Group travel can be a gorgeous opportunity for intrepid adventurers to connect.
Whether its women finding those safety in numbers as they trek the Atlas Mountains, a boutique yoga camp inviting transformational experiences, or corporations taking their team to build orphanages in Mongolia – tribal travel is on the rise.
Yet, along with this tribal mentality, travel organizers can reap the benefits when offering customizable itineraries as part of their tour. As savvy and sophisticated travel organizers you already know the challenges that come with organizing a mass of different personalities. Ensuring everyone gets from A to B, picking activities that appeal, and chasing down payments all take exceptional energy and organizational skills. So, why are we suggesting you weave another element into an already busy schedule?
An Era of Individualism
Industry trends are changing. Boutique hotels are winning over big name brands, experiential adventures are replacing fly and flop destinations, and solo travel is growing.
The truth is, we are in an era of individuality. Millennials in particular have embraced individualism as this article from NPR explains. Travel organizers should pay heed to this, and use it as opportunity to stay relevant by celebrating their client’s individual status.
Adding the Personal Touch
Offering customizable features on your tour means that the traveler gets the best of both worlds – to blend the rewards of a group trip without losing the personal touch they crave.
They love the look of that balloon ride on day four, but the idea of white water rafting in the afternoon leaves them queasy. They want an extra day in Fez, they want to take a food tour. Travel organizers should understand that creating memorable experiences comes with the skillset to work individual wish lists into pre-existing itineraries.
But what does that look like in reality?
Work in Free Time
One of the simplest ways to add space for customizable features is to bring in free time at the planning stage. Working free time into the schedule gives allocated space for people to select additional activities they want to take part in.
A client will still enjoy that feeling of customization if they get to choose between an afternoon at a cooking class or horseback riding on the beach. It means that travelers can select how they spend their time without causing unbridled chaos in the schedule.
Be Realistic About Customizable Options
Travel organizers shouldn’t back themselves into a corner, there needs to be a happy medium of offering clients what they want in terms of customization and creating a logistical nightmare for yourself. Instead of offering a free for all buffet, customizable features should be a highly curated a la carte menu. The trick is offering careful customization that won’t throw everyone else’s schedule off by a mile.
The most important consideration for customization is making sure that everyone is within the same location at roughly the same time. So, when offering accommodation upgrades – keep it within the same hotel. When offering to modify activities – offer two choices that are within a few miles of each other; for example, a cooking class at the resort, or a trip to a local village. If possible, avoid customizing activities in the morning if you must travel as a group in the afternoon. Transport, time and distance are three elements you need to get right when navigating group travel.
Get a Good Backend System in Place
For any travel organizer a great management system is paramount, even more so when it comes to working individual features into your trip. A tool that tracks individual guest choices and itineraries can be a life saver – collecting all the information, sending out automated prompts for payments, etc.
When you have a great system in place to take care of the organizing, you free up valuable time to do what you do best – encourage people to take amazing journeys that will change the way they see the world.
Explore more about customizing group itineraries with YouLi. By requesting a free demo, travel organizers can learn how to easily streamline the process of working individual elements into group adventures.
Show your clients that you celebrate individuality.