Privacy Policy

Below is our policy detailing how we (Friendly Planet, Inc.) collects, uses, shares, stores and protects your personal information, especially information gathered through our website, www.friendlyplanet.com.

Our website contains links to other websites operated by third parties. We have no control over or responsibility for those websites, nor does this Privacy Policy apply to those sites.

We may update this Privacy Policy from time to time, so you should review it periodically.

TL;DR

We're a small, family-owned company, not a big multi-national. We sell travel, not data. We don't sell your personal information, ever. You trust us with your vacation; you should be able to trust us with your privacy too.

Making travel arrangements requires you entrust us with some sensitive personal information (like passport details). We take every precaution to safeguard this information and to only share it as necessary to organize your trip.

Like most websites, we do collect some data automatically as you browse our site, some of which could be personally identifiable (such as your IP address). But generally speaking, we only use this data to maintain our website or monitor traffic to it, and we purge data when we no longer need it.

We do advertise on online ad networks such as Google AdWords, Microsoft Bing, and Facebook, and we use their tracking "pixels" on our website. These pixels may track your activity (pages you've visited, links you clicked, etc.) as you browse our site and other sites, which is primarily used to personalize ads to you on those networks. If you are uncomfortable being tracked like this, there are many ways to opt-out of it, which we have detailed below under Online Advertising. Opting out is a personal choice and, in most cases, does not affect your ability to browse our site or buy our products.

For more details, read on. We've tried to make this Privacy Policy as clear and concise as possible. This is not intended as a legal document or contract, but a plain English explanation of how we handle and protect your data. If you have any questions or want clarification about anything, please contact us.

What information do we collect?

Information that you provide to us

You may browse the majority of our website without being required to supply any personal information.

We do collect information that you provide to us when you:

This information may include your name, address, phone number and/or email address, the content of any messages, comments, reviews, or surveys that you submit to us, and recordings of phone calls you have made to our offices.

If you book travel with us (or request a quote for travel), we may request or require additional personal information for the purposes of arranging your trip, processing payments, supplying required information to airlines and other travel vendors, applying for foreign travel visas, complying with various laws and regulations, and ensuring your safety, wellbeing, and comfort. This may include:

If you apply for a job with us, we may request:

Information provided by others

Your personal information may be submitted to us by others when they:

Information that may be automatically collected

We and our partners automatically collect certain information when you visit our website, read our emails, watch our videos, click on our online advertisements, visit our social media profiles, or otherwise engage with us. Examples of information we collect:

This information may be collected by our website and stored on our server or in our database, or may be collected and stored by our partners. This may be done with a variety of common technologies:

For further information on how we use tracking technologies, see Online Advertising, Remarketing, and Third-Party Tracking below. To find out about your rights and choices regarding these tracking technologies, including how to block or clear cookies or block tracking, see What privacy choices are available to you? below.

What should you know about our email list?

We maintain a mailing list with and send out promotional emails periodically through our trusted partner MailChimp, one of the world's most popular and trusted email service providers. You can review MailChimp's Privacy Policy.

You may subscribe at to our email list at any time to receive our weekly or monthly "Hot Deals" emails. Only your email address is required. You may also optionally supply your name.

When you start a booking on our website, we automatically subscribe you (the person making the booking) to our "Hot Deals," if they are not already subscribed. We do not automatically subscribe any secondary travelers.

You may also subscribe to "Hot Deals" via our Facebook profile, which requires your first and last name in addition to your email address.

As a subscriber to our "Hot Deals" (by any of the methods above), you may choose from several options regarding the frequency and topics of the emails we send you. (If you do not make a selection, the default is to send you all "Hot Deals" emails.) You can expect periodic emails from us as per the frequency and topics you select, as well as occasional surveys, contests, or notices.

If you are a past customer but not subscribed to our "Hot Deals," we may also send you occasional emails (usually not more than 1-2 times per year) through MailChimp related to your past bookings or special opportunities for which you may be eligible as a past customer.

Should you wish at any point to unsubscribe from these emails, click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any of the emails; fill out this form; or contact us. The first two methods are effective immediately. When you unsubscribe (or are automatically purged from our lists due to undeliverability), we retain your information indefinitely on a separate list to ensure that your unsubscribe request is respected and/or that you are not inadvertently re-subscribed. Should you wish for your information to be completely deleted from our mailing lists, including our unsubscribed list, please contact us and we will promptly honor your request.

If you open our emails or click any links in them, MailChimp may try to automatically determine your preferred email client, preferred language, and approximate location. MailChimp may use your information for the uses described in their Privacy Policy. Note that we have opted out of MailChimp's "data analytics projects."

What should you know about posting reviews?

We have partnered with the review platform Feefo to solicit and publish customer reviews. You can review Feefo's Privacy Policy and Data Protection Policy.

