FAQ

Q. How educational are your trips?

A. A real highlight of our trips is what you will learn by our educational staff! Most trips have an expert Study Leader who holds a series of lectures during the trip. Our study leaders are often prominent academics, journalists, and diplomats and focus on historical, political, and contemporary issues of the region. Not only will they lecture, but they are available for in-depth discussions and one-on-one conversation throughout the journey. If we are traveling with other educational institutions, we might have multiple study leaders, so you get a variety of topics. Their expertise is complemented by top local guides and/or guest speakers. On occasion we have a series of local guest speakers throughout the trip, rather than a single study leader throughout. Our weekend trips and food and wine programs feature guest speakers (chefs, winemakers, local experts) rather than one study leader.

Q. I’ve never taken a group trip before, how do I know it is right for me?

A. Most people are pleasantly surprised by their first group travel experience with The Club. The benefit of having everything taken care of and not spending time figuring out logistics, allows you to focus on the destination and enjoy yourself. Because things are so well planned and organized, we can cover a lot of ground. You will do and see more than you would on your own. Your traveling companions usually share similar interests and often have wonderful life stories and accomplishments. Making great connections and new friends is an added and often unexpected bonus of our trips.

 

Q. What does a typical trip look like?

A. The Club offers travel experiences that foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the culture, history, politics, art, architecture and natural beauty of a region.

We offer trips by land, sea, and air or some combination of these. Some trips are quite active and cover a lot of ground, while others provide an opportunity to stay in one place for several days. We are happy to work with each traveler to make sure that the trip is right for them.

Q. Who leads the trips?

A. Our trips are staffed well. Every trip is led by a professional tour manager and a Club host to take care of the details and make sure the trip runs well. We also have study leaders and expert local guides. 

Q. I'm traveling alone. Will there be others with whom I can spend time?

A. Yes. One major benefit of Club travel is that you're surrounded by like-minded people who share your interests. You might even make lifelong friends. We are happy to connect independent travelers before the trip if you are interested. 

Q. Are all the trip activities scheduled, or will I have some free time?

A. Our trips are quite busy and full of wonderful experiences. We do also allow for individual exploration and we strive to find the perfect balance between free time and structured activities.

Q. What is included in the trip price?

A. Our trips include all touring, entrances, activities, accommodations, and most all meals. (Free time and independent meals vary from trip to trip.) The services of a study leader and/or Club host, tour manager, guides and guest speakers are also included. In general, all gratuities for group activities are included. We itemize exactly what is and is not included in the Terms and Conditions section of each brochure.

Q. Are international flights included in the trip price?

A. Because many people would rather arrange their own international flights, the Club does not usually include them in the trip rates. If international air is included it will be noted clearly in the pricing section of the brochure.

Q. Can the Club help me with my international flight arrangements?

A. We do not have an air department at the Club, but our tour operators have a designated air agent for each trip who can assist you.     

Q. What if I want to arrive early or extend my stay after the trip?

A. You are more than welcome to extend your stay or arrive early. If group transfers are included in the trip, you will most likely need to arrange private airport transfers, but we can help you with that! If you would like assistance making air arrangements or booking additional hotel nights at our group’s hotel, please call us at (415) 597-6720. 

Q. Can I share a room with another traveler?

A. If you would like to share accommodations, just let us know. We'll do our best to pair you up with an appropriate roommate. We will put you in contact have have to you speak to each other and meet if possible. 

Q. What are the physical requirements for the trip?

A. The physical requirements for each trip vary, and some trips are more active than others. Please call us at (415) 597-6720 to discuss your particular needs or desired activity level.

Q. What if I need to cancel my trip?

A. Please review the cancellation policies in the trip brochure for details as refund and cancellation policies vary by trip. We urge you to purchase trip cancellation insurance, available for coverage of expenses in case of cancellation due to illness or accident. We also recommend baggage insurance. The Commonwealth Club works with Travel Insurance Services as a partner in offering trip insurance to our members. To look at various policies and cover visit our designated insurance website with Travel Insurance Services

Q. How can I learn more about a specific trip or make a reservation?

A. Take a look at the trip description and online brochure for each individual trip to see the itinerary and all that is included. Reservations are granted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Call us at (415) 597-6720 or send an email to travel@commonwealthclub.org for more information or to make a reservation. 

Q. My question isn't here. What should I do?

A. We'd love to hear from you. Give us a call at (415) 597-6720 or send an e-mail to travel@commonwealthclub.org.