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Help Center - Travelers


Booking

    We would love to serve you! Please browse our hosts based on your travel plans. When you are ready to make a reservation, select your desired experience date(s) and click "Begin Booking." Fill out our reservation form and submit your request. Your host will then confirm his or her availability and you will be on your way to Traveling off the Eaten Path!

    After completing payment online you will receive a final confirmation of your experience and your host's contact information and address.

    Please enter your promo code in the billing section of the reservation form. The discount will be applied when your credit card is charged.

    Ideally, reservations are made at least three weeks before your Traveling Spoon experience date in order to give your host ample time to prepare for your visit to their home. However, we understand last minute traveling and can try to accommodate requests up to 72 hours before the experience date. We have a select number of hosts who can take same day and next day bookings.

    Please be sure to review our cancellation policy.

    Once your host has confirmed your reservation request you will be able to make a secure payment online. All prices are listed in U.S. dollars. Traveling Spoon is based in the United States and your credit card payment will be processed here. Depending on your home country, your bank may charge currency conversion fees.

    In order to secure your reservation, please try to make the payment as promptly as possible.

    Same day or next day booking applies to a few of our hosts who are able to host travelers on the same day or the day after they make a booking request. If you request a same day or next day booking you will be asked to fill out the online reservation form. At check-out you will be asked for your credit card information to confirm the booking. When the host you requested confirms availability your credit card will be charged and your experience is considered confirmed. However, if your host is unable to host on the date you requested, your request is cancelled and your card will not be charged. All confirmations and cancellations will be communicated to you via email. You can also see your booking status on your traveler profile on the website.

Preparing For Your Trip!

    We understand that things happen that might keep you from getting to your host's home on time. If this is the case please use the contact information we have provided in your detailed booking information to get in touch with your host and let them know when to expect you. Our hosts do time the meals for your arrival so please do your best to arrive promptly and be communicative with your host if for some reason this is not possible.

    Absolutely! Prior to your host confirming your reservation you can contact the host via the message box at the bottom of your Pending Reservation.

    After your reservation is confirmed and paid in full, we will provide you with the host's email address, phone number, and address. You can continue to reach your host via the message box in your reservation or directly via email.

    You will be provided with your host’s address and contact information when your experience is confirmed and you are welcome to get there by cab or any other means. Sometimes our hosts also include directions from the nearest public transportation or landmarks to inform your taxi driver. Some of our hosts can arrange transportation to and from their home. Look for this on each host's profile and in the reservation form.

    We will provide you with your host's address after your payment is made. You can look up the exact location using an online map or contact your host for directions.

Policies

    Cancellations received more than 48 hours prior to the experience date are fully refundable. Cancellations received fewer than 48 hours in advance are non-refundable as our hosts begin the shopping and cooking process up to two days before your arrival.

    Please let your host know if you are running late or if anyone in your party cancels at the last minute.

    We're sorry to see you go!

    You may cancel your reservation by clicking on the Request cancellation link found at the bottom of your pending request or confirmed experience. There will be a field to let us know why you are canceling. Simply hit confirm from this page and your experience will be canceled. We will inform your host and issue a refund, if applicable. Please note that there is no cancellation fee if you cancel your experience more than 48 hours (local time) prior to your experience. If you cancel within 48 hours, we do not offer a refund.

    Our terms of service can be reviewed here.

    Children are welcome on most Traveling Spoon experiences. Children aged 11 and under will receive a 50% discount off their experience cost. Infants aged 4 and under are free of charge.

Traveler Etiquette

    You are being invited as a guest into the home of your host. Please be respectful of the homesand follow any rules that they may have, such as removing your shoes as you enter.

    Tipping your host is not necessary or expected. All payment is provided to our hosts the day before your experience, and hosts set their own pricing to ensure they receive fair compensation for the experiences they provide.

    To ensure a simple and beautiful experience that is solely focused on exchanging culture over authentic food, our travelers pay Traveling Spoon ahead of time so that there is no money exchange with the host.

    Some of our travelers have enjoyed bringing small “hostess gifts” to their hosts as a small thank you, although this is absolutely not required or expected by Traveling Spoon or the hosts.

