The weeks leading up to group travel can be hectic for your guests. In addition to managing their regular work responsibilities and ensuring that they everything is under control at work, they are also busy preparing and packing for their trips. It can be overwhelming.
The 4 main sections to include are:
- Departure and arrival information
- Preparation (including what to pack)
- What's included
- Group Itinerary (with day-by-day breakdown)
Departure and Arrival information
The first page should provide a concise guide for the travel days. Include:
- Departure Date, Departure Time and Time of Arrival at the Destination
- All flight numbers
- Flight check-in details (on-line and in-person) - Clearly indicate how far in advance of their flights travellers should arrive at the airport.
- A checklist of what to bring for airport check-in (i.e. passports, photo ID, e-ticket).
- Allowances for checked and carry-on luggage.
- Arrival procedures including immigration, customs, meet and greet, and transfers
- Hotel Check-in Procedures including documents required (e.g. passport, credit card for incidentals, immigration form)
- Hotel Check-out Procedures including check-out time and time for luggage pick-up
- Return Flight Date and Time
- Pick-up location for return airport transfer
Don't assume that all guests know what to bring. Share information about dress code for dinner and what is needed for specific activities. (Once they are at the resorts, guests will be disappointed that they can't go horse riding as they only packed flip-flops and sandals.)
Include reminders about sunscreen, insect repellent and sunhats. These can easily be forgotten in the last minute rush to pack.
Remind guests that all luggage must be tagged and old airline tags are to be removed.
For peace of mind, remind members of your part about what is and isn't included. Cover accommodation, meals, activities and excursions. Clearly identify extras that are not included such as spa treatments and off-site tours and excursions that are not part of the group itinerary.
If dinner reservations are required, be sue to state this clearly and describe the process for making reservations. Some guests for one of the corporate events my company organize indicated that information about tipping would be helpful so this is now a standard part of our package.
Break the trip down day by day and provide guests with a schedule to let them know which group activities, excursions and meals have been reserved and what time has been earmarked for leisure.
Provide menus for group functions and be sure that they have been designed taking allergies, food sensitivities and special meal requirements into account.
Keep it Personalized and Simple
If some guests are arriving early or extending their stay, take the time to prepare customized itineraries for them. While this may seem like a lot of work, the itinerary will be clearer than sending the whole group the same information and forcing them to sort out what is relevant.
Event planners can make things easier for their guests by providing clear and easy to follow personalized itineraries. They can be incorporated into an app., made available through an on-line portal, distributed as a PDF, or made available through a download link distributed by e-mail.
With Cvent Housing and Travel Management tools, event planners can provide personalized itineraries for attendees, quickly, and easily.
For more tips for foreign group events, also consult Balancing Team, Family and Free Time During Foreign Corporate Events, Group Check-in Enhances Experience for Corporate Clients.
Photo Credits: Grand Canyon National Park