You dreamed about your trip, you planned it, prepared, packed and left home alone. All is well, arriving safely, ready to start. Maybe it’s your first ever solo travel tour. Or maybe not for a while, and you’re not quite sure what to expect or just how it’s going to pan out.
Here’s some helpful touring travel tips and insights to make the most of your trip, and to explain some of the ‘ins and outs’ of group tours. We know that when you’re travelling solo you don’t have the back up of a travel buddy, or partner at your side to chat things over with.
The starting time on day one varies between tours. For many of our group tours you’ll start with meeting your fellow travellers and group leader in the evening. For other itineraries you may start off with sightseeing, and a meeting point will be advised on your itinerary issued with your final documents. Whichever the case, most trips will have a welcome briefing from your tour leader, whether casually, or a semi-formal get-to-gether.
With a tour briefing you may expect to hear about such things as; safety tips for your destination, seat rotation policy and how to manage your bags on arrival and departure at each new destination. It’s also a good time to raise any questions.
In fairness to all travellers, we have a seat rotation policy - ensuring that everyone will have the chance of window seats or seats up the front of the vehicle. If you are prone to motion sickness remember to take some motion sickness pills with you.
For many of our tours, porterage of your bags at the hotels will be included with your tour package, but otherwise additional fees may apply and a charge may be imposed by the hotel. If you are not sure about this detail, it’s best to check with your tour guide, or our travel team beforehand. This information is usually available on our website.
When moving from hotel to hotel your tour guide will let you know the day prior to a hotel check out, what the luggage procedure will be for the next day. They will let you know what time you need to have your luggage ready, prior to the group departure. If porterage is included, it’s standard that you would have your main luggage ready before you go for breakfast, then return to your room to collect your hand luggage, while your checked luggage is loaded onto the vehicle.
GROUP ARRIVAL AT YOUR HOTEL
On arrival at a hotel the tour guide is likely to get off the coach first and check in with the hotel reception to announce the group arrival. Procedure for each check-in can vary from hotel to hotel and country to country. In many destinations it’s a requirement that a photocopy of your passport is made at the time of check in. Some tour guides will ask to collect everyone’s passports to take care of this step on behalf of the group. In some instances, the tour guide may request that the group remains on board the coach, until this part of the check-in process is complete.
As we have small groups, it’s usually straightforward and doesn’t take too long to settle in.
So, something is not quite as you expected. While on tour, always raise any issues with your tour guide. This will give the best chance of any issue being fixed while on your trip – by the time you return home usually it’s too late. The tour personnel are there to help you, so don’t just suffer inconveniences - often an issue can be assisted or resolved easily.
Many of our group tours have a good number of meals included, either at the hotel or a local restaurant.
When we refer to ‘highlight dinner’ it indicates either it includes a special experience like a show, or some kind of entertainment or otherwise a fine dining or unique dining experience, a ‘cut above’ the average.
FOR YOUR COMFORT
It’s the small things that count and that can add to your comfort while you are touring.
When you join a group tour, your tour guide will factor in comfort stops along the way. If you have any special requests while on the road, make sure you talk with your tour guide on the first day so that he or she can do their best to factor this into the group arrangements. However, keep in mind that the tour guide needs to work with what’s best for the majority of the group.
It might seem obvious, but don’t forget to pack a back pack or lightweight bag with items for your day out such as: water, small umbrella, lightweight jacket, camera, hat (for either sun or cold), small note pad, pen, sunglasses and/or reading glasses, something to read or a crossword puzzle.
Some cities and towns charge for access to use public bathrooms. Also, some restaurants may allow the public to use their bathroom even if you are not a patron, but for a fee. The charge is usually a nominal fee and coins or small notes will be needed.
ON THE HOME STRETCH
Before you know it, you’re already in the second half of your trip. By the time you’re in the final stretch of the tour, with only days to go, it’s hard to believe how fast the time has passed, and how many memories you’ve collected along the way.
Quick Checks on the Final Days
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