    We kindly request that travelers do not smoke in the host's home. If you must smoke, please ask your hosts if there is an outdoor facility in which to do so.

Frequently Asked Questions

    Your Traveling Spoon experience will be a private experience between your party and the host family.

    Traveling Spoon experiences vary in length depending on whether or not you have a cooking class, market tour, or simply are engaged in great conversation! Every host is different, and each experience with those hosts also varies. We think that is part of the fun! On average, in-home meals take ~1.5 hours, cooking experiences and meals take ~3 hours and market tours, cooking experiences and meals last ~4.5 hours. If you have a time constraint, simply let your host know upon arrival or while making your reservation.

    We understand your travel schedule can vary. Some of our hosts do have flexibility in their timing. We suggest if you have special requests to log in to your account and message your host from the message box in your reservation page to see if they can accommodate your request.

    Didn’t see your question answered here? Contact us at hello@travelingspoon.com, or through our online contact form here. We’re happy to help.

    All prices are listed in U.S. dollars. Prices vary by host and are based on factors such as location, number of people in your group and add-ons such as a cooking class, market tour, alcohol, or transportation. You can see a range of each host's prices on their profile. Once you request a reservation on the site, you will see the exact price details on the payment page before entering your credit card details. We charge a 3% payment processing fee.

Emergency

    We are so sorry you are having trouble finding your host's home. Your host's address and directions can be found in the confirmation email that was sent to you and on the your confirmation page when you log in to your Traveling Spoon account.

    If you're still having trouble finding your host's home, please contact your host directly by phone. You can find your host's contact information in the reservation details for your confirmed experience. If you are arriving by taxi, we find the best way to get directions is to ask your hotel concierge or taxi driver call your host directly.

    We are also available at the Traveling Spoon office to help in any way we can. While we find that contacting your host directly is the fastest solution, if you would like to speak with someone at Traveling Spoon please feel free to contact us at any time at help@travelingspoon.com or by phone at +1-415-236-0294. We’re here for you.

    We are devoted to your safety and security and want you to have the most enjoyable experience possible. Our goal is for your Traveling Spoon experience to be the highlight of your trip. If anything happens before your experience that might change your travel plans, we encourage you to contact your host as soon as possible to work out any details or changes that might need to occur. You will be given all your host’s contact information as soon as your trip is confirmed.

    If you would like immediate assistance from a Traveling Spoon representative please feel free to reach out to us at any time at help@travelingspoon.com or by phone at +1-415-236-0294. We’re here for you.

    If necessary, you should also contact your local embassy in the country in which you are traveling.

Food

    Each host is different. Many hosts do serve alcohol with their meals, although some prefer not to. You can see if a host serves alcohol by looking at their host profile in the "Host Offerings" section. If you would like to drink alcohol with your meal please indicate this as you create your reservation.

    We want you to enjoy your experience to the fullest extent. We ask our hosts to prepare your meal with the utmost safety and hygiene standards and to serve fresh, homemade food using safe, purified water.

    Our hosts can accommodate nearly all food allergies, dietary restrictions or preferences you might have. Simply make a note of any food preferences as you make your reservation.

    Of course! We understand that people have different spice preferences. When you make your reservation you will be asked your spice preference and your host will tailor your meal to meet your needs and suit your palate.

Trust & Safety

    Your safety (and happiness) is our number one priority. That is why we have personally vetted 100% of our hosts. Each host undergoes a thorough vetting process. Hosts are interviewed, their homes are visited and their food is tasted.

    Hosts are assessed on a number of criteria, including their home location and cleanliness, food preparation and taste, among other factors. We do this to ensure that your experience is as seamless and delicious as possible. If there is anything we can do to make you feel safer and at ease with your host we would love to hear your feedback. Call us or send us an email anytime.

    Food and personal safety is our top concern at Traveling Spoon. We strive to ensure that all of our experiences meet the highest standards of cleanliness and professionalism. To do so, each of our hosts undergoes a vetting process managed by a Traveling Spoon staff member. Hosts are rated on several metrics, including food, home location and personality. Once hosts are interviewed by a Traveling Spoon representative and if they meet our selection criteria, they are invited to become part of the Traveling Spoon host community.