Best advice for going on a tour

May 21st, 2001, 11:00 AM
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Adrienne made a very good point taht I had forgotten about. When the bus stops for a break, head for the bathrooms immediateley. Get that part over with and you can enjoy the rest of your stop, while everyone else is still lined up.
Do try to always be on time. There is nothing worse on a tour than always having to wait for some straggler.
As previous posts have stated, socialize with the rest of the tourists on the bus and just have fun and enjoy yourself.
Don't feel pressured into taking all the optional tours.
Many times a few of us would get together and do our own little 'optional' tour.
Enjoy your tour.
May 21st, 2001, 11:21 AM
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For the first time tour, make sure you understand what the daily schedule means to you. I cannot tell you how many times someone has come back from a tour and related to me they were surprised at what time in the morning they had to be up, every day no less, and ready for tour, how much time was spent on the bus, how late they got to the hotel one night and how early they had to be up the next day, and how exhausting it got.

When you are making your plans for a go-go-go tour, make sure you understand what that means. I very much agree with the idea of going on a more leisurely tour, with more time in fewer places. A day or two of go-go-go can get very old very fast, for which you have spent a lot of money.

Lastly, go with a happy attitude. Tours really CAN be a lot of fun. Just be prepared for an interesting mix of personalities, changes in weather, etc. And oh yes, there is ALWAYS someone in the group who is ALWAYS late. For everything. Depend on it.
May 21st, 2001, 11:32 AM
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We did the Italy tour last year for 11 days and it was great. We saw and did more than we thought, met lots of nice people and signed onto all the optional tours. I agree with the previous posters, do be on time for the bus, in the morning, during the breaks, and when leaving a site. As our tour director on the bus told us when we were complaining about having to get up early in the morning to get going on tour, she said, "remember that this is a tour, not a vacation, you get to sleep late on vacation." Have a great time and enjoy. We are leaving this Saturday for 19 days in Europe on a "tour not a vacation."

Good Luck
May 21st, 2001, 12:52 PM
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Erma Bombeck did a really funny column about going on a tour where she took to heart the advice to pack lightly with a mix and match wardrobe. She had brought one suit with skirt, slacks, jacket, and a few different tops and switched between them every day. At the end of the trip, she burned them while everyone on the bus cheered.

So, do pack lightly even though someone else will mostly handle your luggage, but some variety will keep you from being identified as "the corduroy suit lady." On my tour, there was a "raincoat lady." It was a wildly striped one. Be prepared for how little things begin to annoy you when you get tired.
May 23rd, 2002, 03:11 PM
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May 24th, 2002, 10:34 AM
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I echo the advice about being on time for the bus - there is someone on every tour who is always late and holds up the entire group. Needless to says this is the person everyone else comes to hate. (On a recent tour there was one woman who could not drag herself away from the gift shops - our guide had to go back in looking for her many times, while the rest of us sat waiting on the bus.) Other than that, try to keep a sense of humor about the complainers - they will make for lots of laughs after you get back home.
May 24th, 2002, 12:29 PM
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Packing: on a tour with constant hotel changes you want all your clothes to be packed in clear bags with zippers so you don't have to unpack everything every day.

Medications: even if everybody is healthy take medicine with you making sure some of it is in a purse. You don't want to run around looking for Tylenol or Pepto-Bismol while the group is happily sightseeing. Always carry water.

I take on a bus for day-time small pack of Kleenex, wet make-up towelettes in summer, few band-aids, plastic bag. Once on a tour the guide gave everybody his cell phone number, he had one traveller lost before.

Do your research before you go on a trip, don't assume the guide/tour director know everything.

And now the most important thing: ENJOY the tour. I always do!

May 24th, 2002, 12:59 PM
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A small precaution: When you get off the bus to wander around cities, take off your name badge.
May 25th, 2002, 08:34 AM
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Topping for more great suggestions, please. The only one that I had been given before this thread was to make sure your "daytripping" tote for the bus would fit in the shallow space above the seats--and must crammed full backpacks will NOT fit.

Keep up the good suggestions, please
May 25th, 2002, 03:36 PM
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The best advice I can offer is to go off on your own for dinner. Tour food is generally awful and after my last tour to Thailand which was wonderful in all respects except the food I will never just settle for tour food just because I have paid for it. I don't travel to eat but would like to come home feeling I'd had some good meals. Also, if an included tour doesn't sound interesting, do your own thing. Tours are great because of the price but don't feel locked in.

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