❖ marty sarbey de souto, ctc
One-Day Tours – The Solution for Hard Times IN THESE DIFFICULT economic times, maybe your usual trip participants just can’t muster the expenditure for a major trip. Yet, they may not wish to admit out loud that this year they just can’t afford it. You don’t want them to disappear from your travel program forever and you’re afraid if you cancel your bigger trip(s), you may never see them again. Why not offer a yearly series of oneday trips? This way they can enroll in them one-by-one in accordance with their interests and their month-bymonth budget. Perhaps one-day trips are already a part of your offerings. But perhaps they’re not, or you’d like some suggestions for some new ones. Here are my suggestions for a dozen starters. I’m sure you’ll have your ideas for additional ones to add to the mix. Eleven are one-dayers; the last one is an overnighter.
MONTHLY DINE-AROUND, trying new restaurants in town or nearby surroundings. Get your members involved by their suggesting restaurants they’d like to visit or those they’ve tried and liked. Be sure the chef is available to meet and greet them. Maybe the chef can even give the group a cooking or shopping hint.
COUNTY FAIR. A day at the fair can never go wrong. Include roundtrip coach transportation and entry fee (if any). Let the group roam where they like within the fairgrounds. Perhaps include lunch (or coupons for lunch), the horse races or the evening show if there is one.
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CULINARY DAY. A cooking class day complete with a chef demonstrating special dishes, perhaps one wherein the tour members chop and stir and actually participate rather than just sit and listen. Include handout of recipes. Perhaps add a morning visit to the marketplace to select ingredients and lunch wherein everyone eats what they produced.
ART MUSEUM BLOCKBUSTER SHOW complete with a docent giving your tour group a private explanation. Check out the biggies like Chicago’s Art Institute, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Excellent local museums are curating blockbuster exhibits as well but on a smaller scale.
A DAY OF AGRICULTURAL VISITS. Include opportunity for members to pick or buy at fruit and vegetable markets. Meet with farmers who follow organic, sustainable practices. See www.bayareagreentours.org for ideas.
SHOPPING DAY with coach transportation to several top stores – not just one shopping center. Work out a plan with store management for coupons for freebies. Maybe include a nice lunch en route.
FASHION SHOW. Check with department stores and other fashion outlets for dates of future fashion shows. Include entrance fee and perhaps a drink. Allow time for shopping after the show.
CONCERT, indoors or a summer on-the-lawn venue. Many orchestras and little theaters schedule warmweather outdoor programming. Take along a picnic supper for all.
MOTHER’S DAY CELEBRATION. Many families are fractured these days. Mothers without kids. Kids feeling a bit lost after their mothers have died. Be the focal point for a function to bring everyone together for next year’s Mother’s Day.
A FUNDRAISER of some sort. Cost into the trip a donation from each participant for some needy organization in your community. Hint – this will bring you local publicity and perhaps new members.
THEATER ATTENDANCE at the newest edgy play opening in a nearby theater. Maybe add a visit backstage or a lecture before the play discussing the author’s work.
AN OVERNIGHT MINI-TRIP to the nearest national park, staying in a lodge. Include a meeting with a park ranger, perhaps an evening sing-along around the campfire complete with s’mores and maybe a ghost story or two. This might be an ideal time to suggest participants bring along young people in their family and plan it for a weekend when kids are not in school.
Marty is a Certified Travel Counselor who designs and leads tours. Her travel industry consulting and educational firm is Sarbey Associates (sarbeyassociates.com).
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