Travel Organizing should be like this
I’ve been organizing group travels since 2006 and most of the time I would scratch my head, bang my head to the wall and run until the strength of my legs ran out just to release the stress of organizing. The research, calling and reservation of resorts and transportation are the easy parts of Travel Organizing. The hard part is inviting people to join you in your travel.
Since its summer, I’d like share some of the types of people to watch out for and how to avoid them or how to prepare for them.
1. Back Outs
These are the most common of the types of problem people you would encounter when you’re inviting people to travel. Reasons would range from laziness, something came up, something will go down, I need to go somewhere, someone needs me and work. Regardless of the reason, whether valid or invalid, when someone backs out it is a problem to the organizer.
Problem with Back Outs
- There are fees that can be lessened when you travel in groups (i.e. Vans, Big Boats). When someone Backs Out the budget would increase per person. This may also lead to not proceeding with the trip.
How to Handle the Back Outs?
- Collect a non-refundable reservation fee, regardless of the reason, so that they would think twice when they back out. If someone did back out you could still go on with the trip without ballooning the budget. Better if you could collect more than the required amount, when someone Backs Out, everyone’s budget would decrease.
- Expect them to happen. When I arrange group travels I expect about 3-5 people to not proceed with the trip. If someone does not proceed, I would be happy. If everyone proceeds, then I would be very happy.
I’ve been organizing travels for a fee and for free. Regardless if I am paid or not, I still ask for a reservation fee if needed. Be sure to explain why you need a reservation fee. My friends understood, I’m sure you’re friends would understand too.
2. Package Deal
These are couples or friends, that will not join you unless the other one joins. I’ve encountered a lot of them during my travels.
Problem with Package Deal
- When you invite them, they’re the ones who are slow to commit since they still have to ask the other.
- When one backs out, the other backs out. Big problem when there’s a group payment to be covered.
How to Handle the Package Deal?
- Set a target number of people that will join you in your trip and tell them that commitment to the trip will be in a first-come-first-serve basis. If they don’t commit soon, there would be a high possibility that they will not be included in the trip.
- Confirm a commitment by collecting non-refundable reservation fees. If they do not give the reservation fee, they’re not committed.
On a side note, I am happy to have encountered couples where the two of them committed but one had a problem and had to back out, but the other still went with us.
3. The Chain of Discontinuity
This is an extreme case of the Package Deal where invitee #1 needs invitee #2 to join for him/her to join, invitee #2 needs invite #3, invitee #3 needs invitee #4 and so on. I’ve encountered them thrice so far. The most recent was early this year 2011. The worst I had was a 9-level chain of discontinuity where the most important person, invitee #9, backed out and everyone else backed out too, leading to the discontinuation of the trip.
Problem with Chain of Discontinuity
- When someone backs out it would create a chain effect of people backing out.
How to Handle the Chain of Discontinuity
- Avoid them at all cost.
4. I’m Interested But I’m Not Sure
You tell your friend that you will be arranging a trip about a month or 2 before the travel date and your friends answer would be “I’m not sure. I don’t know if another trip would come up on that date.”
Problem with I’m Interested But I’m Not Sure
- You’re saying the trip date about a month or 2 in advance for them to set their schedule for you. Obviously you’re not a priority. These type of people has a high probability of backing out.
How to Handle the I’m Interested But I’m Not Sure
- An eye for an eye. If you’re not a priority, then they too are not you’re priority. Find someone else who would want to go with you. Don’t worry you have lots of friends to invite.
5. The Complainer
You’ve invited them, they said yes. You researched, called, set your itinerary and budget. Then you go back to them and confidently present the details of the trip and they tell you “That’s too expensive, I think this is a much cheaper option.”
Problem with The Complainer
- Why didn’t you tell me earlier that you had information about the place?!?!?!
How to Handle the Complainer
- When you invite, ask if they know something about the place that could help you with the planning.
- If they did not give any information when you presented the details and they still complained, ask them if they are willing to make calls and do the research for what he/she suggested. If they are willing, then you got yourself a help. If not, just smile at them and proceed with the plan if you’re not willing to do the adjustments.
6. The Schedule Mover
You invite people and one of them said “I’m not available on the dates, can you move it for me?”
Problem with The Schedule Mover
- He/she is not your only invite. When you move the schedule, another friend or you may not be available on that schedule. You’re the organizer you should be there.
How to Handle The Schedule Mover
- Accept the fact that many times you could not make everyone happy. If someone has already committed to the original date, do not adjust. Invite other people until you find someone available on your schedule. Just explain to them that someone already has committed and you have already told your friends that original date was the set date of your travel. Just invite them next time on your next travel and hopefully they are available that time.
The important thing with travel organizing is that you and your committed friends get to where you want to be. You don’t want to be tagged as the travel organizer who organizes travels that never happen. The more your organized travels proceed, the more people will want to go with you and the lesser the hassle it would be when inviting since you now know who to invite. Besides, Travel Organizing will not be called Travel Organizing if you’re group don’t Travel.
That’s only some of the types of people I’ve encountered when I invite. I’ll just create another post for the other types. It’s stressful just remembering them.
Have a happy summer vacation!
P.S. If you are already stressed with all the organizing, maybe you should consider travelling solo.
This is an entry to Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival themed Travelling Solo. Click on the Blog Carnival Logo on the left to see more interesting posts regarding Travelling Solo In the Philippines.
Nina of justwandering.org hosts April’s Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival.
To see the archive of Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival click here.