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Faith Travel 101 — How to make trips memorable


Courtesy Green Bay CVB

4) Be spontaneous.

No matter how carefully you plan or how creative you are, you can’t get around this basic fact: Sometimes the most memorable experiences in life are unplanned things that happen out of the blue. Your travelers can have a great time doing something you didn’t plan, as long as you don’t get in their way.

The group tours of old were regimented affairs, with strict timetables and lots of activities jam-packed into long days. Today’s travelers are looking for more flexibility and free time to pursue their own interests or spend time with their companions. It’s your job to plan a trip that affords them that flexibility and to be open and responsive to the ideas they come up with on the fly.

Remember that leadership is a key part of your responsibility. As the group leader, you set the stage for the entire trip. If you’re strict, controlling or closed, you may inadvertently be bringing your travelers down. If you maintain a fun and spontaneous attitude, though, you’ll make it easy for people to find joy on the road.

5) Enlist help.

No matter how great a planner and researcher you become, you’ll never be a true expert on every place that your group visits. To come up with the best ideas for memorable travel experiences, you need to turn to the people who are experts: destination representatives and tour operators.

Destination representatives know their cities, states and countries inside and out, and they often have connections to interesting people and places you’re unlikely to find by yourself. Contacting a convention and visitors bureau, a state department of tourism or a national tourism board is a great way to tap into that expertise. Tell those professionals what you’re looking for and they can give you all sorts of creative ideas.

Tour operators can often be the ultimate experts when it comes to creating memorable trips, especially if you’re traveling to a foreign country or an otherwise challenging destination. Those folks have done tons of legwork to find the best hotels, restaurants, attractions and special activities to meet your group’s needs. Using a tour operator to plan a trip can make trips much more memorable, all the while taking a load off your shoulders.

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.