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Traveling can bring you from the fascinating corners of Budapest, the muted, incredible temples of Kyoto to the vivacious, vibrant dance clubs of Buenos Aires, all by hopping on a plane and saying ‘yes’ to an adventure. Yet the more you travel, the more you might find a guided tour is the best way to help translate the unfamiliar cultures and customs of foreign lands. When you have a local expert to lead you through fragrant street markets, explain architecture tidbits, and recommend the hands-down best place to go for local gelato, a destination truly comes alive. Though they’ll definitely provide plenty of information without being asked, all travelers should feel empowered to ask questions while on Context tours. If you’re unsure on where to start or lean a little shy, get started with these interesting—and appropriate—queries:
Why do you love your city?
When you first meet the Context expert leading your tour, he or she will give you their background story, explaining their local roots and ties to the destination. Though this bio will give you some information, it might not get to the heart of why they adore their hometown. When you ask them about what they love, you’ll likely be met with a smile, and an explanation of their favorite areas, familiar traditions, and personal tidbits that give you a glimpse not only into their personality, but your temporary home-away-from-home, too.
What are some local spots in your city?
When you chat with your Context expert one-on-one during the tour, make sure to soak up all the local knowledge you can. Regardless if you love wine, can’t get enough of any-and-every type of food, or collect a specific souvenir from every place you roam, they are likely to know about the local venues for your interests that are not overflowing with tourists. This will give you a chance to connect to the community on a more intimate level, giving you an insider’s view into dynamics and customs.
What is the one thing I can’t miss while in this city?
This might be a tough call for most Context experts, but it’s a fun question to ask. Everyone sees traveling through a different lens, and this inquiry gives your guide the opportunity to recommend a meaningful experience in their hometown. The question could also encourage other travelers within your group to speak up and discuss what they’ve seen while visiting, opening up the doors to more conversation and recommendations.
How can I be respectful in this city?
In Japan, bowing as you pay gratitude for anything—from a water at 7/11 to a fancy dinner—is welcomed. In Argentina, Spanish sounds a little different than other parts of South and Central America. In Croatia, you’re better off not rushing a meal. No matter what continent you happen to find yourself on, being mindful of cultural norms will help you adjust and be accepted by locals. Your Context expert will know about the best rituals to be mindful of, while also letting you know what’s a big deal and what’s not.
What do you need from me?
When a Context expert is walking you through a city or explaining a destination, your participation will go a long way in making the experience that much more special. It’s important to ask follow-up questions if you need clarification on the specific necessities of your tour. When you share this thought, they will feel valued and know you’re excited for the journey—and fully prepared.
Now that you’re ready to connect with a local expert, choose your next adventure! Explore Context Travel's offerings in the city you're traveling to next.