Group Tour Etiquette: 5 Things You Must Never Do on a Group Tour

Group Tour Etiquette: 5 Things You Must Never Do on a Group Tour

Maybe the person making your group tour complicated…is you?

Guided trips are an amazing way to travel. First, we don’t have to keep a vice-like grip on our itineraries. Second, we don’t have to worry about navigating a foreign place, down to the nitty-gritty details. 

But there’s proper etiquette for group tours, isn’t there? Some things you just never do — not unless you want to be the most hated person in the group. And so, if you don’t want to become the source of other people’s grievances, be sure to steer clear of these mistakes. 

1. Never skip research beforehand

Travelling on a group tour, you are completely free from major decisions — you can simply let someone else take the wheel and enjoy the ride. However, that doesn’t mean you’re exempted from doing a bit of legwork. 

If you know what you’re signing up for, you won’t be caught by surprise later. Therefore, you should still do some research on your own about the itinerary, food, transportation, and accommodation options offered by the travel agency. Often, these items will have very minimal changes later on. 

Don’t settle for less, until the details of the tour package match your expectations. The last thing you want is to be paired off with a sketchy tour guide! 

Also read: Should You Choose Free and Easy or Tour Groups?

2. Never violate the rules of the tour

group tour etiquette

With the anxiety of accommodations and transportation out of the way, all you need to do is follow the guidelines in place. That said, it defeats the purpose of a group tour if you, well, insist on being a diva or strike out on your own without informing anyone. 

While this sounds like a no-brainer, abiding by the rules is a foolproof way to keep your group tour worry-free. Failing to do so not only inconveniences your tour guide, but also makes things more cumbersome for everyone else. Your fellow travellers might have to spend their time searching for you — the missing member — when they could be accomplishing something else on the itinerary. 

3. Or be the cause of delay…

Punctuality is the engine that makes any group tour run smoothly. Sure, it’s true that few people are sticklers for timekeeping while they’re on vacation. Most prefer to hang back and proceed at their own pace. But for an organised tour, that just isn’t possible. 

Rather, a group tour lives and dies by how prompt its members are. This is where group tour etiquette can be felt the most. 

Why? Because waking up late or holding others up at the bus can delay the schedule, thereby pushing back the day’s activities like dominoes. Or worse, you might end up missing out on the very attractions you paid to see. In short, time is everything!

4. Complaining non-stop is a no-no

Nobody likes it when a passenger complains endlessly, regardless if it’s about other travellers or the tour itself. Will you be fast friends with all the strangers you’re sharing a bus with? Maybe not. Group tours attract people from all over the globe, after all. You’re bound to meet a person who takes too long in the bathroom, flakes at the last minute, or constantly whines about how the tour is going. 

That’s okay, go with the flow! Just don’t be that member. 

5. Never be self-serving. Be a team player

group tour etiquette: be a team player

Finally, travelling demands your cooperation and teamwork. This is probably the most basic etiquette to follow on a group tour. Maybe it translates to waking up earlier than you’re used to, or keeping your tongue tied when the person next to you chews with their mouth open. (Yuck! Okay, sorry.) No matter how awkward it gets, you have to roll with the punches! 

Either way, travelling in a group involves giving way to others and compromising when needed. Many people are coming to the tour with different customs and behaviours, so respect is key for group harmony. 

Also read: Tour Group Pros & Cons: Do You Think It’s For You?

Joining organised group tours can be a whole lot of fun, especially if you know the proper etiquette for travelling. Always keep in mind that everybody is here for the same reason you are: You want to have a fantastic trip. And as long as you can meet others in the middle, everything should be okay!

About Author

Tiffany Conde
Tiffany Conde

Tiffany is a writer based in Manila. When she was younger, she knew she wanted to write stories or go on adventures—now, she's learning to do both. She enjoys being swept up in books that spark her curiosity for new places, both real and imaginary.

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