ToursByLocals' Ten Most Common Questions, Answered!

(back to blog)

At ToursByLocals, our team of enthusiastic support staff cover the phone, LiveChat and email channels 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This means that every day they receive and answer A LOT of questions! We took the time to interview a few of these awesome folks today to find out what first time ToursByLocals travelers most want to know. Find all the answers below!

1. Do you have guides/tours in…?

The answer is pretty much always YES! We have experienced local guides offering private tours in 154 countries, and over 1000 cities. Chances are, we’ve got tours where you’re going. (And if we don't, our team of recruiters is working quickly to fill that gap.) It's easy to check if we have a guide somewhere: just type your destination into the "Where are you going?" form on our homepage.

2. How much does it cost?

No one answer here, as it depends where in the world you’re going! All of our guides set their own prices for their tours, and those prices are all published on the site. If you don’t see the exact tour you want, our guides will customize one for you, and let you know the price.

3. Do your guides offer shore excursions?

Yes! Our guides offer customizable shore excursions with private transportation, and we offer a "No One Left Behind" Guarantee that ensures you always make it back to your ship on time. If you haven't yet, try using our easy Shore Excursion Planner to find all the tours available at your ports of call!

4. Are the prices on the site per-person?

No, they are listed as the total price for your group. So if a tour is listed as $400, and there are 4 of you traveling together, $400 is the total price you'll pay. (You’ll need to do the math yourself to come to the conclusion that it’s $100/person!) Sometimes you will notice that the price displayed is broken into a slightly different cost whether it's 2, 4, 6, 8, etc people. This happens when there are food or entrance fees included as part of the tour, or perhaps to take into account the need for the guide to rent a larger vehicle.

5. Can a guide pick me up and drop me off in different places?

Yes, definitely. Tours are always customizable, so pick-up could be at an airport with drop off at a hotel. Or perhaps pick up at a cruise port and drop off at an airport. We love seeing people make the most of their time, and layover tours are popular!

6. Should we tip our guide?

No, there’s no need to leave a gratuity. All of our guides have set fair prices for their tours that mean they aren’t relying on tips for their income. The best tip you can leave is a thoughtful review of the tour!

7. Can I join someone else’s tour?

No, because all our tours are private. We encourage solo travelers or couples looking for more people to join their tour to go to travel forums like CruiseCritic. Lots of our travellers have had success finding like-minded people heading to the same places on the same dates. If you put together a small group, we’re very happy to facilitate individual payments over the phone.

8. Can I speak to the guide on the phone?

One you’ve booked your tour, you’ll be provided with your guide’s cell phone number, in case of emergency. But all itinerary planning needs to be discussed by messages through the website. This is so that, in the rare cases where the tour may not have been delivered to your expectations, there is a written record of what was agreed to.

9. How long will it take for the guide to get back to me?

We expect all of our guides to respond to messages within 24 hours. They do their best, but we ask that you try to be patient, especially in busy season! And remember that time zone differences often mean they are sleeping when you send your inquiry!

10. Who is the best guide in…?

We won’t lie: we all have our favourites. That being said, every one of our guides is excellent; they have all been thoughtfully recruited and vetted, and they all bring unique qualities to their tours. So the answer to this question is: it depends what you’re looking for! Some people want a scholarly guide, while others want a story-teller with a sense of humour. Families might want someone who’s easy-going and great with kids. Some travellers want a foodie-expert, while others are looking for an art historian. We suggest you read the guide’s bio and the reviews other travellers have left to give you a great sense of whether this is the right guide for you.

And one bonus question we've been getting a lot recently:

How far in advance should I book my tour?

For the best selection, we suggest booking your tour well in advance, once you've booked your flights, and are certain of your dates. Most travellers book around a month in advance. This also gives the guides time to customize the tour to your unique preferences. But if you're more of a last minute planner, check out our "Instant Bookings" which appear as options in major cities when you search for a tour with less than a week's notice.
Share This Article