Who leads your tours?
Remember your favorite professor at university? Precisely. Our experts are a network of scholars and specialists in various 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 PhDs 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 10 participants (in the case of small group tours), and designed to foster meaningful conversation and understanding.
What types of tours do you offer?
Context’s private walking tours are limited exclusively to travelers in your party. When you place your booking, you’ll see that we’ve left you a space to tell us about yourself. This information allows our team to match you with an expert who aligns with your particular interests and passions. Our private tours also have a higher degree of scheduling flexibility and are perfect for families traveling with children and teenagers.
Our small-group tours match you with like-minded travelers and operate on a pre-scheduled monthly calendar. These unique walks are not a “follow-the-umbrella” experience; they are always comprised of ten (10) travelers or fewer. Context’s small-group walking tours follow the same route as their private tour equivalent, with the bonus opportunity to learn from fellow travelers and gain new connections throughout your journey.
Do you have gift certificates?
Of course! We think learning is the best 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).
Context Travel Gift Cards are valid for 365 days from date of purchase.
Do you offer hotel meet ups?
While we offer some tours and excursions that have a meeting point set at your hotel or accommodations, this is not standard or available across all products. All products are set up to have a centrally located, city meeting point. These meeting points are designed to kick start the narrative of the tour and to provide value to the tour. We cannot accommodate hotel meeting points for our tours, whether small group or private, unless the tour product is set up that way.
Do you provide transportation or transfer services?
While we offer some tours and excursions that include transfer services as part of the tour, Context does not operate transfer services outside of these specified tours. For tours with car services, we can accommodate hotel or residential pick up and drop off. At this time, we are unable to accommodate cruise port or airport pick up and/or drop off. Please contact the Client team at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
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 cannot 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.
How does your private tour pricing work?
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. For more detail, get in touch with us at email@example.com.
Please note, our company is required to purchase specific professional-grade tickets to many of the venues that we lead tours in. Context Clients are required to purchase necessary tour tickets through us directly at the time of tour booking. Context cannot use privately purchased tickets for our tours.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
How do you assign the expert? Can I request a specific expert?
Our expert assignment process is thorough and thoughtful. When a tour order is received, our team reviews the tour, the clients profile(s), and any special notations included in the "client note" section and then assign an expert based on matched qualifications and availability. As our experts are individuals and manage their own calendars, we cannot guarantee a specific expert at any time. If you include a request for a specific expert, our team will do our best to accommodate but we cannot guarantee their availability. In the event that a requested expert is not available, rest assured an equally wonderful expert is assigned. Standard cancel terms apply if you wish to cancel based on the expert assigned.
What is your venue ticket policy?
For tours that require venue tickets, Context requires that all tickets be purchased through us directly and will automatically be included in your tour costs (tickets are listed out during the booking process for visibility). We are unable to utilize privately procured tickets, membership tickets, or other ticket passes due to vendor relationship agreements with our venues. Tickets are always non-refundable in the event of a cancellation and cannot be transferred to another date and time in the event of a requested tour reschedule.
Cancellations made at least 15 days prior to the tour date are eligible for a 100% refund or a future travel credit (less ticket and reservation fees). Cancellations made between 14 days and 48 hours prior to the tour date are eligible for a 50% refund or a future travel credit. All sales are final within 48 hours of the tour date. Venue tickets and reservation fees are non-refundable and non-transferable and cannot be used without a Context tour. In the event that you request a tour reschedule, Context will need to purchase and charge for new tickets / reservation fees. Read our full cancellation policy here.
What is your weather policy?
Context tours operate rain or shine, please come prepared for the elements to the best of your ability. In the event of extreme weather or dangerous weather conditions, Context may make the decision to cancel or reschedule tours. In these events, the client team will be in touch as soon as possible with updates and options.
How do you secure my payment information?
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 experts 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 email@example.com.
We will provide you with a secure phone number 24 hours before the start of the tour – in case of any issues on the day of your tour.
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 experts.
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.