What is your travel speed?
Picking a destination is perhaps the most important part of planning a trip. But in addition to thinking about where you’re going, you should also consider the pace you and your travelers will enjoy once you get there.
Everyone travels at their own speed. Choosing a tour that accommodates your customers’ travel speed is important for maximizing their enjoyment. If you chose a tour that doesn’t offer enough experiences, moves too slowly or has too much or too little free time, you might end up with some unhappy clients.
Everyone wants to travel with people who are moving at their speed or who, at the very least, recognize and appreciate their preferences and are willing to compromise. So it’s important for you to think about the speed of your trips and discuss it in advance with your travelers.
Here are four common travel speeds and tips on how to accommodate them on your group tours.
Young (or young-at-heart) travelers who want to experience as much as possible often prefer “Let’s Go-Go,” the fastest travel speed. Exploring new cities and trying new things are at the top of their lists. Adventure tours may be the best for these types of travelers. But if you can’t offer all-adventure trips, consider offerings some adventurous options to keep them happy.
Travelers in the “Let’s Go-Go” stage really need like-minded travel companions who will join them on the fast-paced journeys and not hold them back. They seek to seize every moment because adventure is what they value most.
After some time of fast-paced travel, many people reach a more moderate “Let’s Go” phase of life. Perhaps they have already traveled and experienced a lot, or maybe their personalities don’t put a premium on adventure. Travelers at this stage can often find many travel companions and are well suited for most group tours. They also tend to be more flexible, happy to travel alongside “Let’s Go-Go” and “Let’s Slow-Go” companions. Tour planners should take care, however, to make sure other people’s preferences don’t overwhelm or bore travelers in this in-between category.
There are a variety of reasons why people might choose a “Let’s Slow-Go” approach to travel. Their personalities might lend themselves to more contemplative experiences, or physical limitations may limit their ability to move as quickly as they once did. Whatever the reason, these travelers are typically looking for more leisurely trips and will likely not enjoy a fast-paced tour. Slow-go travelers require a slow pace and less walking. They often enjoy beaches, resorts or mountain retreats. They still want to travel but need experiences that accommodate their slower pace.
Eventually, most people reach a point where travel becomes very difficult. For those who love travel, there’s a temptation to continue traveling independently longer than they should. If you have travelers like this in your group, you need to be honest with them about the level of physical activity in your trips. If they have mobility issues, encourage them to consider bringing a family member to help them on the road or even hiring a travel companion. Make sure whoever travels with them can physically help them and is prioritizing their friend’s well-being over their own experiences.
Knowing your customers’ travel speeds is essential to ensuring a trip’s success. Communicating with your travelers in advance before choosing your tour will give you a better understanding of what they are looking for in a trip and how you can help them have the best experiences possible.
Remember, adding optional excursions on some tours can help “go-goers” taking things to the next level, while choosing a slower pace can give other travelers time for the relaxation they need.