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How to Prepare for Your Small Group Tour

How to prepare for your small group tour

So you’ve booked your first small group tour. You’re probably pretty excited, but don’t know where to start to prepare. At first glance, planning and preparing for your tour might seem overwhelming. To make it more manageable, we’ve broken it down into steps for you to follow as you prep for your upcoming small group tour!

Step 1: Do Your Research

Your Tour Leader will be guiding you throughout the tour, providing informative details on everything you do and see in the destination. It’s always good to have a basis for understanding before you arrive. Doing some background research on the place, people. culture, language will help you feel more comfortable in a foreign destination and allow you to ask insightful questions to your Tour Leader.

Step 2: Exercise

Your multi-day tour will be tiring both physically and mentally. It’s important to keep yourself active in preparation for your trip. Start walking more if you aren’t already, and climbing steps if you aren’t as comfortable doing that. The more you move, the easier it will be on the trip. Re-read the Activity Level on your trip so you understand how much and how far you will have to walk or hike and what you will experience on the road.

Step 3: Read Your Pre-Trip Documents

Pre-trip documents are sent out for a reason! They include all of the most helpful tips and information that you need. Pretty much any question you have, they can answer. They become sort of like a checklist for you as you are preparing. The final documents are sent out approximately 30 days before the trip and include things like your hotel list, packing info, and much more.

Step 4: Ask Questions

If you do have questions that aren’t answered by your pre-trip documents, write them down and give our team members at ElderTreks a call or send us an email. That way you can rest assured you are all set and ready to go! Our team will help take care of you from start to finish.

Step 5: Prep Your Loved Ones at Home

Make sure to leave a copy of the itinerary and hotel list with your loved ones at home. You should also establish a way to contact you while you’re in destination whether it's by cell phone, email or Skype. This way they will know how to contact you and can follow along with your trip. You might also want to inform them that it may be difficult for you to send updates if you’re in a country that has poor wi-fi (Iran, Cuba, the middle of the jungle, etc).

Step 6: Pack & get your meds together

Follow your packing list and get everything together. Make sure you don’t overpack, because it’s never fun to bring with you to the airport (even though you won’t be carrying your bags around much while on tour) and sometimes larger bags won’t be allowed on small local transportation if it's too heavy or too big. Don’t forget to pack and label your medications and ensure that you have enough with you. If you are going to an area of the world where medications might be difficult to come by, bring extra or bring certain ones with you that you might not normally. Speaking of medications, don’t forget to purchase travel insurance. 

Step 7: Reconfirm & Check-In

Before you head out for your international flight, make sure to reconfirm your flights and check-in. Checking in for your flights saves you time and money (usually prepaying for your checked bag is a few dollars less). Always bring your emergency phone number list just in case of difficulty reaching your airport transfer. Printing off documents or having them in a place on your phone or tablet is a good way to ensure you have everything you need. You will also want to bring your proof of travel insurance and make sure you have any other necessary paperwork (proof of immunization, etc.) based on what your Country Director and trip documents has told you.

Step 8: Get excited about your trip!

The above point does go without saying, but it’s an important part of getting ready for your small group tour. The more excited you are, the keener you will be on reading the documents, buying and/or packing your gear and preparing your loved ones at home. That excitement should hopefully lead you to and continue on during your tour experience, and you can bring the excitement back with you when you return home.

 

What else do you do to prepare for your small group tour? Check out one of our most popular tours, our tour to Cuba!

Amanda Dunning - October 11, 2016
 

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