Having been on a few group tours and also organising some, I have noticed a few things that would make every tour organiser oh so very confused. After a bit of research, we realised it’s a worldwide situation.
Most times, group trips end up leaving you feeling like you’ve made new friends.
However during the course of the tour, sometimes the organiser might feel exasperated and most times, this is because during the planning process, they’ve researched to make sure everything goes as well as humanly possible.
People put it down to ‘organisers should tolerate everyone’ which is true, but it is said in such a way whereby whatever tour participants do, it has be put up with.
Alas, we’re all humans and it’s unfair to expect them not to feel some sort of way. In their minds, they’re probably banging their heads against the wall.
So here are a couple of tips to help everyone be a great group tour participant.
1. Be prepared
Ensure you know all there is to know about the upcoming trip. The organizing company ideally should let you know what the trip will entail. Room sharing, hiking, outfit requirement etc. If you’re not sure send a message asking for more details of the trip. It’s a bit strange when you show up and try to act like you didn’t know what was going to happen. Read your itinerary/fine print, its not just just another attachment.
2. Disclose any special needs you may have.
Some people have special dietary needs – lactose intolerant, vegan etc. Another would be some sort of health related issue such as allergies, asthma etc. Your tour guide will not know if you don’t say. We for instance usually ask for special needs to be stated so we can better plan for you. We do try to have the basics with us such a first aid kits, panadol etc. So imagine your guides surprise when you’re half way through the trip and you drop a bombshell.
3. Be a team player
Play nice, don’t be rude, remember you’re not the same as everyone else and also what you do has the potential to affect everyone’s moods. There was once a trip where a guest was insultive towards another. Trust that it didn’t end well as there was an uproar. It calmed down later but the damage had been done.
We’ve also noticed that a lot of times, complaints are infectious. One person complains and it spreads to everyone.
Don’t be that person who causes a riot because you’re uncomfortable or just tired. Be a good sport and suck it up. If you want a tour that caters to your every need or you want to be able to make major changes, you could consider a private tour.
4. Remember to have a good time.
The joy of every tour guide is to see their clients genuinely having fun. Most times, they’ve gotten the best deals and thought of activities to do during the trip. While some may be too tired to engage, ensure that your guide knows it’s not because you think everything sucks as this will dampen the mood.
Group tours can be fun with just a little bit of effort from everyone. So go forth and have a great time next time you opt for a group tour. You’ll make new friends, maybe meet old ones and most importantly you’ll have fun while visiting somewhere new.
*This post was in no way intended to throw ‘shade’ at anyone. Apologies in advance if anything bears similarities to any singular situation.