Everybody loves to go on tour, but even with the best intentions not every tour group manages it. Organising a stag weekend, hen weekend, sports tour, school trip or a university tour can be very demanding and a lot of hard work, especially if you try to organise it all yourself. There are government travel regulations to adhere to, travel and liability insurance issues, pressure on you to get the organisation spot on and quite frankly.where do you start? Here at Tours 4, we are dedicated to helping you save time, effort and money, providing a first class group tours service at an affordable price.
It is never too early to start planning your tour. Here at Tours 4 ltd we have organised sports tours and group travel for a year in advance, however we have also organised tours up to two weeks before the departure date, so don't panic if you feel you have left it too late. Group leaders can contact us at any point in their tour preparation and our dedicated tour managers will be glad to help.
This brief guide on how to organise a tour should give your tour the best possible start and prepare you for some of the things you need to do. Remember our dedicated tour managers can help you every step of the way, just call the office on 0800 0433887 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you within 24 hours to talk you through your tour options.
Below is a bullet point guide to organising a tour with more detailed information underneath.
1 - Preparation
- Appoint a tour committee if required.
- Choose a destination, budget, dates and general ideas.
- Contact Tours 4 to discuss your tour requirements and get a free quote.
2 - Promotion
- Promote the tour to your group
- Start a fundraising drive and research sponsorship
- Finalise numbers and collect deposits in good time
3 - Administration
- Sort out the final tour administration,
- Check Passports,EHIC's, Insurance etc.
- Collect final payment from all tourists
- Relax! You've done everything.
4 - TOUR!
Read on to find out how to make your tour preparations take off.
Some groups and clubs have only one person responsible for organising their group tour but if there are a few people who want to organise it or if you are planning a long-haul tour then it's a good idea to get a committee together to sort out who deals with the following tasks:
- Working with Tours 4 tour managers and taking overall responsibility (Main organiser)
- Collecting deposits and all subsequent monies from the group. (Payment organiser)
- Arranging tour clothing (Tour stash organiser)
- Promoting the tour (Promotions organiser)
- Completing tour admin: tour forms, room lists, checking documents etc. (Main organiser)
- Fundraising ideas and sponsorship (Promotions organiser)
Our dedicated Group Tour Managers can do as much or as little of your tour planning as you need. Most groups however, ask Tours 4 to organise the entire tour because it saves them a lot of time, hassle and money and ensures that your tour goes smoothly from start to finish. Whatever help you need, Tours 4 can provide it.
Tour Brainstorming Session
Get together with your tour committee or some of the tour party and think about the following:
- Destination ideas
- Dates or approximate month of tour
- Approximate tour numbers
- Accommodation preference
- Travel option
- Extra excursion options and activities eg. Fixtures, Karting, Theme Park.
When do you want to go on tour?
Many groups tour on the same weekend every year to avoid confusion, or some make sure that it coincides with a particular tournament, event or holiday. Make sure you choose a date which doesn't clash with existing group commitments. If you are planning an adult tour, then you might have to keep the number of days off work to a minimum, which would make a long weekend or bank holiday ideal tour times. If you have a youth group, then school holidays and bank holidays are the best option, although make sure you plan early so as to avoid any family holidays that may be booked.
Where would you like to go?
Several factors can influence your final tour destination including budget, numbers and dates. Here at Tours 4, our tour managers can help you decide which destination would be best for your group. Whether you have a school, student or adult group it is important to get the right balance on your tour so that everyone can enjoy themselves. You also need to think about how you are going to travel to your tour destination.
How will you get to your destination?
Coach tours are very popular for group tours in the UK , Ireland , France , Holland and Belgium and are ideal for large groups or teams on a tight budget. However low-cost airlines fly from most regional airports and prices are usually very reasonable. You can either take advantage of the low-cost flights by booking them yourself or you can leave everything to Tours 4 and we can handle your flight bookings for you through our ATOL licensed travel partners Global Travel Group plc.
What is your budget?
Any group can afford a tour with the right amount of planning and preparation. You need to decide an average amount which everyone in the group will be able to afford. You may decide that certain people could pay more in order to subsidise others, or that the club can subsidise the trip for certain people. It is best to ensure that the monies paid by tourists covers the basic cost of the tour, and any sponsorship and fundraising pays for 'extras' such as meals, excursions or tour clothing.
