Most Adventure guides I know think of tour planning as that annoying and sometimes frustrating part of being able to get out and do the activities they love, so I thought I would share my thoughts on the benefits of good tour planning.
For the newly qualified adventure guide you will have worked on a trip plan or two as part of your assessment process and so will understand that taking clients out to do those adrenalin activities you love has a lot more involved, especially if you want to bring back your clients safely and ensure your business continues to grow.
As a professional you will have decided on an activity to offer to paying clients and initially this may be one activity or in one area, so you start with your first trip plan. In addition to the activity itself though there is much to take in to consideration.
- Access permits to the areas you will be travelling through;
- Equipment required for the activity;
- Transport – do you need to pick up your clients (if so do you have the required licences for yourself and your vehicle);
- Food – will you be supplying lunch and snacks for your clients or all meals; Staff – do you require assistants to help with your group or is it just yourself running a trip from point A to B with clients, do you have a backup guide available to call on should you fall ill the day before the trip starts;
- Accommodation – does your activity require overnight accommodation;
- Emergency contacts – it is good practice to know the closest hospitals and doctors to where your trip will be run and contact telephone numbers.
I won’t go into detail on each of the above points as I am sure you are all aware of these and will have looked at each point in developing your own trip plans. It is important to note however that it is these additional aspects that added to an activity make the trip plan and once you have each item listed it is easy to look at the relevant costs associated and so work out the cost of your trip for each client.
Once you have your first trip plan done you are now in a position to work on your second one, whether it be a different activity or the same activity in a different area. I would recommend revisiting your trip plans twice a year to re-evaluate if it is still working or after significant cost changes – fuel price rises or changes to access permits costs etc.
So this is how we have all started as professionals in the Adventure guiding business and next time I will look at what can be done next to take your business to the next level…
Michelle owns Globetrotting My Way and has 22 years experience planning trips.
Featured image credit: Willemien Du Plessis