Got a question about your private tour of San Francisco?

This FAQ provides answers to basic questions and recommendations. If your question isn’t here, write or give me a call. I’m always happy to talk.

 

Can you pick us up anywhere? Can you drop us anywhere?

Yes and yes. But there are conditions. I can pick you up and drop you off anywhere in San Francisco. I can also pick you up outside the city, but there will be an additional fee. If you are staying outside the city, it is usually pretty easy for me to pick you up near public transportation.

How much walking is involved?

As much or as little as you want. There is never a point in the tour where I say “OK, here’s where you get out and walk around for 10 minutes.” I’ve had tours where guests get out at every opportunity, and tours where guests stay in the car the entire time, taking all their photos from the comfort of the MINI. I make suggestions about where to get out, but you don’t have to. And if you see a place that looks like fun to get out, you can. I’ll even drop you at a place that has a “No Trespassing” sign if you want to jump the fence. But I won’t stick around. I will admire your sense of adventure, but I’m not a getaway car.

Can we stop for lunch, dinner, drinks, photos, etc.?

Of course. That’s the point. It’s your personalized tour. You can stop as much as you want, wherever you want, for as long as you want. It’s all about you.

Will I fit in the MINI? Is it difficult to get out?

Yes to the first, no the second. The MINI is well designed and surprisingly roomy. I’ve had guests who run the full spectrum of body types, and everyone has a great time. As for getting out, it’s like rising from a comfy chair. Guests who have concerns have gone to a MINI dealership and tested things out. And if for some reason on the day of the tour you decide the MINI just isn’t going to work for you, you can cancel the tour right then at no charge.

How much is the deposit? How about the cancellation fee?

I don’t take deposits. I don’t need the hassle of dealing with them. Instead I rely on communication and ask that you confirm your tour 48 hours in advance. You can cancel at anytime, even the morning of the tour, and since you haven’t paid a deposit, you don’t lose anything.

Why do I do this? Because in my years of experience and thousands of tours I can count on one hand the number of people who, at the last minute, have not shown up for their tour and not responded to my “where are you?” texts as I wait in the white zone in front of their hotel. Or have responded to my white zone texts by canceling, one time because of food poisoning, and another because they “just didn’t feel like it anymore.” Both reasons were fine with me, although I admit I harbored the fleeting desire that the people who “just didn’t feel like it” got food poisoning from their morning omelette. 

As a rule my guests are cool and considerate, and if they need to cancel they let me know several days or weeks in advance. I understand that plans change, and sometimes they change for emergencies or other difficult reasons. If you have to change plans for a sudden family illness or other emergency, the last thing you want to deal with is trying to get a deposit back, or worse, being told you only get some or none of it. So I don’t bother. I don’t need the headache and neither do you.

How much is it?

$85 per hour. NOT per person! One, two or three guests ride at the same price. There is a 2-hour minimum. It is cash only. I hate credit card companies. I may change this, but for right now it is cash only. 

How does the booking process work?

Contact me though this website (or if you need a tour quick, call 415-529-5404). I encourage you to book here rather than through TripAdvisor because they take 20 percent and won’t let me contact you directly.

Let me know when you’d like a tour, how long, a little about you and what you’d like to do. I will write back and let you know my availability. If I’m not available on the day and time you requested, I will suggest other times and days (this is usually not a problem, but it’s good to have options). I will also send you an email with detailed information about getting the most out of your trip to San Francisco, plus a list of restaurant recommendations. You will get these even if you don’t book a tour.

A tour is booked when I let you know I’m available on the day and time you want, and you send me your contact and hotel information.

This isn’t a click-to-book tour. It’s personal. I usually exchange 3-5 emails with my guests before a tour.  I like to inform you and get to know you a bit before the MINI rolls up.

We’re having fun! Can we extend the tour beyond the original booking time?

Absolutely. If I don’t have another tour commitment or other conflict, I’ll extend the tour as long as you like and I am able.

Can you recommend restaurants, bars, etc.?

I’m a San Franciscan. Food, restaurants and bars are our favorite topic of conversation. I recommend places that I like, have discovered as a local, personally hang out at and enjoy, and in most cases are off the tourist radar. None of these places give me kickbacks, special treatment, or any other perks.

I will even send you restaurant recommendations if you don’t take a tour. Just go to the contact page and let me know you’d like them. I’ll also send you a lot of information and insider tips about getting the most out of your visit to San Francisco.

Again, if I direct you to eat or drink somewhere, it’s because I hope you’ll enjoy yourself and have a great experience,  not because I’ll get a bump or kickback. Taking a perk would screw up my cred.

Can we tip you? Do you accept tips?

If you have a great experience and think my service warrants a tip, I will be honored to accept it. But I’m not going to mention it. Tips are welcome and appreciated, but never solicited.