Rightly or wrongly, our tour participants judge us as tour leaders by their first impression of us. Are we professionally attired and groomed? Are we there first, ready for the day’s activities? Do we have a list of names and rooming assignments ready for hotel check-ins? Do we know the schedule – what time our flight leaves, what meals are served (or not) on board? Do we know the name and contact of those designated to service our group? Are we ready to answer the million and one questions our trip members may have?
I find that the two most important times on a trip are the first day and then again the last night. On the first day, they’re nervous. They’re asking themselves, “Am I going to like him/her?” “Does she know who I am and what my needs and expectations are for this trip?” They may be wondering if they’re going to get their money’s worth and if they’ll enjoy the other tour members and make friends. It’s important that they feel you’re knowledgeable, in charge and well prepared. They want to feel that they’re going to have a wonderful time.