we’re natives, we’re very well connected to the local scene and keep an eye on what’s going on (online, press, local initiatives, network of friends, other guides etc). That’s how we hear about people doing interesting things all over the Romania.
Then, we research them to get a better idea (website, social media, reviews, other references, etc) before we give them a call or sometimes even visit them, but without initially telling them who we are. We want to see how they treat people, what’s their vision and how passionate they are about what they’re doing. We ask them about their background, experience, licenses and other details.
Finally, we discuss and review their tours, adapt or create new ones, so that only the best, most interesting and representative are promoted on Romanian Friend. We also make sure local services, visits and people are included, so that we stay true to our responsible travel mission. We work with regional partners with in-depth knowledge of specific areas or travel interests. That means a guide from Bucharest will not take you hiking around Cluj-Napoca.
- How does the booking process work? Is it safe?
To request a booking the process is this:
1 on each tour page you need to select your date & no of people
2 click on 'request a booking' button
3 fill in accurate contact details on the next page
4 choose your preferred payment method at the end (both online, using your bank card):
4.1 PayPal can be used only if you have a registered account with them and a linked bank card
4.2 if using your bank card, you will be redirected to our online payment partner (MobilPay) secure payment page; please enter your card details carefully; the cardholder name should be the same as that of the person making a booking;
- if you're using a credit card issued by a non-European Union bank, make sure it is authorized for international payments
4.3 complete any extra security checks from your bank (usually an SMS code or a password) if applicable
5 Romanian Friend will send you a confirmation email about registering your booking request
- Can I talk to the guide before making a booking?
Yes. There’s a ‘get in touch’ button on each tour and partner-guides’ profile page. You can ask for customisations and tour details, but you exchange contact details.
In most cases it takes a long time for our guide-partners to answer, as they are busy doing tours. However, we at Romanian Friend know the details of all our tours and can help you with any questions or requests you may have - so please contact us, we are happy to help!
For safety reasons, we monitor all conversations and will not be accountable for any arrangements outside our booking system.
- How do I arrange tour details (meeting, itinerary, etc)?
Once your booking is confirmed, you will automatically receive the guide’s contact details via email from Romanian Friend. From there, you will communicate with him or her directly about any tour details.
Romanian Friend is no longer involved in this process, but we are available and ready to help in case anything happens. And after the trip we will kindly ask for your feedback, which will Romanian Friend and your guide!
- I am a solo traveller - are there any shared (group) tours on Romanian Friend?
Unfortunately no - there are no shared, group or bus tours in Romania for one simple reason: incredibly low tourist numbers in Romania. In 2016 only 2,8 million foreign tourists visited our country, compared to 8 million in Bulgaria or 17 million in Amsterdam.
So most tours on Romanian Friend are private, for you and your group only. While that means they are more expensive, because costs are not shared and guides spent their time only with you, it also gives you a more unique and personal experience.
A very small number of tours (particularly urban tours) might be attended by other people too.
- Do I need to tip the guides?
Since all tours on Romanian Friend are paid and private, as a general rule tipping extra is not required or expected. But if you’re feeling generous and particularly happy about the services, the guides or locals you will meet on your tour will appreciate any extra consideration.