Frequently Asked Questions

If you’ve got a question not answered here, just drop us a line!

What’s a Detour trip like?

How active is it?

Our trips are moderately active. You should be comfortable walking around for up to 2 hours at a time with short breaks here and there. On many tours we also have to climb stairs and cross irregular terrain. If you’re concerned about the physical demands of the tour, or if you might need special accommodations, get in touch.

Are these budget tours or luxury tours?

Not exactly either one. They’re certainly not budget tours, as we take too much pride in quality to cut corners. And we don’t believe in optional activities, kickbacks, and other hidden costs. Unlike luxury tours, we don’t sanitize the entire experience for your protection. We may pamper you sometimes, but mostly we’re aiming to provide a rich and varied cultural experience; not Club Med.

What’s the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle of Tourism?

It’s the time-honored maxim that tourists cannot visit a destination without changing it by our presence. Sometimes it’s obvious how tourism eclipses a place’s local character. Other times it’s more subtle. Detour makes an effort to engage in culturally responsible tourism that respects the culture of our destination.

What happens during the tour?

How much independence will I have?

As much as you want! The show will go on with or without you. If you’d rather take a hike, a swim, or a nap, you’ll have our complete support. NB: If you’re traveling to Cuba, this question gets a different answer. See the Cuba FAQ.

What if I’m interested in something that isn’t on the itinerary?

This trip is about you! If you need our help finding the activity you’re looking for, just ask. Either we know where to find it, or we’ll find someone who does. NB: Again, Cuba travel has its own rules. See the Cuba FAQ.

What’s it like to travel with a group?

What people typically say about this is: Traveling with other, like-minded people was more fun than they expected, and they were able to see and do things they’d never have experienced on their own.


How do I register for a trip?

Just call or email us. We’ll get in touch to confirm details of your reservation, ask about any particular interests or needs you’ll have on the trip, and get billing information from you.

How does payment work?

We send you an invoice by email, and then you mail us a check with your deposit. We hold your reservation for up to seven days after sending the invoice, so your place on the trip is secure. We’ll invoice you again for payment in full, which is due 75 days prior to departure.

Is every tour a guaranteed departure?

No, tours only depart if enough travelers sign up. If you express interest in a tour that is not yet guaranteed, we let you know before finalizing your reservation. If a trip is not guaranteed 75 days before departure, it may be cancelled. In this case we’d return your money and offer you $100 off your next trip. This is our way of acknowledging any inconvenience the cancellation caused you.

What if I need to cancel my trip after I’ve already paid for it?

Your payment, including the deposit, is fully refundable up to 75 days prior to the trip. After that, we handle refunds on a case-by-case basis. We aim to refund whatever we can while covering any costs incurred as a result of the late cancellation. We encourage you to purchase trip insurance to minimize your risk.

Meeting your needs

Will Detour do a private tour for a person or group? Can you customize it?

We can absolutely customize a private trip for you. Just get in touch and let us know what you have in mind!

Can you tailor my private tour to the interests of my bisexual Buddhist knitting collective? We’re not interested in meeting heterosexual Buddhists or Catholic knitters, only other bisexual Buddhist knitters.

That’s a pretty small niche. We can do our best, but unfortunately we don’t have any connections to bi Buddhist knitters anywhere. However, we do have special expertise/connections in social services, progressive activism, specialty coffee, LGBT communities, and Jewish communities. And we can often work some magic for more mainstream interests like music, baseball, coffee… or even Buddhism or knitting. When in doubt, just ask!

I can’t go on the trip I want because of my schedule. Can it be repeated at a time that works for me?

If there’s a trip you want to see, let us know. We’re happy to consider it. You could also get some friends together and request it as a group. If you have several people ready to take a trip with you, you’ve got a better chance than if you’re traveling alone.

I have limited mobility/use gender-neutral bathrooms/eat vegetarian/etc.

We’re committed to making our trips as accessible as possible. Let us know about your needs. We can brainstorm with you about how to include you as fully as possible in the tour’s activities. With any luck, we’ll figure out ways to make it work for you.


I see prices listed as single or double. What’s that?

“Single” means you’ll have your own hotel room. “Double” means two people are sharing a room. If you’d like help finding a roommate, we’ll see what we can do.

Why so cheap?

Our tours are priced competitively for several reasons. First off, traveling with a group is more cost-effective than traveling alone. We can share some costs and negotiate group rates for others. Second, not every meal is champagne and caviar. We might eat at a fancier restaurant one night and a hole in the wall the next – so long as they both have great food and personality. Last but not least, this is a business with a soul, and we’re trying to be fair with you.

Why so pricey?

We make the tours as affordable as possible without compromising on our principles. Our top priority is to give you a great, memorable travel experience. We may spend extra to make your trip more comfortable or convenient – often because we tried out a less expensive option and realized it wasn’t everything you’d hope. Also, because we’re committed to treating people well, we pay decently, tip decently, etc. No cutting corners there! We also don’t play games with hidden costs. Finally, we never take kickbacks from hotels, restaurants, or retailers, so a tour’s price represents all proceeds for the trip.


Are trips open to children too?

We can organize a family-friendly trip for your private group. But unless otherwise specified, trips are not open to minors.

I noticed some trips emphasize LGBT themes. Can I go on the trip if I’m not LGB or T?

Detour aims to be equally inclusive of straight and LGBT travelers. Whether or not a trip has a specific LGBT theme, it’s open to everyone.

How else do you live your commitment to diversity?

Detour operates with a nondiscrimination policy that covers every marginalized group we’re aware of. I try to make tours accessible to people with diverse needs (see above). And Detour shares proceeds from our business with our favorite nonprofits. They’re all doing great work to make the world a better, more just place for all people.