Who leads your tours?
Remember your favorite professor at university? Precisely. Our guides are a network of scholars and specialists in a variety of fields including art history, archaeology, cuisine, architecture, history, and theology. Their areas of expertise may differ, but they’re united by a lifelong curiosity, a passion for sharing their knowledge, and a yen for taking you into the lives, histories, and stories of their city. (Nota bene: we’re not joking about the professor bit—most hold PhD’s or other terminal degrees in their field and teach at the university level).
What makes your tours different?
Regardless of type, all of our tours are inspired by the pre-Napoleonic meaning of the word—think gentlemen like Shelley and Byron touring the Continent as a means of education and cultural exploration, not hordes of drive-by tourists mobbing the Trevi Fountain. Every tour we offer is led by a scholar or specialist, limited to 6 participants, and designed to foster meaningful conversation and understanding.
What types of tours do you offer?
There’s no sense rethinking the timeless triumvirate model (who are we to argue with the nave, the apse, and the transept?), so our tours are available in three main sorts: private, small group, and custom.
- Private tours are limited exclusively to travelers in your party, and can be tailored to the interests of you and your traveling companions. They’re particularly well suited to the time-strapped and those traveling with the under-twelve set.
- Small group tours place you with other travelers, operate on a pre-scheduled calendar, and are designed to provide an opportunity to engage with both the guide as well as other travelers in your group. We find they work especially well for singles and couples, as well as those who have more flexibility with their schedules.
- Custom tours are just that: customized so you see exactly what you want, on your own schedule, by either stitching together a series of our private tours or creating something entirely personalized.
Do you have gift certificates?
Bien sûr! We think learning is the best sort of gift, and travel is the best way to learn; ergo, Context Travel Gift Certificates are the perfect gifts for curious travelers. (We're taking some liberties with Aristotelian syllogism there, but you get the gist).
I've signed up for some tours on your website. What now?
Look for an email from us within two business days. (More than likely this will be a confirmation email directing you to check your online itinerary for your order details). If we're unable to provide a service that you have requested or your request is taking longer to fulfill than planned, we will correspond with you personally about your options.
A group walk that is not confirmed is considered "tentative." If you sign up for a tentative tour, you'll be asked to supply us with a "notify by" date for when you would like to be alerted if no one else signs up for the tour. At that point, we'll supply you with a variety of options, including upgrading to a private or other group walks that might be running at that time. If you opt to cancel, we'll cancel those spaces and you won't be charged.
How does your (new) pricing work?
We’ll spare you a deconstruction of price theory and its microeconomic underpinnings, but, over the course of November 2019, we'll be making a few changes to our pricing. In an effort to make our private tours more accessible to people traveling as singles and couples, our private tours will be offered at a flat fee (for up to two people), with a per-person fee for each additional participant. Our small group tours will remain priced, as always, on a per-person basis. (If you should ever be interested in diving into pricing and the history of free market economics, we'd recommend a Financial History of Wall Street spin on our Custom Tour of New York). For more detail, take a look at the 'Pricing and Process' section below, or get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why are your prices in dollars?
We’re an American company. Our credit card processor is located in the U.S., and hence all of our transactions are in dollars. If you choose, you can pay by credit cards denominated in non-USD currencies and it will automatically convert to USD based on real-time interbank rates.
Can I add tours, services, or additional participants to my tour once I arrive?
We'd be happy to work with you on any last minute additions of tours, services, or tour participants, though we do require payment in advance by credit card. If you'd like to make any changes or additions to your plans at any point before or during your trip, get in touch with us at email@example.com.
Do your prices include tips?
Tipping is always appreciated, though not obligatory. Context clients generally tip anywhere from 5% to 15% of the purchase price, depending on the duration and quality of the experience. We also appreciate you taking the time to review your tour online.
For most of our services we need at least seven (7) days advance notice for cancellation, at which time we will refund 50% of the original purchase price. You will find the specific policy for each service listed along with its description on the website, and in your confirmation. Items cancelled within 7 days (14 days for custom tours) are not refundable. Read our full cancellation policy here.
All credit card information is stored remotely with a level 1 PCI-compliant service provider. All sensitive information is conveyed to that provider through a secure (SSL) connection. We do not share any of our customer information with anyone.
Because our guides are busy teaching, writing, and excavating—and for their privacy—we do not share their personal contact information in advance of your trip. However, we'd be delighted to talk with you beforehand and are happy to relay any information to them. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will provide you with your guide's contact info just prior to the start of the tour in case of emergency.
Reviews may be left by verified clients of Context after they have completed a tour (clients will receive a review request via email). These reviews, which are posted to the tour information webpage, are never edited and are only hidden if they contain profanity, personal information, or misinformation about the tour or guides.
Read more about our PCI-compliant privacy statement here.
What are you reading lately?
At long last, our favorite question! (And a ploy to see if you were still, well, reading). We're revisiting Christopher Hibbert's Rome: Biography of a City, because it's a timeless view of the full narrative arc of our first city. We also just picked up A Cheesemonger's History of the British Isles by our very own scholar Ned Palmer, which is proving a lively romp through the history of British Cheesemaking.