Contact Tours 4
It is always good to have a rough idea of your tour requirements but even if you don't you can contact Tours 4 and we will help you with your organisation, whatever stage of tour planning you are at. Contact Tours 4 by phone on 0800 0433887 or via email on info@Tours4.com and our group travel managers will be happy to help.
Tour Quote and Itinerary
When we receive your tour request our group travel managers will formulate a quote for your group which should normally take no longer than 48 hours. It is always difficult to estimate numbers so we provide tour costs for various numbers. For example if you think you will get 30 people on tour we will provide you with tour costs if 25, 30 or 35 people travel, the more people you get on tour the cheaper the tour becomes. This makes things easier for you as sometimes, even with the best intentions, numbers can be lower than expected. Make sure you check the quote and sample itinerary thoroughly and show your fellow tourists.
Tour Payment Plan
Once you confirm that you would like to book the tour, first read our Terms and Conditions, then return the Tours 4 ltd booking form with a current namelist of your tour party and a deposit payment for each person. The deposit varies with each tour but is normally around £50 per person unless we are booking flights for your tour in which case we would need a smaller deposit but full payment for the flight. Full details of your payment plan will be sent with your tour quote. It is a good idea to use the club, school or group bank account to simplify the payment process. As soon as your deposit is received, your tour arrangements will be confirmed and we will start to confirm accommodation and travel bookings, fixtures or tournament entry and any other requirements.
Your payment plan will give you a final payment date which is also the best time to finalise room lists and inform us of any possible alterations. If you need extra places or want to release some places then please let your tour manager know as soon as possible so that we can confirm availability and ensure that the hotel or airline don't apply any surcharges.
Now that the Tours 4 team are looking after you, you can forget all your worries about the accommodation, transport, timings, activities, sports etc, allowing you to concentrate on things at your end such as confirming room lists, arranging kit and organising fund raising.
Here at Tours 4 we can organise your sports tour, school tour or student group tour from start to finish, all you have to take care of are a few basic bits of tour administration and tell your team about the tour. You can download our Checklist to check that you have completed all the tour admin you need to.
Travel Insurance covering your activities is highly recommended on all of our tours and Tours 4 can provide you with a highly competitive quote through our insurance partners Endsleigh. If you are organising a rugby tour the RFU insist that all players have adequate insurance in order to gain RFU permission to tour.
Tours 4 can also arrange your touring kit through our tour clothing partners Kukri.
Fundraising can make a huge difference to your tour costs and create some great publicity for your group. It is best not to rely on fundraising to pay for the basics of your trip, but anything extra that you have from your efforts can pay for some brilliant extras. Once you have reserved your trip Tours 4 ltd will give you specific advice about fund raising. We benefit from discounts with several fund raising companies, discounts which we pass on to you. This enables you to buy fundraising materials, such as scratch cards and race nights. We also have a few ideas of our own which have been popular in the past which could help you.
Sponsorship is another welcome source of money. Some groups have more of a benefactor than a sponsor where money is simply donated. Check whether any of your tourists (or their parents) have successful companies which may be able to make a donation but it's important not to harangue people into donating. Sponsorship is more specific, as the sponsor will expect some exposure in return for their input. One obvious thing that someone could sponsor is the kit: they pay for the kit, and in return their name and logo is printed on the shirts. Other sponsors may prefer exposure throughout the rest of the year rather than when you are on tour, but you could still use their contributions towards your trip. You might be able to get them to make a contribution in exchange for advertising space around your pitch or in the match programme throughout the season for example. Or local bars or restaurants might be willing sponsors in exchange for your patronage throughout the year.
It may seem like there is a lot to do to get your travel plans underway but with a bit of organisation and some help from Tours 4, organising a group tour can be an incredibly rewarding experience. We'll help you organise your tour from start to finish and save you time, effort and money in the process.
Get in contact with a group tour manager now, for a free quote and more advice on your tour planning and preparation.
Phone: 0800 0433887
Or fill in our online tour enquiry form here