You probably think that tour leaders have a glamorous life, jet-setting around the world, staying in top-notch hotels, eating like kings and sleeping with the sexiest pax (clients) or local guides. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
First up and last to bed, the tour leader lives out of a backpack for up to 6 months at a time. They have to ensure that everything listed on your itinerary goes smoothly, and when it doesn’t, they have to rapidly come up with a plan to deal with the problem. And remember, the more adventurous and remote your tour is, the more likely it is that things won’t go according to plan.
Here are some ways in which you can help your tour leader manage the trip successfully:
- If you suffer from excessive snoring then do everyone a favour – admit it and pay for the single supplement.
“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.” Anthony Burgess
- When you have been told that departure from the hotel will be at 9am, don’t saunter down at 9.20 and then ask to settle your bill.
- Don’t rush onto the bus in order to get the front seats. Let everyone have the opportunity sit up front by rotating seats each day.
- Switch off your mobile phone. There’s unlikely to be a good signal and no one wants to hear your tacky ring tone or listen to you talking shop while admiring the spectacular views out the window.
- Before asking where the toilet is as soon as you hop off the bus why don’t you take a look around for the usually obvious signs, which indicate the direction of the facilities.
- Try new foods. After all, that’s why you are travelling to a foreign country. Egg and chips is bound to be a disappointment outside of the UK.
- Don’t complain about your traveller’s diarrhoea. No one wants the gruesome details. It’s very common to have a runny tummy after a week of unusual food – you are not dying!
- If you have a dietary requirement then please bring some suitable food with you. Gluten or dairy free products are hard to get in Outer Mongolia!
- Don’t ask how much your souvenir should have cost. They are generally hideous monstrosities that look completely out of place when you get them home and you will always have paid too much.
- At the end of the day thank your tour leader for all their help and advice. Managing a disparate group of people in a distant location can be very stressful, and remember, good manners cost nothing.