Viator: A Great Way to Book Tours and Activities

Viator is a great website for booking tours and activities all over the world. They have a wide variety of options to choose from, including walking tours, food tours, day trips, and more. I have used Viator several times and have always been happy with the results.


Only the best tours make it on Viator

Viator promotes itself as featuring only the cream of the crop when it comes to tours and activities, but that statement deserves some nuance. Here’s a breakdown:

Viator’s Selection Process:

Vetting: There likely is some level of vetting involved for tour operators who want to list their experiences on Viator. This might include factors like qualifications, insurance, and safety standards.

Customer Reviews: Viator heavily relies on customer reviews to gauge the quality of tours. Those with consistently bad reviews might get delisted.

What “Best” Means:

Variety: Viator caters to a wide range of travelers. “Best” can be subjective and depend on your preferences. You might find adventure tours listed alongside historical walking tours.

Popularity: Popular tours with high booking numbers and good reviews are more likely to be highlighted. These might not always be the absolute “best” experiences in terms of uniqueness or exclusivity.

Alternatives to Consider:

Local Expertise: Boutique tour operators or local guides who may offer more specialized or personalized experiences.

Research and Reviews: Don’t just rely on Viator’s curation. Look for independent reviews and recommendations online or in travel forums.

Here’s how to find high-quality tours on Viator:

Read Reviews: Pay close attention to what past customers say about the experience, the guide, and the overall value.

Look Beyond Popularity: Don’t just pick the top-rated tours. Explore options that match your interests and travel style.

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Group of tourist people sightseeing and searching a location on a map and on a smartphone app on a weekeand trip. Young travelers smiling looking together for directions on a guide visiting a city. High quality photo

Compare Prices and Inclusions: Consider what’s included in the tour price and compare offerings from different operators.

Filter by Criteria: Use Viator’s filters to narrow down your search based on interests, activity type, duration, and budget.

Reserve Now, Pay Later on viator

Viator offers a program called Reserve Now, Pay Later that lets you secure your spot on tours and activities without any upfront payment. Here’s how it works:

Eligibility: This feature applies to most of Viator’s vast selection (over 300,000!).

Booking Process:

Browse experiences like usual and pick the tour or activity you want.

When finalizing the reservation, you’ll provide your details to secure the spot. No payment will be requested at this point.

Choose when you want to pay. You can either make a manual payment anytime, or opt for automatic payment which will be processed two days before the experience.


Peace of mind: Guarantees your spot without immediate financial commitment.

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Flexibility: Gives you time to adjust your plans or budget before the due date.

Things to Keep in Mind:

Availability: Reserve Now, Pay Later might not be available for all experiences on Viator.

Cancellation Policy: Even with delayed payment, cancellation policies still apply. Make sure to check the specific cancellation terms for your chosen experience.

Automatic Payment: If you choose auto-pay, remember to keep an eye on your email for reminders about the upcoming charge (two days before the experience).

Overall, Reserve Now, Pay Later is a convenient option for travelers who want to lock in their tour bookings without the upfront cost. It provides flexibility and allows better trip planning.

Fast refunds on viator

Viator’s refund policy isn’t exactly known for being super fast. The processing time depends on a few factors:

Cancellation Window: Generally, cancellations made at least 24 hours before the tour start date qualify for a full refund (check the specific tour for exceptions). Cancellations within 24 hours are less likely to be refunded.

Tour Operator Policy: Viator acts as a middleman between you and the local tour operator. The specific cancellation policy might be set by the operator, so it’s important to review the details during booking.

Payment Method: Refunds can also be influenced by how you paid. Credit card refunds typically take 5-7 business days to appear back in your account after Viator processes them.

Here’s what you can’t necessarily control, but might influence the speed:

Contacting Viator Promptly: The sooner you notify Viator about your cancellation, the sooner they can begin the process.

Clear Communication: Be clear and specific when requesting a refund. Include your booking reference number and any relevant details.

Tips for Faster Refunds (if possible):

Plan Ahead: Book tours with a 24-hour+ cancellation window for more flexibility and a higher chance of a full refund if needed.

Read the Fine Print: Before booking, carefully review the cancellation policy for the specific tour you’re interested in.

Contact Viator ASAP: If you need to cancel, get in touch with Viator’s customer service right away.

