Have Your Cake And Eat It Too Times 2
Dear Travel Agents/ Advisors,
Or, we could rephrase that to say ”How to have a great time with your clients.” Throughout my career, I have been very lucky. I have traveled with many travel agents who became my dear friends, and I hope to continue doing so. I believe that some of the greatest gifts in life are travel and friends. What a joy to meet new people with one thing in common – travel.
I would never have met these wonderful people if I hadn’t organized tours for them. I met these newfound friends on FAM Trips and Tours for Women. They were travel agents and their companions from all over the USA and Canada. All of us were from different backgrounds, ages, with differing views of the world, but all sharing a love of travel and traveling together. This is the cherry on top for me, the part of my work that I look forward to the most!
To ensure a smooth and wonderful group tour, you need to make sure that you will be the Travel Leader. (Organizers of a group become the Travel Leader.)
Important responsibilities of the leader include:
- Deciding who will pair the roommates: you, or will you let the travelers interview one another? If you decide that you will be doing it, ask the important questions, such as o you snore? What do you expect from your roommate? Also, ask other questions pertinent to your specific trip.
- Deciding if you will all travel together from one gateway, or meet at the destination.
- Deciding how much “free” time and/or optional tours you will offer to your group.
- Decide the number of people that will be included on your trip. Keep it small for your first group to make it more manageable.
- Deciding if tips to drivers and tour guides are included, and if not, if you will collect from the group and present to each professional, or let each traveler give individually. (Please advise your travelers ahead of time to avoid surprises!)
- Set ground rules before the trip, or as soon as you arrive to avoid future problems. (Problems will happen, and I could write a book about them!) Ask travelers to let you know that if they have a problem “today” to tell you “today,” and not “tomorrow.” It is hard to solve problems from “yesterday.”
- Medication – People seem to believe that once they are on vacation, it means “I will not take my medication.” This is a big mistake, and can jeopardize a great trip for everyone.
- Respect: Personal views on politics, race and religion are very sensitive. Decide how you want to handle them if they come up!
- Make sure that you will be the only one communicating to the tour guide and tour organizer. This way, you avoid too many tour leaders and everyone knows who is who.
- HAVE FUN, MAKE FRIENDS, AND PLAN ANOTHER TRIP!