We like to think that with over 150 tours, we cover just about everything in our itineraries—but we know there are some groups out there that want an even more specialized tour that covers a niche area of interest. That’s where Tailor-made Tours come in.
Designed for a minimum group of 14 travelers, Tailor-made Tours are the way to customize your experience and create the dream trip you’ve always envisioned. To get the scoop on how the process works, we sat down with Senior Customized Tour Specialist, Alex, for all the details on how to create your customized tour.
First things first: who should think about planning a Tailor-made Tour?
Tailor-made Tours work best for travelers who are already part of a big group, or a niche group—think alumni clubs, church groups, and music groups, for example. Since you need at least 14 people to create a customized tour, it’s easier if you already have a group of people interested in taking a tour like this. A niche group also allows you to get behind some special interests, whether that’s seeing a polka band or taking a yoga class in your favorite country.
Okay, so I have 14 people interested—what do you need from me to get started?
The vision! It helps if you already have a general idea of the destinations you’d like to visit. Some travelers like to mix and match pieces of our existing itineraries, while others know that they want to visit a certain village that’s meaningful to them. If you want to do something really specific, like visit a step dancing class in Ireland, it helps to have a contact there that we can reach out to. We handle all of the logistics and try to make it as simple as possible, but it makes the process even easier if you are able to work with us on some of those finer details. We also need to know how many days you’d like to travel for, an approximate price or budget, and if there are specific dates you’re looking at. A customized tour tends to work best if you’ve already recruited your group—as I mentioned above, it helps to have buy-in from the people you’d want to join you on tour.
Once you work with your Tour Consultant and give us all of the details for your dream trip, we get to work researching and crafting an itinerary. We generally turn around a sample itinerary within five days, and in about two-four weeks, depending on the requests and dates (and how far out you’re planning), you’ll have a finalized trip ready to go. It’s as easy as that! Then our creative team will work on creating a beautiful itinerary and marketing materials for you to give out to your group.
Sounds awesome—where can I go?
Just about anywhere in the world! As long as it’s considered safe to visit and we can provide visas, you can travel to just about any place you dream of. This is great because it gives Group Coordinators (or those who have traveled extensively) an opportunity to dive deeper into smaller villages and cities, or stay longer at some of their favorite destinations.
How far in advance should I start planning?
At least nine months in advance. Since we’re creating an itinerary from scratch, it’s always good to have some lead time, so we recommend getting started about a year ahead of when you want to travel.
What about the cost?
The misconception is that customized tours are much more expensive than one of our existing tour itineraries, but it’s totally dependent on how and what you customize. You also have to remember that you’re getting more inclusions, your own bus, your own Tour Director, and the special itinerary add-ons you’ve requested, which definitely makes it worth it. There’s also a lot of flexibility with the free place benefit, which, depending on what you choose, can help drive the cost per person down as well.
Any other tips about customized tours?
If you’ve traveled with a specific Tour Director before, you can request to have him or her lead your group. We also encourage our Group Coordinators to be flexible—that’s all part of the fun for a customized tour! It’s a collaborative process when it comes to creating the itinerary, so there are lots of options to consider and choose from. At the end of the day, you should feel empowered that you’ve helped create a one-of-a-kind itinerary for you and your group.
Convinced that a Tailor-made Tour is for you? Learn more here or call our Group Travel Team at 1.800.432.7672.