After you book with us or return from travel, Feefo may send you an email requesting that you complete a survey about your experience and satisfaction with our customer service or with your trip. All surveys are completed on the Feefo site and stored by Feefo. As an impartial third party, Feefo publishes all reviews received about Friendly Planet (unless they contain inappropriate content) on their website, ensuring the reviews are an honest and unbiased representation of our service or products. Select surveys may also appear on the Friendly Planet website, in our emails, or in other publications. When you submit a review, you may opt to show or hide your name with your review.

In order to solicit these reviews, we periodically transmit lists of customer names, email addresses, and products purchased to Feefo through a secure upload. No other personal information is shared with Feefo.

What should you know about making payments?

We accept payments by check, credit card, or from your PayPal account. Any payments made by credit card or with your PayPal account are processed by PayPal on our behalf.

When you enter your credit card information into our site (or supply it to one of our agents) to make a booking or payment, we relay this information directly to PayPal's secure processing gateway, which responds with the transaction status (success or failure) and a reference number. To protect your payment information, we DO NOT save your full credit card number, expiration date or security code; we only retain the last four digits of your card number to cross-reference transactions.

If you select the option to make a payment from your PayPal account, you are transferred from our site to the secure PayPal website to log into your account. Once the payment is complete, PayPal transmits the transaction status and a reference number back to our server. We do not have access to your PayPal account, including your login information.

In either case, your payment information is securely stored by PayPal according to their policies. You can review PayPal's Privacy Policy.

What should you know about our social media profiles?

We maintain profiles or accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and other social media sites. We encourage you to interact with us on these platforms. However, your use of these platforms, any content you post there, and any information collected by them, is governed by their own terms of use and privacy policies, which we encourage you to review.

Some pages on our site include social media features and widgets, including features to "like" or share specific travel products or pages from our site on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or other social media sites. These features may collect information such as your IP address and which page you are visiting on our site, or set a cookie to identify you or enable the feature to function properly. These features are hosted by third parties, and your interactions with them are governed by the privacy policy of the company providing it.

With your permission, we may use comments about our service and products that you have provided on our social media profiles in our advertising or on our website.

How do we use your personal information? Do we sell or share your information?

Conducting Business

We use the information that we collect to conduct our business, including but not limited to:

If you have completed a booking or payment, requested a proposal, or communicated with us via email about a booking or other questions or requests, we may keep this information indefinitely. If you have started a booking but failed to complete it, we purge this information after 90 days.

Security, Abuse & Fraud Prevention, and Website Maintenance

Some of the information we automatically collect, including your IP address, may be used to address or prevent fraud (including credit card fraud), address or prevent abuse of our email (including spam) or website (including attempts to log into secure or private areas), to troubleshoot technical difficulties and errors, or to ensure the privacy and security of our customers or the security of our website. Where practical and possible, we try to delete information after it is unlikely to help serve these purposes, as detailed below under Data Security.

Reviews

If you complete a service or product survey through Feefo, we may use your review (along with your name, if you have opted to show it), in full or in part on our website or in printed and/or online advertisements to promote our business or products. With your permission, we may also use other comments about our service and products that you have provided on our blog, on our social media profiles, in surveys, in our communications with you, or on other websites, in our advertising. We keep reviews indefinitely, or until you request that we delete them.

Surveys & Contests

From time to time, we may offer you the opportunity to participate in contests or surveys. If you participate, we may request some personally identifiable information from you, such as your name and email address. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary. We use the information you provide only to conduct the contest or survey, including notifying contest winners and awarding prizes. We will not use it for any other purpose, unless otherwise stated and with your explicit consent. We may use a third party (such as SurveyMonkey) to conduct these surveys or contests, and such companies are prohibited from using any personal information collected for any other purpose.

Printed Advertising

If you are a past customer and reside in the United States, we may occasionally mail you printed catalogs or advertisements. We may also mail printed catalogs on request.

Online Advertising, Remarketing, and Third-Party Tracking

We use Google Google AdWords, Microsoft's Bing Ads, and Facebook, and may use other advertising platforms, to serve online ads promoting our business and travel products, both in search engines and on other websites. Some of this is done through "remarketing", which displays advertisements relevant to pages or products you have previously viewed on our website. We do this to offer tailored advertisements that may be of interest to you if you have shown an interest in our products.

To do this, our site utilizes tracking scripts from Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Facebook, and may utilize tracking pixels and scripts from other third parties, to collect information about your use of our website over time in order to display remarketing ads relevant to your interests and/or to measure the success of our advertising campaigns. These third-party tracking pixels and scripts may set cookies on your browser and use various tracking technologies, as described above under Information that may be automatically collected.

