Frequently Asked Questions
Please find below the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about our tours, where we try to put some of the Booking Conditions into a lay person’s language. In the (highly unlikely!) event that the answers provided below are different to our Booking Conditions, it is the Booking Conditions which apply.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if any of your questions are not answered!
Content of the tour
What is so special about these tours?
Our tours really are something different. They are not simply led by knowledgeable tour guides – they are individually designed and led by real subject experts in their fields. As well as travelling with the experts themselves, you will also meet with lots of fascinating people along the way – academics, journalists, politicians, activists, artists, business people, etc. Since we travel in small groups, there is ample opportunity for real interaction with the people we meet.
We are sure that you will gain a level of understanding about the countries we visit and issues we explore which simply is not available for most people when travelling on their own or on tours which are only focused on cultural or history.
Do you have a political agenda?
Absolutely not. The purpose of our tours is to understand political, economic and social issues and to help create dialogue and respect for different perspectives. We have no political agenda ourselves and we do not seek to promote a particular point of view. All of our experts who accompany the tours will have their own personal opinions and you will be sure to hear them, but we only work with people who are open to the views of others and can step back and see the bigger picure.
Do your tours really provide all points of view?
We try to. Of course, some countries have more legal and/ or cultural restrictions than others as to what it is possible to talk about. We must respect and work within these parameters, as we do not want to compromise the safety of either travellers or the people with whom we meet. The expert accompanying the tour is fully aware of these issues and is able to provide guidance.
Is there flexibility in the programmes?
Yes. Our tours are intended to be dynamic and responsive to sometimes rapidly changing political events. Also, the schedules of the busy people we plan to meet might change or they might even no longer be in their positions (in which case we will seek replacement meetings). This is simply a reality of the countries we visit and the type of tours we offer. Thus, on almost all tours there will be adjustments made to the tour itinerary.
Also, there might be an issue of particular interest to you which is not included in the itinerary. Please do feel free to suggest this. If this is relevant to the tour purpose and is feasible, we will see if we can accommodate this. While we can make absolutely no guarantees that this will be possible, all of our experts are very well connected. So please ask!
Are cultural activities and visits to tourist attractions included in the tours?
While our focus is on political and social issues, in most countries these are deeply intertwined with culture, history and art. Therefore, all of our tours include visits to churches, mosques, places of historical or cultural importance, etc., when they help us understand the present day issues.
Art is often an important way of understanding present day realities, so many of our tours include meetings with artists or visits to relevant art galleries.
There is also plenty of time in the journeys to enjoy the great food, hospitality and nightlife of the places we visit.
But what we most definitely do not do is ‘tick off’ the usual landmarks. There are many other tour operators who can provide these services, but we don’t see that as our strong point.
If you think there is something missing from the tour that you would like to see, then do let us know or plan to spend a little bit of extra time in the country before or after the tour.
Are Tailor-made tours possible?
Absolutely. We are able to arrange tailor-made tours for individuals, groups, universities, companies, etc. This is not limited to the countries in which we offer organised tours. Custom-made tours could be for a day or as long as you want. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.
Also, it might be that you have a group which wishes to book a tour, but you cannot do the dates we have planned or would like the tour in a different language. If the group is more than 7 people, we might be able to arrange an additional departure date or different language for your tour. Please ask us.
On the tour
Who are the tours for?
The only requirement for participation is an open mind. Although our tours are led by real experts, participation is open to everyone, whether they are simply interested in the issues or are professionals working in the field who wish to deepen their understanding of the country.
We do not seek to promote a particular point of view and welcome people with different political viewpoints; the more diversity of opinions, the better, as far as we are concerned!
There are some tours which might include places where physical access is difficult for people with physical disabilities. Please contact us for any questions about this and we will do everything we can to accommodate your situation or advise you of any potential difficulties you might face on your chosen tour.
What behaviour is expected on the tours?
As well as the normal respectful and culturally appropriate behaviour expected for all responsible travel, the nature of our tours do make it necessary to say a few words about this.
During our tours we will be meeting with a range of different people who will be acting in a professional capacity and who might not be used to meeting groups of travellers in this way. In order to ensure the functioning of the tour and the safety of both travellers and local tour experts, it essential for people to behave respectfully at all times, even when they disagree with opinions expressed. In many cases there will be minimum standards of appropriate dress during meetings. We will let you know about these after booking.
What is the size of the group?
The maximum group size is 15, although on most tours it will be less than that. We try to keep the groups small, as this allows for more in-depth interactions.
