Tour planning can be a breeze for itinerary makers everywhere with these 12 ideas to bring to your prospective travelers
Tour planning takes creativity and thoughtful inclusions. Sure, your travelers are going to buy the exciting itinerary and contents you have mentioned. But they’re buying more than just the day-to-day schedule outlined in your brochure or other publicity materials. Here are the magic 12 features I think a good trip should provide above and beyond hotels, transportation and guides for a fulfilling time.
1. A Glimpse of Beauty
Itinerary makers have an opportunity to provide a memorable experience to their travelers. Offer something your tour members will remember as beautiful – a spectacular sunset, a colorful garden or a striking architectural structure. You can use these opportunities for reflection, relaxation and photo opportunities on excursions.
2. A Change of Pace
Itinerary makers should strive for varied experiences, some intense, some fleeting. Provide something totally different in the day’s pacing from what one would be doing at home so that your tour members feel they are really “away” when they’re away with you.
3. Tour Planning for Friendships
Carefully create an atmosphere that grows new friendships developed among fellow tour members as the trip moves along. Hopefully, this culminates in new friendships to be continued long after the tour ends and one returns home. Not only do new friends make for new emotional fodder to warrant future trips, but it always pleases tour members to know that they’ve enlarged their circle.
4. An Appreciation of the Past
When tour planning, take a look back through the ages and bring to life the history your tour members may have studied in school. Perhaps they are now seeing and understanding this history for the first time. Itinerary makers have the chance to fulfill travelers’ curiosities by incorporating these places into their trip plans.
5. A Sense of Fun
Stories, jokes, and funny incidents afford laughter all the way around the group and makes great memories. The lighter touch can also balance any unpleasant incidents that may have occurred en route: a rude waiter, an impossible-to-understand local guide, an unhelpful hotel desk clerk.
6. Something Sensual
A massage, a visit to a perfume factory, a pedicure. A walk on the beach with the sand between your toes. These are things an itinerary maker can provide as something that will stick with them. Tour planning with all the sensations in mind will delight every participant, but it’s also an opportunity to be creative.
7. A Food Experience
Being introduced to totally new and delicious dining experiences can be very memorable. Hopefully not just by eating new cuisines but visiting a local market and attending a cooking demonstration. How about the opportunity to “do it yourself” under supervision of a local chef? Being able to return home and pass along this new ability to family and friends makes for a richer experience. Including a memorable culinary interaction is a must when tour planning.
8. Your Personal Kindness
As the itinerary maker, it’s your duty to bring kindness to tours, to the locals and to other members of your group. Ultimately, when you return home you can honestly say that you “gave back” to those whom you met and learned from along the way. So too will your tour members treasure a wonderfully kind experience.
9. A Learning Experience
Not just learning about the history of the areas you’re visiting but understanding how this history developed through the years is vital. Bringing history to life through visits to such sites as the Louvre, the Statue of Liberty or something as awful as Auschwitz creates an immersive tour. This is another key experience to include when tour planning.
10. Meeting With Locals
I’m not talking about just visits to places and buildings, but interacting with local people of the areas you’re visiting. You can pre-arrange a dinner get-together with a local teacher, lawyer or business person who might provide insight to your group.
11. Pre-Trip Advice
Itinerary makers can provide help before the trip even starts in information bulletins you may prepare. These will advise travelers on passports and any necessary visas, packing, clothing suggestions, en route medications, any required inoculations and other suggestions that occur to you. Tour planning with this in mind will ensure your members’ peace of mind.
12. A Sense of Pride
As the itinerary maker, you will have a sense of pride on your part that you were able to provide this unique trip. Pride on the part of the tour members comes from the fact that they actually had the opportunity to be part of this wonderful travel project. This pride will be the basis for their recommending future travel clients to you. It will also mean that they will come back year after year on future travel programs you may plan and offer to them. And while every trip trip you plan may not include all 12 of the points mentioned, it should give you some insight as to what a top-notch operator can aspire.
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