The information collected by Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and other third parties through their tracking pixels and scripts is stored and processed by them and is subject to their own policies and practices. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with their privacy policies and terms of use. For information on your rights and choices regarding tracking and online advertising, including how to block or opt-out of such tracking, see What privacy choices are available to you? below.

Lookalike Audiences

For advertising purposes, we occasionally use information about our customers to generate a "lookalike audience" or similar audience of prospective customers through the Facebook or Google advertising platforms. This allows us to target advertisements on their networks to potential customers who appear to have shared interests or similar demographics to our existing customers, based on the platforms' own data. We typically do this by uploading a list of email addresses. Facebook's policy is to irreversibly hash (encrypt) such lists prior to uploading, match the hashed data against their own customers, generate the lookalike audience, then delete the uploaded list and use it for no other purpose. We do not have access to the identity of anybody in the lookalike audience, unless they choose to click on the ads. Based on this, we believe that generating lookalike audiences poses little or no threat to the privacy of our customers. If you wish to opt out of "similar audiences" in Google, you can do so through your Ads Settings; see Online Advertising below for more information.

Website Analytics

We use Google Analytics and may use other third-party analytics tools to help us collect data and measure traffic and usage trends for our website; to understand more about the interests and demographics of our users as a whole; to measure the performance of various marketing campaigns and channels; to understand how people are using our website; and to continually improve our website, booking process, site content, accessibility, and customer experience. In general, this is aggregate data that does not personally identify individual users and simply measures overall trends. To further ensure the privacy of our users, we have enabled an optional feature in Google Analytics to anonymize IP addresses, so that your IP addresses is not stored or processed.

Aggregate and Non-Identifying Information

We may use aggregate data and information that does not personally identify you (including information that has been de-identified) for various purposes, share this information with third parties and affiliates, and store this information indefinitely, without obligation to you except as prohibited by applicable law.

Geographic Information

We may occasionally use location data automatically collected by MailChimp to send targeted emails for promotional or legal reasons. We generally do not use this information for any other purpose.

Information Provided by Others

When somebody provides us your personal information as an emergency contact, as a referral to us or somebody who referred you to us, as the recipient of a gift certificate, or as a reference when applying for a job, we shall only use your personal information for that purpose alone.

Sharing Information

We will never sell your personal data to anyone, for advertising or other any reason. Ever.

We may share your personal data:

In addition, if you book travel with us, we may share relevant personal data with:

What privacy choices are available to you?

Modifying or Deleting your Information

If you have any questions about reviewing, modifying, correcting, deleting, or obtaining a copy of information you have provided to us, or if you want to remove your name or comments from our website, blog, social media profiles, or advertising, please contact us. We may not modify or delete your information in all circumstances, unless required by law.

If you have enrolled in our Roommate Finder program, you may opt out at any time, using the links in the emails we send you when you enroll, or by contacting us.

Tracking Technology: Cookies & Tracking pixels

Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser settings to display a warning before accepting a cookie, to accept cookies only from certain websites, and/or to block or refuse all cookies. You may also clear existing cookies for specific websites, or for all websites. If you use multiple browsers or devices, you will need to adjust the settings in each browser separately. Note that if you choose to block or limit the ability for websites to set all cookies, you may worsen your overall online experience, lose the ability to access some services or features, and/or be unable to save some customized settings, like login information. (For example, you will not be able to make a booking on our website without cookies enabled.) Many browsers also have a privacy mode (such as Google Chrome's Incognito mode or Microsoft's InPrivate mode) that accepts cookies during your browsing session but erases them when you close your browser. For more information or to see if cookies are enabled in your browser, visit this checker.

"Do Not Track" (DNT) is a browser setting that requests that a website or application disable its tracking of an individual user. If you turn on the DNT setting in your browser, your browser sends a special signal to websites, analytics companies, ad networks, and other web services to not track your activity. As our website does not track personal information about your browsing activities over time, our website does not respond to Do Not Track signals; but the third-party tracking pixels used on our site should. To learn more about DNT, to see if you are being tracked, or to change your settings, visit AllAboutDNT.com. Or learn how to enable DNT in Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.

Google Analytics

You can specifically prevent your data from being collected and used by Google Analytics by downloading and installing the Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on.

Online Advertising

Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and other ad networks may tailor the ads they serve based on your interests, sites or pages you have visited, web searches you've done, and other data they gather while you browse sites they manage or that use their tracking pixels.

To modify your interests or turn off personalization for ads served by Google, you can visit Google's Ad Settings. You can also turn off ad personalization with Google's "Interest-Based Advertising Opt-out" browser plug-in, which opts you out of the advertising cookie that Google uses to show you interest-based ads.

To turn off personalization for ads served by Microsoft, you can visit Microsoft's Ad Settings.

