Posts on Organizing Group Tours

Old Jun 5th, 2000, 05:42 AM
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Posts on Organizing Group Tours

I recall reading some posts by some experts on organizing group tours to Europe. I can't seem to find them now. Can someone direct me to the titles or bring them to the top.

Thank you
Old Jun 5th, 2000, 06:33 AM
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I have posted a few messages about group tours - - what would your interests be? What month? and what destinations, generally?

Beginning to research a fall trip to south of France and/or Italy, but nothing very set yet.

Other possibilities always brewing.

Rex Bickers
Westerville, Ohio
Old Jun 5th, 2000, 09:00 AM
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Rex, my wife mentioned Italy (mostly Rome and Florence) to her mother and some relatives and it seems lots of people want to go. This wouldn't be until 2001. I was just wondering the number of people needed to get discounts/free trips, and the procedures and problems involved in planning a trip for a group. I'd love to read the previous posts if I could only find them. Thank you.
Old Jun 5th, 2000, 09:44 AM
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Ed, I've done a search 'cause I know I posted, and so has Rex - apparently, it all has been sucked into the big black void.

Your choice is 1) you do the planning, making the reservations, etc. or 2) hire someone to do it.

I've planned the trips for the Loons for the last several years (4-10 women); if you decide to do-it-yourself, email me and I'll gladly give you all the information I have.
Old Jun 6th, 2000, 09:53 AM
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If you're asking about a small group tour, to me, that typically means 10 people, preferably no less and not a whole lot more. I am leaving soon with 17, and I feel like this borders on an army. If you're asking about a post on how to plan and lead a group, I don't think I have ever made such a post. So here's a very brief overview.

At ten seats on the same trans-atlantic flight, you pretty much HAVE to (and get to) go through the group travel desk of the airline you want to fly. First do your research on what flights would suit you best and try to come up with two or three best choices. You will have to get quotes from each airline. You will almost surely be quoted 10-15% discount (thus one or two people fly "free") - from the best available published fare available for your group - usually a disciunted fare, but not necessarily as low as some sale fares you will occasionally discover. You just have to blank your mind out about those sale fares sometime - - the truth is you could probably never get enough seats at those low sale prices, because of the notion of inventory control, at a given price.

Once you get your quote, the best thing about a group is the terms, not necessarily the price. You get 14 days or so to make up your mind, and then you have to pay $100 deposit per seat. You might want to over-estimate your group. By T-90 days, you have to specify how many in your group accurate to within 10%, but you still don't have to actually pay until T-30 days, and then give all the names. This is such a much better deal than the non-refundable, non-transferable characterisitic of really cheap tickets.

I have not yet learned to get deals as good on hotels or meals. Ocasionally, you will get a modest dicount on hotels, essentially never on meals - - in fact, especially in more "Amerian" restaurants (sometimes inevitable), you may have a higher service charge for the size of the group (same as here in America).

So bottom line, 11 or 12 people can typically travel for the price of 10. This isnt strictly true because of lodging and meals - - but intra-Europe travel (the biggest overlooked item in most people's budget) sometimes is a better bargain also (especially traveling by cars). That free traveler or travelers might be you or it might be me. if you re inexperiences, you may have to be lucky, or simply very dedicated at doing your research well. Or you can get the experience of some very well seasoned, and their travel expenses are essentially covered by the group at no "real" added expense to anyone. Whether (a) veteran traveler(s) want(s) to plan and lead a group without building profit depends on the ciurcumstances, of course.

hope this helps you (and others). Naturally I welcome more direct e-mail inquiries (but I won't be answering very much June 14-July 3) for anyone interested in me serving to plan and lead a group trip to (a) destination(s) in month(s) when I am interested in doing it.

Best wishes,

Old Jun 6th, 2000, 11:37 AM
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Ed, I had posted last year about a group trip to the Alps and the Lakes
in Sep. of this year but that one has
fallen thru the cracks. Is your interest
relative to a group of your own or merely joining a group tour? If you want help with a group of your own then
contact me off-line and perhaps I can help. The tour I was planning would have been a DIRECTED TOUR not a guided
tour---big difference.
Old Jun 6th, 2000, 01:09 PM
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Have often thought a small group would be a good way to go, as much for the ability to hire drivers/guides/small buses, etc. as for discounts. But how would one locate a good escorting guide? Has anyone done this, have hints, etc.?
Old Jun 6th, 2000, 01:22 PM
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Thank you all for the great information.
I will have a long time (until 2001) to decide if I want to take this trip on myself, or ask for someone's help, or decide against it completely.

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