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A tour group is made up of all sorts of travelers; young, old, well-traveled, novice, easygoing, demanding, fun-loving and even those who should have stayed at home. But I think we can all agree there are certain folks who can ruin a trip with complaints and an inability to make the trip a happy experience for all. There are also others who are a delight to have along and who can help make the trip a successful and happy adventure. Let’s take a look at the traits we appreciate in group travelers.

Good Sports

These are the folks who can take the good with the bad, knowing a trip isn’t going to be perfect. Sometimes the sun is going to come out and the day is going to be wonderful. They also accept there will be days where it may rain on our parade but they can still enjoy the outing.

Kindness to Other Group

This includes those wonderful people who are friendly to all and don’t form little cliques that leave some members feeling left out. They invite everyone to join them, they sit with different folks at meals and events and mix it up in an all-inclusive way so everyone enjoys themselves and each other.

Non-Complainers

A tour leader always appreciates a tour member coming directly to him or her quietly with a complaint rather than rumbling around among the tour membership and upsetting other members.

Being on Time

Being ready at the appointed hour is appreciated not only by the tour leader but also by the other trip participants who managed to arrive on time and then resent having to wait around for stragglers.

Special Thank Yous

Often, tours include special meetings, events, parties and other similar activities hosted by someone special. While such events are included as part of the tour, they are often hosted by individuals or private organizations who deserve recognition from the tour participants.

Bus Driver Recognition

The trip is often only as good or as bad as the bus driver. Special thanks to the driver for help on and off, assistance with baggage, or special attentiveness deserve the group’s recognition. I have had bus drivers help me when a tour member fell and injured herself – the driver knew first aid, knew where the nearest hospital was and stayed with me at the hospital until the tour member was released at 2 a.m.

Attention to Any Guest Speakers

Some excellent ways to treat guest speakers include: showing interest in the speakers’ presentations, asking pertinent questions that might be of interest to everyone in the group, thanking them for taking the time out of their private lives to come and speak to your group, prompting your individual tour members to shake hands and saying formal thank yous and goodbye.

Rotating Seats Cheerfully

Different people in the group may prefer to sit at the front, middle or rear of the coach, so rotating seats can ensure that each person gets an equitable chance at the best seat as the trip moves along.

Attention to Others

Pay attention to someone in the group who may be feeling left out, who perhaps did not come on the trip with a friend or partner or perhaps is simply shy or reserved.

Complying with Office Requirements

Turn in all information and required forms in a timely fashion well before the tour beginning date. While your groups may not always be made up of “perfect group travelers” whose en route behavior is a blessing, these 10 points can help you to steer your group toward a successful finish line.

By Marty Sarbey de Souto, CTC

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