Tour Group FAQ

Once you find a tour that you definitely want to do, figure out who you want to take with you.  I started with just a few moms in the neighborhood that had similar aged kids and I wanted to get to know better.  After a few of those, I started to invite more people since I had gotten the hang of things.  I recommend a few small trial runs if you are nervous.  Its helpful.

How to keep your tour group informed?

  • Email or Phone- if your group is small its okay but things easily slip through the cracks and you end up answering the same question over and over.
  • Google+- I really like the way Google+ is set up.  You can set up a circle for just those in your tour group, add events, and post pictures.  You can easily add the websites for the places you are going, worksheets that you want to share, and a map. When the event starts people can opp to have all the pictures they take on their phone to go straight to the group site during that time.  It makes it really easy.  Everything is in one spot and people can still invite their friends that I don't know but still keep things private.  You can also choose to update just on the forum or sometimes send an email with the update.  You need to check the group forum often or get updates when someone posts though so you can promptly answer questions.
  • Facebook Private Group- Another easy option.  The thing about groups is that you can answer questions once and everyone can see it so you don't get a million repeats.  The drawback of these groups is you have to have an account....however, its still worth it.  While Facebook isn't my favorite, it is a more popularly used site as people are still getting used to Google+.
What about scheduling?
I schedule the tours around my schedule first because if not, why in the world am I doing it?  At first I tried to take a poll with two options generally for people to pick from (When people have too many options, they often won't make a choice or no one will agree).  However, you just can't make everyone happy. I now try to get the most variety of people by scheduling tours on different days and different times and not just one specific time every month.  You miss out on seeing some people if you always pick the same day and time.  When we vary ours, we get to see more friends!  
Also some tours require you to schedule at least 3 weeks in advance.  I try for at least 1-2 months ahead of time.  It seems easier to schedule plus people have an easier time of fitting the tour into their schedule with so much notice.  However, a couple of times, I've had businesses who only want to schedule it 1 week ahead of time so be flexible but error of the side of giving too much notice.

Tours that Cost Money
If its a place that you have to buy a ticket, I just let everyone get their own and we meet inside.  If its a tour that charges one group fee that I need to pay ahead of time or at the time of arrival, I like to have the money beforehand.  I set a day 1-2 weeks ahead of time for the deadline for money.  This gives some leeway but also gives you a chance to relax.  Its one less thing to stress about on the day of the tour.  I have tried everyone paying the day of and it was just confusing and annoying (for me, them, and the company).  I don't recommend it. I tell people that I can't guarantee a refund if they don't show but always try to- it does depend on where you are going (like the Sky Sox Security Stadium tour doesn't give refunds).

What if no one else comes? What about maximums and minimums amount of people?
We've been the only ones sometimes (and I've heard every excuse in the book). If its a place like a museum then its no big deal.  You can still enjoy yourself just fine.  If its a tour that I've set up personally its a little embarrassing but I now warn the business when we sign up.  I ask about minimum and maximum numbers so if it is just us I know if it will be okay.  I only do tours that I know we will like and there is no reason we still can't have fun.  Sometimes, you get the best tours when its just you.  If the minimum amount of participants is larger than your family then you need to state the minimum when you are inviting people. Set a date when if you don't reach the minimum you will cancel the tour.  When there is a maximum which is smaller than our group, its first RSVP first reserved spot.  If the interest is large, I suggest those who didn't RSVP in time to schedule another tour and give them the info they need to do so. 

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