Follow this time-tested advice to prevent rumbling and grumbling within your group.
How you handle food and drink arrangements on your spiritual journey will go a long way towards a successful trip outcome. The advice below outlines some critical factors to determine both in the pre-planning of meals and on-the-road protocol.
- What meals will be included in the trip price? Indicate what’s included by marking B,L,D at the end of each day on your trip’s day-to-day itinerary, which is sent to members in advance of departure.
- Will breakfast be continental or full? If continental, is this doughnuts and coffee, or more elaborate? How you handle breakfast arrangements is a consideration on timing to start your day as it takes longer for a sit-down breakfast than a grab-and-go hotel buffet.
- Will lunch be on your own or with the group? Lunch on-own is generally preferred unless it’s a special location or unique occasion. Included lunches can be very filling and end slowing your group down after a heavy meal. Coordinate this with your itinerary.
- Will dinner be served plated with choices or buffet-style? Buffet-style meals every night is less than preferred, especially in hotel dining rooms or chain restaurants. Consider spicing it up, especially on a long journey; the more choices the better.
- Understand that large groups can cause logistical challenges with some restaurants, especially if meal choices are involved. It request the kitchen extra time to prepare 40-50 meals at the same time, which will extend your meal time beyond what it would normally take to get in and out.
- Advance planning is key to having the dietary needs of your group met. Ask beforehand if any tour members have dietary restrictions or allergies so they can be accommodated. This can be included in the reservation form. Send constant reminders in pre-tour departure materials.
- In line with the dietary standards of your faith, be sure restaurants know your preferences regarding meats to be served.
- Will wine or other alcoholic beverages be served? If so, limits must be set. If your group does not approve of alcoholic beverages, this too must be conveyed to the dining establishments in advance.