What are the languages of a tour?
Most tours are in English (unless otherwise specified) as this is the language where it is easiest to meet with people. When a person we meet on a tour does not speak English, then translation will be provided. However, some tours are in German. Be sure to check before you book!
If you would like us to offer a particular tour in another language, then please do contact us and we will explore whether this is possible.
Start and end places of a tour
The tour starts and ends in the place indicated in the tour description. This is generally the same place, although in a limited number of cases the tour will start in one city and end in another city within the country. These exceptions are only for your convenience to avoid unnecessary long travel times back to the starting point, e.g., lots of onwards travel options from the final destination city, many additional attractions in the end city where a significant number of travellers are likely to want to prolong their stays.
What about safety?
Your safety is paramount. All of our tours are designed by people with intimate knowledge of the local situation. While we seek to understand political, economic and social issues, we do not have any political agenda ourselves and do not seek in any way to interfere with the politics of a country. That simply is not our purpose. We do, however, travel to places off the usual tourist track and conditions are clearly not the same as in economically developed countries.
We would encourage you to look at any particular travel advice that your foreign ministry might offer.
As we are based in Germany, we use the German Foreign Ministry travel advice as our guide. If, as part of our tour, we travel to a place where a travel warning is in place, we might require you to sign an acknowledgement of this before participating in this part of the journey.
What type of accommodation do we stay in?
Accommodation is normally of an upper-middle to upper-class standard, be it a regular hotel, boutique hotel, or guest house. But where possible we choose accommodating which helps contribute to the story of the tour, e.g., hotel where a particular event happened, accommodation with local families. Also, in some places when we travel in the provinces, higher-class accommodation is not really available.
Do I need to prepare for the tour?
An entirely optional reading and resources list, updated itinerary (if required) and list of practical issues will be sent to you at least one month prior to the tour.
What is included in the costs?
Generally, all in-country costs are included in the tour, namely accommodation, meals, transport, entry fees, indicated entertainment, speakers fees (where applicable), etc. During most tours there are one or two free evenings for you to explore on your own. In these cases, evening meals are not included. Unless otherwise indicated, alcoholic drinks are generally not included in the cost of meals.
Please check the specific tour for details.
Airfares, or other transport costs to/ from the start/ end of the tour and visas are not included in the cost of the tours.
Do I need to get Visas?
This depends upon the country of origin and destination. All travellers are responsible for ensuring they have the appropriate visas for the country they are visiting.
What insurance do I need?
As with all travel, it is advisable to take out comprehensive insurance. Health and accident insurance, (including repatriation) are obligatory for participation in one of our tours. New Perspectives Travel retains the right to see documentary evidence of such insurance before you join us on the trip.
Is New Perspectives Travel also insured?
We are insured by HanseMerkur Insurance Group. The insurance covers liabilities due to personal injuries, property damage and asset pecuniary loss during the tour. Your tour price is also insured by adequate insolvency insurance by related Touristik-Service GmbH (tourVers).
I'm in - How do I book?
To book or reserve a place on a tour, please complete the short Reservation Form. Once we receive the Reservation Form, we will confirm to you that your requested number of places on the tour are available and ask you to complete the Booking Form. The Booking Form requires more detailed information on travellers, includes booking conditions, etc. When we receive the completed Booking Form and your deposit or full payment for the tour, then your booking is confirmed. At least 28 days prior to departure we will send you an (entirely optional!) reading list, updated itinerary (if required) and list of practical issues (what to bring, health and safety, etc.). In a limited number of cases a tour is advertised, but the final departure dates or the itinerary are in the process of being finalised. It is possible to pre-register for such tours through the Reservation Form. If you have any questions whatsoever about booking (or anything else for that matter), please do not hesitate to Contact Us.
How much is the deposit?
To confirm your place on a tour, a deposit of €500 (or full payment if the booking is within 8 weeks of the departure date) is required along with the completed Booking Form.
The balance on the cost of the tour is due at least 8 weeks before departure.
Can you book my flights?
We are a land-based tour operator, which means that, unless otherwise indicated, you are responsible for booking your flights. However, we are happy to put you in touch with our partner travel agent if you require it so that you can book through them!
Other Questions and Answers
I still have questions...
Do you still have questions which are not answered here? Please do not hesitate to Contact Us.
If you are still not sure whether or not joining one of our tours is right for you, then please do contact us and we will be happy to answer any questions you might have.