Communication directly with the tour operator via an online chat

Unfortunately, Viator itself doesn’t offer a direct online chat functionality to connect with tour operators. Their communication primarily happens through:

Email: This is the most common way to contact tour operators after booking through Viator. You’ll find the operator’s contact details within your booking confirmation email or on your Viator account under “My Bookings”.

Viator inquiry form: If the contact details aren’t readily available, you can submit an inquiry through Viator’s online form. They’ll then reach out to the operator on your behalf.

Here are some alternative ways to potentially chat directly with the tour operator:

Tour Operator Website: Many tour operators have their own website where they might offer live chat support. Search for the operator’s name and see if they have a “Contact Us” section.

Social Media: Some tour operators are active on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. You can try sending them a direct message with your inquiry.


Language Barriers: Be prepared for potential language barriers when contacting the operator directly.

Response Time: Depending on the operator and their communication methods, their response time might vary.

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Lowest Price Guarantee on viator

Viator does indeed offer a Lowest Price Guarantee! This can be a great way to ensure you’re getting the best deal on your tours and activities. Here’s a breakdown of how it works:

What it Covers:

If you find a cheaper price for the exact same tour or activity offered by the same operator (including date, time, inclusions, etc.) within 72 hours of booking on Viator, you’re eligible for a refund.

The price you find must be publicly advertised online and available for immediate booking in the same currency you used on Viator.

How to Claim the Guarantee:


Gather Proof: Find evidence of the lower price. This could be a screenshot or link to the competitor’s website showing the advertised price.

Contact Viator: Reach out to Viator’s customer service team via email at

Provide Details: In your email, include your booking reference number, details of the cheaper offer you found (including website link or screenshot), and your contact information.

Things to Remember:

Limited Timeframe: You only have 72 hours after booking to claim the guarantee. Act fast!

Same Operator: The price comparison must be for the identical tour offered by the same company that Viator partners with.

Exclusions: Discounts and promotions exclusive to certain groups or memberships might not qualify.

Processing Time: Viator will review your claim and may take some time to process it.

What has been our personal experience with Viator?

As a large language model, I don’t have personal experiences. However, I can help you analyze what others have said about Viator to see if it aligns with your travel needs.

Based on what I’ve found, here’s a breakdown of what people typically experience with Viator:


  •       Wide variety of tours and activities to choose from
  •       Easy-to-use website and app
  •       Competitive prices (with a Lowest Price Guarantee) in some cases
  •       Reserve Now, Pay Later option for flexibility


  •       Refund processing can be slow
  •       No direct online chat with tour operators (communication mainly through email)
  •       “Best” tours can be subjective and may not cater to all preferences
  •       Mixed reviews on customer service experience (wait times, efficiency)

Here are some additional factors to consider based on your travel style:

  •       Do you value extensive research and customization? If so, exploring local operators or using reviews to find unique experiences might be better.
  •       Do you prioritize convenience and a wide range of options? Then Viator’s platform and booking system could be a good fit.
  •       Are fast refunds or immediate online chat support crucial for you? Viator might not be the most efficient choice in those cases.

What is Viator’s customer service like

Viator’s customer service experiences seem to be mixed. Here’s a breakdown of what you might encounter:

Positive Reviews:

Viator claims to offer 24/7 availability, knowledgeable representatives, and a focus on resolving issues efficiently.

Some users report positive experiences with helpful and timely responses to inquiries.

Negative Reviews:

There are also customer reports of difficulty reaching support. This could involve long wait times or unresponsive communication channels like chat functions.

Resolving complex issues like refunds might take longer and involve some back-and-forth communication.

Here’s a quick summary of what to expect:

Availability: Viator claims 24/7 customer service, but experiences might vary.

Communication Channels: Contact options include email and potentially phone support.

Response Time: Reviews suggest both prompt and delayed response times.

Efficiency: Resolving some issues, especially refunds, might require persistence.

Tips for a Smoother Experience:

Gather Information: Have your booking reference number and any relevant details on hand before contacting customer service.

Be Clear and Concise: Clearly state your issue or inquiry in your communication.

Consider Email: Email might be the most reliable way to reach customer service and create a documented record of communication.

Be Patient: Depending on the complexity of your issue and current workload, resolving it might take some time.

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Thanks for reading!

We really hope this blog has helped clear a few things up for you about booking with Viator. It is our favorite way to book tours these days, and we wanted to share all the perks that we enjoy with you!


Viator really is a legitimate company and based on our Viator review, we hope that you would consider booking with them one day in the future.



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