6 Essential Tips for Group Travel
Group tours come in all shapes and sizes and here at Casey Australia Tours our tours are geared towards those with adventurous spirits, seniors and people wanting to explore Australia as our motto is “it’s never dull on tour!”
Our extended tours are led by a Driver and a Host, and they are a great way to experience new destinations. The team are an invaluable resource – even for the most experience travellers, group travel includes perks like pre planned itineraries, all inclusive prices for flights, motels, most meals and entry or planned cruises and tours and sight-seeing experiences and endless opportunities to socialise with like-minded people.
Whether you’re new to group touring, or have done it more times than you can count, here are eight essential tips for making your trip run smoothly.
Almost any list of travel tips will tell you to pack lightly, but when embarking on a group tour, we find this advice especially pertinent. From the time you arrive at your destination until the time you depart, you will be responsible for handling your own luggage. Trust us, when you’re the one doing all the heavy lifting, lighter is better.
With a group in tow, it could take 20 minutes to walk to a destination you could have reached on your own in five. You’ll have to wait for someone who’s taking too long in the gift shop, or end your museum visit early because someone needs to use the bathroom. There’s bound to be that group member who asks too many questions/thinks he knows everything/is impolite/chews with her mouth open/[insert annoying habit here].
No matter how large or small your group, there’s going to be someone or something that really tests your patience. In these situations, all you can do is learn to go with the flow. Know that traveling with a group will require a different mindset than traveling on your own. No matter how hard it might be, try not to let one person’s annoying behaviour ruin your experience.
Any time you travel, it’s always a good idea to keep an open mind. Sometimes experiencing a new culture or town may require you to step outside your comfort zone, and that’s okay. Be prepared to do things you’ve never done before, try new foods and styles of dining, and interact with people who may look or sound completely different than you do.
Remember, you are a guest in a destination—whether it’s a rural town or a local, so it’s important to respect the area’s customs and ways of life. Luckily, when traveling with a group, your tour team will be able to provide you with tips on what to expect and how to act in wherever you may be visiting.
Along with being patient and open-minded, it’s important to be flexible. No matter how hard your tour team will try, something on your itinerary will likely go awry. Unexpected bad weather could cancel flights or cruise departures.
Usually, these circumstances are out of your control; and while it may be frustrating to have plans turned upside down, learn to view your situation as a new opportunity rather than a detriment to your trip. Unexpected changes to your itinerary are only small glitches. In a positive light, they can add an unexpected element of adventure and excitement to your trip.
When it’s 7am and you’re sitting on a bus anticipating an hour-long drive to your next destination, chances are that falling asleep will sound like a much nicer option than listening to your tour team as they ramble on about the history of the next destination.
When you are jet-lagged after your flight to the other side of the country, you’ll stare at your tour team in horror when they suggest touring the Parliament House for the afternoon. And at the end of a long day, when all you want to do is sit down and rest and have a well-earned cup of tea or drink, your tour team will use this an opportunity to discuss the historical and cultural significance around you. Our team with their knowledge and advice is invaluable….remember, they do this for a living. Besides, when else are you going to learn about an historical site or be able to hear the stories of days gone by?
Get to Know Other Group Members
Getting to know your group members may be one of the most important tips on group travel. Whether you know them already or not, sharing a travel experience will definitely bring you closer together.
When you look back on your trip, you won’t remember what went wrong, or who annoyed you the most—you’ll remember how you and Jenny climbed all the way to the top of Mt Augustus or how you and John shared all those Wildflower pics. Traveling can be a magical, and making the most of it with the people around you can turn out to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.