To modify your preferences or turn off personalization for ads served by Facebook, you can visit Facebook's Ad Preferences.

In addition, on your iPhone, iPad or Android, you can change your device settings to opt out of interest-based ads.

Many of the companies that display interest-based advertising are members of the Network Advertising Initiative ("NAI") and/or Digital Advertising Alliance ("DAA"). To learn more about interest-based advertising and how you may be able to opt-out of interest-based advertising, tracking, and/or sharing of tracking data by their members, visit their online resources at www.networkadvertising.org/choices and www.aboutads.info/choices, respectively. Other resources (not affiliated with NAI or DAA) include http://preferences-mgr.truste.com/, or for EU residents, www.youronlinechoices.eu.

Please note that if you opt-out of interest-based advertising using any of these methods, the opt-out may only apply to the specific browser, device or account from which you opt-out. Further, opting-out only means that the selected advertising platform(s) should no longer deliver certain interest-based advertising to you, but does not mean you will no longer see any online ads or stop seeing targeted content and/or ads from other ad networks. We cannot be responsible for effectiveness of, or compliance with, any third-parties' opt-out options or programs.

Email List

To unsubscribe or request deletion from our email list, see What should you know about our email list? above.

Printed Advertising

If you wish to opt-out of receiving printed catalogs or other printed advertisements via postal mail, please contact us. If you are not a past customer, we will permanently delete your address information.

European Privacy Rights

We are a U.S.-based business that does not target European residents or consumers (though we do not prohibit European residents from visiting our website, subscribing to our mailing list, or purchasing our products). If you are a "data subject" in Europe as defined by the EU's General Data Protection Regulation, you may have additional rights in regard to your personal data. If you wish to discuss or exercise any of these rights, please contact us.

How do we protect your information?

We use industry standard physical, electronic, and organizational safeguards to protect your personal information against loss, theft, unauthorized access, or disclosure. We employ many different security techniques to protect your data.

SSL Encryption

We have chosen to protect our entire website with SSL (actually, TLS 1.2) encryption, the current standard for bank-grade website encryption. Whenever you visit our website, make a booking or payment, or otherwise submit any information to us through our site, that transmission between your device and our server is protected by 256-bit SSL encryption. To confirm, look for the padlock icon in your browser. To provide additional peace of mind, we have opted to use an "Extended Validation" SSL certificate issued by a trusted authority that also verifies our company's identity. As a result, most browsers will show our company name in green in the address bar, so you can be confident that you're visiting our legitimate site and not an imposter.

We periodically review our server configuration to ensure we're employing the latest and most secure SSL cyphers and features. However, secure SSL encryption requires that your device or browser also support the latest and most secure SSL cyphers and features. To check your device for vulnerabilities, please visit HowsMySSL.com. Using the latest version of a popular browser is generally sufficient to ensure this.

Session Security & Shared Computers

When you start a booking on our site, we drop a cookie on your device that ensures that only that device and browser have access to that booking and the information you have entered. After a certain number of minutes of inactivity, that session expires, and you will no longer be able to access that booking through your browser. (To complete your booking, you may call one of our friendly agents who can pick up where you left off.) When you complete your booking, we clear the cookie, so that neither you nor anybody else may access the information you entered during the booking process.

At present, we do not have a "my account" feature, so neither you nor anybody else may access your personal or purchase information through our website.

If you are using a shared computer to make a booking or payment, or to send us any personal information through our website, we recommend that you take the precaution of closing your browser and/or clearing the browser's history to ensure that nobody else may access that information.

Data Security

Unlike many companies that store customer data "in the cloud" on many servers or in distributed data centers, our website and customer database are hosted on an enterprise-grade database and a dedicated server, located in the United States and managed by a professional team of hosting experts. We have gone to great lengths to secure access to this server using multiple layers of security, and because we are a small company, we are able to severely limit the people who have access to this server. (When it comes to security, bigger is not necessarily better.)

As detailed above, some of the information we automatically collect, including your IP address, may be used to prevent fraud or abuse of our site or email, to troubleshoot technical difficulties, or to ensure the privacy and security of our customers or the security of our website. Where practical and possible, we try to delete information after it is unlikely to help serve these purposes, including (but not limited to):

Note that, as described above, we do employ third parties to manage our mailing list, product & service reviews, and occasional surveys we may send out. But the personal information we share with them is generally limited to your name, email address, and the products you have purchased. We have selected these companies based on their reputations, and we trust them to take all appropriate precautions to safeguard your data.

Data Breaches

Should we become aware of any breaches of security (either on our server or with one of the third parties we employ) that may have exposed your personal information, we shall notify you as soon as reasonably possible about the breach and let you know what information might have been exposed. If you are concerned that your privacy may have been breached, please contact us.