Trip FAQ - Atlas Obscura

Frequently Asked Questions

Small Group Travel
I’m not sure organized, group trips are for me. Are yours different?

Yes! Atlas Obscura is all about exploration and discovery. We create the kinds of travel experiences we'd want for ourselves, based on our database of the world's most unique places and foods. We'll provide you unparalleled access, in-depth storytelling, and of course, some freedom and flexibility to explore on your own. No big tour buses or boring tour guides to be found. As a result, our trips attract what we think are the most open-minded, intellectually curious, and easy-going travelers in the world. And that's the real secret! The company you keep when traveling makes all the difference.

Do you get many solo travelers on your trips?

We do—in fact, solo travelers make up about half of our small groups. With curiosity at the center of our experiences, there's a natural camaraderie that develops over the course of a trip. You won't have to worry about finding like-minded companions.

How old are the people who take your trips?

The average age of our travelers depends on the particular trip. Our owl-tracking trip in Utah, for example, tends to draw younger travelers (average age 35). Our trips to the Balkans and Chernobyl, on the other hand, have had participants ranging from 18 to 78, with an average of about 45. We love the age diversity of our groups, and the different perspective everyone brings to the experience. If there's a particular trip you're curious about, email us at and we'll give you a better sense of what to expect.

Booking Your Trip
I’m a local in the place where you’re running a trip. Can I join the trip or get involved somehow?

Yes! We provide amazing access to incredible places that we hope surprise even the most knowledgeable insiders. If you live in the area and want to come along for part of a trip, drop us a line and we'll work to make it happen.

How can I sign up for a trip?

From any trip itinerary page, click the purple "Reserve Now" button at the top right of the page. You can also reach out to us via e-mail at or call us at (+1) 646-961-4857, and we'll help you through the process. To hold your spot, we need a $500 deposit, which is fully refundable within three days of your reservation.

The trip I want to take is sold out. What should I do?

You can join any sold-out trip's waitlist by clicking the purple “Join the Waitlist” button at the top right of the itinerary page. If any spots open up, we offer them to travelers according to when they joined the waitlist. If a trip is sold out, there’s a very good chance we’ll offer it again in the future. Keep an eye out for new trip announcements via our trips newsletter.

Do you offer private trips?

Not yet, but we're happy to recommend places and foods from Atlas Obscura to help you plan your travels.

Cancellations & Insurance
What if I need to cancel my trip after I sign up?

Sometimes plans change or the unexpected happens, so we try to keep our cancellation terms as lenient as possible. If you cancel within three days of making your deposit, it's fully refundable. The full cost of your trip becomes non-refundable 30 days prior to the start date of the trip. You can read our terms and conditions here.

Do you offer trip insurance?

We work with the fantastic folks at Yonder (seriously, they're great!). They compare different policies from a wide range of insurance companies, so that you can find the one that's both the best fit and the best deal.

The Places We Travel
There’s someplace I want to go, but you’re not offering a trip there. What should I do?

Send us an email or give us a call! We're always working on new trips, and some of the best ideas come from the Atlas Obscura community. And who knows, you might get lucky. If we're working on a new trip that might fit your interests, we'll let you know. We'd also recommend signing up for our newsletter, where we'll announce new trips frequently.

Do your trips include the cost of international flights?

Alas, no. Our travelers live in many different parts of the world, which means the flights they take to join our trips vary. We do, however, include any regional flights that are part of the itinerary itself. We can also refer you to a third-party air specialist if you'd like assistance with your international flights.

I have a political or ethical objection to one of the places you’re running a trip. Why would you send people there?

While it's a very difficult question, we ultimately believe that sending travelers to countries with complicated political situations is the right thing to do—provided we can do it safely and without contributing to the problems at hand. Simply put, if we felt we were doing harm by running a trip, we wouldn't do it. We believe greater understanding and engagement, especially the kind we get by visiting someplace first-hand, generally does more good than staying home or only visiting countries whose governments share our values.

Contact Us
I have a question that you haven’t answered. How can I get help?

Get in touch via email or call us at (+1) 646-961-4857. We'd love to hear from you.