How You Should and Shouldn’t Act on a Group Tour
Whether it’s your first group tour or you’re a seasoned pro, these 10 tips will help make your next group tour experience a smooth and drama-free one.
Be on Time
One of the greatest benefits of group tours is that everything is pre-planned so you don’t have to put extra thought into things like transportation and what your next activity will be. Showing up late is not only disrespectful, but could ruin the day’s schedule—which you paid for.
Tours aren’t lectures, they’re conversations. That means you should be participating by listening and asking questions. Trained guides usually possess a wealth of knowledge that goes far beyond what they’ve planned to share on a given tour, so it’s up to you to engage them. Ask relevant questions when you have them, and trust your tour leader’s answers—it’s their job to be right.
Get to Know Your Fellow Travelers
Group tours tend to be longer than your typical vacation, so use the opportunity to build some life-long friendships. Seeing the world with a group or like-minded, curious people truly enhances the travel experience.
Be respectful especially when you’re traveling with people from other countries, keep in mind that customs and routines may differ.
Pick a Compatible Tour
If you do your research and know what you’re getting yourself into, you’ll have a much better experience and won’t be caught off guard. Look for companies that cater to travelers around your age group and offer to waive single supplement rates.
Be Open to Plan B
Be flexible. You travel to experience new places, so be open to trying new foods, staying in hotels and hostels that aren’t always up to standards, and soaking up local culture by chatting up your tour mates and locals.
And when things don’t go as planned: Try to turn calamity into comedy. How people react to it can make or break the trip for them. Think about how to turn it into a funny story … so it can become a trip highlight instead of a catastrophe.
Follow the Rules
Many tour companies have their own specific set of rules or guidelines—read them and be sure to respect them. If these means no smoking in rooms or in the van or bus, then you need to abide by that. If the trip is for solo travelers or singles only, don’t bring your spouse or friend. The same goes for following local laws and customs. Ultimately, you’ll be responsible for your own behavior—not the group tour company.
Make Special Requests Ahead of Time
Whether it’s an allergy or an accessibility concern, a guide will be able to accommodate special requests on a group tour as long as there is advance notice. Communicate with your travel or booking agent directly, and follow up with your tour leader or primary contact prior to your departure.
Remember, You’re on Vacation. Laugh with the locals, and eat the delicious food. Try and say yes to every experience.