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Tips for making your group’s experience extra-special

Apr 14, 2016 by The Go Ahead Tours Team

Our Global Ambassadors are experts when it comes to organizing groups and sharing their passion with other travelers. Part of what makes them so successful in recruiting is that they tap into their group members’ interests and surprise them with extras to make the trip feel special. We asked our Global Ambassadors to share some of their secrets for going above and beyond for their group members.

Tips for making your group's trip extra-special

“We have five trip parties before each tour to get to know each other better. These parties are held in our homes. I just ask the hosts to provide the space and the paper products and ask the travelers to bring a dish to share and their own beverage. After we get back, we have a reunion party to celebrate our trip and share our photos and scrapbooks over another buffet. During that reunion party, the next trip we have coming up is always a topic of discussion, so that increases interest in the new trip.”

— Margaret Lawson

“I organize a ‘Meet and Greet’ before we leave, with an overview of the [tour] documents. A light repast is had, and each traveler receives a gift (journal) with a pen to record the trip.”

— Mary Wade

“I always bring small gifts for each one to the airport, like rain ponchos, travel journals or cute tissue packages. I also ask my travelers what they would most like to do on the trip and then I search for special excursions to fulfill their desires. I research every place we go and I put together a list of the highlights and special foods for the area so they can see what we miss on the city tours on their own. I also print out a card with my cell phone number, our hotels’ addresses and phone numbers (along with the cities and dates), plus our Tour Director’s phone number. I laminate these and make my travelers carry it wherever they go.”

— Ruth Parrish

“We have lots of pre-tour get-togethers so travelers can get to know each other and bond as a group before we even travel. It’s always so much fun to travel with people you know and already consider as friends.”

— Ann Roy

“We have an initial meeting to announce the tour and present general information to get people to reserve; we also start checking passports for expiration dates and encourage our travelers to register with Global Entry. After reservations begin, we hold at least three ‘learn about the days’ meetings. I ask people to volunteer to give verbal reports on what we will see and do. This has encouraged them to do research and take ownership of what they learn and has prevented the ‘I will read the guidebook on the plane’ syndrome.”

— Bettye Carpenter

“Meetings, one-to-one visits with new people, informational emails on areas to be visited, packing tips, dinners and parties with gift bags and door prizes. I also organize stay-behind or go-ahead stays for my group. I act as a personal tour guide and organize hotels.”

— Verna Hastings

“I begin by sending frequent emails filled with information for the upcoming trip. Prior to leaving, we meet for brunch to get the group bonding and to give out last-minute information. I prepare little packages for each traveler filled with small things to use on the trip. While on tour I try to buy local treats or specialties to share with the group. When we get home, I share some pictures with the group. I host a reunion about two months after the trip and give each traveler a little gift.”

— Denise Frohaug

“We hold meetings at our home to answer questions and provide guidance/advice on the best way to travel and things to avoid. We try to provide our travelers with adapters for each country we are visiting and travel logs to keep track of their trip experience. Post-trip, we meet for another tour-appropriate meal and share memories of the trip.”

— Richard Cline

“Pre-trip meetings with raffles of travel items, serving food that is typical of the area we are visiting and always a multiple choice quiz about the upcoming venues. I also have lots of handouts about packing smart, and traveling smart; I usually have several first-time travelers in my groups. I always have a post-trip meeting to keep everyone connected. My husband Jeff takes photos of doors in every city and makes a beautiful poster that we present to each group member. We also prepare a DVD of photos of the trip for each member.”

— Sunny Wells

What little things do you do to make your group’s experience extra-special? Share your own tips in the comments!


Group Coordinators
About the author | The Go Ahead Tours Team
We’re a team of passionate travel experts, dedicated to helping people explore the world. From inspiring stories to tips for an amazing trip, the topics we cover are all about getting you out there and making discoveries.