All the planning, promotion and even the packing are finished, and now you are on the road. The following will be important in your daily travel schedule:
- Staying on time and stressing to all travelers that being on time gives them more shopping opportunities, time to see additional museum exhibits, people watch in a corner cafe, and perhaps time to sleep in! Should you have a tardy traveler, take them aside and stress the important of staying on schedule. Do not encourage the group to clap when the late member does arrive—this is embarrassing to the late member and they may have a valid reason for being late. Respect is important for all travelers to show and receive.
- Rotating seats (at the beginning of your day, not during the travel day) to keep conversation flowing during travel. If this is not something your group enjoys, allow them to keep the same seat but change the way they get off the motorcoach—door side or driver side first.
- Keeping the spiritual emphasis as part of each day and allowing time for devotions and reflections. If your group is traveling to a destination of importance to your faith, onsite devotions are so meaningful. This should be discussed with your guide in advance so that time is set aside. It is rewarding to have the guide join you for these special moments but they should not be “pressured” into staying with you. The guide may need the time to call ahead to the next stop or to relax.
- Traveling as a faith-based organization does come with the responsibility to show your faith to others in your words, smiles, attitudes and quiet peace. As you travel with your group sharing your faith is not meant to “convert” others but to allow them to see your strength through your faith.
- Allowing for fun and lighthearted activities, with time for fellowship and bonding between travelers. Plan on some motorcoach games, perhaps with small teams. Cruising also offers wonderful times for games and activities for the group. If you want to have a group game night or tournament, contact the cruise ship in advance to have space on board reserved. Keep in mind that down time is needed on any trip.
During the trip, something is bound to go wrong – a cancelled reservation, weather delay, traffic congestion or human error that otherwise ruins a perfect trip. Expect this to happen and act accordingly. Help your travelers understand this is the nature of travel and that sometimes unexpected issues can lead to pleasant surprises. If a delay or cancellation causes a trip interruption, be ready to step in with an alternative to keep spirits high and things running smoothly. Tour members will watch you and follow your lead. If you are excited or anxious, that sets the tone for the whole group.
Creating a special bond and making everyone realize how important they are to the whole of the group will have them ready to sign up for the next trip. Visiting with each travel member for small chats is important. You do not want to show a favorite in the group. As the leader, you want to keep the spirit alive on the motorcoach or cruise ship, airplane or train. You will build on the success of this experience and have it flow right into the next tour.
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