Issuing tour guidelines in advance will make the trip more pleasant for everyone in your group
I know that some of you have not yet ventured back into overseas tours and cruises or longer tours here in the U.S. Your traveling groups may consist primarily of those who enjoy one-day excursions to nearby destinations or perhaps short overnight trips. And, on many of these trips you probably have different folks on board for each trip; it isn’t an ongoing, continuing trip with the same people who get to know your rules and what you expect of those who travel with you.
You may wish, therefore, to consider making up a handout to all who sign up for your excursions.
Here’s my magic dozen points you might use in establishing rules of the road for short tour excursions:
- Front seats in the coach are reserved for trip escort(s) and personnel (like group leaders) operating the trip.
- If you sat near the front of the coach in the morning, please rotate and sit in the rear or middle of the coach in the afternoon. Do not keep a front area seat for the entire trip.
- As a courtesy to your fellow tour members and to your trip escort or step-on guides, please listen when they are speaking rather than chatting with your seat-mate and making it difficult for others to hear.
- Your trip escort will advise you at each stop as to what time the coach will depart. As a courtesy to all, please be back on board by the stated time or we may leave without you.
- Jot down the number of the coach and name of the driver, so if you get lost you could find us. When a coach parking lot is filled with 50 coaches, they may all look alike! Also, your driver may move your coach while waiting for you to return so it might not be parked in the exact same place as you left it.
- It is suggested that you always bring a wrap (even in the heat of mid-summer) to contend with air conditioning on coaches, in restaurants, etc. Also bring anything else you may need such as extra camera batteries and any daily medication.
- It is expected that all trip participants will be sociable and mix with all others in the group so as to make this a happy experience for all. Please help us make newcomers welcome.
- If a meal or meals are included in your trip package, please understand that many times we have negotiated a set menu and cannot guarantee meals for special diets. At other times, meals may be offered in a meal court or similar wherein each tour member may order individually. When meals are not included in the trip, be prepared to pay with cash in small bills so as not to hold up the entire group while those at your table sort out the bill.
- On some trips it may be appropriate for each individual to tip waiters, coach drivers, etc. Your trip escort will advise you as to which tips are included in the tour price and which are not.
- If you have enrolled on a trip that involves overnight accommodations on a share-room basis, please note that we only accept participants who are “good sports” and can share their room gracefully. On the other hand, if you prefer the luxury of reading or watching TV until late or taking long leisurely baths, or if your snoring brings down the roof, we urge you to request a single room when enrolling and pay the single room supplement accordingly.
- All tour participants are asked to bring along their ID, information on their doctor and medical plan, and contact in case of emergency.
- Let us know how you liked the tour and, if you really enjoyed it, the nicest compliment you can give us is to refer friends and colleagues to our program. That’s how we grow!
Follow these 12 rules of the road for short tour excursions and your next trip will have less hiccups.
By Marty Sarbey de Souto