Bettye’s teaching career sparked her passion for travel and she has been a Group Coordinator with Go Ahead since 2006. Over the last decade, she’s traveled on 14 tours across Europe and Australia. On four of these Private Tours, Bettye utilized Go Ahead’s tailor-made travel program to customize varying components of the trip. This allowed her to focus on her group’s travel style and interests in order to build the exact experience they were craving. “They like the fact that I’m looking for things that will give them joy and may be an off-the-beaten-path experience,” said Bettye. “My group loves doing the local things.”
Our tailor-made travel program provides boundless options to make your tours more personalized. Read on to see Bettye’s tips and tricks for making the most out of customized travel.
Do your research
Bettye’s number one tip for Group Coordinator’s looking to build a Tailor-made Tour is to spend time exploring possible customization options. “Research what Go Ahead has to offer at each one of the places on tour, but also research places nearby that would be special additions to it,” said Bettye. She also suggested speaking with other Group Coordinators who have previously customized a tour to the location you’re looking into. This provides insight into what experiences their group members enjoyed and inspiration for what to include on your tour.
Modify modes of transportation
While bus travel allows for increased flexibility when traveling between cities, Europe is known for its incredible train system. “Adding the train saves time and people can relax while seeing such different scenery,” said Bettye. Including a variety of transportation such as ferries, river cruises, and trains make transfers more fun, and allows you to see even more of a region.
Combine tour itineraries
Bettye’s group was interested in particular activities that were featured on two different tours to France. “I wanted to do the Provence & the French Riviera Walking Tour, but I also wanted to do the Food & Wine: France through Burgundy & Champagne tour,” said Bettye. “We started in Nice and we for sure wanted to do the walk around Cape Ferrat. And we did food tastings as we made our way up to Paris.” By combining existing aspects of the Food & Wine Tour with the walking element of another, she was able to build a one-of-a-kind trip.
Include your group
One customized activity that stuck out to Bettye was including a visit to the Alhambra on her Barcelona, Madrid, & Seville tour. “The group started talking about it at a meeting and asked if we could make it happen,” she said. Her group also votes on each excursion offered on the tour and that decides whether or not to make it an included activity. “My group likes to be involved in that process and they like that personal touch,” said Bettye.
Use it as a recruiting tool
When planning upcoming tours, Bettye’s found that her group members react well to the customized elements. “I have found that it piques interest and that might be something other Group Coordinators respond to,” she said. Whether it’s stopping in the Sicilian town where a group member’s family came from or visiting the picturesque city of Dresden, Bettye is always looking for fun additions that make her group members feel their ideas are heard. “I always say, ‘What can I do to customize it?’” said Bettye. “‘Give me a list and let me do my research.’”
Have you ever customized a tour to reflect the interests of your group members? Tell us about it in the comments below!